Tuesday, August 27, 2013


This week has been crazy. The beginning of last week was awful. Lets be honest. I was so trunkie (homesick, in a way) and honestly just wanted to come home. I wanted to be done. I hated it here. I had no idea why I was here, what I was doing. I cant speak the language, I cant teach, etc etc. These were some of the thoughts in my head while we would be walking to appointments and contacting. By Thursday, id had enough. I was done. I just started crying in the morning. Hna P sat me down in our room and made me tell her what was wrong. We talked for awhile, and she told me things I needed to hear. After that...I felt FREE. I FEEL FREE! And by the afternoon, I was jumping around, making jokes, etc. (I can do that, mostly because Im gringo I feel. Im already different). It feels GREAT. On friday, when we were contacting. There was a girl in our ward that came with us, and I talked to some guy. After, she told me my spanish is so good. Especially the pronunciation/accent. She said that I turn into a different person when speaking. It was a big compliment. Since then, Ive had other compliments about my spanish, that the accent/pronunciation is really good. Not short and choppy like other north americans. Its really nice.

I quite enjoy talking now, and I am starting to figure out how to understand spanish. Its not translating it in your head, its simply understanding. Like english. You dont translate english into other thoughts or pictures. You just understand. Its weird.

You all have thunderstorms?!? I LOVE those! And thats kind of funny nothing was working that day... ;)

Im glad Joe seems to be doing well. I hear from others he progressing rapidly. He can drive, and get around well. From what Ive heard at least. Lol.

Im getting to know Santa Isabel better, and the people too. Though its difficult to remember their names...They are different than north american names. And to add to it the accent? Phew.... its a challenge. Lol. I recognize the faces, so thats a good thing, right? We dont normally see the same people everyday. There are so many people here. Occasionally we will see someone from the ward, or an investigator, but not much. The food is ok. Im not too fond of rice, and I dont like the creamy stuff they have on potatoes sometimes. I dont think I will miss rice too much... The bread is really good though. And the sweets are amazing down here as well. YUMMM.

 Last friday, there was a relief society activity, and they made something called PICARONES (dont count on the spelling being correct). They are SSOOOOOO GGGOOOOOOOODDD. Its some time of dough, and then you fry it. A little similar to a doughnut, but not. And then some type of thin sauce on it, that I have no Idea how to describe the flavor (and you only need a little bit) was good.
 We have also had something called PAPAS RELLINAS. The way you make it is cook the potatoes, peel the potatoes, mash the potatoes, then you form them into the potato shape, and open it up and put a beef mixture in it and close it. Then you coat the outside with flour (or something like that) and fry it. OH MY HEAVENS!!!!!! They are absolutely fantastic! I really want to make these myself. They are so good!
 Another food that I like is a breakfast food, kind of similar to an oatmeal. Its called AVENA. I have no idea what exactly is in it, but it will often have some type of fruit flavor (apple, pineapple) I really like it.

I believe the package arrived! The zone leader told me last wednesday, but said that I couldnt have it until monday. ..... I wasnt very happy at him. He also told Hna M that she had a letter! And wouldnt get it until monday. .... So I need to track that package down. Thank you so much! (even though I have no idea whats in it right now) Im excited to read your letters too. And to have something physical. When you get the pictures of my brothers, do you think you could send some to me though snail mail? Just a request. Its difficult to take pictures with the camera and computer. It does weird things, and is hard to read/see sometimes.

Its starting to warm up some here. Though today is more rainy. I am so glad I feel so much better. Im sure it was your prayers. Keep them up! Haha, jk. but seriously... They really do help.

I love and miss you all so much! Have an excellent week!!!

Love Always,
Hermana Heather

Monday, August 19, 2013


I miss you all. A lot. When I read that you put my name on the prayer roll, I started crying to be honest. It has been a difficult week. Last Saturday (not this past, but the one before) I stepped wrong while walking, and a few hours later realized my ankle (left ankle) was swollen. I decided it wasnt good. I put deep blue and such on it and we all kept going. I would put my foot up when I could, but not very often. It kind of hurt, but was mostly annoying, and looked ugly (I didnt want cankles so early in life! haha). We called the mission presidents wife about wednesday, had a zone meeting thursday, and she decided it would be best to visit with the mission doctor (he is from the states, doctor Braumwell, orthopedic doctor). So I met with the Doctor on Friday, and he said that my ankle is sprained. I dont know how bad it is, but now I have an ankle brace and a cane! The cane is so I dont keep spraining it when I walk. More of a prevention. So It will be awhile before I am completely healed. It hurts some every once in awhile, but its bearable.

The language is rough, and whats worse, is that Hna P doesnt think Im trying. I dont always understand, and my reading the book of mormon in spanish is slow, because I am trying to dissect the words, then put them back together so that I understand each verse. I am not learning as quickly as my other North American companion. I really am trying, but learning has always been difficult for me... Anyways, its been a difficult week all around. Dont worry about my ankle though. I wasnt planning on telling you, but felt it was relevant, especially when you said you put my name on the prayer roll...thank you.

I really am different from the peruvians here. Everyone has black black hair, and dark skin, and brown/black eyes. I have more light brown hair, light skin, and blue blue eyes. Sometimes when we are talking to people (mostly the men) they  always look at me and tell me I have beautiful eyes. Its a little weird to me. Lol. Im not sure about the porcelain skin part, mostly because I dont understand everything the say. Hahaha
Generally I feel safe where we are. The manzanas (the mountain area) is not so safe at night. If we are there at night, it is because we are finishing an appointment there, and then we get out. I dont know exactly why, but Hna P says its "peligroso" I think the translating is "unsafe."

Ok, so I was in a lot of pain a few nights ago. My lower back was KILLING me, and some of my foot, and my head felt weird, and my latina comp wasnt happy with me. Anyways, I opened the letter from you to open when I am in pain, and I saw the picture of you me and cotton, I was like "are you kidding me?" I absolutely love that picture, and always wanted one of that one.

Love Always,
Hermana Heather

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


So last week we went to the catacombs. The catacombs are actually under a 400 year old Catholic Cathedral. Which is gorgeous. The construction is marvelous. It was built sometime in the 1600´s I believe. We were not allowed to take pictures inside though... There was an awesome library, and the domes on the ceiling were breathtaking. I wasnt too fond of the decor though... Lots of pictures/images/3d images of Christ suffering and dying on the cross. If I was catholic, I would definitely be depressed. The catacombs were pretty cool, and really creepy at the same time. I kind of felt like it could be in a scene of Indiana Jones or something ;) There were lots of bones that were placed in V forms, but lots, so stack the V´s on top of each other and thats how the bones were. There was also this pit that when you looked down, you saw lots of bones placed in different shapes/patters, and also skulls. And there were skulls in the stone wall going down into it. I thought it was pretty cool.

So last week, I forgot to tell this story. So about a week and a half ago, we went to a home that we call niƱos (that is kids in spanish, because we teach the children there) and they all came out and gave us kisses and such, and this little boy about 3 years old came out with his grandma, looked and me and covered his eyes while screaming "¡ojo´s! ¡Blanco!" He did NOT want to come near me at all. But his grandma convinced him I was ok, and he came and gave me a peck on the cheek and ran off. I later learned he said my eyes were doll eyes (blue.)  A similar thing happened just yesterday with a little girl. She was about the same age, 3 or 4, and she ran and gave Hna P a BIG hug and kiss, looked at me, and ran to her dad. When we finished talking with her parents, she hugged Hna P, hugged Hna M (she has green eyes, but not as noticeable) and REFUSED to come near me. I was kind of really disappointed... but at the same time its kind of funny. I think you should send me brown contacts. ;)

We do a lot of hiking here. If you look at the popular peru picture of colorful houses on the hill/mountain, that is what it looks like. Dead serious. A lot of the houses are just cement. There is one lady who lives in a space smaller than our garage (in Lehi). Its...wow. Jut wow.

A few things I am grateful for. Having access to various cleaning supplies at home. Clean bathrooms in the church (the STINK. SO BAD here. In the church!). I am thankful for insulation, and thick walls that keep out a lot of the noise at night.

We dont have any big stores in our zone. We are only allowed to leave our zone 2 a transfer. There are tiny stores that have basic stuff, but I want to go to a supermarket store. Where I can shop and look for what I want.

Yesterday there was this lady that came up to us and started talking about our church. She was crying while talking. I didnt understand the conversation, but after, I learned she is trying to quit drinking, but cant. She really really wants to. And she is trying to find a religion, but every church she goes to tells lies. We are having a family home evening at someones house tonight, and we are going to take her as well. I hope she really does come. She could be a very promising investigator.

I love you all so much! Stay safe!

Love Always,
Hermana Heather

8/5/13 - First Week in the Fieldl

Well, I am here, and in the field! We are in the Sta Isabel area, in the Sta Isabel ward. My companions are Hermana P and Hermana M. Hermana P is from Peru, and lives in the Cusco mission, but I dont remember the actual city name. She has been in the field since November of last year, and was originally in the Lima West mission, and was in the new Lima North boundaries when it split, so she is now in Lima North. Hermana M is from Highland. I know she lives less than five miles from us, no not very far. She is 19, and I believe she graduated in 2012. Hermana M came in with me, so shes new too. Its a little difficult because Hermana P doesnt speak ANY english, and mine and Hna M's spanish isnt very good, but seem to communicate very well.

Our Living conditions are actually pretty good. We live in a nice part of town. It is an upstairs apartment, and when you walk in the front door, you can see our study area with two desks, and then the bathroom is to the left. When you walk forward, you end up walking into our bedroom. It is a small room, and we have the three beds parallel to each other, with about 6 inches of room between each. I sleep in the middle, and I actually like it. At the base of the beds, against the wall, we have two dressers, and then also a wooden rack to hang our clothes on. I have to tell you about the showers. There is a specific way to use them. First you need to turn on the water, then you flip a switch for electricity to make it warm. It takes a little bit of time, but you have to adjust the water pressure just right for it to be a good temperature (meaning turn off the electricity, adjust the water, repeat). Its not that bad really. But I think it is a blessing to be able to adjust your water temperature so easily in the states.

The homes of people we visit arent that bad. They look worse on the outside than they do on the inside. Still not what I would consider ideal, but they are livable. Something interesting is that people who are richer generally live on the flat ground, where as those who are more poor live on the mountain. So thats different than in Utah. In the richer area, there is a gated courtyard area. Kind of like a front yard. There isnt much green stuff around here either. Once you go in the courtyard area, you go through another door to get into the actual house. Its not bad, I knd of like the layout, and some home look pretty nice on the outside too.

Mama Norma is our pensionista. She is very nice. She lives about 1/2 a mile away from us, so every morning we walk to go eat breakfast. Breakfast and dinner are normally small. One of my favorite things is milk and sugar. They use milk from a can (evaporated milk) and have it heated up, and then you put sugar in it. YUM! We have also had something called ECCO. Its made from nestle, and I would probably say it is like mormon coffee. It smells kind of like coffee, but it is COMPLETELY ok. And actually pretty good! Lunch is the big meal. We have had lunch at members homes, and the norm is rice and potatoes, or rice and chicken. Pretty good, but I like breakfast and dinner the most. Once for dinner last week we had strawberry yogurt, chocolate flakes, and mini dried marshmallows. It was super good, and the best part is, I didnt get sick from the yogurt! I was very happy about that. So yesterday we ate at a members home, and in the middle of the rice was a purple olive. Gross Gross Gross! I had a "bite" of one at the CCM, and they are NOT good. Often referred to as "gringo killers" haha. I dont know what they do to you, but its not good. Hna Panca LOVES them, so she ate both mine and Hna M's.

I have not seen any crawly things that would make you high-tail it out of here. And I hope I never do... ;)

The language is kind of difficult... I understand more than I can speak. Whenever I try and speak, my mind goes blank. Of things even in english. It is very discouraging because I really am trying....i have to keep reminding myself that it has been less than a week. But its still tough.

So Pdays are on Monday. We do things as  zone it seems. Today we are going to the Catacombs. I know its in Lima Central mission, but thats all I know. Im excited to go see whats out there!

Love Always,
Hermana Heather