Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ditty on our 4th Trip to Huancavelica

OUR TRIP TO HUANVELICA (to be read in the sing-song manner of a Dr. Seus book)

Dirt road, narrow road; sunken, bumpy, dumpy road:

Pothole, train track, rain and shaky bridge:

Large rocks, speed bump, landslide from the ridge:

Donkeys, llamas, broken railings, chickens, trucks and dogs:

Oxen, cattle, moto-taxi, tractor, sheep and hogs:

Stalled cars, bicycles, cement, and piled up bricks;
Water streams, tricycles, smoke, and broken sticks:

Women walking, herding, selling, waiting for the bus:

Children hiking, biking, playing, not aware of us:

Men were chatting, planting, painting, carrying their load;
Stopping traffic for some dancers right out on the road!

Markets, parties, bands, parades, policeman wanting bribe:

This is only part—but all our poem will describe.

Summer in the High Andes

It's summer in the "sierra" (mountains), which is the dry-but-cold season. (It's winter on the coast of Peru, where it's cooler and wetter.) The hills and mountains in this agricultural area are no longer lush green, a sign of the end of the harvest season. These pictures were taken earlier this week during our trip from Tarma to Huancavelica:

Beverly took this picture of Scott among the interesting rock formations on a mountain near Huancavelica:

She also took this picture of Scott posing in front of a Spanish Colonial bridge that spans the Mantaro River in the town of Izcuchaca:

The Mantaro River also cuts through this mountain valley:

At 12,000 feet above sea level, this woman herds her sheep and llamas:

Because we traveled during the celebration of the Peruvian Independence, many homes flew the Peruvian flag. This home also has an ornament, which the people place on their roofs to bless to the home and protect it from evil spirits:

This village in the High Andes is interesting because of the unusual colorfully painted homes:

Many farmers own one or more burros. These two burros are taking a break from their day of labor in the high farmland of the Central Andes:

We love to serve in this amazing country of Peru.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Day of Visitors

Sometimes we go weeks without visitors, but Saturday (July 25) we enjoyed lots of visitors.

First, two wonderful missionary couples came from Lima to stay with us for a few days: (left to right) Elder Jack and Sister Kay Beals (Area auditors), and Sister Veronica and Elder Glenn Lamb (Perpetual Education Fund).

Then another group came for breakfast. Two sisters, Darcy (who lives in Phoenix) and Mandy (who lives in Cedar City) Olsen, came to Peru to visit friends in Lima. They found our blog, contacted us, and asked about traveling in the High Central Andes. We had them contact Zarahemla López, a travel agent. Zara acccompanied them to Tarma, along with her brother-in-law Carlos Shiraishi (he works with FamilySearch in the Area Office) who drove the van. They are all members of the church (left to right), Zarahemla, Mandy, Darcy, and Carlos:

We fed ten people for breakfast: a feast of French toast, English ham, scrambled eggs, and juice.

In the evening, we had a surprise visit from the Durman Durand family (our dear friends who have moved from Tarma to La Merced). Here they are enjoying a dinner of American tacos and Mexican chips and dip (left to right, Cami, Durman, Karola, and Eduardo):

It was a great day of visiting with our friends (both new and old)!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pioneer Day Celebration in Peru

The church members here in Tarma usually don't celebrate Pioneer Day. In fact, they know very little about the pioneer trek of the early Mormon Saints. (Our branch president actually asked us from where and to where the Mormons traveled.)

So Beverly volunteered to host a Pioneer Day celebration at our regular Missionary Night. We invited our branch and many other members. Beverly spent three afternoons preparing the food, a typical (Utah) Mormon menu of "funeral potatoes," emerald salad, barbecued hot dogs, and chocolate chip cookies.

The logistics of the entire process was a challenge: (1) finding ingredients for the recipes, (2) estimating how many would attend, (3) determining how to prepare, refrigerate, and transport all the food, (4) planning the games, video, and program, and (5) managing the entire activity. Somehow, everything worked out.

We began the night by showing the Westward trek section of "Legacy":

Scott then explained about the Mormon pioneers and why their history is important to us. He told about his pioneer ancestor, George Gotlieb Zimmerman, and he also told the touching story of Beverly's ancestor Elizabeth Fox (who was lost on the plains). He explained the significance of "Come, Come Ye Saints" ("Oh, Está Todo Bien"), which we sang as a congregation.

Our traditional Missionary Night activity involves games, so we played two games that the members had never played, "Hot and Cold," and "Drop the Hankerchief":

We finished the evening with the food. Here's a tray of potatoes and 250 (small) chocolate chip cookies:

Some of the members helped Beverly dish up the plates. We served over 75 people:

Each plate had a sample of each type of food.

Everyone loved the food and several asked for the recipes:

Unfortunately, many of the ingredients aren't available in Tarma (we bought them in Lima); others aren't available in Peru (we had to use substitutes).

We enjoyed our Pioneer Day celebration. We had the opportunity to teach the Church members here about their Church heritage, and that they are pioneers too---as they have joined the church, met tremendous obstacles, and forged new traditions for their families.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Friday Baptism and Saturday Trip to Junín

We went to the Church on Friday night for our music and Book of Mormon classes, and found out that the missionaries were holding a baptism. So we cancelled our classes and attended the baptism. Four children (all of whom are Beverly's piano students) were being baptized--three children (Isaac, Brenda, and Sharon) of a woman (Claudia, in the white cap) who was baptized last month, and one child (Diana) of an investigator (Rosanna, the other woman in the picture). The two missionaries are Elder Castro (on the left) and Elder Per (on the right), both from Guatemala:

The daughter of the investigator got frightened because of the cold water and backed out of the baptism. Scott interviewed the mother the next night, and she and her daughter will both be baptized on Sunday in La Oroya where the font is heated. [Note added later: They were indeed baptized in La Oroya. In her testimoney after the baptism, Roxanna thanked "Presidente Zimmerman" for explaining the miracle of forgiveness and giving her the courage to be baptized.]

