Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Peru!!

 Mi Familia!!!!
It is a highlight to hear from each of you and to hear about how everyone is doing!  It sounds like you are having a great time with the family and Thanksgiving preparations. I will miss being with you to cook all the delicious foods!
This week has been fabulous. Saturday we went to another part of Peru to go proselyte and I had some really wonderful experiences. Hna Catu and I met a girl named Barbara who is 15 years old and was so cute. We talked to her about how Heavenly Father knows her individually. I definitely felt the love of Heavenly Father as I shared this with her. As we talked, I pictured my EFY girls from this summer and my sisters.  I was thrilled to be with youth again. It is a trying time of life and I know the gospel can bring hope to people of every age!
I get a new companion today from Nicaragua. Her name is Hna Nunez, but she will not be here until tonight. I am so excited to meet her!!!! I will miss Hna Catu´s laughter and fun but she will be a rocking missionary.

Ok because it is Thanksgiving, I will take the last few minutes to list what I am thankful for!
1. My family! I love each one of you and am thankful for your support and testimonies. I can feel them.
2. Espanol. The best way to learn a language--immersion and with the Spirit.
3. Hna Salmon- I just know Heavenly Father wanted us to be friends!
4. The people here...They are so generous.
    TANGENT:  Saturday when we were proselyting, a family invited us to eat lunch with them. I quickly said no we just ate lunch and we were not hungry. Hna Catu is simultaneously saying, YES! Thank you so much! Of course!  And I am thinking ohhhhhhhhh dear.
#1 Against mission rules to eat with the people for various reasons
#2 MY stomach. oh no!!! 
#3 I´m not even hungry. Oh dear. Well the Spanish speakers dominated and I was given a large
     plate with food. It was actually delicious but I passed a lot of it to Hna Catu when they were out of 
     the room. I would like to report I am thankful my stomach has been very happy and has not been
5. The gospel of Jesus Christ. I know my Savior has made it possible for each of us to find true joy.
 I love each one of you!!!

Hna Garlock

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Peru MTC

 Dear Momsicle, Popsicle and friendsicles,
This week has flown by. I am realizing that a mission is really good for me. I am learning lots and loving it. Entonces... let´s dig in.

On Saturday we went to a city called Haural to contact, teach inactive members and investigators. We went by bus and it was a 2.5 hour drive. I would be interested to know how many miles away it actually is. I believe it is actually not that far but the traffic in the city is awful. I cannot believe it--I´m not sure if there is any place in the US to compare it to. Possibly WA DC. Mom you would like all the honking that goes on. :) It is a bit out of control. The best part of the drive was when we drove along the ocean. It was absolutely
beautiful. At some points we could not see the ocean because of the mist/fog, but when we did see it I just smiled with glee. The road was pretty treacherous--two lanes with a sand mountain on one side and a drop off with the ocean on the other. I am not sure how fast we were going since the speed here is measured differently. I think it was around 35 mph. It was an exciting drive...

Saturday was a really neat day. We walked around the city with a member from the area. We visited people and I got to share my testimony and beliefs at every home. I tried to ask questions and we invited lots of people to church on Sunday. It was really a neat experience. My shoes were completely covered in dirt by the end of the day. The people here live in very simple houses. We visited an inactive member and she was so welcoming. We sang her favorite hymn at the beginning, "Count Your Many Blessings" and she was so touched that she just cried through the whole hymn. She had the cutest little boy I just wanted to pick up and kiss. He did kiss me when we left which was sooo cute. What wasn´t so great was the father also gave me a cheek/air kiss.....No bueno. OOPS! I was so caught off guard I did not even know what to do. In this culture men and women greet each other with kisses so I´m sure he thought nothing of it, but I was soo surprised. Not exactly ok for a sister missionary. But I have repented and next time will make sure I only greet with a handshake.

Any ways, besides this and a few other shocking experiences (such as a man answering the door in his underwear), it was a typical day in the life of a missionary...Or so I think. I realized we gave away three
Book of Mormons and this is how many I have given away in my whole life I am pretty sure. How great is that! I love The Book of Mormon. My life is put into the proper perspective when I read it. I feel the peace and calm that comes from having the Spirit in our lives. When I gave it to people, I really felt like I was giving a gift. I loved getting to meet so many new people and just soak in the culture here. People are so friendly and everyone said hi when we walked down the street. I learned to say ¨"buenas dias" only for the morning greeting. I kept saying it in the afternoon and Hna Catu thought this was hilarious. I am not sure what percent I understood of what people said, but it took all my focus to figure the gist of every situation.
The first person we taught I was able to understand quite a bit of which was really fun. I think I usually get the general idea, but sometimes I am not exactly sure if I just turned the words into what I want to hear. Slowly but surely I am understanding more espanol. THANK HEAVENS I am learning Spanish. Truly, I am so thankful to learn this language. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to learn a language like Flemish that sounds nothing like English. I can say a word in English and often times we can figure out the Spanish word.

