Garrett in front of the Guayaquil Temple

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

23 Feb 2011 Still at the Peru MTC

Things are great here! We were able to attend the Lima Temple for the first time today since it was closed for the last three weeks! It's a lot smaller than the Ogden or Provo temple, but the Spirit is still as strong there! Yes, you let me know Dad was in the SS Presidency. I've been perfectly fine, no sicknesses at all, but I do see some Elders a couple times a week come down with one thing or another. Tell everyone hi back! I knew Cody's farewell was Sunday, so I was thinking and praying for him a lot! He said he had to talk for 20 minutes! He should be just arriving at the MTC within the next few hour or so! Yep, everything is fine, under two weeks and I'll be in Ecuador! (Oh yeah, my new companion is actually from Guayaquil, Ecuador, and not Peru as my last email said.) Glad to hear things are great! Love you all, Elder G-Train!!!

Wow, I'm not jealous of the weather at all back home! It's sunny and about 80 most days here! Yes, the time is flying by! I'm glad you made it to Cody's farewell! He seems very excited to go! He'll be great! Food wise in Peru, we just eat in the cafeteria they have here. We can't eat anything from restaurants (although last Wednesday we did eat at a McDonalds in the center of Lima! It was delicious! We didn't go tracting last Saturday because our companions had only been here 3 days, but this Saturday we will go out to a place in Lima. My new companion, Elder Suarez, from Guayaquil, is AWESOME! He knows a little English so whenever I get tangled on some words he helps translate! I have been told I can't print anything from here, so it'll take a little while to get you my approval paper for my Scottrade account. Add one more Temple: Lima Peru. We were able to go this morning since it's been closed for the past three weeks. It was very nice to go, and interesting to do a session in Spanish! Everything is great here! Less than two weeks 'til Guayaquil! Email you next Wednesday! Love you! Elder G-Train!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

16 Feb 2011 Another Peruvian P-Day

Hello family! Everything has been really great down here this week in Peru. Not too many exciting stories to tell from tracting last Saturday, other than we were lost for most of the day in the shopping district of Lima, where we can't really contact people because there are no houses! But it was a good learning experience to know we won't have success every time we go tracting.
Later today we are taking a tour of Lima with just North Americans, because we're the only ones here until later today when our new Latino companions arrive. Most of us are planning to go to McDonalds to try and get a taste of America, which might be interesting. I try and see if I can upload some pics of that tonight, if not, then next Wednesday.
A little about my last companion, Elder Diaz... He's from Otavalo, Ecuador about 2 hours or so north of Quito, so not anywhere near my mission. He was teaching me a little Quichua, a native tongue which I may use while in Guayaquil. It took me a little while to get warmed up to him, but when I did, things were perfect! My next companion, Elder Suarez, is from Trujillo, Peru, probably an hour or so north of Lima. I'll either meet him tonight or tomorrow, because Elders who are from around Lima can arrive on Thursday.
I attached a picture of our last group after getting back from Tottus last week in front of the CCM. I am surprised to hear that Jerry Sloan is no longer the coach of the Jazz and that Cristiano Ronaldo is retired from football. Crazy, but I'm glad RSL's season starts very soon! Not much else going on here, the weather is nice the people are friendly, all-in-all, it's fantastic! Love you all, email you next week! -Elder Cederquist

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 February 2011 Mailing Address Update

Some of us haven't been receiving mail since we arrived in Peru, so we've been allowed to send you the correct address, and not one that's somewhere in the Amazon, as has been the case for some mailing addresses.

Peru MTC address is:
Elder Garrett Cederquist
Centro de Capacitacion Misional
Av. Melgarejo 159/Urb. Campo Verde
La Molina, Lima 12/Peru.

I believe I sent you that address when I first arrived here, but I'm just resending it to be safe!

Pouch mail address is:
Elder Garrett Cederquist
Lima Peru MTC
PO Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130.

Pouch takes about a week to get here.
Love you all, everything is going great!
Talk to you soon!                                                              

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

9 February 2011 Week Two in Peru!

Hello everyone! Week 2 in Peru was and has been fantastic!

On Saturday the 5th we went tracting in parts of Lima as part of our training! The VERY FIRST person we contacted invited us to teach her and her family a lesson about the gospel! Her name is Irma Guayta, somewhere in her 60s. She has had problems with thieves breaking in to her house nearly everyday. We taught that if she prays diligently those problems will go away sooner than later. We taught for a solid 40 minutes! It was incredible luck to contact one person and teach 3!

I've read some very exciting news back home! I can't believe the Packers won the Super Bowl! I also heard the Fernando Torres went from Liverpool to Chelsea on a transfer!

I am also SO excited to hear that Ben Seegmiller got his call to Armenia Yerevan! Wow, him and Kason both have difficult languages to learn, but I know they'll be able to with the Gift of Tongues and by their diligence! Glad to hear Cody has come over a few times and watched some Jazz games. Hopefully me leaving isn't the cause of their slump!!!!

