Thursday, October 7, 2010

Is this true life?

Every now and then I look around me, and I have to think, this is really happening. Wow. This is my life right now. How random?!? But so divinely inspired! I don't know exactly why I'm here, but it's been amazing!! SO since I last wrote, I listened to Conference,attended FHE, went to the temple, had my first peruvian sleepover, and ate the heart of a cow and a chicken! That's my incentive for you to keep reading what is bound to be a long email!

So Sunday morning I woke up at looked at my watch and sat bolt upright because it said 10:30, and church is at 11! SO I jumped out of bed, washed my face, went into the kitchen to ate some cereal, then noticed the car was still in the garage and no one else was getting ready. Turns out my phone died in the night, and my watch was on timer, not the time. It was really 7:30. Nice. So I decided to take a shower, and then I practiced the piano for a little bit. Then I brought my computer out to the dining room with Gabriela. She watched it on her computer in Spanish, and I watched it on mine in English. It was great!!! President Monson’s talk about gratitude was inspiring. I have SO much to be grateful for!!! Then in between sessions, we went to eat at their favorite Chinese restaurant in China Town. (My second China Town of the week!) (and again with the eating out on Sunday!) It was really delicious! Muy rico! When we were driving home, I felt like I understood the conversation for a while and I got really excited! Then I got completely lost, but I had it for a second! It was like my happy thought in Hook. So then we came back and watched the closing session. I just love conference so much! It makes me want to be better. After the afternoon session, I cracked down on my Spanish. I made some handy dandy charts, went through flashcards, and listened to a talk from conference in Spanish. I can do this! With the Lord’s help of course!!
Monday- No school!! These are the days where as Mom says “I do nothing and then rest from it”. I forced myself to sleep in (it was actually really hard! Why is it that when you can sleep as long as you want, you pop awake at 7:30? Come on body, work with me!!) which was until 9. Then I had to go to the bathroom, so I woke up.. Later, I was able to talk to Emily on webcam!!! It was really fun talking to her and the girls!! Juan Carlos came home for lunch, and Sabrina made cau-cau, a typical Peruvian dish. It was good- it reminded me of something though…chicken noodle soup in potato and some Peruvian vegetable form maybe…

They invited two families over for FHE tonight! Mafer, from my class (my translator!), and her sister and Dad, David Torres (He went to law school at BYU), and Syrielle (she gave a talk the first Sunday I was here and wants to make me Thanksgiving dinner!) and her husband and daughter Nicole, and their son’s friend came over later as well. It was a lovely evening! We all ate (they ordered chicken, fries, and salad again), luckily I sat by David and he translated most of it for me! He and I had a nice talk about his decision to go to BYU. He’s great! I really enjoyed talking with him! Then David gave a spiritual thought, and they asked me to share my testimony and David translated it. It was kind of weird having what I said translated, but whatever. It was a great night! FHE in Peru- check!

