Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Great Work in Sicuani, Puno and Juliaca / Added Calling for Lyle

 Sicuani welcomed us with open arms, thanks to the work of these great missionaries.  I took a bunch of pictures to send home to their moms.  Some families are following this blog so I am posting the pictures here also.
Sicuani Zone leaders

These two Elders stayed right with us.  Elder Fincher on the left knew a lot about family search so even though he is fairly new, he was able to help people from beginning to end.  I guess his father is a family history consultant.  We have worked with Elder Wilde before and so he was great at getting us set up and helping things to run smoothly.

4 computers running and people were still waiting.

On Saturday night Sister Luz (on the right) had a regional family history night.  She put so much work into it and Lyle was the featured speaker.  Different families displayed their family trees on the walls and talked about them.  The turn out was less than expected, they did one in December last year on a Sunday night with about double the people we had.  We decided that Saturday night is just a hard time for people to come.  The next one is planned for a Sunday.
Everyone wanted pictures in this frame and then I took them to our portable printer to print so they could take the pictures home.  It kept me pretty busy.
Here we are getting ready for the Family History Event - see all the posters of families on the walls?

These are framed pictures given to each of the participants.

waiting for the bus

2 kinds of luggage

gathering grain on the altiplano

Town meeting

Typical school, yes school is in session here.  It is winter for us.

Country school

missionaries goofing around for the camera
Our Puno Sister Missionaries

 This is a picture of the Elders in Puno,  Elder Vance is the tall blonde and is the Zone leader.  It was his birthday so we stopped off at Rico Pan and brought cinnamon rolls to everyone.  He has a lot of responsibility right now, he was given 5 brand-new Elders last week for his Zone.  I was glad we could be there to sing happy birthday to him. Elder Garcia is 2nd from the left, we have worked with him a lot.  He is so cheerful and willing to help in any way.  Elder Diaz who stands 3rd from the left is an amazing teacher, we have been with him during an appointment.  Elder Maldonado who is 4th from the left is fluent in English and Spanish and a very hard worker.  The other 3 are just as wonderful and are serving diligently.  Elders Luchenka on the right, Elders Pena and Iza on the left are all hard working missionaries.  We just love them all.

We had a sweet experience with the youth in Puno, we were asked to give a fireside to these young men and young women in the home of a member of the Stake Presidency.  

We have discovered Menu del Dia.  You get an appetizer, huge bowl of soup and entree, drink and dessert for about $3. at lunch time.  It is good food.
Juliaca Zone leaders 

A grandma and grandson came to do their family history.

This is one of the many sweet ladies we helped. They are so happy when they see their family tree with all the people they love on it.

We helped this lady with her family history.  She just had this light about her and I was glad the camera could capture it.  We just love the peruvian people.

 Here are some pictures we took while waiting for our bus.

Check out this 4 foot nothing woman.  I have seen a lot of women at church just wind their legs around the chair legs because their feet do not touch the ground.  Notice the busy street in the background.  Juliaca is a booming business center and you can buy about anything here.  The missionaries have a lot of success here because the people are a little more open to new ideas than the people in the more traditional areas of the mission. 

Stoves and pots and pans.  All the stores spill into the street.

I am amazed at the skill level all these women have when it comes to knitting.  I love to watch them work.

Begging is all that is left for so many older people.

Beautiful fresh fruits in a wheelbarrow for sale.
This is the baked in a stone oven lamb called Kankacho that the Haslers introduced us to. It doesn't come with forks or plates just a plastic bag.  Kind of messy but Lyle loves it.  Here we are waiting for another bus.

This is a road they are building in Juliaca and there are these electric poles right in the middle of the new road.  We have been watching these roads get built since we first went to Juliaca and we just don't understand why they didn't move the poles.  This will be a divided four lane road.  I could be a little dangerous.

The birds in the water are flamingos.

Beautiful ride home.

An Added Assignment

Our trip to Juliaca was cut short when Lyle received a call while we were in Puno.  He was asked to fill the position in the Mission Presidency that was left by Elder Hasler.  Not only is Elder Poulsen wearing the hat that Elder Hasler left for him, but now he is going to fill his shoes.  It is a tall order, Elder Hasler was an incredible missionary here.  He not only speaks Spanish fluently, he also knows Ketchua and the people just love him.  

So we had meetings with the district leaders on Saturday.  The areas of the church that are not included in Stakes are called Districts and the Mission President presides over those districts as well as presiding over all the missionaries and their work.  So his counselors help him with the district work, which means travelling to these small out-lying towns.  You can't just jump into your car and get to these places, it is combies, buses, taxis and whatever else you can find.  It also means over night stays because the towns are so far away and usually the work includes Saturday night and Sunday.  

We are excited to be working with the Mission President so closely and learning new things.  We will continue our work with the Missionaries and hopefully be able to piggy-back our visits with the missionaries with the visits in the Districts.  There are 6 Districts in this mission and Lyle will be working closely with three of them.  Here are some pictures of the district leaders and the mission Presidency in front of the Mission home. 

What Wonderful Priesthood Leaders! They provide so much service.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bus Trip to Puerto Maldonado and a New Mission President

 After our great trip to Puerto Maldonado (the jungle area of our mission) with our daughter and grandkids we turned around and went to Puerto again the following week and took the bus.  These are some of the pictures I took on our way.  It is a 10 hour bus ride (it takes a little over an hour to fly) and it was beautiful as always.  Puerto is East of Cusco close to Brazil and Bolivia.

