Monday, October 17, 2011

Missionaries walk a lot of miles. In the heat of the day or the cool of the night their purpose is to share with all who will listen the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is only by coming unto Christ that people can find true peace and joy in their lives. Elder Heath and Elder Quijano walking to an appointment in Tarapoto Peru.

Sister Winkel, Sister Speroni and Sister Reyes finishing their missions.

When a missionary is finishing their mission we take the departing group to the Lima Temple one last time. They have a final interview with the president and a departing dinner and testimony meeting. All say serving a mission was the best decision they have made so far in their lives.

This has been the largest group to leave the mission at one time.

The most recently organized unit of the church in the mission is in a town an hour and half outside of Iquitos, Peru. It has been one year since missionaries were first sent there. Over 100 people attend church each Sunday in this newly organized branch of the church. Here are the group of Elders who serve there.

Larry or Presidente Blunck always has two missionaries that travel with him to help with the training of the other missionaries. The two missionaries on the left are his two assistants and the one of the right is returning to the field to train a new missionary. They work hard to lighten the president's load so he can spend more time with the missionaries.

Since Nauta is the newest branch to be organized in the mission they don't have a building to meet in yet so they meet in this open air school. They will meet here for about 6 months until a building is remodeled to accomodate the members.

This is a group of youth that attended a fireside held in Nauta. The president spoke about patriarcal blessings. These youth have all been members a year or less but you would never know it by the strong testimonies they share.

Primary (or junior sunday school) is just getting started in Nauta and these young boys just learned about the importance of prayer. They proudly display their colored handout.

All the primary songs are new for these children and primary leaders. It was a delight to hear them all sing. There is no piano to play the music so the CDs of the primary songs are used to help them learn the songs.

This is the first Primary organized in Nauta. Since all the members are new and don't have any idea what Primary is, the missionary Elder Orellana is in charge of Primary. As the adults learn their responsibilities they will take over directing Primary. Missionaries serve whereever there is a need.

Here Elder Orellana welcomes everyone to primary and directs the singing time.

Our newest group of missionaries to enter the mission.

Missionaries find themselves by losing themselves in the work of the Lord. "Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family."

Elder Heath and Elder Quijana share a joyful moment with a family they were able to baptize. "The message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families. Because of the restoration we understand God's purpose for families."

We have missionaries serving in a jungle city called Moyobama Peru. Moyobamba is the capital of the San Martin Region. It was the first city founded by the Spanish in the Peruvian Amazon Region. It is known as the orchid captial with over 3500 different varieties of orchids that grow there. Here are a few pictures of some of the plants found in this region. The climate is tropical so many of these plants are found in peoples yards.

This orchid is called a slipper orchid. Notice the shape.

Moyobamba is located in the mountains so the temperatures are milder than most jungle cities. Thus this climate is ideal to grow orchids. All the missionaries that serve here say it is the best place in the jungle to serve. The people are very friendly and climate is ideal. To get to this location the missionaries fly from Lima to Tarapoto and take a two hour taxi drive up into the mountains.

These next photos are for the benefit of our grandsons. We can never pass up taking a few pictures of the local wildlife to to capture their attention.

This boa snake is on the small size. We have seen skins that are over twenty feet long. There are two types of large snakes in Peru, boas and anacondas.

Luckily the missionaries are not allowed to go into the wilds of the jungle.

The big question is; are these crocodiles or are these alligators. You decide? Crocodiles have more pointed snouts. Alligators come with a flatter head and a rounded snout. The sign said alligators so we will take their word for it. These animals live in warm moist areas of the world like the amazon jungle and the everglades in the US.

This pair of macaw parrots were a beautiful sight.

Notice the star fruit this parrot is holding in it's claw. Star fruit grows in trees and is very acidic fruit. Parrots use their strong beaks and claws to help them climb and eat a variety of tropical fruits and nuts.