Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Saludos a nuestra Familia y Amigos

It still seems funny or odd to us to be thinking that winter is coming when everything we have ever known tells us that May is spring and that summer is coming, well not in the southern hemisphere. Winter is on its way and we have noticed the change in seasons with cooler air and a little moisture. I call it moisture and stop short of calling it rain as it has many of the characteristics of rain but the ground never gets wet.

Winter temperatures here are generally in the 60’s F or mid teens C which is a far cry from the -40 F/C that we have experienced back home. Not withstanding it is humid and the cooler temperature feels cold or colder than one would expect. The upside to the change in weather is that we can close the window a bit, put away the fans and cut down on the dust that continuously filters through the house. I even think there are few types of insects around to vex us.

Last weekend marked the closure of the stores in Asia(Ahseeah) which also marks the end of easily available, store bought, supermarket type comida (food) and various other types of fun diversion such as TGI Friday’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Ripley’s department store. It is all gone until next summer, which starts Dec. 23 – things really are upside down on this side of the equator.

Saturday we went with our Peru Family to Wong’s for the last grocery experience of the season and we loaded up on non perishables and heavy things that are a challenge to carry home on the bus from Lima. We had hoped that Friday’s would have stayed open until the end but sadly, no, so we went to Cerro Azul for lunch. Juan Carlos took us to a Cerviche restaurant facing the ocean where experienced the local delicacy and house specialty, Cerviche, it was delicious. Sushi eaters beware, this raw fish is the bomb.

On the upside it gives us a reason to visit Lima more frequently and gives us something else to look forward to.

Last week was transfer week which is always one of those bitter/sweet experiences when we say good bye to someone. This time it was last transfer for Elder Walker and Hermana Mendoza. Elder Campos got transferred to the mission office to serve as one of the Assistants to the President, it did not surprise us as he is a great missionary.

Elder Walkers parents and sister came to pick him up and have been touring a little before they go home. We were fortunate to have them visit us in our home on Saturday and they attended a baptism with us in the evening. Elder Walker had been the zone leader here since his arrival and had set an excellent example for all the missionaries in the zone. The Walker family is very blessed to have him as part of the family. It was very difficult to say good bye to him twice in one week.

A lot of the work we do here is with the leaders of the church in our district. Our weekly schedule involves meeting with District Presidency, individual branch presidents, and occasionally auxiliary or quorum presidents. In addition we attend the regular presidency and council meetings in the various units. We also attend the full time missionary meetings as well as find, teach, and strengthen members.

For the last couple of weeks we have been trying to teach the District Presidency the real value of the reports in MLS, how to conduct a more effective leadership meeting, and how to help the branch leaders set goals that are not just wishes. I am not going to pretend that we are being extremely successful but as they say here “poco a poco.” Old habits die hard and the work of the kingdom is “work.”

We continue to have marvelous experiences with the people that we visit, teach, and ultimately become friends with. Last Friday afternoon we went up to Mala to visit Iber and Chabella (and little Nicholas), it is amazing how the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed their lives and as a result they are improving their circumstances. It was thrilling to see the light in their eyes as we talked about attending the temple together when they have been members for a year.

Sunday we attended in San Vicente for the first time in many weeks where Cesar and Janette and girls sat with us in church. The girls, Hilary and Shari, sat on my lap and I could not help but think how blessed we have been to have been touched by so many lives since we arrived here. Whether in Mala, Imperial, or San Vicente we have special friends that we have seen come back to church or be baptized and they have become like our family away from home.

Speaking of our family away from home we have an amazing experience that we are going to save until next blog when we share the big news about the family Iruri (Juan Carlos, Adriana, Octavio and Adrian)

We have some pictures and picture story to share, we hope you will enjoy it.

Our pictures from our last installment ended with wedding pictures for Arevalo and Sylvia so I thought we would start with our trip to the beach to baptize Arevalo. Everything looks muy tranquilo how ever the waves were awesome on this day.

Many members of their family and members of the branch turned out to show their support.

It will appear that we have an eating theme this installment however I assure you it was not intentional. Although it looks like a stampede breakfast note that one companion in each group has a blind fold. It might make for a fun stampede breakfast idea.

We won, it was not really fair as we have had years of experience feeding each other junk and keeping each other in the dark.

