I am so happy to hear about mom and dad starting their work in the temple. My area is too far from a temple to visit in my mission, and I miss temples a lot. They truly are the houses of the Lord.
To answer some questions, I will probably get a new companion but stay in Pueblo Nuevo. This is fine because I love this humble area, and my zone. Also one of my friends here in the mission (Elder Boywer) who is also in my group is from Gilbert. It would be crazy if his family is in the same ward as the Low's.
Wow this week was crazy. We had an exchange with the Zone leaders and it was great. I was with Elder Samame in Chepen and the day flew by. Elder Samame is great and his area is a lot of fun (it is more like a city). We worked so hard and he taught me a lot of things. We also made tacos in his apartment, and talked about how much we miss Mexican food (he is from Panama which is more like Mexico then South America). We had a really good companionship study together and we talked about miracles and obedience. Which is ironic because Clara sent me "obedience brings blessing perfect obedience brings miracles". We also talked a lot about how funny the Spanish language is, like how everyone in Peru says "Claro" or "ya pe" or how the word "cita" means date (like a romantic date) or appointment (like teaching appointment).
So here is my section about food. There are a lot of things I miss about US food, but one thing I know I will miss one day about Peru is their panaderias. Think about a slice of the celestial kingdom squeezed into a sketchy corner building and that's what it is. Really though the bread here is so good, and the pastries are even better. The tastiest stuff has the funniest names, like calocones or piononos. A lot of the food is stuffed with this stuff called majarblanca, which is this caramel like stuff that dad would love. But a lot of the stuff is also topped with shredded coconut, which I love, but dad would not love.
I am starting to become really familiar with all the members and the area. Tonight we are going to Pacanga for a FHE with a member. We are trying to grow this area for more missionaries to enter in the future. Piere is from Pacanga, and I am so excited for his baptism this week. Also Martina is so close to getting baptized, I just feel it, but we need to work better at finding new people and teaching with members.
There are things I just love about this mission, like waiting in a mototaxi for a heard of cattle to pass or holding the parrot of an investigator. I really love this country. But there are also tough, humbling parts of the mission. Watching a recent convert struggle with alcoholism, or mental illness, or hearing a sister in the branch cry because she cant read, but she wants to be an example to her children. It shows me how Satan wants to bring people down, but there are also moments when I see the tender mercies of the Lord. Like when an investigator completely changes his life and walks away from alcoholism (he just needs to get divorced and then married for baptism). Or maybe my favorite moment of the week, when we were walking to our room and we saw through a window our landlord, Segundo, who is a recent convert on his knees offering a secret prayer. It is moments like that, that make the mission fulfilling. Not everyone accepts our message, but I see real change in the lives of every single person who accepts the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. I know this is the work of the Lord.
PS: The photos are of a parade in Guadalupe, and an open air market in Pacasmayo (because I know mom loves open air markets).