Random Thoughts & Pictures

I keep a little book with me to write on when I have a thought I want to remember. Here are some random thoughts from my book and some random pictures:

 

The next 3 pictures are from one of the many downtown destinations in Lima. This one had some beautiful architecture. It is called Plaza de Armas.

 

Peanut Butter costs $19 soles for a small 16 oz jar of Peter Pan creamy, which is about $6.33. Gotta have it for when Carter gets hangry!!

 

June 20 – Our taxi got a flat tire on the way home from a concert we attended. We paid the taxi driver anyway, felt bad for him,  and walked the rest of the way home, about 25 minutes. We could have just flagged down another taxi but decided to walk with the other couple we were with. It was a nice night, 11:00 pm,  and it was rally nice to experience La Molina with hardly any traffic, all the stores closed down and hardly anyone on the sidewalks. It was refreshing to walk with no traffic fumes.

 

 

June 28,  3:00 am – Woke up suddenly, felt the bed shake a bit and the building make some creaking noises. I thought to ask Carter about it in the morning and went right back to sleep. I forgot about it that morning. I was reminded when getting into work and someone asked if I felt the tremors last night. Then I remembered! She said there were 3 of them, the last one being the biggest. Maybe that’s the one I woke up for? Carter didn’t feel them and no one else in my office felt it. They all slept through it. I learned there was no damage anywhere.

June 30 – Took a taxi and went grocery shopping all by myself. First time! Liberating!! Carter is happy I can do that. He was very good and patient when we first got here. He is not a fan of any kind of shopping.

 

 

 

 

It is winter here. Temperatures range in the 60’s and low 70’s. All the locals bundle up with coats and scarves and we are loving the coolness.

Sunday, July 2nd, at the MTC, I wrote down some things the missionaries  said: “I’ve never been so happy to be so tired.” “It’s such a gift to work so hard.”  “I love this work, I can’t wait to keep going.” “This is a happy gospel.” After the meeting, I told Hermana Moore, wife of the MTC president, “What a blessing to be here with these new missionaries.” She said, “Wouldn’t their mothers love to be here.”

I love missionaries!

 

Carter brought one suit with him and realized he needed to wear suits more often than he thought. It is very inexpensive to get a suit made here. He and Ron Asay, the other Area Medical Advisor, both had a suit made out of the same brown fabric. Here they are modeling their new suits after meetings at the MTC.

 

July 3rd – We have a devotional every Monday morning at 8:0o at the area office before everyone starts work. We have a prayer, sing a hymn and someone gives a spiritual thought. The man giving the thought said, “It is a blessing and a privilege to work at the area office.” I agree. It is such a blessing.

The Peruvians can sing. Most sing on key when I listen at church. I don’t hear much harmonizing. Once when we were downtown, we heard some singing coming from a  beautiful old Catholic church. We walked over to listen and a saw young woman singing during the mass. She had a beautiful voice.

There are some tiny woman here. They are usually older ladies. They are adorable. I look straight down at them and they look straight up at me. I am only 5’6″.

 

Some sweet ladies peeling potatoes at a downtown kitchen that feeds an orphanage and seniors. Notice the cute one in the pink hat. I asked if I could take and picture and she started giggling.

 

When Carter was working at his medical office in Benson, he would go around the office and greet everyone personally when arriving in the morning. He has started doing that here. It’s fun for him and it’s fun for me to watch. I think others like it too. He can’t greet everyone because there are maybe 100 employees/missionaries there. He just greets the ones we walk by on the way to our office. Everyone can hear his, “Buenos Dias!” down the hallway. He sure is a kind person.

July 8th, 8:15 pm – Had another little tremor. I was packing up for Bolivia. My hand was on the kitchen table getting some books to pack and felt some motion. I thought… is that the dryer? The dryer wasn’t on. Then the building shook for about 3 long seconds. Carter was on the phone in the back room and came quickly up the hallway ready to go out the door. The shaking had made our doorbell ring. All was well after that. I learned that a few blocks down it lasted a little longer and everyone quickly came out to the street. No damage.

 

Sunday, July 9th – We had a little fuga, flood, in a spare bedroom one Sunday evening from the apartment upstairs. Carter was wringing out wet towels and said, “Take a picture.” It was just water, not sewage. Thank goodness! We never made it to the devotional at the MTC that evening but we got to know our neighbors better.

 

You can get a bucket of chicken at McDonalds here! Lima is all about chicken.

July 14th – I almost have the chorus memorized in Spanish to the hymn, “Called to Serve”. We sing it a lot at the MTC and at zone conferences. It is called, “Llamados A Servir” in Spanish and there are 4 verses instead of 2 like the English version. The missionaries love to sing it.

 

This is John & Susie Boswell. They just finished their 3 years in the Lima East mission a few weeks ago. They came over to give us some goodies from their pantry and chat for bit the last week they were here. Carter and John served in Venezuela together as missionaries. Good people!!

 

Sunday, July 16th – I love watching the President of the MTC watch his missionaries give their first talks in Spanish. He smiles from ear to ear and I can see his love for them.

More missionary quotes. I learn so much from them: “Today’s trial is tomorrows testimony.” “This is not our time, this is the Lord’s time.” One elder said in a prayer, “We pray that we can learn to love to obey.”

Did I say I love missionaries?

I would loooooove to find a hairdresser that speaks English!!!!!!

 

Written by Faye

 

Bolivia

Tuesday – July 11, 2017

We are in La Paz, Bolivia visiting Presidente and Hermana Ocampo who preside over the La Paz, El Alto mission. This is our second day in La Paz. We both have felt a little bit of the altitude with a small headache the first day but not as much as Colombia. No dizziness this time. We started taking some medicine before coming to prevent altitude sickness and we’re glad we did. La Paz is 11,000 feet. Our hotel is in La Paz.

This morning the Ocampo’s picked us up at about 9:00 for a multi zone conference in El Alto, consisting of 4 zones. It should have been a half hour drive but the road was blocked when we got about halfway there and we had to turn around and take the teleferico which is an arial tram across the city. Each car holds 10 people at the most. Presidente said he never knows why the roads are blocked sometimes. Riding on the teleferico was really awesome. We got to see the whole city from above.

Hermana Ocampo took a picture of us riding in the teleferico

 

It did make us about an hour late for the conference though but we got there. Elder/Doctor Mayberry was the only speaker. He did a great job. He talked for about an hour and half to the missionaries about some of the health concerns of the mission. The 3 main ones were, stomach issues, back issues, and knee problems. Much of the mission has knee problems because of the steep inclines they walk up and down and the back issues are related to the knee issues. The missionaries had lots of questions.

They had  lunch for us at the church and Carter then saw 13 missionaries individually for about 3 hours. And me? I had a great time while waiting talking with the assistants and other elders who wanted to speak English. The 3 hours flew by! Two of the elders spoke really good English. They asked lots of questions. We talked about our families, our missions and about how important it is to know English. Other elders wanted to talk too, so I used the Spanish I knew and they used the English they knew and we had some great conversations. I love missionaries!

