Saturday, September 28, 2013

Welcome to Peru

Part of Chances new position is to be on the welcoming committee for incoming missionaries.
I have some questions for you: (the first 2 are from Grandma Boekweg)
1.  -     Is your apartment at, by, or close to the mission office? (He talked about taking calls until midnight)
    The apartment is about a 7 minute walk from the office. But my area is about a 45 minute walk from the office.... so that gets kind of old. You spend an hour just getting to area to proselyte.
2-     When he has to go out around Trujillo (i.e. taking a missionary to catch the bus) is it on foot or does someone drive?
       I usually walk. My companion is the mission´s financial secretary, so he is always looking to save money. In other words, we don't spend money on taxis unless somebody is missing a leg. Ha ha ha. But it´s all good. I love the walk. It's cool. We walk past the only Fender guitar store that I think exists in Perú. If only I could play guitar........  ha ha ha

3. Have you been healthy?
    Aside from some parasite symptoms, yes. That would be fun. It would be my own problem, as I am over the health of the missionaries.....

4. What do you do for P-day now?
     I usually have to work through it. People are always sick. Sister missionaries call me round the clock. Ha ha ha. I have never talked on the phone with girls so much in my life.... pretty ironic. This is another one of those things that I could only see happening to myself. Ha ha. I have only had 3 Pdays here, so I don´t really know yet.

5. From Eileen- So chance - how is the new area? Peanut Butter? Does that mean it's a pretty big city? What could you compare it to? Is it going to be easier to get packages and letters? Are you able to do something besides soccer now on pday? What do you usually do for service?
     Nutella is far superior to peanut butter, and they do have it here! The new area is weird. we got assigned to this place that is like a big construction site. It's basically empty. Nobody lives there yet, because none of the houses are finished. But we also have a really poor area of the city too. There aren´t really any skyscrapers here, it's just like endless amounts of suburbs and apartments. But it is really dirty. I think I compared it dirty Madrid or something. La plaza de armas aquí en Trujillo parece exactamente como una parte de España, pero creo que todavía, hay menos edificios y cosas así.

6. Did you get Dads letter?
    Yes. By the end of the first paragraph, I cried. Thank you so much for writing me. Especially such a long letter. As a missionary, there are few joys greater than reading mail from your family. So it's always good when you find that a letter will take you a long time to read. It takes you home for just a second. I was glad to hear about all the things going on at home. I know it´s not easy for you to write letters. It's not easy for me to type. I understand perfectly. But I love you too. Did they get you to trade, your heroes for gold? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? Did you exchange, a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage? Righteous. Rock on, my father.

7. It takes so long for me to ship you anything that Ive been thinking about Christmas and if you will need a calling card to call us? I have a package ready to go (not your Christmas package) and I can put a calling card in it so you will have it for sure. Should I?
    No calling card. I get to Skype. 40 minutes. I'll be doing it here from the office. I hope I myself can get it figured out. 
I love you. Things are crazy here. Still haven´t had time to take pictures.  *The pictures on here are from Sister Marlers Blog.
-Elder Boekweg

20 new missionaries

Helping with the Sisters luggage

Welcome to Peru

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Life in the Mission Office

Questions first:

1. Do you go on the trips to other places with the Marlers?
    Yeah. They told me I'll see the entirety of this mission, including some areas that haven't been opened up yet. I get to help President open places. That'll be sweet.
2. Does Pres. Marler know you know how to play the guitar? Are you going to get the chance to play his?
     He knows. He told me he wants me to do a musical number sometime. I'll told him YES. Ha ha ha. He has the nicest guitar in Perú. Haven't had the chance to play it yet.
3. When you make a facebook can we friend you?
    Don't have one yet. I'll resist it as long as I can. Ha ha ha ha. Funny how I will only get one when God Himself wants me to..... Ha ha ha ha.
4. Are you going to have an IPAD?
    Don't know..... I would say though, that if anyone here is getting one, it's the assistants, then me. 
5. Did you get Dads letter? I know shocking, he sent you one.
     Nope. I got one from Sister Taylor, though! She is awesome. I miss her unique brand of humor. People here don't laugh at the same stuff I do. I'm always looking weird because I laugh at things that nobody else does. Ha ha ha.
6. Will you send us pics of your new apartment and city?
     I will when I get some. This job keeps me so busy that I haven't had time to take even one pic of Trujillo. But I feel like I just got transferred from Perú to Spain. It's a lot nicer here. REALLY European. It's like........ a filthy version of Madrid.
7. Do you do the trainings for zone conferences?
    Yeah. President Marler also told me that in the future, I will be doing splits with the assistants to go work with Zone Leaders, and we will be teaching them how to become better teachers..... which is a daunting task for me, as I have never been even a senior companion yet......... apparently, My job floats somewhere between Zone Leaders and Assistants. I'm like a weird 'special task' missionary. They're even going to make me get a new plaque that says I'm from the office. It's all very weird. It's very humbling, because I stink at just about everything that this job entails. Ha ha ha ha.
8. Where will you watch general conference?
    Thanks to my new job, I will be watching it at the mission President's house..... right at his side.... I am going to learn SO much. It's so cool, because already, I will be somewhere with President, and he will lean over to me and teach me some profound doctrine that I had never thought of before. I am so lucky to be able to spend so much time with him. It's like drinking straight from the spring. Unfiltered, pure and personal. I LOVE that part of it.

