Monday, March 30, 2009

I am in the Amazon jungle!

Alrighty Daddy,
Well it takes forever to read and open emails on these computers, so I don´t have a lot of time, but thanks for all the information. I´d appreciate the occasional letter now just cause email is so difficult to use here.
And now, as to where ´here´is... welcome to the jungle. I´m in a place called Puerto Maldanado, a little town next to the river Madre de Dios. Middle of the Amazon Jungle for the central mission. Its ridiculously hot and humid, and the bugs here are bigger, stronger, and more of them than I´ve ever seen in my life before. 100 percent deet does nothing to hinder their attacks, but really its not that bad, I´m getting used to it. One thing that's really different here is that tons and tons of people have motorcycles. Its weird. And they aren´t really motorcycles, they´re more like the trials bikes that we had. Roughly, I would guess that there are 20 or 25 bikes to every one car. And along with the horrible quality of the bikes, they also fit up to 5 people on each one. That's not normal here, but 3 is a very common number to have on a single bike. Its definitely different out here.
I´ve already had my first three baptisms while you were wondering where I was. It was amazing, and at the same time, nerve racking to baptize in Spanish. I was especially nervous because each had 4 names so I was sure that I would forget and have to do the baptism three or four times, but it went fine and I didn´t mess up at all. I didn´t have a lot of time to get to know them, but they all seem to like me a lot, even though i can hardly speak to them or understand them. It really frustrating not to be able to understand or speak. I´m going to have to learn patience with myself. But at least I can kinda talk with my comp, and i can read Spanish alright, so that is good.
And about my companion, his name is Elder Guevara, and he´s from a town up farther north in Peru, and he knows, as far as I can tell, no English. That is fine with me though, I think it will help me learn Spanish quicker. However, he knows the doctrine well enough to teach without me being able to help. He´s had a year in the mission, so I´m trying to learn as much as I can from him. Sorry I didn´t have more time, love you all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2 weeks March 2009

Wow, I was wondering when I'd be getting the email telling me that Becca was going to get married. Didn't think it would be quite this soon though. Anway’s, I forgot to tell you guys this last week, but during the tracting last Saturday I met a guy who knew Calder. Weird right? His name was Richard Royal and he served with Calder in Teguc. We just saw him walking down the street and he waved us over, talked for a little bit, and I asked where he served his mission, he said Tegucigalpa and I was like... what? He looked at my name tag and laughed a little bit. I definitely didn't expect to see anyone that knew someone in my family.
We only talked for a little bit because we had some other places to go teach, but it was just one of those weird little experiences. And this Saturday we went to one of the richer parts of Lima, called Mira Flores to go teach less active members. Its was great because that’s what we'd been doing for the past two times and I still hadn't gotten into a house to actually teach the member. In the other area we just knocked on the doors, and either someone would answer and say they didn't have time and shut it right away, or they wouldn't answer the door at all. And, supposedly, because this area was richer there was a smaller chance to get into the house or even talk with the members at all. I figured my 0 in 12 house run would continue to 0 in 18, but when we started knocking on doors people actually answered.
The first house, or apartment, we had to walk down a dark little tunnel and climb up a pretty narrow staircase up to a place where there was Enimem playing in the background. We walked past that music, and past a house that was blaring Coldplay. Knocked on the door, waited for roughly 4 full minutes, and then a guy came out of the home that was playing Coldplay and came to talk to us. Sure enough, he was the guy we were looking for, or at least part of the family. His mom and little brother were gone, but we still gave a pretty good lesson, talked with him about his work, and had some Chicha Morada (purple corn juice), which is starting to grow on me. And after that we had 3 other homes open their doors to us, the last of which was in a high rise condo building overlooking part of the business district. There we taught a mom and her son, and three friends of the mom who were non members. They were really friendly toward me, probably because I'm white, and liked that I was trying to learn their language and wanted to help me whenever they could. That fact I particularly enjoyed because I could tell that they were actually listening to what I was saying.
Anyways, I'll tell you a little about my new companion, his name is Elder Huesa, he's from Lima, and he speaks so much more clearly than my other companion. It’s really a relief that I can almost understand everything he says. I feel like we teach really well together, we're bonding pretty well, and I'm trying to teach him a little bit of English, mostly because he really likes songs and hymns in English. He's trying to help me with my vocab in Spanish, which is also great for me. He's great and he'll get better as he learns from PME. Love you both.
-Elder Coulson Huntington

