Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Monday!!

So I'm finally writing you all on a Monday for the first time in a while.  There was almost another hiccup today but that is a long story for another time. 

This week was good.  On Monday we had the interviews with Prez and the room checks and for those of you (Dad) who don't seem to believe me, our place is very clean and we passed with flying colors so just accept that I'm living in a clean room now for all of you that seem to doubt me because I'm sure there's more than one of you (Mom).

Hey our place is so clean it is ridiculous....except for the ceiling of the bathroom where there are about 1000 spiders but I've just decided I'm not going to worry about that part.

On Tuesday we went back to Quisto Cocha and got eaten by mosquitos all day.  I've decided that repellant doesn't help at all and might actually make it worse...but anyways it was pretty much the same as before with animals and the beach so I guess that's not all that interesting.  Although there is an evil cat that wants to kill everything and is kept in the smallest cage ever and there are monkeys that try to steal anything they can get their hands on (watch, glasses, nametag, shirt, skin, etc...)


On Thursday we basically ran around with our heads cut off because we had a wedding that afternoon and we needed this medical clearance basically saying that they're not on the verge of death.  We had planned to just go to this clinic and have it done that morning because some other stuff we had planned to do fell through--it was basically national day off for all we had tIMG_1064[1]o run around looking for some clinic with a doctor who would sign the certificates.  Eventually we found one that could do it but that was very stressful.  So then that afternoon we had the wedding of Eduardo and Mary A*.  Their baptism was this Saturday with their kids Milagros and Agustin.




In their service there were the 4 of them and Josue who recently turned 8 and is the son of one of our converts from the previous month.  His Dad got to baptize him which was really awesome.  After Josue, then the A* family was baptized.  Agustin went first and got cold when he got out of the water so he, being a kid, got back in the water.  Every time we got him out, he got back in...haha.  It was somewhat frustrating but it's fine.   It was a really cool service and pretty much the entire ward was there and there was a party afterwards for them.  It was awesome.

So we have transfers next week and Elder Duran has decided that he's leaving so he's basically announced to everyone that he's leaving the wards...haha that's not even for sure and just for that I kinda hope that I leave and he stays just because it would be kinda funny.  Although in all likelihood I'm staying here for a while which is ok because I love these wards and everything.


Elder Peacock

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Peru Iquitos Mission

Hey everybody!

So this week was good.  I didn’t get to write yesterday because we had interviews with President Blunck and Hermana Blunck came around to all of the rooms to make sure we weren’t just living in our own filth.  We aren’t, so we only had to clean for about an hour that morning to perfect it.  Haha but yeah, nothing all that new in the interviews because I already know I’m staying in the mission Iquitos.  Oh and the offices are under construction here in Iquitos.  AKA they’re remodeling one of the giant chapels here that recently had wards combine and move to another location so we could have the offices there. The offices will be up and running here in Iquitos in 2 weeks, or about 3 months before the mission officially opens so that they can get everything up and running.  So it looks like I won’t be going back to Lima for anything ever again, unless I have to do more paperwork there.  The only bummer with this is that I have a bunch of stuff that says Misión Perú Lima Norte…what am I supposed to do with that? Does that mean I get to say I served 2 missions? Haha [YES is what I say!]

So I was really stressing out this weekend because we have this family set to get married this week and baptized this weekend, however, on Saturday night the Zone leaders called to tell us that the people in Lima that needed to go and get the birth certificate of the dad couldn’t find it where we thought it was so they were going to look yesterday morning and if it wasn’t there then we had no idea what to do or where to look.  I really hate it when things are just taken out of my hands and I don’t have any control over the way things happen but sometimes you just have to wait, pray, and hope.  [Hmmm.  Control freak?  Might sound familiar… must get it from his dad]  So for all of you, I’m sure you’ve felt that at one point or another in your life so just remember that patience is a virtue.  Wait, pray and hope.  We got a call last night telling us that it is on its way and should be here today or tomorrow so we’re good to go.

We have this older investigator named H* who is awesome but a bit spacey at times.  We can be talking about the priesthood, baptism or anything and he has a completely unrelated story that he just has to tell us.  He has one that is his favorite that I’ve heard 3 times in one lesson.  Here’s an abbreviated version:

“I was walking with my friend, and she asked me how I know that God exists.  So I stopped and paused to think and told her first of all-- that flower.  There is the existence of God.  Second, when the sun goes down and the stars come out.  There is the existence of God.  Third, when the sun rises in the morning.  All of those things point to the existence of God.” 

He says it much better than that and with a lot of emotion and every time he starts that story I can’t help but crack a huge smile.  He also changes his proof every time but those are the three most common.  The guy is awesome though.  And while I tell the story in a joking manner, he is very right and it is very profound, I just don’t think he needs to tell it as often as he does. 

