Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This is a group of new members of the Church in Soritor Peru. 
Soritor is located 30 minutes from Moyobamba in a
mountainous region of the Amazon jungle.
Our lastest group of missionaries to complete their missions.
They return home "hombres de Dios" or men of God. 
What a privilege for us to come to know them and
serve with them.
Starting form the bottom left:  Elders; Angerbaugh, Guthrie, Jaita
Maldonaldo, Kepner, Palero, Divis, McCleve, Purvis, McKeachnie,
Bylund, Essig, Jenson and Hunt
The very next morning we picked up a new group of missionaries. A mission helps these young men become men of God.
During their mission through daily scripture
study and spiritual experiences they
come to know God for themselves.  They learn to
forget about themselves and learn to serve and love
other people.  Everyday they get up and go to work perfoming
the Lord's work.
  It truly is a defining time in their young lives.   
In Peru there are many very talented artesans.
Occasionally on a free day we have the opportunity to
observe them working. 
This man is hand weaving a piece of furniture. 
The bench  on the left took him three days to weave. 
There are no made in China tags on these items. 
I was in heaven when we walked through this flower
market. This sweet lady was thrilled that I
bought flowers from her display.  After I chose which flowers
I wanted to buy she took her three foot long
machette and chopped off the long stems.
This man is hand chiseling a design in marble
for a headstone.  This has been his profession
for the last 30 years of his life.  His work was beautiful
and his hand grip strong.
An example of some of his work.  Notice
 the hand chiseled sign for our church.
A view of the jungle on the way to Moyobamba.
No dodge ram pick ups in
Iquitos, only revamped motos stacked high
with their cargo.
In the jungle cities if you load a large truck
with a heavy load you have to haul the workers
to your destination so they can unload it.  Everything
in Peru is done by hand. 
The sweet lady in the middle is the oldest
person Pres. Blunck has interviewed for
baptism.  She is 95 years old.  
Elder Reber is over 6 foot and Elder Nurminda
is just under 5 foot tall.  No matter the difference
in height and cultures the gospel of Jesus Christ
makes all people equal in the sight of God.
Elder McMillan and Elder Leiva
Elder Cifuentes and Elder Woolstenhulme
Pizza makes any elder smile.
These sisters love serving the Lord.
Hermana Bowles, Hermana Sanhueza,
Hermana Rodriguez and Hermana Farias

Monday, July 2, 2012

Here are some photographs of school kits that were assembled in Lima, Peru and distributed to many different communities in the Amazon Jungle region of Peru.  Our senior couple, Elder Scott and Sister Carol Nelson coordinated the humanitarian project.  In total, about 2,000 school kits were distributed to needy children.  In Peru the parents or family members must purchase the necessary materials for their children to be able to attend school.  In many of the poorer communities the children drop out of school at an early age because the parents do not have the money to buy the necessary school supplies.  The money that the members of the Church donate to the humanitarian fund is used for projects like the one coordinated by the Nelsons.  Many of the children who received the school kits would not have been able to attend school had it not been for the help provided by the Church.

Don't you just love the bright primary colors! 

The children who received the school kits especially like the carrying bags.  The bags become “all purpose bags.”  As you will note, the name of the Church is prominently displayed on the outside of each bag.  When we travel to the city of Nauta where a branch of the Church was established 10 months ago we see children walking around town with their bags.  Thousands of people in many communities in the Amazon Jungle region of Peru now have a better appreciation for the Church and of the great humanitarian service that the Church provides.  We do not have enough missionaries to send to all of the communities where the school kits were distributed, but someday when we do receive sufficient missionaries I am certain that the Church will be well received. Thank you for your generous contributions, these funds are really used to help those in need.

In Peru getting married has become a very complicated and costly affair so many people just live together without getting married.  God's commandments are very clear that a husband and wife need to be married.  Living together becomes an obstacle for those who want to be baptised into the Lord's church.  Once people understand why God wants a husband and wife to be married they are anxious to observe this commandment.  Our missionaries are becoming very good wedding planners as well as teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before their mission they had no idea they would become the world's best wedding planners.  The missionaries joke about it, but they know how to get couples married here in Peru.

Elder Ferreyra and Elder Gneiting just helped two couples get married then baptized.  There is no sweeter joy then the joy these two missionaries just experienced. These families lives have been changed forever.
First the wedding......

.........then the baptism.......
A father, mother and two sons were baptized.
"And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me."

The windows of heaven have been opened here in Peru for our missionaries to be able to get couples married.  When road blocks stand in our way we always have to look upward to find solutions. 
We teach the missionaries to seek inspiration for every problem they encounter.  The spirit inspires, teaches and guides them.  
The inspiration of the spirit is our greatest gift from above.