Friday, April 26, 2013

Welcome to Lima, Peru Elder Mackey!

Hey Family!

Today isn´t my p-day, its usually on Monday, but we got permission to email today. I`m here! It`s still pretty crazy thinking that I`m living in South America, but things are great.

I wrote a letter telling about my MTC experience in Peru - no telling how long it will take to get to Texas - but it was fun. Elder Day was one of my roommates, so it was great being with him for a few days. I definitely prefer the Provo MTC though. It was more structured with more faculty, better technology, etc. I don´t think I told you this on the phone, but my last Tuesday in Provo Richard G. Scott came and spoke to the MTC about prayer. It was awesome. Then this Tuesday morning before I left for my mission, Elder Bednar came and spoke to the 100 missionaries in the MTC. Wow. What a great experience! We just had a question and answer session for three hours, and I learned so much.

So after that on Tuesday, those of us going to Lima Central hopped on a bus and drove to a chapel in La Molina (the rich district of Lima) for a mission meeting (we meet every 6 weeks since our mission is so small). I got assigned to the Las Flores area (definitely not La Molina - it´s really poor and dirty) and I´m living in the Caja de Agua area. You can probably look that up on Google or something. My trainer is Elder Gutierrez from Argentina. He´s awesome. He´s been in Lima for 7 months and he spent a few months in Mexico too waiting on his visa. He´s a really friendly guy and a great teacher. My first night in Las Flores was quite a trial haha. Our apartment is covered in dust, the bathroom is tiny and there´s no hot water or air conditioning - a big difference from the MTC.

Then Wednesday morning we got on one of the city buses (which are crazy and always full of people!) and went to a chapel in San Isidro, where our mission and the Lima West mission got to hear Elder Craig Christiansen speak. I was struggling quite a bit throughout the morning - the language wasn´t coming very fast, I missed home, and Las Flores definitely wasn´t what I was expecting in a city mission! But Wednesday night changed that a lot. Teaching people is amazing. We taught several investigators and recent converts and committed two investigators to baptism. The Spirit was there the whole night, and I was really happy when we got back to our apartment. Right now I´m feeling great, and I´m excited to get to work in this area. Our mission is so small that my sector is tiny - we have a few blocks of buildings and two hills with little houses (probably not the right word, some of them are more like huts) on them. The youth in our ward are super active though, and most of our investigators are 14 to 16 right now. 

Food wise, things are basically what we expected - rice and potatoes with every meal, a lot of variety. The bread here is awesome, Inka Kola (the national soda of Peru, it kind of tastes like a mixture of bubble gum and cream soda) is amazing, the fruit is incredible. Some stuff is pretty crazy though. This morning we went to the market and Elder Gutierrez told me I should get tocash - a blended, decomposing potato - and a blended up frog ... that didn´t happen haha. My stomach has been hurting because we´re not supposed to drink the water, but I´ve had to at members´ houses. Hopefully my body gets used to it fast haha.

I´m sure there´s a lot more I could tell you, but I´m not sure what right now! I´m still getting used to everything. If you have questions for me about life in Peru email before Monday morning and I´ll answer them! Other than that though, things are good. Keep me in your prayers, especially that I´ll learn the language fast. That is probably my biggest problem right now. I can speak quite a bit, but the people here talk so fast it´s hard for me to understand very much. I´m sure it will come in time, but I could definitely use the Lords help. I hope everything is good at home! I love you guys so much, and I´m so excited to go forward in the Lord´s work!

Love,
Elder Mackey

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