Thursday, August 27, 2015


Hola Everyone...
This week went by wayyy faster than last week! We decided that the days are like years long, but the weeks are like seconds long.  We´re officially intermedios (intermediates) now, so we´re expected to know a lot more Spanish, which we don´t ... so that's fun. Our teachers are really cracking down on only speaking Spanish during the day, which is very difficult considering I don´t know how to speak Spanish.  But it's good. It is frustrating because they don´t really teach us Spanish, they just teach us how to be a missionary, but in Spanish.  We´re getting there, don´t worry.

We´ve also discovered that, to quote Elder Meier, "They all told me a mission would be the hardest thing you ever did, but the happiest.  They never told me it would be the funniest thing ever" .... which is so true, because literally 98% of the time, we have no idea what is going on.  We have a schedule but on random days they´ll change it without telling us.  Once we know it changed, they don´t even give us a new schedule so we actually know what's going on. haha Even our district leader is always confused.. he´s like "all they did was give me this binder full of info and said good luck... and the binder is in Spanish" so we´re all super confused.

All this confusion leads to lots of funny stories... like the other day two of our elders fell asleep during personal study, so we all quietly packed up our stuff and walked out of the room to go to physical activity and just left them in there asleep.  They apparently woke up a few minutes later and panicked because they didn't know where anyone was. It was hilarious.  We seem to be forgetting some things in English too.  The other day Elder Meier and I had a five minute long conversation about how to pronounce the word "while" and we´re still not sure.

Oh, yesterday we got to go immigrations.   We thought was going to be super fun cause we could actually leave the MTC and see the real Peru world, but it was awful.  First we get there and they ask us for our passports and we´re like, "you guys collected them from us before we even got on the bus to come here??"  Thankfully, the guy showed up with our passports and it was all good. Then we go inside and have to wait in line, so me and some other Hermanas went to the bathroom, and oh look, they don´t have toilet paper. We were warned this might happen all over Peru, but we thought a government building in the capitol city would be all right. Nope, we were wrong.  Afterwards we had to go take pictures for when we go to Interpol on Thursday.  So we go to this tiny little photo shop in the middle of Lima, and there's like 20 of us American missionaries lining the streets to get these pictures.  People walking past would just lady lives right next to the photo place and she stuck her head out the window and started talking to us.  She asked if we were cold.  It was sweet of her ... but then she and her husband just stared out the window at us for another 20 minutes... HAHA ... One person walked past Hermana Dickman (who is like 6 feet) and they went "oh my gosh!" in this Peruvian accent, but they were speaking English, which was super weird, but it was hilarious... poor Hermana Dickman was so embarrassed. We waited outside for our pictures for like two hours which was a pain, and then we were so excited to finally leave, but nope, the trip just couldn´t get better. We were driving home in Peru, during rush hour traffic.  Not only did it take over an hour to get home, but our driver would slam on the gas, then slam on the brake... over and over again.  Literally everyone in the car was about to throw up. Hermana Gillingham and I ran to the bathroom when we got back to the ccm because we legit thought we were going to puke. Luckily, we didn´t, but it was rough.  We have discovered that since there are no rules when driving in Peru, they put in speed bumps everywhere to make everyone slow down.  Except it doesn´t make anyone slow down until like half a second before they go over the bump, when they slam on the brakes.  

On our way to immigrations...we really get packed in!

The view of Lima from one of the windows in the CCM.  All the houses have these gates big gates around them.

Oh, also if you wanna know what we do here, we basically only fijar metas (make goals) and plan. Literally plan all day everyday.  We don´t ever have anything going on, but we just plan anyways. 

We also have a few phrases we say all the time, because we need something to lighten up our long class days... so we taught all the Latinos to say "que en el mundo?!" which just means what in the world ...  but it doesn´t make sense in Spanish.  Everyone says it and it's hilarious.  Also the only line from any Spanish song we know is "listos, siempre listos", from Called to Serve, which just means "ready, always ready" and so sometimes our teachers will ask us to do something and then they´ll be like "listos?" and were all like "SIEMPRE LISTOS!" Our teachers got so annoyed they taught us a Peruvian phrase to say "ready freddy", which is "listos calixtos" so now we say that all the time too.

