Okay everyone, here we go!
A few items of business:
-The keyboard is wiggity wack so forgive any errors (there's a cop-out)
-I will write every Tuesday but the time will vary so don't worry if it's late.
-Next Tuesday is a holiday so they aren't letting us have a P-day (because we go to the temple, stores, etc. on P-day) so next week I will be writing on Thursday.
-Do not send any items here. Letters are fine but items will probably take longer than I will be here. No biggie if you already did but wait until I get out into the field.
-I can't find a slot for my SD card so I am going to send pictures that Elder Grover uploaded from his camera and emailed me. Someday, I'll figure out how to send all of mine.
The MTC (here it is a CCM) is really nice. I think that it is pretty new so it feels really clean and well organized. It is very small. There are three buildings on the grounds around a courtyard. A building for classrooms/ dorm rooms, a cafeteria, and an administration building. There is a f'utbol field to the side.
Overall, I packed really light. Most people have three suitcases. But I seem to have everything I need so I think that I am ok. I guess that I am just a minimalist, haha.
Elder Grover is awesome! We get along really, really well. He is pretty neat, keeps his things straight, and makes sure that we are on time to things which is good. Our personalities just seem to work really well together.
The Latinos in our room are Elder Villarroel from Argentina, Elder Yamberlo and Elder Avalos from Ecuador, and Elder Pinedo from Per'u. They are only here for two weeks because they don't need to learn the language. They are hilarious but speak not even a single word of English. I have been able to communicate with them really well though. My Spanish is already to the point that if they talk slow and repeat a sentence two or three times, we can talk about almost anything. They are really curious about our lives and ask us a million questions about how things are in the states, how our families are, how we like Per'u, etc. Elder Pinedo from Per'u told us everything about our missions. He says that Trujillo is the best. He says the food is great, the weather is great, and the people are very humble and receptive to the Gospel (this is all in Spanish of course). They also keep joking and telling us that we will eat elephants, rhinos, spiders, children, etc. on our missions.
The badge that says "Elder Gonzalez" is both a blessing and a curse. Everyone assumes that I should be completely fluent. So I have to explain my entire life situation a lot. But that is good because it makes me practice.
One weird thing is what people thing when I tell them I am from Seattle. When I introduced myself to a Latino Elder named Elder Sanchez and told him I was from Seattle, he said, "Ahhh, si. Como iCarly." Apparently, that is what we are famous for, haha.
The food is super good. There are a couple things that I haven't liked but for the most part everything is great! They have passion fruit which is a way crazier fruit than I was expecting. You should all Google an image of it. It is what it would be like if frog eggs were delicious, sweet, and not a weird thing to slurp out of a rind.
Something that I wasn't expecting is that the focus is about ten times more on the Gospel and missionary work than the language. I guess that should have been obvious but it didn't really click until I got here. It is really cool though that we are learning Spanish for a purpose and with a really specific curriculum. Like lesson one was a street contact; how to introduce yourself as a missionary and start a simple conversation. Lesson two was how to pray in Spanish. So from now on, we have to introduce ourselves in Spanish and pray in Spanish every time. It is a really effective way of learning. I feel like I will be very close to fluent by the end of my time in the CCM.
We are teaching a return missionary who is playing the role of an investigator (someone interested in learning about the church) named Elisa Tejanda. She is great and really fun to teach. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel yesterday and it went really well so we set another appointment for tonight.
P-day has been really interesting. We took a bud to the Lima Temple today which was great. The temple is really small but really beautiful. It was really neat to go through a new one. I am really excited to go to the one that will be done soon when I get to Trujillo. After the temple, we went to a store to buy a few things including Inca Kola which I am a big fan of. We did all of our laundry. We wrote a few letters. We swept our room. We switched our sheets and towels. It is our day where we can wear T-shirts and jeans but it feels crazier than the rest of them, haha.
Well that is as much as I can write right now because I only have an hour but I'll write more next Thursday! I love you all.