Well this is my first email from the actual mission field! Kinda crazy that I´m already out here. I feel like I just barely left Provo! The Lima MTC was a great experience, and I´m ready to get to work!
I don´t know if you were able to see the Christmas devotional on Sunday, but it was pretty incredible! I loved all of the talks and the way they focused everything on Christ. I´m also very excited to see the Christmas traditions here! The trip to Piura was pretty uneventful. I was pretty suprised though, the plane we took was the nicest plane I´ve ever been on! The pilot also seemed to have a little too much fun on the landing...coming in fast and slamming on the breaks! It was fun though!
President and Sister Chipman are pretty much amazing! We were able to have dinner with them that first night, and it was fun to get to know them a little bit. I had a quick five minute interview with him, and he just told me to make sure and work on my Spanish pronunciation! I know that will definitely help me a lot in being able to communicate. He also talked a lot about keeping our missionary purpose in mind. I´m definitely going to try to do that, especially with these next couple of days!
My new companion is from Nicaragua! His name is Elder Turcios. He´s SUPER nice. He´s actually pretty tall, almost 6´ I would guess. He doesn´t speak a ton of English, but we´ve been able to communicate really well! After we found out our companions, we got all of our stuff and headed off to my first area-Nigritos! The bus ride was only about two hours, but I was able to talk to my companion a lot, which was nice! Turns out, Elder McDonough from my district in the MTC will be living with us too. His companion has been out 21 months, while mine has only been out 3! Haha, kinda crazy how that works!
Last night was really the first time I got to go out as a real missionary! We visited the homes of some members and I got to meet them. We also went to the home of one of the ladies that we´re going to be teaching in a few hours! We talked for quite a while. It was pretty funny, every house I went into I have to duck to get in. They all want me to stand up and show them how tall I am too! Oh! Another cool thing...I´m the tallest Elder in this mission out of 170! Yep, I´m that impressive!
The town here is pretty cool! The homes are pretty much the same as Lima, except most if not all the people are poor. The streets are pretty beat up, and sometimes it´s just sand. Thankfully, the wheather isn´t bad at all! Arizona was 100 times worse! Our house is pretty small, I think that it´s about the size of our family room with the four of us living there. The bathroom is interesting, the shower head is right next to the toilet, with freezing cold water of course! I bet I get home and won´t want to take a hot shower ever again, I´ll be so used to the cold!
I guess there was one thing that Greg told me about is right...there are dogs EVERYWHERE. I don´t think I´ve gone more than one or two minutes without seeing at least one stray dog. It´s pretty sad that they´re all just roaming around. In Negritos, there are a lot of cats too. I didn´t see many in Lima, but here there are a lot! People just walk by them though, no big deal. They´re everywhere anyway.
Well, this is just a quick one, but I wanted to let you know I´m alive! Also, as far as my mail goes, they´ve got it worked out pretty good. You can send every letter to the mission home my whole mission! We get them once a week during our zone meetings. Also, packages need to be sent with Elder Robert Swasey´s name on it, my full name just below. I don´t think that I´ll be sending any packages...they said it costs about $150 for just a 1 kilo package. Ridiculous, I know. Christmas will just have to wait for two years! As well as birthdays and everything like that...
Hope you´re having fun with your freezing cold Christmas while I´m down here sweating with my short sleeves! Good thing they only put 15 people in an 8 passenger van, I´d hate to be crowded with all of our stinky, sweaty bodies. ;)
Love you all! Have fun with all of your planning mom, and don´t even worry about the email...this time of year is SUPER busy for you, I know that! I´ll get another email to you on Monday.
Elder Dallon Schofield