|Tanner and Elder Chapman|
|The new missionaries with President and Sister Rios|
|Tanner with his new companion, Elder Guerrero|
|Elder Chapman and Tanner at the Trujillo Temple|
|Tanner talking to us on Christmas Day|
|This looked so Christmasy at the Lima Temple today|
Hello to all my dear family and friends!
I have succesfully completed another week at the CCM! It kind of just feels like one really really really long day since I last emailed. We go to bed, then wake up 10 minutes later to get ready and go back to the cafeteria for runny eggs. At least it feels like that;) In reality though, I absolutely love the CCM. Love it!! I would so much rather spend this Christmas here than in the field, so I´m pumped that I get to do that. Elder Chapman and I were assigned to be the Zone Leaders over all the North American missionaries this past Sunday, so that´s been cool so far! We don´t have too many responsobitlites, it´s a lot different from being a zone leader out in the field I´m sure. But it´s still good to be in a position to serve! We had a really cool experience last Saturday with proselyting, "proseletismo" en Español. We all hopped on a bus and drove to this chapel in the Lima South Mission, about an hour or so away. I was assigned a missionary, Elder Sejas, and a member, some old guy, and we were off to visit menos activos! Less actives! It was actually really hard. My missionary I was with was super shy, so I would try to ask him a question in Spanish and he would respond and ask the same question back, then I would answer in my limited Spanish and it was back to silence. I was trying to talk to people but everyone talks so fast that I had pretty much no idea what was happening. I could at least say buenos tardes!;) We weren´t able to teach any lessons, none of the people we were visiting would let us come in, so that was kind of a bummer. Most of the other people in my district shared like three lessons though and they said it was cool! Or, the Latino missionary and member shared the lesson and then they bore their testimony haha. There were lots of dogs in the streets, both dead and alive. I hope my trainer is a little more talkative and helpful than Elder Sejas, but if not all is well! I know whoever it is is who I´m supposed to be trained by so I´ll just trust Heavenly Father. In our study of Spanish this week, one of the things we´ve been learning about is Por y Para. Literally the hardest thing in the world. Por is for reason, Para is for purpose. Understand?? Um no actually, I don´t understand! Haha we are actually getting a little better at it though. Practice practice practice! Last week I said I really miss music. We do get a little music each week! Our morning teacher, Hermana Cyndi Altamirano, will play a video on youtube titled "Instrumental (Mormon)". So if you´re curios, that´s been my music for the past month haha! I can´t remember if I´ve said this already, but the ice cream here is so good. SO GOOD!! I don´t know why, but we speculate it´s because they use real sugar? It´s delicious though, we get to have ice cream at every lunch which is fantastic. The only thing better than that is the churros, but we´ve only had them twice since we´ve been here. They´re more of this pastry thing with cream in the middle, MAN! they´re good. The worst thing is the showers. You turn the hot knob 1/100 of a degree and it goes from colder than lukewarm to burning flesh. Literally, there are times when I don´t think I moved it until I feel the water rise in temperature 15 degrees. It´s weird. But I can´t complain about hot showers! They may be the last ones I have for a few years! Haha anyway, love you all and miss you tons! Have a merry christmas season! Chow! (it´s weird, they say chow all the time to say goodbye here in Peru haha)
Love, Elder Hart
This is Elder Benitez from Lima. He left to Piura on Tuesday. He actaully spoke really good english and is headed to BYU after his mission.
Family and friends!!
