Its been a crazy week! Definately one of the longest weeks of my life, but also one of the best weeks of my life. I've been so frustrated at times but for the majority of it, I've been smiling the whole time! My companion is Elder Ayala. He's from New Jersey. He's Phillipino. So that's pretty cool for Ster. He's about 5'4 and he's a pretty cool guy.
The flight wasn't bad. On the one to Dallas, I sat next to 2 women and I got bored so I started talking to them. They looked different so I asked where they were from. She said "morahh". I asked her again about 6 times. not kidding. Finally her friend said "eerah", once again I asked her another 3 times. Finally, she said "Sudam Husain" haha it was Iraq....... They taught me some Arabic and we had a dang good time together. Unfortunatly, I didn't get any pics with them.
The flight to Lima was LONG. 8 hours I think. We had to sit on the plane for an extra hour because difficulties with plane. We got to the airport here around 1 and it took us an hour or so to get our luggage and get through customs. Luckily, all my luggage is here. We left around 2. It's amazing here. soooo pretty. We got on a bus and it took another 45 minutes to get to the CCM. We got to tour of Lima so that was pretty sick. Like I said, a Mexican Salt Lake :) We saw 16 police man with lights on, crazy town at 2 am! We got to bed around 3:30 and got up at 6:30.
The next day was literally the longest day of my life. I was soo tired and I missed you guys and it was all horrible. The CCM is nice. It's pretty ghetto this time a year but it's nice. I feel safe :) They have like 15 foot walls guarding this place so don't worry mom!
The food here is.... well........ its okay. EVERY DAY we eat the same thing. Rice, potatoes, soup, and bread. Occasionally we get meat but it's no good. It's basically a piece of fat. I laugh every time because I could just see McKenzie trying to eat it. We eat it anyways cause hey.... it's protein. We don't eat the soup though. That's the first rule of the CCM here. Don't eat the soup. We always find weird stuff in there. The first week we found a rat tail? Like what? Where do you even get that? We find flies and bugs in there too. Oh yeah.. and chicken brains. I just eat the broth and stay away from the other stuff. Oh yeah.... BREAD. It's the only American thing here and we're allowed 4 pieces every meal so yes, I do eat 12 pieces of bread every day.. and yes, I still enjoy it.
I hurt my foot playing soccer this first day and I'm still limping. Maybe I'll go see the doctor if it's still hurting in a couple weeks.
My Spanish has been KILLER. On the second day I could already say a prayer. Now that it's been a week, I can teach the first 2 lessons. It feels awesome, and I'm working super hard. My companion is STRUGGLING. It helps having a basis of Spanish cause he had nothing. During our lessons, by the way, they have to be 20 minutes long, I teach the first 19 in Spanish and he teaches the other minute. We gotta work on that. We've taught 4 lessons now and each one keeps getting bettter! It feels good!
There's another Elder Harris here so I asked him what his name was.. Patrick. So I was like no way my names Patrick too and coincedently we had the same middle name as well. Dwayne hahaha. Only yesterday he found out that my name was actually Braeden . . . he about had a heart attack. We had a good laugh.
The Latinos here are AMAZING. When I got sent to migrations, me and another Elder had to go with 12 Latinos. WE HAD THE BEST TIME. One of my favorites so far. We laughed and laughed and we taught them English and they taught us Spanish. I taught them how to say "what's up white boy" so every time they see an American missionary they say it. hahaha. And of course "hey man... turn down for what". Jackson would be so proud :) My favorites are Elder Mamani from Bolivia. He's seriously like my best friend here. I got a picture with him so I'll send it when I get in the field. Also Elder Munez from Columbia and Elder Lopez from Ecuador. we're all homies. When we were waiting to get in we found a Coke bottle in the streets of Lima so we had a pick up soccer game on the sidewalk with the Latins. Sooo fun.
Our teachers are Senor Davalos and Senor Velasquez. They're awesome!
The candy isn't good. We eat these things called cosinos. They're like a cracker. Those are the best. They also have these things that are crackers dipped in chocolate. It's funny but it's so ridicolsy cheap. 2 soles for a HUGE bag. That's like 70 cents. Then there was this old man walking in the street with candy on his back and we felt so bad for him so of course we had to buy something. We bought some candy and it tasted a little weird, apparently it had expired 5 years ago.... hahahaha
I've been in the city 3 times this week. for migrations, interpol, and p day. Both the first 2 took like 5 or 6 hours each so we had a lot of time to kick it and talk. Im surprised at how many problems these Elders have in my district. Edler Buenning's dad died a month ago. Elder Ayala never grew up with one. Elder Beidleman's brother died by drowning in a pool. Elder Edward's brother died. And Hermana Robinson never grew up with a dad. Thats only in my district. Its ridiculous. I feel so blessed. Seriously this past week has been so humbling. To see some of these people here in Lima is horrible. They have nothing. Makes me sick every single time, I just want to help them.
We went to the temple this morning and it was awesome. Although it was in Spanish hahaha. The celestial room here is sooo pretty. I seriously started crying in it today just because of it. The rest of the p day we just hung around the city and went to stores. We went to the supermarket and bought some candy hah cosinos.
But I love it here! When i even think about coming home it makes me sick because I'm having such a good time. I get to focus on serving the Lord for the next 2 years and that makes me so happy. The spirit here is amazing. It's funny to feel the difference from outside these walls in the city compared to the spirit in here. I've become so much closer to my Heavenly Father in this last week. I pray for you guys every night! I hope you guys are doing awesome. I want to hear about all the stuff that you are doing back at home!! How did Devin do on his farewall talk?? Yesteraday I was thinking about him a lot and praying for him a lot cause I know how hard that first day is. Maybe send me his email adress so I can send him a quick one. But anyways, I'm having a great time here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now.
I love you guys so much!
- Elder Harris IV
I replied and asked if he was still there because I'm still not sure if he has a half hour or an hour on the computer! He responded:
I think I'm still here. My time says 0.01. I think it froze.. there's no one in the room so here I am I guess. I forgot to tell you that they call the city here "lima la gris". or lima the grey.. I don' think I've seen the sun once since I've been here. It's actually pretty cold here. I wear my sweater a lot more than I thought so thank you mom :)
My favorite Elders that are American are Elder Beidleman from California. Elder Haws from California. Elder Mann from Provo is hilarous. He's a dancer and he dances for us all the time. He clogs and tap dances and does Russian dancing. So of course, we all do it too. There's some Elders here from Lone Peak too which has been amazing.. Seeing my friend Elder Bush from the volleyball team was the best day of my life. Soo nice seeing someone I know. Also Elder Sheidi is here. He went to Lone Peak. Also Elder Randall and Elder Southwick. None of them are going to my mission and there's a lot more Americans than you think here - it's about half. All the Elders here LOVE Calyn and McKenzie. They think they are the prettiest girls. All the elders always ask me how old my sister is. Sooo watch out Kenz cause most of them are going to BYU or UVU. The Latinas Hermanas are soo funny. They always tell me jokes in Spanish and we laugh so hard. I called one of her jokes stupid in Spanish one time and she froze. Apparently stupid is like the"f" word here.. ha. I also said trasero which I thought was butt. Apparently its the "A" word sooo . . . good thing I'm learning that now instead of out in the field.
I'm trying to be obedient here but that's like the biggest thing I'm struggling with. But hey, I'm trying and I'm doing better every day. Just wait until I get back and I'll be the most obedient boy you'll ever meet!
Okay I've got class right now so I gotta get going.
love it here, love you guys.
"keep the faith"
- Rich homie