Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Week 8: Feliz Cumpleaños/Happy Birthday Elder Perez!!!!

This is my second week here in Alameda but it feels like it has been a month! There are so many new faces and investigators that we meet daily and for some reason a majority of the men are called Luis, so the challenge really is telling them all apart.

I get a variety of questions due to my last name which seems to contrast with my looks. Some ask me how a gringo came by such a fine name, while others have ask if I am from China (when I smile I squint my eyes) but in general most are happy that I speak Spanish.

My companion and I have had several opportunities to serve others here. We helped a family dig up dirt to use for a foundation on a house they are building, and ever since then everyone near that area has been asking a lot of questions about us.

As far as my birthday goes I had a blast! I am now twenty one, which feels an awful lot like twenty. But what a birthday it was! The plan had been to celebrate all day seeing as it fell on Monday, but they switched our p-day to Wednesday due to a temple trip we had planned for the morning of the 4th. We altered our plans and just celebrated during breakfast, lunch and dinner. My companion made me a great breakfast in the morning with pancakes and eggs. Then at lunch we bought a birthday cake and burgers which we ate with Elder V. and Elder G. When it came time to cut the cake everyone sang happy birthday and somehow they persuaded me to take a bite out of the cake. They took advantage of that moment of blind trust and shoved my face in the cake. It was actually really funny, and we all laughed about it. I got most of the cake too so no complaints here.

A family made me a birthday dinner. They are a super sweet family that has really taken us in. After we all ate dinner and right before we had cake they all went around the table and said some very nice things about me. How even though they have only known me for two weeks they already feel very close with me and know that I really care about them. One member that came with us (M.. 15 yr old kid) told me he wants to serve a mission and that he looked up to me. It was something along those lines and it really touched my heart.

We spent the rest of my birthday tracting and teaching lessons. I learned a lot about humility and the struggles of poverty. I am constantly growing here and have really felt the Lords hand on several occasions. I wish I had time to share all the stories and experiences I have had, but maybe I will be able to back track in next week’s letter.

The temple trip on Wednesday was awesome and I had such a great time with everyone. We went through in Spanish, which was a little hard to follow, but I enjoyed it and actually saw a good friend of mine, Hermano A. He was one of my teachers in the CCM/MTC and is such a great man. 

Thank you all for your support and birthday wishes, I am very luck to hear from you all and I hope that you all are doing good.

Much love,
Elder Perez
Elder S. made breakfast for Brenden's birthday! 
How wonderful is that! 
It made Elder Perez's mom cry when she read about it.

The old shove his cake in the face trick.
Elder Perez and Elder G.

This wonderful family made a 
birthday dinner for Elder Perez.

What are they eating? 
On second thought, I don't want to know.

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