My Spanish is also improving much more quickly here. Half of the office speaks English, so I am constantly having to switch between the two. They say that's better for retention of a language. Sometimes I can't remember if people just told me something in English or Spanish. Even some of my own thoughts are that way.... Not to mention I have to call places like Argentina and Puerto Rico now, so I get to hear all sorts of accents and forms of Spanish. Argentinians have beautiful Spanish. It's soft and gentle. At least, more so than the Caribbean guys.... they are barely understandable. Especially over the phone. Ha ha ha ha. This job has grabbed hold of every one of my weak points and is just pulling on them to make them grow. I can't believe how much I'm learning here. It's disgusting.

Like I said before, I am the health guy too. Which means I get to work not only with President, but Sister Marler a lot too. She is crazy. it's so funny, because she is way more....... brutal than President is. President always wants to send people to the clinic for any sickness. But Sister Marler always wants me to tell them to buck up. Ha ha ha.

And the clinic.................. Uncle, imagine Verruckt zombies level. That is exactly what the hospital here looks like. I always envision Nazi Zombies jumping down from the holes in the ceiling when I have to go there....

My job requires me to not ever sleep..... People call me late at night from Lima asking questions about Visas and things. Last night, I went to bed at around 12, and then woke up at 5 thirty to take a missionary to the bus stop to get to Chimbote. And that's just a normal day! I am working SO crazy hard here....... by the time my time here in the office is done, I am going to know everything about everyone. This must be how Brand Reynolds feels. Maybe he can help me learn about parasites, since pretty much everybody here has them. By the time I come home, I will be like a witchdocter/ultimate survivalist. I will know how to cure every problems that one can acquire in the 3rd world country of Perú. Ha ha ha. Maybe that will come in handy when my own kids get sick.... maybe to some extent, I will know what to do when they get bitten by death mosquitoes and piranhas. :) I love this weird country.

Roberto..... ¡estoy esperando su respuesta! Tengo una invitación de una familia en Casa Grande para regresar un día y gastar una semana con ellos en Hawai, (cual es un citio cerca de Cascas) y me dijeron que puedo traer mi familia. Entonces, Tal vez podemos visitarles juntos un día. No sé, quizás aún visitar a Lima también. Quiero ver su país con Ud. Sabe mucho más que yo a cerca de la cultura y todo.

I love you all, especially you, mama.

- Elder Boekweg


Big Changes

I got a call from President Marler, and he asked me to accept the assignment of being the ''Personal Secretary to the President.'' Which means I will now live in the office of the mission in Trujillo. I don't really know what that job entails. It looks like I'll be in this position for at very least 6 months, but probably more like 9. I'm really nervous. I have to have perfect Spanish for this job, because I'll have to talk to the mayor of Trujillo and stuff. I also get to call the Provo MTC to organize the new coming missionaries. It looks like I will be working HARD in this position.