At about 5:00 we toured a clinic that the church uses for the missionaries here. In South America, a clinic is a privately owned hospital with better care and usually more expensive.  A hospital is owned by the government for the general public and is usually cheaper. This clinic was like a small hospital. They seemed to have good doctors and good care.

 

At Clinica del Sur with Dr. Garcia, the Ocampos, us, and Maria Luisa Land, the administrator

 

It is cold here. It was cold in the chapel and cold in the clinic, so when we got back to our hotel we ate some warm soup and hot chocolate and got to bed earlier than usual. The hotel is nice and warm.

Wednesday – July 12, 2017

The Ocompo’s picked us up at 6:00 am to drive to another zone conference in Oruro which took us about 3 1/2 hours. Mucho frio!!! We passed many little towns and country sides where they grow quinoa, potatoes and ava, which is a large bean. It is winter here so nothing was growing. I would have loved to stop and take pictures of la gente, the people. They were beautiful! I love the way the women dress.

Carter was the only speaker again. There were fewer missionaries this time, only 2 zones, and Carter spoke on the same subjects. He had his little clinic in the back room seeing 9 missionaries and, again, I had a great time talking to missionaries. This time we took a picture. It was their idea. I would like to have hugged all of them, but I just gave them an extra tight handshake hug. Carter wondered if I remind them of the mom that they miss. If that’s one of my duties here, I’ll take it. I love it. I can see how they love Hermana Ocampo. One elder gave her a late Mother’s Day present today. How adorable is that?

 

Selfie with some great missionaries who spoke some great English!

 

Did I say I love missionaries? Well l love missionaries! They carry a special spirit. There’s a happiness and a light with them that is contagious. They are doing the Lord’s work, bringing souls to Christ. It’s my favorite thing about this mission….those missionaries. I know they are doing an important work. It’s a blessing and a privilege to associate with them and help them.

Trivial little tidbit: They took us to a hamburger and fries place today for lunch. The hamburger smelled and tasted like a hot dog. It was weird. Carter liked it!  :o)

 

Thursday – July 13, 2017
We had some unexpected surprises and blessings today. First of all, Carter was up most of the night with diarrhea. He said it was the worst he’d ever had. He was supposed to teach at another zone conference for the Bolivia, La Paz mission at a chapel in downtown La Paz. We got up and got ready, Carter called President Vallejo, told him the situation and asked for a blessing. Hermana Vallejo came with their assistants. She brought some diarrhea medicine and Gatorade. The Elders gave Carter a blessing and we went forward in faith. Carter was still sick, using the bathroom right when we got to the chapel and and once during the presentation. He had not eaten anything that morning and he was weak from the illness. I prayed earlier that morning before Carter called the mission president and told Heavenly Father that I do not hold the priesthood and cannot lay my hands on my husband’s head but I can pray and I know that my prayers are heard and that my prayer can be answered. I told him that we  were called to do a work today and asked that we would be able to do it. During his presentation I prayed that angels could please be sent to Carter to carry him through. I said prayers of gratitude and then asked again for angels. He was drinking Gatorade through out the presentation.
Carter talked for 2 hours, the longest presentation of the week and saw 17 missionaries individually afterwards, eating crackers and drinking water during it all. He  shows the missionaries different exercises during the presentation to stretch and strengthen their knees and back and he got a little winded while doing those but  I was amazed that he did so well.   Our prayers were answered.  Carter said he did not feel weak during his presentation.
This time there were no missionaries who wanted to speak English with me. I would walk up to a group and ask them, “Como esta su ingles?” How is your English? I got blank stares, crooked smiles and “No ingles.” Ha! We were in the mission office so I went into Hermana Vallejo’s office and started studying for my next talk in the Preach My Gospel manual, which is on faith. She came in after a while and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. Si! It was freezing in the mission office and the sun was shining. We walked up the hill and the sun felt so good. We walked by some beautifully dressed ladies. I asked about their beautiful skirts and Hermana Vallejo told me they are called polleras. The women are called Senoras de Polleras. Their skirts are all different, big and flouncy, using lots of fabric. One of the women let us take a picture. She was proud to do it. The other was shy and hid her face with a paper she held in her hand. So cute!
Hermana Vallejo doesn’t speak English very well but she is so kind and gracious and we could talk together slowly and carefully. I thawed out and we went back to see if Carter was done. He had a few more patients to see so I started studying again. One of the office elders walked in to file some receipts and he started talking to me. His English was not very good but I could tell he really wanted to tell me something. Slowly and surely I heard, “One big blessing from my mission is that my mother got baptized. I work hard and the Lord bless me.” It made me teary and he said, “Your mother got baptized too?” I said, “No, I’m happy that your mother was baptized. These are happy tears for you!” He understood and then smiled real big. He then said, “I have 4 more months and I still working hard.” I wanted to hug that sweet missionary! Instead I shook his hand really hard and said, “Un abrazo por su mano!” A hug for your hand.
Hermana Vallejo had some chicken soup for us at her home when all was finished. Carter was feeling better and could eat. We talked with their two high school children in English and then they took us back to our hotel.
We had a few hours on the first day to walk down the street from our hotel. Here are some pictures of the beautiful Bolivian women. They love their hats. I would love to know the tradition behind them.
Shout out to my family this weekend!!! We are missing my Richardson family reunion. Hope you all had fun together. I sure love and miss you all!!
Written by Faye

Our New Friend

This is Margaret Noelia Gonzales Pinedo. She is 19 and has recently been baptized. The Elders taught a new member lesson to her in our home on June 24th. Our apartment is a central, quiet location and the missionaries like to come here.We invited her to have Family Home Evening with us the next week. She wanted to learn about it. We had a great time. She is very outgoing and fun. We showed her some of the apps that the church has for young people, watched some videos on those apps and had a rock, paper, scissors tournament.  :o)  This last Monday, she called and said “Can I come for Home Evening again at your house?” Of course! She showed up with these Peruvian chocolates that she made herself. She calls them Chocotejas. They are strawberries with manjar blanco (caramel sauce) covered in chocolate. She was really proud of them! They were super sweet. We looked up her family history information on Family Search and she already has her ancestry recorded back four generations and is preparing to do some baptisms in the temple. We also played the card game, SkipBo. She liked it. Margaret is a smart girl. She’s a college student majoring in marketing. She has been to the United States on a 3 month scholarship and knows some English. She is like I am with Spanish. She understands a lot, but has a hard time getting the words out of her mouth. She will be bringing a game to play for next week. It’s fun to have her over. She takes great selfies. She’s a little sponge and loves learning about the church. Our Monday nights will be a lot more fun with this cute little thing around.

Written by Faye

New Assignments & Colombia Trip

I meant to post this last week but our Sundays are BUSY now with our new assignment at the MTC……

 

We have some new assignments.

1. I , Faye, have been asked to facilitate an English language learning class from the church’s Pathways program. The students will be some of the local employees at the area office. I’m going to a class that is already in session to watch and learn this Thursday. The class is starting this September and will meet in one of the area office conference rooms after work on Thursdays at 5:00. I won’t be teaching, the students teach themselves with the curriculum provided. But I’m excited! I can do English!!!

2. President Moore from the MTC  met with us on Tuesday to ask if we would serve in the branch presidency for the English speaking missionaries at the MTC. We are still learning what our responsibilities will be. I do know that we both will be giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting on different basic gospel subjects once a month. The couples in the branch presidency take turns speaking along with the missionaries. Spending time with the missionaries is one of my favorite things here! What a blessing to have this responsibility! We will pretty much spend most of the day on Sunday at the MTC.  President Moore said that even though these missionaries will be learning Spanish, Sunday meetings are in English except for the opening and closing prayers and the sacrament prayer. The meetings on Sunday are so we can be ‘fed’ spiritually, not to learn Spanish. I agree. I had just decided that I was going to start going to all of the English speaking classes in our La Molina ward for that very reason. I’ll miss the good people there but looking forward to the MTC experience. I need to get used to calling it the CCM. That’s what they call it in South America. It stands for Centro de Capacitacion Misional.

 

 

Last week we spent 4 days in Bogota, Colombia. Here’s part of a letter I wrote to our children:

June 13, 2017 – Dad and I flew to Bogota, Colombia yesterday to do some teaching at the MTC here. Yesterday, we taught a health class to the Spanish speaking missionaries and tomorrow we teach some new missionaries that will have just arrived. That will be a bilingual class. The class is 10 Laws of Health for South American Missionaries. Today, we have a free day to sight see and do some shopping. One thing I am shopping for is hairspray. They don’t have it in Peruvian stores. I have looked and looked. You can only get it in expensive salons and it is indeed expensive. I’m told it is a regular item here like in the United States. I will be stocking up.

There is one little wrench in this trip… We both have some altitude sickness going on. We didn’t realize that Bogota is over 8,000 feet. Yesterday when we got here, we both had headaches. We thought it was from the “headache” at the airport. It took FOREVER to get out of that place once we landed. There are much more efficient ways to move people and luggage! The class was supposed to start at 2:00 but we didn’t arrive on time so it started at 3:15. The MTC president’s wife, Sister Hansen, gave us something like Excedrin, I think it was, for our headaches and we felt better at dinner time. We went to dinner last night with President and Sister Laney from the Bogota North mission. They are from Gilbert, AZ and know my sister, Diane’s, family and Carter’s sister, Michelle’s, family. He was Michelle’s stake president for 6 years until he got called to be a mission president. There was another couple at dinner with us also who were going home today, the Meyers. The first part of their mission was in Peru and they knew Curt and Joyce Mayberry who served in their mission. Super small world!!! We took pictures!

 

After dinner with the President and Sister Laney

 

No more headaches this morning, but I am a little light headed and Carter is just plain tired. We both slept really good last night, but it is 9:30 in the morning and he is back in bed for a half hour to see if he can have some energy for the day. He is also on the healing end of a cold. There’s no time difference here and he is not feeling sick from his cold anymore, so I hope we can make it out of our hotel room. It a nice hotel room, but I don’t want to stay in it all day long. There’s hairspray to buy and there’s a beautiful city to see. The air is fresh and clear here. It feels like mountain air. The Laneys said they drink water right out of the tap. We are told that Bogota is more Americanized. There is a Costco type store here and lots of American restaurants, but I’m not really interested in going to those restaurants. I like to see what the local fare is like. We are told they have some good Mexican food! We are going to pretend it is local fare.  :o)  We haven’t found any Mexican food in Peru…or chocolate chips or brown sugar.

Carter is snoring lightly as I type. Good sign! 

We both felt better later in the day…. found some hairspray….ate some Mexican food. It wasn’t good old Southern Arizona Mexican food but the chips and salsa were good. The restaurant had a Nacho Libre theme! We did go to Costco and bought a bag of Kirkland chocolate chips and some sheets for our bed. They barely fit in my carry on, but I got it zipped! Something else I can’t find in Peru yet is corn tortillas…. only flour tortillas. I should have looked for those in Costco too.

 

 

 

Mexican food with the Hansens

 

Wednesday morning, before teaching the second health class, we went up to Mount Monserrate to see an old Catholic church. It was beautiful at 10,000 feet overlooking the city of Bogota.

 

 

Beautiful archways in the Catholic church on Mount Monserrate

 

 

We ate lunch at a little restaurant up there. Here’s a receipt for 2 bowls of soup, 2 bottles of water and a coconut lemonade. At first glance it looks like it cost almost $43,000 but that’s in Colombian pesos. In American dollars we only paid about $14.34. It’s weird to be paying for everything in million denominations!

 

The bill for our lunch up at Monserrate  –  $14.34

 

At the airport returning home,  we ran into 3 missionaries who were finishing their missions in Bogota and on their way home. We had 3 hours to spend talking with them. Two of them knew some English. One of the missionaries was from, (you guessed it), Venezuela!……… and is from San Cristobal where Carter served! He and Carter hit it off and had some great conversations about San Cristobal and the people there. We talked about our families. He asked about our children and it was so sweet to witness his caring concern when Carter told him about Ashton.  Elder Callejas was sitting across from him at the time and immediately moved to sit right beside him, looking him straight in the eye and would look at me intermittently. I’ll bet he was a kind, caring missionary.

 

Elder Callejas and Carter

 

 

Elder Callejas, from Venezuela; Elder Chaves, from the Dominican Republic; Elder Acosta, from Argentina? (not sure); and Elder Mayberry in the Bogota, Colombia airport

 

Written by Faye

 

 

 

Our Little Patch of Peru

June 10, 2017  –  I’m sitting at my computer on a Saturday evening, listening to the little kid birthday party next to us. When someone here has a birthday party, the whole area around them has a birthday party too! But, we don’t get any cake! We can hear everybody’s everything. There are 2 little doggies that live above us and we can hear when they run across the floor. We hear the little girl next door cry at night when she’s tired. I’m sure our neighbors can hear our blender going when we make a smoothie for breakfast or the conference talk Carter listens to when he takes his shower in the morning. That’s just life in our little patch of Peru. We’ve been here for 2 months and we are getting used to it. It’s a lot different than our 1 acre chicken farm in St. David, AZ. We sleep pretty well at night. Our bedroom is at the back of the apartment away from the street so we don’t hear the traffic noises very loudly. We live on the 3rd floor of our 4 story building. There’s a walkway on one side and on the other side are homes that are just one story, so I can see down into their courtyards. I can see their laundry hanging. Every day there is different laundry on the line. It is not normal for Peruvians to have a dryer, but we have a little one to use. Thank goodness! We also have a rack on the ceiling of our laundry room that we can bring down to hang things on. We put our towels on it every morning with a fan blowing on them. They don’t get dry otherwise.

It takes 3 keys to get in our  place. There’s one outer gate, one inner gate and then the key to get in our apartment once we get up the 3 flights of stairs.

 

Looking out our bedroom window, this is the first gate we enter to get in.

 

The second gate to get in.