Today, we went to Junín. While Scott was waiting outside the church for his class to start (trying to keep warm in the sun), he met a woman and her daughter. The woman was walking by the church, saw Scott, and became curious as to why some large, strange-looking gringo was in her town. So she stopped to ask him some questions:

Scott was equally curious about her because she was walking along knitting a "panti," one-piece leggings that the mountain women wear to keep their legs warm. (Even Beverly wears them in cold Junín at 13,600 feet.) She was knitting at a high speed without even looking down. She demonstrated her technique to Scott while her shy daughter clung tightly to her side:

In the meantime, Beverly had already started her piano class. Here she demonstrates how to play a hymn to four boys of the Junin branch:

She had about 12 kids in her class. Four of the kids were under the age of 5, and came because their mothers wanted a babysitter! Beverly finally "dismissed" them from the class because they were keeping the other kids from learning.

Have we mentioned that life here in Peru is always an adventure?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Four-day Trip to Lima

We received a call last Friday morning (July 10) from our mission president asking us to speak at a fireside at the Tilda ward in the Vitarte Stake in east Lima on Sunday. We were happy to do it. We left early Sunday morning, arrived in Lima in time to eat lunch with the missionaries and leaders at the Lima CCM (MTC), rest for awhile, and head to Vitarte.

The trip from Tarma to Lima is always an exciting one, especially as we go up over the Ticlio pass, at 15807 feet above sea level. This is the first time we have made the trip during the dry season, and things looked different. Compare the following picture to the one of the same lake and mountain located in the right-hand column of our blog:

The 17,000+-foot peaks are awesome :

We were impressed by the variety of shapes and colors of the mountains. This one has a Peruvian flag on top, but you have to look carefully. Also, the water in the foreground has a layer of ice:

These craggy peaks are also near Ticlio. There is a lot of mining in this area:

We were amazed at the deep, rich blue of these high mountain lakes:

We loved speaking at the young single adult conference in Vitarte. Beverly spoke on virtue and Scott spoke on preparing for the temple. We were happy to see our former Tarma missionary, Elder Santos (and his new companion Elder Germaine) who is now serving in Vitarte:

President and Sister Groberg of the Lima CCM (MTC) were kind enough to invite us to stay in the CCM guest room. The CCM campus is beautiful:

This is the entrance to the CCM as viewed from our bedroom window:

Flags represent the various countries (Columbia, Bolivia, US, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina) of the missionaries at the CCM:

We loved meeting many missionaries, including these three--Elders Cruz, Webb, and Obanda, who are coming to our mission, the Peru Lima East:

We attended a devotional with all the CCM missionaries and were asked to bear our testimonies (in Spanish) to these great young men and women.

We loved the many beautiful flowers located on the CCM campus:

On Tuesday, we attended the Zone Leaders Council with all the zone leaders of our mission. Beverly and I gave short messages at that meeting as well. After the council, we attended the temple with the missionaries. Scott took this picture before entering the temple:

After the visit to the temple, we had a barbeque with the zone leaders, President and Sister Leyva (and their son), and Elder and Sister Goede (office missionaries) who grilled great hot dogs and hamburgers:

We got to see some of our former Tarma elders, two of whom are new zone leaders: Elder Keel and Elder Bates. We also got to see Elder Oliveros (eating a potato chip, center of picture) and Elder Ebert (lower left-hand corner) who worked in the Mission Office when we lived in Lima:

We went to the new mission office get help from the Mission President's efficient secretary, Elder Myler:

It was a great four days of travel and activities.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photos to Celebrate Our Half-Way Point

On July 13, 2009, we will complete nine months as missionaries, the halfway point of our 18-month mission. To celebrate, we offer the following recently taken photographs, which have not appeared previously on this blog. To get an expanded view of each picture, click it.

Flower saleswoman in San Pedro de Cajas, Peru:

Valley above La Oroya, Peru (at 12,200 feet above sea level). The green pipe carries water for the city of La Oroya:

Grocery store with firewood in front, a rack of bags of chips near the entrance, and green bags of coca leaves (source of cocaine) in the doorway; taken in a small town south of Huancayo:

Sharon, granddaughter of our driver José Quinto, playing the keyboard in Beverly's piano class:

Yellow flowers on the side of a hill near the Gruta de Huagapo (cave) in the Palcamayo valley north of Tarma:

Dancers in the streets of San Pedro de Cajas:

Terraced farmlands above Tarma:

Three women of San Pedro de Cajas:

Cactus growning on a fence wall in San Pedro de Cajas:

School kids holding a parade in the Plaza de Armas of Huancavelica, Peru (sometimes we think kids in Peru march in parades more than they spend time in the classroom):

Vicuñas on the Pampa (altiplano) of Junín:

The town of Cochas Bajo, west of Tarma:

Woman sitting in the Plaza de Armas of Palcamayo, Peru:

Mountains south of Tarma, Peru (these peaks are about 17,000 feet high):