We had some questions for him:
1. What is your new apartment like?
    We have hot showers here! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I can't explain the ecstasy of taking a hot shower after only having either cold or molten lava showers for 5 months...... The apartment is nice. It is much cleaner than the Casagrande place. I live there with 5 other Elders. All the office Elders live, work, breath, and die together. We do interchanges ALL the time. Stuff gets CRAZY here.... I can't believe how hard my job is.... until now, I felt like a mission was do-able. But now...... the computer has ruined my mission, too. Ironically, I'm going to have to learn facebook on my mission.... I swear that is a problem that only I would ever have in the entire world. Ha ha ha ha
2. No pensionista? Do you do your own cooking and laundry now?
    The local bishop does our laundry and things, and we have a lady make lunch every day except Sunday. The rest of the time we are on our own. Which I am eternally grateful for.
3. Do you shop for your own food?
    Yes. There is the Peruvian attempt at a Walmart called ''Wong's'' right next door to the office. 
4. Do you have a companion in the office?
    Yes. Elder Tway is from Parker, Colorado. He is the definition of what you'd think a financial secretary would be. He came to Per'u at the same time I did. We are both being trained for our new spots right now. It's good to have a buddy that truly understands your situation. We will probably be comps for a very long time... maybe up to 9 months. You should get in tough with his parents or something.
5. What is Trujillo like?
     Picture Salt Lake..... but without laws or cleanliness. Tons of chicken joints. That's basically all I know about it so far.
6. Will you get your mail quicker now?
    yes. By a week or so. Now I can get it the minute it comes in to the office. Normally, I'd have to wait another week.
7. Can you buy your own socks now :)?
8. Will you be on the greeting committee for the new missionaries at the airport?
9. Is it the same apartment you stayed in when you went to Lima?
  Wow..... I was NEVER destined to be an office worker. My computer skills are pitiful. Everybody laughs at me. Ha ha ha ha. They're all convinced I am a hick. A pig-raising Tooele County hick. I guess they're right.... Ha ha ha ha. At least it gives me an excuse for my computer abilities. Elder Tway, on the other hand, was a financial secretary for an insurance company before the mission. That's a bit different from being a pizza guy or a warehouse worker... Ha ha ha. He is having a much easier time with this transition than I am. It is SO hard. I can't believe how many things I have to worry about now. One of my jobs is health.... and right now, the mission is receiving like 20 new sister missionaries every change. But I still proselyte too..... I am going to be SO responsible at the end of all this. I have to keep track of a hundred little things every day. College will seem easy in comparison to this. 
   I love you.
- Elder Boekweg

Monday, September 9, 2013

Moving to Trujillo

To start off Chance's Aunt Deedre asked a few questions. Here they are:
Ok so I am late to figure out how to ask a question: 1-Tell us about the culture. Do people get married young? Do multiple families live together in a house? Do most people farm or are there other jobs they do? Is there such a thing as Peruvian standard time (i.e.15 minutes late)? What do you like most about the Peruvian people?
People here....... actually don't get married. It is always a challenge, because people live with each other for 30 years, and then ask us what the difference is between living like that and being married, and we have to explain that they are still breaking the law of chastity. But they usually start living together young. Like 20 or less.
Usually, it's just the normal standard family in the house, plus a grandparent. Here in Casagrande, everybody has one of 4 jobs. They either own a window store, operate a Moto taxi, work in the sugarcane fields, or sell food by the curbside. And I would estimate that only about 40% of people here have a job. 
Peruvian time........ IS LIKE AN HOUR LATE TO EVERYTHING. Even church starts at least 20 minutes late every single week. Something I love about Peruvians is that they are really open with their problems. So it is really easy to find out what investigators need to be happier. People will straight up lay their life out in the open for you in the first 5 minutes of knowing you.
I have some news.... I got transferred and I move to Trujillo tonight at 6. Also my P-day will be on Saturday now... So don't wait for my emails on Monday anymore.  THEY SELL PEANUT BUTTER NEARBY!!!!! PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWHICHES EVERY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Now that I'm leaving Casagrande, let me tell you a little bit about it. During my time here, it changed from a ''yellow zone'' to a ''red zone.'' which means it is actually incredibly dangerous. Ha ha ha. I didn't write home about this, because I didn't want you to worry, but there was a murder literally 20 feet from the front door of my apartment. And during my time here, there was so many murders that I lost track of the count. Robberies and assaults are like a normal daily occurrence here, and many of those happened very near our house too. Prostitution is a huge problem here. As is alcohol. EVERYBODY here is always drunk. There were many nights that I heard gunshots out my window, screaming, etc. That is why I dubbed the nickname ''The Great, Wild North'' for this area. The far north of the mission. Things are CRAZY up here. When I leave, it is very likely that they won't send another gringo for a very long time. At least not until the city gets less dangerous. Pretty crazy, right? Ha ha ha. 
These first 6 months of my mission have been the hardest, craziest, most beautiful time of my whole life. There were days I cried in the streets because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. But I learned more about Christ in these months than I ever thought was possible. And here in the last few hours of my first area, I can't believe how fast it all went by. I'm sure that a mission will feel the same way when it's all over. I think that day will actually come much sooner than I want it to. My mission already means so much to me. Before my own mission, I used to hear people say that ''their mission meant everything to them,'' But I never really understood how much they meant it. I can't believe how much I love my mission. It is so dear to me. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. But I love it more than anything I have ever had.
The pictures are of Casagrande, my companion, and my collection of mosquito bites I got while cutting sugarcane with a machete during a service project in a little town called Roma. I counted them, and between my 2 legs, I had 44 bites. As you can imagine, my legs itched pretty bad. Ha ha ha. I guess I'll wear pants next time.
I love you mom. Thanks for everything you do for me.
-Elder Boekweg
Mosquito Bites



