Monday, January 28, 2013

Letter 1/28/2013

So a lot has happened lately. We had changes this morning at 3 am. So I´m still in Ciudad Nueva!!! Which is awesome because I love my ward they are amazing. Unfortunately my companion left this morning to go be the Zone Leader of another zone in Tacna. I was very sad. We got along great and he was sooooo much fun. He was a really good teacher. He taught me a lot and helped me a lot. I was very sad to see him leave. He was very sad too. He wanted to stay. He wanted to be with this ward and me more than he wanted to be a zone leader. Great guy hope I see him again. I get my new companion tomorrow morning. Right now I´m hanging out with my companion from the Peru MTC and our District Leader. Both of them also lost their companions today. 

I can´t wait to get my package. I should have like 3 or more packages waiting for me soon. So yeah I can´t wait.

Well we haven´t talked to the family that needed to get married yet. They went on vacation to Lima this week, but me and my new companion will talk to them soon. We had two more baptisms this week. Unfortunately I was on an exchange and at a different baptism for our second one and I didn´t have a camera so I only got one picture of the three I was at this week. But the one I got the picture of is the important one. Because I got to baptism him myself which was really awesome. His name is Manuel Nolasco. He´s awesome. Very happy hard working kid. He´s only 16 and he works and goes to school like all day long. He´s such a happy person though. He´s just awesome. So yeah that was more or less my week. Most of my week was preparing people for February to get baptized.

So in the mission we have weekly goals. These include 2 baptisms every week 30 lessons taught 140 contacts made 21 new investigators and lots of other stuff. These goals aren´t very easy to obtain. You have to work really hard and get pretty lucky and have lots of member support to complete every goal for a week. But for this month of February we have 8 baptisms already scheduled which is super awesome because if we work hard enough we could complete 100% of our goals for an entire month. Which would be sweeeeeeeet. So we have lots of stuff happening in February so I hope my new companion is up for it. 

I don´t have any funny stories for this week. I´ll find some funny stories with me new companion. I´ve been changing a ton this last week though. My spanish has gotten soooooooooo much better it´s insane. I can actually speak fluently and express pretty much whatever I need to. I don´t pause in between sentences and everyone can understand me. It´s awesome. It´s still pretty hard to understand the people here but I can understand them sooooo much better right now than i could a week ago. Also I teach sooo much differently now. Before I barely taught anything. I would just teach a few principles of a lesson and then my companion would do everything else. And I actually want to teach and talk to people. I literally get joy in giving talks and teaching people. I´ve just been learning so much and changing so much it´s awesome. My first day in the field I literally didn´t talk to anyone. I said hi and bye to everyone and give testimony but that was it. Now I wish I had more time to teach. For example I can´t wait to give another talk in church, my last one was awesome and made me feel great. Well long story short I´m doing great and I can actually speak spanish right now and teach in spanish and becoming a better person.

So actually I kinda have a funny story. So we have a Brother in our ward who is called to serve in Fresno and he leaves in like 3 weeks. So we we´re talking with him and he really wanted me to teach him a mini lesson in English just so he could hear what the language sounded like. So I started teaching him and I was all over the place. I couldn´t remember the English words to anything I wanted to say. My companion and the Brother were cracking up. Every like 10 seconds I would just pause I sit there trying to find the right word in English. Then half the sentences I said kept coming out of my mouth as spanish instead of English. So yeah it was pretty funny.

Got everyone's pictures. Happy Birthday Dad! Looks like you guys are having sooooo much fun! Helicopter rides, snowboarding, what´s next? Glad everything is going good. I´m pretty jealous I can´t wait to go snowboarding and go on vacation in 2 years... Well I´m doing great. Miss you all a ton. Can´t wait for all my packages. Love you all. Oh make sure you tell Grandma I love her and say Hi. She´s like the only one that has no way to talk to me now so I feel kinda bad. Well Love You all. Have a great week. Oh the pictures are Me and the investigator I baptized. My zone before today. And come of the Elders in my zone.