Wow, that’s going to be so awesome to be related to Jesse (MacKay-Becca’s new brother in law - ed), and I’m sure that Cameron will be excited. And as for being Ward Missionaries (Dad’s new calling – ed), that’s going to be amazing. All I know here is that all the families we actually get in to talk with are so helpful and loving. I’m excited to get my first real field companion, and that will be in just about 7 days now. I’m not sure if you should expect an email next Wednesday because I’ll be leaving the CCM on Tuesday and I really just don’t know what’s going to be happening. At the same time, you can probably expect pictures next time I email you, awesome, I know. So I think that that will be pretty awesome. Oh, and I was able to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead in Spanish, and confirmations in Spanish too, its was pretty awesome, but scary at the same time. Sorry I didn’t have much time today, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes
Love you lots, and good luck with the new callings.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

4 March 09

Well my first companion is gone now, he left this morning to go to Arequipa. It was a kind of sad good bye because we (the North Americans in our room) were finally getting close to all of the Latinos in our room. Anyways, we´ll all be getting new companions tonight, along with five new North Americans, two of them Sisters. I have exactly three more weeks before I´m out of the CCM (Centro de CapacitaciĆ³n Misional). Its kind of a weird time right now because all of the districts just got switched, we´re getting new companions because all of the Latinos left, getting new teachers, and more North Americans. At least this means that I´m out of being district leader. At least I think so considering I´m not even in the same district anymore.
Thanks for letting me know about Dallin, that's so awesome with him being in Ukraine already. I hope he´s ready for the language.
My Spanish is coming along, but its pretty tough. I can give a pretty basic first and second lesson, and i´m starting to understand a little bit more of what people are saying during the conversations, but it´s still difficult. I´m not too worried because I don´t really expect to know the language for a few months into the mission, but i´m glad i´m here learning instead of the Provo MTC because we learn a lot faster here. As to the food problem, I don´t think anything of it because its not a bad reaction, its just my body getting used to the food here. Pollo y arroz cada dia aquĆ­ en el CCM. Just how it is. But today was President Groberg´s present to us. He bought us Pizza Hut, which was about the best thing ever, and then after that we went on a tour of Lima. We went to an Olive Garden (not the restaurant) to see one of the oldest gardens still preserved. It was somewhere around 450 years old and it was pretty cool to see an olive press and things like that. Also very cool was having a little Peruvian kid shine my shoes (the Born´s). We went to the beach, shopping, downtown into the business district, and through a few parks too. Don´t worry, I got quite a few pictures to send you once I can, just wait for about 3 more weeks.
Also, while we were shopping, I bought a shirt that has the Nazca calender, which is pretty awesome, but I also committed the girl who sold me the shirt to go to church. Oh, and a bird pooped on me, which wasn´t so awesome... I´ve come to the conclusion that birds feel too safe here. When we walk through the middle of them they just walk out of the way of our feet instead of flying away. Honestly, they treat pigeons way too well, they don´t fear us at all.
These past three weeks have gone by ridiculously fast. The three weeks in the Provo MTC felt like roughly three months, and the past three weeks here have felt like three days. Its really just messing with my sense of time. I´ll probably be leaving on the 24th out of the MTC, which is a weird thought, but after having a little bit of proselyting experience I feel a lot more ready. And President Groberg gave a little update that my mission is going to have a March that will set records for the mission, so one more thing to be excited about. Thank you dad, I appreciated that sports update, however here only soccer is important. I love you both and give Calder & Ivy, Becca, Mayce & Ethan my love when you see them. Elder Huntington