Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saludos a nuestras familias y amigos

Well it has only been 24 or 25 days since our last installment of our adventures which brought me to the point of trying to decide if I should keep trying to keep up the blog or let it go. When I suggested that to Debbie I found out that I was really more committed to the blog than I had thought.

We have had a very busy 3 weeks with our usual missionary activities, assisting our new friends Elder and Hermana Reich (the new mission couple from Bountiful Utah) get adjusted, and in our left over time acquiring the things we need to make our new apartment home. I know that Debbie really loves the work we are doing here but nothing quite lights up her ojos(eyes) like shopping for and decorating la casa. We have had some fun.

The move has not been without it’s hassles but all in all we are very happy that we made the move. The physical move was quite smooth and was effected somewhat quickly. The Elders Walker, Campos, Nova, and Granados showed tremendous care breaking absolutely nothing as did our amigo Juan Carlos and our new landlord Luis. Juan Carlos brought a pickup truck from work and Luis brought his truck and things moved swiftly. Pictures to follow.

Telefonica the company that has the monopoly on telephone and internet service here is everything that you would expect of a monopoly and if you did not know better you would think that it was run by a government (it’s not but one would think). A couple of weeks before the move Adriana called and asked for our service to be transferred, no problem, it will take two to three weeks. That is where the problem started.

At the two week mark I asked Adriana if she would mind following up with Telefonica as we had heard nothing from them. To make a long painful story short she spent about 10 hours on the phone over the course to three or four days battling with them. First the installation was not available, then it was, then maybe it was but it could not be a transfer it had to be a new installation…… Finally after countless phone calls it appeared that we would have internet and a phone but it was going to take another three weeks.

Last Monday morning, which was only the first week of the three, before we left to go to Lima with the Familia Reich to sign them up with Telefonica for their internet we said it would be just our luck to miss Telefonica while we were out of town. We told Adriana that we would leave the key with her that day just in case, she said don’t worry it wont happen it has only been three business days since they said three weeks. We left the key anyway and guess what, they came. Anyway we have internet again.

We do not have satellite pickup at the church buildings in our district, yet. So we did not receive the General Conference broadcasts for the churches semi-annual conference and as we did not have internet for that weekend we have had to wait. We receive DVD’s of the conference and play them the week after for the members. Fortunately for the members here we get the DVD’s in español and the converse is also true for us that still have trouble following in español. Through the blessing of the internet we were able to view all of conference in English which made it easier to follow the español broadcast.

I said that we do not have satellite “yet” in our district but one of the things that we have been able to see accomplished in our time here is the approval for construction for an addition to the Cañete capilla. Starting June they will take the roof off of the existing building and construct a second floor. The actual Salon de Sacramental will be on the second floor and will almost double in size. The main floor will contain class rooms and slightly enhanced office space. A much needed “improved restroom” will also be on the second floor.

With a little convincing we will now have a satellite TV pickup and will be able to have live broadcasts from Salt Lake, hopefully starting with the Christmas Devotional in December of this year. The renovation must be complete before year end for budget purposes.

Yesterday was one the real highlight days since last entry as we went with one of our couples from Mala to the Salon de Matrimonio to be their testigos to their wedding vows. R. & S. (because I forgot to get permission to use there names) have lived together for more than 25 years raised a family and have 8 grandchildren and because of the expense never felt a great need to get married. We visited in their home with the elders about five weeks ago “R” had a lot of questions and at the time of our visit told us and the elders that he was pretty much not interested in our message. Elders Servan and Bearnson persisted and he allowed us give our message. Debbie and I gave our message about eternal families, answered a few of his questions, and bore our testimonies. At the end of the meeting he prayed and made an appointment to meet the Elders again.

Following up on the meeting the Elders dropped by a copy of the old Gospel Principles manual that the branch was discarding and left it with him. He read almost the entire book and within a matter of a couple of days he met them in the street and told them he wanted to be baptized. He told his wife that marriage was important step for them and he was prepared to take that step in order to be baptized. She agreed. “S” is not ready for baptism this week but is striving, “R” will be baptized on Saturday.

We meet so many couples that the missionaries teach that need to be married in order to progress. We have 6 couples in the teaching pool that we hoping to see make that important next step. We are fortunate that in May the municipality will hold a day for free weddings which will reduce the cost by about a third.

One last note as a follow up to the last blog; We mentioned the experience that we had in finding hermano Mariano Jesus Franco, the prospective missionary, from the Cañete branch and how he really found us. Well, that experience continues with more happy news. (Picture to follow.)