Love Elder Russon

Monday, January 21, 2013

Letter 1/21/2013

So I don`t know if I told you but my record for most people in a Convi or mini van is still 26. So we had a baptism fall through twice this week, which really sucked and I was going to baptize them so I was pretty sad about that... but we have a baptism tomorrow and I´m going to be the person baptizing so that´ll be awesome. We had 5 investigators attend church yesterday, which was awesome!!!! Unfortunately or like golden family we were going to baptize soon just informed us they aren´t married sooo that also mad me really sad because the dad is sooooooo good. He knows the bible sooooo well and he´s such a powerful speaker when he talks it´s awesome, but we are teaching him and he´s totally accepting of everything and he´s like "Oh that makes so much more sense" all the time. But yeah we´re going to have to tell him and his wife they have to get married if they want to get baptized so that´s going to be really weird. Me and my companion are thinking that I´ll just tell them and in English and then he´ll translate so it´s less stressful for us both... since they can´t understand my words so I won´t feel stressed and my companion is only translating soooo he won´t feel stressed either. I think it´ll go great... Yeah what else. Oh I gave a talk yesterday about Adversity. Not gonna lie. It was amazing. Peru is so different the people are so relaxed it´s insane. Like nothing is too serious for them... nothing!!! Sacrament starts at 9 and like 1/3 of our ward shows up on time at 9, 1/3 shows up at 930, and 1/3 shows up at 10ish when it´s done. The relaxed nature of the Peru also makes it very very hard to get investigators to attend sacrament, and if they aren´t attending sacrament we aren´t going to baptize them. It´s also very cool though, because everybody here is very accepting and never to up tight. Like in Peru you will never ever get a door slammed in your face, it´s just not how they do things. Actually last night we got a door slammed in our face, but that was just a really weird experience. 

We knocked on the door and I was like Hola We´re miss- SLAM... So I was like next house! And my companion just stood there like in shock like what in the world was that. So I was like don´t worry buddy next house. And as we were walking away they reopen the door and they´re like what´s up? So I start teaching him and he´s acting really weird. So my companion signals to me to cut the conversation and move on, I´m thinking he´s drunk i´m not really sure though. So I´m like You want to build you faith? He´s like yeah... So I´m like alright boom Pray tonight, read the pamphlet we gave you and on Sunday attend church. So he´s like "alright sweet". So then we´re like adios and move on. Then I ask my companion what was up with him and he told me he was under the influence of drugs so my companion knew instantly so he just let me talk to the entire time. So yeah that was a good teaching experience for me. Well nothing too interesting or funny happened this week.

These pictures are me this morning. One just standing there. The second chasing down a contact across the street. The third was actually my first day in Arequipa. Super beautiful... Tacna where I´m at right now does not look like that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Letter 1/15/2013