Time is really flying by here, the North Americans here get new Latino companions next Thursday, so we get to tour Lima for a few hours on Wednesday. This has been quite an experience being in a foreign land, and I only was called 'Gringo' once on Saturday! But who knows, it could be more on this week!

Glad to hear everyone is happy, I know I am! Anyway, tell everyone hi and that it's great down here! Talk (or email) you next Wednesday! Love you all, Elder Cederquist!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2 February 2011 Lima, Peru

¡Hola Familia!
It's a beautiful, warm and sunny day here in Lima, with the temps about 80 I'd say. It's been an exciting day so far! Since the temple is closed for maintenance, we were allowed to go shopping at a few stores in Lima. We had to get there by bus, which was very interesting trying to fit as many missionaries as we had in our group!
First, we went to a store across the street from the temple which sells all Mormon things, so that was neat to see! We then walked about 3 blocks to a store called Tottus, a Peruvian equivalent to Wal-Mart. Nothing real special about the store, except the prices were really cheap. We then came back by bus to the CCM and were able to play fĂștbol for about an hour, which is always fun! Lunch and now email!
This week has been going by pretty quick, although is started out pretty bad. The homesickness bug hit hard on Monday, and it was still around Tuesday. Both days I was able to call you, and Tuesday I received a blessing from President Whetten, something that really calmed me down. I'm totally fine now and loving the atmosphere.
It was very fun to be able and get to go shopping and tour the city, something I've not been able to do in a month of being out! I'm glad everything is fine at home and that Kyley didn't get it too bad with her ticket! I've got some pictures from the Provo MTC and some I took today. Love you all, and I'll email next Wednesday! Oh and the Dear Elders you sent still haven't got here, but I get the email, so I can read them there! Oh, and some of the pictures I want to send won't upload, so I'll try again next week! Talk to you then!

27 Jaunary 2011 Lima, Peru

¡Hola Familia!
 I made it safe and sound to Lima last night about 11:45ish. We then had to pass Immigration and then go and get our bags. Luckily ALL of my bags made it in! That was my biggest worry, so my life got million times better after that! It took us about 30 minutes to drive from the airport to the CCM (MTC in Spanish). This place is way different than the United States.
The MTC in Provo consists of 19 buildings on a big campus, here there are only 3 buildings. Even more culture shock!!! We got to bed at nearly 2 am and were up by 6, so not the greatest of starts. I managed to get a nap in after having an interview with one of the MTC presidency, so I feel refreshed!
The food here isn't too different, as least as of now. Pancakes for breakfast and spaghetti for lunch. There are nearly 2,000 missionaries in Provo, but I think there are only 100 or so here, and they all speak Spanish. Cederquist definitely sounds foreign to everyone here since all the natives have native names, go figure!
It's pretty humid here, so we've set our room temperature to a nice 16 C (61 F). But so far all is well here, my P-Day is on Wednesday, so be looking for my emails then.
My address here is: Elder Garrett Michael Cederquist/ ECU-GUAS/Av. Melgarejo 159/ Urb. Campo Verde/ La Molina, Lima, PerĂș. Please do not send packages, as the customs fees and taxes here are very expensive. Please write to the address above for the first three weeks of my stay here, and for the three weeks following that, please write to my mission's address, which is in the booklet that my call came in.
I will probably get that address, but not until I get to Ecuador. Hope all is well! Love you! (PS, the Enter key on the keyboards don't work, so that why this seems like a long, run-on sentence!) I'll send pictures on Wednesday! I believe DearElder still works for here, so send them to the Peru MTC!

Last E-Mail From The USA 25 January 2011

Hi Family!
Sounds like quite the interesting week back at home with that speed demon sister of mine! At least nothing worse happened, so we can be thankful for that.
This week has gone by like a blur yet again, but I'm not complaining! Elder Felton and I were able to do laundry early today since we leave tomorrow, so it's not as hectic in the laundry room. In regards to seeing me at the airport tomorrow, we've been counceled not to have family or friends there, I know, I don't like that rule either, but we are able to call home when we're at the airport. So I will call hopefully around 8 or 8:30 tomorrow morning from the Salt Lake Airport. My flight leaves at 9:55 to Atlanta, and then I have about an hour and a half layover before leaving to Lima, so I might be able to call from there as well, but I'll see what I can do when I get there.
I would upload some pictures but the computers here don't have SD Card slots, only USB jacks, which I find very odd...
Anything exciting happening back home? I heard that it's Pittsburgh and Green Bay in the Super Bowl. I had a feeling the Steelers would be in it, but against the Bears. Have you watched any soccer for me? Any word on how Chelsea are doing?
In all honesty it feels nice to be disconnected from the outside world and focus on the Lord's work. It's so much more gratifying. I'll make sure to divide my clothes up so I'll have enough to get by in the case I don't get some of my luggage. One of my teachers, Hermana Smith, served in Peru and went to the Lima MTC, so she shared pictures and stories with us last night. She said it's a great place and that we'll enjoy it. I'm really excited to go!
Anyway, I'll call tomorrow and make sure all is well, which I'm sure it is, but I'll double check with you! I'll get you a Peru MTC address when I get it, so if you could update my Facebook information as well, that'd be great!
Love you all, be safe, tell everyone I say Hi!
Elder Cederquist!
(PS, say hi to Kru too!)

Week Three Provo MTC 18 January 2011

Hi Family!
Dad, yes, could you mail a 72-hour bag to me? It'd be really helpful! And yes, I saw Kason on Sunday night. His name tag is tough to pronounce, but he told me it's something like Straeeshina Hill, in English of course. It starts with CTAPE something something something in Russian, so I'm pretty happy mine is just ELDER. :)
This week has been great! Last Tuesday night, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the MTC Devotional speaker! It was incredible to be in the presence of a General Authority! I don't know who will be speaking tonight until about 5 minutes before the beginning.
Also, I received my travel plans for Peru. On the 26th of this month, I leave SLC at 9:55 am on Delta 1780 and arrive in Atlanta at 3:35 pm ET. At 5:15 ET I leave ATL for Lima on Delta 151, which is scheduled to land at 11:55 pm Peru time, which I believe is the same as ET. That will surely be a long day, since I have to be at the MTC travel office at around 5:30 am!
Overall, everything is great, and to answer Dad's question, my Spanish class seems more of a refresher than anything, so it's not too stressing. Again, I find myself in the laundry room typing this amidst organized chaos :) but that's ok, as long as I am able to communicate with you!
I hope everything is going fantastic at home! I'll get you an address for the Peru MTC when I get there... Hopefully! I will be able to call you when I'm at the SLC airport, and maybe Atlanta, so I hope to talk to you then!
Love you all, take care!
Elder Garrett!

Week Two Provo MTC 11 January 2011

Hi Family!
So far the MTC has been great! I've gotten to know everyone in my district really well! They are all great Elders who are excited to serve the Lord. My schedule is absolutely packed with classes and meetings, so P-Day is really relaxed, a welcome break from the other 6 days! I have seen Elder Wilde and Elder Stanger several times in the week I've been here. I've also crossed paths with a few other friends from school. I received the shot records you (Dad) sent me, so I'll have to print them out. The lady who was over immunizations said I needed a yellow card so I could re-enter the country after serving, which I found a little annoying. I met four other Elders today who are also going to be serving in Guayaquil South! We'll all be going to the MTC in Lima, Peru as well. My companion, Elder Felton, is also scheduled to leave to the MTC in Peru that same day, but he says a lot of missionaries have Visa problems. I've not heard any worries about Visas for Ecuador, so all still looks good to leave Provo in about 2 weeks. From what I've heard, the flight to Peru is about 30 hours with layovers and all that fun stuff! Fortunately there are quite a few missionaries, both Elders and Sisters, who are headed to Peru, so I won't be too lonely going down there if there aren't too many Visa problems.
I'm glad to hear everything is going great back at home, and thanks Mom for the Elder G-Train bear! I'm happy to hear that Kason mentioned me in his talk on Sunday. I'll look for him tomorrow.
Oh, this is for Ky... I don't know who the Elder was who helped me with my bags and welcomed me on Wednesday, sorry!
I wrote this in the laundry room while I waiting for my clothes to dry, so it was just a little hectic trying to get on a computer!
If you don't have it, my address is:
Elder Garrett Michael Cederquist
MTC Mailbox #261
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793
Keep sending me the DearElder letters, because I am able to read those on the same day if they're sent before 2 p.m. Hand-written letters are also appreciated! :) Talk to you next week!
I love you all,
Elder Garrett!

Week One Provo MTC 5 January 2011

Dear Family,                                                                                                            1-5-11

I make it through Day 1!  I was worried it was going to be a drag, but we got right to work with Spanish class and several role playing situations with "investigators".  I've got a great companion in Elder Felton from Las Vegas.  We're both scheduled to the Peru MTC on the 25th, so it was nice to have a little common ground to start.

There are a TON of Elders and Sisters here.  It's really comforting to know we're all here for the same reason.  I managed to see Elder Stanger at dinner, so we talked for a few minutes, he seems to be doing very well. I think I managed to talk to Elders from Alaska (Eagle River even, but he doesn't know Cody), Maryland, Texas, even one from Scotland, so we talked a little soccer.

I'll admit, it's been an emotional rollercoaster and probably will be for a little while.  But know that I'm safe and doing what I need to be.  The Lord is definitely looking our for all of us.

I love you all and hope to e-mail you soon!