 

Carter on the stairs inside our building

We feel very safe here. The streets and walk ways are well lit at night. There are vigilantes, security guards, that patrol every little street. We pay them 70 soles monthly, which is about $23. The vigilante rides up and down our street on a bike at different times during the day and night and blows a  whistle that sounds like the whistle referees use. We are still trying to figure out when and why he does that. There are lots of different horns, whistles and clangs we hear. One is from the bread guy in the morning. He rides his bicycle around and honks his little horn to tell you he is there. People come out and get fresh rolls from him for their breakfast. Carter has been out a few times when we first got here to sample the bread. The guy sells 4 different kinds of buns. They are OK, but not wonderful.

Another  sound we hear is the garbage truck when it comes around in the morning. A bell clangs to let you know they are coming. There are raised metal containers along our street that people put their little bags of garbage in. They are picked up every morning. Another sound we hear are the horns honking from the the taxis, cars and trucks that pass by. It is very popular to use your horn here when driving. When we walk down the street, taxis that pass by honk at us letting us know they are there. There are LOTS of taxis. LOTS!

An empty garbage container and a vigilante riding his bike in the back ground

 

We see this adorable doggie sometimes when we are walking to work in the morning. He is always on the same doorstep. He never barks, just lifts his head up and looks at us through the flap of fur over his eyes. I don’t think he’s a stray. I think he lives in the home. We don’t see stray dogs here much at all. We see lots of people walking their dogs. If a dog barks at us, it is from the top of a building. We do see stray cats sometimes. We are told that we live in  a middle class neighborhood. It is mostly kept clean and neat.

 

I named this good & gentle doggie Chet! I wonder what his real name is and is he a he or a she?

 

 

Last week we had an earthquake drill at the office. We are supposed to leave the building and stand in circles like these while we wait. The S stands for siesmo, earthquake. We are told that they get tremors here in May and October. We didn’t get any this past May. This is one of the siesmo circles at the MTC next door.

 

 

Some of the beautiful fruit here

Written by Faye

 

 

New Missionaries & Training Nurses At The MTC

On Wednesday, May 24th, the Lima, Peru MTC was expecting 103 new missionaries. I was there helping that day and got to witness some sweet things. I was at the table close to the MTC president and his wife when they got to meet each missionary individually, give them their badge and chat for a bit. They had the badges orchestrated so they knew who was coming next, could greet them by name, give them each a hug a make them feel welcome. It tugged at my heart and I couldn’t keep the tears in, watching the love that was flowing. During a lull, the wife of the president came over and asked how I was doing. It was obvious that I was tearful, and I told her how much I loved watching them greet each missionary. She told me it comes with the calling to feel a genuine love for each missionary. Those missionaries are excited or nervous or both, starting their mission and what a blessing to be greeted in such a loving way by President and Sister Moore. David Archuleta’s “Glorious” was playing during this time. There were some other stations that the missionaries stopped at with a station to get their hair cut too. if they needed it. I was going over the pages the missionaries filled out upon entering, telling if they needed anything, like toiletries, clothing, etc.  Later on in the day, I went back over to the MTC to help distribute the needed things. The day before, I helped put together snack bags for the missionaries who would arrive in the middle of the night. There was a juice drink, some chips and Oreo cookies. I also helped collate the welcome booklets each one received upon arrival. I will be doing this same thing every 3 weeks, along with a few others from the area office when the MTC receives new missionaries. Most of the missionaries c0ming that day were Spanish-speaking from South America, but there were about 12 from the United States who will be serving in our area and need to learn Spanish.

 

Carter did some more nurse training this past week for the third week in a row. He is training Hermana Carstens in the Lima MTC and Hermana Willis on Facetime who is already on her mission in Bolivia. I was there with them this time. I took some initial pictures before they got started and then Carter thought I was on my iPad during the training, but I was actually taking pictures of him doing the teaching! He is a good teacher. The nurses really enjoy  him. They learned about nose bleeds, mastoiditis, anaphylaxis, gallbladder disease, pilonidal cysts, infected surgical wounds, Dengue fever, diarrhea and when to use Imodium, tuberculosis (TB), immunizations, making friends with local pharmacists, and how to handle dog bites. These sisters are actual RN’s from the United States. They have Spanish-speaking companions who will help them communicate with Spanish-speaking missionaries when they care for them. They also do some proselyting.

Enjoy the pictures! Carter is a great teacher and I can tell he loves it!

 

Hermana Carstens, her comanion, Hermana Dobbins, Dr. Mayberry with Hermana Willis on Facetime.

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the laptop keyboard reflection in his glasses!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Faye

Garúa in Perú(a) (Gotta make it rhyme)

Observation: Lima has something called “garúa,”[x] which is a fine mist that is denser than fog, but finer than sprinkles. We’re starting to experience this. The humidity here has helped settle down a lot of the sneezing and dry nose I had in Arizona.

For Family Home Evening[i], we had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants with two other senior couples. We had a yummy steak! It was fun to get to know the other couples better.

On Tuesday, I trained a sister missionary from the States on her responsibilities as a mission nurse. She is currently at the Mission Training Center (MTC)[ii], which is next door to our office building. Another sister from Bolivia joined us via Skype. I enjoyed it; I hope they found it useful. That evening, we took a law student to dinner. He is doing an internship with the Area Legal Office here in Lima. His wife had gave birth to their first child 10 days before he left; he will be here for a month.

A single senior sister missionary arrived late Monday night. She is a licensed clinical social worker from the States and will be working with English-speaking missionaries who have mental health challenges. We helped show her around: took her shopping, walked with her to church, sat by her in church, helped her order purified water, etc. Faye was especially helpful in her getting acclimated here. I look forward to working with her; I’m sure she will help a lot of missionaries…and their families.

Laura Clark on her first day at work in the area office

On Friday, we ate at another of our favorite restaurants: the cooks and waiters/waitresses are students in an adjacent cooking school called Don Ignacio[iii]. The food is excellent and the price is very reasonable. It was so good that we ate there again for Saturday’s lunch! Also on Saturday, we walked to a different supermarket than we usually use. Next door is what the senior missionaries call “The Stinky Meat Market” (for obvious reasons), where they sell all different kinds of nuts. We bought a bunch to snack on at the office. The weather was cool, so the smell wasn’t bad yesterday. Speaking of cooler weather: it’s been in the mid-60’s to low 70’s. We have seen several people wearing jackets and scarves! Interesting!

In front of our favorite restaurant, DI.

 

One of our favorite desserts at DI, a yogurt, fruit and granola dish.

Medically, I’ve been involved with the care of missionaries with cold sores, coughing up blood (possible TB), depression, rectal bleeding, infected gallbladder, diverticulitis, mastoiditis (infected bone behind the ear; this is probably what my mother’s brother, Ralph, had; it was before antibiotics were around and it spread to his brain), anaphylactic (severe allergic) reaction to a medication, pilonidal cyst surgery, infected appendectomy wound, back/knee/shoulder pain, heavy periods, no periods for several months, testicle pain, rashes, bronchitis, bowel obstruction and Dengue Fever. One evening, the MTC president’s wife asked me to check a couple of missionaries. I live a 5-minute walk away, so I went over as soon as I could. Pres. and Sis. Moore[iv] were very appreciative of how quickly I could respond. I appreciated being appreciated! They had previously served as mission presidents in Argentina (they were my nephew, Brent Mayberry’s, presidents!) and they did not have the medical backup then that they have here; a lot of their time and energy in Argentina was spent with sick missionaries. I’m glad I can be of help to them and to our great missionaries. Faye and I say aloud frequently, “That’s why we’re here!”

