Monday, September 22, 2014

So There's That . . .

Zac will keep trying, but the internet connection is so slow that the pictures he tries to send won't go through before his time for emailing is up.  Here is an excerpt from his email today:

This week was a good week.  No sickness to report.  On Monday we went to the beach as a zone.  It was really nice.  There wasn't a single person there, and it was super flat and the water was cool.  We also saw a dead seal chillin' on the shore, so there's that. 

There are gonna be local elections in two weeks, so there have been all these tiny Peruvians marching through the streets with weird mountain music blaring out of megaphones and marching bands that can't play.  We're also going to have to not have church October 5th because of the elections. So we just chill in our house all day.  Double P-day sounds good to me. . . . 

I really miss American food.  I'm almost all out of my snacks so hopefully I have a package tomorrow.  

Our hot water broke and supposedly got fixed but it still doesn't work. So, we'll have cold showers for the foreseeable future. . . .  

People also like to wear clothes with English stuff on it. There was an old lady herding sheep yesterday wearing a beige jacket that said, "Sexy."  And we talked to one guy who was wearing a Cal hat and another who was wearing a Cabela's hat.  There's no chance that any of these people have any idea what their clothes say.   But I digress . . .  

I just checked the mission's blog and found this picture of Zac and his whole zone, Zona Viru. There are 11 zones in the Trujillo mission. Apparently, Elder Uceda from the Quorum of the Seventy visited the mission this week and  met with all of the zones. Elder Uceda and his wife, who both served missions in the mission years ago, are sitting in the front center. Zac's mission president, President Marler, and his wife are on the front row on the left.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Under the Weather

Zac was really sick last week. Feel free to send him belated get well wishes through, the pouch system, or the mailing address listed earlier in this blog.  It may take a bit for him to receive letters and post cards but he really appreciates them. He can't print out emails at the internet cafe so he'd really like some physical letters he can have on hand to refer to when he's missing his friends (which is always!).  Anyway, here's a brief excerpt from his letter this week:

Peruvians think if you are sick and drink something cold you're gonna get worse, and if you drink soda you're basically gonna die.  
In other news, I saw a group of kids playing in the street a few days ago and realized one of the kids was whirling around a dead rat by its tail at the other children.  That must have been why they were running.  So there's that. . . . 
I really miss Mexican food. There's no tortillas or salsa or anything in that family down here. I would kill for Chipotle. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

More New Foods

Here's an excerpt from Zac's email this week:

This week has been pretty good. I feel a lot more comfortable with the area and the people and everything. I´ve bonded a lot more with Elder Meaker. He´s hilarious. We have some pretty interesting intellectual discussions and a lot of not-so-intellectual ones as well haha. This week I ate liver, which I liked until I found out it was liver. I also ate cow stomach, which tasted alright but smelled kinda funny and was too squishy. Didn´t like it. . . . Yesterday Elder Meaker and I were walking through the market on our way to lunch, and we saw this shirtless guy wearing a baby mask beating a bucket with a stick and asking for donations. So there´s that. . . .

Here's a picture of Zac's pensionista, Flor and her husband, Overt.  This is the back of the restaurant where Zac eats lunch and dinner everyday.  You can see Elder Gonzalez's birthday cake that he was able to enjoy after he survived the birthday egging.

                                     Here is a picture of Zac's apartment:

                       And here are pictures of the building where the Church meets:

                                                     Zac with Elder Meaker:

 Finally, here's a quote I got from Elder Gonzalez's blog this week:  "Fun Fact: Peruvians don't have the mouth muscles required to say the word 'Farnsworth.'"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Peruvian Birthday Traditions

We won't hear from Zac again until Monday but in the meantime I found some information from other missionaries in Zac's district this week. A district is a group of 6 missionaries.  Apparently, in Peru it's traditional to have eggs thrown at your head on your birthday.  This is a picture of Zac's district leader, Elder Gonzalez.  It was his birthday this week and he got the full egg treatment.  You can see Zac in the background.

Elder Gonzalez is training Elder Craft who was with Zac in the Peru MTC.  Zac and Elder Craft became very good friends in the MTC so Zac is happy that Elder Craft is in his district.  Here's a picture of Elder Gonzalez with Elder Craft.

And here's a picture of the other 2 elders in Zac's district--Elder McClellan and Elder Muguerza.

They've already had a baptism since Zac arrived in Chao.  Zac is on the far right.

Monday, September 1, 2014

In the Middle of Nowhere

Zac forgot to take his card reader to the internet cafe today so there's no new pictures but I think he'll be sure to send some next Monday.  In the meantime, here's an excerpt from his email today:

Hey guys,

I´m in a little town called Chao, which is a suburb of Viru. It´s basically in the middle of nowhere. We have a little tiny chapel that holds about 70 people (it´s a branch). Church last Sunday was good. . . . I live in a pretty spacious apartment, but there´s nothing in it. We have a bunk bed, a desk, a dresser, and a bathroom. We have warm water. There´s tons of stores everywhere, but just little tiny shops. No big stores like Tottus or anything. The weather is super hot. Chao is a desert. . . .The food in general is really good. We have one pench who fixes us lunch and dinner. She owns a restaurant and we just go in the back to eat. Then we have another pench for breakfast and laundry. I thought she was pretty good, until this morning she gave us gizzard and onion sandwiches. I ate one but I couldn´t make myself eat the second one. Meaker seemed to like it...

Zac's reference to a "pench" is his slang for pensionista.  There are members of the Church in Peru who volunteer to take care of the missionaries by cooking for them and doing their laundry.  A "branch" refers to the size of the congregation.  A full size congregation is referred to as a ward (approximately 300 people).  A congregation not yet big enough for a ward is called a branch.