Thursday, July 8, 2010

Saludos a Nuestra Familia y Amigos

It has been so long I don’t know where to start, I think not knowing where to start is why people don’t start things. Think about it, what stops people from starting their family history work, planting a garden, spring cleaning, or blogging.

Proving my point I wrote the first paragraph, above, 6 days ago.

We have been preparing for District Conference for the last week and I had never realized how much should go into those preparations. I was writing the Mission President about the preparations, answering his questions, when it dawned on me how much we need to rely on people to do what they say they will do. That does begin to be a concern for me because culturally people here always tell you they will do something even when they have no intention of following through, they just don’t show up. They don’t want to disappoint you in the moment that you ask them but for some reason it is okay later.

We will hold the Saturday meetings at the capilla in Imperial and the Sunday meetings in Cañete. The Sunday attendance for the conference is usually around 400 people which about 20% more than our combined Sacrament Meeting attendance and in any event is three times what any of our buildings will hold.

In order to seat everyone a large tent structure will be erected on the sports court/parking lot and everyone will be seated outside. It is winter here and it is cool and moist so outside will make it a little chilly. In reality only a little colder than inside as the buildings have neither heating or cooling systems.

Saturday Morning all of the leaders in the district and the Mission are going out to visit menos activos (less actives) and enfermos (sick) members. We have a goal to visit 100 families in there homes in two hours. We hope to have 40 companionships visiting. The math works but the logistics are challenging when you realize that only the Mission President has a car and the rest will have travel by foot or public transportation. I went out two weeks ago at the same time of day with the Elders Quorum President in Imperial and we visited 5 homes/places and managed to sit down with one family and arrange on be-back visit.

By the way I cheated on my talk, I wrote it in English and took it to Adriana to translate it.

Wish us well!!!

Back before New Years we became acquainted with a member that we met at his place of employment, we knew of him and know members of his family. He is a return missionary that had come home and had a few problems and consequently his membership is in abeyance and as a result was feeling bitter about it.

When we met him his job was going to expire in two days and because he would not be working that Sunday we invited him to attend church that Sunday, he did. We have been visiting him weekly for several months now and have really enjoyed watching his progress. Our first goal was to get him to come to church regularly, the second was to get him to read his scriptures, and then stay to the full block of meetings. He has been doing really well at all of these.

By meeting weekly, reading with him, praying with him, and really getting to know him we have been able to see him change. This has been a powerful learning experience for us and we have learned how important it is in these types of situations for these members to have a friend and an advocate. By knowing him well we were able to assess what his needs were for him to continue to progress and return to full fellowship and we were able to have his disciplinary counsel reconvened to consider his improving situation.

We have been able to see what he viewed as a hopeless situation converted to a brightness of hope and anticipation. What a blessing it has been for all of us. (P.S. Debbie is now trying to get him married off. She never stops.)

On the topic of returned missionaries getting married, it is a problem here just as it is at home. We have 7 returnados in the Imperial branch and it is a concern not only the church but of Debbie’s. She is constantly in their faces about it and quizzes them weekly about what they think of this hermana or that hermana. One of these (Raul) serves in the District Presidency with me and I was explaining to him how we served in Young Single Adult ward and that that had been a focus in our lives and it was hard let it go. He now goes around telling the others to watch out that Hermana Whitney is trying to get them married off.

One of the things that makes us the most home sick, and there are a few, is when we send off missionaries that have completed honorably and successfully their missions. It is hard for the mind not to turn to warm thoughts of home, family, and familiar things. (Not to mention driving a car, sleeping in your own bed, Costco, and fine dining.) So it was as we said adios to our friends Kay and Karen Cleverly who served in the Peru Lima Central Mission. They have been a real testament to how much good a Mission Couple can to do for the mission they serve in and how important couples are to the work. (Even our niece Bridget Lunn who went home Wed. the 7th from her mission in Calif. made us a bit homesick, cuz we know that her mom will be fixing all kinds of delicous food.)

We were the fortunate benefactors of their well stocked pantry of impossible to find food commodities and three sets of Phase Ten Cards. We divided bounty with the other two couple in our mission, everything except the cards.

