Tuesday, April 16, 2013

2013-04-16 p-day

view of the wealthy part of Lima near the temple
Hey everybody,
Another great week in Lima.  First of all I got dear elders from Mom, Sam, Grandma Marie and Emily Atwood.  Thanks for the letters, I loved reading them and that is definitely the best way for me to get information from everybody.  I’ll respond to other people by emailing them pictures of what I write.  And that was a typo in my last email.  It should say I CAN feel the spirit all of the time.  The MTC is a unique place not as good as the temple but better than a church. 

Apparently there was an earthquake while we were watching a devotional.   We watched in English in a different room than the Latino Elders did.  Since they were upstairs they all felt it but we couldn’t feel it in our room. 

I got pretty sick to my stomach on Sunday but I feel fine now.  I think we might have gotten extra bad food because 6 of the 8 elders in my district were sick.  The Hermanas never seem to get sick though, which I don’t understand.  Since people are constantly getting sick, there are plenty of opportunities to practice giving blessings.  I had the Elders in my district give me a blessing, and I think it is the first blessing I’ve had for a sickness since Tim Mellor and dad gave me one while we still lived in Provo.  I had the blessing Sunday night and felt fine by morning.   

I don’t really feel homesick but it makes me a little sad that I won’t go on any family vacations for a couple years.  I loved going to Disney World, Disneyland, Washington, Texas, DC.  Most of my best memories with the family are definitely on vacation.  Remember when we drove off and left Liz at a hotel?  Also remember when Harm got his hand stuck in one of those machines where you pay a quarter for a bouncy ball, and then the fire department had to come get him out?  I’ve never seen such purple fingers.  

I have been craving Dominos and Chick-Fil-A these last few days.  Trying new things is fun most of the time but I’m getting a little tired of it.

Today during p-day I talked with a nice little old Peruvian lady at the grocery store.  She came up to me and started talking quickly in Spanish.  It took me a while to figure out what she was saying but I eventually figured out there was some kind of terrorist bombing in Boston (we are kinda information starved here so no one had heard about it at all.  Most of what we find out is from bits of information the teachers tell us).  From what we can gather from the teachers we are at war with North Korea?  I felt bad ‘cuz I didn’t have a pass along card to give her.  They actually don’t seem to have them here, which is kind of strange since it is an MTC.  Anyway she lives close to the temple and likes Mormons so I’m sure she can figure out someone to talk to if she wants to.  I have a long way to go in learning Spanish but it’s really nice that I speak better than just about any other North American here.  (On a side note I think it is really funny that every time they make an announcement for us they say, “Attention please Norte Americanos and Canadians."  The first ever Canadian at this MTC came in with my group.   

store with church stuff--across the street from the temple

I know almost nothing about our proselyting but we are supposed to go on Saturday.  We will get paired up with one Latino Elder and heard that typically all the American has to do is say a prayer.

Sundays here are great.  It’s nice to have a break from always doing stuff in Spanish and just listen to things in English.  This Sunday we watched the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie.  I really like that movie even though I’ve seen it a lot.  He lived an incredible life.  It had never really dawned on me how young he was when he had the vision and began to tell people about it.  He must have had an immense amount of faith.  I know he was a prophet and I appreciate what he did.

Hope everything is going well for everyone at home.  Write me through dear elder everybody!  I love getting the letters.
Elder Howlett

P.S. We can only take pictures on p-day and not in the buildings.  Every p-day we go outside the walls of the MTC compound to a road where they charge us 0.5 soles (20ish cents) to go to an intersection by the temple.  The driving in lima is nuts.  As a general rule people use their horns when we would use brakes in America.  The first time we rode the bus it seemed normal and we all sat down until he dropped us off, but every ride since then has been crazy.  They are already completely full and just stop in the middle of the street for you to get on.  You have to get on fast and just cram into the mass of people.  Stops typically take less than 10 seconds and they don't wait for everyone to be completely indoors before they begin driving.  When it's just a couple of natives who are getting on, the bus just kind of slows down and they jump on without the bus ever stopping.  Since there aren't really driving rules here, crossing the road is pretty sketchy.  We typically have 12ish missionaries together for p-day and when we cross roads we line up along the road so we can all sprint across when there is a break in traffic.

pic on the busses we take to get around town (I couldn't get a
very good one to show how many people are on those busses.)

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