Monday, October 3, 2016

Fun with Family History in Cuzco and Quillabamba

We had a fun family history night with the Villa Union Relief Society here in Cuzco.  These are some of the pictures of the great Latter-Saint members in that ward.

One of many great young Latter-day Saint families in Cuzco.

This little girl followed her mother to the Relief Society Activity so we were able to get a mother-daughter picture.

This photo shoot was so fun, The sister's were laughing the whole time. I have about 10 pictures that I took and this is the only one where everyone is kind of looking at the camera.  The younger sisters had to keep telling the older ones to look at the camera, then they would turn around in confusion just as the camera clicked.  We were all laughing. The women in the front took out her hymn book instead of her "My Family" book and the sister next to her helped her to find the correct book, they were both giggling and finally had it for the last picture, but I loved this picture the most..  There was such a feeling of love and kindness between these sisters. I have felt this in all the Relief Societies I have been privileged to attend. The woman in the middle back is one of our biggest supporters of family history.  She is one of the kindest, gentlest and cheerful women I know.  She was the Stake Primary President and is the Relief Society president in this Ward now.  She is the one that organized this activity for her Ward Relief Society.  There are many struggling areas in our Mission, but there are also some very strong Wards and Stakes.

Off to Quillabamba for Family History

This is one of the hardest places to get to in the Mission, but the district asked us to come and help with a Family History Fair, so here we are on another very long Ampay bus ride.  Luckily we had this 6 year-old girl and her toy chicken to entertain us until she fell asleep.  She was adorable, and very talkative.  She told us about the 20 chickens she has at home and how she was going to Quillabamaba to visit her uncle who has coconut trees, but the coconuts would not be ripe yet.  That chicken is a plastic toy chicken that honks when you squeeze it.  You can tell these children have an agriculture background when their favorite toy is a plastic honking chicken.

These were my sisters during the Women's General Conference meeting that we watched in a small classroom in English.  We were missing the mothers, sisters, aunts and friends we usually watch this meeting with.  We were so glad to have each other.  These two sister missionaries have always been so happy to help us.  I was so glad to have these two friends to share the evening with.

So we are sitting here waiting for the waitress to bring us our chicken and fries when all of a sudden there is a dog looking right at us.  There is no window between us.  He just kept leaning his head in to look at what we were eating.  When he realized the chicken was taking too long, he slowly walked away.  

Quillabamba has the most interesting and beautiful flowers and plants.

These leaves fold up like flowers.

A couple of men in the park.  The one below was pretty beat up.  You can't see the dog but he looks like he had a few fights too.  Alcoholism  is a huge problem here, and it just breaks my heart to see how it affects the lives of so many Peruvian men.

This is a funeral procession.  This is the widow walking behind a van that carries her husband's body.  We saw elaborate funeral processions in Puno where the casket is carried on the shoulders of a group of men in expensive suits and dancers are hired as well as a marching band.  This was  a simpler  and less expensive procession.  Instead of the band marching and playing instruments the band plays from the back of a pick-up.

Band playing for a funeral.

I love  this picture!  Yes, the dog hopped into the Moto-taxi for a ride.  Don't you just love his outfit?  He is probably on his way to the gym.  I see interesting things all the time here, but  I can't always get my camera out in time or the picture doesn't turn out.  I am glad this one turned out.  This is a Peruvian no-hair dog.
 A little note about the Moto-taxis they have in all the smaller towns.  They are bought through micro-loan programs.  They are inexpensive and a great little business that has boosted the income of many people.  I am sure it is not a big income at 45 cents a ride, but it is a business with low overhead and it is the only means of transportation in these areas, there are no public buses.  In Puerto Maldonado there are motorcycle divers with vests that let you know you can flag them down for a ride also.  You just jump on the back and away you go.

We had a Fast meeting while in Quillabamaba and one brother bore testimony about how he was blessed with a new job that paid him the whooping amount of $6.25 a day.  He was so happy and so grateful to Heavenly Father for all of his blessings.

More interesting construction going on.

More beautiful flowers.

Ice cream anyone?  Check out the speaker on top.
Notice the sign on the front of the bus.  We are finally loading at 8:00  and still had to wait for the last couple of seats to sell. We had arrived at 7:00 am  and I think the bus left at about 8:30.  This has become so normal for us now.  You just get used to everything being late, but that doesn't mean we are late.  Lyle is still 10 minutes early everywhere we go.

 Back on the bus again after three days in Quillabamaba.  

The family history fair was a great success thanks to all the people from the district that came to teach each other.  Our main responsibility was to recover and open accounts.  There were others there teaching indexing and other things.  For once we were not in charge, just helping.  We had consultants from each of the branches there to help. Of course, familysearch became overloaded and there was a lot of waiting turns for the few computers that could get familysearch, but everyone was patient and a lot was accomplished.

The best part for me was when the District Presidents came to us and we entered their accounts and found they each had a European line, one Spanish and the other Italian.  We were able to go back hundreds of years and found over 200 ordinances for each person.  One of the presidents is hard of hearing and with my limited Spanish it was challenging, but he is very smart and watched me carefully clean up duplicates and add more records, I think he might be able to do it himself now.  He had interviews that he was doing while in the building, but every minute he had between other responsibilities, he would find me and we would look for more ancestors.  He was so happy, he had tears streaming down his cheeks as the ordinances just keep popping up.  He was telling me a little about his Italian side of the family that had immigrated to Peru. you could tell how much he loved them.  The other President must tie into a Royal Spanish line because his went further back than either Lyle or I's lines.  Both Presidents were surprised and so, so happy to find their family.  Especially when we started the President, with the Italian line, with only he and his mother on his tree.

On the way home I had to sneak to get a few pictures of the people on the bus.  This time the bus was fairly new and very clean and comfortable.  There was a group of friends behind us and beside us.  This is one of the couples I was able to sneak a picture of,   

 Colorful buildings are everywhere.  This is a restaurant with an apartment on top.

This is where  some of the food is cooked at the only bus stop between Cuzco and Quillabamba.  

Another interesting plant at the bus stop.  This is a cactus. 

Eating a snack while waiting for the bus to leave.

General Conference with the English-speaking missionaries.

Standing and singing the hymns.

Conference was wonderful and even better sharing it with these missionaries. This is the Saturday Morning session and I brought a couple of North American snacks.  Homemade Chocolate chip cookies (no chocolate chips in this mission).  I bought 4 1/2 pounds at Cosco and tucked them in my suitcase when I came. I also had carrot and celery sticks and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (another item that is hard to get).  The missionaries were pretty excited about the treats.  I saw a couple of the newer missionaries walking away with eight cookies each, then they turned to me and showed me they also had one carrot stick too.  I giggled as they sought my approval for their choice of snacks.  Sometimes I forget that some of these missionaries are only 18 years old.  They seem so much older in their suits and ties.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy, I recognize Hermana Epi, the new RS Pres. in Villa Union Ward. She was so wonderful to us and all her members as the Stake Primary Pres. Her husband came very close to being baptized while we were there. Wish he would get serious about the gospel and take that good woman to the Temple. So many of the members there sacrifice to get their family trees organized and names ready for the temple, not knowing when they will be able to go for them own ordinances. They are happy people to be around. Your time is short now and you and Lyle have blessed so very many lives in Peru. It will seem like a dream to you. We will be anxious to here your report in Jan. Dawn Johnson