Hermana Catu is a great companion-- she has a lot of enthusiasm for the gospel and is good about letting me talk in our practice teaching appointments. We are very different from each other--- it is hard to know what are personality differences and what are culture differences. Hna Salmon and I have such similar ideas about study and time and teaching so it is very different to be with a companion who has opposite ideas. Sometimes I think that I must not have understood what she said in Spanish, but then I realize nope! I understood it's just a different idea. This is a good growing experience for me. :) We only have one week left together because she will go to the field (a name in Peru that I have no idea how to spell...Piuda?) and I will get a new companion. One thing I have realized is that even when we cannot easily communicate using words, there is a feeling that exists between us. I try to always keep this a positive loving feeling instead of a distant isolated feeling....which can happen when it´s hard to understand the words she says or when it´s hard to understand why she does things differently. I am glad though that both of us like to laugh and we both love the gospel.

I am overwhelmed by the lifestyle here. Last Pday, I taught all the Latinos in the laundry room how to use the washer and dryer. None of them had ever used a washer/dryer and had no idea how to use it. Hna Catu was sooo funny about it. She wanted to prewash her clothes in the sink first and then she insisted that we separate her whites, lights, and darks. I know this is good practice to separate your clothes, but what was funny about it was that she just had about 3-4 pieces of clothing in the lights and darks. I think her clothes were really clean in the end though. I felt completely overwhelmed though. I did not know whether to laugh or cry about the whole experience. I chose to laugh.

On Pday here we get to ride the bus to the temple and to the grocery store, Totus. Totus is similar to Walmart. This is really interesting because all of the foods I am used to are very expensive. But Hna
Salmon and I found oreos!! I also bought some kind of banana chip things and a few other things I needed. The bus ride is an adventure in and of itself!
Believe it or not, I have found myself missing random foods here. Like E.L. Fudge cookies, rainbow chip frosting, and teddy grahams....I cannot find them here and they are mine and Hna Salmon´s favorite. I think I´m going to pull out the peanut butter from my bag. A whole month without peanut butter may be my limit. :)

I am thankful to be serving a mission. This is the neatest experience. I am astounded all the time that I am actually on a mission!

Hermana Garlock

Pictures in Peru

Peru Temple!  The flowers are beautimous!
Latin American and North American District in Peru
Companions and Roommates
oooh OREOs in South America!! They taste a bit different but they are  delicious!!!  Hermana Salmon and are are thrilled to have Oreos in Peru!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This week has been something else! Everything is so new and yet so fabulous. The Peru MTC is sooo different from Provo. Because the MTC is small, we actually know the mission president. President Whetten
and his wife are wonderful. They run a tight ship here but I´m pretty sure it is because we would have way too much fun otherwise. Time here is very structured. Everything is much more structured. For example,
there are two sisters called to be coordinating sisters for the sisters. (Make sense?) In Provo, this meant they would check on us and see how we were doing and let the branch presidency know if we needed anything. Here, this means that the Latino coordinating sister walks around with her alarm clock in her hand, frown on her face, and says, "Quiet Time". The first night Hna Salmon and I did not realize this meant we could not go to the bathroom. We quickly found out we needed to be in our rooms QUIET by 10:15 pm. It was actually quite comical and I have made it my personal goal to warm up the heart of this Latino sister.

I had another experience this week that was so funny, I could not handle it. We went outside to exercise and lo and behold, there was a fitness instructor. He was a short, tough looking Peruvian. We spent gym time jumping over benches, doing push ups, squats, and lunges. My ab workout was primarily laughter. Turns out every Monday we have drill sergeant time. I look forward to next Monday.

