Monday, November 7, 2011

And I thought eastern Oregon was a desert. At least sage brush grows there and wild flowers bloom. Truly this photo is a desert landscape. This coastal desert region is one of the driest places on this earth. Snakes do not even live here. This was the sight of our mission president's seminar this year, Paraches Peru. Every 6 months we receive training from the area presidency that precides over 5 countries. (Peru, Columbia, Equador, Bolivia, and Venezuela). They receive their training from our church leaders in Salt Lake City. Luckily they found a hotel on the bay of Parachas for us to hold the seminar. We enjoyed palm trees and a beautiful bay. With a little water you can grow anything here.

The wind always blows here. Most days it blows at 40 mph. You can tell by my hair the wind is blowing. The other interesting thing is; there is cell service here, amazing!!!!

I had to laugh at this group of mission presidents taking pictures, they look just like a group of elders, just a bit older. Each day of the seminar we were instructed by Elder Pino, Elder Uceda and Elder Waddel. Each is a member of the first quorum of the seventy of the leadership of our church. Each has served as a mission president. Each day started at 8:30 am and finished at 7:00 pm with dinner and some entertainment.
These are all the wives that attended the seminar. We love to chat and share ideas when we get together.

One day was set aside for sight seeing around the area. This desert scape is called the candlelabra or some call it the tree of life. It has been here for centuries.

One evening we were treated to traditional dancing from Peru. Each province has a different type of dance. These youth are from a local church. The costumes from each region are always bright and beautiful. In the back row you will notice Elder Pino, Elder Waddel and Elder Uceda.

This dance originates from the Trujillo region of Peru.
These five mission presidents serve in differents parts of Lima. It is amazing that one city can have 5 different missions in it.

Here we are with Lynette's mission president. Presidente Calderon and his wife. We are so thankful he is Lynette's mission president. He and his wife are fabulous people and we know they keep an eye on Lynette. With a daughter serving a mission we understand a little better how parents feel about mission presidents and their wives.

Here are all the mission presidents serving from Peru. There are ten of us. In all there were twenty five mission presidents at the conference. They serve along side and with 3914 elders and sisters. What a sacred responsibility it is to teach, train, serve and love these young people.

Here is one parting photo of all who attended the conference.
We have met many wonderful people serving a mission. We learn from each other, share ideas and love and appreciate each other. Each one of them blesses our lives and makes our lives fuller. What a privilege it is to serve a mission for the Lord. Now it is back to our missionaries and helping them become the kind of person God wants them to become on their mission. We love these young people!

The first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, solemly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan.

One of the struggles missionaries face while serving in Peru is many couples are not married. Getting married here is a very expensive and complicated process. One way to reduce the cost of a marriage is for people to participate in community marriages.

This is a group of six couples that were recently married in Pucallpa Peru.

These elders were excited to attend this marriage ceremony because many of these couples will be baptized. God's plan of happiness is all about families. Every child needs the opportunity to be raised by both a mother and a father.After the marriages a special dinner was provided for all those who were married. Each couple was presented with a picture of the Lima Peru Temple. It is in the temple that families are sealed together for time and all eternity. These missionaries shared a special song with all who attended.
This couple has four children ages 19, 15, 10 and 1, they have never been married. This community wedding allowed them the opportunity to get married. These missionaries are serving in Pucallpa, Peru, Elder Hughes and Elder Uribe. After he completes his mission Elder Hughes would like to play football for Oregon State University. Elder Uribe is new to the mission from Columbia.

Hermana Lubomirsky is from Argentina and Hermana Miranda is from Columbia.

Hermana Grow is new to the mission, she is from the US. She is working hard to learn Spanish. Hermana Arias is her trainer. Each new missionary is put with an experienced missionary. The light of Christ radiates from Hermana Arias

This little guy attended the dinner with his mom and dad.

When we arrived at the airport the next morning for an 8:30 am flight. At the counter we were told our flight would not be departing until 3:00pm. The president loosened his tie took it off and told the assistents the weather was just right for a preparation day. So off we went to a village outside of Pucallpa called San Fransisco. The people there are known for their pottery and bead work. All these necklaces are made from seeds they have gathered. Some are hand painted and others are the natural color.

The tradition of making jewelry from seeds is pasted down from generation to generation.

The tool of choice in the jungle is the machette. Using a machette this man hand carved a canoe oar in one hour. He was so proud of his work when we asked if we could buy one.

Here he is making sure there are no slivers.

Look how big these pots are! Each has been hand made and is drying in the sun. The technique and skill these native people have developed is amazing. Also notice the palms that are used as roofing material. Amazingly they shed water up to five years before having to be replaced. This hand made oven is what the pottery is fired in.

Freshly made pots drying in the sun before they are all hand painted. The clay for the pots is gathered from a nearby river bank. All the paint is from plant material and the final glaze is melted sap from a tree that when fired hardens.

These pottery making skills have been pasted down from generation to generation.
It was a great preparation day!