Saturday, May 11, 2013

P-Day in Peru!

Two movie quotes have been running through my head all day.

 1.) Toto, I don´t think we´re in Kansas anymore.

2.) Elder, what language are they speaking? That's not the language they taught me in the MTC.

Sunday night was crazy as I prepared for my departure. I was starting to become nervous. But, the Elders in my District were SO helpful. On of them, Elder Adams, assisted by all of the rest of them, gave me a blessing that brought me so much comfort. Saying goodbye to my District was SO hard because they really became my support and my family here.

All of the Sisters woke up at 4 am to walk me to the Travel Office and say goodbye. Elder Adams and Elder McPherson were reassigned until their visas come and were leaving the same day as me, so I got to ride the bus with them and it was so comforting. They kept telling me how great I would be, how good I looked, how much my Mission President would love me, etc. I said goodbye to them at the airport and I thought my heart would break, but I remembered three key words: Hurrah for Israel! If we all stayed together in the MTC, nothing would get done. It was time to split up.

I know that my visa was not supposed to come until the exact day that it did. Heavenly Father DID need me in Peru at the exact time I was called to be there, but he knew my training needed to be done at the Provo MTC. He knew that I needed my teachers and my District. I will be so much better because of all of them. I arrived in Peru around 11pm last night and made it through customs without a problem.

When I got out of the Airport, things got crazy. Me and Elder Medina found ourselves in the middle of a large crowd of people who were yelling in Spanish and waving to us. I didn't understand a word. Then, someone spoke Spanish to us clearly and slowly ¨Missionaries, I am a member. Can I help you?¨¨ He looked trustworthy, so we headed his direction. Then, I heard someone yell ¨Hermana Seemohnsohn!" Two Elders, one of them American, came running toward me. They light in their faces was so refreshing and much needed. They helped me with my things, the white one speaking in English. He told me a member was going to drive me to a house with some Sisters, where I would stay for the night.

I got in the car with this complete stranger who didn't speak a word of English and started to see Lima for the first time. It was very humbling. It is a big city, but it is not at all like a city we know. I tried to converse with him, but I didn't do a very good job. He was nice though. We arrived in an alley and he got out of the car and started yelling "Hermanas, Hermanas wake up! The new missionary is here. She's only studied Spanish for 6 weeks, but she's your companion!" Two Sisters, one from either Uraguay (or Paraguay, I´m not sure which one) and one from Chile, came down and led me up the stairs to their bedroom. I had a hard time talking to them, but again, I did my best. I slept under a llama blanket, that was cool. But honestly, as I laid there I couldn't help but wonder what on earth I had gotten myself into. Suddenly, a stateside mission didn't sound so bad.

 Then, I got the firmest conviction that I am EXACTLY where I need to be. We woke up early this morning and I really had to take things in stride. I didn't shower because I didn't know how and didn't understand their directions. We went to breakfast at a members house. When we walked in, she was chasing chickens out with a pole. I'm not sure what all I ate for breakfast, but there was bread, I mostly just ate that. We started walking through Lima to come to the Internet Cafe I'm at right now, and I tried to take everything in.

It is SO different here. We met up with some Elders and I was pleased to see that one of them was American. He explained to me what was going on (I was pretty unsure) and asked me how I was feeling. He promised me I'd love it here, but said "I'm not going to lie, it will take a lot of getting used to." It was comforting though.

 In a few hours, I am going to meet with the mission president, and then he will send me to my new companion (a native Peruvian) in my new area.WOW, I am SOO excited!!! It's easy to be scared, but I know I have SO much divine help. I am THRILLED to be here right now and I know I have lives to change. The language will be hard and the culture will take some getting used to, but it will be SO worth it!!! I love it here so much and I can already tell it is my new home for the next little while. I know I belong here.

I love being a missionary, even if I'm in this strange country where I tower over everyone, am one of two white people that I have seen, and barely speak the language. I can picture myself a few months from now. I will have everything down soon, I know it. I know the language will come, I will understand the culture,I will figure out how to use this keyboard, and all will be well.

Honestly, all is well right now, too! I love it so much here and can't wait to serve. I am excited to meet with my Mission President today and meet my new companion. It will be so great!!!! I get to Skype on Sunday! I'm not sure when because I will be in a different area so things could be different, but the group I am with now is doing it at 5 Peru time (I don{t know what that is oñ your time) so maybe plan on that? but watch for an email or something if it changes.

Hopefully I can let you know. I really do love it here so much and am thrilled to be here! I miss you SO much but I know without a doubt that this is where I belong right now and despite how it may sound, I do have confidence in my God, myself, my Religion, my Spanish, and everything that I need to thrive here. I will thrive! I love it here so much.

Love Always,
Hermana Simonson

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