Monday, September 2, 2013

Cool Ruins

  Here are some pictures of the ruins I visited today. It's a place called El Brujo, or The Ghost. It was cool. Indiana Jones style adventure. It was in the middle of NOWHERE....

 So the pictures describe the ruins better than I can. But the story with them is that a billion years ago, some lady named the ''Lady of Cao'' was Queen of this ruin, and she had a junk load of money. She had a million slaves, and she died during childbirth. When she died, all her servants had to be killed too, according the beliefs of the people (Lamanites) because she would still need her servants in the afterlife. We saw where the bones of her slaves had been used to build the walls and stuff... pretty creepy. She also had human sacrifices made to her, and her wicked priests drank the victim's blood. Basically, this woman was a hag, and she was mummified so well, that we could still see her tattoos. Ha ha ha. Long story made short, the Lamanites had a lot of wicked years before the Spaniards came. And their weapons were so weird... They are like..... drum cymbals that they used to bash each other with. Kind of like a club, but less heavy-looking. Super odd.
Yes..... that is me in the Indiana Jones hat. Ha ha ha ha. I couldn't pass THAT opportunity up.
   I have a few shout-outs for the week. First off, to the people who occupied my brain for a few moments this week;
Brett Paulick. Dude, the church is true. I was thinking about your situation this week, and I realized that I promise people every day that going to church and saying nightly prayers will improve their lives... so why can't I make the same promise to you? That's my challenge for you. Head to church this week. I don't know exactly what you need in your life right now, but God does. And with that being said, I can promise you that by showing God you want His help, He will give it to you. He loves us and wants us to be happy.
Next person; Eileen. Thank you for your letter. I loved seeing your Asian kid, and I loved the advice you gave me.
Now Grandma Linda; Thank you for taking the time to write me, and tell me about things back home. I will never stop appreciating that.
Deedre; when we get back, I would like to attend a concert of the Utah symphony with you again. Something very classy and clean and proper and mannerly and high-class..... That way, I will be able to appreciate it all the more in comparison to the dirt here. Ha ha ha.
Roberto; estoy TAN animado para hablar con Ud. después de mi misión. Estoy aprendiendo su idioma todavía, pero creo que en dos años voy a hablar casi perfectamente. También, quiero aprender algunos chistes para compartir con Ud. Dos días detrás, recordé su chiste sobre ''Cual es al animal mas perezoso,'' y todas las personas con que estaba compartiendo lo amaron. No sé si puede entender todo lo que estoy escribiendo ahora, pero quizás con la ayuda de un gringo, puede traducir mi ''Gringo Castellano.'' Bueno suerte con eso, mi tío.... Y si quiere una camiseta de Alianza o la Uni o algo así, puede decirme. Hay bastantes tiendas acá que las venden. Y creo que por ahora, eso es todo... Por favor, no olvide escribirme un día. Quiero ver si puedo conversar con un Limeño. He escuchado que Uds. hablan en una manera diferente que los Casagrandinos... Entonces, debe escribirme si tiene tiempo. Yo lo amaría. Y le amo. Gracias por enseñarme un poco antes de mi misión. He tenido un instrumento que mis compañeros no tenían. Hasta Luego  
Courtney cannot be dating. That is too weird. But the asking idea was pretty cool. I give Nash props for that.
   Next item of business... I don't know if you can somehow get me some kind of shoulder brace to fix my posture, but that would be cool. My posture is suffering, with my backpack all day. Just something to pull both my shoulders back that I could wear beneath my shirt... If you can do it, thank you a ton.
   So people are sick of hearing me complain about the food, eh? I'll tell you what.... I will start sneaking pictures of the food when the pensionista isn't looking, so you can all see what I'm up against... Ha ha ha ha ha. You will all understand why I bring it up so often....
-Elder Boekweg