Rapping On The Bus.

Hola, familia y todos…

So I´m going to try something a wee bit different this week and try to write my big group letter before I work on writing responses/etc. to others. This might end in flames, I´m not sure. We´ll see how it goes. 🙂
  • A happy bit of news in the ward here. From the very first week Elder Flores and I got here, way back in August, we´ve been trying to get a ward mission leader here in Natividad. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (OK, not really, but it sounds more exciting that way… :)), we will finally have one next Sunday. He´s someone who just got married to a new convert here (she was baptized the week before we arrived in August), and is now living here in the ward (he was living previously in another stake, and to our displeasure, was attending that stake with her for a while before they got married…). Anyways, he´s been interviewed, and in less than a week, on Sunday morning, we will officially have a ward mission leader. To say this makes me happy would be an understatement…I was close to dancing or something when the second counselor in the Bishopric told us yesterday at lunch. I´m really, really excited to work with him, and hope it will be a real help for the progress of missionary work here in Natividad.
  • Last Monday, while we were on the comvee (bus) on our way to go shopping for the month, right before we got off, quite possibly one of the weirdest things I´ve seen on a comvee (and that´s saying something) happened. Two…I believe they were from Cuba or somewhere in the Caribbean, but we weren´t sure…young guys took out a little portable boombox (one of them that plays USBs), turned it on, and started rapping. I kid you not. On the bus. Elder Serrano and I were both amazed. And weirded out. And quite honestly, not entirely sure what to think. But in the end, a really fun little story to tell. 🙂
  • So as part of change in pensionista, and that for the first time in my mission here in Peru we don´t live in the same house as our pensionista, we now take care of our own breakfast. It hasn´t been too bad…we go buy what we need to make breakfast every night or morning, Hna. Dolores left almost all of her cooking supplies (as well as, obviously, her stove…), and we´re all good. Anyways, a few days this week we had fried eggs, and that caused me to think…I want to learn how to make omelettes. As I´ve told you all, I miraculously became an egg convert back in Kansas, and now I love pretty much everything to do with eggs, but anyways…yeah. I would really love to make them sometime. Mom or Dad or anyone that has a good omelette recipe (quite obviously without too many vegetables or crazy things in it…for example, ham & cheese or something like that…), please do send it on, posthaste. Speaking of recipes, Mom, your French toast recipe that you sent in my recipe book, I´ll be sure to put to use in the next week or so.
  • Yesterday we traveled to one of the other wards in our district so Elder Serrano (our district leader) could interview someone the hermanas there have been teaching. I was looking at their ward bulletin board, and it turns out they had lunch the past week with Hna. Celia Cruz. Yep…she rose from the dead. And gave them lots of “Azuuuuuuucar!” with their food. 🙂 OK, no…but anyways, I thought it was hilarious that a member of their ward has the same name as la Reina de la Salsa. 🙂 To make things even weirder, Hna. Cruz is the future mother-in-law of the hermana that Elder Serrano was interviewing (and who will be baptized this Saturday). Could this world get any smaller? I submit that it cannot.
  • As I told you all briefly last week, we have a new piano. It´s an electric piano still, but one of those that has a pedal, plays like a real piano, has two different organ tones as well, plus has hymns & Primary songs stored on it so you can play music without having to play piano…and makes me so happy. The automatic playing part quite obviously isn´t necessary while I´m here, but when I leave, the ward will have an easy way to keep having accompaniment each Sunday, which is excellent. This past Sunday, the closing hymn was “How Firm A Foundation,” and for some reason, I felt like it was the intermediate hymn for Conference (especially while I was playing the intro). The louder organ tone that the piano has is very effective, and it reminds me of the Conference organ. All we needed was Lloyd Newell (the Church´s announcer for Conference) intoning, “This is the Weekly Sacrament Meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of the Natividad Ward, in Tacna, Peru…” 🙂
  • Our new pensión is going well. Hna. Jeremy is fully aware now that I´m not a vegetable person (back when we were pensioning with her before, we told her that I don´t eat fruit…), and thus we haven´t too many weird things to eat so far, which is great. I´m eating well, I´m eating a bit healthier to be perfectly honest, and I like how things are going. I miss our other pensionista a lot, but we´ll get to see them sometime soon when they´re back from their trip/visiting for the weekend.
  • New info on paneton…so it´s apparently Italian. I think they call it panetone there. Yet another reason to love the Italians…and if you´re still all wondering how paneton is, here´s another aid in your quest. 🙂

OK, so I think that should be basically all I was planning to cover. And yeah, I think I might not have pretty much any time for anything else. Oops. Anyways, as for how my week has gone…it´s been good, but also, it´s really shown me some things I need to improve/work on. Right now, I´m feeling a great need to renew my commitment to the work, to improve how I work with my companion…and like I said in the past, I can talk about doing better all I want, but there comes a point where I need to do what I say. That´s going to be my focus this week. Overall, things are going well in our area, and I´m very happy, as always. I´m grateful for my companion, my area, and being on a mission in general. I´m not anywhere near perfect yet…but as is true for all of us…I´m getting there. I love you all so much, and I hope that you´re all doing very well. 🙂

Con mucho amor,
Elder Randall
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