This letter was the first traditional snail mail letter we have receieved from Elder Layton while in Peru. It is not as current as a couple of the older posts, which were received as email. But it has good information that we didn't really receive before. By the way, it appears that snail mail takes about 1-1/2 weeks from Peru to the States...or at least, that's what this one took.
My mission is great. It's good to finally get started in Peru. My first interview with Presidente Perez was today. He's really cool. I have two companions, Elders Acevedo and Cairampoma, although Cariampoma may be leaving soon due to health reasons.
My first day here I hung out at the office with Elder Rich, Vargas, the AP's, etc. and they showed me around. I went and visited a family with Elder Rich and Vargas and we had dinner there. I love the Peruvian food; haven't gotten sick yet (although from what I hear I'm sure it's coming). My first day I slept to catch up from the traveling, and the second day we met up with my companions, went to a Zone conference, and then I went to a baptism with my companions that night. They said I'll be getting a little aware from the Zone even though I didn't do NADA! :) It was a good experience for me though.
My comps are really good. The mission is 10x more strict than the USA mission...well they're all the same for the most part, but it's enforced here, which I find to be a good thing. I'm so lucky to be here.
All the Elders I've met are so tight. There are dogs everywhere, dirt floors. We're lucky to have cement. Part of our ceiling is cardboard. It's cold. WE don't have running water in the morning or night(which I've found is just about the time we use it), it's dirty all the time, the trees are covered with dirt, there aren't llamas in Puente Piedra (the name of my town, district & zone), BUT the work goes on! It's so cool. Compared to Arizona the people are so ready. We really do nothing for them except introduce the Gospel and let the Spirit do the rest. If you want, you can commit someone to baptism every day, the people are very ready. The people give us so much food! We eat dinner with the members and Breakfast and Almuerzo with the family we stay with The Angel (pronounced "On - hel") Family. They're the best. I'm truly blessed to be in this mission. Even the Zone I'm in, Puente Piedra, is normally the highest baptizing mission by far, not that baptisms are what we care about, it's our whole purposed but it is a blessing to see this many people change their lives.
Everyone stares at me like I'm a freak, which I am. Truly though, I feel like a giant when I get on a Combi (they're small buses).
I love the Gospel. I got to bear my testimony again at Church, and of course I bear it everyday. I'm so grateful to have everything I have. You guys, be grateful for carpet and water that's absent of parasitical substances. I love you mi familia.