I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Peacock

P.S. We asked him about the new Church policy reported HERE which says that missionaries can now email people other than family, to which he replied:

“yeah, I don't know how real this is. Prez told us about 2 weeks ago we can only email family.”

So I guess the new policy has not made it to Peru yet…

And, I miss getting pictures of Elder Peacock.  Maybe we’ll get back to normal next week.  Mother’s Day (and the promised phonecall) is right around the corner though!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I’m a Legal Peruvian Now

Hey, so it's been quite a while since I was last able to write and I don't even remember a lot of what happened for the past 2 weeks so I'll just start with why I couldn't write last week.

It was Sunday night (April 7th) at like 1030 and I was in bed and all was good.  The phone rang and Elder Duran answered it talked for a minute and then handed it to me.  It was the zone leaders and Elder Muniz asked me: "how was your last day in Iquitos?" It was in Spanish but since he's a gringo I figured he had just said it wrong and meant how was my day so I told him it was good.  Then he repeated the question putting emphasis on LAST... Then he proceeded to explain how with the missions splitting, Prez wants to get new people trained for the offices so that there are people in both missions with experience and that I had an emergency transfer to the offices and that I was leaving the next morning and I needed to get my suitcase ready.  He went on for about 10 minutes with that and got me convinced...yeah, he was lying.  I did have to go to Lima but to do paperwork so I wouldn't be illegal. I had to leave that next morning and go do paperwork all that day and come back that night.  I did, however, get some big news.  When I came back that night, I brought the rest of my stuff that I had left in Lima because I'm going to be staying in the jungle for some time.  I will be serving in the mission Perú Iquitos...supposedly.  Nothing is actually for sure but I do have all of my stuff here because I'm supposed to stay here.  So, unless something crazy happens, I'm staying in Iquitos or some other part of the jungle.

Then yesterday I had to go back to Lima again to finish my paperwork and I now have a Peruvian ID, so I'm officially Peruvian now.  

Ok, so conference.  We got to watch all of conference and I got to watch it in English with Elder Muniz and Elder Overstreet who are in my zone and also gringos.  So we had our nice little gringo party in a little side room which was nice because I heard it in Spanish too and it's just not the same with different voices--it doesn't have quite the same feel.  My favorite talks were probably Elder Holland of course, President Uchtdorf, and President Packer.  Although I've figured out that they're all awesome and conference is much more significant now than it was before, so if you may not have taken conference as seriously as you could have; read, listen, or watch them again. Especially if you don't think it applied to you specifically, you can find some really cool stuff that can apply to you even if it's not directed at you. President Packer is actually one of my favorite speakers because he just speaks with power.  Not that his voice is strong nor does he just rip into us, but he just has a way about him that I've always loved.  I'll invite you all to watch his talk from this conference and that of the previous conference as well on the atonement.

So I don't have too much time left but Mom I did get the package the Thursday after my last email [WAHOO!] and I have since eaten all of the nutter butters, dove chocolate, sweet tarts, fruit rope, cliff bars and mentos.  I still have a jar and a half of peanut butter left which is awesome.   I believe it was opened but I think it was all there.  Can't send pictures right now but I think it was all there.  I also may not be able to write next week, we have interviews with Prez on Monday so we may not get time to write....3 P-days in a row.... haha. [Well, at least we’ve been warned.]

I love you guys and I hope all is well.  

Elder Peacock

Monday, April 15, 2013

It Was Nearly Time to Start Calling People Who Know People…

You may have noticed I didn’t post an email last week.  That’s because there wasn’t any email.

I was calm.  It had happened before with Justin.  Things got moved around.  There was a conference.  Internet was down.  Whatever.  I can miss a week.  I don’t like it, but I can do it.

So I eagerly got on the computer this morning expecting an email and doubly excited to get one.  He has been very consistent—emailing about 8am CA time every Monday.

The refresh button on my email box was nearly worn out by 3:30, and I realized it was later in Peru (I have no idea how much later, Jeff will tell you that I’m terrible at time conversions!) so the chances of hearing from him were getting slimmer to none. 

I had nearly given in to despair when this popped up from Elder Peacock:

Ok so I have no time right now but I'm not dead and I should be able to write tomorrow.  I'm in the offices right now, not to worry though everything is fine and I'm still going to be in Iquitos.  Should have time tomorrow.

It is the most eloquent, beautiful email he’s written to date! 

It’s enough.  All’s good.  See you tomorrow.

