Monday, April 30, 2012

I Will Always Love You, Huarmey, Peru


It is true, I am leaving. We got called for changes last night, and I will be heading to a part of Trujillo called Alta Moche. I really know nothing else about the area than that, so you guys will have to look it up on Google Earth or something and check it out! I am heading out tonight, and should arrive there sometime tomorrow morning. I will miss Huarmey dearly, but I feel that it was about time for a change. 
 They say missionaries can feel the changes; I definitely did this time.

I did finish the change strong with two baptisms though! We baptized the two young men that you can see in the picture- the little guy with the hat is named Jose, and the older 18 year old is named Erick. I baptized Erick, and while I fell down with him in the river, it was still a great experience. We were originally planning on baptizing them in the brand new font in the chapel, but there was no water in the whole town thanks to construction. Welcome to Peru. For that, we went to the river, just like in my first baptism here!

I love you guys alot. Thanks so much to Papa for the great package full of delicious candy! Thank you to all who write letters and send packages. You truly do not know how much it means to me! Support the missionaries in your ward!

T               (just a note - these are how the pictures were taken -decided upload anyway)

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Love You, Peru

Dear Family and Friends,

I am writing to you at the beginning of what will perhaps be my last week in Huarmey, where I was born in the mission. They always tell you not to anticipate changes, because if you do, what you guess will happen surely will not. However, they also say that missionaries can feel changes, and I think I can right now. I think I am out of here.

However, we do have two baptisms planned for this upcoming Saturday, which makes me super happy! Erick and Jose are two great young men who will be good additions to the priesthood in Huarmey. I love them both, and hopefully they will be the first two to ever be baptized in the new font that they are building in our chapel. It is being built on the third story of the little house that we call a chapel, and it is tiny, tiny, tiny, but still pretty cool. They have had a lot of fights with the landlord about its size, so I suppose it will be the best that they can do. Welcome to Peru eh?

Everything is going great otherwise. It is still hot as all get out, which is apparently weird. Someone told me that April in Peru should be like October in the States, but from my recollection, every October in Texas was hot anyway. So I guess it is all normal.

Pictures: Me with one of my good friends, Elder Hargis. He goes home this change. Sad to see him go.
I don't know if I sent you this one from when I went up to the mirador, but here it is. Overlooking my hood.

I love you all! Thanks for all the packages and letters (Grandma Pettersson, Charlene, Tanya and Garrett). You have no idea how much they m ean to me!


Monday, April 16, 2012

We are Huarmey...We are the Gringos...

Hello all

It really is funny how many people just stare at you in the streets when you are literally the only white guy for a hundred miles around. Some test their English on me, which is actually rather funny. One dude said Good Fight! the other day. Pretty sure he meant so say good night.

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TESS! Can we believe that she is 17 already? Seriously...when did everybody get so old?! I thought this day would never come. Sheesh, I am 20 for crying out loud. Anyway, hope it is a great one Beaux.

We have been having fun here in Huarmey. We committed to great young men, Jose and Erick, to baptism on the 28th of this month (consequently the last weekend of the change...just sneaking them under the bar eh?), and both came to church yesterday, which made me a very happy man! It was awesome to see them both there, listening and interacting with all the other church members. We really are working hard, and I think the Lord is finally letting us see the fruits of our labor.

On P-day, we climbed a giant dirt hill which overlooks the city, hence the pictures. You may notice now that it NEVER EVER rains here. Literally our entire surroundings are those dirt mountains, without a lick of vegetation on them. I imagine that it reminds Dad of Nevada when he was growing up. But really, in the 4 months that I have been here, it has never rained even once. Weird huh?

I have not been eating too many treats from Peru, since I have been snacking on the Easter candy you guys sent!  It is delicious!  I love the chicks, ducks & bunnies, but you were right, it was weird that they were mini.  Delicious, nonetheless.  I rely on the candy a lot because our new pensionista is even WORSE!  I know, I am having bad luck with food lately.  We eat a lot of pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken) in the streets.

I  miss you guys tons. Thanks for all the letters and stuff! I love hearing what you guys are doing.
Love to All,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Just Hanging in There

Family and Friends,

Well, I am not one to lie (especially as a missionary), so I suppose that I will just have to tell you the truth. We have had a bit of a tough week here in Huarmey, seeing as we won't be able to baptize the young lady Luz that I told you about last week. As I described in more detail in the letter to Taylor, we mostly baptize kids and teenagers here, because, as it is a requirement to be married (not just living together) to be baptized, we almost never baptize adult couples. However, because the kids are underage, the parents have to sign a permission slip to give consent. Luz' mom did not want to do that, and now has left town for 3 months. It's been tough these last few weeks, but we are still working hard with other people. Pray for us here in Huarmey!

Today, we should be going to hike a giant dirt hill to see all of Huarmey. I know, there's not a lot to do here, but hey, we have to have fun somehow! In the pictures that I sent, you can see one of my favorite places in this area. It is located in the Puerto of Huarmey, and is basically a giant lookout rock where you can see the ocean and everything. Don't worry Mom, the drop isn't...uh...that steep behind the rock! Hope you guys enjoy them.
Afterwards we will get to play a little soccer.  That will be fun.  I will probably get to do more activities once I get
closer to Trujillo- I am still out in the middle of nowhere.  There aren't a whole lot of attractions...though I would
love to have an Exxon here right now!

Got to go to the beach this week to see the baptism of the other elders here! It was amazing. However, the waves started kicking up hard literally right when the lady entered the water to be baptized. Scared the wits out of her, poor thing. 

Love you all!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Trace and Elder Martinez

We Traveled, A Lot!

Dear Family

What a crazy week it has been! We basically spent the entire week traveling to and from Casma, the center of our zone, for different things, particularly general conference. We are going back there today AND tomorrow as well! Wow. Needless to say, I am a little tired from all the travel. However, La Zona Casma is famous for that, simply because we are in the middle of nowhere, and everyone lives far away from each other. However, we had a great time there, even though it was super hot, and watching conference was a blast, even though it was in Spanish. My comprehension still needs some improvement. Haha.

This week the temperature has finally started to go down little by little. It is so weird that the seasons are completely flipped from the US. In the middle of June when it is cold, I will probably be wondering just what the heck is going on. Funny thing is, here in South America they are VERY sensitive to "cold". (I try not to make any far-reaching generalizations about everyone that lives in the country, now that I have a companion that is FROM the country...) Freezimg cold weather here is 60 degrees. Literally, I see people wearing jackets and snow hats on the nice buses that have AC. It is a very different world here in Peru.

Fun experience of the week: We changed our pensionista, so that perhaps I will get good food for the last month that I am here in Huarmey. We walked in there this morning for breakfast...and on the table was hot milk and bread with cheese, both of which are disgusting. I get no dairy here, because the milk and the cheese taste exactly the same (that should worry you). Oh well, hopefully lunch will be better.

I did received your Easter package! YUM!!  I love getting American food. We still have no microwave or any way to heat up things but I love the cheez-its, pop tarts and candy. The Easter
chicks & ducks were really fun.  Thanks again!  Happy Easter Everyone!

Love you all!