Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dalton - 4/29/13 email

Fine.  I Guess I’ll Tell You Things.

Well, you all could have told me earlier that I was supposed to give you all pertinent information about my mission.  Sheesh.  I’m not a mind reader.  My ward, zone, and stake is all called Prolima.  It’s fairly close to the mission office, but isn’t downtown or anything like the mission office is.  It’s not the poorest area in the mission, either.  I’ve even been flushing my toilet paper, which I’m not totally sure I should be doing, but I believe in innocent until proven guilty.  I eat rice, chicken, rice, bread, and rice.  It’s actually pretty good, but now that I mention it, there’s a lot of rice.  No tortillas or garbage like that.  The bread is actually awesome here, because they only eat bakery style bread.  But, to be honest, I rarely find myself being hungry, in part because food seems to make me thirstier.  The scenery feels a lot like home.  You think of jungle when you think of Peru, but Lima is actually dust.

And, oh yeah, I’ve been involved in two emergency transfers this week.  I'll do my best to explain, but it will probably be like trying to explain the quantum model of the atom over email.  First off, my roommates were in a trio as of a week ago, because one of the missionaries was a visa waiter for Bolivia.  Their area was the other half of Prolima ward.  That will be pertinent information soon enough.  About four days ago, Elder Myers, my trainer (or Papa, as many say in the field), as of a week ago, got a call that one of the zone leaders had to go home early for school and that Elder Myers would be the new zone leader to fill the gap.  At first, I panicked, because the first thing he said to me was "usted ya no tiene su papa."  I stopped freaking out once I realized that he was referring to himself.  I’m very, very glad to hear you’re doing better, Dad.  [note from Mom:  Joe had a bike accident recently, so apparently Dalton was worried that the elder was telling him that he didn’t have a dad anymore.  But he meant himself as papa.]

So there we go.  First emergency transfer.  Elder Chura, one of the trio of roommates, became my new companion.  We were starting to get the hang of things until Sunday night, when we received a call that the visa waiter for Bolivia isn’t waiting any longer.  As of this morning, I am now part of the remaining trio with Elder Chura and Elder Paredes.  Our two areas have been consolidated into one.  I’m really glad I got a light grasp on the language, because I’m a pile of confused drool even without the language barrier.  
I don’t mean to say this is bad.  I can already tell that I will learn a whole lot more Spanish with native companions, we now have way more baptismal dates as a companionship, and I got to hear the song "Africa" by Toto on the bus ride back from my last transfer.  Everything is going very well.  It has also been nice to teach Anthony and Justin, our two new investigators with baptismal dates.  Anthony and his brother are related to a family in the ward, and he has already read--wait for it--1 Nephi.  There are active youth that can’t manage that.  We got them to invite their whole family to the next discussion, so we are really excited.

Also, I got the package you sent, mum.  That plastic thing in the macaroni box was a little chewy, though. JK.  I didn’t eat the credit card yet.  I did, however, thrash those Reese’s eggs.  Even the no-bake cookies held up nicely.  Elder Chura and I quite enjoyed them.

That youth conference sounds incredible.  It’s time kids realize that your mission isn’t the time to prepare for your mission, and I’m glad they're learning that and getting excited about the important things, rather than just where you’ll go or what you’ll see.

Que mas?  The meeting with Elder Christensen was amazing.  I walk everywhere, except to church or places like the mission office. We are allowed to ride the bus to places like Popeye’s on p-days, since it is fairly close to our zone.  Yeah, I’m burning out this time.  I suppose I’ll just say that my sense of direction hasn’t changed a whole lot, though it will have to if I ever become a senior companion.

Thanks for the example and the teachings.  Every day I think I could be doing more, but I suppose that feeling is good to have throughout your whole mission.  I love you all and wish you the best.

Elder Johnson

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