So yeah, there's not much more to talk about because I literally just finished breakfast, so p day hasn´t even happened yet, but there is one announcement.....
ELDER BEDNAR IS COMING TO SPEAK TO US TODAY!!!! It's good and bad haha..  it's good because's Elder Bednar, but bad because now we don´t get to go shopping this p day... but that's okay! They won´t let us take cameras so I probably won´t have any pictures with him.  Just know tonight I´ll probably be in the same room as Elder Bednar!!

Hermana Gurney

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Oh my gosh, I love it here at the CCM!  

Picture of basically the entire CCM... the building on the left is the dorms and classrooms, the one in the middle and back is the president and his wife´s offices, and the one on the right has the auditorium, on the second floor and the cafeteria on the first.   It's super small but I like it that way!

My giant bruise from playing volleyball everyday
for an hour during physical activity.. lovely!
The giant soccer field where everyone goes to play during physical activity.. you can see the sand volleyball court in the right corner, that's where I usually am!

Literally, I´ve never been more happy in my entire life and I´m not really sure why because all we do is sit in classes all day... but it´s fantastic! My companions name is Hermana Fink.  She´s from Arizona and is also the oldest, but her family is like the reverse of ours, so their youngest is the only boy haha.  She´s a great first companion.  She´s really teaching me exact obedience because she has to be everywhere like ten minutes early, but it´s good because it makes me on time! haha Also she´s my garbage disposal... at the ccm they have rules that you can´t waste food, so you have to eat all the food you take.  Which sounds good until you get there and you can´t really communicate with the lunch ladies, and they give you TONS of food you don´t like.  So basically, Hermana Fink eats all my extra food.

Hermana Fink, mi companera!

The food here is good.  We have rice for lunch and dinner EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Good thing we ate rice so much growing up, otherwise I would hate this.  Then they have lots of meat, usually chicken or pork, so usually i get the chicken cause it looks and tastes like chicken nuggets.  OH also they have this weird fruit called a grenadilla? you´ll have to look it up. You open it up and it looks like fish eggs.. so its a bunch of seeds in this gooey stuff? It actually doesn't taste bad.  Its just the texture that throws me off. I only eat it if someone else doesn't want to finish theirs haha.  The juice here is great! They have all kinds of juice, but you don´t really know what kind it is until you try it, since its all in spanish.  I've had strawberry juice, cantaloupe juice, lemonade, orange juice, and like anything else you can imagine, haha. but it's great! ... cause I get sick of water. 

Speaking of the water, you can´t drink anything out of the sink or shower cause its not filtered, and could give you parasites, so that's fun.  When I turn on the sink to wash my face the water smells so bad, and I didn't know that was possible.  Also the showers kind of stink, but as long as you use soap you´re good.

My district is AMAZING, oh my gosh, we've only known each other a week but we are all such good friends. We literally see each other all day every day, so I guess that´s why we´re close :) There are two other hermanas in our district, Hermana Dickman and Hermana Gillingham (i have no clue if those are spelled right) but they are great! 

Left to right Hermanas Gillingham, Gurney, Dickman, and Fink ... must be a popular dress!!

Unfortunately, they´re not our roommates though, but they´re across the hall.  Hermana Dickman´s family moves like every two years to crazy places cause her dad is like a doctor for the state or something.  She just came to the ccm from nigeria.. how cool is that? Also all the latinos here think we´re twins... it was pretty funny cause one of them asked us, in spanish, if we were twins and since we can´t understand them at all, we just nodded like "si, si", and then she looked at our name tags and was like "but you don´t have the same last name?" It took a while to communicate that we are not, in fact, twins. 

My lovely twin ... again the same dress!  HA!

Hermana Gillingham is also great, she knows the most spanish so she´s our translator when the teacher isn´t around.  She´s also like the nicest person, she will talk to literally anyone, its great.

Our teachers are great too... Hermana Luna is our teacher in the morning and her English is like almost perfect.  She served her mission in Mesa, Arizona, and we´re all convinced she got everyone baptized there cause she´s such a sincere person. We all love her.  Our afternoon teacher is Hermano Vasquez and he is hilarious.  His accent just makes everything better.  No one in our district can say each others name correctly because we´re just used to saying it with Hermano Vasquez´s accent. Like one time he was trying to say "coaching" but it sounded like "coashing" so we had no idea what he was talking about, but when we finally figured it out he was like "what is the difference???" That happens on a daily basis, it´s hilarious.

