Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week Six: Pizza in Lima

OKAY!! So sorry for the late email it has been a heck of a day.   

So we started out getting to go on a tour of Lima, since everyone was gone but us few American districts, but that had to be cut short because of Dallin H Oaks coming.  That was grand.  We got to see the beach and go to this main square in Lima.  It was nice to see that Lima wasn´t just one big ghetto.  I bought a jacket and some pizza.  Soooo nice to eat pizza instead of rice.  But then I felt greasy afterwards.  So when we got back to the CCM I ate some rice anyway.  

Felt wrong without it.  

So my Latino compañero is gone but I´m getting a new one either tonight or tomorrow.  He is from Colombia.  And probably does´t speak any English which is good for me.  I am actually really lucky to be getting a Latino because there are 55 new American elders coming and thus not everyone will be getting one.  I was so happy.  And they changed up the districts too.  I am not sorry to say that I believe I am in the slower group, thus the Latino compañero.  But I need as much help as I can get and so I will progress.  I feel somewhat better of my Español though, it IS improving.  

We actually went proselyting last Saturday and it was crazy.  We walked on the streets and knocked on doors, my Latino compañero and I.  We were so weak at the beginning, the person would say "we´re busy" and we would just say that´s okay. and walk off.  Elder Vindas got a little frustrated.  So I decided change game plan.  We knocked on this other door, the man said he was busy, and so I said we want to talk about Jesus Christ with you.  He didn´t close the door.  THEN Elder Vindas took over with the Spanish.  The man heard that we didn´t have belly buttons.  We told him we did and gave him a pamphlet.  So we continued with more success, at least talking to people (I don´t know if they´ll do anything with the pamphlets) one old man opened his door and just said OTRO VEZ?! And informed us he is catholic till he dies.  

These people love Jesucristo and have a good faith in him as far as we can see.  

So yeah I had to give my first Spanish....I crapped my pants.   Not literally ya know.  But yeah.  So we got into this lady´s house, tried teaching her of the Book of Mormon but I don´t know if she understood.  All she kept saying was mmmhmmm, claro, si.... and then this man named Felix walked in.  Hello Felix! Then they all talked really fast Spanish and then he moved his shirt and there was this huge purple growth tumor thingy I don´t know on his neck.  OHOOHHOHOHOHHOHHHH.... 

So I heard it bothered him, then some more fast Español then I heard sacerdocio, and then we were up.  Elder Vindas informed me he was going to use the oil, and we whipped out the White Handbook.  So I didn´t know what the heck to do!! I couldn´t even pronounce his stinkin name.  Felix mumble Verde.  So I got my hands on his head and just blessed him, in the best Spanish I could, with feelings of peace and comfort and the knowledge that God loves him.  The end.  But not so smoothly.  I have no idea if it will do any good, which is terrible cuz I know blessings depend on faith, but I seriously don´t know if I had any effect on him.  It just didn´t feel right, but that might have been first time nerves.  I didn´t like it but I don´t know. Maybe it´s like the temple.  Acquired taste.  Or I´m scared of responsibility.  I hate that.  

Suck it up princess.  

ANYWHO!!! Some lady yelled across the street in English, "WHAT´S YO NAME?! WHAT´S YO NAME?!" I told her Elder Jackson, OTRO DIA!! OTRO DIA!!! So we wrote down her address anyway.  No clue what the heck happened there.   And talked to some guy about the Word of Wisdom.  That was interesting.  But I don´t like how the people look at me, as if expecting something, until they realize I can´t express all my thoughts, then ignore me.  haha but someday!! I will get there.  but it is frustrating at the momement.  

SO!! We have a new president, for a limited time, and he is changing the carefree atmosphere that was here when we got here.  No shaking hands, perfect bedrooms, always have a Book of Mormon in your hand, and such.  Which is good I guess.  But it´s different!  Elder Oaks gave a really cool talk, it was an involved talk about recieving revelation.  He has a great testimony, and you know he is called of God.  It was cool how he uses the Spirit.  And revelation is really cool.. It´s nice to see the Apostles have personalities when they´re not in General Conference.  He moves fast too.  It was good.  

