(This appears to be part of a letter. . .)
Before I left the CCM, Elder Stewart and I started teaching one of the ladies who serves us lunch. We intended to be practicing... and our teacher said that all the staff were expecting to be contacted, but she must not have known. Anyway we taught her a little, and she said she wanted to learn more. So we got her information and sent it to some missionaries who are in the area of her home. Very cool experience.
Also I DID get that package. After I wrote y'all, I went to the secretary and asked if there were any packages for me and she gave me it. SOOO MMUUHCCHH THANKS. I am currently eating the last bits of it, the Sour Patch Kids. They are the best.
Arriving here was kind of crazy. When we landed our 737 (I think), we taxied right up to the small airport building. We were the only airplane there! They pulled up movable stairs and we walked 50 feet to the door. 50 more feet and we were through the airport and getting on busses to take us to the mission president's home. They are so, so cool. We really got a home run on the mission president and his wife. The AP was telling us some stuff in English, was having difficulty with English. I can't wait till I get like that!
Our mission goals for each week are 3 baptisms and confirmations, 90 people with baptismal dates, 45 attending sacrament meeting each week, 30 lessons with members, 540 contacts, 20 references, and 120 new investigators each week. Yea as of this week we have not hit that level yet, but hopefully next.
So I‚ am in Peru! For real, not just in the CCM. It is waaayyy different. First off, no one speaks more than a couple words in English, except the other missionaries, who I see twice a week, but we speak Spanish on those occasions so our companions understand what is happening.
My companion is Elder Orihuela. He has been in Arequipa for almost a year. His Spanish is flawless. I guess he is a native speaker though. He is from Peru, and has been in the Augusto Freire area for the past 6 months.. I think.
Last Saturday, we had a baptism!! Clelia. She has a sister in the church. I really didn't do anything to help her into the church other than talk briefly at her baptism, about the reason we need baptism. At the baptism, we ate cake! It was really good.
I love it here... but it is very difficult. It will be much easier in 2 months or so. Not being able to talk to Spanish really, on top of the fact that my companion is the quiet type. I think he also really misses his family right now. He seems to be in a tough spot.
I saw the first other North American person after 5 days here.
This is really something else.
Love Elder Mark Johnson