Well, there are two things I told myself that I definitely did not want to lose here on the mission. And so guess what I lost? Those two things - my camera and my work visa. That work visa took so much time and work to get. Arrgh! I don't even know how it happened. My little camera case that hangs around my neck has a zipper on top and the zipper was closed and there was no camera and I had checked it several times before we left and on our way to an appointment. Then on the way home I noticed it was gone. The appointment ended up being a no-show (with the people not the missionaries) and so I didn't even use the camera that night. The visa went missing the same time too from a zippered pocket in another small bag that hangs around my neck. I have no idea how I lost them.
We bought that particular camera because it talks to the portable printer we have, and even though it didn't take the best pictures we knew we had to replace it with a similar one. So here is a picture we took at a Market as we tried out the camera we were looking at buying. In all of Cuzco we could only find about 15 different types of small point and shoot cameras and almost all of them were Cannons and they are all a lot more expensive than in the States. I think this new one will not be as good as the last one and I was having a lot of problems with the last one. It just doesn't take good pictures in low light. So if the pictures in the blog seem worse, they probably are, but at least I can still post pictures for this blog and take pictures for our family history assignments. Now I have to see what can be done about my visa.
Our First District Meeting
Lyle said that this weekend was the hardest three days he has ever had while serving in the Church. That includes his work as a Bishop. We had a family history fair set up with the missionaries for Friday night August 12 which was crazy busy. He had to give three different 20 minute talks in Spanish at the Adult Conference, Priesthood Session and General Meeting. With three languages in his head it gets crazy trying to give a talk from his heart in the right language. In between the meetings he had a steady stream of Temple Recommend Interviews all in Spanish. He lost his hearing aids about 6 weeks after we arrived and so hearing the voices of women is a real challenge. Sometimes he needs to explain the questions and that gets interesting too because the people here don't understand what some of the questions mean and Lyle tries to explain, but things like child-support are not understood by the people here. They just tell them they love Jesus Christ and his Church and they just want to obey Him. Isn't that beautiful? They don't understand everything, but they do understand faith.
To get to Abancay we hire a car, but if you only want to pay for two seats, you have to wait for other people to show up. So we had to wait for about 45 minutes for someone to show. I took these pictures while waiting.
|Every district of the city has carved or cast statues that represent the area, this area has a Bobcat. The mural painted on the wall behind the Bobcat is very pretty|
The lady next to me looks like a business woman going on a business trip. After awhile, she goes to sleep then wakes up asking for a "bolsa" (bag). The driver opens the middle compartment between the two front seats. She reaches in and grabs two bags and I am thinking, "we have just started and she already thinks she needs two bags, this is scarey". She reaches into her purse and pulls out a whole roll of toilet paper and tears off about 40 squares. I am getting nervous. She lays the toilet paper and the bags on the seat between us and goes back to sleep. Below is a picture of her sleeping with her legs braced against the drivers seat as the car sways back and forth on the switchbacks. Only a few minutes after I snap the picture she wakes up and grabs the bags, I quickly look out my window and roll it down a couple of inches thinking of anything else besides what is happening next to me, I didn't want to be sick too. Finally, she feels better, ties a knot in the top of the two bags, puts them on the floor and goes back to sleep. An hour and half later, she wakes up saying "bolsa!" No one in front hears, I panic, push Lyle's elbow off the compartment where the bags are. She grabs one and I just look out the window again, lowering it a couple of inches for fresh air and think about happy childhood memories, anything besides the three full bags on the floor of the car.
It was a long three and half hour trip. The missionaries have to make the trip lots of times and a couple of them say they throw up every time. One of the sister missionaries was here in the mission only three days when she had to make the trip and she had no idea she would get sick, She threw up all over her dress at the first of the trip and had to sit there in a combi (van) full of people for the remaining 4 hours. She can laugh about it now.
After that great ride here we got settled in our hotel, ate lunch and then went over to help the missionaries set up for our Family History Fair. Here is a picture of us working. We had another room with a computer and TV with videos and another computer behind me. It was super busy and super fun.
|This man has very light eyes, blue-green and very rare.|
Here are our amazing Zone Leaders that set everything up for us. We met Elder George and Elder Salazar when we first arrived and their time here is almost up. The time goes quickly and we hardly get to know the missionaries and then they are gone and new ones replace them. It is a beautiful thing to see how this missionary work changes the lives of these missionaries. We just love all of them and are so impressed with their selfless service as they truly build the Kingdom God here in Peru.
