Hola la Familia,
Well where do I even begin. You would think that P days are nice and relaxing, but they are so stressful because I have to do laundry, buy snacks, and write. But I love every single second of it. This last week has definitely slowed down, and I am able to get into a nice routine. It is pretty much wake up at 6:15 shower go to breakfast and eat, then go to class for 5 hours then eat some more. Then class again, after that I go and run around and also work out. Then back to class and eat and finish the day with more class. But it is amazing! Absolutely amazing and I love every single second of it. The work is hard but I would not trade it for anything. I weighed myself and I had gained 5 lbs. since getting here. The rolls are just so good.
On Saturday we went to Northern Lima to proselyte. That was the most amazing, the hardest, and most humbling experience I have had so far. We were set up with either an older or a Latino companion from the CCM. I was set up with a Latino Elder named Elder Paliza from Lima. He spoke about as much English as I did Spanish. There was a huge language barrier. We struggled through planning our lesson to teach. Then we went and hopped onto a bus and drove about an hour north of Lima. The buses are so sketchy and everyone drives like maniacs. When we got there, we went to a church and met up with a ward member to take each set of companions around the village. It was unreal. I have never been so grateful for anything in my life. There were just so many houses up the mountain and made literally out of anything they could find. (Side note it smelled like strait urine everywhere.) But the one inactive member we were supposed to go and teach was not there, so we had to knock on doors for three hours. It was so so hard. My companion did all the talking, I couldn't even understand what they were saying in the first place. We made about 10 contacts and a few referrals here and there but nobody let us into their house until the last house we went to. We were just walking down the dirt road and I was constantly praying to know what street to go down and which house to knock on. Deciding to knock on the last house was just meant to be. We got into the house and there was an older lady and husband and her older daughter and two children. We just talked to the grandma and grandpa. It lasted about 45 minutes and I only taught her how to pray that was it, but the spirit was definitely there. You could feel it so strong. I think my companion invited her to go to church and finished reading the pamphlet he taught her. Wow just so amazing how the spirit works and how this is supposed to happen. Even though I didn’t understand anything for 4 hours, and was speaking broken Spanish it was unreal.
I can't remember what day it was but we were walking out of the cafeteria after lunch one day, and this dove was coming hot and drilled the wall above the glass door right above our heads. It broke its neck and died about a minute after the incident it was crazy. Yesterday we were lucky enough to see the sun. I think it is the second time I have seen it since I got here. The pollution is next level, the grounds crew is consistently power washing the ground, buildings, plants, and trees; just everything.
The streets here in Lima by the CCM are really nice, but once you get out of the city it is not nice whatsoever. Today I was taking a picture of a statue to send back home and boom I stepped in dog crap, at least I hope it was dog crap. But I thoroughly enjoy the city, and you can buy some pretty awesome stuff here. I bought three woven ties with llamas or the temple on them. I bought a sweet coin pouch made out of leather. I also bought a ton of candy and drinks.
My District is comprised of: Elder Cooley (me), Elder Lee (companion), Elder Lorenzen (Herriman), Elder Deangelo (Tooele), Elder Christensian (Colorado), Elder Layton (Arizona), Elder Evens (Layton UT), Elder Beebe (Missouri), Elder Gessel (SLC), Elder Bulkley (St George).
That is my district we are all way close and probably the loudest out of all the districts. We have some of the most spiritual moments I have ever had in my life. We were meant to be together. I have found some amazing scriptures when we all get into those conversations about doctrine. D&C 118:3 is a really good one. I love finding my answers through the scriptures.
I love everyone. Your faith has really helped me to be comforted and to work through the hard times. Just stay faithful and keep enduring.
Love, Elder Cooley