Monday, January 28, 2013

Weddings are a Pain!

Hey everybody!

IMG_0677[1]So it was another good week, they're already starting to go faster and faster, I feel like just yesterday it was PDay.  So yeah, weddings are a pain.  We have this couple E*+M* who are ready to be baptized and come to church every week and are just awesome.  The only problem is that they're not married.  They're ready to get married, except for the fact that E* has no paperwork anywhere.  No birth certificate or any record of anything.  We went into the Municipal to find him somewhere in the system.  Nowhere to be found.  So we have to get some way to get him a birth certificate and everything.  But there is just so much paperwork that has to get filled out and all of the paperwork costs money an for a lot of these families, they don't have the money to pay for any of it.  It's no wonder people don't get married here.  But, they have this cool thing here in Iquitos and I would assume in all of Peru called Parrilladas.  Basically it is is a BBQ and people pay for the food, just like a fundraiser.  And the members basically take care of that so it's really awesome.  But yeah, weddings are a pain.

So as far as transportation goes, we're usually walking but if we have to go really far or need to get there really fast, we take a Motokar, The motorcycle things with a bench on the back.  We aren't allowed to take buses and I don't think I've seen a taxi here.  But this is the only place we're allowed to take motokars, outside of Iquitos you can't take them.  I definitely am not travelling by boat haha, only the edge of our area is on the water, sorry to disappoint you dad.  We have 2 wards in our area, one with about 40 in meetings weekly and one with about 70 weekly.  The members are awesome here.  


We had lunch one day this week with a sister who had the biggest property ever, there was a large stream, a bridge, a farm, a few buildings and a watchtower all on the property. It was huge!  2 of the pictures attached are from there and the other one is from E* and M*’s house....I think. I can't really remember.  But mom, you should be proud I've been taking a lot more pictures.


Well, I'm not sure that I have too much more to say, I know this is the work of the Lord and I'm so grateful that I get to be a part of it.  This Gospel is what brings happiness and how we can change our lives for the better.  It's all because of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us.  He is the center of everything and if we make sure to remember him as the center of everything we won't ever have any problems we can’t manage.


Elder Peacock

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First Full Week!


1st full week in the field! I'm loving it.  There are already plenty of ups and downs daily and weekly but I'm guessing that's just how it is.  

LuanaWe had a baptism for L* on Saturday.  She's 9 and her family are all members.  They were inactive until a couple of weeks ago and they wanted L* to get baptized.  They all really decided to change, to start coming back to church, to start reading the Book of Mormon and praying as a family.  Their 17 year old son is even talking to the Bishop about mission papers now.  All because they have a little 9 year old daughter that reminded them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it's importance in their lives.


So we're teaching a family that I think I mentioned last week.  They live on the river and I attached a picture out of the back of their house.  But like everyone here they're not married so on Friday, we went to this office in the center of Iquitos so that we could get their papers squared away.  E* doesn't have a birth certificate so we have to get him one of those first and so we might have to push back their baptismal date a week or 2 in waiting for those papers to come.  

But, while we were there waiting, I saw this security guard guy who was pretty big as far as Peruvians go.  On his name tag thing, it said Batman...haha I can't believe that was his name!  In that area there is a big hotel so there are a lot of tourists and obviously a lot of them speak English.  There is a restaurant called Texas.  It has Texas flags, the Longhorns logo everywhere.  Everything there is in English.  I'm just not so sure that anyone there actually speaks English, though.  Didn't really expect to see that in Iquitos.

Iquitos 4Iquitos 3Iquitos 2Iquitos 1

So dad wants to triangulate my position... haha ok...I'm in the middle of Iquitos,  on the river fairly close to the big center of Iquitos with the big cathedral type building.  If you happen to find Avenida Del Ejercito, one of our chapels is on that street.  It's not close to a Walmart or a McDonalds or anything, I haven't actually seen either of those in Iquitos.  They do however have Pizza Hot.  That's not a typo. They have Pizza Hot instead of Pizza Hut.  I think they're just trying to make people think it's the same because Hot isn't even a Spanish word.

As far as food goes it's all really pretty good here.  Always plenty of rice and either potatoes or plantains with some kind of meat.  Pretty much always chicken.  They also have some stuff that I've never heard of before like Juanes, no it has nothing to do with a guy named Juan.  Its like a ball of rice with chicken inside cooked in a banana leaf.  Kinda like a Tamale but with rice instead of dough.  Also they have a lot of different kind of drinks from all different kinds of fruits that they don't have back in the US.  And for the record, the chicha morada they have here is a lot better than what they have at Lima Limon [a Peruvian restaurant in our city].  Can't really explain that but it just is better.  And mom I have a confession to make....I'm eating tomatoes now.  And not just the cooked ones like in Lomo Saltado (That is real Peruvian food btw so Lima Limon got that right).  Like just a salad with lettuce slices of tomato and oil...yeah I eat it.  I got a burger last Pday...with tomato.  The scary part is...I actually like it... hahah I know you're surprised mom... [oh, if he’d only trusted me YEEEEARS ago,  *sigh*]

Also if you're going to send a package anytime soon,  you should include peanut butter.  That stuff is expensive here and I miss it.  Just make sure to not put dried meat or anything valuable in the packages.  Yeah...dried meat is on the list of things to not send in the idea why.  Also, they said to send everything by the US postal system so not Fedex or UPS.  It has something to do with picking up the packages.  Not sure why but that's what they told us to do.

I think I'm about out of stuff to say this week so I'll just say I love you guys and miss you.  I know this is the Lord's work and that this gospel can change lives.  I've already been able to see that in only a short amount of time. 


