Mailing Address:
Elder Gabriel George
Peru Cusco Mission
Av. de la Cultura 2417
Frente de Urb. Santa Ursula
Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Peru


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Am White And Don't Know Spanish

October 27, 2014

So when we were getting talked to about travel to Cuzco at the end of last week, before we left the CCM (Lima's MTC) they assigned me to be the group leader!  That meant I was in charge of making sure all the Elders were packed and ready to go that night.  I was up really late myself packing and up even later making sure everybody else was packed.  We had to board the bus the next morning at 4.  The meant that I needed to be up extra early to make sure everybody was awake and on the bus.  I got only 2.5 hours of sleep that night and flew into Cuzco the next morning.  I was soo exhausted.  And that flight was actually really hard for me...I thought about so much stuff.  My family, friends, and maybe most of all my terrible Spanish!  We made it safely and President and Hermana Harbertson were so good to us.  They were just like grandparents to us.  I was really sad for some reason in my interview and he could definitely tell.  He asked me about it and we just talked for a solid 20 minutes.  He was really comforting and knew exactly what to say.

We got to find out who our companions were the next day and I was really excited to get a new companion.  My new companion is Elder Cueto.  Latino.  He speaks NO English at all.  It make things really hard.  I can tell he really does try to be patient will me but he does a really really bad job of that.  He has never trained and has never had a companion that is not fluent in Spanish.  To be honest, he and the other Latinos are kind of rude to me.  They do not understand how hard it is to learn a different language.  He told me that I should know more from the CCM.  It is really discouraging and I work as hard as I can all the time but he just doesn't understand.  I have been studying constantly and trying to get better.  He doesn't really want to take me to lessons or contacting because  I don`t know Spanish that well.  Today was the first day that he helped me in companionship language study.

Peru is so awesome.  I love the people here to the moon and back.  Seriously!  They Bishop of the word that we serve in is partially inactive and to we have to work with him and get him coming to all his meetings and stuff.  So the President of the stake here pretty much runs everything.   He is the nicest man in Peru I am honestly convinced of that.  We were over at his house trying to figure something out, I don`t really know what because I am white and don`t know Spanish, when he made us hamburgers!  He made us HAMBURGERS!!!!!  I felt like a king!  It kind of felt like Christmas.  Sooo delicious!

We live in this house with some members.  They two younger boys and mom are members but the dad is not.  She is our Pentionista.  Cooks, washes our clothes and so forth.  They are the nicest family but the dad, Marko is a drunk.  I can hear him every night screaming and yelling!!  We ask him every morning when he is going to get baptized and he always says, "Maybe tomorrow!"  Hopefully one day tomorrow will come!!  They have two younger boys who love us.  They are always hovering around us and talking to us!  They love English and so I teach them something in English every day at breakfast and they teach me something every day in Spanish.  It is a pretty good system actually!!  I only had to take a cold shower 3 out of the 5 days here, not too bad!  I haven`t been sick and continue to try to be better every day!

So yesterday in church I reached into my suit pocket and pulled out the letter you  wrote me, thanks for wrecking me in the middle of sacrament!  But really thank you for the letter it makes all the conflicts with my companion worth it!!!

I love you with all of my heart!!!

Love Elder George  

Saturday, October 25, 2014


October 21, 2014

Okay this is Elder George's mom and if I can make it through my tears of pure gratitude I will share our tender mercy and time with Gabriel this week.

He had told us in his last letter that he may be calling if it all worked out.  I had already had my most tender mercy ever when I got pictures and video of my two favorite missionaries in the world getting to hug each other in the Atlanta Airport!  Really that one will last a solid 2 years!

This morning at 5:30 my cell phone rang.  Now first, that I even heard it is amazing as I NEVER bring my phone into my bedroom at night (definitely gotta change that).  But last night as I was trying to complete the Book of Mormon, so as to be done along with him in the two week time frame he had given two weeks ago, I had it in my bathroom as I was brushing my teeth listening to the last chapter in Moroni.  I left it on my counter.