Well I had to travel to Lima on Sunday so I just got back this morning at 4 am and I still had to wake up at 630 so I`m pretty tired right now, but luckily I get to write you all still. Which is awesome. Flew on three different planes and took a 6 hour bus ride along with all that. And they didn`t feed us so I went 28 hours without food and water, so I was like dying the other day. But i`m okay now. Nothing to crazy or cool happened this week. A few more borochos (drunks) chased me down in the streets this week. One actual caught me but he was sneaky about it he asked for a blessing and I was o yeah I`m definitely talking with this guy. Then boom he got closer and went straight for my hand... key indicator that they are drunk. Always want to talk to me or hold my hand. 
So this week I had some interesting eating stories. So I had cow stomach this week. It wasn`t bad at all but here`s how the meal started out. Me and my companion open up our plates. I go oh what is this with my rice and potatoes... And he just stares at me for a couple seconds and stares at my food and then at me. So I`m like ohhhh nooooo. So after he pauses for like 30 seconds to answer me I start thinking that this is some disgusting part of an animal that will make me throw up just knowing what it is. So i tell him i don`t want to know. So we start eating and i finish and hes like oh it`s cow. So i`m like what we eat cow all the time what in the world are you talking about. Then he tells me it`s the inside of a cows stomach. And starts laughing like as hard as he can. He thought it was hilarious. He knows I`m shaky with meat.
So this is a few nights later. We get home for dinner and it`s pretty late and my companion books it to the bathroom. So i go and sit down and look at the food. And it`s spaghetti and I can`t eat spaghetti i don`t know why I just can`t and it`s like a tonnnnnn of spaghetti. So he`s chilling in the bathroom so i start dishing out like all my spaghetti onto his dish. So i dish out like half of my food onto his plate. So I close both of our dishes and walk back in the our room. So a few minutes later I hear the bathroom door open so I walk out of the bedroom and follow behind him to the dinner room. So we say our prayer and i start pouring my drink and he takes off the top of his plate and he has soooooooo much spaghetti under his plate I instantly just start crying tears of laughter. It`s like a good 8 inches tall of spaghetti. He instantly just starts moaning and saying Que he hecho para esto, which means What have I done to deserve this. He keeps saying that and then turns to me. And then he stares at me and waits for me to take of my lid and I do and i have like 2 inches high of spaghetti  And he`s like why!!!!!!!!! What did i do!!!!!!!! So he starts chowing down and is like half crying of sadness because he has to eat it all. And this entire time he thinks the pensanista our cook just gave him more for some reason. And i know he thinks this sooo i`m just laughing our entire meal. Finally like 20 minutes later he finishes and just sits there like totally unable to move. It was soooo funny. He still thinks right now that the pensanista was like mad at him or something.
So also another day we had this dish that is just pure purple fruit type juice. It`s like a giant 3 gallon bowl of purple mush. So I`m like sweet JELLO!!!! So i`m all excited for the prayer. It was horrible. 

Thanks for all the support. 

Love Elder Russon

Monday, January 7, 2013

Letter 1/7/2012

Well I miss everyone a ton. If you think about it I send an email every week and there are about 100 weeks in two years so every letter I send I`m 1% closer to seeing you. So idk that statistic is always in my head. This also means I`m only going to be able to send you a total of 100 emails before this is all over!!! 

I have another funny drunk story from last night!!!
So it`s like 8:20 at night and me and my companion are street contacting for the last few minutes of our day. And my companion walks off and starts talking to this man and then I find a women and her child and talk to her for a while. Then after finishing I turn to go find my companion and he`s like 1/2 a mile down the street walking and holding hands with this guy he contacted. So I`m like what in the world!!!!! So I start running to catch up to him and I realize oh this must be a drunk guy again. So I walk up and introduce myself and we start talking and then he grabs my hand. And he just talks and talks and talks for like 3 minutes while holding my hand and walking. So now I`m walking down the street with a full grown man holding his hand. Then finally we come to the crossroads where he goes this way and we go this way. All the while I`ve been holding his hand and walking. So we stop and he lets go and then goes straight for my companions hand. Then he talks for a while, while holding my companions hand. Then he switches over to me for a while. And then finally, it`s like 9 now, after like 1/2 an hour of talking to this man and holding his hand and walking we finally shake his hand 5 more times and are able to go home.

Ok well I gotta go. Love all of you. Miss you more than you could possibly imagine. I`ll try and find some different stories than just funny drunk people. I just run into sooooo many of them and they are sooooo hilarious all of the time. And it`s only me too. No one else ever runs into them and has funny experiences like me and my companion. Well a few, but I`ve had like 6 funny stories in 2 weeks of drunk people and my companion only has 1 from before I became his companion and he has been out for a year and a half. Hope you could find where I lived in Google Maps. If you did you should be able to see tons of writing in huge letters on a side of a sand mountain.

Peru MTC

Elder Sehesdedt - One of Tadd Crockett's roommates at UofU