I was having some bowel problems, so started taking a probiotic[v] that has helped a lot. It’s nice to worry less about where the nearest restroom is!

We sometimes hear 5-10 noisy birds flying overhead. They are parrots! Cool!

We watched the first two episodes of “Anne with an E.”[vi] We have very much enjoyed them. “Anne of Green Gables”[vii] and “Anne of Avonlea”[viii] are two of my favorite movies. I know…chick flicks!

I’ve been reading “From Acorn to Oak Tree,”[ix] by Frederick S. Williams and Frederick G. Williams. It is about the start and growth of the Church in South America. Fascinating!

I still don’t have my navigational bearings down yet. Some of that is getting used to my shadow falling to the south, instead of the north, like it does in the northern hemisphere!

I have been using Johnson & Johnson’s free “7- Minute Workout”[xi] app for the past two weeks. I like it because I can set my own fitness and motivation levels, indicate whether I do or don’t like an exercise, and report how difficult the exercise was when I’m done. The app then tailors my next workout based on all this information. I can do this.

One of the other senior missionaries asked us, “What are some of the unexpected surprised you’ve had since you have been in Peru?” At that time, I said something about the quality and price of the food. However, I have another one: I have been impressed (again) with what a good and kind wife I have. I marvel as Faye cheerfully moves forward in faith and courage in a country, culture and language that are foreign to her. Faye looks for ways to love and serve others. Faye relishes welcoming the new missionaries when they arrive in the MTC. Faye reviews missionary applications for non-medical information. If everything is normal, she signs them off for me; if there is something abnormal, she passes them to me; that helps me a TON! A couple of the other senior missionaries have been sick; Faye has been very compassionate at ministering to them. Faye was very kind and loving toward the lady who recently was baptized. We plan to be involved with the New Member Lessons* that will help her learn more about the Church. I think Faye’s involvement will be instrumental in Rosie wanting to continue to come to Church meetings. Faye is anxious to serve in the temple. Yesterday, there was an old woman sitting on the ground selling candy, probably earning money for her next meal. Her clothes were dirty and she didn’t have any teeth. Faye took the time to buy one of her candies, and gave her more money than she asked. The woman kissed Faye’s hand in gratitude. Faye has been noticing the beautiful flowers here in Lima; she has been taking photos of them. Faye has been very supportive and encouraging of me in the medical work as I help care for the missionaries. Besides that, Faye is a great cook, sings beautifully…and is REALLY pretty! I hoped our marriage would grow as we served together; this week has been one of those times where I say to myself, “Wow! You are blessed to be married to her!” I look forward to many more of those times!

 

The hibiscus flowers here are so beautiful!

 

 

Some thoughts as I read the scriptures this week:

  • Malachi 4:2[xii], 2 Nephi 25:15[xiii] and 3 Nephi 25:2[xiv] talk about Christ arising “with healing in his wings.” As I read this, I like to think of the mother hens I have seen whose chicks find safety under her wings. I also like to think about a bird in flight, who reaches out its wings as far as they can reach. I like to think that Christ reaches as far as He can and heals all who come unto Him. I like to think about that healing including healing me.
  • Psalms 68:18[xv] “…thou has led captivity captive…” This is a prophecy about Christ, who has taken both physical and spiritual death (permanent separation from God’s presence) captive; He has overcome both of these deaths. What comfort that brings me!
  • Psalms 132:17[xvi] “There will I make the horn of David to bud…” This is another prophecy about Christ, who is descended from David. In Hebrew, “horn” can be used figuratively to mean “power” or “capacity.” See 1 Samuel 2:1[xvii], footnote c. In Numbers 17, the Israelites challenged Moses’ and Aaron’s authority. The Lord commands each tribe’s representative to bring a rod (I think it’s a walking staff) to the tabernacle. The next day, Aaron’s rod had budded, blossomed and yielded almonds.[xviii] This was the Lord’s way of showing upon whom He had bestowed His authority. My conclusion is that Psalm 132:17 is saying that God’s power, capacity and authority rests upon Christ.
  • Revelations 1:18[xix], Doctrine & Covenants 45:52[xx] and Doctrine & Covenants 110:4[xxi] all state that Christ “liveth,” “was lifted up,” and “liveth” (respectively…all ideas conveying that Christ is alive), followed by stating that He “was dead,” was crucified” and “was slain,” (respectively…all ideas conveying His death). My mortal mind wants to put things in the time sequence in which they occurred: Christ’s death, THEN His resurrection. Maybe God is trying to help me understand that His ways are higher than my ways; He puts things in order of importance to Him!

We had a lesson today based on Elder Dale G. Renlund’s[xxii] talk, “Repentance: A Joyful Choice.”[xxiii] A personal illustration that the teacher shared: he had his shoes shined, but one was shinier than the other. He tried to fix the dull one by adding more polish, but that didn’t work. He took them to a “master cobbler,” who painstakingly removed all the previous layers of polish and started afresh. That was an insightful reminder that repentance involves going back to the mistake and starting afresh, through Christ’s Atonement[xxiv] and with God’s grace,[xxv] to move forward. It reminded me of one of the lessons on repentance in the MTC: the Bible Dictionary[xxvi] states, “The Greek work of which [“repentance”] is the translation denotes a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world…repentance comes to mean a turning of the heart and will to God…” I love that thought! Repentance becomes a privilege and a joyful choice! I pray that I will always make that choice!

Written by Carter

  

 

 

 

[i] https://www.lds.org/topics/family-home-evening?lang=eng&old=true

[ii] https://www.lds.org/callings/missionary/missionary-training-centers?lang=eng

[iii] https://www.facebook.com/restaurantedonignacio/

[iv] https://www.lds.org/church/news/church-announces-eight-new-mtc-presidents-for-january-2016?lang=eng

[v] From UpToDate: S. boulardii, a nonpathogenic live yeast probiotic, acts as temporary flora to help re-establish the normal gastrointestinal microflora. May also modulate the immune system by inducing cytokines and suppress pathogenic bacteria growth.

[vi] https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/anne/s01/

[vii] http://anneofgreengables.com/

[viii] http://anneofgreengables.com/films/anne-of-avonlea/

[ix] https://www.amazon.com/Acorn-Oak-Tree-Establishment-Development/dp/0944329004/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496014060&sr=1-6&keywords=from+acorn+to+oak+tree

[x] http://www.peruthisweek.com/blogs-garua-limas-fog-50013

[xi] https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/j-j-official-7-minute-workout/id784797900?mt=8

[xii] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/mal/4.2?lang=eng#1

[xiii] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/25.13?lang=eng#12

[xiv] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/25.2?lang=eng#1

[xv] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/ps/68.18?lang=eng#17

[xvi] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/ps/132.17?lang=eng#16

[xvii] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/1-sam/2.1?lang=eng#1

[xviii] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/num/17.8?lang=eng#7

[xix] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/rev/1.18?lang=eng#17

[xx] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/45.52?lang=eng#51

[xxi] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/110.4?lang=eng#3

[xxii] https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/what-are-prophets/bio/dale-g-renlund?lang=eng

[xxiii] https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/repentance-a-joyful-choice?lang=eng

[xxiv] https://www.lds.org/topics/atonement-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng

[xxv] https://www.lds.org/topics/grace?lang=eng

[xxvi] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/repentance.html?lang=eng&letter=R

The Bird of Paradise Strikes Again!

