Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Week 3 - September 24 - 30

It was a busy week and he is now half way through his Missionary training experience.  In 3 more weeks he will be off to Trujillo.  Here is his latest letter:

Hey all! So I totally forgot my journal today, and I have literally no time at all, so I'll do my very best to recount everything that happened during this last week. Things have been pretty much the same, but we've been able to hear a whole bunch of devotionals from some of the apostles and we also got to watch Elder Scott's funeral which was super sad, but also a great spiritual recap of his life.

Crap. I literally don't remember what happened.. We have been teaching a lot more, sometimes 2 lessons a day and for 30 minutes each. Oh yeah! We got a new district leader, so my companion is able to take it a little bit easier now. He has been kinda stressing out lately, but it's all cool now because there's another great guy taking charge. His name is Elder Orton, he's from Wyoming and he says 'baller' and 'chill' a lot haha. We've been having the same things for lunch and dinner everyday, and it's actually getting really old haha. Chicken and rice for every meal also doesn't really supply a lot of nutrients either so I've been super greatful for my Cliff Bars lately (love you mom). Today, P-Day, was pretty flippin sweet though. We got to go the temple again, and I went without headphones at all. Translating everything into Spanish kinda gives you a headache, but it was still an incredible experience. Later on, we went to the supermarket again, and a bunch of the Elders and I got these sweeeeeeeeet hotdogs. It was literally the best hotdog I've ever had, and the single best thing I've had in Peru so far haha. I basically inhaled it, and was super bummed that we had to leave before I got another one. Elder Wynn and I also played like ten thousand hours of soccer this week and most of it was today. I got the nickname 'Dempsey' from the Latinos which is actually super cool. That reminds me, I'm loving the Latinos this transfer! They're super friendly, not as crazy, and incredible at soccer. Elder Muñoz especially (the one in the white shirt in the pictures) is insaaaaaaane. Well, I that's all I can remember for this week, I'm so sorry! I promise I'll have a whole bunch more this next week. Oh yeah, and I've been marking my favorite scriptures of the day in my personal studies, so I'll keep you updated on those. Ever since I've been out here, my desires to study the gospel have increased 10 fold, and every scripture seems to be 100 times as applicable. I love you all! ¡Viva Peru!

This must be a banana tree outside of the soccer field.  Apparently the Latinos are nicknaming Jonah "Dempsey" because he is scoring so many goals! Is that a Croatian soccer Jersey!  Besides the Chicken and Rice he says he eats some Peruvianized eggs, toast and yogurt.  He gets to play the piano a few times a week and is excited to get the piano music we sent.

Jonah feeling Tall

Banana Tree

Photo Bomb

Jonah's District of Elders

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 2 - September 16 - 23, 2015

In case you missed it, here is the latest letter from Elder Babbel (As time goes on I imagine there will be more and more Spanish mixed into the letters so I will not be spell checking :)

Hola yall! So this week was actually pretty much boring, but not really because we´re in Peru ya know?

Well anyway, on Thursday we had a pretty flippin sweet lesson with our first investigador and Elder Wynn and I totally killed it. Our Spanish is actually getting pretty good and we can even answer her questions even if they have nothing to do with the lesson. It's just been pretty incredible to see how much we've learned in the past couple weeks. We're learning by leaps and bounds, and I can quite honestly say, we have almost nothing to do with it. We are truly being blessed with the gift of tongues every day, especially when we teach. Elder Wynn and I have been saying a whole bunch of prayers lately and every single time, we feel a massive influx of Spanish grammar and vocab flood straight into our brains.

So yeah, but on Friday we just taught again and ate chicken and rice again and almost fell asleep in morning class again.

But on Saturday, we got a new investigador and his 'Matias'. Matias is actually our morning teacher Bro. Valasquez who is probably the most hilarious latino I've ever met. He got off of his mission 3 years ago and now he's almost done teaching at the CCM. He is a convert to the church, and when he was 17, he was well on his way to become a professional soccer goalie. But he completely changed his plans when he was baptized because his oppurtunity to play professionally would be when he was serving a mission. He chose to serve the Lord instead which is just absolutely incredible. But yeah, he always says these hilarious things like 'No gusta your face!' or 'This investigator is crap man!' or 'P-90X!!!' in his very broken english. So we taught this guy the first lesson and it was super cool except he was really tough on us. We had to really convince to even try praying to build a relationship with God, but at the end he 'had a change of heart' and said he would. It's super fun teaching the fake investigadors and I can't wait to get out into the real world so we can bless people's lives.