First I wanted to show how the car washes work here.  You can get a hand wash for about $1.70.  The car wash people line up along the road with buckets and rags and you just pull over.
this road is lined with car washers

While I was waiting for the bus to leave I watched this little girl trying to pull this big bag over to where the buses were.  Her mother had a huge load of her own and had run to put it on the bus and left this heavy bag with her daughter.  Her mother finally returned and they both pushed and pulled it to the bus. 

Drying corn on the warm sidewalk.  Notice how the cement gutters are made.

This is another famous historical place just out of  Cusco.  We hope to be able to visit it sometime.

A small city park in one of the cities we passed through.  Notice the painted face on the Inca Indian statue. This is a pretty typical scene in all the cities we visit. Only the statues are all very different.

Herding sheep along the road.

See that crazy winding road on the left?  That is why it takes 10 hours to get to Puerto by bus.  We came back on a night bus.  It was very clean and comfortable but the seats were some kind of  fake leather (meaning they were slippery)  and the seats were wider.  So there you are sliding back and forth all over the seat.  I had to settle sideways to brace myself.  Lyle's legs were long enough to brace against the wall in front of us.  Then about half way there, people started waking up and throwing up.  It was a very long night. Oh, they did have a little entertainment at the beginning of the ride.  It was some 1980 music videos.  I don't know where they found them, but I  giggled the whole time.  Music videos are a million times better today.  I finally fell asleep for awhile and guess what I dreamed about?  Making my own 1980 music video.

Making and drying bricks.

Beautiful mountains at the top before we head down on the other side to the Jungle.

More ancient terracing.

This is the Sister that lives in the home below.  We had a great time teaching her how to find her ancestors after we opened an account for her.  She has been less-active for years and the Sisters are now teaching her and she has returned to Church again.  

Working with Hermana Jardine and Hermana Lozano on an account for the woman above.  This is her entire house.  It was super clean and she had a nice computer with high speed internet in the corner behind me. Bunk beds are behind Elder Poulsen and it has a tile floor not dirt.

Hermana Jardine and Hermana Lozano, happy missionaries!

Elder Poulsen's tablet (loaded with kids games) is always a popular item.  These boys are waiting for the baptism of their friend on the right and his mother.
This is my newest friend in Puerto, he is 9 years old and he spent a lot of time with us on Saturday with a couple of his friends above.  The next day he came with his My Family book with his signed name in it and his State ID all ready for us to open an account for him.  His mom brought him in and he had been begging her all day to come down to the Church so he could open an account.  Well, he does need to get permission from his parents (because he is so young) before he can open an account and they have to contact familysearch to do it.  I hope they do because he was so excited about getting his family tree put in familysearch.
We attended the baptism that Saturday night of a mother and her son and another person. We love it when we get to see the new converts get baptized and to hear their sweet testimonies afterward.

A New Mission President

We bid a sad farewell to President Harbertson last week.  Here are some of the pictures at the airport.  The office Elders were there to say good-bye also.  The President works very closely with these Office Elders and it easy to see the love they have for each other.  

Gifts from close friends and tears.

 The Harbertson's left on Thursday and the New President, President Herrera Cordova from Peru had a big meeting for all of us on Monday the 4th.  It was an exciting day, not only because we were meeting the new President for the first time, but all the missionaries were able to see each other again.  They love seeing how their old companions are doing and catching up with what is happening in their old areas.
This Sister is from Bear Lake where Elder Poulsen's father was born and raised. 

These are some of our beautiful sister missionaries.  We have been able to work with each of them and they have been incredible.  We just love them.

 These are the only pictures I was able to take of the President and all the missionaries.  Everyone is trying to give the Office Elders their cameras to take pictures.  Finally it was decided to take one big group picture and give everyone a copy.  President Herrera is right above the arms of the two elders handing off a camera.  His oldest daughter is standing on a chair behind him in blue. President Herrera looks like one of the Elders with a full head of dark hair (like all Peruvian men). He is in his forties, so he his young. They were not able to have children for 8 years and now they have two girls. The oldest is seven and she got up and talked to all the missionaries like she had been doing it her whole life.  The younger daughter (age 4) is a little quieter but she also stood up and talked to the missionaries.  Everyone fell in love with them.  Later the girls helped hand out papers to fill out and return.  It was so cute to watch them take charge of the paper passing.

Yes, it was the 4th of July and many of the Elders and Sisters tried to wear any red, white and blue they could find.  You can't see it but the shorter Elder in front talking with the taller Elder (Elder Kline our Zone Leader) has a flag tucked into his pocket.  There was a lot of talk about all the BBQ's at home and the parades, fireworks and watermelon.  Then we realized parades, fireworks and watermelon (sliced and ready to eat on any corner) are a regular part of life here in Peru.  So we aren't missing those things.  The thing we miss is the United States of America.  During the meeting President Herrera had all the United States Missionaries come to the front and sing the "Star-Spangled Banner"  We sang it loud and clear - it was beautiful and there were a few tears to accompany it.  The Elder above with the flag took it out and waved it during the song.  It really was a sweet moment.  Then we all went back to our seats to listen to our Peruvian Mission President teach us in Spanish, and we answered all of his questions in Spanish.  We will be back to the United States soon enough, but for now we are Peruvians.