Extracts from letters received from Elder Peacock this week:
“I guess I’ll tell you about the food here, it’s a lot of rice. I know I’m thinking really far ahead, but when I get home, I don’t want to see rice for 2 weeks…at least. So, for breakfast, I eat with my “pensionista” (aka the lady who makes us food). She’ll make an egg thing or cereal with yogurt, bananas, fruit salad, pancakes and once she tried (unsuccessfully) to make french toast. But she always gives us Ecco or Kimbo which is a cebada [English: barley] drink. When I first saw it in Iquitos, I was 100% sure that it was coffee, but it isn’t. At first I could not drink it [observant members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abstain from coffee]. Later I figured out if I put in 1/2 a spoon of cebada and 6 spoons of sugar, then it’s doable. Still not a huge fan. Lunch is with the members and it’s really about always the same: rice and chicken. Sometimes with a little bit of other stuff like potatoes or bananas or “salad”. Salad is cucumbers and tomatoes with lime juice. Then dinner we’re with our pensionista again and it’s basically the same as lunch, just smaller. I’m usually not even hungry for dinner though.”
“It’s nice having a pensionista though, even if she is just trying to get me fat.”
Mother’s comments: Top two least favorite vegetables on Tyler’s list: tomatoes, cucumbers. Maybe he likes them now. We have penionistas in America too. They’re called “MOMs”.
“We have a cement floor right now which is basically impossible to keep clean. I would sweep & mop and it would look just about the same as it did before I started. It was very frustrating. Apparently, the secret is to clean it with gasoline…who’da thought? But then we found out that nobody had ever even sealed the floor, so that didn’t help. I sealed it. It was a project, but it looks much better now. There really is just a lot of dust here though. When I got here, this place was a sty. There are 3 rooms (bedroom, study room, “kitchen”) and everything was all over the place, but I threw away mountains of stuff and organized just about everything. You’d be so proud mom.”
Mother’s comments: This paragraph is an absolute testament to how transforming a mission is for a young man. Of my three sons, this one by far had no interest in tidiness or cleanliness or organization or, well, you get the idea. That he has spent so much thought and effort on this floor and in organizing the apartment is absolutely contrary to everything I know about this person who is my son. And, where did he come up with the idea to clean with gasoline and why did he have gasoline in the first place? These are questions I will likely never know the answer to, I suspect. There’s just so much wrong in this paragraph I hardly know where to begin. My very foundation has been shaken.
“You may remember my watch situation? Well, the watch I came here with broke and nobody could fix it, so I bought one. Like a week later it broke. Then Elder Bravo gave me one of those cheap digital watches, which is cool. Well, not too long later, the band broke. I took it to this guy in Iquitos and got a new band put on. Well, fast forward 2 months(ish) and I’m in N.C. and, the band breaks again. But here, I don’t know a watch guy to fix it. So, I may have made one of the coolest things ever. Cutting a hole in a part o fhte band, I put a think rope in it and tied it off. On the other side I put my keys. So now I have a pocket watchy keychain. It’s awesome. Best part? I think I have found the best way to have a watch but not have a ridiculous tan line on my wrist. Isn’t that cool? I know you’re jealous/proud of that :) And I know I could buy a new watch, but this one is cooler than anything I could buy and I’m 98% sure that it won’t break. That % is not an approximation either. That’s the exact percentage that it is. I calculated it with some really complex equations.”
Mother’s comment: OK, maybe not ENTIRELY transformed.
And, this piece of art:
“Don’t worry, I’ll carry a rock around with me for the dogs now :)”
which relates to THIS POST.
“I’ve decided that hard work is a mindset. If you decide to focus on what’s at hand, you’ll do it and do it well. If you focus on being somewhere else, you’ll never get anything done. So really, if you want to be good at something, just focus on it and then your actions will follow.”
Elder Peacock, et. al.