Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week Twenty-Two: Actual Changes

Hey everyone,

So remember when I told you that changes happen every six weeks. Well that was four weeks ago. That leaves (I'll give you sometime to do the math) two weeks left until the change. However, last night, E Leavitt and I were laying in bed talking and the phone rang. It was the mission president, President Marler. He asked E Leavitt to be the new financial secretary of the mission. That involves handing a LOT of money so he leaves tomorrow so that he can receive two weeks of training before the change. He's been in Cartavio the last 9 and a half months and it will be hard to leave but he is going to the mission office where there is air conditioning, and a dry cleaners, and grocery stores and all kinds of tomfoolery so I kind of hate him, haha.

Where does that leave me? Well, no one really knows. The plan is to call a youth who is preparing to go on a mission to be a missionary for two weeks to hang out with me. They haven't found one yet and it'll be hard because school here starts next Monday but it is a lot better than the alternative of getting put in a three sum and us all having to travel between two areas to not lose investigators.

If that is what happens, then that pretty much means that I am teaching a 16 or 17 year old how to be a missionary. He will have made the decision extremely quickly and just gone. He'll have no MTC training and no field experience. I would have to teach him everything and do a ton of work that E Leavitt and I usually split up. It'll be stressful but fun to get to have my own kid in the mission. (Your first companion is called your Dad).

Whatever happens, I'm going to have a pretty crazy two weeks. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. We have two investigators with baptism dates and three inactive members who we are bringing back to activity and I don't want to screw anything up. Cartavio is E Leavitt's baby and it just got left on the doorstep in the rain at my weird broken down carpentry shop and I have to make sure that it doesn't play with saws and die.

I'll tell you who my temporary companion is next week and my real companion the week after. Love you all a ton.

Elder Gonzalez

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week Twenty-One: Guinea Pigs...

Hey everyone,

So this week is crazy-go-nutz picture week!
After last weeks email sesh, we went to a little town called Sausal and climbed a mountain
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It was weird to get exercise and I got to the top really tired and thirsty
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E Leavitt and I like to match on Pdays (we are adorable).
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When we got to the bottom we found a log over a river and decided to take some awkward family pictures as a zone

This awk log pic goes out to Kerrie Heckel

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When I got my mission call, the first thing that my friends and I did was Google "Peru" and one of the first things that we found is that people eat Guinea Pigs. When I got home from preaching Tuesday, Hna. Lijia (she feeds me) had a burlap sack in her hand full of three live guinea pigs
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We played with them for a little
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And then she told us to take them to her mothers house show she could kill and skin them for us.
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It was extremely gruesome.
She ripped all of the fur off by hand
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Then our pensionista cooked them up and gave us each a half of a cuy with papas and arroz de trigo. Each guinea pig here costs 30 soles ($12ish) because guinea pig is a delicacy. I'm not going to lie, it was delicious (sorry anyone who has ever had a pet guinea pig)
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I am having a great time in Cartavio. I have a hard time believing that there could be any better area in the mission. I'm super happy here and fitting right in.
Bretheren, Adeiu
Elder Gonzalez

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Week Twenty: Some Tidbits for Your Amusement

Some tidbits for your amusement.

We found out some deets about jello-man. His name is Carlos, he lives in a neighboring town and commutes to work, and he supports a wife and kids soley of his jello business.

I saw Frozen last P-day. It was phenonmenal in Spanish and I only imagine it was great in English.  Who caught that Arrested Development reference?
Do you even lift?

I went to a little town called Ascope to do a service project. Ascope is snuggled up against a mountain.  The service was shoveling dirt from this ladys backyard into 5 gallon buckets, putting them on our back, and climbing up the mountain to drop off the dirt on top.  I learned that I am a human instead of a mountain goat for a reason.
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Me, E Leavitt, and our Peruvian mom, Lijia

On our way to district meeting in a town called Casa Grande (Big House) we saw a building on fire. Who did they call to out it out? The Cartavino fire fighters. Do you all remember that night where I helped that crazy homeless lady who we thought was dying? It was the same fire fighter. His name is Aldo Nunja and he saved Casa Grande from flames. #Cartaviototherescue
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Aldo to the rescue

A guy contacted us this week and asked us to help him build a church. Uh...do you know what we do?
I love you all and hope everything is great.
Bretheren, adeiu.
Elder Gonzalez

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week Nineteen: Gringoes in Cartavio

I'm over one sixth of the way done with my mission. If my mission were a guitar, I've already completed the low E string. If my mission were a game of Trivial Pursuit, I've already earned the misc slice. If my mission were Star Wars, I've already watched all of The Phantom Menace.  Weird.

In this weeks email, I just wanted to tell you all about two people in Cartavio.

Here's a little picture to make you all smile: A shirtless Latino snuggling with a bunny

1. Jello Man.
Just like all of Latin America, people sell stuff in the streets here. One man sells jello (in Spanish, gelatina) out of little baggies. It's like if you filled a sandwich baggie with jello before you put it in the fridge. He speed walks down the street at the speed of light.  He is the only person in Cartavio who walks faster than we do. And he yells at the top of his lungs, "GEEEEEELATINAAAAAAAAA" (pronounced "hell-uh-tee-nuh") For the first few weeks, it was annoying. Then we tasted his jello. Now, whenever he sees us, he just pulls out two jellos and waits for his money. That guy is a legend in my eyes.

2. Caroline.
The other day , Elder Leavitt and I were walking and I said, "Doesn't she look kind of white" He said "Yeah" We passed by and said "Buenas tardes" and she said "Hey guys, how are y'all doing?"  It turns out that she is from South Carolina and is here with the Peace Corp to work at a special ed school that happens to be owned by two members of the church. It was so weird introducing myself in English. But now there are 3 gringoes in Cartavio. What up.

Love you all. Bretheren, adieu.