Total side note:  I love Moroni.  I am so thankful that he included the "epistles" from his father.  Moroni 7:2-3 are words that I could speak to my son.  As are the beginning words of Moroni 8.  I love how Mormon says, "But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved:"  As I read the words in these verses I was pretty weepy.  My two faithful missionaries were foremost in my thoughts.  My most distinguished honor is that Father entrusted me to be mother to my 5 children.  There are truly no honors that can be bestowed by man that will ever equal that of motherhood.

Anyhow, back to my phone ringing at 5:30 this morning.  I didn't make it to the phone in time.  I looked and saw that it was totally definitely a wrong number.  But I pick it up as I walked from my bedroom to let our dog out of our daughters bedroom.  As I was walking back into our room the phone rang again.  I look and there was that wrong number.   I said, "Hello."  A young man's voice that I didn't recognize, as of course I wouldn't since it was a wrong number, said, "Hi, who is this."  My response, "Kelly."  The stranger on the other end said, "Hi."  Still in some cobwebby confusion trying to figure out why this young man didn't just say, "Oh sorry I got the wrong number."  I said, "Who is this?"  He said, "Your son."  Not gonna lie it still took me a solid 5 seconds to wrap my head around what he had said.  Then I was such a mess I did know what to say.

I think I managed, "Oh, oh, um, how are you doing?"  Then it took longer than it should for me to put it on speaker phone so his dad could listen in.  I swear I must have had a frontal lobotomy while I was sleeping.  He sounded so good.  But I think we text WAY too much these days because somehow it still didn't sound like my Gabriel!  Not for a little bit anyway.  He told us that he was really tired.  That they had put him in charge of the travel for all of the missionaries from Lima to Cusco.  He said that he had gone to bed at 11:30 and had gotten up at 2:30 to get everyone else up and going.  As we were talking Sydney walked into our room to listen.  Then he said, "I am going to call you back.  I have to go get some more soles.  He said, "I love you."  We said, "I love you."  And he was gone.

Hannah walked in and said "I am really glad I woke up early and was sleeping on the couch so I could hear Gabe."  I told Sydney to run down and get Lacey as she would never talk to us again if we left her out.  In mere moments all three girls were in my bed.  And there we waited.  Hoping that he really would be able to call us!  It seemed like forever, but I know it wasn't before the same number popped up on my screen and the phone was ringing.

I said, "Hi Gabe!  We are all here."  He gave a quick laugh and I said, "Here's Sydney."  He said, "Hi Syd," and her little voice cracked with tears as she said, "Hi Gabe."  Then we went to Hannah.  They said hi to each other.  No tears, just happiness in both voices!  When we got to Lace there were once again a sad voice in Idaho but the happy voice in Peru remained!  Brad asked him to say the name of the church in Spanish.  That was a little joke between the two of them.  Brad had practiced with him for a couple of weeks before he left for Peru and Gabe could just never get it.  Brad later told me that he could tell that there had been lots of practicing of that and Gabe had said it well.  He talked a little with his dad as we all listened in.  Then Lacey, who had cleaned the bathroom the night before, as well as the drawers he used said, "Gabe, can I ask you a question?"  He said sure.  She explained that she had cleaned the bathroom and that she had found 7 or 8 empty body wash bottles in his drawers and asked why.  He said, "I don't know.  I just didn't want to bother to take them upstairs I guess.  But Lace, I am a changed man!   I would never do that now.  I have had to do all of the cleaning for these guys because they just . . . oh it is not very clean.  Really yucky."  We all got a little giggle out of that.

