Monday, May 11, we enjoyed feeding lunch to eight of the missionaries in our zone, the highest (in altitude and spirit) missionary zone in the world.
As usual, they 'ate us out of house and home'. They each had two bowls of homemade chili (a rare treat in Peru), three ham sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes (a rare treat because missionaries normally can't eat ham or lettuce due to sanitary issues), and a peanut-butter-and-jam sandwich (a rare treat because the US elders hadn't eaten peanut butter since coming to Peru, and the Peruvian elders had never eaten peanut butter).
Here they are, starting with Elder Santos (front and center) and going around the table clockwise: Elders Santos, Santa Cruz, Caracela, Cook, Zambrano, Bird, Shiflett, and Bates.
Here's a portrait of each of these missionaries, in alphabetical order.
This is Elder Bates from San Antonio, Texas. He's calm and quiet, but a hardworking, loving, effective missionary. He also took a chemistry class from Scott at BYU a couple of years ago. He is one of "our" missionaries because he is on our branch in Tarma:
This is Elder Bird from Tremonton, Utah. He's fun and easy going. He works in the very high-altitude (about 13,000 feet), small farming community of San Pedro de Cajas where he wears gloves nearly every day:
This is Elder Caracela from Arequipa, Peru (a large city in the south). He is holding a package of Vizzio, one of our favorite Peruvian treats---chocolate covered almonds. He is new in our zone and works in La Oroya, a mining town at 12,200 feet.
This is Elder Cook from Logan, Utah who also works in La Oroya. He's been our Zone Leader since we arrived in Tarma three months ago. He leaves to go home in two weeks, and, as a former Aggie who saw the light, will start at BYU in the fall as a pre-med major.
This is Elder Santa Cruz from Chiclayo, Peru (a city in the north). He works in San Pedro de Cajas with Elder Bird.
This is Elder Santos from Fontana, California. He is also "our" missionary in the Modelo branch in Tarma. His father is from Cuba, but Elder Santos was raised in the US. Elder Santos didn't speak Spanish before his mission, but he obviously had it in his brain because he has a wonderful, natural-sounding Spanish accent.
This is Elder Shiflett from Mesa, Arizona. He was "our" missionary when we lived in La Molina. He holds a special place in our heart because he was with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners last year in Lima, and we worked with Brother Dinklang, one of Elder Shiflett's wonderful baptisms. He is new to our zone and works in La Oroya.
This is Elder Zambrano from Tacna, Peru (in the south). He is one of the Zone Leaders and is Elder Cook's companion. He is new to our zone and works in La Oroya.
Here we all are after a wonderful luncheon together on our P-Day.
Consider this short description and pictures of these wonderful missionaries as a belated tribute to their mothers on this day-after-Mothers Day.