On a different note, my teachers are from Peru and they served their missions in South America...Hence, they do not speak very much English. Hna Flores speaks hardly any and Hno Morales speaks a good
amount. They are excellent teachers and I love them. It is easy to learn from them- they are so clear and understand their language well. For many reasons, it is a huge blessing to be here. My Spanish has
improved immensely since being here. Most of class time is just with North Americans and our companions are in another district for class time. We do the majority of teaching with our Latino companions and
spend mealtimes, etc with them. In class, we are mostly learning Spanish applied to the gospel. Yesterday in class, it was my turn to stand up and tell about the Elder I had asked questions to...I ended
up saying something like, "His mother is his mother." This is a humbling experience overall....I don´t always sound very intelligent!  But I do sound funny, and people usually like this and so, I am certain there will be people willing to listen to me in Ecuador even if I do not say everything perfectly.

My Spanish is better than I would have thought possible. It is truly because the Spirit teaches
me all the time. I now understand how there is more to communicating than just words. The first day here the Mission President´s wife, Hna Whetton, said, "You will learn that here we touch. This is a culture
where touch is very important." This is true! The hermanas greet each other by touching cheek and blowing kisses in the air. I love this.  Hna Catu is a wonderful companion--she is so patient and will use actions to explain things often.

The other day I was trying to ask her if she wanted to study inside or outside. She said in a knowing voice, "Si, Hermana, si" which is what I always say when I have no idea what she just said. We both laughed
about this. I have started using huge facial expressions and hand gestures while talking--I think it is helpful...It produces a lot of laughter, which is a good thing. I have also started a trend. I gave Hna Catu a "high 5" and some of the elders saw me do this. Now we give each other "chacolas!" or something like that all the time. Chacola is the word for high 5 I think---it´s what everyone says when they do it.  At breakfast the other morning, I learned another funny word-- "chipi-chipi" This is the word they use in Nicaragua for rain. It is best said in a higher pitch with a serious face.

Meal times are very interesting. I try something new and learn new words everyday. There is rice at breakfast and dinner! I do not eat it both times, but I´m pretty sure I eat it everyday. I think I have tried potatoes in every form the Peruvians can imagine. Thank heavens I like potatoes. There is fresh squeezed juice at every meal, but usually we have no idea what fruit it comes from. It is usually very exotic tasting. We can recognize the apple, watermelon, and cantaloupe juices. The other Hnas do not like the papaya juice, so I have not tried it yet, but I am sure I will. Something very odd is happening...One day I will say, "I would love to have____________" and then the next day we have that item. It has happened with zucchini, beans, and bananas. My companions want me to wish for chocolate cake.  We will see....I do not dare to wish for peanut butter because I don´t think it will happen. But I have learned the Spanish words for your
wish is my command so I can say this when someone wishes for an item of food. :)

For my mother, Annie, and any others interested, I would like to give the bug update. Thus far, I have only seen one odd looking bug. It was a fairly small bluish black beetle. The beetle was located in the classroom which was of slight concern, but the fact that it was not a spider was extremely comforting. I will keep you posted on any abnormal bugs. No spiders yet. Thank heavens!

I love being here. I cannot imagine doing anything more worthwhile right now than serving a mission. I think of Grandpa M. often as I am learning how to be a better teacher. I appreciate Grandpa so much
more now because he is so good about asking questions to get to the heart of things. This is a huge focus for me--getting to know the hearts of the people I will teach. We all have problems, needs, and questions and the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. One of the keys to successful missionary work then is to discover the needs of the people and apply the teachings of Christ to their lives so that they can be blessed by the glorious truths of the gospel. The gospel blesses my life and my relationships with all of my friends and

Thank heavens I am here in the Peru MTC. This is a perfect middle spot between Provo and Ecuador. Hna Salmon and are close friends now and when I talk to her I feel just right at home.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hola de Peur!

Hola Familia!!!

I can hardly believe that I am here in PERU. P E R U. It is simply delightful. I wish I could have each of you experience it. We finally got to the MTC at 1am last night and when our bus pulled in, there
were missionaries waiting outside in cute hats and sweaters to greet us! Already we could tell this was going to be very different from the Provo MTC.

My last thoughts before I fell asleep last night were of how wonderful it was to be finally in a bed and to have a nice pillow and starchy sheets! I woke up sometime early morning to the sounds of a JUNGLE outside of my window. We slept with the window open and I seriously thought it sounded like one of those amazon soundtracks when I woke up. The animals or birds or whatever they were, made so much
noise. I could not stop smiling and I wanted to wake the other Hmas up in my room to say HELLO!!! We are IN Peru!!!!