Observation: the Peruvian men seldom wear facial hair, which has been a recent fad in the US; it has also been a tradition for as long as I can remember for men from Mexico to wear a moustache.

For Family Home Evening (FHE)[i] Monday, we met with about 10 other couples at the Area offices, where the Henrie’s (from Albuquerque)[ii] shared their experiences serving as humanitarian missionaries. One project they are working on is coordinating the donation of over 1100 wheelchairs to those crippled by various diseases. Some are victims of polio and are my age; it took a while for the vaccine to reach the remote areas of the country at the time when I was being vaccinated as a child. Another project was helping with the cleanup efforts after the mudslides and flooding in Peru a couple of months ago. Because of those efforts, the president of Peru[iii] arranged for a video call to President Henry B. Eyring,[iv] of the First Presidency, to personally thank the Church for its cleanup efforts. Some of the local Church leaders were also present for this call. Another project was drilling wells in remote villages in Peru. The village is required to have a local council that makes decisions about how to repair and maintain the system and distribute the water. Everyone is required to purchase their water, with fees determined by the village council. It was amazing to see the end results of the generosity of individual Church members who donated often just a few dollars here and there to the Humanitarian Aid Fund.[v] It was also encouraging to see the efforts of the Church leadership to help people with their needs, but in a way that is sustainable and does not create chronic dependence. For example, rather than just “playing Santa Claus” and giving wheelchairs to those in need, they worked with local organizations who would make sure the chairs fit the patient, that the patients know how to use them properly and that there were people trained to repair and maintain the chairs over the long haul.

After FHE, we had taco salad and visited. I was struck (yet again) with the thought, “These are some REALLY good people!” I count it a privilege to be among such good people!

On Tuesday, we helped the full-time missionaries teach a lady in the chapel where we meet. She is in her mid-30’s and is a very sweet single mother with four sons. She understands things quickly and has a huge amount of faith. The next day, the missionaries asked me if I would like to baptize her! She was in favor of that, so I said, “Of course!” We invited them to have lessons at our house on Thursday and Friday; her baptism was yesterday. Three other people (from another ward) were also baptized. The water was cold, but the service was very uplifting.

 

Carter, right before the baptism, with Rosie, her two sons and a girlfriend

 

Afterward, a man in his 60s sat down by Faye and me and said he could tell that we had a special relationship with one another. When we were in the Mission Training Center (MTC)[vi] in Provo, Utah, that’s something one of our teachers pointed out: that, as senior missionaries, we may be one of the few examples of a stable marriage that the members, investigators and even missionaries will have seen. That was humbling to think of, especially as I acknowledge my weaknesses as a husband. It was humbling again to have someone here in Peru mention that. This Peruvian man was baptized in May 1975, just a month or two before my brother, Young, completed his mission; he didn’t know Young, though.

As we were walking home from the lesson with the investigator Tuesday, all three of us felt something wet land on us (I felt it on my right shoulder; Faye’s was on her foot). At the same instant, I saw white drops appear on the sidewalk where we were. Yep! We looked up and saw a bird flying overhead that had just pooped on us! “Thanks, buddy, for the friendly welcome to Peru!” For some reason, it reminded me of a silly song I used to sing as a young teen, “May the bird of paradise fly up your nose! May an elephant caress you with his toes…(I don’t remember the rest of it).”

 

On Wednesday, I trained a registered nurse (RN)/sister missionary in the MTC here in Lima. She will go to another city in Peru when she leaves the MTC. There is another RN/sister missionary in Bolivia that I will train via phone conference starting this week. They will both be great assets to the missionaries and mission presidents (and wives) there. I look forward to working with them.

I decided to take some of my white shirts to a cleaning place to have them pressed; they did an awesome job! It’s amazing how much better a small thing like that makes me feel; last Sunday I wore a wrinkled shirt and I felt grumpy. Faye is going to try something different to see if the shirts will come out of the dryer unwrinkled…so I don’t have to take them to be pressed. I could iron them myself, but I just didn’t feel like it last week.

On Thursday, a young American couple who have lived in Peru for 10 years took another missionary and me (and our wives) shopping to a place called Gamarra[vii] to get fitted for custom suits. It was quite congested, dirty and smelly. It reminded me of Diagon Alley[viii] in some places. We stayed close together and stayed vigilant because it’s apparently a place where thieves look for unsuspecting targets. It was quite an adventure! I should have the suit in about 10 days.

After shopping we ate lunch at an Italian restaurant across the street from the Area offices. It was excellent!

On Friday, we met with the Lima Temple President Gillespie[ix], who asked me to help in the temple, mainly to help when there are English-speakers who need help. Afterward, we walked on the temple grounds. We heard some noisy birds in a nearby pecan tree (I was surprised to find one in Peru, but I’m pretty sure it was pecan): there were about a dozen parrots there, noisily fighting over the pecans! While we were there on the lawn, a man approached us; we thought he might tell us to get off the grass. Turns out he was visiting from Brazil and just wanted to chat with us. He knew Elder Godoy,[x] who is also from Brazil. We had a nice, brief visit, partly in English, partly in Spanish.

After that, we saw a woman with her 15-month-old son, trying to take selfies while she held him. Faye felt like she should ask if she could help take their picture, which she did. We chatted with her and she told us she was there (partly) because her husband has become disaffected with the Church: he has read some stuff on the internet about the Book of Mormon.[xi] She wanted to know what she could do to help him. I hope what I said was helpful: “Sister, he will need to make his own choices. However, you can love him and you can keep your covenants.[xii] Those are the best things you can do to help him.” I told her we would pray for both of them. She seems like a very good woman who took her concerns to the right place: the temple…in a spirit of prayer[xiii] and fasting.[xiv]

We were going to take some bus tours yesterday, but I had to make some phone calls and send emails about missionaries with various health problems. I spoke with several specialists in the US: a urologist, a psychiatrist, a gynecologist, an endocrinologist, and a gastroenterologist. They were all very helpful. I also took a luscious hour-long nap! Nice!

