This week was way crazy! Let me give you all a quick run through of is and then I will share a few stories with you. So, last Monday, I was in Cusco until Wednesday night for a special Leaders meeting with the Mission President. It was pretty dang cool and all, but it was nice to get back to work here in Juliaca when it was finished. While in Cusco; I saw my trainer Elder Iza who is probably one of my best friends in the mission. He is doing alright but was having a hard time. I guess his family is having problems back home and such and so he asked me to give him a blessing. The blessing was super spiritual and it has seemed to help Elder Iza a lot.
While in Cusco, I had to take advantage of the fact that I could buy some sort of American food because none of it exists here in Juliaca. So for lunch one day, we headed to McDonald’s and got some food. Now, the food there isn’t exactly the same but it is pretty dang close. So, I got some food and after eating a little, it just tasted super weird. A lot of salt, and flavor that I just am not used to here in Peru because most of the food I eat isn’t nearly as flavorful as that! Still it was really good though.
Also while in Cusco, my Companion decided to get some things on his skin looked at by the doctors. He has some sort of thing on his back, don’t worry, they are Not contagious or anything but the doctor gave him little injections that have to be administered to get rid of it. As his Companion, I’m the lucky one who gets to give him the injections!
When we got back to Juliaca, we came back to a problem. Here in Peru, the water functions with a water pump that pumps the water into giant containers on the roof and from there into the house. Well, it turns out that the pump is broken and so from Wednesday until today, (Monday), we have been without water. Thankfully, it has been raining a lot since then so I found some buckets and put them on the roof to catch water because we are using the rain water to shower and to flush the toilet until the water pump is fixed.
On Friday, we had a Zone Meeting with all 18 missionaries and we had to teach them all of the things we learned for President Herrera. One of the things was the new daily schedule. It really didn’t change much for us because we still wake up at 6:30 and the only difference really is we do Daily Planning in the morning instead of at night. Other than that, it just changed so that we modified the times we do things depending on what is going on. We still go home by 9:30 and such so nothing really is different for us. The Zone meeting went well and all is well!
As for stories this week, here are some. We went to a house of a long time investigator this week named Trinidad. She has been an investigator for a LONG time and hasn’t really ever kept any of the promises she made. One of them was to go to Church. After teaching here a lesson, I felt like asking her if we could pick her up to go to Church. She thought about it for a second and agreed. On Sunday, she came with us to Church for the very first time.
This week we were walking in the street when I noticed some people moving some really heavy things into a truck. We dropped our bags and started to help them more the various items into the truck. Though they gave us a weird look as we were helping them, we found that they just accepted the help and didn’t ask any questions. After helping, they were really receptive to accepting a visit from us. They are now our investigators!
As far as food goes here in Juliaca, well we are having a few problems with our Penchanista. I won’t go into a lot of detail but let’s just say that the Mission President and his Wife are getting us a new one in a few weeks. The four of us missionaries, me and 3 Latino’s, have been sick a lot after eating her food and have discovered flies and other bugs in our meals. We also just recently discovered that she wasn’t using clean water so I don’t dare drink anything at her house and I hope everything else gets hot enough when being cooked!
While in Church on Sunday, the Bishop once again came and asked me if I would talk in Sacrament Meeting for 20 minutes. Of course I accepted and somehow I managed to talk for 20 minutes. I have found that the fear of talking in front of people has completely disappeared since I have been on my mission. Thanks to just getting asked 5 minutes before actually giving the talk in a foreign language, I have been able to overcome this fear thanks to our Heavenly Father’s help. The Lord is definitely helping me every day and always blesses me with the things I need to succeed.
In closing this week, I just want to say that really the mission is changing me as a person in so many ways. I have never been stretched to the limit as much as I am here! The Lord has been with me, teaching me to be better and helping me. It is crazy to think about where I have come compared to where I started. My advice to all future missionaries it to not just go through the mission. Let the mission go through you and you will see huge changes not only in those you teach but also in yourself.
So, Not Quite as Nice as Puno, But Here is Home In Juliaca