The CCM-which is the spanish abbreviation of the MTC, is incredibly nice. I was prepping myself to be as Catniss (in the Hunger Games) when she leaves the capital and goes to the arena. I had this a bit
wrong. The Provo MTC was Distric 12 and now I´m at the Capital. So I´m thinking that Guayaquil may be the arena. We will see.

The grounds here are absolutely beautiful. I heard it does not usually rain here in Peru so they have special dirt and fertilizer for the grass to grow nice and green. The flowers are beautiful and the only types I
recognize are marigolds and roses. There are about 137 missionaries here right now and half are native and half are from North America.  The cafeteria is small, but the food has been excellent so far! Today
for lunch I had a salad that had avocado and beets on it! They want us to eat all of our food...this will be interesting. The key is asking for a small amount. The food is different but I liked what I had for
breakfast and lunch. The eggs were the best at breakfast and the yogurt was more milky but good. The juice here is squeezed fresh- I am planning on trying some for dinner. For lunch I had rice with some kind of meat (pork maybe) with a gravy over it. Oh Amanda-- remember how you signed your letter *Candied yams* Well, I have had yams twice since then. Maybe you could sign your next letter stuffed zucchini and we will see what happens.

There is a huge nice soccer field with turf, sand volleyball, and even fuse ball (I think that´s what it is called.) This morning I exchanged my money for Peru currency--soles. This made me smile. I am officially in Peru.

Hna Salmon and I are in the same room but we have native companions.  We get the best of both worlds! I´m not exactly sure how to spell my companion´s name but it is something like Hermana Catu. She is from
Guatemala. I spoke to her a little this morning and I am not sure what she said about where she lives... I´m sure I will figure this out eventually. She does not speak English so it took a while for us to communicate that we are companions. Its like solving little mysteries all the time.

Hna Salmon was friends with Drew G in Mesa! She has told me about some of the funny things they did together. She was on a date with him and they were in the grocery store and he got on the loud speaker and started singing, *When you need somebody to love.* Another time he gave them some kind of fluffing gas in gum. She said it was awful. :) Hna Salmon went to his wedding reception too.  Small world. I love hearing stories about Drew--- they all make me laugh.

It is so different to be surrounded by spanish. I love it because it forces me to speak it.´The administration gets on the loud speaker to make announcements and sometimes they do not say the english translation. The sisters who are from here are so nice. There are about 20 sisters here, but Hna Salmon and I are the only ones going to our mission. The weather today is beautiful. We heard it is almost always overcast, but today it is sunny! It is warm and humid, but still pleasant.

I am so sorry I did not get to talk to you for very long yesterday. The Elders ran over and found us and said that they had been saying our names on the sound speakers for final boarding. Yes. I don´t want to admit it but we almost missed our flight to Peru. It was bad news bears. Hence, the frustration on Elder Applegate and Elder Storm´s faces in the picture I sent. They would have had to have waited behind with us as well. We almost gave them heartaches three times yesterday. I won´t go into details, but I believe those elders have aged. They are now prepared for future travel with their families. Nothing will seem too stressful to them after yesterday.

The plane ride yesterday was not too bad! It actually went by quickly and Hna Salmon and I blew kisses as we flew over Ecuador. (We could tell we were flying over Ecuador by the little screens on our seats).
I sat by a young man from Belgium who was going to Peru for 6 weeks to do humanitarian work. It was so neat. Thankfully, he spoke Flemmish, Spanish, French, and English so we were able to talk with ease. He
shared with me about his family, his goals, and his beliefs about God. He does not believe in God, but he wanted to look into different religions. I could see how the gospel of Jesus Christ would really bless his life. I shared with him about The Book of Mormon and my testimony of God´s love for us. I also gave him a pass along card and he said he would go to It was a wonderful experience!
Oh last thought! Elder Ballard´s talk was amazing. It was all about becoming a master communicator and teacher. It was extremely helpful. I feel so blessed to have heard three apostles at the MTC. Also, Hna
Salmon and I have seat angels, because miraculously every week two seats in the front and center open up 10 minutes before the devotional begins and we get to sit in them!

I am soooo happy to be here in Peru. The just started sending missionaries who are going to Ecuador to this MTC this past summer. It is a blessing to be here.

I love you! Thank you for your love, support, prayers, emails, letters, and all you do for me.
Hermana Garlock