Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saludos desde Los Whitney en Canñete!!!

Summer technically arrived here December 21st and we, reportedly, were heard to comment that if this summer this isn’t so bad. Well, summer has arrived in reality and it is hot and muggy. You can actually break into a sweat thinking. I try and not think too much because I hear that thinking messes with your tan even if it only is a farmer tan (above the collar and below the elbows).

Sunday was the anniversary of our community (urbanizacion) and there was a fiesta in the afternoon for everyone in the community, lunch, games, a youth dance program about the nativity ect. It was hot enough that everyone came and got their food and went home to eat inside. Juan Carlos and Adriana invited us over to sit on their roof top patio and visit.

I now have patio envy; the patio is the third floor of their home with tile floors and view. From the roof top they can see the ocean, mountains, and everyone else’s roof top. It did not take long in the direct tropical sun and my face got a lot of color, I was looking quite native for a day or two. Debbie, the wise one, sat in the shade with sunscreen on. I guess I should also add she was the comfortable one that slept well. I still maintain that it is a good that ends with a sunburn, Debbie still maintains that I am crazy.

We seem to be in the middle of a building boom in our neighborhood. Today they are digging the foundation for the third new home of the season across the street. When I say digging that is exactly what they are doing, three guys with picks and shovels. They will excavate the footings and foundation walls by hand, approximately 4 feet deep. They do not use forms for the concrete below grade as they cut the hole just wide enough for the wall. Debbie has done a complete photo journal on the first home built across the street and when it is done or nearly done she is going to do an entry about it. It is interesting to see how they run a wide white chalk out line of all the supporting walls and then dig. More when Debbie’s photo journal is published.

Apparently we are sleeping soundly these days, we were talking on the phone with the Area President, Elder Nash, last week and he commented that we must have survived the earthquake. When I got off the phone I checked the U.S. Geological Survey and found that there had been a tremor the night before. I would not know because Debbie shakes the bed to stop me from snoring, she can’t tell the difference because my snoring shakes the room. Not withstanding this is not to diminish what those poor people in Haiti have suffered.

Some have written to know if we are near the mud slides and flooding that is making the international news. In the Cusco area mud slides have taken out entire towns this week. Conservatively more than 25,000 families are without homes and thousands of people are missing. It has been unusually wet high in the Andes this year and flooding has been extreme, considering that proximity to water is the reason people inhabit an area flooding has maximum impact one populated areas.

Last blog we introduced a young couple, Iber and Chabella, they have been progressing through the charlas(discussions). Or at least Iber has been very attentive and they have been attended church with Elders Servan and Bearnson. They have a desire to get married and Iber wants to get baptized. Note how I said Iber wants to be baptized.

This last week while discussing the steps they need to take to be baptized Chabella said she did not need to be baptized as she had been baptized. Elder Servan said, “yes we all were baptized in other churches but it is necessary to be baptized by one possessing the proper authority.” She said, “yes, I know, I have been a member of the church for seven years.” Iber, stunned, said he had no idea. The poor woman had been living the burden of her conscience ever since the missionaries started to teach her husband.

This week we meet with them again and what a change in Chabella. She was full of life and excited. As we visited with them this week we were able to witness the joy she was experiencing putting things right in her life, she was so full of gratitude. They are getting their papers together for marriage and have us to be their Testigos. We are honored and very excited for them and feel it to be a true blessing in our lives to be able to assist them.

We have mentioned in previous blogs how many of the good and humble people we encounter here opt for common law relationships because of the insurmountable cost of getting married. If you would like to know how you might help, drop us a line and we will let you know how.

Sunday at the Los Reyes anniversary party in the park with Juan Carlos, Adriana, Octavio, and Adrian. You can see that January in Canete is quite pleasant. (Also note how tall Debbie is compared to Juan Carlos and Adriana.)

Here are three amigos that are having fun. There is nothing like the great outdoors.

We were a little unclear as to why the program was a dancing musical rendition of the nativity but not withstanding it was a very well done program. At the end they called on volunteers to come up and recieve a figurine from the nativity and they also get to donate money for the community.

Earlier that day our neighbors children, that were moving out of their home, launched these items over the back wall in to our courtyard. Purple corn and coat hangers, we had been finding various items in recent history but none since they left. No need to wonder anymore where they were coming from.

Mentioning the courtyard I thought I would show what it looks like so as not to give any false impressions of grandeur. You can see our little washing machine with the canopy that we made to protect it from the sun. At its widest part it is 8 feet across and has an 8 foot wall around it. This is also our clothes drier, we hang everything on a line.

