Wowzers. How do I even start this?! The last week at the CCM wasn´t too exciting. We spend a day at interpol. Spoiler: I´m officially legal in Peru! Other than that, lots of lessons and goodbyes.
My birthday was definitely one that will be hard to top! It was really hard to say goodbye to Hna Child, so that definitely wasn´t a highlight of the day. But, the first present of the day: the Cusco and Iquitos (her mission) missionaries overlapped in the airport for about 15 minutes! So I got to say goodbye to her again. Just without tears.
Flying over Cusco was incredible. The pictures on the internet make it look brown and ugly, but oh my goodness. I have never seen a place more beautiful. Beautiful mountains. Green. Perfect weather. We spent the day touring a little bit and getting to know President and Sister Harbertson. They are incredible. Sister Harbertson had a cake ready for my birthday for after dinner. We ended the day at a hotel in Cusco. Hermana Allred was waiting for us, with a present for me in hand! She got me a nice llama sweater.
Now the exciting part...
My companion´s name is Hermana Ruiz. She is from northern Peru. Aaaaaaand she doesn´t speak any English. She wants to learn tho, so we´re both helping each other. It´s hard. SO hard. Harder and more frustrating than anything I´ve ever done or probably ever will do. Today is our first day actually in our mission. There was a bus boycott so we got to stay with Hna Allred and her companion/roommates for a couple days. I love Hna Allred. I definitely needed those days to talk with her and figure things out. But now, Hna Ruiz and I are in Puerto Maldonado! Remember how we thought it would be nice and cool everywhere? Yeah... nope.
I´m in the middle of the jungle for the next 12 weeks at least!! It´s kind of like Hawaii. Just without the beautiful ocean. And it´s also SUPER impoverished. And all the water is dirty and it smells bad. But other than that, yeah, it´s like Hawaii. Definitely not what I was excpeting or was prepared for.
Overall, it´s alright. I wish I could say that I love it right now, but honestly, I don´t. I´m trying. But it´s hard when I can´t talk to my companion and the food makes me sick and I sleep in a pool of sweat. But I´m trying. I definitely have a greater relationship with the Lord right now than I ever have before, Him being the ONLY person who I can actually talk to. Patience. Faith. And a lot of prayer. Hopefully I can give you a more positive report next week...
Love you all and I miss you more than you can even imagine!
**Mom note: Before Amie left we read the blog/letter posts of Hermana Allred (see Hermana and the IIamas). Looking at her pictures helped us know what to pack and to get a feel for what it would be like there. We feel like we know her, now Amie does.