Aug. 5, 2013
Well, I´ve been in the mission field for almost a full week now! I have been assigned to the Las Violetas ward, in Independencia Peru. Sorry if my grammar or anything is off, I am actually having a really hard time writing in English!
Ok. My companions names (yes, companionS I´m in a trio!) Are Hermana Mamani from Arequipa Peru and Hermana Schroader from Arizona who also was in my district at the CCM! It’s been so awesome because I have a native companion who only speaks Spanish and then I have a friend from the CCM who I can speak English with when my brain starts to hurt. :)
Hermana Mamani is actually one of the Sister Leaders for our mission so she has that responsibility, plus training two new greenies so I´m sure it’s been hard for her, but she’s so great. We have a really good companionship.
We are living in a little apartment in the middle of town and it hasn´t been lived in for four years so it’s been an experience. Here is a list of things that I have to do here in Peru, that I don´t have to do in the US.
Brush my teeth using water from a filtered water bottle
Throw used toilet paper into a bag instead of the toilet (the water pressure isn´t strong enough to flush paper)
Unlock the bars in front of our door and THEN unlock the door. (we have 3 different keys to get into the house)
Turn on the electric heater early in the morning so I can have a warm shower (still hasn´t happened yet :P)
And the list continues. I can´t think of any more of the top of my head right now but I´ll continue it in future emails :)
One of the reasons the apartment hasn´t been lived in for four years is because our ward hasn´t had missionaries for a while! We are actually the first sister missionaries our ward (barrio) has had. And before there were some missionaries but they lived closer to their other ward so there wasn´t a lot happening here. We are basically opening a new area :) but it’s been great! The members are really helpful and we´ve been able to find a couple of investigators to teach and the work is progressing.
One of the best things about Peru though is the people. The people here are incredible! So nice and helpful and loving. My cheek has been kissed more times than I could even count :) Thats just how you greet everyone here! And you greet everyone in the room when you walk in, and then say goodbye to everyone when you leave. I already love the members of our ward so much. Our pensionista, Hermana Berta, is so wonderful. We have breakfast and dinner with her every day and then we eat lunch with a different member of the ward each day. She calls us ¨mi preciosas, or mi lindas´ and I love it :) Really though. Everyone is so loving.
Yesterday was our first Sunday and it also happened to be...Fast Sunday! Which meant we had the ¨opportunity¨ to bear our testimonies in Sacrament meeting in Spanish in front of everybody, and it just so happened that our Mission President was attending our ward that day too! That was only a little intimidating :P But it went well. And things are going good!
Thank you for your emails! It’s crazy what all is happening at home, tell everyone I say Hello and that I love them! I´m sure I´m forgetting so much that I wanted to tell you but time is so limited. I will try to send some pictures :) Also, I haven´t received any letters yet so hopefully they´ll get here soon :)
Con mucho amor,
Your ¨greenie¨ Hermana Shelton
Rachel in front of the Lima Peru Temple
Rachel with her "silly" MTC district
Rachel with a banana tree