After a little while in Peru, in our case it was about a month, we came to the realization that nothing here is the same as it is home - the Gospel of Jesus Christ being the exception. The food, traffic, housing, noise, climate, distance from our family, especially the language, and all the other little details are different. Trying to come up with one physical thing that is the same as at home, and we couldn't do it. Even the fast-food and chain restaurants that are supposed to be the same aren't.
This could be the cause for frustration if we started making a comparison of what is worse or better, but we decided that it's just different here, and it's going to be this way for a year, and there's not much we can do to change it, so we just better adapt, and that's a process rather than an event.
The language is the hardest thing to adapt to, for both of us. Some days we feel like we're making progress, in understanding and speaking and then someone starts talking to me in Spanish, and I can't understand a word. Sometimes the words won't come, or I'll get stuck in the middle of a sentence, and my mind is blank. There's no substitute for study and practice when it comes to language learning.
That we've survived so far must be an indication that we have and can adapt to the different world we find ourselves in. We had a pretty good idea of what this mission experience would be when we signed on and accepted the call, so there's really no surprises - but actually living it is different than anticipating it.
The experience we have with the wonderful people and missionaries here are what make it all worthwhile. You've seen this description of the people before, and will see it again for sure. I don't know what other words to use - I'm sure there are several, but they all mean the same thing. When we are able to help some one and you see it in their eyes, or the thank us, it's a big payday and makes us appreciate the small sacrifices and inconveniences to be a part of something bigger and better than our usual lives.
It's a small sacrifice for a short time. We're building memories and experiences and skills and testimonies that will be with us for the rest of our lives. We are thankful to have received a call from the Prophet of the Lord to serve in Peru, thankful for the President for our assignment, for the missionaries who help us, for the people who love us. There's a lot to be thankful for, and we are.