P.S. I keep thinking of Jeff’s poor mother.  How did she survive it when her sons served in Europe prior to email?  She had to rely on unreliable letters.  I don’t know how she did it!  Internet is a blessing and a curse!  I love being able to hear from him every week, but she probably didn’t drive herself crazy like me because there wasn’t that weekly expectation. *sigh*

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool’s Day?

yeah, it's not celebrated here. Not that I have a cool story there but it's just not.  Anyways, this week was good.

First off, I did not get transferred, neither did Elder Duran.  So we're both here until next transfers and then it's almost for sure that one of the two of us is getting transferred, but in all reality, we have no idea which of us it will be.  There's a couple of weeks before that happens anyways.  And for the record, we actually get to see all of conference this weekend, I didn't really expect to get to see all of it but that should be awesome.

So this week, Pres. Blunck came to Iquitos for a training and at the end of it he answered questions about the mission Iquitos.  When it splits on July 1, we'll stay where we are so the transfers in the middle of June will decide where I go and he doesn't yet know all of who will go and who will stay.  I have a feeling I'm going to be staying in Iquitos.  But when the mission splits, the part in Lima will gain 2 stakes and the mission Iquitos will start opening up areas like crazy and then who knows where I could end up. 

After the training, Pres Blunck asked Elder Duran and I if he could come on splits [splits are when a missionary companionship split up and go with others to a lesson] with us and of course we said yes.  Elder Duran went with Pres and I went with Brother Gibb, who is a friend of Pres Blunck from the states who was visiting and doesn't speak any Spanish.  In all honesty he kinda reminded me of dad with his means of trying to explain himself (ie. asking for a check through gestures and talking louder), it was kinda funny.  But we went to the family that was baptized and not confirmed last week to teach a lesson and it was kinda cool.  I basically taught the whole lesson but at the end I translated his testimony for him. 

The whole time, he was just absolutely amazed by everything.  The homes, the people, the motokars, the buildings, the jungle, and everything else.  I guess being here for a few months I have forgotten that this is not like the US.  I have kinda convinced myself that this is all normal and there's not much different, which is true...for Peru.  But I guess it is a bit of a shock at first coming here and it is impossible to explain the fact that there is a huge city in the middle of the jungle.  It just doesn't translate. 

Also this week was semana santa and it's definitely a lot different here.  On Friday, I went out onto the balcony and looked because I heard like a megaphone outside.  There were just thousands of people in the street walking.  They just walk around all day following a guy dressed up as Jesus and every single one of them is wearing purple.  And then Sunday night just turns into a party...haha not exactly the reverent Easter Sunday I'm used to back home.

Love you guys and thanks for everything,
Elder Peacock

PS no package yet, hopefully next week :)

And Now For the Rest of the Story…

Last week the computer ate Tyler’s letter.  He came up with a solution to the problem by handwriting his original letter and then taking pictures of it to email this week.


Don’t worry, you don’t need your binoculars.  I have typed it out…


So, I will first explain what happened with the computer.  I was writing my email and I had about 5 minutes of internet left and I had written probably my longest letter yet.  I turned to talk to another Elder for a second and my elbow/forearm hit the keyboard.  I look back at my screen and all that was left was the first sentence I had written about Quisto Cocha…Yeah, let’s just say I wasn’t too happy about that and not even “undo” could help me out.  So, I threw together a little paragraph with what little time I had left.  Luckily, I came up with a solution, as should be apparent from the fact that you’re reading this.  Mom, you can either just forward/post the pictures or you can type it out if you get bored or happen to have a lot of free time [I type really fast].  Or, maybe Bryce needs to practice his typing skills.  I’m sure he needs to practice his driving skills.

OK, so I’ll start with Quisto Cocha [I googled it, it’s actually Quistococha, one word, see a video HEREThe music alone is worth the jump].  It’s like a zoo on the river.  There are pumas, leopards, jaguars, monkeys, birds, huge fish and some other cool stuff.  I got my picture taken with a snake which was cool, but sadly the Elder taking pictures might not have ever touched a camera before so I don’t actually have any good pictures.  I do, however, like the picture I sent home of me on the river.  A different Elder took that one.


At the end, we played soccer on the “beach” which was better than soccer on asphalt.  Then I ate some zuri (aka, tree slug for you white folk).  It tasted like coconut.  It had a very tough exterior with a very gushy interior.  Oh, and, it was alive and the head is very crunchy.  I wouldn’t exactly recommend it but it wasn’t the worst experience of my life.