Today’s meetings were nice. For some reason, I have been feeling a little melancholic over Ashton. As I was reading the scriptures this morning and during a talk in Sacrament Meeting[xv] and the Sunday School lesson, I had some thoughts and feelings I’d like to share:

  • Mosiah 24:13-16[xvi] “And…the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me [as they covenanted to bear one another’s burdens in Mosiah 18:8-10[xvii], the Lord was another party to the covenant and promised to ease their own burdens] and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. And…the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. And…so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.” My take-home message: As Faye and I serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength here in Peru, I have faith that the Lord will (and has greatly already) ease the grief I have felt from Ashton’s death.
  • Moses 7:39[xviii] “And that which I have chosen [Christ] hath pled before my face…” What comfort it gives me to know that Christ is and will be my (and Ashton’s) Advocate with the Father. There is no one else I would rather have as my (and Ashton’s) “lawyer” in the Divine Courts.
  • John 12:24[xix] “…Except a [grain] of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Elder Holland taught about this when he was here in January: God specializes in “broken” things: the clouds are broken to release rain; the ground is broken to plant a seed; a seed is broken so a plant can grow; wheat is broken to make flour; bread is broken so we can partake of the sacrament. My heart is broken to bring me to my Savior’s Healing Hand. It’s excruciating at times, but I’m so grateful that there is One to whom I can turn for healing. The Sunday School lesson was on the Plan of Salvation. One question the teacher asked was, “What does the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation do for you?” I thought to myself what an anchor the Plan of Salvation is: it brings me inexplicable comfort during grief. It provides an unshakable rock and foundation upon which I can build my life, hopes and dreams during the storms and turbulent times of life. It is an iron rod to which I can hold fast. I can’t imagine my life without Christ’s Atonement, which makes possible the Father’s Plan of Salvation.
  • Isaiah 61:1[xx] “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Again, what comfort to know that Christ binds up my broken heart. I don’t know exactly how Ashton has or will be judged, but I take comfort in knowing that he will be judged by the Only Perfect Judge, who is full of Mercy and Longsuffering and Perfect Love. He is Ashton’s Creator; He knows Ashton’s heart and mind. I trust Him. I am filled with gratitude and tears with these thoughts. Thanks for letting me share them with you.

Written by Carter

[i] https://www.lds.org/topics/family-home-evening?lang=eng&old=true

[ii] http://henries-peruvian-mission.blogspot.pe/2017/

[iii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_Peru

[iv] https://www.lds.org/church/leader/henry-b-eyring?lang=eng

[v] https://www.lds.org/topics/humanitarian-service?lang=eng&old=true

[vi] https://www.lds.org/callings/missionary/missionary-training-centers?lang=eng

[vii] http://limacitykings.com/gamarra-garment-district-la-victoria/

[viii] http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Diagon_Alley

[ix] https://www.lds.org/church/news/new-temple-presidents-called-to-serve-in-nauvoo-memphis-lima-and-more?lang=eng

[x] http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/elder-carlos-a-godoy

[xi] https://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mormon?lang=eng

[xii] https://www.lds.org/topics/covenant?lang=eng

[xiii] https://www.lds.org/topics/prayer?lang=eng

[xiv] https://www.lds.org/topics/fasting-and-fast-offerings?lang=eng

[xv] https://www.lds.org/topics/sacrament?lang=eng

[xvi] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/24?lang=eng

[xvii] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/18?lang=eng

[xviii] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/7?lang=eng

[xix] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/12?lang=eng

[xx] https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/isa/61?lang=eng

What Is a Huaca?!

Another observation about the Southern Hemisphere: I was puzzled why the sun was shining in the north window in our kitchen. Then I realized that shadows fall to the south in the Southern Hemisphere! Cool!

(I wrote this May 14, but didn’t get around to posting until this week). This week, I helped missionaries with rashes, menstrual problems, depression, diarrhea, sprained joints and fainting…among other things. I commented to Faye: “Well, this is why I’m here…to help these missionaries avoid illness and to get better as quickly as possible!” I know this type of work isn’t for most people, but I really enjoy it. It has been very rewarding.

For Family Home Evening,[i] we started memorizing “The Living Christ.”[ii] I believe with all my heart every word in that document. Someone asked me yesterday, “Do you believe everything your church teaches?” I thought for a few seconds and then answered, “Yes, I do.” What a comfort it is to know that this Church is led by a prophet who receives revelation from God![iii] We also had a nice discussion about why Mormons don’t drink beer, coffee and tea; why we don’t smoke. We talked about what a great gift and creation our bodies are and what a privilege it is to care for them as God has commanded us to do. He commented that our practices require a lot of sacrifice. I responded that, I guess it does to some extent, but, on the other hand, how liberating it is to not have to worry about succumbing to alcoholism or to the harmful effects of smoking.

Wednesday afternoon, the other area physician and I met with Elder Godoy[iv] to discuss the medical needs of the missionaries in the Area. We meet monthly; it’s nice to know that we have the support we need to provide the care these missionaries. He said he considers us to be part of the Area Staff! Cool!

The Area office building is on some very beautiful grounds that are very well-kept. There’s a little walking path that winds its way through the grounds. Faye and I had been talking about walking on it for several days. We decided to do that Thursday after lunch. As we were coming back toward the building, we saw Pres. John Boswell[v] just outside the property gate. We then heard someone crying very loudly, so we decided to walk to where he was. He had his phone to his ear and was calling me at that very moment! A lady who looked about 60+ had fallen and broken both the bones just above the wrist in her right arm! She was quite distraught. Pres. Boswell told her that I was a physician and she settled down somewhat. I stabilized the broken bones with my hand and forearm as I talked to her. There was some discussion about how to get her to the hospital. Someone was leaving the Area complex at that time, and they volunteered to take her to the hospital. Today, we asked a woman who was in that vehicle that day what the outcome was: it sounds like they aligned the broken bones and put her into a cast. Was it a coincidence that Faye and I were outside the building exactly when that lady needed us? I don’t think so. It was humbling to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands to bring a little comfort to one of His children.

Wednesday evening, we had dinner with another couple at Don Tito’s, which is probably my favorite Lima restaurant so far. Amazing food!

Thursday afternoon, we had our weekly call with the representative from Aetna who helps the Church manage the financial aspect of healthcare for the missionaries in our Area. She is a good Christian who is very helpful.

Thursday evening, Faye went shopping while I went for a walk to a nearby huaca (kind of like a pyramid, but made from adobe bricks)[vi]. Their ingenuity is amazing!

Friday evening, we got together with some other senior missionaries and played a simplified version of the dice game Bunco. It was fun to visit with some very good people.

Saturday morning, we went to Miraflores, a nice, historic part of Lima. We walked around Kennedy Park[vii] there, then met a very nice Peruvian friend of my brother, Young. While he treated us to lunch at Haiti Restaurant, he asked who the “chief” was over all the missionaries in Peru; we told him it was a man named Carlos Godoy, who is from Brazil. He then took us to a very nice mall called Larcomar,[viii] right on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As we walked around the mall, we just “happened” to bump into Elder Godoy! We introduced him and Elder Godoy to one another. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

 

Juan Yabar 1

 

Juan Yabar and me near Larcomar

 

We had a little treat there, then took a “combi” (small bus) back to Kennedy Park. Then we walked to an Indian Market, where Faye shopped, while our new friend and I visited before he had to get back home.

 

Carter & Faye on a “combi”

 

Not enough room to stand up straight on a “combi”!

 

Then Faye and I walked to Huaca Pucllana,[ix] about 6 blocks away. It’s amazing that a structure several thousand years old is right in the middle of modern-day Lima! We had a nice meal at a nearby restaurant called La Bodega de la Trattoria.