Today I got up the nerve to go run in the park by the house, and it was great! It’s a nice park, and I feel very safe running there! There were policemen patrolling everywhere and there were a bunch of older people walking around, and I think it’s a nicer part of town…There were two old ladies doing tai chi! It made me think of Emily Fitzpatrick! So I came home and took a shower and got all ready. Then I ate lunch with Juan Carlos, Gabriela, and Clara! We had soup and then ravioli with this DELICIOUS red sauce! It was excellent!! Then I read scriptures for a little bit, and took a nap. Then I played piano for a while. Then I got ready and Juan Carlos dropped me off at the carpool bus to drive to the temple. I sat by myself but I talked with Katty, and another guy in the ward. I could understand the guy’s Spanish pretty well! I don’t know why, but I just understood almost everything he was saying! Jajajaja! (As the say here…) A girl name Merloni came and started talking to me and I talked to her for probably 30 minutes! She was very nice! She’s 28 and the young single adults representative I guess? She just moved to Lima and is a teacher! She wants to take me around to see places in Peru! So we’ll see what happens there! I don't know if it's just the nature of people here or because I'm an "exotic" American, but it seems like these people just instantly decide to be my new best friend! I hardly even say a word! Maybe that's why- they want someone to listen to them. Who knows? When we got to the temple, we had to stand outside for a little bit, I don’t know why, but it was cold. I definitely packed wrong for this time of year!!! We finally got to go inside- it’s a beautiful temple inside and out! Especially compared to the dirty city that surrounds it! But we sat in a chapel for a little bit and they gave everyone a Book of Mormon, Spanish of course, to read. I read in 3 Nephi 11, because I thought I had a pretty good idea of the plot that I could try and figure out what it was saying. It was beautiful in Spanish, and it really hit me about the universality of Christ’s love and Atonement. I always picture the Savior speaking in English, because that’s what I know, but people in Peru picture Him speaking Spanish because that’s what they know. But the Savior speaks ALL languages, and knows and loves ALL people!! It’s also changed how I see people; walking around the city I try to look more at peoples’ individual faces and imagine Christ seeing them and try to feel more loving toward them; it helps a lot! So after reading in the chapel for a little bit, they called up some girls to get their suits (wrapped in plastic…) and go down to the baptistery. The sister gave me a medium, but I knew it was going to be small, because medium on a Peruvian is not going to be a medium on me! But I didn’t know how to say “I want a large” in Spanish…”Yo queiro un grande?” So I just conceded. And sure enough, it fit ok, but the length came to a few inches below my knee. Oh well. Both the baptisms and confirmations affirmed my suspicion that they speak Spanish SO fast!!! I could read along with what they were saying and I couldn’t even read it as fast as they were saying it! Oy! But it was still beautiful! The font was little, so I had to stand right up next to the edge so I could go down! After I finished and got dressed, I went out and waited for Gabriela in the lobby. There were two older people and a younger boy who were Americans, and from BYU on a church tour!! So I talked with them for a little bit, and then the others as they came out. One of the temple workers came over and was so cute and was like “Thank you so much for coming! What are you doing in this neck of the woods?! Quite the experience! Well thank you so much for coming!” My pleasure! Really! So then Gabi came and went talked to more people (a guy named George translated for me- so many nice people that speak English! I’m so grateful for them!!!!!) then we got on the bus to come back. Gabriela bought some snacks from some random kid that got on the bus and started selling them. Gabi told me more about her trip to Europe (she sang in a castle in Edinburgh! With people playing bagpipes!! ) Then she told me how she met Juan Carlos- he was an elder in her ward, but she was engaged to someone else! It all turned out ok in the end of course! ) Then we took a taxi to get home! It was a great day!

