This week has been so great. I'm still not fluent, but I know the gift of tongues is so real. I had a conversation about economics, then about missionary work of course, today in Spanish with an old man and my companion didn't say a thing. I work so hard to learn this language, and it is only after I strive for a goal that the Lord blesses me. People I talk to say I have great Spanish for a new missionary, but I want it to be better. I make vocab cards everyday and when I am done with them I give them to my companion to learn English. I also read the Book of Mormon in Spanish out-loud every chance I get: between appointments, on the bus, and before I go to bed. There is so much power in the Book of Mormon, the doctrines inside really can be applied to everything in life.
I just want to take a minute and talk about food. First of all when I found out that the Spanish have a word for "a party with chicken" (Pollada) I instantly decided Spanish is the best language ever. I have rice for every meal, except for sometimes breakfast. There is a sauce here called Tarí, which is spicy, but super good. My pinchinista is fabulous, everything she cooks is good. They have a drink here called Kímbo (I am not a huge fan) which they call Mormon coffee. It tastes just like coffee but it is herbal or something. They have tamales here that Mom would love and eat everyday. At one "Noche de Amigos" that we put on we had tamales and chicha morada. Chicha morada is a Peruvian drink that I am starting to get a taste for. It is basically the juice of purple corn. Also I can confidently say I have eaten every part of a chicken. They eat a lot of chicken here, which I have no problem with. Also the candy here is super different. My favorite sweet, which I am now addicted to, is Chokosoda, which is a saltine dipped in chocolate. Also I have broken my "no drinking pop" rule. When we go to members homes, or sometimes even when we go out and teach people will bring us glasses of Inca cola, orange pop, or coke (The only 3 drinks they have here besides juice). The juice here is so good, all the fruit is fresh, and delicious. Also Peru is apparently know for there avocados, we have them for salads a lot, and they are better then anything in the States.
Now for the weird things section. I see the weirdest things when teaching/walking on the streets, that to people here, is completely normal. The other day I saw a man training his rooster for cock fighting by baiting it with another. During a lesson we were teaching an old couple and the abolito was sick and couldn't leave his hammock. During the lesson he had to pee, so his wife got up and helped him pee into a bottle, during our lesson (now that's love). Also women here breast feed everywhere, there is even a statue of it in Chepén. On Sunday Elder Palacios and I were teaching a class and one of the hermanas just started feeding her kid. No one else seemed to mind. The other day was elder Palacios birthday and for his present one of the members smashed a cake in his face,. The tradition is eggs, but we didn't want that much of a mess.
It took a bit of adjustment, but I love it here. The people are so faithful. The lives they live are very humble, and simple. I like the simplicity. There are certain blessings here that I wouldn't have at home, like being able to see the stars at night. I love looking up at the night sky when it is full of stars, because it is proof to me of Heavenly Fathers Love and Power. There are many people we teach here who are so close to baptism, but need to get divorced, then married to whomever they live with. This is a very common problem here in Peru. I love teaching. I am not always the strongest speaker, but the is nothing better than being in the home of an investigator or recent convert. I love looking into the eyes of the people here and testifying that they can be with there families forever.
Te AmoElder Perryman