Monday, May 28, 2012

 This is the new branch presidency from Nauta that was set apart
recently.  This new branch is just over a year and a half old.  We are
excited to have the new members now serving in leadership 

Our senior couple the Nelsons served in Nauta for 14 months
helping to establish the church and fortifying the new members.  They served in various positions while teaching the new members how to
serve in their new callings and be members of the church
 Senior couples bring years of church experience with them.

President Chucos, 1st counselor David Pinche, 2nd counselor Ranulfo Cometivos, Secretary Abel Cometivos.  Abel is 18 years old, he is the son of Ranulfo.  When he turns 19 he plans on serving a mission.  

This last week we visited Iquitos Peru for zone conferences. 
 Presently there are four zones in Iquitos.
These elders are from two of the Iquitos zones.  
Elder McKeachnie, Elder Emett, Elder Castaneda and Elder Blanco.

Today the missionaries in Iquitos found our that on June 11th
 President Uchtdorf and Elder Cook will be visiting Iquitos Peru.
They will have the opportunity to hear them speak the night of June 11th. 
We are so excited for them, as many of them are new converts
to the church and have never had the opportunity to personally meet a general authority of our church.  
When new missionaries enter the mission they are given material to study for  12 weeks to help them become better prepared to teach people the gospel of Jesus Christ.  When they complete this program they are awarded a certificate of completion.  We also invite their trainers to stand with them. Trainers are perhaps the most influencial companions they
will every have.    

  In our mission we invite the missionaries to do
hard things.  The three hard things they
identify are contacting people, practicing the lessons,
and doing push ups.  We are here to make boys into men so
that means we do the hard things like push ups. 
 During this conference our topics were the Atonement of Jesus Christ and
effective planning.  Each companionship was given a
large map of their areas and trained on how to use the map in planning
their visits more effectively. Hermana Zagal is from Chile
and Hermana Rodriguez is from Guatemala. One evening
I went out and worked with these great sisters.   
 Elder Nielsen and Elder Chavez

I hope you moms can find a picture of your son  or daughter if they are serving in Iquitos.
 Zona Secada
Can you identify your sons shoes?
These shoes walk a lot of miles!
 Zona Nueve de Octubre
I love this zone unity!
 Missionaries come in all shapes and sizes and so do their feet.
Zona Iquitos

 Mission work helps these young people become men and women of God
John Ruskin says it well:  "The highest possible reward for any man's toil is not what he gets from it, but what he becomes by it."
 Zona Punchana
 We teach the missionaries they have to do something to have success on their missions.  There is no happiness without action.   The Lord will help us but we have to exercise our faith and act.   
 These shoes have walked a lot of miles.  They have walked on pavement, on dirt and in mud all to find the sincere in heart and those seeking a new life in Jesus Christ. 
The shoes of a missionary always tell us a story.
 A many a miles has been walked in these shoes and
a many of families has been baptized by this missionary.
 Our missionaries come in all shapes and sizes, just look at
their shoes sizes.
President Blunck with his two assistants. 
Elder Sorenson and Elder Mar.

Monday, May 21, 2012

 Elder and Hermana Nelson with Elder Amos Mendosa.
Amos is the first young man to serve a mission from
 the jungle city of Nauta Peru.  He was set apart today as a full
time missionary to serve in the Boliva La Paz Mision.   He has been
a member for little over a year.  The Nelsons served in Nauta for 
14 months helping to establish a branch of the church there. 
Amos attended Hermana Nelson's seminary class each day to
learn the gospel. 

From this young man we learned a great lesson. On this day when he was set apart, he could not thank us and the Nelson's enough for all he has been given in his life.  Really we have just guided him and
   the Lord and the gospel of Jesus Christ have given him a new life. 
This young young man comes from the humblest of circumstances,
 his home has dirt floors and very few furnishings but his heart was full of 
gratitude and thanksgiving. 

From the one who has the least of this world's pocessions came
the most words of gratitude. 
What a powerful lesson he taught all of us this day.

Elder Mendoza will enter the CCM this Wednesday.

In our apartment you can see
that we have flags from all the countries our
missionaries are from. 