So Tuesday I talked to Amanda yesterday about what time we were going to get together on Wednesday, and she told me 9 o’clock. So, Wednesday I decided to get up early to go running before I went with her. So 7:30, I woke up and went running at the park. Then I took a shower and got all ready. Then I waited. And waited. I decided to read my scriptures and then sleep while I was waiting. I woke up when I heard the doorbell, but it wasn’t Amanda. Then I decided to practice the piano while I waited. Finally, at like 12 Juan Carlos came and said he was going to drop me off at Amanda’s. When I got to Amanda’s "Mama" (that's what I call her (: ) was there to welcome me, and told me I missed Lucy’s school play (which was why I came over in the first place ): ) I guess Amanda called Juan Carlos and he told her, he would drop me off at 10. Alas. So Amanda was at the school, so I helped Mama get lunch ready. We had pasta with sauce with some kind of meat and hot dog cut up along with chicken noodle soup, Peruvian style with spinach, and a whole chicken leg in it! Amanda got home and ate with us (when they come home they come in and say “yoo hoo!” I love it!) After we ate, we talked with Mama for a little bit, then we went to Plaza San Miguel! It’s a huge outdoor mall! We mostly just looked, but Amanda bought me a cute pen and I bought her a little thing for her phone! It was fun! We also stopped in the Apple store for a little bit and we took pictures with the in computer camera, which I guess Amanda had never done before! She loved it! Heck, I loved it!! Then we got gelato! It was muy bien!! RICO!! Then we bought a churro for the road. When we got home we had hot chocolate and bagel kind of things, which turned out to be dinner. Then I talked with Mama, Amanda, and Lucy for probably two or three hours. It was great! We talked about everything from my favorite music, to typical dances of Peru and America (including demonstrations!) and traveling to the U.S.! It was fun talking with them! There are such great people all over the world! That’s why I love traveling! Lima really isn’t the prettiest city I’ve seen, but the people are great! Oh! And Moma told me I have a very good accent! Especially for only having been her 15 days! (only 15 days?? is it true? I don't feel like actually counting...) But first step accent, next step, language domination! Then we went up into Lucy’s bedroom and sat on her bed and talked and watched T.V. Then Mister called at like 11:15 pm and we decided it would just be easier for me to sleep over. So then we got ready for bed. I’m pretty sure both of their beds are just like wooden boards. That’s what they felt like. Seriously. It wasn’t terrible for me, but I definitely didn’t get my best nights rest…but yay for Peruvian sleepovers!

The next morning however, I woke up feeling tired and sore. But we had a really good breakfast! Mama was gone when we woke up because she went to the hospital with Amanda’s dad who has problems with his nerves and suffers from depression. Most days he just lies in bed all day and sleeps or stares at the ceiling. Mama is such an amazing woman to me; she dedicates all her time to looking after her mom, her husband, and her children, and she’s always happy. I know that's pretty much what all moms do, but she is just so great! She made food before she left and left it out for us! It was eggs with some kind of meat and a grilled banana in a roll! So good!!! Then we walked to the school, and had a meeting with all the teachers. It was long and I didn’t understand most of it, but I came out of it with a few jobs. I am going to be the MC for the play in a couple of weeks, and I am going to help write a script for something (again I don’t know what…) and I’m going to help them plan then Halloween party so it’s an authentic American Halloween party! American culture is everywhere here and it fills me with mixed emotions. Part of me is happy to see something familiar, but the other half of me is sad that we’re coming in and enforcing our culture into theirs. They have such a rich history, with dances, and foods, and people- I don’t want it to get lost in the commercial America. I just realized that ironically enough I helped Amanda cut out pictures and letters for a poster about Christopher Columbus. Columbus was no doubt inspired, but he did manage to ruin a people and a culture to make way for a culture that is going to go and do it again throughout the world. But Peruvians think of America as this great place full of opportunity and happiness. It really is great, but it’s definitely not without its problems and corruption unfortunately. But the grass is always greener. Anyway, off random tangent, back to my day. Someone bought a huge cake and we ate it for Amanda’s birthday. I didn’t really like the cake, but I liked the frosting, which there was a lot of! Then everyone left, and I checked my email for a little bit and found out Michael has been called to the Roseville, California Spanish speaking mission!!!!!!!! I am so excited for him!!! He is going to be an amazing missionary!!! I saw in the apple store that he got his call, but he didn't say where and it was KILLING me all day to know!!!!!!!! YAY!! After that I was there alone with Mister and Sylvia who were doing financial stuff. I drove with Mister to Callao, which is an ocean side city next to Lima, to drop off stuff for his accountant. We saw a set of Elders while we were driving, and it made me happy and think of Michael. Then we drove back to the school and picked up Sylvia and went to dinner. I had my first anticuchos (cow heart and chicken heart!) It was MUY RICO!!!!!!!! Probably one of my favorite dishes!! That's what I get for being brave :) Dad would be proud! (Actually, he'd probably be jealous!! (; ) So that's all for this report! Tomorrow we're headed into the country at 6:30AM! Who knows what adventures will be in store for that trip!! Stay tuned!!

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