Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Elder Avery's Third Week at the Peru MTC

Written by Elder Jacob Avery, currently training at the Peru Missionary Training Center (MTC) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Avery will leave the MTC in three weeks to serve in the Peru Lima West Mission.

Well, this week has been kind of crazy. We received about 90 Elders (30 North Americans) after the last group left for the field. Every two weeks a group will leave on Tuesday and another group will come in the next day, so my room was revamped. We now have four bunk beds instead of three, 1 million suitcases, and they sawed our desks out of the wall to make room for the six new Elders. When I asked one of the workers, ''Por que!?'' ("Why?"), he said something to the effect of, ''Un profeta de Dios dice que.'' ("A prophet of God says so.") Ya, I can't argue with that logic.

Our teachers are all Peruvian and speak very little English. This week, one of my teachers was explaining how to use the verb ser (to be). She said, ''Soy mediana.'' For some reason, every single one of us assumed it was another word for short. But when she translated it to English, mediana is medium (which we should have known). The punch line is that she considers herself medium when she's maybe five feet tall!

I haven't received any letters via or pouch mail. I've only received the copied emails from and regular emails to my missionary email account.

I answered your questions below!

1. Is it cold?

A little. It's in the 50's or 60's. It's drizzly pretty much every day. The first day there was sun, I went up to some of the Latina workers and said, ''¿Hay sol en Peru?'' ("No sun in Peru?") They laughed.

2. What do you eat and drink?

Rice and fish, rice and chicken, and rice and some rice. Eggs with toast every morning. We get really watered down juices from the strangest fruits that really shouldn't be made into a watermelon, pear, cantaloupe, and stuff we can't tell what it is. Limeade and lemonade are my favorites. I mostly just drink water.

3. Did you find your oil vial?

No, my oil vial has gone the way of the earth. I have a new one though, and I have new oil.

4. Where is Elder Larsen from?

Elder Larsen is from Logan, Utah. He went to Logan High School and was a big basketball player.

5. Will you have a native speaking companion in the MTC before you leave?

No, I will not. I have six Latino roommates though, so I talk to them a lot. They only stay for two weeks before going to their missions though.

6. How do you do your laundry? Is the MTC pretty comfortable as far as that kind of thing?

Each floor of the building has about a dozen washers and dryers. Everything is on a schedule. This morning my laundry time was from 6-7 a.m. and I had to finish it all during that time. My email time is from 8-9 a.m., and they're strict about it. Preparation Day (P-day) ends at 5 p.m., so I can't write letters or anything past 5.

7. Is there anything we should send with Hannah that you wish you had?

Not really. The little Spanish book is fine. We get big Spanish books when we arrive in the MTC, but they're annoying to carry around and they're basically the exact same book as the little red one you gave me.

8. Are any of the North Americans receiving packages? If so, how are they being sent?

Packages are a big fat NO. They can take months to get here and the customs taxes end up costing more money than it costs to buy the item. Nobody is sending or receiving packages.

9. Do you need anything? What can we do for you?

I'm doing great! I'm staying busy, and time is starting to really fly now. I'll be home before you know it. Your prayers and support are all I need.

10. Are we writing too much? Too little? Tell us how to best support you!
Writing is just fine. I only have an hour for everything though, and these computers are painfully slow.

I'm doing great right now! I'm so happy that you guys are all fine. I'm so sorry my letters are rushed. Hopefully in the field I'll have more time to write emails. I love you!


This is a short email Jake sent to his dad this morning:

Dear Dad,

I know I haven't been able to email you and I'm sorry about that. I'm doing awesome in the MTC right now. The Spanish is going well. I'm one of the better oonneess  iinn  mmyy  ddiissttrriicc  ((ssoorrrryy  mmyy  ccoommppuutteerr  iiss  ggooiinngg  ccrraazzzzyy))  RReeaaddiinngg  hhaass  bbeeeenn  ggoooodd  tthhee  bbiibbllee  iiss  rreeaallllyy  tthhiicckk  tthhoo.  ddooiinngg  tthhee  ssccrriippttuurreess  iinn  ssppaanniisshh  iiss  pprreettttyy  mmuucchh  iimmppoossssiibbllee  tthhoo.  pphhyyssiiccaall  eexxcceerrssiizzee  iiss  oonnee  ooff  mmyy  ffaavvoorriittee  ppaarrttss  ooff  mmyy  ddaayy  tthhoo.  wwee  eeiitthheerr  ppllaayy  ffoooottbbaallll  ssoocccceerr  oorr  bbaasskkeettbbaallll.  aannyywwaayy  ii''mm  oouutt  ooff  ttiimmee  bbyyee!! Tell mom I can't really send pictures. The computers are too slow. I'll try again next week tho. Idk what i even sent last time.

Working Hard and Learning Much in Peru (July 31, 2013)

Lessons in Peru...alarm clocks, traffic, and such (July 16, 2013)