Sunday was very relaxing like last time, and this time I fell asleep during the movie 'The Miracle' so that was pretty nice haha.

On Monday, we pulled the best prank on Elder Hosch. We took out all of the support beams on the bottom part of the top bunk, so when Elder Hosch climbed into bed, the mattress fell through the frame and down 2 and a half feet with him on it. It made it way funnier because he was not expecting it at all and we video taped it :) I'll get the video at some point for you guys. Oh yeah, Elder Hosch, by the way, is a way cool missionary that left just yesterday. He had some pretty awesome quotes like, ' I don't shine so others can see me. I shine so that through me, others can see Him.' We're all gonna miss him :')

Tuesday was basically just waiting around for P-Day for me and Elder Wynn because we didn´t have a lesson to teach and we had already planned for our next lesson which isn't until Thursday night. Also, I ordered 2 custom soccer jerseys with my name on them for 25 soles a piece. That is 8 dollars. Best stinkin deal of my life.

Today, we went to the temple and it was flippin fantastic and I tried to listen to almost everything in Spanish, but it was pretty tough. We never use 'vosotros' but that's basically all that they use in the temple and in the scriptures. And ohhhhh my goodness I saw freaking ELDER WOOD just like an hour ago!!! It was soooooo cool to see him and I still can't believe we have 4 weeks in the MTC together! Super mega pumped.

Well I think that's everything! Adios Amigos and Viva Peru! :)

If you have ever wondered what a typical day in the Missionary Training Center (CCM) in Peru consists of here is what Jonah tells us:

Lima, Peru MTC (CCM)

6.15 Wake up
7.15 Breakfast
8.00 Personal Study
9.00 Class (Spanish and Gospel mixed)
12.30 Lunch
1.15 Class (Spanish)
2.30 Companionship Study
3.00 Physical Activity
4.00 Prepare for class
4.30 Class (Spanish and Gospel mixed)
6.30 Dinner
7.15 Class (Spanish and Gospel mixed)
9.00 Planning
9.30 Go to Bed
10.30 Lights off

"We rode on public transportation today and it was so sweeeeeettt! You basically get thrown around on a bus with no seats and then jump off of it when it's your stop. Fine Lima Living :)"  -Elder Babbel

Riding the Bus in Lima

That was a crazy bus ride!

Elder Babbel and other Missionaries
Elder Babbel and Elder Herde

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tres Mil Papas - Week 1

Elder Jonah Babbel is serving in the Trujillo North Mission in Peru.
(The birthplace to over 3000 varieties of Potatoes)

Jonah Left to the Lima CCM (Missionary Training Center) on September the 8th.

The Babbel Family at the Boise Airport with Elder Babbel (Jonah)

There were some tender goodbyes at the airport as Elder Babbel will be serving his mission for 2 years!  Wow - That is a long time.
Gabriel and Jonah - One last hug

Jonah had a great flight and met up with a couple of other Elders that were also traveling to the Lima Peru CCM.  He flew from Boise to Salt Lake City and then on to Atlanta and finally to Lima.  After arriving in Lima he was able to send the a quick email to let us know he made it safely there.

Going to catch some zzz's on the flight

Meeting some other Elders

September 9th - Jonah's first day at the CCM in Lima and he runs into a familiar face.  Elder Jack Greene from Arizona.  He is the son of Erin Greene one of Leslie's roommates from BYU!
Jonah and Elder Jack Greene (from AZ)

1 hour of Futbol daily - mandatory in Peru

Elder Wynn and Elder Babbel

Jonah in front of the Lima Peru Temple

Jonah sent his first email on September 16th it is published below:

Hey all! The CCM has been super awesome for my first week. We got here at about 3am, after the longest flight of my entire life, and the most intense bus ride. Lima traffic really does live up to its name. There's a whole bunch of lines on the road and nobody even pays attention to them. You literally force your way through into the lanes and everyone honks constantly. Honking isn't really used for when you're mad, but more to let people know that you are there in the middle of the road, stopped, and faced the wrong direction. Anyway, we got there at 3am, had a short orientation, got our room numbers, and got into bed at around 4am. We were up the same day (haha) at 7. The one thing I'm learning at the CCM is that they don't ever wastes time. We went straight into a Spanglish Devotional with some orientation videos, and we kinda sorta taught an "investidagor", but as a class. We were then assigned compañeros and received our name tags. That was actually one of the coolest moments, putting the name tag on for the first time. I got put into a trio with Elder Wynn and Elder Herde (definitely not a latino lol). We are all three going to Trujillo Norte and actually we're the only ones in the CCM going there ahora. Everything wasn't great the first day though...some Latinos were trying to talk to me in the dinner line, but I had no idea what they were saying..and then I spilled some muy caliente sopa on my hands and it hurt really bad. I kinda teared up a little because I was missing everybody (especially you Mom <3) and plus it hurt my hand like super bad. But I mostly got over it because Elder Wynn is super empathetic and Elder Herde is total cheeseball and can make anybody laugh just by talking. I went to bed thinking that most of the day blew chunks, but I felt comforted for some reason. I think its all of the prayers that we receive everyday, especially those that are coming from el templo. Oh yeah, that same day, our companionship got split up, so now I'm with Elder Wynn only, and then Elder Wynn got made the District Leader (phew).
I kinda forgot to write in my journal on Thursday so let's just assume that all we did that day was go to Spanish Class.
On Friday though, Elder Wynn y I taught our first "investigador"....completely in Spanish. They get you going right off the bat, and it was brutal. We mostly were just searching for words and saying "Lo siento", but strangely we could still feel the Spirit. We also went to Immagracion and got to drive through an hour of rush hour Lima traffico. It was basically a roller coaster except not actually safe. Immagracion was muy loco and nobody speaks a lick of English, and it's probably hilarious how white all the misionarios are.
On Saturday, we learned how to say an entire prayer in Spanish! It was Elder Wynn and my idea to not say any more english prayers for the rest of the mission pero sometimes its dificil to say what you there sometimes Spanglish instead of English. We taught our investigador again, but we used wayyyyy too many notes, so it just seemed uninspired. We were trying to find the golden region between personal revelation and planning. Oh yeah also there was a super massive spider we found....on Elder Wynn's back. It was seriously huge and I feel bad because instead of getting it off of him, I just ran away lol. I'm not good with spiders. Luckily, that was the first bug we had even seen the whole entire time in Peru, which is super surprising, and flippin awesome.
Sunday was my favorite day up until that point because we weren't in class for 4-5 hours (no joke, it's that much). We had an English sacrament meeting (thank the high heavens), and just devotional after devotional. Sometimes its kind of a spiritual overload, and you can't help but just smile all the time and get excited about serving and helping people and sharing the word of God and loving everybody and getting lost in the work and oh my goodness its just awesome sometimes. We have a district planning meeting once a day from 9pm to 9:30pm and for some reason, we could not stop laughing. About anything. Elder Herde is seriously soooo funny, and he wears this ballin Harry Potter glasses and says the funniest things. We seriously laughed till we cried for a solid 15 minutes in our 30 minute planning session. Whoops haha :)
On Monday, Elder Wynn and I taught Kathleen (nuestro investigador) and we did it without any notes. Like none. It was so intense. El dan del Espiritu Santo es real. Gift of tongues haha. But for real, we bore our testimonies, and the fire was burning in our chests and it was just incredible to teach someone something that we knew could bring them so much happiness. Well...I guess our investigador isn't actually a real investigador, but still, it's fantastic. Hahaha on a totally related side note, Elder Phillips, an Elder in our district who is as redneck as I'll get out, told us about the inconvenience of the short toilets in Peru. Apparently his dad is a plumber and so he knows all about the upcoming innovations in toilet technology. He said, and I quote, "Oh! And the elongated heated seats? Now that´s some fine livin!". It was perfect haha.
On Wednesday, we didn't teach any lessons, but we had a super sweet devotional with an area 70, which was the I had to use a headset because Latinos talk so dang fast, but the Spanish is definitely coming.
Today, P-Day, is my favorite day. We went to the temple and had a session in Spanish which was super tough but the same spirit was there for sure. Then I got a couple Peru llama ties which are the bombdiggity, and I will definitely be wearing them a bunch. Oh yeah, we have physical activity everyday for an hour and all we do is play futbol. It is my fav. You have to build Latino trust (scoring a goal, juking someone, assisting a Latino for a goal, etc.) in order for the Latinos to even pass to you. But I've already scored several goals, and I've almost achieved true Latino status on the soccer field. Not gonna lie, I'm breaking ankles and cranking some good ones out there :) I'll send next week anywhere from 1 till 5 Central time, so if you want to chat, I'll be on around then every Wednesday