Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Week 1 - Surrounded by Spanish

Hola Mis Familia y Amigos,

First off I am sorry for last week and not being able to get any emails. They wouldn’t let me send any emails other than one to say I got here okay. So I sincerely apologize for that.  This week has been quite the adventure! We got to Peru around midnight, got off the plane and went to find our bags. Following the search for bags we walked through security and found a guy holding a sign with the churches logo on it. We then hopped on a bus and drove to the CCM (Peru MTC). The ride was really interesting, the streets were empty and trash covered all of the sides of the road. I definitely knew I was no longer in the states! When we arrived at the CCM we talked and eventually got to bed around 3 am. They let us sleep till 8:30 and then we got up and got our companions. My companion is Elder Reuckert who is also from Utah and my district is full of other American Elders who are all also going to Cusco.

I first wanna tell you about each day and what it consists of. We begin our journey of learning and studying. Every single day we wake up at 6:30, shower and then study the gospel. We then have language learning for pretty much all day. Every single thing here is in Spanish. We learn in Spanish, listen to talks in Spanish, you name it and it’s in Spanish. It was hard at first, because I didn’t have a
clue what was being said but throughout the week I have learned a whole lot about the language. Following study in the morning we head to breakfast. Breakfast in the CCM is the same pretty much every day. Eggs, bread, some sort of weird fruit juice and that’s it. It’s not too bad, but it’s really repetitive. After breakfast is more studies and more classes all in Spanish. We then head to lunch and have rice, potatoes, and some sort of chicken along with another kind of fruit juice. This too is the same pretty much every single day. It is really good but it is the same every single day. Following lunch we usually have more classes and then have physical activity each day for an hour. We usually play soccer, volleyball, or lift self-weights.

Playing soccer with the Latinos is by far my favorite though. Despite getting schooled by them, it’s really fun. After physical activity we usually then head to more classes and do some study of the language and the Book of Mormon. I have read the Book of Mormon cover to cover once and I am half way through again in only one week here! It is absolutely amazing! After that we have dinner, which is essentially exactly the same as lunch except it’s a different kind of chicken and we usually get a soup with it. Yes, I have had chicken feet soup several times already, and it’s actually not too bad. A little chewy but not bad at all. We also get milk cake, Jell-O, or churros (which are nothing like American churros) with our dinner sometimes. The food hasn’t been bad but I have heard that it gets old after a while. Next week they are preparing cow heart for us so I am pretty interested in trying that. Once dinner is over we head to a devotional (in Spanish) and then go and teach a fake investigator a lesson in Spanish. They have small fake houses at the CCM that we go and knock on the door and speak with a fake investigator. So far, Elder Reuckert and I have taught him the first two discussions and have gotten him to commit to baptism… if only it was going to be that easy in field haha! Then we study some more and get to bed by 10:30 every day. My room sleeps 6 Elders on 3 bunk beds. I got the top bunk and it’s kinda interesting because my legs don’t really fit in the bed…. So that’s been quite the experience. Each day is the same and consists of similar activities if not identical ones each day.

Now I will tell you some cool stories/facts from the week.

  • First off I want you all to know that the CCM is pretty much a glorified prison. We are fenced in by huge stone walls and limited to stay inside the walls for all 6 weeks here.
  • On Sunday we have meetings all day, we literally are in church all day. But I can honestly say that it is my favorite day besides P-day.  I absolutely loved the incredible spirit that was present.
  • Also on Sunday, we were sitting in a meeting and all of a sudden the ground started shaking! It shook for about 10 secondsish and then stopped. It was super cool because I have never felt the ground shake like ever in my life. Apparently it was a small earthquake so that was pretty neat.
  • We hear sirens pretty much all day here. Seriously every single day all day there are sirens. Apparently there are gun shots frequently around here and people down here are just plain out bad at driving.
  • We went to Interpol yesterday to get our Peruvian IDs so I got to escape for a few hours. We road in a bus and I can honestly say that driving here is the sketchiest thing in the world. They don’t give anyone the right of way and if you wanna merge you just gotta do it haha. So I will no longer be scared when my little brother drives. Interpol was boring but we got to buy some Inca Cola (Peru’s national drink) at a small store so that made it all worth it.
  • Lastly, I found out from the CCM President that we actually will be flying to Cusco. So I will fly out and not drive on the bus after all.
  • We taught a Latino to say the word fork this week but ...… he had difficulty pronouncing his R's… So it came out as a swear word…Hahahaha.
Well that pretty much sums up my week here. Spanish is coming slowly but I will eventually get it down. I Love you all and miss you all so much.


Elder Taylor Fawcett

All My Luggage Made it to Peru

Flight From Atlanta to Peru

Peru MTC

Elder Fawcett

First Companion, Elder Reukert 

MTC Map, Not like Provo!!

Typical Lunch

Typical Dinner

Volleyball Court

Soccer Field

Exercise at the MTC