Elder Peacock

Monday, January 14, 2013

So I Was Heating Up Some Water with an Iron…

Hey everyone!

JK mom, don't worry I'm not heating up any water with an iron....who would do that? [haha, he’s so funny (insert sarcastic tone).  Most stressful week for me was when his older brother was on his mission and he proudly reported how he had solved his broken water heater problem.  See HERE and HERE for the gory details.]

So we left the MTC on Tuesday morning, went to the mission home, met Pres. Bluck and his wife and got an introduction type thing that morning.  Then we got assigned to our areas and our trainers.  IMG_0663[1]My companion is Elder Duran.  He's from El Salvador and has about a year in the mission.  Like most Latinos he's a little bit shorter than me but who didn't expect that? 

We are in the city of Iquitos and the Zone Iquitos.  There are like 4 zones here and we're in the center of the city so there is actually a lot of cement here and it's pretty developed.  Honestly it's pretty much just a city and a lot of times it doesn't feel too much different other that a few more dirt roads and part of our area is on a river.  That area feels way different.  As expected, it's very hot and humid here and it has rained everyday so far.  Some days it rains harder than others, but it always rains.  So I'm either wet with rain or with sweat all the time.



There are also a lot of bugs...I sleep with a mosquito net and still wake up with bites.  I got one on the bottom of my foot...not too much fun and there are not many places that are more inconvenient for that.  But luckily I don't think I'm allergic to them because I haven't swollen up too much.  [Tyler has a history of swelling with insect bites…note this picture from 7th grade when he got a bug bite that closed one eye and popped one ear out perpendicular to his head.  Kind of like Will Smith in “Hitch” when he had an allergic reaction.  Jeff:  “You are NOT sending that kid to junior high looking like THAT”, so he got to stay home a couple of days…I’m sure Tyler will appreciate me posting this picture]


The other thing that is everywhere: Motokars.  They're basically a motorcycle with the back cut off and they put a bench back there.  It's the main mode of transportation and they are literally everywhere.  That's how we get around if we have to go somewhere far or have to get there quickly, so no buses or bikes here.


We live in a pretty nice place, relatively large and we always have running water.  It is always cold water but always running.  We have 2 wards in our area which can be tough to keep track of because there's 2 of everything and more people to try to keep track of.  We came in with only a couple of investigators from the last companionship that was here.  One is a family that lives on the river that are basically golden except for the fact that they're not married yet.   Apparently nobody gets married here so basically anytime a family wants to get baptized they have to get married first.  But they're getting married in a week so that's all good.  But they really just accept pretty much everything that we teach and they are really excited about everything.  That's way different from a lot of other people.  Everybody here is nice and polite and usually always listen to what you have to say but a lot of times they're either not interested or don't want to actually do anything other than listen.  Sometimes it's easy to tell the difference and other times it's a little bit tougher.  But basically everyone listens and everyone is very nice here.

I love being here and the Spanish is definitely coming.  Still kinda trying to figure everything out but it's great.  I love you guys and I'm not sure how well the postal service works and I'm not sure that I'll get anything while I'm here but we'll see.  I will have email though so that's definitely the most efficient.


Elder Peacock

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Missionary Age

So, while we wait for an email from Tyler to find out where his first area in Peru will be, I came across this article from the LDS newsroom regarding changes to the mission age.

President Thomas S. Monson announced at the October General Conference (October 6th) last year that worthy young men could now serve missions at age 18 (as long as they’ve completed high school) and worthy young women could serve at 19.  The age requirements were previously 19 and 21, respectively. 

For more on the impact of this change, go HERE.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Almost Out!!

[Email dated 1.3.13]



So mom you can stop freaking out [I wasn’t…I was cruising in the Caribbean and had no idea his email was late.]  They changed our P-day this week so that we could go to the temple because it's closed on New Year’s Day which was supposed to be our P-day.  As for the subject of this email, we're all just ready to finally leave the MTC and go do some real stuff.  I mean I have loved the classes the first few times we were taught the lessons, but now that we've been taught the fundamentals like 12 times each and we’re kinda losing it.  I think this is a recent change that we don't just learn about Preach My Gospel (PMG), they teach us the "fundamentals" of conversion and we're kinda on our own for the PMG thing.

But anyway, we all leave on Tuesday, not sure what time yet, and go to our missions.  I don't know yet but I think we'll take a bus up to the mission home in Independencia and then get sent out to wherever we're serving.  But I also heard from an Elder that came into the MTC on his way home from my mission that your first area is usually in the I don't really have any idea how we're actually going to get there (bus?, plane? boat?...walking??)  really no idea but I'm sure it will be taken care of. 

This week, not too much happened, just a lot of class really.  New Year’s for us didn't really mean much of anything, the only thing that was different was all of the fireworks at midnight which I didn't even wake up for.  Everyone else did apparently...  But other than that, not too much really happened that was very exciting.  I did finish the Book of Mormon [in Spanish] yesterday.  I surprisingly understood almost all of it without any help and it was pretty awesome. 


Tomorrow we have Infield orientation for like 10 hours which will be at least a little bit different.  On Saturday we get to go proselyting which is exciting.  That's been the coolest thing we've done so far which bodes well because I'll get a lot more of it over the next 2 years.

And mom, about pictures, we're only allowed to have our cameras with us on P-days or other times when Pres. Cardon says it's ok so I don't have very much as far as pictures go...sorry.  I'll be better about it once I get out into the field, not like I'll be constantly taking pictures but I'll at least have something for you most weeks.

Also, I got a haircut yesterday...I got no say in what was cut so it's nothing like anything I've ever gotten before...not too sure what I think about it yet.


Love you guys!

Elder Peacock