Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lesson #3. The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Monday night during Family Home Evening, Scott reviewed Lesson #3 with the Dinklang family. This lessons covers the first principles of the Gospel.

1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.

2. Repentance from sin (disobedience to God's commandments).

3. Baptism by immersion (our first covenant with God).

4. The Gift of the Holy Ghost (baptism of the Spirit through the sanctifying, cleansing effect of the Holy Ghost who testifies of Christ).

Enduring to the end by making and keeping a lifelong commitment to follow the Gospel path.

After the lesson, Sister Dinklang invited us to be with her when she received her endowment in the temple the following morning. We were pleased to be there with her.

Hermana Dinklang Goes Through the Temple

The sweet and enthusiastic sister at the right is Hermana Karín Silva de Dinklang, a member of our ward who was just endowed in the Lima Temple. She has been a member for many years, but Brother Dinklang is newly baptized (they plan to be sealed in a year). We have been reviewing the missionary lessons with the Dinklangs and we love this family.

This pictures shows Sister Dinklang (center) immediately after going through the temple.

The woman on the left is Hermana Ruby Vega de Cortijo, an avid genealogist. Scott has done vicarious work at the Lima Temple for several of her deceased relatives. We visited her recently and talked about her genealogy work, her membership, and her deep faith in the Lord. We also met her returned-missionary daughter (Silvia).

There aren't any more enthusiastic, loving members of the Church anywhere in the world than these two wonderful Peruvian sisters.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Paúcar Family

We have been visiting the Paúcar family regularly for about six weeks. They are members of our ward and live about a 10-minute walk from our apartment. Hermano Oscar Paúcar is a successful businessman, who, among other things, is the procurement officer for the motor vehicle pool for the municipality of Ate (pronounced "ought-eh") in Lima. Hermana Violeta Paúcar is a stay-at-home mom. Their son Oscar is a college student and personal trainer at a gym, and their daughter Katherine is a junior in college studying economics.

We love this family and feel their love in return. What a blessing it has been to have them respond with enthusiasm to our invitations, prayers, and spiritual messages. They have attended church the last two Sundays and have set spirituality as their major goal for the upcoming new year.

They invited us to their home the day after Christmas to celebrate the holidays with them. We chatted, snacked, laughed, took photos (see above), and shared spiritual thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Rather than join the other North American couples at the Lima MTC today, we entertained the office elders and the missionaries in our ward so they could have a nice Christmas dinner. We were their surrogate parents.

Here we are in our new Mission tee shirts with Elder Oliveros (the mission supplies clerk; from Guatemala), Elder Clark (the new incoming personal secretary to the mission president; from New Hampshire), and Elder Ebert (the outgoing personal secretary; from Sandy, Utah).

Here we are with the two assistants to the president, Elder Leiva from Arequipa, Peru, and Elder Davis from Houston, Texas.

And here we are with Elder Gurel from Austin, Texas, and Elder Shiflett from Arizona. They are hard-working, baptizing missionaries, who were assigned to Bolivia but are now in our mission after Americans were kicked out of Bolivia.

Beverly explains the food for the Christmas dinner to the missionaries: turkey, ham with pineapple sauce, potatoes and gravy, Waldorf salad, English trifle, green beans almondine, guacamole, salsa, chips, rolls, pies, and drink.

Beverly and Elders Ebert, Oliveros, Davis, Clark, Shiflett, Gurel, and Leiva. The elders really chowed down!

For Christmas, Santa brought Beverly this ceramic figurine of a Peruvian mother and her children. This adds to Beverly's collection of over 100 mother-child figurines from all over the world.

Santa brought Scott a ceramic chess set to add to his collection of sets from around the world. This one shows the Incas (llamas for knights, thatched-roof towers for rooks, etc.) vs. the Spaniards (horsed soldiers for knights, castle towers for rooks, etc.). This set immediately became one of Scott's favorites.

With all the piano playing that Beverly is doing, she needed some way to practice in our apartment, so Santa brought us this portable keyboard. She will use it to teach music lessons to Peruvian youth in the mission.

We ("Santa") gave the elders "stockings" (actually just Ziploc baggies) with US candy (Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, M&Ms, and Skittles). The missionaries loved this little gift. After food, photos, and fun, we read the account of the first Christmas in Luke (Lucas in Spanish) and then everyone bore a short testimony (in Spanish). We all testify to the world that Jesus is the Christ, our Redeemer and Savior.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Multi-Zone Conference in Lima

Normally, our mission president holds six multi-zone conferences each transfer cycle, three in the provinces (up in the mountains of Peru) and three in Lima. But this transfer cycle fell near Christmas, so he held one in the provinces (which we did not attend) and this one in Lima.

All the sisters and elders in Lima and Chosica met in a Lima chapel for hymns, testimonies, and talks. Beverly and Scott both bore their testimonies. It was Beverly's first impromptu testimony in Spanish.

The sister missionaries always sit in the front.

After the meetings, we had lunch. Beverly dishes up applesauce while Sister Bocanegra waits to pass out the food.

Here are the plates of food---rice, mashed potatoes (yellow), turkey, and applesauce---waiting for the missionaries to come and pick them up. It was quite a task to feed 140 missionaries.

Here's one of the two sister missionary tables.

The missionaries filled the entire cultural hall.

Elders at the luncheon pose for the camera.

The sister missionaries pose with "Papa Noel" (played by Elder Birdsall) as he is called here in Peru.

The mission gift (donated by our Obra Maravillosa Foundation) was a "polo," a tee shirt with all of the missionaries names on it. Sister Leyva asked everyone to line up by height so she could pass out the shirts. This picture shows the short elders and all the sisters from shortest to tallest.

Here are the three tallest elders in the mission: Elder Rogers, Elder Smith, and Elder Spendlove. Elder Spendlove, on the right, is 6 foot 7 inches.

The missionaries pose for a picture with their tee shirts. Pres. Leyva and his two daughters (Stephani and Brenda) and his son Juanito are right behind Beverly and Elder and Sister Goede.

Scott and Beverly pose with their tee shirts.
To top off the activities at the church, the missionaries put on skits. Here the "Ghost of Missionary Present" appears to Elder Scrooge, a trunky, lazy missionary.

In this skit, the tallest and shortest elders (Elder Spendlove and Elder Espinal) team up for a skit about getting missionary contacts. Here they talk to a guy (Elder Hernandez) who is dancing to music on his iPod. They dance a little with him and then count him as a contact.

In this skit, angels sing to announce the birth of Christ.

The funniest skit was the pantomime to the music Carol of the Bells.

In this clever skit, Papa Noel is Laban, with his servants all around him. Nephi, Sam, Laman and Lemuel try to get the brass gifts from him.

In the evening, the missionaries (but not Scott and Beverly) went Christmas carolling at a local mall. It was a wonderful day.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Central Market of Lima

On December 11, we took a trip to the Mercado Central, near the old center of Lima. Quite the experience.

This man was selling a fruit called mamey out on the street. It looked yummy.

We bought some cookie molds from this young salesman.

The open-air meat market had its own distinctive sights and smells.

Beans, grains, cereals, and almost anything else you might want was sold in bulk. The biggest problem was that the clerks scooped up everything with their hands.

A popular item was quail eggs. We're not sure how people cook them or how they taste. This vender was also selling whole chickens.

The fruit and vegetable section had a wide selection of wonderful Peruvian bananas, mangos, potatoes, and everything else.

Because of the upcoming Christmas holiday, the streets were jammed with shoppers, even though it was a week day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Flowers in our Neighborhood

Scott took pictures of these flowers this morning, all within a half a block of our home in Lima.