Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saludos a Nuestra Familia y Amigos

This morning as we were careening our way down the two lane highway to attend church in Quilmaná and as we were speeding towards a possible head on collision with a semi I determined that if we lived I would publish another blog to update those that still care to read about our lives. As you can presume by now WE LIVED!

Since Quilmaná has been reopened for missionary work we have been spending more time there supporting the local leadership and missionaries. The president of the group there is very young and hence is lacking in experience and as per normal some of the older members think so as well. His name is Elvis Garcia, of course I like him already because he has the names of two legends that some, myself included, think are really still alive and living incognito. I am of course referring to Elvis Presley the king of rock and roll and Gerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead. I wonder if his parents knew this when they named him.

This weekend we will be going with Pdte. Elvis and his wife and two other couples for the first time to the temple in Lima. Thanks to the encouragement of some really strong missionaries, Elders Sardon, Parker, and Jurez, and brother and sister Allyon. These couples have been prepared and are excited about this important step in their lives. One day, but not today, they will see how really important this step has been not only for their eternal families but for the growth of the church in Quilmaná.

One of the project that we have been working on is to have the Quilmaná group recognized as a branch by the church. When they are, they will be able to receive all of the funding for their local programs and we will be able to get the funding we need to obtain a more satisfactory place to worship. Today after church Debbie and I reviewed with a couple of the local leaders a potential different meeting place and although not fantastic it is better than what we are currently using.

We had been told a couple of time that we did not qualify as a recognized branch there but in my usual stubborn fashion could not accept the answer that was given to us so I started to do the research and network with our contacts. It now seems that we will qualify and we have garnered support all the way up the chain. I am hoping that we will have all of our ducks in a row to make application for branch status in couple of weeks. I don’t know how long the bureaucracy will take afterwards but I do know that once it starts they don’t let go of it.

We are finding that we have less and less time for actual meeting with investigator type of missionary work because of our callings in the district and our lack of great health. Debbie in particular has been enduring the lingering effects of an awful cold for more than 6 weeks. It has been very debilitating and discouraging for her as you all know that she does not like to be limited in her activities.

Yahoo! It looks like we are planning another wedding. In fact it looks like we are planning three more weddings and if everyone keeps progressing they will most likely be in October. Which when I think about it that is spring time in Peru. There were 4 couples but when one sister told her boyfriend that he had two choices because she was going to get baptized with or without him he opted for the other choice and left her and the two kids. The really awful part is that he was a member. Now I guess we will have something new to deal with.

I think we have mentioned our new neighbor Helen, which lives a few doors down. She and her family are from the West Virginia USA. What an interesting story she has to tell. Helen was born in Taiwan, grew up in Iran and Paraguay, and educated and married in the USA. We have a standing Monday night appointment with her to share our message and have fantastic conversations. Her husband is coming this week to visit for a month and we are looking forward to meeting him. This week Helen and her family and us have been invited to Juan Carlos and Adriana’s for family home evening. It is time for one of my observations, “ it is funny how much fun doing missionary work can be when you are doing it the way it teaches you to do it in Preach my Gospel.”

Truthfully, it has not been hard to talk to Helen about the gospel. After we made chocolate chip cookies for them and took them over she said, “why don’t you guys come over and tell me about your church?” We found out that she has friends back in the states that are members but they respected her right to not have to hear about the church and when she was 13 and living in Paraguay her boyfriend was the mission president’s son.

We love the missionary work and working with the missionaries. Doing that work is much easier than the work we do with the people that want to take their own lives, those that took lives of others, and who said what about who first.

As usual we have a litany of photos and we hope that you will enjoy them.

Although Debbie keeps hoping for a transfer I am very content with my companion and assignment here in Canete. However September we were due for some big changes and we had to say good bye to some missionaries that we had been working with for more than six months. For them they look forward to the transfers for us it like having our children ripped away from us.

Our great friend Elder Parker went to Pisco.

Elder Arajo completed his two years with honor and is at home getting used to civilian life along with his twin brother that finished his mission the same day

Anything we could say about Elder Granados would not be good enough.

Hermana Romero transferred to Nazca, they are very lucky to have her.

Hermana Acmac drew the short straw and went to Lima with a great new companion.

For ten glorious days the Canete version of the Calgary Stampede was set up across the field from our apartment. Every night was a concert starting at 10:00 PM and went until 3 or 4 AM and night until the sun came up at 6:00. We were thrilled.

The Ferris wheel provide lots of thrills and screams which we could hear clearly in our home.

This is a picture of our home taken from the fair grounds, looks really close - it was.

Patricia and Jose, some of our other neighbors wanted to introduce us to a restaurant at the Huarco Hotel near San Luis (which is near San Vicente) so they invited the Iruri's and us to dinner. Thursday night is sushi night and Friday is pizza night, we went for pizza. We will leave it as the pizza was okay. The company on the other hand was fantastic. The pizza oven.

The next day I went on a service project with the brethren from Imperial. This is the second time that we have taken down a home and moved it. This time we were turning the casita so that the door you see on the left would be facing the other direction and would be sitting where everyone is standing.

Here we are about half way done. If they would have told me before we started what the object of the task was I would have offered to buy another door and just installed it at the other end of the building. It would have been much simpler.

Here is the casita now facing the opposite direction. The door would not close properly and I could not get my spanish to work well enough to explain how to fix it so they took the door off and trimmed the door to fit the crooked opening. I suppose that it will be good enough until they decide they need our help to move it again.

Elder Sardon and Elder Juarez taught and baptized this family from Quilmana.

Hermano Norberto was on his tenth set of missionaries, or so it seemed, attended church faithfully for months and finally was baptized last week. He was waiting to be baptized on his mothers birthday.

Elder Tombs and Elder Cuque invited us on a service project to meet Fatima and Roxanne. They live on a very small farm on the beach in a place called Playa Hermosa. They have dairy and beef cows, sheep, goats, chickens, cats, dogs, and a parrot. This is cattle feed that they mix and sell to their neighbors that have similar little farms. We mixed and bagged feed for them to sell and use for their own cattle.

The vacas or cows.

The Parrot.

The Sheep.

The service included a very delicious lunch which we all enjoyed, seca cordero. (Lamb)

Playa Hermosa

Friday we visited friends with the Elders in Mala and finally took a picture of this sign that has always intrigued us. Who would not want to go to a blind dentist?

The district Young Women's Presidency was responsible for the annal Oro y Verdi Fiesta, the Gold and Green Ball, as we used to call it back home. I was appointed to be the fashion police to uphold the dress standards for the event, with 3 and a half years as a dance manager I felt uniquely qualified. Like a lot of youth dances it started out with all the girls on one side the boys on the other.

A few moments later it was mayhem. Situation Normal.

RRHHH RRHHR mates. This is a great lesson for all fathers, when you are buying costumes and toys for your children always get some that fit you as well, or should I say when you are buying costumes and toys for yourself get some that fit the kids as well.

The sun sets over Canete and over another issue of YOU ARE IN PERU NOW! This lovely picture of the setting sun is filtered through the smoke of a huge garbage fire to create this beautiful effect.

Remember that all the glitters is not gold, save a little for a rainy day, and you can't always get what you want but if you try, sometimes you will get what you need. Hasta luego

Los Whitney, gringos in Canete.