So I finish my first change today. For those of you counting, it's only been 5 weeks since I got here. Apparently they shortened this change by a week because they're trying to put all of the missions on the same cycle. At least that's what I’ve heard. I do not however expect to be going anywhere, nor do I think Elder Duran will either. We'll probably be here for another change or 2. But if I were to be leaving, I wouldn't find out until tonight and I'd be leaving in the morning. Not much time to prepare.
So mom, you asked about my mission president which was pretty good timing because he came to Iquitos this week and we had a training with him. His name is President Blunck, he's from Oregon, served in Peru when he was younger and speaks almost perfect Spanish. His wife does not speak much Spanish though. It's gotta be tough for her but they're both awesome. They're about 2 1/2 years in so I only have them for another 6ish months and I'll have another. He's really awesome, and the mission has had a lot of success and growth under him. I haven't had too much time to talk to him aside from the weekly letter, 2 interviews, and training this week. We get interviews every 3 months and another one when we first got to the mission. He comes to Iquitos like once a month I think but yeah, it's just hard to get too much time to get to know him when the mission is so spread out.
So we had another baptism this week! for W*. He's like 50 and his wife and kids are all members already. He has one son on a mission and another with his papers in. He's just an awesome guy and works a lot so it was just hare for other missionaries to get a hold of him. But something seemed to change about December when the sisters in our area before found him again and it didn't seem to be as hard as his teaching record said. So on the day of his baptism, we went to clean out the font and fill it up that morning. It was absolutely disgusting. Apparently when it rains, the font floods back up and fills with dirt and just crap. We couldn't get it to drain out so we couldn't clean it out. This is where it's a good thing that we have 2 wards. We just changed it to the other building. That did make a problem for people knowing that the baptism was in the other building because mass communication is a little bit harder here. The service was a little bit smaller but still a baptismal service. We do have to figure something out for the font though...
So Feb 9/10 is a national holiday here in Peru called Carnavales. Basically what it is is an excuse for kids to throw chalk, water balloons and buckets of water at everyone that passes by and for the adults to drink and have a big party. They also have these tree things with a special name I can't remember. Basically they take a palm tree, braid the palm fronds into 4 pieces, tie it together and hang random things in the tree. I don't understand what it is but that's what they do. So the party is really on the 10th and it involves everyone. So we couldn't go out yesterday which was really annoying. Not a huge fan of having to stay inside all day. Don't worry mom, I'm not in danger, it was just a precaution. [Ahem, I’m really not that fragile!]
(Still nothing from Bryce)
P.S. [in response to a question I asked…]
Fruits and vegetables are good here, couple of mangos and a papaya, all good. Nothing too crazy that I've seen yet but the water, we buy 20L filtered water jugs about twice a week and just use that. So no real problems and I do drink the water in members homes, not dead yet :)