So, our flight landed in Peru THIS MORNING at 2:00 a.m., then we did the whole customs and immigration thing and was greeted by a few missionaries and a large bus. They told us that we would be taking the bus to the CCM (MTC), and it was about 45 minutes to an hour drive. As we started driving, the area right around the airport was extremely ghetto - garbage all over the streets, graffiti, and run down buildings. It was kind of scary. I kept thinking what did I get myself into? But then we saw this beautiful building and Hermana Norton said I wish we were living there. And her wish came true. We live in a nice little complex with large fences and security guards. They gave us our keys, told us where our rooms were, and sent us off to bed.
We carried our luggage up to the second floor and found our room, (my companions and I are in the same room) we were hoping that no one was in there since it was four in the morning and we did not want to wake anyone up, but we were not that lucky. We opened the door and we saw three people in the bunk beds wake up and look at us. So we left our luggage in the hallway, changed, brushed our teeth, and tried to climb onto our top bunks quietly. But, again, we were not that lucky. The beds are so loud!! It was ridiculous how squeaky they were. All I could do was laugh to myself that this is my life for the next 18 months. The beds had a stack of sheets on it, but I did not want to keep moving around, so I just laid down and fell asleep.
In the morning, I was awaken to the Spanish language. Our three new companions were getting up and talking to each other. I sat up, half asleep and said hola, and all the nice-to-meet-you stuff I know, then they started getting into the complicated Spanish that I did not understand, so I awkwardly laid back down and fell asleep. They woke us up a little while later telling us to come with them, but it was only seven in the morning, and we were so tired. So we told them no, and that our schedule said that we could sleep until nine. And then they left, and we fell back asleep. (But that was after we met our new companions. My new companion is Hermana Lepez from Argentina I think.)
A short while later, they came back and brought us breakfast in bed!.... Breakfast in bed included a hot dog and an apple with a part cut off of it. It was so sweet of them, but I had to laugh. You know how I feel about hot dogs, and how it weirds me out when people give me half eaten fruit. Then they told us to get ready and come with them. We showered quickly, got dressed, and ran off with them to do some paperwork stuff.
After the paperwork, they told us we could email our families, but our Latina companions wanted us to sit in a circle with them and read the Book of Mormon, so we did. But we did not read. We just sat around talking to each other the best we could. It was so fun, we were all laughing and understanding most of what each other was saying. AND GUESS WHAT!! A nice, outgoing local taught me how to roll my RRs. I am basically Latin now. Kristen would be so proud.
And I guess that brings us to right now, I am just emailing. And trying not to fall asleep.
Right now, it is perfect outside, there is a mist in the air that makes it feel like it is raining, and my hair is going wild, but I just love it. I am wearing short sleeves, and all the locals keep asking me if I am cold. All the South Americans are dressed in sweaters and us silly Americans are wearing our summer clothes.
The buildings we are living in are like the buildings CeCe lives in down in Grenada, tile all over the place, BUT warm showers without having to turn on a water warmer. The lights still flicker for a little while before coming all the way one. They told us we can drink all the water here at the CCM, but not out of the gardening hose. Dang it. So far, I have only had part of an apple and a bite of a hot dog, so I am not sure how the rest of the food is, people in the airplane kept saying how great the food in Peru is though.
Someone just told me I am writing too much, so I better go!
So far, everything is great!!
Love you all,
Hermana Stacia Ellis