Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week One: The Week that Really was a Month (or two)
Well, I've made it to Peru and survived my first week! WOOOOT!! Things are so incredible here, so I'll just start from the beginning!
We got into Lima around 2 in the Morning last Tuesday night, then rode the bus to the CCM for another hour or so! But it was sooooo cool looking around and seeing all the streets all lit up and it was nice and cool. Although we were sweating SO MUCH from lugging out bags around in the hot, humid airport. The city of Lima is kind of like a mixture of Provo and Ghana!! There are huge mountains right along the main street (but they don't have anything green, only dirt) so its kind of comforting to see something so familiar. But the cars, and buses and everything else except the people and the houses are like Ghana! Its humid here, but not like Africa, and there's a nice wind that blows. Mornings and nights are AMAZING. Best sunsets EVER.
Anyway, so the first actual day, was THE LONGEST DAY EVER. REALLY. My district and I kept saying 'remember yesterday when' but then we were like 'wait, that was this morning'. It was CRAZYY! But they let us go to bed a little early so we could unpack and get to bed because we only got like 3 hours of sleep because we still had to get up at 6:30!
Oh! So my companion is THE BEST!!! Her name is Hanna Opdahl and she's from Oregon! She loves fishing and reading and is pretty much the best EVER. She even went to BYU Provo for 3 semesters before her mission too! The other two girls in my district are Hermanna Utly and Harris and we pretty much just have a BLAST! We are always laughing with the other 4 elders in our district which is AWESOME because it helps keep us sane :) There are only like 80 missionaries here. Half of them are Latino and only speak Spanish and are only here for 2 weeks. And they are the BEST! Its so much fun to play futball with them everyday and talk to them! They are so nice and patient with us when we talk to them to practice our Spanish! And because this place is so small, there is one building that has our classrooms on the 1st floor, girls dorms on the second and the boys on the third. The other building has the cafeteria and auditorium and the last has the administration stuff. Its amazing! There are also like 20 plus armed guards walking around the outside and in the booth. Its so funny. Ive been trying to tell them that I was a guard at the MTC in Provo, but I don't think they'll believe me :) Also, the teachers just leave us alone to do our thing a lot of the time which is super nice. Although, they don't tell us much in anything at all, we kind of have to figure it out. But I LOVE IT!!!
So today for P day we got to go to the temple early (It looks like the Boise one but its SOOOO SMALL!!) then we got to go shopping!! We took a bus, well not really. They're a lot like chrochros in Ghana where you just pile on!!! And drivers are crazy. But is was AMAZING! I actually got to get out of the CCM and be with the people! And the People are SO NICE. I love them. They smile and laugh and talk to us. They are SO friendly. I can't wait to get out and be with them all the time.
So time for some funny stories. I have two teachers. Hermanno CHavez and FLoez. Florez looks Chinese and so it throws you off when he starts speaking Spanish at you! And he's so funny. He loves playing American games like the Hokie Pokie and Once There was a Snowman because he's trying to learn English! Hermano Chaves's favorite saying is 'its a piece of brownie!' and refuses to say 'its a piece of cake'. We laugh everytime. Also, there are these fruits called granadias and we call the brain fruit! We told Hermano Florez that and now, when we talk to fast in English he says 'you made my granadia explode!' SO FUNNY. We laugh and have a good time in class.
Spanish is coming along great! I've only been here for a bit but its INSANE how much I've learned! And its been SO MUCH FUN having Shaw Tanner here! I see him ALL THE TIME! And everyone knows everyone here! I love it.
The food is THE BEST EVER. Lots of chicken and rice (no surprise there) but also a lot of potatoes which is super awesome. Its just so good. Meal times are the BEST!
Well, I think that's about all for this week! My companion and I are teaching tonight for the first time so wish  me luck!!!!
Love all you guys!

Hermana Stephenson

Picture Notes: 1. The girlies in my district! Love them!  2. thats ME! See someone in the back? Yeah that's Shaw! Love him! 3. Sister Updahl and I.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Here is the first message we received from Megan!  It came the morning after she left Boise. We haven't heard from her yet, but know she will have a P-Day this week some time and should have time to write home. We can't wait to hear from her!  We will post her letter and any pictures she sends and soon as we get anything.

HEYYYY!! I made it! Alive!
Things are pretty crazy around here, but its awesome! We got in around 3 AM and had to get up at 7:30 and we were all zombies. But its all good! Its hot and humid here, but not as bad as it was in Ghana. My companion is Sister Updol and she's from Portland! She's awesome. And I have my NAME TAG!! IM OFFICIAL!!! We've started doing a bit of Spanish and its so much fun! I can actually understand a bunch of what they are saying.
The people here are SUPER nice! But is kinda scary sometimes because not everyone speaks English! Obviously, but still. It'll get better!
I haven't seen Shaw yet, but I'm sure I will during lunch.
Alright, I've got to go! Only had 5 min so sorry if I don't make any since! I'll write next week!!!
LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOO MUCH and thanks for the letters!

-newly minted, Hermana Stephenson!