Monday, January 30, 2012

A Month Already!

Hello All!

Apparently I have been in the field for a month already. I don't know why this is, and why time is moving so fast. But it is scary. Don't tell anyone...

We had another baptism this week! It is just super cool I think that we are having this much blessing from the Lord so early. This guy in the picture is named Luis, and h e's an awesome 17 year old guy who, about 3 weeks ago, didn't even believe in God. Now, he tells us, he believes not only in the things he can see, but also in the spiritual things that he knows are true in his heart. What a great guy. He's a bit shy, but we have hope that he might be a missionary one day! We're excited for his progress.

(Fun fact of the week: Huarmey is the king of faking Nike and Adidas stuff for super cheap, so the other picture is of the outlandish indoor soccer shoes that I bought for the equivalent of about $12...very Trace right?)

Everything is giong well here. Changes come next week, but Elder Qualls and I should stay together here in Huarmey, since we're a training companionship. We really are improving every day with our abilities to find people and teach. Maybe my Castellano has a lot to be desired...but hey we learn line upon line, precept upon precept right?

So in our training in Trujillo this week, President Turk challenged us to read the Book of Mormon all the way through before the end of this year. I am going to try and do it in Castellano, to help me improve and teach better, but I would like to extend this challenge to the entire family, so that we can all grow together (and, for that matter, anyone who reads this on the it with us!) to read the entire Book of Mormon before the end of 2012. I'm excited to do it, and I know it will bless you guys' lives immensely too. After all, it's what we are showing investigators everyday here in Peru to help their faith in Christ grow!

Thanks so much to Aunt Charlene, Grandma Pettersson, Ben and Becky. Aunt Tanya and Garrett (knowing the anniversary of Jade's passing just happened, you guys are always in my prayers...I know he is watching over me here in Peru!!!), and Ms Kate for her amazing package of a million goodies. I loved the Butterfingers and may have eaten all of them already! I am trying to share more with Elder Qualls but the huge Reeses were SO good! Thanks so much for the mail everyone, it truly makes me feel loved!

Also, Kayleigh asked if there was any way to send some church music to me. If anyone wants to send me mission appropriate church music, they can put in on a USB and mail it here to Peru! I would appreciate it so much...Love you all!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Beautiful Beaches, A Little City, A Little Country

Hey Family,
Just a little info about where I am - trying to give you some details. It is beautiful! The weather is great!
Huarmey itself is kinda a little town, not quite a city, but not country either. A good amount of people live here. However, right outside the town itself is a bunch of chacras, which is basically a plantation field. So we have a nice mix of city AND country here.

We pretty much walk everywhere. Funny you should comment on my sunburn. I literally wear sunscreen every day, but I have to ration it out because 1 bottle in this country costs almost $40. It is ridiculous. However, I do wear it, and nevertheless literally EVERYONE comments on how red my face is. Peruvians are super scared of sunburns. They also comment on my green eyes all the time, and they call me a muneco, which means doll. Ha!

I don't get to buy American candy here so the packages were great! There is a good amount of Latin candy that is actually pretty delicious. Look up Lucuma. It's like a little fruit thingy. Yum!

Thanks again to everyone who sent me things and for all the letters! I really appreciate all the support.

Thanks for the Packages!


Ok, so as Taylor will tell you, baptisms aren't necessarily everything in the mission...but they sure are awesome when everything is falling into place with the Lord's help! This week, Elder Qualls and I had the privilege of baptizing two great young men, who ended up being cousins funnily enough. Victor is a 21 year old guy who is super humble, and was sincerely seeking to know the truth, especially because he wasn't sure that his mother was leading him in the right way with the Seventh Day Adventist church. He asked a lot of questions, but decided to get baptized, because he knew it was the right thing to do!

