Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Traffic in Lima can be quite a jam at times. Needless to say it is a test of Larry's patience to drive here. His agressive nature comes out on the road in Lima.

Here are some sister missionaries loading up their luggage after receiving their new assignments. Each American missionary is paired with a Latino so they can learn the language more quickly. It is amazing how fast the American missionaries become fluent.

Larry always has two missionaries that are his assistants. They help him with everything and anything. One is always a Latino and the other if from the United States. This young man is from Columbia, he has been a huge help to Larry, he loves dunkin donuts.

The latest group of missionaries to enter our mission.

Time for a lunch break.

These two young men just completed their missions and returned to Guatemala.

This group of missionaries just completed their missions. The young women serve for 18 months and the young men serve for two years.

We tried to take a bit of Christmas to our 180 missionaries who are far away from home. We flew to three jungle cities for celebrations and had three different celebrations in Lima too. The missionaries had prepared skits, we sang Christmas songs, played games and enjoyed a meal together.

Merry Christmas!

We have twenty one young women serving as missionaries in our mission. These four are in Iquitos Peru enjoying our Christmas celebration.

Recently we introduced an English speaking program to our Latino missionaries. They are encouraged to learn English while on their missions. It will greatly aid them after their missions in obtaining better employment. Here is a group of them singing a song in English. We are so proud of them for trying to better their skills.

We visited this family one hot afternoon and they wanted to offer us a drink to cool off. We were all treated to fresh coconut milk. Their son climbed the ladder and batted the coconuts out of the tree so we could all have a drink.

Once he batted the coconuts down from the tree he took a machette and hacked off the outer husk to get to the inside nut. A hole was punched in the nut and it was ready to drink.

Nothing like fresh coconut milk to cool off.

We flew to Pucallpa Peru for some training and also spent a preparation day with this group of missionaries. They were excited to have us participate in a water balloon activity as it was a hot day in the this jungle city. They also had another surprise for us as well.

Yes, Larry is about ready to pop this three inch grub into his mouth and give it a try. What can I say, this is what the young men do when they serve in the jungle. I think it has something to do with proving that you are a man. Larry couldn't disappoint them so he gave it a try. You will have to ask him how it turned out.

Grubs anyone? These grubs feed off the bark of dying palm trees. It seems everything in the jungle is always growing, thus these three inch grubs.

Zone conference with a group of missionaries. A zone is a group of missionaries that serve in a specific area. In our mission we have 16 zones. We hold meetings every three months with all the zones. At these meetings they are given language instruction, health instruction, doctrine instruction and instruction on becoming better teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here I am with a group of our sister missionaries. The high light for me is to go out with them when they are teaching people in the evenings. Many people here are very open minded and willing to listen to our message about Jesus Christ.

Here the sisters are with a family they have baptized. The mother had spent five hours preparing the sisters special food for that evening. I asked the young man in the front of this picture if his life has changed since he joined the church. Tears came into his eyes and he said it had completely changed. He use to go out each weekend and drink with his buddies. Now he knows he has a purpose here on this earth and that God loves him.

Another family that the sisters had baptized. The mom, Clara, is in the middle she has read the Book of Mormon three times and loves to sing hymns. When we knocked at her door she was reading from the hymn book.

Here we are after a zone conference in Iquitos Peru.

Almost everyone has a clothes line in Peru. Only the wealthy have dryers. I decided it would be fun to take pictures of the different clothes lines I see.

Zone conference in November.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

These ten missionaries just entered our mission on Tuesday.
Lynette and her companion as they prepare to board the bus to the airport. Lynette had a one hour flight to Cusco from Lima. Cusco has an elevation of 10500 feet. Lynette will return home with lungs of steel.

The last group of missionaries to depart our mission after two years of service.
Fresh bananas anyone? This pictures was taken on our way to Moyobamba, one of the jungle cities we visit.Up in the mountains outside of Lima we saw much poverty. We are a very blessed people to be able to live in the US.
In the Cusco region everything is made out of adobe bricks that are handmade and drived in the sun. In a months time they can make about 900 bricks.
Here is a batch of bricks drying in the sun.
These are all of the new mission presidents and their wives from Peru, Columbia, Equador, Boliva and Venezuela. We all started our missions on July 1, 2010

Here we are overlooking Machu Picchu with Lynette's mission president and his wife. They are very warm and loving. We are glad Lynette will serve in their mission.

Machu Picchu!

The Inca stone work is incredible. You can't even slip a knife blade in between the stones.

One day of the mission president's seminar we traveled to Machu Picchu. Don't you love the hat?

In the sacred valley of the Incas you see many Inca ruins.

One evening at the seminar we had a group of youth come and perform many of the native dances of Peru. After the last dance all of the girls grabbed mission presidents and had them dance. It was the highlight of the evening. Here we are trying on some of the hats they wore.

Once a year mission presidents attend a training seminar to receive instructions from leaders. This year the meeting was held in the sacred valley of the Incas about an hour outside of Cusco. This is a beautiful valley that goes for miles. There are acres of crops planted in this valley by the native people that still live here. All of the crops are planted, tilled and watered by hand. It is like you go back 100 years in time. We traveled to this part of Peru in the middle of October.

Meeting Lynette at the CCM for lunch.
We met Lynette at the airport when she returned to Peru. Our missionary tags have helped us get to see her on occasion. She calls herself Hermana Blunck II.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The beautiful flowers at the Lima Peru Temple. We take all the missionaries that are leaving the mission here so they can go through a temple session one last time. Many of the Latinos leaving the mission have to travel hours to their nearest temple. It is a highlight for Larry and I to attend the temple with them.
The Lima Peru temple where families can be sealed together forever.

This group of missionaries will be departing the mission this coming Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010. In a short amount of time we have grown to love these young people. They have valiantly served the Lord for two years.

These two little boys are learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ with their mom and dad.

Macaw parrots are covered with brilliantly colored feathers.

Posts from Peru

Macaw birds are native to the rain forests of South America. We saw this beautiful bird at a zoo outside of Iquitos. They eat nuts, fruit and insects. They are the largest parrot species.

Larry was excited to get a kiss from this python.

On the other hand Karen was anxious to get rid of this python around her neck.

These pythons mainly live submerged in the swamps in the jungle.

We visited a manatee preserve and Larry was able to feel this baby manatee. Often times babies are brought to this preserve because their mothers have been killed. They are hand fed and raised on soy milk for two years in holding tanks before they can turned out into ponds. Manatee live in the Amazon river and feed upon the plant foliage in the river to help keep the plant growth under control. It is illegal to hunt them but many females are killed leaving their babies behind. They must drink milk until they are two years old and are able to digest plants.

These buses are made out of wood on old truck bodies. The interiors are completely out of wood and tin covers the outside of them. They have no windows and a wooden bumper.

We had a little time to play soccer on a preparation day in Iquitos. It was only 95 degrees outside with 100 % humidity. Everyone lasted about 45 minutes before they were completely exhausted from the heat. What can I say they had a great time.

These little boys were excited to learn about Jesus and to have their very own pass along card. They were also fascinated by my camera, they had never seen one before. They loved seeing themselves after I took a picture of them.

Larry with his two assistants and we get ready to board our flight home. These are great young men who help Larry teach and train the missionaries. They are tremendous help to us.
These little children were fascinated by my blue eyes. I don't think they had seen a woman with white skin and blue eyes before. Each one of them told me their names and how old they are.