This month we are doing zone conferences.
I hope some of you moms can find a picture of your missionary.
Zona Tahuantinsuyo 
Zona Carabayllo 
 Zona Independencia
 Zona Pucallpa
Hemrnas:  Grow, Arias, Vasquez y Melo
and Elder Smith in the background 
Zona Tarapoto
 Zona Yurimaguas
 Zona Moyobamba

 I had to laugh when these elders  (Whiteside, Haderlie, Hughes
 and Van Valkenburg started looking
in my cupboards to see if there was any food.  Boys
will be boys!!!!!   They were in luck I had brownies and ice cream
on hand and they were pretty happy.

Life in Peru is always quite interesting.
Pulled pork sandwiches anyone.  I'll have
to keep this idea in mind next time I entertain. 
Fresh pork pulled right from the pig.
I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. 

Lima has some wonderful spanish architecture.
These cathedrals are located near the central plaza.

 There is also a modern side to Lima.
The Westin hotel is probably the newest addition.
From where we live it takes us about an hour
 to travel to the mission office.  The president also
has a working office in our apartment. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another region in Lynette's mission was the city of Puno located in
southern Peru.  This was our first stop on our five day trip returning to her mission.  Puno is perhaps best known for Los Uros, or the floating islands of Lake Titicaca.  Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and also the highest lake at 12500 ft.  We took altitude pills so we wouldn't get sick.  This lake borders Peru and Bolivia.  About 3000 people live on man make islands on Lake Titicaca.  In the Lima North Mission one of our missionaries is from Los Uros.  Here is a picture of Elder Charca's father and older brother Omar.  Omar was the first missionary to serve a mission from Los Uros.  There is a small branch of the church located on one of the islands and full time missionaries travel to the islands each day to work.  

Elder Charca's dad and brother, Omar picked us up in their small boat and it took us about 20 minutes to travel to the islands.  There are about 70 man made islands and about 350 families live on these islands.  Everything on
these islands is made out of the totora reeds that is harvested from the shallows of the lake bed.  These islands were originally built to prevent attacks by the aggressive Incas.  Today people continue to live here because of family tradition and ecomomic reasons.   
This is the island Elder Charca's family lives on.  Usually 5-7 families live
on an island.  They made this island 12 years ago.  Each island
had a watch tower.  Before cell phones this is how they would
communicate with one another. 
Each island has small buildings made out of reeds.  Each year these buildings are replaced as the elements deteriorates the reeds.
Here Elder Charca's dad tells us how the islands are created
Several root balls of the reeds are tied together.  Eventually the roots grow together forming a  mass that reeds can be stacked upon.  They stack about 3 meters of reeds on top of this floating root mass.  This mass floats in about 30 meters of water.
This is Elder Charca's family.  He also has two sisters who
were attending school while we visited.  Their means of livelihood
is fishing and tourism.  The men fish and create products out of
reeds and the woman create stitchery products. 
This is the kitchen on the island. The base
is a big stone slab.   They have to be very careful that
they don't catch the reeds on fire as they cook. 
Solar panels were installed about five years ago so they now
have one light bulb inside their buildings.  Before this time they used
a type of lantern. 
Elder Charca's mom displaying her stitchery. 
Each piece of stitchery tells a story.
A view fromt the watch tower of the other islands.
Elder Charcs'a aunt and uncle.  Elder Charca has a smile
just like his uncle.
We were able to travel to the island that has a branch of the church.  All the
buildings are made of reed.,
This is the main building they use for sacrament.
There is a separate building for relief society, primary and
young men and young women's.  Someday they hope for a
more permanent building.  About seventy people are
members of this branch.  A branch of the church is formed
when an area is being opened to the church.  Once enough members
attend a ward is formed. 
Here you typical houses and a little garden area.  They are able to grow a few potatoes but all other items are purchases in Puno.  Their diet consists  mainly of fish and vegetables. 
This family lives on the same island as the branch of the church. 
He has served as a member of the branck presidency. 
We were so grateful to the Charca family for the time
they took to give us a tour of their island.  It
truly was a once in a life time experience
to experence their way
of life.