Because of the letter about the Latinos stealing pictures of Molly, Lacey and Sierra, I asked if we needed to send him more pictures.  He laughed and said, "No, I gathered them all up but man they are crazy for white girls.  Just last night I had to go get one back.  There is a Latin elder who has only been a member of the church for 2 years.  Before that he was a thief.  I had to go to his room and there was my picture of Molly.  I told him that I was leaving and that I really needed my picture back.  He picked it and said, (the only word I remember out of the sentence Gabe said the elder said). . . matrimonio?  I said, 'NO!  You can't marry her!'"  He then proceeded to tell us that they really love to look at his pictures.  They think Hannah is so cute.  Lacey and Molly he told us they think are gorgeous.  And Sydney is just at that age when she is trying to decide if she wants to be cute or beautiful.

There were a group of 20 that was coming from the CCM (Spanish for MTC) in Lima but they were waiting for a group that was coming from the Provo MTC as well.  We talked for just a little longer and then he said, "I only have 5 more seconds and I just want you to know that I love you!"  That was it.  He was gone.   And I cried.  Not because I was sad but because my heart was truly full.

October 25, 2014

So our dear friends from Sandy have a daughter who is Miss Molly's age who has been serving a mission in Cusco.  Of course she would be leaving to go home the same transfer when Gabriel is coming into Cusco!  For 10 amazing years my children were partially raised in their home.  Our children match each other age wise, except all Irvine children are just a few months to a few days older than the George children.  Kenzie and Molly, Kaitlyn and Gabriel, Zach and Lace, Ashleigh and Syd, - - Hannah is odd man out.

Anyway, Kenzie's family went to pick her up.  We have all been waiting for Kaitlyn's mission call.  She got her prayers answered as she wanted to get her call right before they went to pick up her older sister so they could open it in Cusco.  Yesterday I got this text from them, "We just opened Kaitlyn's mission call on the Mount of Saqjuam in Cusco.  She is going to the Morris Town New Jersey mission.  She leaves February 18.  Oh and we haven't ran into Gabe yet.  He got sent to Puno with an Elder Lazuli (I think that is the name)."  Kenzie served in Puno, I remember that from her blog.  Thanks Irvine's for giving us an update!

Then a little later I got an email with pictures attached!  Thank you office elders of the Cusco Peru mission!

He has that cherished black name tag!!!
I count 30!  Thirty new missionaries!  Pray for all Mission Presidents!  I do!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One of My Best CCM (Peru MTC) Decisions

October 15, 2014

YO YO YO!!!!

Holy smokes time is seriously flying by here.  It honestly feels like I just got here yesterday.  We were talking the other day about that and how we really don´t want to leave, even though we sometimes claim to hate it here.  I really do love Peru sooooo much.  The people here make it the best.  Really though Latinos make this place the best.  It isn´t like America, all of them are really genuinely nice people.  They all care about you so much, even on the bus. Today I had a really old man on the bus, probably a member, offer me his seat.  Not that I took it but like seriously that would never happen in America?

Last P-day I asked some of the guys if they wanted to go sit with some of the Latino elders.  We were all a little scared to, considering how much Spanish that we don´t know.  But we thought that it couldn´t hurt if we just tried to be their friends.  That was one of the best decisions that I have made thus far in the CCM.  I mostly talked to one specific Latino named Elder Fuentez.  He is my FAVORITE.  I learned so much about him during dinner time.  He has 9 brothers and sisters - 10 kids total.  He is 26 years old and has been working construction for 12 years to help support his family and pay for a mission.  I got to know him a little better and continued to sit with him.  At one point I noticed that he wasn´t wearing a garment top.  That made me a little concerned.  I didn't know if he just honestly didn't have enough money for enough to last him through the week or what.  I asked him if he had been to the temple and he said no but that he would get to go in 5 days.  I found out that his family literally has nothing.  He showed me a picture of their house and 6 members of his family.  We were up in my room with the pictures and I asked him where the rest of him family was.  I got really teary eyed when told me that his parents split up 8 years ago when his dad got baptized.  All he wants is for him mom to talk to him and support him on his mission.  The night before he got to go to the temple I thought how selfish it would be if I didn´t help him out.  I asked him to come into my room and I just sat him down and told him my family had a gift for him.  It was only enough soles to buy all his garments but I could tell it meant the world to him.  He gave me a huge hug and told me his family was forever grateful to mine.  I love him.

So, on Sunday morning I was down in our class room getting ready to go to Sacrament Meeting when Elder Harris walks in the room and asks for my talk.  We all have to write a talk in Spanish and then they call up 4 random elders and sisters to give their talks.  I totally spaced it on Saturday and forgot to write one.  I explained that to Elder Harris and he said that I really needed to have one.  I thought that I would be fine and told him that.  He said that I really needed to at least have something.  So I sat there and busted out a pretty darn good talk on the Book of Mormon.  It was surprisingly really really good.  We get into Sacrament Meeting and while the Sacrament was being blessed and passed I just picked up my talk and went over it.  Really didn´t know why because the odds are that I wouldn't get called up, right? WRONG!!!!  Got called up and my whole district just starts laughing.  They weren´t laughing when I came to sit down because my talk was the BOMB!!!  I talked about how it is so important that we use the Book of Mormon in converting people come unto Jesus.

We had a video to watch later that day and I fell asleep and started snoring it is seriously the weirdest thing because I never snored before the mission.  I think that the Lord is trying to humiliate me out of sleeping.  That night we had a testimony thing where we all shared our conversion story.  Like when we really knew the church was true.  It really brought us together as a district.  I really do love all those guys.

I showed all the Latinos my picture and the were all in love. ♥♥♥  They were going crazy over the pictures of Lace and Molly.
The picture Elder George has of Molly

The picture Elder George has of Lace
 They asked me how I came from the same family because I was ugly.  They all also wonder why Sierra likes me, I just laughed it off.
Prom with Sierra and Gabe (aka Elder George)
 They love white girls!!!!  After they were all done I looked through all my pictures and noticed a few were missing.  I went into the Latinos room.  One of them was holding the picture of Molly.  Another was holding the picture of Lace.  And another was holding one of the picture from prom night.   They all thought that they were so funny.

It is CRAZY to think that next time I e-mail I will be out in the field.  I don´t feel ready or worthy of the great message that I get to share.  I have grown to love the gospel so very much.  I am ready to help others come unto Christ.

Here is a random page from my planner.

Breakfast 645-730
Personal study 730-815
Language class 830-930
Choching missionary study 930-10
Teaching investigator 10-11
More language class 11-12
LUNCH!!!!! 12-1245
Tall (Mormon rosetta stone) 1-2
Physical activity 2-3
Shower and get ready time 3-330
Additional study 330-430
Grammatical instruction 445-6
Dinner 6-645
Practice teaching in Spanish 645-8
Teaching investigators 8-9
Planning 9-930
Prepare for bed 930-1015
Quiet Dignity time 1015-1030
Lights out 1030

By the time I go to bed my brain is fried every night.  I feel like my head is going to explode.  I HATE Spanish by the end of the night.  But the next morning I just want to go to class and learn a ton more.

Elder George

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2 Week to Race Read the Book of Mormon

October 8, 2014

HOLY COW!!!!  This week has seriously been so dang good!  General Conference was honestly the best thing since we have been here.  I love listening to revelation from our prophets.  Anyway, I will start with the beginning of the week.  On the first, our afternoon teacher had us do this exercise to get us motivated again.  He has said that a few of us are really looking like we are not having fun, mad at the language (which we are), and want to leave (which I don't).  I know that I am not always the happiest here, but I don´t think that I look that bad really.  He had us all close our eyes and draw a picture in our head of 10 people back at home.  He had us do that for at least 15 minutes, just all sit there in silence dreaming about home pretty much.  Then he had us all imagine the people of Cuzco and what we wanted to get out of our mission.  He then told us about his life and mission.  It really made me excited for the field.  It is crazy to think that in a few SHORT weeks I will be serving the people of Peru!!!!!  It gave me that spark back.!!!  He also showed us a video called Missionary Work and the Atonement.  It is such an awesome video.  It talks about how hard the mission is going to be, President Eyring and Elder Holland do a great job!!!  I would advise you to watch it.  It has made my days here sooo much better since we got to watch that video.  Also, a really good Mormon message is Mountains to Climb!

