Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Taking What the Trip Gives Us"

In our travels in the past, we have adopted the motto, "We will take what the trip gives us." It's our way of saying we will learn from unexpected experiences, no matter what happens. It helped us handle our automobile accident in Poland and the injury to Scott's mother in Brazil, and it is helping us handle the physical and emotional ups and downs during our mission in Peru--for example, our trip today (Saturday, April 18) to La Oroya and Junín.

As we left Tarma toward La Oroya heading west, we traveled up through many mountain valleys like this one:

The road wound up through picturesque little towns:

Thirty minutes into the trip, we reached an altitude of 13,500 feet, our highest point between Tarma and La Oroya, at the tiny pueblo of Huacapo. The altitude change gave Beverly a headache and left her feeling short of breath. Here in Huacapo, travelers are urged to buy cheese, water, and other goodies at this roadside stand:

We arrived in La Oroya at our designated time of 10:00 am, only to find the chapel locked. It was almost 11:00 am before someone arrived to unlock the chapel and Beverly's music class got started. (No students at all showed up for Scott's Institute class.) Beverly had a group of eager students, including these two, who are shown playing a simple hymn while Beverly sings in Spanish:

At 12:15 pm, we left La Oroya for Junín. We stopped for lunch, as usual, near the turn-off to Cemento Andino (a town that produces cement that is shipped all over Peru). You can barely see the dirt road to Cemento Andino in the middle of this picture:

We (and our driver) had a tuna sandwich, some chips, and a drink that we brought with us:

Near Junín, we spotted this herd of vicuña, a protected animal of the llama and alpaca family. The vicuña has some of the finest wool of any animal in the world:

We arrived at the Junín chapel at 1:40, in plenty of time for our 2:00 pm classes. The chapel was locked and no one came with the key until 2:05. Then the missionaries arrived and announced that they had scheduled a baptism for 2:00 pm. Baptismal services supersede our classes, so we participated in the baptismal service that started around 2:45 and lasted an hour. This picture shows some of the branch members and non-member friends; Elder Bird (dressed in white) and his companion are at the back, and the young sister being baptized (also dressed in white) is holding her nephew:

Our classes finally started at 4:00 pm, the time we normally leave. Some branch members, who hadn't attended the previous classes, stayed for Scott's Book of Mormon class, so he had to improvise with his lesson. Here is the group of eager learners:

Scott gave a 20-minute class on the covenant message of the Book of Mormon, using the covenant between Nephi and Zoram as an example. It was a spiritual treat for Scott and hopefully his lesson provided new insight for the students.

Beverly faced her usual challenge in this branch--she has one or two excellent students (not shown) and a large group of children who want to learn to play the piano, but are too young to understand the concepts. Some of those adorable kids are shown here:

At 5:00 pm, we finally left Junín, driving across the high altiplano toward Tarma:

Our lessons hadn't gone as planned, but we had a wonderful experience with a newly baptized member and two groups of enthusiastic members. As we said, we take what the trip gives us.


Kimball said...

Our son just received a call to the Lima South mission, and in trying to find out more about Peru I discovered your site. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your mission and seeing the beautiful people in Peru. Your pictures are outstanding! I served in Paraguay and would love to return as Scott has done in Peru.

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh! This post could have aptly been named "Crossing the Plains Part II" but then that's probably what you were saying.
It's an entirely different life in that hemisphere, isn't it? I've got to hand it to both of you - what loving patience you must have! Great attitudes Elder & Sister Z.

Russ said...

I never get over hearing about the Peruvians that live at such a high altitude. Huacapo is almost exactly the elevation of Kings Peak (at 13,528 feet--it's the highest elevation in Utah).

Thanks for the reminder to take what life gives us.

Andrea said...

That is a great attitude to have while traveling, and in life in general. I am sure you've had to use that motto multiple time (when Grandma broke her foot in Brazil, when you had to come home early from wherever you were when Melissa and I got in that wreck, etc.). I should use that motto when going to the store with my kids.