But hey, everything is going grand and dandy!! Living life! I am growing and doing good.  I really enjoy the small things that I can see and try to stay focused.  

Love you all, adios.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week Five: The Tall White Man in the White Shirt


I just got back from going to temple and shopping a little bit in Lima.  Great stuff.  The temple in Spanish is interesting but, hey, it´s still the same ol' thing. 

SO!! What the sam diddly do da happened this week in the grand ol' CCM? I believe that they only send those missionaries who need to be humbled and a kick in the rear to foreign missions.  SO every service day in Provo I got stuck cleaning the bathrooms.  Every week.  Then I get here and we do service again and what does Elder Jackson get?? Toilets.  GAH! So I have to go through all the bathrooms scrubbing these toilets and it was fine.  Until the one.  This toilet looked like the poor soul climbed on top of it and had a grenade shoved up his butt.  There was stuff on the walls, the floor, and all over the toilet.  Like a crater.  My word, the food here had explosive effect on that poor Elder´s gut.  But I guess when your bowels are filled with joy there isn´t any room for the rest of the crap.  

That event has been called the Attack on Peru. 

Anyway!! So yeah, we got to go visit less active members this last Saturday as part of our proselyting.  Whew we were in a rough part of Lima.  I can´t believe I would freak out just in San Francisco.  Lots of stray dogs and nasty stuff in the street.  And lot of people staring at the tall white man walking by with the neon white shirt.  But it was good!!

I like proselyting much more.  So yeah back to the being slapped with humility, I didn´t understand most of what the members said.  And it didn´t help I was in cultural shock.  But I would throw my two cents in of broken Spanish and testify that church blesses us.  I don´t even know if that´s what Elder Vindas was talking about but I did it!! So most of them weren´t home.  And the last ones we visited decided they were Catholic.  I guess the missionaries only baptized the two daughters without the mother´s permission.  I thought something was wrong when they were wearing big crosses.  And they gave us some warm...honey...or camel urine.... drink.  I liked it but the other two weren´t too fond.  Felt good!

So from there we got in these little... well they´re like buses but they´re pretty much a gutted out van filled with 16 people.  They told me they could fit 32.  I didn´t want to find out.  But yeah I was sitting in there trying not to fall into this lady´s lap, trying to be friendly.  But they were all gargoyles so that´s no fun. 

SO we had an hour and a half left.  So we took it to the streets!! With pamphlets!! So we looked ways to help people with service.  I might not be able to talk to them but I can lift something! So we carried propane tanks.  And then we talked to an older gentleman and gave him the pamphlet about the restoration.  We were using my ability to stick out as a way to talk to people.  I would just say "Hola!" across the street or to people near us and if they were friendly back we would try to talk to them.  Turns out only two people were friendly.  So they got pamphlets. 

One old guy was walking down the sidewalk and suddenly raised his fist up in the air.  GO HOME!! He yelled.  But I didn´t understand what the heck he said with a bad Spanish accent so I just smiled.  But Elder Vindas understood.  Eh, forget you too pal!! You go home and rethink your life! 

Oh, so I guess Dallin H. Oaks is coming to the CCM.  Next Wednesday.  He was the one at Stake Conference right? I want to thank him for that.  But we´ll see if I even talk to him.  We haven´t had a MTC president my whole time here because it turned out he had cancer and had to fly out to the US for surgery.  But he´s doing fine.  But I don´t think he´ll come back.  He was going to be done in 5 months anyway I believe. 

So, yes, I do get Dear Elder letters here! They just take a week.  I got your letter on the 12 mom.  You sent it on the 5th.   

So my mission has already taught me a lot.  I realized how mediocre I really am.  When you take away English and my normal surroundings you find out just how naked and vulnerable I really am.  Then I looked back on my life so far and realized just how I´ve been average with everything.  Always average, never great.  Okay grades, okay at sports, okay at church, okay and doing stuff at home.  And for once in my life I want to be actually great at something.  I want to be a great missionary.  And I hit a wall.  

I found out, it´s not gonna be easy.  Mediocre doesn´t cut it. I´m gonna have to work harder than I ever have, than I have ever wanted to, so I can become what I want to become.  This mission has broken me down, caused me to be frustrated and hopeless, only to begin building me up again.  I know I can do it, I know that I will do it.  I have the materials and means of doing it.  One thing I have finally realized is faith.  This mission isn´t so hard when you look at the trials Paul must have been facing when teaching the gospel, when Moses stood at the red sea with armies hunting him, when Samuel stood on a wall with arrows, when Christ was going into the Garden.  Heaven forbid me, claiming to be one of Christ´s disciples, face some opposition, to have to push myself.  It´s about dang time I realized it and became a man!! TIME TO ROCK AND ROLL!!! 

Adios, I love you all.  I love your support.  I love chicken pot pie and that´s just not gonna change.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week Four: Esta Bien


Crap sakes I don´t know what´s going on right now.

I just got back from walking the streets of Lima.  We got lost a couple of times.  It was awesome!!! It helps me know that I am going to be an actual missionary someday.  Not just classes after classes.  It´s fantastic!! 

We went to the Wal-Mart of Peru, called Torttus (or something) and I got some bleach because all of my shirts have little spots of sauce.  Lots of saucy things here.  And I bought a llama tie.  I love llama ties.  It was catorce soles so esta bein.

Okay sorry let me organize my thoughts.   

So that is a bunch of crap!! An electrical problem after you bought all the fuel pump?? Lo siento that´s no bueno.  Pero maybe we can sell it for more now? Because I want one of these scooters with big like.... shopping carts in the front.  They have those all over here and it is awesome!! I don´t know if they are street legal but I like it. 

So anyway!! Don´t send packages here.  None.  It´s hard and quite the hassal to get them.  So that´ll work. 

Channing sounds like she is having a lovely tea party of a time and that´s good.  

So Peru CCM. Me gusta.  Every P-Day we get to go outside to the temple, (which is closed at the moment), shopping and to other little stores.  Every Saturday we will go proselyting.  Crazy!! In three weeks, when the new wave of missionaries come, I get to tour Lima.  On a bus.  Oh the buses here die every time they hit a speed bump.  It´s great. 

So, to describe Peru I would say....gray.  Day to day it´s different shades of gray.  Light gray, dark gris, medium gray.  And some days, when we´re suerte, we get sun.  It blinds us.  Hisss.  But I love it.  Lot of pollution it seems like.  But the temperature is nice and moderate, sometimes cold, because it´s their winter.  But I´m glad because I would be dying in heat otherwise.  So it´s good!! They have cool birds that run around here.  Funny to look at.  

So mi compañero es Elder Vindas of Costa Rica.  He´s cool.  He´s trying to learn English while I learn Español so it´s a good trade off.  He´s funny.  And he helps me out alot.  I like my North American, not American, distrito here too.  But I´m in a tripanionship with two other elders in class.  Elder Patterson and Elder Davidson. Elder Anderson is the leader.  Elder Peterson and Elder Knudson are in there too.  So the Latinos think all you need to be American is have a 'son' at the end of your name.  Oooh the Latinos are funny.  They know some ingles.  Like "What´s up man!" Then I respond, "Nothing much what´s up with you?....." Then they say again, "What´s up man?!"     It´s funny.  They speak really fast though.  So it´s helped me understand Spanish a lot better.  Not that fake stuff in Provo.  Oh and I really have a hard time understanding Argentina elders.  Lot of ja instead of ya.  Ya know? yeah.     

So soccer here is the real deal.  Gym time it goes down!! I´ve learned a lot of Spanish out there when I understand them.  VENGA VENGA!! OTRO EQUIPO!! AQUI!! CENTRO!! MEDIO!! PASAME!! But it´s hilarious to be out there.  They run circles around us gringos.  But let me say this much!!! I was playing defense, because that´s all i´m good at, getting in the way.  And the ball came flying towards me at half field.  So I just kicked it.  Slow motion.....inspirational music.....everyone goes, it goes, it goes.... flies just out of the reach of the 4 foot 11 goalie´s reach.  GOAL GOAL GOAL!!! The first gringo score!! They ran up to me and started yelling at me and hugging me.  I didn´t understand a word of it....