At the beginning of the week we got our new morning teacher.  He was sooo awesome.  Almost as good as Hermano Ruiz.  His name was Hermano Salcedo.  He has really good English but will never use it in the classroom.  Definatly a good thing.  We all had to piece together these sentences that make no sense in Spanish but he figures out what we are saying.  The other teachers took Hermano Salcedo and put him with the new kids that came in last night.  They think because he speaks English that he needs to be with the new missionaries.  Our district is going through teachers sooo fast.  They gave us two sister teachers which is really good.  It calms some of the other Elders down a lot.  Neither of the sisters speak any English.  It is SOOO different.

I can understand Spanish!! When we go out for P-day I always get to choose where we go as a companionship becasue E. Ard isn't too sure what anybody is saying.

So what do you know?  More high school drama in District 105.  The boys here are sooo dramatic and I grew up with 4 sisters!!!  So like I've mentioned before, E. Harris, E. Belliston, E. Larkin and I pretty much best friends.  We do everything together.  This is what sparked it all.  During conference we were in the big hall/auditorium type place and there were no tables or desks to write on.  So I asked E. Ard if he wanted to go sit in front where I saw a table we could pull up to write on.  He said he would rather not.  So then I asked E. Belliston if he wanted to come with me.  He said sure so we just went to the front row and pulled up a table.  E. Harris and E. Larking joined us.  At the end of conference we all went to the back to meet the rest of our district.  They were all in a room talking about how we do everything together and how big of a problem we are.  However, we are the ones who are working the hardest to learn Spanish and I really think it shows.  They all approached us like we were the biggest problem in the district.  They said that we need to pretty much stop being friends.  I told them all that wasn´t going to happen and our district had lots worse problems - like respect.  One of the guys went to president who called me into his office.  I wasn´t worried because I had done nothing wrong.  He was sooo funny about it.  He pretty much told me that he gets an email form our teachers daily and that none of us, the 4 best friends, had ever made the email.  He wasn´t worried and told me to have a good day.  All the other guys were so offended when I wouldn´t tell them what President said.  But it was better to just keep it to myself.

E. Belliston and I were talking the other day during personal study, we were talking about the Book of Mormon.  He is really good at Spanish, he took 4 years before the mission, so he was reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish.  I have been trying to read it in Spanish, and can piece together what it is saying.  I just didn´t feel like I was getting out of it what I need to.  I feel like I don´t know the scriptures that well.  E. Belliston said he felt the same way.  So we got on the topic of trying to read the whole Book of Mormon before we left the CCM in English.  We both then decided that that was literally insane.  With all of the other thing we have to be studying and learning we felt like there was no way.  The next morning we were talking and I told him I prayed about it, he said he had too.  I told him I felt like we should really try to finish it, he said he felt the same way.  So it began the race to the end of the Book of Mormon with little free time in just over 2 weeks.  I found out that it is very do-able.  I feel like when I read faster I get more out of it.  I can piece things together that I have never seen before.  The way the stories work within each other is sooo cool!!!

Another group of Elders left yesterday and I am really sad.

One of my FAVORITES!!!  Elder Rodriguez!
 I have grown to love a lot of them.  You can really come to love people who you meet so fast.  I really do miss them already but they were all WAY ready to get out of this place.  I am too ready to try to survive in the real world of Peru!!!

