Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 7 -- Cusco and Sicuani

Wow what a week here in Peru! As you guys know I am no longer in Lima and finally in Cusco. So exciting to actually be in the mission and doing missionary things.

Well, I flew from Lima last Tuesday to Cusco and met my mission president and his wife. They are so nice and I just think they are amazing. We were able to take a tour of Cusco and see a bunch of landmarks, which the city is just breathtaking. Mountains on all sides and it is just so pretty! We got to go up to the top of the city by the Cristo Blanco statue and you can see all the city from there!

After we stayed the night in a hotel and waited for the next day, when we found out our companions or trainers and the area we will be serving in for the first 3 months. I was assigned with Elder Martinez, my daddy in the mission. He is from Guatemala and he is just so funny. I know that I will learn a lot from him! He speaks decent english but we are trying to talk only in Spanish.

Our area is in the Sicuani stake and my ward is Vallecito 2. The area is surrounded by mountains, not huge but they are so beautiful. Sicuani is about 2 hours south of Cusco, and it is a town that is full of agriculture and humble people. All the houses here are so different, it is actually quite humbling. They all are made either out of brick for the nicer ones and then most are made from dirt bricks. Most don't have roofs, but the people are all so generous and nice.

Another weird thing that is most people don't have cars and the mode of transportation is walking or these mototaxis. They are basically little motorcycles with a seat in the back. Kinda scary but they are so fun to ride in. So I have walked a lot lately and the houses of the investigators are pretty far sometimes.

Also many people here only speak Quechua here and sometimes it is hard to speak bc we don't learn it. But I have picked up some words here and there, but the language is quite weird.

Our house that we live in is in a members house and we have our own rooms. We live with 2 other elders too that are in our ward. We have a penchinista, or a person who cooks our meals and does that stuff for us. She is so awesome! We call her mamai, which is Quechuan. She is pretty short too and she cooks us the best food!

So far I have tried a few local items. I have tried chichamurrada, or a drink that is made from purple corn and it is actually quite good! The other weird thing that I have tried is chuno or papas negras, which is basically a rotten black potato that is squished by foot and is put in soup sometimes. I thought it was all right for some reason, but my companion hates it. I am so excited to try cuy, or guinea pig, because our mamai has a bunch of cuy that we will get to eat every once in a while.

Life here is pretty interesting with the culture and it is so different from the US and even Lima. Animals are everywhere and cattle are walking in the streets. Also there are crazy amounts of dogs, so many! But I do love it here, the people are so nice, and the little kids just love me because of my freckles and all that my whiteness entails. They always call me a gringo or tourist while I pass them in the street. I think it is quite hilarious.

Our investigators are doing well. We actually have a baptism this Saturday for Jhon, a younger guy. We are so excited. All others are pretty good, my Spanish is improving more rapidly each day and I am learning so much from Elder Martinez.

Sicuani is pretty exciting and I am so happy to be here for the next 3 months. My testimony has grown so much so far and I am learning so much also. I miss everyone like crazy and hope the best for all of you. But I am here doing the Lords work and I am loving it forever! These two years will be so quick and I will be back before you know it!