And they also always ask if I´m related to Michael Jackson.  They love him here.  Crazy!! I told them no, or I haven´t seen any money from being related.  So they told me we´re all brothers and sisters in God´s eyes.  So they figure yeah! Michael Jackson is my brother.  OUW!! 

Some guys here remind me of a lizard and large gerbil.  One is always falling asleep.  Oi.  Americanos.  But yeah all is going good!! 

I get frustrated when I don´t understand sometimes but I know it´s okay.  I have 5 more weeks here.  It´s almost the 1 month anniversary!!! It can only get 23 times better than I am now.  WOOO!!! It´s exciting and I´m learning Spanish better here.  But my time is up.  Better go. 

I had another story but that calls for another time!! When I´m not about to eat.... bleh. 


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Arrival in Peru

Hello!! I´m alive.  It´s madness. I´m in Peru.  

So I got in Peru at 2 this morning. We drove through the city and it was pretty cool but pretty crazy too.  Lots of graffitti everywhere and people running the streets. You know it´s a party!! Man I am dead tired.  Just woke up from a nap though so maybe I am just groggy.  So this MTC is a lot more chill than ol Provo.  But also different.  We got here and there was a twenty foot fence and it had spikes on the tops of them. I have to lock everything, including my closet.

My new companion is from Costa Rica. ¡ Man it´s hard to spell with this new keyboard! ¡Aye yí yí! señulando!! gramattica!! él! ¿que pasa? Wow.  So si! Es small y white and muy Español.  I am the only one not fluent in Spanish en mi room.  The other American is from Southern California and his parents spoke Spanish.  Entonces es bueno pero a litte dificil.  And all these missionaries in this small crowded room like reading my email. READ IT!!! Now you{re embarrassed.  bueno.  

So, I like the food here.  Had some sort of green noodles and some kind of strange pizza and some kind of rasberry foamy dessert thing.  No se, pero it was good! So far so good.  But all the other missionaries here last night loved telling us how we¨ll get either constipated or have diarreah.  So here´s to a bright future!

The showers here are amazing actually.  Better than those crap MTC ones!! And the buildings are newer so that{s bueno.  But I don´t have any class today so I can¨t tell you how that goes.  So we go proselyting around the town.  that´ll be fun. 

I got some money exchanged into soles so I can go la tierra or super mercado.  I guess it´s like Wal-Mart? Oh, so DO NOT SEND PACKAGES HERE!! muy expensive.  So don´t do it.  Nunca.   I don´t even know my mailing address here so.... don¨t know what the heck to do about that.  maybe people can just email me and i will write them a letter back.  no se.  or I can just go without contact.  that works fine too.  yippee. 

OH. So, yeah they shaved all of our heads this morning.  Like sheep or an army or jail.  Mostly jail with these huge walls around us.  sheesh.  So yeah that¨s how it goes!  I am bald, confused, but more or less happy in Peru.  It´s winter here.  So it´s colder than Utah was.  And the sun just barely came out during lunch.  It was just all gray.  All over.  And I'm bald.  But I will try to send some pictures on this computer on my P-day.  Show you whats up.  Show you this game called saposita zausomethinoranother that I played with some elders from Peru and Costa rica.  Esta bien.  And funny.  But we got our messages across.  

So just let ya know it´s a laid back mad house here, I´m alive, I am bald, and I feel like the Bat Mobile flames are about to come out of my butt.  I love you all.  Adios!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Week Three: To Peru and the Mormon Howler Monkey Choir

Well, my final week here in the United States is almost over. 

Wake up at 3:30 tomorrow, get ready, eat me some cereal, and head off to the airport.  Good stuff.  Hope everything goes well.  I packed and everything fits! And it's underweight! So that means I'm missing something and my passport will be rejected. I just know it! Nothing goes smoothly for a Jackson. 

Speaking of which, I guess my district was kind of stuck in the middle of changing curriculums.  So my teachers didn't know what they were doing for the last 3 weeks.  But they told us yesterday that now they have everything and are ready to really begin teaching! And I asked, what the heck have we been doing then?! So now that I'm leaving to a new MTC they will finally begin teaching Spanish more.  Grrreeaaat. 