Miguel is a rambunctious 9 year old who is part of a part member family. His older sister was baptized by the missionaries years ago, and she's married to another member. Miguel's mom, however, is not a member, but she is very supportive of his decision. He was so excited to get baptized and be a member along with his sister. I got to baptize him, which was good because he was a lot easier than Victor. Poor guy had to be baptized 5 times...This time we got to baptize in the beach in Tuquillo, which was absolutely beautiful! I attached a picture of that for you guys to see...don't worry! I will start wearing more sunscreen...

We get to go to Trujillo this week to have a training meeting with President! That should be super fun, but the unfortunate thing is, we have to stay the night in Chimbote, which is a dirty town that smells like fish. That's alright though, I guess it is just part of the adventure.

Anyway, tell everyone thanks for all the packages! I love getting them, and am so grateful to see American candy again. There's so many things you milk...I haven't had milk in three months...

Love you guys!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Food in Peru


So I decided that I would tell you about the food this week, just so you know what I'm eating and why I will probably come back to the states 20 pounds heavier. Peruanos have 5 main food groups: rice, bread, meat, soup, and juice. That is literally all I eat every single day. For breakfast, we always have bread with butter or cheese. That's all. Kinda disappointing.

Bread Vendor

For lunch, we have soup every single day, even though it is summer, and some sort of rice mixed with either beef, chicken, or tuna. I have learned to really love rice with lime. It's my favorite part of the day. Plus...they put a TON of cilantro in their soups, which helps me to enjoy it more. Lunch is the big meal in Peru. Usually for dinner we either have bread again, or eggs. I have learned to love eggs, because it is the closest thing to home. Haha. They're pretty greasy though. Other than that, I love buying alfahores or fresh bread from the vendors out here. I also am drinking a lot of soda, because the water tastes funny. I MISS YOUR COOKING!!!!

Fruit Vendor

Egg Vendor

Love ya,

Baptisms at the River

Two weeks, two dunkings!

Hi Familia!

Interesting fact of the week: If Peruanos think that their hand is dirty, they will offer you their wrist.  Kinda weird, but it's nice. They will NEVER refuse a handshake.

That's right, we were blessed to have yet another baptism in Huarmey! We baptized a sweet girl named Noemi Cruz, who was just bursting with excitement to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost! She is going to be a great member; she has a ton of potential. She also has the cutest 1 year old kid I've ever seen, named Abraham.

The baptism went down in the river, which is kinda disappointing because it is super dirty and there were a ton of people there, so it wasn't exactly sagrado, but it was a baptism nonetheless. She didn't want to do it in the ocean anyway. For some reason a lot of Peruanos are scared of the ocean.

Other than that, we have been teaching like crazy! Everything is going great here, and the Lord is blessing us with an unprecedented amount of success. The branch here is growing, and rumor has it that we might get a chapel soon. Keep your fingers crossed! Love you guys a ton!

Monday, January 9, 2012



Hey Everyone!

First full week in Huarmey down, and man was it cool! We got to have our first baptism, of Pedro Castillo Garcia. He is the father of our pensionista, and he is just a sweet man who wanted to change his life. I had the privilege to baptize him right here in the river in Huarmey, since we don't have a font and it was very cool. We had to go through a couple chacras, which is basically a plantation, to get to the sight where he could be baptized. Elder Qualls and I helped him down into the water, and then I had to dunk him twice, because his hair didn't go all the way under the first time.  Poor Guy. He seemed a little frustrated because he didn't like the water much. But he did bathe himself in the river after the baptism, which was rather Peruvian.

Anyway, we have another baptism scheduled for this Saturday! She's a sweet girl who has been very interested in the gospel. Hopefully it will go as planned. WE think that we have the potential to baptize every week in this change, so how exciting is that? The Lord is really blessing us here in Huarmey!

Other than that, we're just out on the streets all day, trying to find people to teach! My shoes are really dirty, and I love it. I really was going to send pictures this week...but this internet cafe stinks and their computers are acting up. I really want to show you guys the baptism and stuff, and I'll do it ASAP!
Love you all!

(Shout out to Brittany Tennant and Kelsey Holman for dropping me a line! You guys are great! Love to hear from ya!)