Well I am here in the CCM (Centro de Capacitacion Misional) and it is crazy. I have a 16 hour work day and I am in the 3 week program which means... out of the 50 plus people in the 3 week program... there are 2 (including myself) white kids. There are 4 of us who are from the U.S. and speak english but other than that no english has been spoken. I speak spanish at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; I learn to teach in spanish; I read the scriptures and am tought doctrine in spanish; I pray in spanish, everything I do is in Spanish... and I am not that good at spanish. Out of the 4 americans two of them have peruvian parents and the other white kid has been working all summer with some mexicans who taught him to understand a lot whereas I might be able to read and write in spanish but as far as hearing and understanding what people say...it is not easy.
My district here, the group in which I have all my classes with, has 4 other latinos in it that are all going to Trujillo norte. It is quite the hilarious group of guys. Elder Riojas is an argentine who is also in my room... an absolute clown. There are also Elders Torres (Ecuador), Elder Moncada (Peru), Elder Guitierrez (Peru), and 4 Hermanas from Peru, Ecuador, and Honduras... and let me tell you... the Hermanas are so hard on me. They always lecture us gringos about how we need to immerse ourselves in the language and there cannot be any english spoken because we wïll not be teaching anyone in english. It is a bit frustrating how hard they are on us, but they are so sweet and spiritual as well. They have such powerful testimonies it makes it easier to forgive them when they yell at me in spanish that I do not understand.
The first couple of days here in the CCM were so stressful. Everything I did and every question i was asked was in spanish, and I could barely understand anything that was said. A couple of days ago I think I crossed the first hump of the language though and now can understand the majority of things that are tought and said. It is still pretty hard though but getting easier.
I flew into Lima with 30 other missionaries that all met up in Atlanta but other than the 3 other american spanish speakers the rest are on the 6 week program where they basically learn spanish from the ground up. I see them at meals and while playing soccer on occasion but other than a few hellos most of my leisure time is spent jokiing around and playing soccer with my latino boys. Now that I understand the majority of things, spending time with some of the guys is so much fun... it is hard not to be laughing all the time when we are in class or anywhere we go. Some real great guys.
Currently my companion is Elder Respicio from San Diego. He is half peruvian and despite being from the US is our district leader. He understands and speaks a lot more than me but I have been helping him a little with Grammar habits.
Today we had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Lima temple, it was so fun having the service entirelly in spanish, and it was a very spiritual experience.
My time here so far has been a little overwhelming at first, but despite being so busy, I am having so much fun with these guys and I am so excited to go teach and serve the people of Trujillo. The weather and grounds here are so beautiful, sunny and warm everyday! A little more humid than what I am used to... but I better get ready for that.
I am pumped to be a missionary!
Until next time,
Elder Vassau (A.K.A Elder Vaso)
p.s. attached are some picture from my first week here including a picture from the trip to the temple and a picture of the MTC christmas lights.
p.s.s. GO SOUNDERS! MLS CHAMPS