This has been an uneventful and crazy week combined somehow. The Christmas spirit is here in Lima and it feels like the middle of summer! We streamed the First Presidency Christmas devotional on Sunday night which was sweet. Then we had a CCM Christmas devotional that Monday. One of the 70 came, but I don´t remember his name!! He spoke Spanish and is in the presidency of the group over the northwest part of South America. It was so good! It was kind of crazy actually, he spoke mainly to the Latinos about learning English, telling them that they need to learn English and read the scriptures in English because even though the Spanish ones are great, it´s still one more translation. He shared the example of D&C 8:2-3, and even though it´s almost exactly the same, Spanish says “talk” and English says “tell” and that makes kind of a big difference. I´d never thought about that before! I was in the CCM choir and it was fun, we sang silent night and it was really good until the new latinos wanted to join and then it dropped a level or two. The latinos are mostly tone deaf;) It was still fun though. Then they had a big turning on the lights ceremony and had a big dinner outside in the CCM courtyard area. It was funny, it was like 75% dessert and 25% real food, but they called it dinner anyway! Lunch is the most important meal here so that probably had something to do with it. There were a bunch of mission presidents and their families here from surrounding missions and that was fun to see. P-Days are so great! We get to go to the Lima Temple every week and shop at some stores and email and laundry and then just do nothing for three hours. They are literally the only three hours of the week that aren´t scheduled for us to be doing something. It kind of just feels like one long day, like get in bed for five minutes, then get back up and dressed and go down to breakfast again. But I love it here! It´s kind of weird actually, I like it way more than I thought I would. Maybe the field will be different, it probably will be actually, but for now I´m just going to enjoy this! Man there´s actually not a ton to write about. The language is coming to me! I listened to the temple session and ccm devotional both in Spanish and understood a lot of it! Conversation with people is so much harder though, they slur their words a lot more and speak faster. But I know it will all come to me! I miss Christmas music so much. That´s one dumb rule they have here, no music at all. I want to listen to the tabernacle choir, the first noel, so bad!! Maybe once I get out into the field, even though it will be January by then haha. I honestly don´t have much else to say except for thank you all for your prayers! I can feel them helping me and know that this wouldn´t be easy or possible if not for Heavenly Father and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love you all and hope that all is going well back home!
And come on seniors! Only 13,000 dollars raised up to this point?! WEAK!! ;)
|Nativity at the Lima Temple|
|My new scripture cases|
|My district with our new soccer jerseys|
| Our Christmas setup. Elder Lish´s mom sent him with a tree!! That|
Christus at the top is also his, it´s pretty sweet.
Hola family and friends!!!
This week has been great, my first real full week as a missionary! Kind of haha…but really it’s been sweet! I am seeing miracles every single day with trying to learn this stupid language! I realized a few days ago that if Heavenly Father wanted me to be fluent tomorrow, I am living worthily and righteously enough that I’m making myself available for that blessing if it was part of his will. Obviously it’s not, but I take comfort in the fact that because I know I am worthy and righteous and asking, if it is his will he will bless me! And I have definitely seen those blessings, slowly but surely. So Thanksgiving in the MTC is…..pretty unspectacular haha. That was the day we had “migraciones” so we were gone from about 12:30-5:30. We watched most of the Elder Oaks Thanksgiving Devotional being streamed from the MTC, but we had to leave just as Elder Oaks started to speak. It was a bummer! Haha it was funny though, he dropped one line that had all the missionaries ooing and ahing. He read some long quote by George Washington about loving your country enough to make right decisions and ask God to bless it because he´s the one who gave it to you. Then he said “I wish our current…..national leaders…..would think the same way.” Hahaha it was pretty funny. But yeah we were bummed that we missed his talk! And then we missed the Turkey Bowl that all the American Elders and Hermanas had too because we were still gone. So that was dumb too! It’s all good though, you don’t need turkey and football to be thankful for stuff I guess. I wasn’t hardly homesick at all which was good! But I still missed everyone a ton. There’s a difference, I’ve learned that. Sorry this email is so crazy and helter skelter. I take notes every night about stuff I want to tell you guys about when I write in my journal, so everything kinda jumps around. We’ve started playing Ultimate Football every day for physical activity. That is my favorite part of the day by far! It’s so fun, just good old ultimate Frisbee with a football to run around and forget about Spanish for an hour. We watched 17 Miracles and Ephraim’s Rescue these past two Sunday’s. Every Sunday is a video of an apostle devotional from a few months ago and then a church movie. Those movies are so good! And I saw David Maynard in the Provo MTC choir from a Jeffrey R. Holland devotional in May, so that was fun. So let me tell you all about Hermano Gavancho, one of my teachers. Man that guy is so cool. I just love him to death. He wears the exact same outfit every day because I think it’s all he has. He has a wife and she’s pregnant so he’s about to be a dad. He is so fun and humble and loving, I love having class with him as our teacher! He told us a few nights ago that we’re the best district he’s had since he started working here 9 months ago and that we have a chance to be the best district ever in the CCM. But we have to work harder! We have to speak more Spanish! He’s so cool, haha a few of the Hermanas were crying when he was giving us that pep-talkish thing and I was ready to go run through a wall or something, I was so pumped. So needless to say we decided amongst ourselves to have an English fast the next day. English fasts are the worst, you can probably guess what they are. No English. All day. But we wanted to show him and Heavenly Father that we are willing to give all we have to learn this language! All the 6 week North Americans and Latin Americans left this past week, and we got new ones today. We’ll have to see if we have anything in common with any of them! There are only three new elders and one new Hermana, so no one knows how that’s going to work with her companion. Our district is randomly kind of good at singing. We have one sister, Hermana Rushton, who can sing Alto, and I can sing Tenor on a lot of songs, and the others all have decent voices, so it sounds good when we all are clicking. We sang “Cantan Santos Angeles” (Angels we have Heard on High) in sacrament meeting last week for a musical number and got quite a few compliments on it so that was cool! So there are so many birds chirping here. It’s really cool actually, it sounds like a Disney movie soundtrack or something. It doesn’t even sound really, all the chirps are so loud and perfect. So that’s random and neat haha. I’ll close with a quote from my beloved companion, Elder Chapman. It’s not really him, but he’s the one who read it to me. Something like “Don’t give up what you want most for what you want in the moment.” Don’t do it!!!!! Great advice, especially for missionaries. Really for anyone I guess. Also, they put up all the Christmas lights here and turned them on last night for the first time. It’s not temple square, but it’s not bad!! Christmas could be harder than thanksgiving, just because Thanksgiving isn’t even a real holiday here and they go all out for Christmas. But on the other hand, I haven’t felt homesick yet so why start now right?? I love you all so much! I don’t even know who’s reading this, but if you are, I love you lots and lots and lots.