Of course, whenever I give them the job of taking pictures of people for their Mi Familia booklets, the missionaries find time to take goofy selfies for me to discover later. They really are a lot of fun to be with, it isn't just all work.
On Saturday morning I took these pictures from our 5th floor hotel room. This is what happens on all the roof tops of Peru. The builders almost always leave rebar coming out of the tops of the buildings so that someday (maybe) they can put another floor on top. It is the perfect place to make a clothes line. Every time I come to Abancay I see this family doing laundry on the roof. It must be a business they have because they spend hours there. Makes me appreciate the washer and dryer I have in my apartment. Most people here and around the world do laundry by hand and it takes hours.
Our First District Meeting
In our free moments during the week before this meeting, Lyle and I worked on our talks. It is so hard to put abstract ideas into another language and hope the Spirit will be felt at the same time. Lyle had to prepare three talks, I had to prepare a 5 minute talk and my testimony. The Saturday night adult session went really well. I didn't have to talk after all - Whew! The children were corralled in the church and church yard with babysitters while the adults attended the meeting. It was wonderful to be with the Saints there in Abancay. Before, after and between all our meetings Lyle conducted Temple Recommend Interviews.
On Sunday morning Lyle spoke at the Priesthood meeting and continued doing interviews. I arrived about 9:30 (our hotel is only a couple of blocks away so I could walk). I sat up front with the other wives of the Mission Presidency. I was shown the schedule and I was not on it. So I just relaxed. There are two Church Buildings in Abancay and the chapel we were in was set up to send the proceedings to the other building. Five minutes before the meeting, the electricity in our section of town went out and there was no telling when it would come back on. We talked about different options while the members just waited patiently. The children had prepared a song and they were on the front 3-4 rows. An hour later it was decided to split up. Two speakers went to the other building and two remained in our building and I was put on the schedule to speak. The problem was without electricity how could anyone hear us? I just bowed my head and prayed. Several men were working on the problem, A generator was rented, but the cord didn't work so they were working on the cord. As soon as my prayer was over the microphone started to work and that was all we needed. The men had figured out how to connect the cord for the generator. We proceeded with the meeting.
I spoke and everyone said they easily understood what I was saying and understood the principle I was teaching. Wow, another prayer answered. Lyle told his dog and the old swimming pool parable. It was perfect for the children sitting in front. They had been sitting for almost two hours by the time he gave his talk and they were ready for a great story. If you haven't heard Lyle's parable of the dog and the swimming pool it is a great parable about repentance and forgiveness and the gift of the atonement. The children loved it and so did the adults. He only made a few mistakes, like saying "piscina viejo" (old swimming pool) which sounded like "vecino viejo" (old neighbor) which is a very rude thing to say in Peru. They honor their older people and you don't call them old, there is another word that is more respectful than the word "old", There was a gasp in the audience and Lyle had no idea what he said wrong. It was perfect because it woke everyone up and they soon figured out that he had not said what they thought he had. He had included a few Italian words in the Adult session, but I think that the people are just so happy that we come here and try to teach them in their own language that they don't even notice our mistakes. It was a wonderful experience for us to be there.
I loved watching the children and thinking about how Jesus taught the Lamanite children in the book of Mormon. They came up and sang a song. One of the older girls played the piano with one finger. She had just learned it the day before and was terrified. She played really well and I was in tears when the song ended. These children were so excited to sing to us. They had been sitting for almost 2 and 1/2 hours by the time their turn came and they just jumped up and ran to the front when their turn finally came. I have to pinch myself sometimes to see if I am dreaming. I can't believe I am here with these wonderful Lamanite brothers and sisters in the Gospel, I just love it.
Even though we started an hour late, we still had to fill 2 hours. I can't believe everyone stayed in their seats for three hours. I think they were just excited to have us come all the way to their city to teach them. Lyle said the Temple Recommend Interviews were great. He loved seeing the faith of these people up close as they choose to obey and make the sacrifices to stay worthy of a temple recommend. The full tithing some of them pay is five dollars a month. They are poor as to things of the world, but not in spirit. They are constantly teaching us what true discipleship means.
|These beautiful girls insisted on taking a picture with us - the North American Missionary couple that has traveled all the way from Utah to hear their beautiful song.|
This Last Picture is for my Daughter Lora Lee
|I think I have seen only 2 real pianos in our mission, this is one of them and the children swarmed it after church. Wouldn't you just love to teach these little boys how to really play?|