Sunday, November 30, 2008
Today, we arrived at the Gospel Essentials class to find that the instructor wasn't there. So I filled in and gave the class. My only vocabulary mistake was to say that Jesus gave hearing to the "cerdos" (pigs) instead of "sordos" (deaf). The class really laughed at that one.
After the meetings, the ward held a baptism for an 8-year-old boy. Beverly and I decided to stay because no one was there to play the piano. Beverly accompanied the audience in singing childrens' songs. Then, just before the meeting started, the counselor in the bishopric asked me to perform the confirmation. I was happy to do so, because I haven't done a confirmation in Spanish for over 43 years. This picture shows me with the newly baptized boy, Diego, and his mother and sister.
Beverly was also asked to accompany a special musical number that the Young Women are doing on Friday night. Here's she's practicing with Pamela Gomez (the flutist) and Hma. Yenny (vocalist).
Several of the brethren stood around and chatted after church. Almost all the men and boys of the priesthood are diligent in wearing white shirts and ties. During the cooler months, they almost all wear suit coats, too.
This ward has very wealthy and very poor (by US standards) members, but they all dress nicely for church. They are wonderful, faithful members, even though they face many cultural and family challenges.
We are happy to attend this ward and to support the members as best we can. We have begun to visit some of the less active members in an effort to encourage them to attend church. Beverly plays the piano most Sundays. I have been asked to pray in at least one meeting every Sunday since we began attending here. I will teach Sunday School again next Sunday. We pray daily for the wonderful members in Peru.
As I prepared for and left on our mission, I had five major prayers in my heart. I pleaded before the Lord to receive the following five blessings:
- An increased testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Health and protection that my heart and the rest of my body could endure the rigors of missionary work and the travel challenges in this, the mission with the most changes in elevation of any mission in the world.
- The gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues for me and for Beverly, so that we could speak and understand Spanish and so that we could speak with the voice of angels in proclaiming the gospel.
- The gift of discovering the mysteries of the scriptures, that is, having the knowledge, applications, and sacred truths of the scriptures opened to me.
- I wanted Beverly and me to gain a stronger testimony that our calling as missionaries and our assignment to the Peru Lima East Mission came from the Lord.
I now acknowledge and witness that He has answered my prayers in wonderful and miraculous ways. I have given examples of some of these here in this blog (see the blog on how well my heart handles the rigors of traveling through the Andes) and will give other examples in future blogs. The Lord has been good to us.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sister and Elder Goede, from Layton, are the Office Missionaries in charge of records and finances. They bought the pies and the rolls. (Notice the newly-painted walls in the background.)
Here are "our" elders who came: Elders Shiflett, Leiva, Flores, Davis, Ebert, and Gurel.
Elder Leiva (from Arequipa, Peru) and Elder Davis (from Texas) are the two assistants to the mission president; Elders Flores (from El Salvador) and Elder Ebert (from Sandy, Utah) are office elders, and Elder Shiflett (from Arizona) and Elder Gurel (from Texas) are the two missionaries who work in our ward here in the La Molina area of Lima.
Elder Davis ate so much that he said he couldn't eat dessert. But he ended up taking three pieces of pie anyway! (No, he didn't finish them.)
She doesn't give up.
You can't buy bread crumbs here, and it's too humid to leave bread out overnight, so she made her own, by cutting and then drying the bread in the oven.
One thing we can buy here is delicious avocados, for making guacamole (which you can't buy here).
The adventure begins with spices and sauces. Some things are the same, others are different.
We found frozen turkey breasts in our local supermarket.
Peru has a huge selection of potatoes, so picking the type that would work for mashed potatoes was an adventure. The ones here on the right worked great. The sweet potatoes (shown on the left) were fabulous, but Peru doesn't have brown sugar, so we used a crude cane sugar and marshmallows to make candied yams.
Here's the serving table with the pre-dinner snacks, including nuts, fruit jello, candy, chips, drinks, guacamole, chip dip, and salsa. This was the first time the missionaries had enjoyed most of these things since coming to Peru. It was the first time the two Latino missionaries had ever had some of the food.
So we hired a wonderful member our ward, Hermano Filipe ("Pipo") Álvarez, to do the painting, as shown here.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Our mission, Misión Perú Lima Este, is made up of the eastern part of Lima and the regions of Huánuco, Pasco, Junín, and Huancavelica.
Monday, November 24, 2008
And here are pictures of the high point, 4818 meters (15,800 feet) above sea level:
A high mountain lake near Ticlio:
Saturday, November 22, 2008
We bear witness that The Book of Mormon is true, that it is the word of God, and that it changes lives. As missionaries, we are asked to carry The Book of Mormon with us at all times. It brings us great strength and comfort. Our mission president has asked all of the missionaries in the Peru Lima East Mission to read the entire Book of Mormon in four months. We invite you to do the same.
Four happy missionaries of the Peru Lima East Mission:
Here´s a picture from another recent baptism (Anna Navarro), by two of our favorite elders, Elders Shiflett (far left) and Gurel (far right). They are disappointed that they had to leave their original missions in Bolivia and come to Peru, but Hermana Navarro, and our ward bishop, think they are angels sent from heaven. We agree.
It´s impossible to overstate how wonderful, dedicated, handsome, and effective the Latino missionaries are in spreaking the Truth in our mission. The Latinos come from Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Central American, and other Latin American countries. What a blessing they are to Peru! Here are three of them who work in Lima:
The Area offices are beautiful. The inside was already decorated for Christmas. The outside, as you can see, is beautifully landscaped.
Here´s a nice flower bed with palm trees, bushes, and flowers.
The Peruvian flag and flower bed near the front entry.
I think he´s the one on the bottom, third from the right. Right?
This time, he´s on the bottom, far right side.
Here it looks like he´s on his prayer rug, while others stand and watch, but actually, he´s the first elder down on the blanket, ready to build a human pyramid.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
It looks like a free-for-all and it was.
Elders Ebert and Flores, with whom we work in the mission office, run a three-legged relay:
Here are Hermana Garcia and Hermana Farmer (probably the shortest and the tallest sisters in the mission) also doing the 3-legged relay.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Bifstec a lo Pobre (Poor man´s beef steak), with steak, eggs, rice, french fries, and fried banana.
Pollo a la naranja (orange chicken), here served with rice and vegetables.
Pollo a la Milanesa, which is a fried, flattened chicken breast. Here it is served with yuca frita (fried yuca, a type of root plant) and plátanos fritos (fried bananas).
This zone completed their pyramid--almost.
This shows the beautiful sky and mountains surrounding the green (and very hot and humid) jungle town of La Merced, with the LDS chapel and the missionaries.
A big pyramid just as it collapsed: