Coulson left for Peru on Wednesday, February 11 and we have been anxiously awaiting the first news from the Peru Mission Training Center. We hope you enjoy:
Ya, I arrived fine. The trip down wasn´t bad, we talked to some people on the plane, learned a little bit of Peruvian culture, learned that Phelps got all his metals stripped, its was fun, but after that its just been hectic. I was doing so good writing in my journal everyday until got here. I practically have no time at all for anything on my own. In Provo we had MDT where we could choose what to do, but nothing like that here, and I don´t understand what people say about latinos not working hard. My companion just does not stop, and neither do the other Latinos in the room. Its horrible because i need breaks occasionally. Oh, and they almost never leave your side except for class. Even in the bathroom. We had to convince them that the mission manual says they don´t have to come with us to the bathroom.
Ya, my Spanish is getting a lot better way more quickly than it was at the MTC, but more importantly, I´m starting to understand them more. I can´t usually say what i want, but i can work my way around it, its the understanding part that gets me. And luckily my companion (Elder Flores) speaks the fastest out of all of them and slurs his words together. Its just grand trying to learn anything from him. But the other Latinos in the room (Elder Orbe and Elder Huaman) speak fairly clearly at least, and we have to try and teach them a little bit of English too, which is interesting cause they can´t make the sounds we make in English. They are fun to hang out with and joke around with, but we honestly don´t see them all that much because we have different classes, and they are going to leave the CCM after three weeks and we´ll get new companions, and new north Americans. Oh, and our group are the only north Americans here right now because they didn´t get any in the last batch of missionaries.
Anyways, about the CCM (Peruvian MTC), its really nice here, the rooms are smaller, but not by much. Except instead of having four people to a room its 6, so its quite a bit more crowded in the rooms. The showers are bigger and as far as i can tell, nicer too. There aren´t many missionaries here though, i would guess somewhere around 80, so you basically get to know everyone fairly well. There are only three buildings (the administration, the dorm, and the cafeteria). The dorm building quadruples as the church, the cleaning room, the dorms, and the class rooms. The soccer field is really nice, turf and full goals. The basketball courts are horrible, international type and I think the rim is only at 9 and a half feet. The teachers are great, but sadly i don´t understand most of what they say, so maybe its just me thinking that they´re great and not knowing the difference. There is Hermano Lopez, Hermano Reigna, and Hermana Narciso. Hermano Lopez taught Justin Hales, so that was kind of cool to be able to talk about for a little bit, and he speaks quite a bit of English, so he gives us a break from Spanish every once and a while. The food here is great, much better than the food at the MTC, and the vegetables are actually edible. Sadly its still hurting my stomach, but I´ll get used to the food eventually. Uncle Kevin was right that its basically bread and rice for nearly every meal, but I don´t mind cause its good food.
As to the weather, its basically exactly like San Diego in the summer time, maybe a little hotter. Hot and sunny, and sometimes hot and cloudy. The good part is that we don´t have to wear our coats everwhere like we did in Provo.
Oh, and President Groberg (the brother of the Elder Groberg that inspire the movie The Otherside of Heaven ) wanted us to tell everyone not to send packages cause they cost a ridiculous amount to get out of customs... if they get to customs. Love to all, Elder Huntington