First, I have some disappointing news. We just got a letter from Presidente Borg saying that we won't be doing the 5 minute call beforehand for Christmas anymore, and we only get 40 minutes to skype. QUE EN EL FREAKING MUNDO?!?! I'm not too thrilled about this. I'm really really really looking forward to talking to you guys! Haha I don't think we'll be getting iPads any time soon. There are some sketchy people here and we've even been instructed to be careful with our crappy little nokia phones. In some places, people will rob you. It's happened to one sister already with her phone. Hmm...as for the sights from pinterest, I don't know. I've seen tons of the little poor colorful houses in the mountains, and I've been to Miraflores for my foot. Last P-day, we went to Charca y Mar. It's a couple hours away in Lima North mission. Since our mission is so small, every month we get the opportunity to go outside the mission. It was pretty cool. I'll have to send pictures when I have time. I don't know yet about the whole flash drive idea. Hang on for a little bit, I might be able to catch up on pics hopefully soon. Yeah, just hang on and I'll decide what would probably be best. Charca y Mar was a big beach place with caves and cliffs and weird hari krishna (don't know how to spell it) stuff. This P-day we went into central Lima, like central central. Like, if you google image Lima, Peru, you'll probably see that. We went to the area that was my cover photo on facebook for a little bit. Some parts are pretty cool, some parts are not. Soooo many people. Too many. And it's super hot, so that makes it like 20x worse. And we also took a bus up a mountain where you could see all of Lima. Wow. What a populated city. No open space at all. Everywhere is occupied by buildings or houses. Or people.
I'm still getting used to the culture here. It kinda weird. There are many things, I don't know if I'll be able to remember them all. First of all, everyone is so slow. Always late. They love to take their time. Also, they're all really blunt. I've heard so many insults that they just don't consider insults. You don't know how many times I've heard people talk about others (or sometimes to their face) who they think is fat or ugly. Everyone here is also really bad at singing. We're talking really, really bad. Drives me crazy haha. Haha Presidente Borg even told me that in my first interview with him! This week we had multizones with Elder Waddell of the Seventy. He's really cool. And really tall. He served in Spain though, so he spoke with the lisp. The entire thing was in Spanish. He didn't speak a word in English, except when he met us all one by one. All he said to me was basically commenting on how nice PA is and how hopefully the temple will be done before I come home. But yeah, I love our mission conferences. I always want to be so much better than I am. And Hermana Borg continues to be the coolest lady on the planet. Oh by the way, to answer your question from a few weeks back, I don't remember what activity it was, but Sammy Castleton's the best, so I'm sure it was a blast! And yes, Sister Bendixen is awesome. Oh and thanks for keeping me a little updated on my friends in their missions! It's cool to see what everyone's up to. Sienna and I have emailed a couple times. She's doing really well and really loves the MTC, which is good.
This week has been pretty good. I'm still struggling a TON, but spiritually, it's been pretty good. My rough spots are always in the morning. I don't know why, every morning I'm just reminded of how incredibly frustrated I am and how incredibly difficult this is. Really, this is the hardest thing I've ever done. So a few days ago during personal study, I read the April 2013 Conference talk by Elder Holland, "Lord, I Believe". Wow. It was exactly what I needed. I couldn't hold back my tears this time. I think it's just because I've been feeling so alone and so inadequate and so frustrated lately. But he talks a lot about growing your faith, and "only believing" being a very good place to start. I feel like no one around me day to day understands what I'm going through. They don't understand how difficult this really is for me. Many, many times I think to myself, "If I can express myself so super well, sometimes perfectly I think, then why the heck am I serving here? I feel like I'm wasting my time not being able to do what I know I can do in English." Does that make sense? Well, I've just been going off of just a pure belief that things will get better, even though I don't understand how. But I believe that my being here is not a mistake. I don't know it's hard to express in this short amount of time I have to write. I recommend reading it. It was just super comforting. I find even when I talk about that talk and the things I learned and the love I felt while reading it, I still get a little emotional. So far on the mission, I've learned that the love of God is very personal. He knows exactly what we need. He knows the exact words and messages I've needed lately. I can't begin to tell you how loved I've felt lately in the midst of feeling so alone at the same time. To go along with this, thank you so much for your prayers.
Theme of the week. Believe in the impossible. The other night, I was feeling pretty down, so I read some letters people wrote me and sent or gave to me before my mission. It was nice. Sister Vernon's card had a quote from Alice in Wonderland on the front. Something about "imagining up to six impossible things before breakfast." Sister Vernon went on to say how she loves this quote and how often, so many things in the mission seem impossible, but they're not. Believe in the impossible. That seemed to be the theme with this morning's zone conference as well. Have faith, y'all. "Impossible things are happening everyday." Props to whoever can get that reference. I know Grace can.
Christmas! I miss the Christmas season SOOO MUCH!!!! I'm super jealous of you all right now. Partly because it so doesn't feel like Christmas, and partly because I just miss home during the holidays. And CHRISTMAS MUSIC! I miss Christmas music so much! Ugh...I'm so sick of my comp playing EFY music everyday. Spanish EFY music to make it worse. Haha want to know something funny? Fruitcake (or Paneton) is really big here during the holidays. They looove it. It's funny, I've told some of them that fruitcake is kinda a joke in America, and they either think it's funny, or they just don't get it. Oh yeah, and Mom, after my mission I never want rice again. Ever. I have to eat a mound of it every day. I so don't want to gain weight on this mission... That's so fun that the Wood's are coming up for Christmas! That should be a blast! Ooo I miss American food so much too! Just because. And also because everyday I have meat (usually chicken), a mound of rice, and potatoes. Mmm...American food...during the holidays too! That's even better! I saw the Christmas devotional last night, but the whole thing was in Spanish and I didn't understand it all, so I want to find the talks in English and print them off to read if I can. Okay, since we won't have the 5 minutes before Christmas to talk (bummer!), we have to coordinate through email when to Skype and stuff. I'm still super upset about the only 40 minutes to talk. Not nearly enough! Oh before I forget! They handed out mail at multizones, and I got two boxes from you guys! I think one is my Christmas package, so I haven't opened it yet, and I thought the other was my insoles from the doctor so I opened it, and it was the Charlie Brown Christmas tree!!! I love it! I assembled it that night and it's sitting on my desk thing right next to my package! My comp didn't get it at first, so I had to explain it to her. But I love it! Thanks!
As always, I feel like I'm missing some thing I need to say, but I can't remember, so I'll leave it at this right now. I love you all so much. Thanks for everything. And thanks for being the best family ever. Until next week!