So I received a little packet of letters today, that included some from the MTC, so some are late and mixed up, but here is the gyst:
-From the MTC the last week: “I am so ready to leave! It is weird saying bye to these guys though, I feel like I helped them, and they helped me and I have gotten used to seeing the same people. I do not feel ready with Spanish, so I hope I get enough help. As for this week, this guy called a girl a “b*tch” to her face, and I overheard, and then saw her get sad right before devotional. I still don’t deal with things like that well, so I had to get up and walk across the room and I couldn’t help it but I picked him up out of his chair by his shirt collar and tie and told him how he was not a man if he thought that was how it is okay to treat women. I stopped myself from hitting him, and when he wouldn’t respond I sat him down, but later he told me that I changed his life. Granted, it was about a week later, he was not happy about being embarrassed at the time. I can’t stand when women don’t get the respect they deserve. Also, I got ringworm! But it is almost gone! I am so excited to get to Peru and teach!!!”
“Wow writing in English is getting harder than I thought, because I guess I have started to think in Spanish more than I thought. Peru is CRAZY! I have eaten the same thing everyday! Chicken, rice and potatoes! I even had it for breakfast! The rice makes up like 90% of every meal too! I also had to eat 4 lunches one day, so that made me want to barf! They eat so much! My companion who is from Peru actually asked for more! I had to walk 4 miles to get a razor at the store, and then we were able to take the bus back. I am way too tall for the bus. Actually, I am way too tall for Peru. I hit my head on doors if I don’t bend down, and squish on buses, and tower over people. Also, I had to squat in the shower this morning. The shower doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal. But it is, because they have electric heaters here, and if you turn the shower on after you have already turned the electricity on then you get shocked and it is bad!! Then if you adjust the heat at all while you are showering you get shocked again! I have been shocked so many times and it takes a little while to recover! Getting shocked was better than the day we woke up with no water though. I smelled pretty bad, but I guess it doesn’t matter when you are teaching at flea infested houses where they keep the chickens inside haha. I had to buy flip-flops too because you are not supposed to even be barefoot in the house! Haha But I was able to get them for only 6 dollars, because two women who were both selling them on the side of the street starting arguing over the cheapest price trying to convince me to buy them! Hahaha I got my pensionista too. She is the woman who cooks for us, and does all of our laundry etc. She is a super nice old woman, but I have to say that the best part is she has a dog! There are a ton of dogs here! But I get to play with hers sometimes. The houses here are complete dumps compared to anything in the states, but the people are so amazing and happy even though their floors are dirt, and sometimes their walls are just cardboard, or stacked rocks or anything they find. At one of the houses we teach at, there is a little girl who fell in love with me. She tries to give me all of her toys. I seriously just love the people here.
Since my companion is the district leader I had to go on splits with another guy today, and he didn’t speak any English at all, so it was hard to figure out what each other were trying to say. We figured it out though.
As far as teaching goes… We set daily goals, and then we have gone over them everyday. Today we contacted 12 people. One of them spoke perfect English and he wanted to be taught so bad so we talked to him, but he is from another area, so we had to give him as a referral it sucked! Then another day our goal was 20 contacts, and we got 28, with 6 appointments, so that was good! Apparently that is a lot more than the other companionships here! Then another day I invited 5 people to be baptized right in the street after they learned, and we have return appointments with all of them! I love it! Contacting is my favorite part of being on a mission. Our mission President asked us to focus on families, and men over 18, so that is what we have been doing, so I have been talking to every man that I see in the street who will respond. The people are super nice here though. Everyone is catholic! One of the people we are teaching is going to be baptized the 9th on February! Then today we got two new investigators. One of them seems super interested and sincere, but one of them is obsessed with me being white and attempting to speak in English and talk about the states. The things he says in English never make sense.
The people here try to speak English to me a lot! I am supposed to try to teach my companion, Elder Delgado, English too, but when they talk they say things like “Hello Dog Cat I am 35 Car Apple Sun,” and think that it is a sentence. It is hilarious. My companion is sometimes like a puppy, and won’t stop talking to me. He takes my photos and makes me explain each person, and tries to get me to get American girls to write him. I had to yell at him today, because he says the F word so much, because he doesn’t understand how bad it is actually is, and he thinks it is funny. I told him to quit it and then he was quiet for a long time. After that he wanted to go home, because we had reached our daily goal, even though it wasn’t 9 yet. He was pissed because I wouldn’t let him because then I got more mad because I told him that if I wanted to hang out I would be at home hanging out with my girlfriend and getting married instead of busting my butt, so he can suck it up until 9 when we are supposed to stop. It drives me nuts when he is lazy. If I am going to be here, I am going to do my best, not sit around. There is a family in the ward where the man is a taxi driver and he takes us a lot of places, and they are a way sweet family, but Elder Delgado always wants to just hang out at their house! I stayed for an hour one time, because he had bought us lunch and I felt bad leaving, but I do not like sitting around when we could have spent that hour contacting. Now my companion always wants to stop by there and take breaks, and he gets really mad when I won’t let him. By the way this is random but I realized that no one smokes here. I think it might be because they can’t afford it. They are super super poor, but they are way happy. I just thought that was interesting.
I have been told that I am the best Spanish speaking gringo here! I guess I pick up accents really easily, because I think I already have one. It doesn’t affect my English Accent though, so I guess I just have an accent in both. There are some weird customs here! Everyone loves us and they try to kiss us, so I have to dodge them! Hahaha Good thing I learned how to dodge kisses from you when you dodged me the first time I tried to kiss you!! They also all give us this drink, I forget what it is called but I hate it and we always have to drink it. It has like fruit and cinnamon and milk and other stuff. I don’t know but it is gross. I am sunburned too! Oh my and it takes so long to find addresses! Hahaha We found 3 today but unless you meet people in the street it is really hard to find them again. The homeless people love me though. Sometimes they follow me and try to offer me really dirty food, but they are nice! I think they just love me because I am white and have blue eyes. Ummm. Oh yeah and my only job is to be key master and keep the keys to our apartment with me and make sure it is locked, so that is exciting hahaha. I am so useful. Not. Hahaha Just kidding, but really that is my job.
Oh also Elder Delgado is crazy and he always asks me about girls and he asked me how many girls I have kissed in my life, so I told him I didn’t know and now he calls me “Elder Shackaro” which I guess is like ladies man or something haha. He is ridiculous.
-Another day: “So we taught two lessons. One to a man named Alfredo who we taught the restoration and I got to use the first vision of Joseph Smith and the spirit was super strong and then when we prayed at the end he put his hands in the air and was like muttering some evangelist prayer it was weird but I guess everything ere is weird and hen we taught Gina about the plan of Salvation and it was good! We invited both to be baptized, but only Gina said yes. Alfredo said he would pray about it.”
Overall, Elder Burleson is doing super well, and he said that time is starting to go faster and fly by! So I think he is pretty happy! (: I will keep everyone posted!