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
[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.