- So I now have a new companion…but I haven´t met him yet. I´ve been with a temporary companion since Sunday morning, when Elder Flores left for Arequipa. He´s in our ward, the husband of the daughter of our pensionista. (I will so explain who´s related to who in our pensionista family, and how, in a letter. Because I´m pretty sure you´re all pretty much confused.) My new companion is apparently named Elder…Soreno? Sorreno? Yeah, I got the call from my zone leader at like 1 in the morning (that´s how they do transfers here…sigh), but anyways, he´s on his way from Arequipa right now, I believe, and should arrive sometime in the afternoon. What I know is that he has more time in the mission than me, whoever he is, and after talking with another missionary in my zone just now, we realized that either him or I will most likely be our new district leader (our last one got transferred), because the other two companionships in our district are hermanas, and he´s training someone, so most likely he can´t have a leadership assignment. I would say it´s going to be my new companion for sure, but the missionary I just talked with is a gringo with only a transfer or two more than me in the mission, and he´s already training a new missionary. So…basically anything can happen, really. I´ll keep you all posted about that, along with how my new companion is. 🙂
- We had a nice stake activity, called Puertas Abiertas (basically an open house), on Thursday. The intent of a Puertas Abiertas is to welcome one and all to learn about how we do things here in Church…the organizations, sacrament meeting, activities, etc….everyone splits into groups and basically goes around the stake center. Us 8 missionaries in the Tacna Stake (my zone has two districts, one for each stake that the zone covers) were in charge of, well, the room about missionary work. We explained a bit about what we do as missionaries, showed a little video, me and another missionary were dressed in white, and yeah. It went pretty well. After all that, there was a stake talent show…and we found out with about 20 or 30 minutes´notice that they wanted us all (us 4 elders and 4 hermanas) to perform a special number. We had a quick powwow, and we decided to sing “We´ll Bring The World His Truth.” I came up with the idea (that I basically stole from Kansas…the elders there apparently sang the same song at the cultural celebration for the temple, and made the same change) to change “We will be the Lord´s missionaries” (or whatever it is in Spanish) to “We are now the Lord´s missionaries.” I played piano, the hermanas sang the first verse, us elders sang the second, and we all sang the last. From the comments afterwards, it was a hit…which is pretty good for really, really short notice. 🙂
- A pair of recent converts (a brother and sister) from another ward in our stake performed a few traditional Peruvian songs, in the style of cancion criolla…it´s basically a native style of Peru. All they had was a guitar, a cajon (a percussion box that you sit on and play), and their voices…and it was amazing. Everyone got up and danced (I said to Elder Flores afterwards that if I had not been a missionary, I would have gotten up too…and danced very badly, but seriously, I was totally wanting to…), the atmosphere in the room was electric…it was a really cool experience. The point of my mission quite obviously isn´t to have cultural experiences like these…but when they happen, I´m incredibly grateful for them.
- So I got to speak in the Primary this Sunday about missionary work…and how we can be missionaries now, and prepare now to serve missions. I once again got really, really short notice (about 15 minutes), and that kind of drove me crazy, but I said a few prayers in my heart, trusted like crazy in the power of the Spirit…and it went wonderfully. Our newest convert, a 9-year-old boy named Angel (we baptized him a week or two ago), had lots of great comments, which made me happy, and the kids were attentive and (for the most part) reverent. (There were only about 10 or 12.) It was a nice experience, and I definitely know I couldn´t have done it alone.
- I had a little stomach bug this weekend (right when Elder Flores was leaving…of course)…it´s probably the sickest I´ve been on my mission so far, but it really wasn´t that bad. Basically I just felt all wonky with my stomach for a day or two…I didn´t throw up, and I didn´t have any huge problems with…you know, the other end, so it´s all good. (I try to keep these emails G-rated. It´s a family email, after all. :)) I took Pepto Bismol for a bit, and now I´m more or less recovered.
Like usual, I had other things I was going to cover…but I´m a bit over time, so they´ll once again have to wait till later. Dad, I´d love to hear lots about the election results next week or thereabouts…it´s probably too late for me to get the info so I can vote, darn it…and if I hear you cheering tomorrow night from thousands of miles away, I´ll know Romney won. 🙂 I love you all so, so much, as always, I welcome greatly any emails and letters, and I hope you´re all happy and healthy and doing well. 🙂