On Thursday night, it was raining pretty hard and when it rains hard here, some of the roads turn into rivers and lakes form in other places.  That doesn’t really have much to do with the story, but whatever.  So, we show up to a house where we have an appointment and have to jump over a lake to get to the door.  I almost made it and only got a little wet.  Elder Duran [who is only a foot shorter than Tyler] didn’t and his shoe is split so he to wet pretty much everywhere, including his foot which is no fun.  Anyway, we knock on the door and the guy answers (with his wife and kids, one of which is a member of the Church) and invites us in.  It was dark because they don’t have light, so we used my flashlight for the lesson, Dad would be proud.  So it was fairly dark but in the middle of the lesson, something ran in between us and back into the house.  The dad gets up, pulls off his shoe and chasses what turned out to be a rat.  His wife proceeded to tell us about how dangerous the rats are and how on the news the other day an entire family died because of rats.  Don’t worry mom, they’re only in the houses on the water so I’m safe.  But after a minute or two, the dad came back.  The rat had been taken care of and we continued with the lesson.  I couldn’t help but think:  “Did that really just happen?”  Probably one of the strangest lessons I’ve taught so far.

Friday might have been the craziest day of my mission so far.  I’ll preface it by saying we’ve had two families:  Family F* and Family S* waiting to get married and baptized for a while.  The F* Family had their wedding scheduled for 11am on Friday morning for about a week and we were just waiting on a birth certificate for the dad of the S* Family (we were scheduled to pick up the birth certificate at 9am on Friday).  With the birth certificate, we could go and schedule their wedding possibly for Friday afternoon.  So, that was our plan.

We went at 9 and had to wait about an hour to get his birth certificate, but after about two months of work, we finally got it!  So, we race over to the municipio (not sure how to say it in English) to schedule their wedding.  The only time that day available was 11:30am.  That gave us no time to go and let anyone know that the wedding was happening so we could only go get everything set with the family and make sure their witnesses were going to be there.  Then we had to race back to the municipio for the wedding we had at 11 for the F* Family.  With everything that we had to do that morning, we didn’t have time to go see if everything was good with them so we were just hoping they’d be there on time.  Timeliness is not common here.  There were only a few minutes late, but brought their witnesses and family and everything.  So, we had their wedding and it was awesome.  Then the other family was there with their witnesses and we had their wedding right after. 

I think before my mission, I had only been present for one actual wedding and in about one hour I attended two.  Crazy.

That night, we had the baptism of the F* Family and spent a good part of the afternoon getting that set up and everything with only a few hours of proselytizing.  A large portion of the ward [congregation] was there, which was awesome and we had asked the Elder’s Quorum President [a priesthood leader] to give a short message.  He asked for a reference and we gave him 2 Nephi 31.  His message was exactly that.  He read 2 Nephi 31…all of it. [It is typical to use a few verses and then elaborate in your own words]  Haha, it was kind of funny for Elder Duran and me.  But, the baptism was awesome and the that family is the best!  There was a huge party for them and the Relief Society [women’s organization] after, something about the anniversary of the Relief Society.  But yeah, there was a nice, big party for them, which was awesome.


The next night we had the baptism for the S* Family.  They’re a little bit unpredictable sometimes.  We called at 5pm to check up on them for their 7 o’clock baptism.  The dad was in San Juan working.  San Juan is about 15 minutes away by moto and like an hour walking, and he basically walks everywhere, so that kinda scared us especially because he was still working.  He assured us that he’d be there by 6:30 though, so we just had to take his word for it.  They were only like 10 minutes late, but that meant that they were actually 20 minutes early for their baptism, which was one of the biggest surprises because it’s not really like them!  But I’ll take it!  Their service was awesome and there were a good number of members [of the Church] there because this family had waited about two months after their original baptism date because of the birth certificate issue, so they really are already part of the ward.


After the baptism, we had a cake with a bride and groom on top for the family and I made Elder Duran take a picture with it because he’s going to be married in about a year.  I mean he gets home in 10 months, so that gives him 2 months to find a wife.  Plenty of time, right?  Haha. That is not serious at all.

As many of you know, baptism is only the first part of the ordinance.  On Sunday, they were confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Well, we get to our first Sacrament Meeting about 10 minutes before the meeting and had talked to our Ward Mission Leader about going and reminding the F* Family and bringing them to church.  He shows up about 5 minutes later without them, so we go and look for them but they weren’t home.  We found out later that on Friday after their baptism, a relative of theirs let them stay in a hotel of theirs in Nauta, which is a good 2 hours away and they just didn’t get back in time.  They got there about an hour and a half late, so they’re just going to wait a week, which was very stressful.  Luckily, the other family was already in the chapel when we got there so there no problems there.

All in all, it was a very stressful weekend, but probably one of the best ones so far.  And hopefully you can read this letter and it makes up for me not really being able to send that email.  For the record, you did get a lot more detail with this letter than you would have with the mail.  And I just want you all to know that the Church is true and Christ really is our Savior and Redeemer and that because of what He did for us, we can all live together in happiness para siempre.


See HERE for the English version of Alma 26:12.