Not everything we do revolves around food however this night it did. This was our farewell dinner with Kay and Karen at one of their favorite restaurants "La Tranquera." This is a steak house where the prices look like you were buying the whole cow but the steak looked like you were getting it. The penguin in the back is one of the proprietors and is a member of the church. You have never met a more attentive server.

Incahuasi is an archeological site near Lunahuana that we visited on one our prepartion days. It's origin is pre Incan however under Inca dominion it was second only in importance and stature to Machu Pichu.

We all boarded a combi and waited for the rest of seats to sell. When it was taking too long I told the driver that we were all missionaris for the church and he had two choice he could leave right now and we would preach a little or he could stay and we would preach to him a lot. With this eager lot he could have been real trouble.

"Just a second this ain't no ruin!!!"

This is!

The site is divided into three parts. This is a part of the garrison which during times of need housed upwards of 30,000 men. This picture is taken from a top of the adjacent "sacrifice hill" where the alter to the gods other than the Sun God received their offerings.

This is at the Sun God Temple site and this our tour guide and head of the Incauasi preservation society. He clamed and I have no reason to disbelieve him to be a decendant of the Incans.

These are friends Florencio and Juana and their four children. Christian, next to me, and Ailyn next to Debbie, were the first members of the family to accept the gospel. Tomorrow we will take Juana and Florencio to the municipalidad and on July 23 they will be married and the July 24 they will be baptised

Last Saturday we went with this small group of Adulto Solteros (YSA) to the Temple in Lima. I had gone early in the morning on the bus and met Los Reich on the way. Debbie followed later in the car with Juan Carlos, Adriana, and the children so that we could celabrate Adriana's birthday.

This was perhaps the happiest moment Adrian had on this trip.

Birthday lunch was at Tony Romas at Jockey Plaza and whole crew at Tony's got into act.

Jockey Plaza did not have enough shopping for these two so we went to LarcoMar in Miraflores where we were introduced to a whole other side of Lima and Peru. We will definitely be visiting here again.

The mall overlooks the ocean with serval restaurants that have terraces that open to the ocean view. We have seen this dashing couple before. We were left thinking how far this is from where we spend our days and we are not just talking about kilometers.

From another angle.

Mean while back at the farm, or in this case the casa capilla in Quilmana. We had to make an emergency stop at El Banjo at the capilla and Debbie caught this happy church goer trying to break through the back door to the capilla.

This is the backyard at the capilla and this chanchos home. See what I mean about how far Miraflores is from Canete.

Looks like another little piggy making its way up to the trough.

Just like Debbie is putting an end to the mould that was culturing to our living room shades it is time to put and end to this issue of 'WERE IN PERU NOW" and say adios until next time.

Remember, the shortest distance between two points is not always a staight line, sometimes it is just an adjustment in attitude.

Los gringos in Canete


  1. You both look great! You sound great . . . and hooray for Debbie with the bold marriage questions. That made me smile.

    I will make you delicious food when I see you.

  2. -Nice pants on the last pic Deb!! hahaha

    -and yaaaaiiiihhh Happy Birthday to me!!! thanks for everything!!! love you!!

    -Jockey Plaza did not have enough shopping for these two so we went to LarcoMar --> HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT??? you are defaming us!! hahaha ;oD

  3. So fun to read! Love the pictures and had to laugh at the Phase 10 cards, did you know you can buy them as dice? Good for Debbie....tell her to keep encouraging those boys to get married. Here in Kamloops, some of our young men are moving to Calgary to meet other YSA, we will miss them but it will be better for them. Thanks for keeping us updated, so interesting to see what you both are doing. Melodie is now in the mission field in La Molina. She sounds so good and continues to work hard at her Spanish! They are working in two wards.....
    Take care, best wishes

  4. watch out LarcoMar and Miraflores shoes stores; Debbie is coming...hehe...oops i said it aloud!!!

  5. Oh no!!!! You guys found Larco Mar! haha! How are you guys?! Last time Grossman skyped with you guys I was at a friend's house in Utah without internet :( Miss you guys heaps, I'm so proud of all your accomplishments and everything you guys are doing there..Love you guys and keep your eyes peeled cause guess who's gonna be in Peru very very soon ;)