It was not until I looked at the picture that the significance was not just that their faces were white but it raises the question of how they got that way. In this game the losers had to find a candy with their mouth in a cup of flour.

This sour puss was balancing a lemon on a spoon when suddenly some yelled, "mira el esta Popeye." I had to agree that Popeye has certain handsome characteristics that makes him look like me.

Adriana was serving Oreo cookies to the missionaries but no one was closely monitoring Adrian and this picture was too cute to pass up.

The occasion was one of our weekly discussions with the missionaries and our Peru family. One has to admire the missionaries for their ability to keep to the task in stormy waters.

On one of our last trips to Asia we decided to indulge ourselves and bought a small carton of Hagen-Daze ice cream and sat and enjoyed. We will really miss Wong's and Asia.

On Saturday we went on a road trip with the Familia Iruri and while in Lima we decide to visit the Lima Temple to walk around the grounds. What a peaceful spot in such a busy city and a perfect place to talk about things that matter the most in life.

Meet Yawney (spelled Johnny) and his nephew Raul, that is right his nephew they are about 9 years apart in age. We had the privilege to teach Johnny and his aunt in the home their mother.

Another picture involving food and missionaries. This our, now, customary Cena del Zona (zone dinner) that we have the evening before transfers. Tonight was cylindro pollo con papas y maiz.

After dinner our zone and district leaders entertained us with selection of hymns. They are very talented and I have to say that I am disappointed that they did not share their talents with us before now.

This is a road side tienda on the Pan Americana Highway a few miles outside of San Vicente and is operated by member. She cooks meals, tomales, pollo, ect and sells confectionery to travellers and field labourers.

Yep, the out door bano. I am not sure what Elder Novoa is checking out and I don't want to know. The wind, which blows constantly, blew the off (at least I am hoping it was the wind). So applied all of my skills as self proclaimed southern engineer to repairing the broken parts.

Mean while everyone else carried timbers to a safer location.

When the work was done the Hermana put out some pan (buns) platanos(bananas) and gaseosa(soda pop) for everyone. She then told the missionaries that she had fixed a meal but it was just for los Whitney. We felt awful but decorum dictated that we accept. All I could tell the Elders was that it was delicious.

Saturday in Cerro Azul we ate again. Really when you think about it you have to eat everyday so we don't really eat a lot we just eat everyday. Today we ate a lot, cerviche, mariscos, camarones.

Elder Walker, his parents, and sister stopped to visit on their way back from Ica and Pisco. This week they are off to Machu Pichu and then home.

That night we went to another baptism. This is Johnny's aunt, Lady, in the white, between Debbie and I, the other person is her mother.

Elder Novoa and Elder Granados taught Lady and we were able to help them over come a couple of obstacles that Lady was having understanding and progressing through the discussions. We are blessed to have a close relationship with this family.

FIRE -FIRE -FIRE. This fire is on top of Elder Araujo's birthday cake which Hermana Whitney made and served at his birthday lunch. A lunch which she also made.

Notwithstanding the little trials that we have we are happy, enjoy serving, and short of a little time with our family we can not imagine anything in the world we would rather be doing.

Gracias por tu amor, les amo mucho.

Los Whitney


  1. I really love ceviche . . . I'm glad you guys do, too.

    You both look terrific.

    Thanks for the update AND the pictures.

    Happy Mothers's Day to Deb!



  2. Yes!!! Love the post and look forward to the next after the very special day tomorrow!!!! Yippy! Thanks for calling.
    Be happy and Stay Warm. Do not be too sad about the spring time here it snowed some more yesterday.

  3. Dear Debbie and Doug
    So glad to read your latest installment! Thanks for posting a picture of the temple. Our Melodie is in Peru now and mentioned that she has been to temple twice so it was nice to see a picture. She sounds so happy and excited even though she is finding the language tough. She's still trying though, just doesn't know what going on half the time! I hope she has a missionary couple who will be keeping an eye on her when she gets out there...I am always grateful when I see you guys with all the missionaries!
    Sending our best wishes to you both, looks like such an amazing experience!

  4. This outdoor bano looks alot nicer then the one in your blog a couple of months ago (you were doing service and it had no roof, and I think just three half walls...) I'm glad to hear Dustin comes by his nack for southern engeneering honestly ;)