OH also, it´s freezing here. LIKE SO COLD.  Winter in peru is like 60´s all the time, but with the humidity and fog, it feels colder. Luckily I brought some cardigans, otherwise i´d probably get hypothermia.  It´s also probably because the sun is never out, like it's literally foggy all the time. I´m convinced the sky in Peru is actually white.  Monday was like the first day we saw the sun and all of us freaked out cause it was such a new concept to us! haha, but it´s all good in the hood!

Today was p-day so we finally got to leave the ccm! It was so strange being out an about. (oh also I can only take pictures on pday, so there's not going to be much for you to see, and I can´t take pictures inside any buildings, so I can't show you my room or anything, lo siento) But yeah! We went to the temple and they didn't have any headphones to translate to english, so I had to do a session all in spanish.  I only half knew what was going on.
Lima Peru Temple

Then we walked over to the temple store and I bought this super cute bag with a llama on it.  

Then we went over to Tottus, which is like Peru´s Target and bought a ton of peruvian candy.  I haven´t tried all of it yet, but it looks good! I bought a Sprite here for 2 soles, which is basically less than one US dollar, so that shows you how cheap everything is. It was funny though, everywhere we walked everyone would stare and some would wave, almost like we were celebrities. If someone in a car waves at us we can´t wave back though, because it could be a taxi trying to give us a ride.  So it was kinda sad just ignoring everyone waving as they drove past.. haha.  We took a bus to get to the temple and basically, in Peru, there are no rules.  So we run across the street to catch the bus, and when I say run, I literally mean run. Pedestrians don´t have the right of way, so you have to make it across before the car comes or else... haha but then we just wave down the bus, even though we´re not at a bus stop, and we tell it where we´re going and then they just pack us on.  All of us had to stand in the aisle cause there were no seats left.  The buses aren´t the size of regular buses, like they're the size of a twelve-passenger van. So basically, there was no personal space. But they packed us in and we all made it safely!

My spanish is coming along better than I thought, I can´t really have a normal conversation with anyone, but I can teach you how to pray and then talk about the history of the Book of Mormon. We try to practice with the latinas here, but they don´t ever really understand what we´re trying to say, and we don´t ever understand their responses... but we´re getting there! We´ve taught three lessons all in spanish so far, so we have to be doing something right.

The houses we teach our "investigators" in ... they´re super cute so i had to take a picture!

Really quickly, some funny things that happened this week,
1. a bird or something pooped on my desk after we left the window open, so that was fun...
2. Dad, the toilets don´t really flush here so I don´t get the joy of seeing the toilet flush in the opposite direction. Also, the sky is always cloudy so i haven´t seen the southern cross either
3. When we arrived at baggage claim at the airport, the sign said "baggage arriving 00:26" and i thought it meant arriving in 26 minutes, but nope it actually meant 12:26 am... gotta love military time
ahh so much more but so little time! i´ll try to tell you more next week! 
love you all!
Hermana Gurney

Also tell everyone I love reading their emails, I just wish I had more time to respond to all of them! Keep telling them to send emails! I love it!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It begins ...

August 10, 2015... I was set apart as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by my Stake President, President Bruce Jones.

August 11, 2015 ... and just like that ... I am on my way to Peru!

August 12, 2015  ... I MADE IT...
My flight landed at 5:30 and then the one to Peru left at 6... so I totally ran all the way to the other terminal and I made it just as they were making the last call for the flight! I kept thinking of the stories of William Wood you sent me, because no matter what happened, he kept saying "God will bless us!" So I kept praying that because I was a missionary doing His will that he would help me make my flight, and He did! haha, anyways luckily all my bags made it too. We got back to the MTC at like 2:30 AM and then we had to weigh and check in all our bags and stuff and it took super long, so i didn't end up going to bed until like 4 in the morning, and then we had to wake up at 7 today! At least we got to sleep in an extra 30 minutes... haha but its all good... anyways my next p day is on Wednesday, so you'll have to wait a week to hear from me again, but then i'll have an hour to write, whereas i only have 5 minutes right now! Anyways i love you so much thanks for everything you do for me!

Love,  Hermana Gurney