We have a lot of pictures to share, we hope you enjoy them:

Thursday morning President Manning called and ask if we could leave right away and meet him and the physical facilities manager for the South America West Area at the Casa Capilla in Mala. While there he gave me the Mission Call for Mariano and asked that we deliver it directly to him. Friday night I called him and told him that I had his mission call and ask when he would be available to get it. He said, "are you at home? I'll be there in 5 minutes meet me at the security gate." What a privilege and what an excited young man. He will be serving in the Columbia Callie mission.

This picture represents the sum total of Debbie's Christmas decorations, a far cry from the 22 box in storage in Calgary. All packed and ready to move.

Moving day and the moving help. Finely tuned chaos.

Moving nightmare, bags, not boxes. Box are quite a premium here you can't go to the grocery store and ask for them.

This is the new place, not the whole building just the second and floor. The second floor is all new and fresh.

This is our second floor covered Lanai with our designer plastic table and chairs.

The living area and dinning room are a little more spacious than the old place but has way more natural light. The wicker blinds we picked up in Lima. They work great during the day but at night the are pretty much transparent.

La cama.

The new, larger, clean El Bano.

This is the roof top Landry room. The white tienda is practical, at times of the day, to keep the direct sunlight off the washer when it is operating. The dryer (aka the clothes line) is where the shirts are hanging over in left corner of the picture. I am really proud of it as it is my best handy man work I have done in Peru. The big black tank is for water storage as the main water line in the city is only turned on for an hour in the morning and again in the evening.

We had enough new missionaries that we went to Cerro Azul for our preparation day activity this week. Hermanas Mendoza and Stocks are with Debbie. This was our only P-day activity with Hermana Stocks as she had a quick transfer.

The wharf was closed for repairs so we were not able to have our traditional end of the wharf jumping picture.

Assuming my favorite position at the beach.

I caught this stork as it was about to takeoff. The wing span of these birds reach 7 feet (two meters approx.)

Elder Bearnson is from Colorado and says he can't get enough of the ocean.

From the top of lighthouse hill you can see this Inca ruin. We were not able to find out anything about this place other than it was from the Incas. It is in a unique place as on the other side of the hill is the fertile Mala valley.

Multi-zone conference in Chincha. It was a nice change to usual as we played sports, had a bar-b-que visited and left.

The family Quispie needed our help reclaiming plot of ground that had over grown with weeds and wild plants. The plant growth was so thick that we could actually roll it like round bales someone went in front of us and chopped it with a machete. *Note the practice hat someone is wearing.

Hermana Romero found this little friend while chopping in the chalkra. Elder Nova dispatched it.

Back row left side is Hermana Suzanna Quispie, she is a recent convert and it was her field that we came to clear. The two ladies in the middle are neighbors that also had a piece of ground that needed to be cleared. When they saw us working they came to help so we cleared theirs as well.

Close to Easter these little chicks started turning up in various places in the house.

Our next project was to do a construction clean on the second floor addition that Alex, another recent convert in Canete, and sister are going to be living in. It does not have a roof or windows and probably wont for a long time. They will run a few cable to have some electricity, stretch a blue vinyl tarp over the top and that will be home for the time being.

At the end of the job a long walk home along the Pan Americana Highway.

This week we started our activity off at our favorite sandwich shop in Imperial. This lady makes some of the best hot turkey sandwiches on the planet. Elder Zea got us hooked on them and so we have been here more than once, now the lady tells the Elders that she is my sister.

We rode combie bus out into the back hills south of Imperial to Ungara Fortress. This fortress was built by the Huarco people and they inhabited the Canete River valley until about 1400 AD when the Incas conquered them. The Huarco were led by fierce and intimidating woman warrior and resisted the Inca for many years. This fortress was considered invincible by both the Incas and Huarco so the Inca prince tricked them into a treaty. While the were celebrating the treaty the Incas captured everything and everyone except for the fortress and garrison.

They held out for five years but when defeat was inevitable many of the soldiers defiantly through themselves off the fortress cliff to their deaths. The Inca prince was infuriated by this and ordered the remaining survivors to hung from the fortress walls.

Judging by the size of many of the passage ways we observed we will not accuse the Huarco of being overly tall.

The fortress also housed a temple and was religious center for Huarco worship. In the valley are remains of twelve pyramids that have significantly deteriorated over time. This was a very interesting outing and gave us an appreciation for the genius and industry of the ancient inhabitants of this part of Peru.

Feliz cumplianos to Hermana Mendoza.

Keeping tradition they arrived separately at the Salon de Matrimonio "R" was just a little late but when he arrived in his "bien vestidos" (best clothes) it brought a tear to every bodies eyes.

Here again with one of their daughters and two grandsons that they are helping their son in-law raise.

Well another happy ending to another installment of "WERE IN PERU NOW" and a happy beginning for our happy couple.

Remember that miracles have only stopped for people that don't have the faith to see them!

Until next time, les amo mucho!

Los Whitney