Elder Zea and Elder Walker had a double baptism on this day. The young man being baptized is the first baptism from Quilmana in a long time, the family on the right side of the picture are one of the faithful families from Quilmana.

Every second Wednesday night we travel to Quilmana for a "Misional" which is an activity night for members to bring friends to. We have a program like a family home evening (noche de hogar) part of which is playing games. When you lose the game there is a "castigo"(punishment) which often is embarrassing. Here President Huarhua and I really getting down with El Pato, the duck dance. He and I actually like it so we don't mind losing.

This was one our our weekly work project. We demolished some brick partitions on a roof top "el bano" that is essentially an open air space. We had to carry the rubble down two flights of stairs to the street in buckets. Oh did it hurt the next day.

While we were working the district Hermanas and Elder Nova were playing dress up having their own little beauty contest. Actually they were moving the effects of small tienda that was on the main floor when they came across this fun stuff.

Later that we went to Zharry's third birthday party. She is Janet and Cesar's youngest, it was a fun time for all.

We hope that someone will forward our blogspot to our friends at the Sunsplash Sun Tan salon in Edgemont so Melissa (Mel)can see this. This is in Asia.

This baptism was in Canete, Hermana Mendoza and Hermana Mogollon taught the Taya family and these four members were baptized on the same day. Note the family name, this family were found as a consequence of the chance meeting we had in the street one night three months ago.

Last Monday we went with Elder Zea and Elder Walker to Gamara, which is the shopping district in Lima. What a zoo, tens of thousands of people, half the people selling and the other half are buying. Gamara is home to the best pickpockets in the world.

Here is last weeks work project. We were helping Melissa and her sister clean an area of their home. This open air space is part of the living room with a tree in the middle. We found the most interesting spider with a crab like shell. Our pictures did not turnout but Elder Walkers did so when we get them we will post it.

This is the outdoor kitchen. Rustic, as a description, would not do this justice.

The group photo of the workers, Melissa is the middle. She was very thankful for the help and we all were glad to be able to help.

Meet Ray (pronounced Rye) Elder Servan and Elder Bearnson(Mala Elders) introduced us to Ray, they have been teaching him and his father. He is 16 years old and tutors mathematics at the university level. Before we started the meeting I challenged him to be baptized, it just seemed like the right thing to do, you could have knocked the Elders over with a feather when he responded that he is ready and had selected a date.

Thank you for reading another edition of Whitneysinperu. Drop us a line or leave us a comment to let us know how you are doing.

Les amo mucho!!!

Los Whitney


  1. Hi Guys:
    So very sorry it has been such a long time since you last heard from me. I think of you often and remember you in my prayers.
    Life has been crazy since the beginning of Dec. My mother arrived on Dec.4th and left Jan.7th. Unfortunately, on Jan. 4th, Jana had and emergency c section and gave birth to a one pound seven ounce baby boy. He has been doing great and was transferred to the ICU in Lethbridge last week. Jana, and usually Lexi, stayed here during the week and Fergus and the others came up at the week-ends. Pretty hectic since we no longer have our basement. I shouldn't complain though; after what you are going through, being without my basement is really pretty trivial. Hopefully Jarom will continue to make good progress and will be able to go home before too long.
    I am substituting in seminary this year as Leana had her surgery on Jan. 6th. She is slowly getting better, but it will take some time. I'm sure you know she had a benine brain tumor.
    Wayne is doing well. I've put him to work so he really doesn't have time to miss doing "Bishop" stuff. He sure is sleeping a lot better at night.
    When he was called to be a Bishop, our house was only three-and -a-half years old so it didn't really need much done to it. Now it is ten, it really does need some work. We have refinished the main floor bathroom and we will start painting soon.
    Nessie is here with the twins so I will close for now. Life is good to us. I love reading your blogs and will probably respond to the ones I have not read yet; so beware. You may get sick and tired of hearing from me.
    It is wonderful to read about the changes in the lives of people that you are involved with. Keep up the great work. God Bless you as you serve Him. Love, Meg.

  2. It's such a joy to read avout how the gospel changes lives for the better! You and Debbie are doing a wonderful job in Peru! Aren't missions wonderful!!!!!

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  4. I love that the people of peru really don't seem to take themselves too seriously, what is with all the embarasing punishments? :)

    The dancing rendition of the nativity reminded me of rock band church and made me laugh, how fun!!

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to side with Dad on this one, all good days definately end with Dustin having a sunburn 'cause it means I've probably managed to get a fantastic tan, hehe I'm terrible!!

    Sharing your patio envy, Melissa