Much Love
Elder George

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

5 Perfect Stones

October 1, 2014


Well the weeks are starting to feel like days and the days feel like weeks.  I am starting to really, really like it here.  I am learning  so much.  It is pretty much like school!!  Every day - all day - in a classroom learning.  The days just seem to blend together.  I will be writing in my journal and write, "Well I can´t remember if this happened yesterday or today but it was spiritual and a really good experience."  So yeah the CCM doesn´t ever change.  Same meals.  Same people.  And the same dang language!  But it is really good. :)

This Sunday it happened again.  I started snoring.  It was soo embarassing.  I fall asleep in this weird position that makes me start to snore.  All the DL´s said that they could hear me and talked to me telling me that I should try to stay awake but that everybody sleeps.  I couldn´t quite tell if they were being serious or not.  I hope they were joking around because I was laughing as I walked away.  They didn´t act any different so I think they were not offended.

E. Harris is still my favorite.  He's told me a lot about his life before his mission.  He was telling me about his family life.  His home situation was way different than ours.   It really, really, humbled me.  He is so spiritual and gave up a lot of things in his life in order to be able to be out here.

Fast Sunday almost killed me.  I found out that they don´t serve a dinner on Saturday.  But of course I didn't find that out until after I had skipped lunch because I had other things that I had to do.  Elder Ard and I were so hungry.  I honestly thought that I was going to die.  But then, when we went into lunch the next day, we were pleasantly surprised when there was a feast of American food.  IT WASN'T RICE AND CHICKEN!!!  I started crying a little bit.

So we got new kids this week.  Elder Monson and Elder Suckeje.  I really like Elder Monson.  He is really awesome and from Utah.  He is super humble and a nice kid.  Elder Suckeje I am not so fond of.  He pretends like he knows everything about this place when he has only been here for a few days.
Our district has the drama of a large group of high school girls.  One is "always right," his way or the highway.  So last night right before this great devotional I was explaining to one of the other guys that I really don´t find it to be a compliment when I get called a gangster or a thug.  I explained that I HATE it that we are glorifying something that is so ethically and morally wrong.  The "I am always right Elder" proceeded to jump in telling me that I don't know what a true thug is because I grew up in Idaho.  He told me none of my friends were thugs.  He was right about that.  I don't have any friends who I would consider thugs.  Elder Ard tried to back me up and told him to just shut up.  It turned pretty scary at this point...I just stood back and whistled hymns the whole time.  I had to go talk to the district leaders and tell them what happened.  It was a little nuts.

However, on a better note the devotional following all the baby drama was amazing.  We had a Member of the 4th Quorum of the 70 that lives in Lima come talk to us.  He talked about David.  David hand picked 5 perfect round stones to arm himself with.  He told us we need to pick 5 things to arm ourselves with.  He doesn´t care what 4 of them are, but he wanted us to understand that the most important thing to arm ourselves with was a strong powerful testimony.  He basically told all the North Americans that we are going to stink at teaching for the first 4 months and that we need to be able to rely on our testimonies to convert people.  I realized how true that was.  That was literally the first thing they taught us here - how to bear testimony.  It is crucial that we learn that when a investigator stops progressing we need to bear our testimony and let the spirit do the rest of the talking.  He also said something along the lines of, "one more effort, and a failure can turn into a success."  I have felt like I have failed a lot at the CCM lately and so that really made me happy.  One more day, one more effort, and it will all be worth it.  I will wake up one day and know Spanish.  All of those fake investigators whose lessons were total failures will be all worth it!!

On Saturday Hermano Ruiz came into class and told us his last day would be on Tuesday (yesterday).  I just got really sad in my heart.  I honestly love that man.  He knows so little English and we know so little Spanish that it was hard to put into words what I felt for him.  But I am really happy for him.  He is graduating from the University down here and will be an engineer.  We aren´t allowed to take pictures unless it's a P-day and president wouldn´t make an exception.  However, we told him we would pay for his bus if he would come to the temple today with us.  We did.  And he did.  He was able to come and go through a session with us.  I love him so much.  We got a picture with him right outside the temple - is there a better place.  NOPE!!  So take that President!!!!!!

I am doing good, I am all healthy for the most part, only got sick for 3 days so I am feeling rather accomplished!!

Much Love,

Elder George