Tuesday, November 11, 2014


   We arrived in Arequipa Tuesday morning. We drove to a stake center, had a short orientation, lunch, got paired with our companions, and then split up to got to our areas. It was crazy. It was super hard to say goodbye to my district, not gonna lie a couple of us cried. Haha. We grew so close in the 6 weeks that we spent together in the CCM.
My companion is Hermana Lucano. She is from Peru and doesn`t speak a word of English. Haha my luck. That was literally my biggest fear. But I know that I`m with her for a reason and that I will learn the language so much faster with her. She is super cute and tiny, she comes up to my shoulders. She`s so sweet and incredibly patient with me which I`m so grateful for.
   We`re in the Paucarpata district of Arequipa, in Casa Blanca. It`s pretty much exactly what I expected, but at the same time I´m shocked every single day by the way that people live here. I`ve definitely cried in lessons because I can`t believe how little these people have. Literally there are no words to describe it, I couldn`t even if I tried. One lady we teach lives in one room (most people do) with her husband and son. They have no furniture other than their bed and no light and no windows. We sit on her bed and teach her in the dark. On Friday she had asked for a blessing so the district leader and his comp came over and we all just sat there with her in the dark and they gave her a blessing. After, to thank us, we all shared a bottle of Inca Kola (the main drink here) and she put some crackers on a plate for us. It was really humbling. Everything I see here and the people I meet humble me so much.
   Our "cuarto" is a tiny little room with a bunk bed and 2 desks. We share a bathroom (tiny room with a toilet, a sink, and a showerhead) with everyone else that lives there. But we still live much more comfortably and have more than the majority of the people here.
   Honestly I am struggling with the language. In the MTC I felt fairly confident, but I am far from where I need to be. My companion doesn`t speak English so that`s a struggle too. Thankfully she speaks pretty slowly and enunciates all her words so that helps a lot. I can usually understand her. But everyone else mumbles and talks pretty fast. And it`s almost impossible for me to understand the people with no teeth, that`s my biggest struggle.
   It´s hard never being able to use english here. I acually miss it a lot which is weird. Mostly because I can`t fully express myself in Spanish. On my second day here Hermana Lucano asked me to offer the prayer in English and I almost cried because I was so grateful. I hadn`t spoken a word of english in 24 hours.
   I have developed a much stronger testimony of prayer on my mission. It is honestly my absolute favorite thing now. My personal prayers are so special and sacred to me and I feel like I could go on forever. On my mission, mostly in the last week, I`ve had to learn to totally rely on my Heavenly Father which has been a huge blessing. Because I`ve been having a hard time I`ve had no choice but to rely on Him and I`ve developed a much stronger relationship with Him.
   This is by far the hardest thing that I`ve ever done in my life. Honestly I`ve found myself feeling really inadequate and wondering what I`m doing here. But I need to remember why I`m here. I didn`t come because I thought it would be easy and the reason that I came doesn`t change just because it`s harder thatn I thought it would be. I know that this is where I need to be right now. These people need the gospel in their lives. They need the light, love, comfort, and joy that comes with the gospel of Christ. I know that even though it won`t be easy, it will be absolutely 100% worth it. I know that I will never ever regret these 18 months spent serving the Lord.
I`m too tall for the shower, which is obnoxious because I`m short. And when my head touches the shower head (which it does unless i`m squatting) I get a pleasant electric shock through my body.
My birthday was great. We had a zone meeting and they had a cake for me and sang to me. The tradition here is that the birthday person takes the first bite out of the cake (like with their mouth no utensils) and the tradition in our zone is that when you bite the cake they push your face into it. So that was fun. Haha they got me good.
I love you all and am so grateful for all of your love and support! It really does mean a lot.
Con Amor,
Hermana Marshall

No comments:

Post a Comment