Sunday, July 10, 2011

It is official, we have been in the mission one year now. When we arrvied we had no idea what we were getting into. The learning curve has been huge. Time has literally flown by. We can honestly say with 200 missionaires to take care of there has never been a dull moment. Our mission has a lot of diversity. We have 100 missionaries in Lima and a little over one hundred missionaries serving in in the jungle cities of Peru. Sometimes we feel like we live in two worlds. We are grateful for the opportunity we have to travel out of Lima as Lima is a huge city. Driving in Lima is quite the experience. Larry drives and Karen closes her eyes on many occasions. The goal when you drive here is to look for the street least traveled to avoid traffic. Karen descibes some intersections as being in a big knot. Cars are everywhere and nobody is getting anywhere. Going to the jungle is refreshing as it gives us a little tropical landscape. Over this past year Karen has flown to jungle cities 35 times and Larry has flown at least fifty times. Most people only dream of flying to the Amazon jungle regions once in their life time but we have flown there many times over this past year. Jungle cities are a real adventure and we never tire of riding in moto taxis. Each trip is a national geographic moment. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in these cities that is why the Lord has sent missionaires there.

This past year we have seen many miracles unfold in the lives of new church members and in the missionary lives as well. The gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to change peoples lives for the better. Our goal is to help each missionary become a man or women of God. We want them to return home with a desire to serve God, their fellow man and to raise a righteous family.

With every new experience in life there are always challenges. It is during these challenging times that we grow and learn the most. The defining moment is deciding if you will just give up or not. One principle we have taught the missionaries this past year is to look for solutions to the problems they face. If you have hope there are always solutions. When we lose hope that is when we give up.

Working with the missionaries is a fabulous experience and we never tire of being with them. They are great young people and it is a privilege for us to serve with them. We are humbled that we have been given this opportunity.

We want to thank our family and friends for your love and support. None of this would be possible without your help. We love you and miss all of you.

Presidente and Hermana Blunck

Saturday, July 9, 2011

For all you chocolate lovers out there this is what the cocoa fruit looks like on the inside. The white pulp contains the cocoa beans which are extracted and processed to make chocolate.

Here is the cocoa fruit. It is harvested when it turns yellow.

This group of missionaries leaves our mission on Tuesday. Each of them are excellent missionaries. It is hard to say good bye to these young people as we have grown to love and appreciate each one of them. Now it is time for them to return home taking with them all that they have learned and build a life for themselves.

These elders are pretty happy to get subway sandwiches for lunch. Recently two new subway shops were opened here in Lima, it is a real treat.

We caught this boy playing in a downpour in the jungle. When it rains, in a matter of seconds you are soaked. The good news is it is always a warm rain.

Nauta Peru is jungle city where a new branch of the church has recently been established. Last October missionaries first visited this town and started missionary work there. At that time there was fifteen people in attendance. Last Sunday a new branch of the church was officially established in Nauta. One hundred sixteen people attended church last Sunday. It is amazing to see the faith of these new members. Many have made great changes in their lives to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Truly the gospel of Jesus Christ changes people.

This is the group of elders and the senior couple that has helped establish the church in Nauta.

It has been a year since we have tasted a donut so Larry and I broke down and took 24 donuts with us to Nauta when we visited. What a treat! The coconut ones were the best. As you can see these elders had not problem eating the donuts. In Peru not many people have ovens so baked goods are a real treat.

This sweet family that lives in Nauta was baptized. The father serves in the Branch presidency. Before he joined the church he earned a living selling beer to the town folks. Once he joined the church he closed his business and sought other employment. For several months he was unemployed. He was offered another job that would take him out of town on Sundays and he declined not wanting to miss church. Still unemployed he and his wife decided to open their own little business. Each morning he arises early and goes to the local fruit market to buy fresh oranges so they can sell orange juice at their stand near the hospital. This is how they earn enough money to buy food for their family. The people in Nauta have so little yet are so happy. The gospel of Jesus Christ offers them hope in this life.

The leaders of the new branch in Nauta. Two of the leaders are missionaries and two are local men who live in Nauta. Since the church is new here the senior couple is helping to teach and train the local leaders. This senior couple brings years of church experience with them. We are so grateful for their service.

The young people love to gather around Larry when we attend church services.

Here is a group of young women that attend church in Nauta. Hermana Nelson teaches them seminary each morning. Their testimonies and faith are strong. Hermana Nelson is also teaching English classes for the community and all these young women attend.

These next three pictures are of our sister missionaries in the mission. We currently have twenty sisters serving. Six serve in Lima and the remaining sisters are in jungle cities. Sister missionaries have a wonderful ablitly to teach families about the gospel of Jesus Christ. They also aid in reactivation work. They serve for eighteen months and can serve when they are 21 years old. During the course of their mission they learn many valuable people and communication skills. Most importantly they learn to love the Lord, His children and to give their service unselfishly. The American sisters also become fluent in Spanish.

Notice the red juice we are all drinking. We only are served this juice in the jungle cities of Peru. It is called camu-camu juice, it is delicious and has four times the vitamin C than orange juice.

Our son Stephen and his wife Shara arrived in Peru the first part of June to spend 8 weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Cajamarca Peru. The children's emotional needs were great and it was hard for them to leave. Stephen and Shara are now in Cusco for a ten day trip. While in Cusco they have been given permmission to take Lynette out to lunch on her preparation day. She is thrilled to be able to see family. When they return they will see Mom an Dad in action in the mission as they will have a couple of weeks to travel throughout the mission with us.