Monday, March 7, 2016

An amazing weekend in Espinar, Peru

 Elder Poulsen does not think he is on time unless he is at least 10 minutes early, which means he usually has time to wait.  Here he is waiting for our next appointment.  While he takes a small siesta I decide to see if I can get some interesting pictures.  Lyle is lying on the grass at one of our LDS churches.  It is pretty safe because all the churches are surrounded by nice fences and walls, which dogs can't get through.

 Which is important because this is a typical sight here.  (I took this picture looking out across the street from the Church where Lyle is taking a nap). There are collection areas in town where people take their trash. There are no animal control people here, dogs get to roam free where ever they want. So the dogs go through the garbage until it is cleaned up by the city.  The end result is garbage and dogs everywhere.  The people here just take it in stride, no one seems upset about it, but it was one of the first things I noticed when we arrived.
The dogs are pretty tame though and they don't really seem to bother anyone.  They are even experts a crossing the crazy busy streets here, which even I have a hard time crossing.
This adorable family has not been to church in 10 years, they have decided to come back and with the love and support of the Sister missionaries.  The girl in front is nine and just got baptized on Saturday, she couldn't stop smiling.  The father is so excited about family history and is planning on going to the Temple again in August with family names.  The pictures below are in his house as we work on finding names of ancestors to take to the temple.

The Sister missionaries are so loving and kind to everyone, here they are helping us get the information in familysearch. What you don't see are the baby chickens under our feet and the guinea pigs in the cage on the dirt floor right behind the  boy in the back.  It is perfect, dinner is growing right here in the kitchen.

We headed South to Espinar on Saturday.  It sits at about 14,000 ft in elevation.

 Elder Poulsen insisted that I take a picture of this.  This is a typical sight at the bus stations.  People are trying to sell food to all the passengers as they get on and off the buses.  They have plastic bags with juices, potatoes, fried cheese and yes, chicken soup (remember my last post about the woman holding up the bus while she dashed off to get her chicken soup).  It looks good but we don't dare try any of it, we just need to be so careful about what we eat.
putting the baggage on the roof of our bus

buying the tickets

We arrived at Espinar and we saw people selling their wool on the street just like they do everything else.  Look at this big pile.

We had reservations for a hotel for the night, but we couldn't find it.  We arrived at a tall cement building that had a hardware store on the main floor.  It was exactly where the hotel was supposed to be.  We looked in this little door and it looked like a construction site.  Well, Elder Hasler and Elder Poulsen went in to explore.  Julie and I waited and continued looking for something that resembled a hotel.  We felt like we were in the Twilight zone, with a missing hotel and with our men disappearing  somewhere inside this door.  After asking one more person where the hotel was and being told it was through this door, we went inside.  There were stairs leading up somewhere and we decide to follow them.  Finally after 3 floors of huge empty unfinished rooms we found a landing with a foyer and a desk.  There were our men checking into the rooms.
 This is a picture of our room, nice and clean and totally hidden from the world.  They actually had several rooms and they were full.  I don't know how anyone would know to find this place.

This baby alpaca is so cute.
This is a store that sells wool.

The following pictures are of the work we did Saturday night in Espinar after we did a fireside.

 These people were waiting for us and had all these computers set up.  This is an amazing ward, the people are so loving and full of faith.  We went to Church the following day and it was Fast Sunday.  The testimonies were so pure.  Everyone testified of Christ and the truthfulness of the Gospel.  It was one of the best Fast and Testimony meetings we have ever been to, and I didn't even understand a lot of what was said.

 Later in the day, we were surprised by one of the members with dinner and she invited over 25 people.  The Haslers lived and served here 18 years ago and raised their kids here. Since they are going home to the U.S. the end of May they wanted to give them a warm thank you and farewell.  The people here are so full of love, they just put their arms around us and included us in everything.  It was an incredible Sunday.  We have only been in this ward once and already feel like they are one of the best Wards we have ever been to.

Below are some pictures I took on the streets in Espinar
These little women are cleaning the streets with shovels and brooms, they work for the city.  We have seen women in Cuszco do the same manual labor for the city.

This lady is on a bicycle pushing a cart.  We have seen a lot of people doing this.  She will probably fill it with things to sell.

A whole family on a motorcycle. Check out the llama between the man and woman, and the baby on the mother's back.

The following pictures are of the drive back from this remote city.  Isn't this beautiful country?

look at the beautiful mountain peaks in the background

 The missionaries in Espinar on Sunday March 6, 2016

Some of the people in this amazing, loving ward.  The tall North-american in the center served his mission here a few years ago and is doing an internship in Cuzco, he just happened to be visiting this Sunday also.  

No comments:

Post a Comment