 

Huaca Pucllana with Lima buildings in background

 

We then took a cab ride home with a very nice driver. Since the next day (today) would be Mothers’ Day, I asked him if he was going to do something nice for his wife. He said he was a widower: his wife died 10 years ago from a blood clot to her lungs. We had already talked about Ashton’s death. He had some Mormon neighbors who had given him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he had read some of it. We talked about the potential for marriages to continue beyond the grave, rather than being “till death do us part.” I shared what a comfort it was for me to know that Ashton will be our son throughout the eternities.[x] I asked if he’d like to know more and he said yes; I will arrange for the missionaries to stop by.

That evening, Sister Moore[xi] from the Lima Mission Training Center asked me to check on some sick missionaries. I’m glad to be so close so I can try to help these missionaries get well quickly.

We had some nice talks on various topics in Sacrament Meeting today. Sunday School lesson was on Temples.[xii] The teacher also gave a nice tribute to his mother: she would sometimes eat very little (or nothing at all) so her family could eat as much as they wanted. Priesthood lesson was on Pres. Hinckley’s teachings on Testimonies.[xiii] In the afternoon, Faye and I taught a class (in English) about “The 10 Commandments of Missionary Health.” I thought it went well. There were only two elders in the group: one has relatives from Tucson; Faye went to Eastern Arizona College with someone with the same last name…probably from the same family! The other elder is from New Zealand and knows one of Ashton’s missionary companions when they served together in Fiji! Small world!

This afternoon, we had a nice dinner and visit with President and Sister Boswell and their daughter in their home. It was so great to get caught up with their wonderful family! What great folks they are! They will finish their mission in July and head home to the US.

Written by Carter

 

 

[i] https://www.lds.org/topics/family-home-evening/purpose?lang=eng&old=true

[ii] http://jesuschrist.lds.org/testimonies-of-him/articles/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints?lang=eng&_r=1

[iii] https://www.lds.org/topics/prophets?lang=eng

[iv] https://www.lds.org/church/leader/carlos-a-godoy?lang=eng

[v] http://ashtonslegacy.com/it-was-great-to-be-with-venezolanos-again/

[vi] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huaca

[vii] https://www.google.com.pe/search?q=kennedy+park+lima+map&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa

=X&ved=0ahUKEwjPnMGU2fDTAhWEJiYKHeiHB-oQsAQIPg&biw=1360&bih=638

[viii] https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g294316-d596436-Reviews-Shopping_Center_Larcomar_Centro_Comercial_Larcomar-Lima_Lima_Region.html

[ix] https://www.google.com.pe/search?q=huaca+pucllana&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwikj4Pn2_DTAhUBbiYKHQaTDOAQsAQIYg&biw=1360&bih=638

[x] https://www.lds.org/topics/families?lang=eng

[xi] https://www.lds.org/church/news/church-announces-eight-new-mtc-presidents-for-january-2016?lang=eng

[xii] https://www.lds.org/topics/temples?lang=eng

[xiii] https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-of-presidents-of-the-church-gordon-b-hinckley/chapter-9-the-precious-gift-of-testimony?lang=eng

One Month In Lima

We have been here for a month now. I am getting used to some things, like the message I get in Spanish when I check my voice mail. I know what that says and I know what buttons to push to listen to or delete a message. I’m really good at that now. When I first got my phone plan from Claro, I started getting messages from them and it was all in Spanish! At first I laughed!! How can I ever figure out what their messages say! Again, Google Translate is a big help and so is Carter.

My  youngest son, Jacob, said that a mission is full of awkward moments. Well, I had an awkward moment last night. We attended a baptism that started out with everyone in the chapel. A  few minutes before it started, the guy in charge asked me to lead the music. I can lead music in Spanish just like my mother does on her missioin in San Diego! I’m good at that! My 2 years spent  in the Spanish branch in Willcox prepared me for this very thing. He told me the page number, slowly, in Spanish. I wanted to hug him! I heard it clearly the first time. It was “Help Me Teach With Inspiration.” I’ve never sung that one at a baptism before, but I’m in Peru and maybe that’s what they sing here. He gave me a hymnbook and I was sitting up on the stand. Right before we were supposed to sing,  I realized that there was no one to play the piano, so when it was time to sing, I went over to the piano to play the opening note. I pushed on the F key and no sound. It was an electronic piano not turned on. Ok…. that didn’t work.  I went back up to start the song and, thank goodness, the missionary sitting on the front row whispered loudly, “We just count, Uno, Dos, Tres and start singing.” Ok… I can do that. In a split second, I realized no one had hymnbooks. But what could I do about it now. Who is going to know, “Help Me Teach With Inspiration” from memory? (There aren’t any hymnbooks in the chapel. They post the words to the hymns in the program for Sacrament meeting and some people use their phones to sing from.) Meanwhile, everyone is waiting to start the song…waiting on me! I said, “Uno, Dos, Tres” very confidently, I can count to three in Spanish really well, and I started singing. At first I was singing a solo with everyone watching. I saw some get out their phones to find the hymn. Eventually there were some singing. but most were humming or just watching me. Carter said he was humming. Thank goodness it was a short hymn. That was the awkward moment!

Then…. during the program in the chapel, there was a little boy sitting on the stand by his father. He was sitting 2 seats down from me with the seat between us empty. He was really cute and a couldn’t help looking at him.  He kept looking at me too. You know those woven Peruvian hats with the tassels hanging down on either side? He was wearing one of those, only it was a Captain America hat with ears on it. So cute! He was about 3 or  4 years old. I would smile at him and he would hide his face. Then he would look at me again, I would smile, and he would hide. After a while he held his fist up with a mean look on his face. I smiled and gave him the thumbs up sign. Then he growled at me. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up. He growled again and I gave him a scared look. He loved that and smiled real big! All this was happening up on the stand. I decided that we weren’t being very reverent so I tried not to look at him for the rest of the program. He tried to do things to get my attention but eventually he gave up. It was hard not to look at him.

I’ve been looking for the beautiful things around me here, taking pictures of what I find. My phone is full of pictures of flowers I see on my walk to work, and hanging from the tops of the apartments of the little sidewalk down Aruba, the road we live on. I want to post all of them. On the street above us there are Jasmine vines growing above the sidewalks. They smell heavenly! I pick a flower or two every time I walk by. The veggies that have just been washed, drying in the dish drainer are so colorful. Of course, the color is not as vibrant on these pictures as in real life, but here are some of my favorites:

 

 

We walk under these flowers every day on our way to work.

 

A beautiful flower on the temple grounds

 

Freshly washed veggies in our dish drainer

 

 

Jasmine blossoms on my kitchen counter.

 

I have to say though….. the most beautiful “things” around me are the people! Here are a few of them.

 

 

The Ojeda family, dropping their daughter off at the mission training center. Every 3rd Wednesday is when we get new missionaries at the MTC.

 

This is the piano player for our sacrament meeting, on the left, entering the MTC.  We miss him, but the MTC now has an amazing accompanist.

 

Carter got to baptize Rosie. Elder Hidalgo, next to Carter, is from Mesa, Arizona. Carter will be writing about Rosie.

Written by Faye