Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Season 12 Episode 8--Status Report Edition 12.8.14

Area: Yunguyo (Juli)     Comp.: Elder Vargas

Dear Everyone,

So this is my 'Status Report Edition', seeing as I'm in a new place with a new companion, but I actually am not in my sector right now and I'd really like to start with the story of 'why'.

Also, first off, sorry I spent lots of money this weekend! It was necessary!

So on Saturday, we were walking and right as we passed an ATM I got the feeling "I should go get 150 soles out on my card from home," so I did. Didn't really know why, just kind of expected it to burn a hole in my pocket until I needed it, but yeah. Keep that in mind.

So yesterday, we were in a lesson that was right around the corner from where we live, and during this lesson it started to rain ridiculously hard. We weren't wearing jackets, so we decided to go back to our apartment around the corner and get them. We went in there, and the other Elders that kind of live with us were in their apartment talking about plans for the day or something. So the rain started getting crazier, and by the time we'd said hi to them and put on our coats, the streets were flooded and it was too crazy to go outside. So my companion Elder Vargas said, "Let's go on the roof and watch the lightning until the rain settles down" and I said, "That's a terrible idea." But apparently there's a little room on the roof with these big windows, so we're inside but we can see everything, so that seemed safe enough. So that's the fourth floor, so we went up there and started watching, and everything's cool. Then we decide that it's calmed down enough to leave again, so we start to walk out. So you know that corrugated tin stuff that a lot of people down here use for their roof? There was a piece of that on the floor, and there was some trash on it, so it looked like someone had just set it there. So Elder Vargas stepped on it to walk over to the door, and it turns out that it was covering a hole in the floor, that had an equal hole on the floor below it. So long story short, Elder Vargas fell 2 stories onto the concrete floor. Obviously we freaked out, ran downstairs, and basically broke down the door to get to him. Somehow (I'm still kind of confused where these came from) there was a bike, a chair, and a big stone on top of him, so we pulled them off pretty quick. He seemed ok, no obvious bodily damage or mental damage, and luckily he'd fallen to the 2nd floor which is the one that we live on. So we pulled him into the room, gave him a blessing, and called the ZL's, who gave us permission to go to Puno to get medical attention but told us that they wouldn't give us 150 soles for a taxi to get there, although Elder Vargas said there was no way he could go in the bus. BUT I HAD 150 SOLES! So we took a taxi, went straight to the hospital, and have been there since noonish today. He's fine, he's got a messed up shoulder, a badly twisted ankle, and another ankle that's fractured. He'll be ok, but we're confined to our room for the next week, so I would imagine that next week's email will be just the worst. But yeah! Exciting 24 hours!

Anyways, Status Report:

-My companion's named Elder Vargas! He's Boliviano, 21, finishes in 6 months, and is absolutely fantastic! He's just the nicest guy. I'm super freaking excited to work with him.

-My Apartment! It's good! It's one room, about 15 feet by 20 feet, and it's only got room for our bunk beds, our desks, and a dresser, but I love it! And the bathroom has somewhat warm water and a toilet that not only consistently flushes, but also is attached to the floor! So I'm actually really happy. AND THERE'S A MIRROR, that's not only in the bathroom, but at head height! I'm actually ecstatic about that, that's not even sarcasm.

-Yunguyo! I'm in Zona Juli, but where I am is a pueblo named Yunguyo. Usually when people say 'pueblo' here, they mean a little community living in humble adobe homes out in the field with their farm animals, but this isn't like that at all. It's only a pueblo in population, which is small, but Yunguyo is designed like a big city. The buildings are all next to each other and tall, the streets are paved, there's no trash in the streets, and there are 2 plazas which are absolutely beautiful. It's great.

-I live with Elder Vargas and a companionship of 2 other Elders, so my use of the English language just dropped to about 0. I'm actually really happy about that.

-The pension's great! Well, I'm conflicted there. I haven't been there a week and I've eaten chuno and cow heart, but everything she gives us tastes amazing (including chuno and cow heart).

-We've spent 160 soles on pizza this week. Well, I didn't, the other elders did. That's why they didn't have any money. It's good though! We get pineapple mushroom, which is surprisingly delicious. I'm kind of addicted, but it's expensive.

-The branch has about the same attendance as our ward in Juliaca (like 50 people), but apparently the Elders are the counselors to the Branch President. We help conduct Sacrament, we count the tithing, etc. It's my turn to conduct in 2 weeks from yesterday. Also, although attendance is 50, the ward list is 40 pages long. There's like 10-15 names per page. There's a lot of work to do here.

-One last thing! Not a status report though. We have this special contact card we give out for Christmas, and I was trying to give one to a drunk guy who had walked up to us, and he didn't understand that I was giving it to him so I decided to tell him "This is a present. Merry Christmas!" But instead of 'Merry Christmas' I accidentally said "Happy Birthday!" He was so happy that it was his birthday. Freaking drunks.

Anyways, things are great! I think this week I'm going to read all of the BoM 10 times, so stay tuned for that edition!

Elder Steele

Season 12, Episode 1, Birthday-Transfer-PDay, Take 2 Edition 12.1.14

Area: Juli      Comp.: Elder Vargas

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADELINE! I can't believe it! You're finally old enough to get a license that's turned the right way and stuff! And drink, but no. I'm not really sure why else 21 is significant, but Happy Freaking Birthday!

-Transfers are today, and since my training's over Elder Ayo and I knew that we'd get split up. It made a lot more sense for him to go, but one thing about being a missionary is that we're pretty in tune with the Spirit and I knew on Thursday that I´m going. My new area is Juli, which is a pueblo with 12 missionaries in the whole city. My new companion is Elder Vargas, who I would assume is Latino. I know nothing else. But stay tuned next week for a special edition of 'Ridiculous Cities: Juli'.

-There's a stake musical concert thing here (which I will now not be participating in), and the stake assigned one song to each ward. Our ward got Silent Night, and they asked me to help because no one here plays piano and they don't know how Silent Night goes. Pray for them.

-One member told us this week that she had a reference for us, and it turns out it's this girl that has attended church every week for the past year, has read the BoM through Helamen, prays regularly, and has a testimony. She's a member that we just forgot to baptize a year ago!

-Apparently, the last time there were elections, no one won. So they're doing them again this Sunday, which means no church this Sunday.

Anyways, not a huge amount of things to talk about this week, but next week I'm sure there'll be a bunch! Stay tuned!

Elder Steele

Side note from Jackson's mom: Jackson is the senior companion in his new companionship.