|The view as you walk into my room! Plus Elder Lish being a weirdy....|
|My living quarters. This is my closet, the other one is my bed!|
|My district outside of the Lima Temple!|
Holy cow I´m writing my first letter as a missionary!! Wow this has been such an insane week, I´ve got so much written down that I want to mention here so everything is going to be way scattered, haha sorry about that. So we made it here safely last Wednesday morning at 3:00 in the morning! We didn´t get to bed that night until 4:00 and they made us wake up at 7:00. Ugh. That first day was the longest day of my life, but not in a homesick way. I haven´t been homesick this whole time! Don´t get me wrong here, I miss everyone so so so so much, but I´m just loving my time here so far! This week has felt like a month. I did get misty eyes looking at my pictures one night....but that´s all for the crying so far haha! Okay here´s where this email is going to get really random, sorry for all the bouncing around. It smells really weird at the CCM. Like a high school locker room mixed with weird laundry detergent. That´s the worst part though so there could be worst things. The spanish is coming slowley but surely, the gift of tongues is so real! We had this 20-1 missionary to investigator type class discussion on the first day, the kind we used to do in mission prep. I felt so good about that, I´m just ready to start the teaching part right now! The Spanish, not so much. But like I said, it´s coming! The easiest is reading it, then understanding the teachers, then speaking it, then understanding the natives and everyone else. We´ve been eating every meal with the Latino elders and trying to talk to them so that helps a little. We have a fake investigator named Carlos who´s really our teacher, but we go to his house every night and teach him a lesson in Spanish and he acts like an investigator. Man that´s hard! He just lobs softball questions out there, the perfect questions for missionaries to answer, but we don´t know enough Spanish to explain how we would like to! I´m getting along well with my companion, Elder Chapman. He really has a great knowledge and love for the gospel, but man his Spanish is pretty bad. He works unbelievably hard on it though and he´s braver than me when it comes to talking to the natives when we go out in public! Haha his Spanish accent is so horrible though. I said yall one time this week without even thinking about it, so I´m also becoming fluent in South Carolinian without even knowing it. What´s up with the start of World War 3?? There were some rumors flying around the CCM a few nights ago, but that´s died down and now no one´s talking about it anymore. But that´s still pretty crazy if it´s true!! We´ve played basketball and ultimate frisbee football every day for exercise so that´s been sweet. The basketball courts are horrible, they´re really slippery and the hoops are nine feet, but it´s better than nothing! We´ve got some pretty cute Hermanas in our district, haha so it was hard the first few days to remember that I´m a missionary.;) I heard about all the football scores from Elder Sheffield, one of the counselors in the branch presidency here. Go Mustangs baby!!!! Wow that´s sweet, I wish I could´ve been there to see it! I also heard that BYU won and Utah lost...bummer;) There´s an elder here that could be Zac Efron. His name is Andrew Maddocks, look him up if you can. It´s insane. But he wants to be a hair stylist so that´s weird. Man I miss everyone so much and hope you are all doing okay back home! Love you!!!!!!
|Elder Gudoy (the Lima area director for S & I) came to meet me and bring me some chocolate!|
|The elders in my district outside of the Lima Temple|
|The view from a balcony here!|