Tuesday, August 23, 2011

22 August 2011 Snail Mail letter-spanish-isms, Camana jokes

Dear family,

Ok, Ok.  Sorry it has been a long time.  I hope my [memory] card can get there all safe.  These baby SD's are pretty sweet.  How are you'll  Sounds like from DearElder, everything is going just fine, and that Eric is loving the benefits that come from having two brothers out of the house.  I was amazed when you all said that ASFS is almost over, and that we have had a constant presence there for the past 16 years!  I started it.  Haha.  How's the ward doing? Balancing work, play, and callings?

I am planning on buying shoes pretty soon.  I got them repaired for about 7 soles, but they've started to come off the new soles.  But don't worry about it.  You all sent me with 1000 soles.  That should be way more than I'll spend in the mission.  I just wish I had bought them in Tacna where everything is cheap.  Camana is a poor place and it is a pricey place to eat and buy stuff especially compared to Tacna.  One thing that my companion always says is "Esooooo"  Or rather, "Thaaaaat."  It's pretty funny since he says it in the Arequipan way/Columbian way.

Is it understood in English when someone says, "How long have you lived here?" and the other says: "ooooo" but with an ascending smoothly, rapidly tone of voice?  In Arequipa, it means "a lot". So in that case, it's like saying, "since forever."  I really don't know though. Does that make any sense in English?  Other example:  "Hace freiooooo (with an ascending voice)" or "It's cooooooold. (with an ascending voice)".  That means "It's REALLY cold."  I don't know if that makes sense, but it's funny.

With Elder Hunsaker, we were thinking about just that.  All of southern Peru has Arequipa jokes, like blond jokes.  But the area of the Province of Arequipa includes Camana.  Everyone also has blond type jokes about the people who live in Camana.  So they suffer all the general Arequipa jokes AND receive the directed Camana jokes.  The only example I can remember is they say Camanans are the crabs since they walk sideways instead of forward.

So funny, right?. . . . silence. . .

It's weird.  In some zones an attitude of not working gets perpetuated.  When I came here, I was like, "Let's GO!"  But the attitudes of everyone were, "We can't do so much here. . . it's Camana.  When Elder Ortiz came, I realized that I, in the 6 weeks slipped a little into that too.  When the changes come, I talked with all those who were staying and committed them to never say anything bad about Camana to their new companeros (companions) or at all and we've started out o.k.  Still many didn't get to the contacts minimum set by the President.  I think that number is a pretty good way to measure the level of dedication.  The goal set by President Fernandez is 250 contacts per week.  This week many had less than 180, some less than 130!  We want to animate [enthuse] the missionaries so they can achieve much more than what we are doing.  Well, that's about it about the Zone.

As far as us, have had some of the best lessons of my mission in this week, but something is keeping us from finding those who really have been prepared, or maybe something is keeping us from connecting well with their hearts.

I've been appreciating better in the recent days how much everyone needs our message.  At the same time, I have had a little more difficulty with the moments that we teach somebody the restoration and they say something like, "Well, that's nice."  They should say, "That's AMAZING and I feel it is true!"  Yesterday we gave the first lesson to a contact.  Towards the end, the mom told us, in response to my companion's question of why would it be important for you to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet?  She said, "To know if another of our brothers has been waved."  When we explained a little more and asked him if he wanted to know if it is true, he said, "Well, since it isn't in the Bible, it can't be, and I won't have anything for true if it isn't in the Bible."  Despite these concerns, I think I have a lot more charity now. I realized that all these times Paul said, "So prideful," he wasn't wrong.  These two have been a focus point for me:  charity and pride.

We contacted a pregnant 25 year old the other day.  She broke down crying.  She said that she has distanced [herself] from God.  Lots of problems happen when people/parents just co-habitate.  The law of chastity has all the reason [makes so much sense]. She said her "husband' left her a few years back for her sister right after having their first child.  About 1 year ago, he came back asking forgiveness and they resumed living together.  She got pregnant and again he left her for her sister.  So so terrible.  She said she has prayed and prayed to know if God exists, and when she learned her baby will be a boy, she knew that HE does exist despite all of her difficulties.  I hope she is in her house for our appointment.

Ready.  Do the things good in Virginia.


Elder Johnson

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