But yeah! Peru only speaks Spanish, I don't know much Spanish, but I'm okay! I would rather be hit in the face with the rock of Spanish now than be hit in the face with the boulder of Spanish in Ecuador.  Bring it on.  I've lived a good life. 

So home! Thank you guys for writing those letters.  They were a cool surprise. 

Dad! You're doing great for being technically challenged! Your letters give me images of the mountains and such.  Sounds like you're living pretty well.  And I just thought last night what a cool opportunity you have to be in the medical field.  Yeah, I know there are crazy and sick people all over the place but you really help people.  You've blessed their lives! You are kind of an example of the Church to people who don't know many Mormons.  So even though it gets stressful, I think it's pretty dang awesome.  I'm proud of you and you do great at it. 

And Mom you sound like you've been working like a mad woman.  What I said about medical field was directed to you too.  It's really awesome.  I think that's some of the best ways to show charity. 

Love yo faces. 

Blake and Cambria, well you both remind me of bald buzzards sitting there choking.  I'm sorry but that's the mental image that came to my mind.  But rock on!!
So rouging ended early eh?? They got it all done? They got fired? The immigrant workers took over? Either way, that's life.  Sorry but that's what happens.  Even rougers feel lay offs or a recession.  Or egotistical small men who enjoy power over others far too much.

So! Man, I really don't have much to say. I could sing you guys some songs? “It's P-Day, P-Day! Gotta do some laundry on P-Day!! Everybody's lookin forward to some emails, emails!!”
(Look up “Friday”. It's a terrible song. So terrible everyone sings it here.)

Or!!-- They call me Elder, they call me Saint!! That's not my name, that's not my name….

No, on second thought that was a terrible idea and I will promptly delete this.  Ah what the heck, no I won't.  It makes me look like I wrote something. 

Kind of like this! I'm just saying stuff without really saying anything just so it looks like I have a lot to say and you keep on reading because you think I'll be saying something which I'm not.  Well now you're thinking "Great! I've been reading this and wasted 30 seconds of my life reading something that's not really anything". 

Well that's exactly how Facebook works. 

Not that I would know. Strangely, I'm not missing much technical stuff. Weird.  I thought I'd need rehab.  Guess not!! (says the missionary whose thumb twitches looking for his iPod). (I joke)

So let me just state how awesome my pictures are here.  They will be grand when you see them.  My best work yet.  Two thumbs up!

Oh! So these last two weeks I did choir with my companion.  I didn't want to at first.  I told him that I sing terrible, and can only sound like a trombone.  That's how my singing life has been, a trombone amongst trumpets.  But he got me to go, and they put me with the basses.  I sat down among those missionaries and said what's up and got ready for this.  Well it was amazing!!! It was like a howler monkey had found another pack of howler monkeys so we could all howl together.  A section of trombones! They had these low voices when they sang that beat my low so I was just like YEEEAHHH!!! MAN VOICE TIME!!! So me and my trombone/howler monkeys sang. 

So I liked choir.  Especially when the idea of a devotional is exciting in this place.  It's the next best entertainment.  And you get good seats. 

But not anymore! Because I am leaving!! To Peru! Tomorrow!! Kiss this land goodbye!! Kiss tapeworms and diarrhea hello!! I'm going to come back looking like an old man who was accidently dry cleaned.  Shriveled, bald, and leaking all over.  Stupendous.  But hey it's all-good!! No se puden sobre nadaaa.  Yeah the other missionaries are kind of freaking out.  But they're all from Utah and 15 minutes away from home.  So this has been like going to school for them. Hahahahaha, those poor fools!!! They've never been away from this valley!!

Wait neither have I. 

Wasn't I born with a suit and a nametag?? I can't remember my old life.  Buh.  That's what they say.  I can't even quote Nacho Libre anymore.  They said we need to forget who we used to be. 

But you try to sit through Spanish classes all day and not think of ONE Nacho Libre moment.

But I must obey.  Yippe ki yay. Well my time is up and I must go skidaddle!

ADIOS MI FAMILIA!! LE AMO! (or whatever they say...)