Ah my companion loves that grandma’s from Guatemala. Her name is Diana Ivonne Martinez Mendez from Guatemala City. She is 26 years old, and has her own business--tanning salon, graduated in marketing and will finish her FNA masters degree when she gets back(finance and accounting)--pretty legit eh? She’s absolutely incredible. They call our trainers our ´madres´ and I was just born. My training is 12 weeks long, but she will be ´dying´ in 6 weeks, so if she doesn’t extend I will be getting another trainer. I hope she extends, she just got her plane tickets today, but has been talking about extending recently...i think cuz she likes me:) crazy gringa. She knows how to work hard and smart. She speaks great english. She is service oriented and has made me breakfast more than once. I seriously don’t know how i lucked out so well.
We share the biggest house in the mission, it’s nice. I have my own queen sized bed, our own study, a kitchen and sitting area. The water is cold in the showers, but that’s the only down side. We share the house with another pair of hermanas who are the sister leaders. They are vacan(cool). hard workers, one of them is going home in 3 weeks which means she knows what she’s doing as well and is from utah so she knows english as well which is super nice and has let me become real friends with them cuz i can actually express myself in english(her and my comp are best friends in the mission and actually traveled all over the mission putting on singing concerts--my comp teaching the stake choirs they went to and the utah singing solos. vacan eh? the whole mission knows them.).
Our ward is the best in the mission. The members are awesome, we have had a bunch of lessons so far already and almost all of them with members. What’s crazy is that our ward has 6 missionaries in it! 6 in one ward! Me and my comp share it with our housemates(the sister leaders) and the zone leaders. Big ward. We had a meeting with all the sisters on thursday and more than a couple told me that my companion was the best. Our pinchanista(spelling?) or cook is vacan, she’s super good at cooking, I love the food. Not rice every meal:) NEEDLESS to say, I FEEL SOOOO INCREDIBLY blessed. especially cuz i heard that my amigas from the ccm don’t have it so hot(irvine is opening an area, her spanish isn’t that good and her comp can’t speak it and her comp isn’t that patient for an example). i am motivated to work so much harder to learn the things that the Lord would have me learn in this incredible time. I am bracing myself for the upcoming months of the mission that will be hard.
wowowow. So yesterday at church was awesome. One of our guys we’ve been teaching(jose) got confirmed in sac meeting. The stake pres and an area 70 were there, and the other 3 new missionaries spoke(one of the zone leaders and the both sister leaders are new to this area), but for some reason they didn’t have me come up and speak like they said they were going to. probs better that way cuz my spanish is no muy bien.
My comp has great relationships with tons of members and pretty much the whole time was talking with them and setting up times that they could come procelyting with us. Planner is pretty great this week. We have a baptism this saturday for one of our investigators (super cute 15 year old girl who is friends with the members thanks to mi comp) and were singing love is spoken here in spanish at a baptism for an 8 year old that morning as well. I am constantly in awe at how well my comps brain works. Like we went over to the member’s house that we’re singing the song for with them and on the way they said hi to some of their friends and my comp was like what? Introduce us to them! And so we have an appointment with them! another time after a lesson for our investigator that’s getting baptized this saturday at a members house(of course) she invited the girls that were there to make cake with us at the house of jose(only member in family) because he has a sister that’s the same age and apparently when we were at their house last time she had asked the parents if we could come over and make cake with them(relationship building activity) and if we could maybe bring other people. then after she invited those girls to cake she asked the member mom(whose house we were at) if she had done her homework from the day before and the mom said yes and brought us across the street to meet some of her non member neighbors. I honestly don’t know how this lady(mi comp) works, but it has blown my mind a bunch of times. This is how missionary work is supposed to be. I’m just trying to not get lost in the streets or the language or just trying to remember the names of all our people in the meantime she has created a new plot to dominate. I am in awe.
Spanish is rough! We have so many lessons a day that we usually don’t plan them before hand(like maybe talk about a topic) so i have had to rely on the spirit mucho. sometime I hate her because i don’t know what’s going on, but like a good companion she switches off very well with me, so next thing I know she’s smiling at me and everyone’s waiting expectantly for me to say something. Let’s just say ´yo se que´ has been one of my favorite phrases. I really really really wanna learn spanish. We have a rule that we have to speak spanish to each other during the day because i need to learn. We have this giant phone that’s like a house phone with the stand and everything and cord that we have to carry around because we don’t have a cell phone and sometimes investigators call us. I HATE carrying it. hahaha its so awkward. So the punishment to talking in english is they have to carry the phone that day. haha. My idea. We ride the bus places which is super cool and we’ve had to pack in like sardines more than once. We saw a parade the other day. june is holiday time in cusco.
I am absolutely in love with cusco. It is cold don’t get me wrong. In the day is sunny and warm most of the times, but at night its sooo cold! So i have to pack around this big coat that i found in our house (a diff sister left) all day so i don’t freeze at night. Oh i have to wear it in our house too, cuz they dont have indoor heating or cooling, and for some reason our house is super super cold all the time. PERO, i LOVE the sky! We´re so high up its always gorgeous! The clouds are amazing, the sun is so gorgeous. I love the feel of this place, the cobblestone paths, the picture perfect mountains and the small, poor, artistically pleasing, colorful, randomly houses, every kind of dog that walks the streets and steals bread or barks from the tin rooftops and scares you to death while you’re trying to contact someone, or the small bridge that you have to cross over the garbage filled river to get to a group of houses, or squeezing past the hanging laundry on the top floor of a cramped building to get to the room(pretty much their whole house) of a mother of small children who we invited to be baptized while huddled in a small area on plastic chairs feeling the spirit and knowing that Christ´s message will without a doubt make her life better.
Happy days here in cusco. My companion and i send our love. (She’s going to conference in october and her and the utahn sister leader are going to come visit you all!) :) MUCH MUCH LOVE!!!!!!!
your perfect daughter ;),
Hermana Malorie Black