New Jersey, Peru

First things first, I am sorry that I was in the funkiest mood when I wrote last week! 

Honesty hour – (maybe I shouldn’t be this honest but I’ve always liked to use the phrase “let’s be real” …) it has been so hard to adjust to the field! I really just missed family and home and friends A TON. We’re always talking about how important families are and love and the gospel and I keep thinking “ahhh yeah I wanna be with MY family!” But that’s why I’m here. The Lord has blessed me SO SO SO much, I’m taking a little time to give a little bit back. I think it was different in the MTC cause I had a bunch of friends around all day and people spoke English and now it’s just me and my companion and the work is real and it’s all in Spanish. I don’t know why a lot of missionaries don’t like the MTC, that place was cushy compared to real mission life haha. But what’s that thing I have a lot of? Oh yeah, attitude…once that changed things got a lot better. Go figure! Also I think I was a little more freaked out about Spanish than I should have been. For someone who only has two weeks in the field, I guess I’m pretty lucky to already understand basically everything and at least communicate enough of the basics. And the reality is that my companion and I were both kind of scared cause she only has 3 months here and just barely got done with her training and now she’s training me and obviously it’s my first time being a missionary but I think we’ll end up making a pretty swell team. Also, I remember having a hard time the first week in the MTC and then I ended up loving it, so there’s plenty of hope.
So basically, this place is just like New Jersey. I had more culture shock moving to Utah than I did coming to the mission! Seriously though. The only difference is there’s palm trees and prettier flowers. I haven’t eaten anything I really don’t like yet either. Something I think is kind of weird is that there’s a ton of hair salons everywhere…and they have posters of random American celebrities like Katharine McPhee and Hilary Duff and Taylor Lautner. There are tons of people and crazy traffic in this area too! It’s wild…there are some other details I will spare for the sake of Mr. Safetey, or “Señor Seguridad” as I’ve began to refer to him. 😉
Funny stories…we were walking around contacting one day and talked to this really old lady who has a little bodega (there’s tons of those too) and gave her a pamphlet and set up a cita to come back in a few days. When we came by at the time we had set up, she was sitting in her store and two Jehova’s Witnesses were teaching her…we just said we’d come back later but ending up not having time. I honestly thought it was kind of hilarious…
One day sitting on the bus this guy started talking to me and I explained that we’re missionaries and a little bit about the church. Then he started telling me how I pretty I was and that I could get anyone I wanted to be baptized…and I just laughed, not even an awkard laugh like a real laugh…which maybe I shouldn’t have but I don’t know how else I would have reacted! But I gave him a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet. When he got up to get off the bus he said it was a pleasure to meet me and before I could stop him he gave me a kiss on the cheek….ahhhh that felt so weird!!! Haha everyone here kisses each other and it’s usually not too hard to avoid…but he was too quick. It’s cool though cause I’m slowly losing my fear to talk to people. What’s awesome is that people come to us. A lot of people we pass by will ask us for folletos and they stop us to talk! One of the elders told me that’s only cause we’re sisters haha. Not to say we don’t get our fair share of rejection too…I’ve quickly learned that just because someone says we can come back, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be there (or that they will answer.) Or that they will come to church if they say they will. And sometimes I don’t understand because I just think “but we have the best message ever! Why isn’t everyone dying to talk to us and to be baptized?” I wanna carry a huge neon sign that says “True Church” and people should just flock to us…but the Lord doesn’t really work that way, does He. 
He does however, prepare people to hear the gospel. We are teaching a few great people that have really showed me that as missionaries we really don’t convert anyone, we’re just the messengers and the Lord does all the work. And we’re in a huge ward that is really excited about missionary work and works with us so that’s great too.
Well of course I love you all from the bottom of my heart and am always thinking about you…even though I try not to because I want to be focused…haha.
¡Hasta luego!
Hermanita V

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