Friday, June 28, 2013

Final Goodyes, Moyobamba, Tarapoto and Lima

Mid June we had our final group finish the mission.
Hermana Sandavalin, Elders Carranza, Lucas, Vasquez, Lopez, Chavez, VandeMerwe, Dickson, Baker, Hernandez, Jones, Burgess.
Andare' en Rectitud!

 The next moring we were at the CCM at 6:30 am to receive our final group of missionaries.  Benvenido!
Pictures on the way to Moyobamba for our final visit.

We traveled to Moyobamba with the president's two counselors and their wives.  During our time here these men have been a huge support to the President.  Each mission president has two counselors that serve with them.  They help with leadership training and interviews that needs to be done.
They men were wonderful counselors. Presidente Cavero
 and Presidente Chauca.
While in Moyobamba we attended a devotional in Moyobamba then on Sunday we traveled to Nueva Cajamaca to attend Sunday church services at a little branch that is established there.  About 80 people were in attendance.  Very soon they hope to move into a new church building that is planned to be constructed.
 The President has worked very hard to get young men from this branch to prepare to serve missions.  This branch needs to continue to grow and one way is to help the youth serve missions so they can return an become the future leaders.  Here president is pictures with several youth that are preparing to serve.   
 On the road back to Tarapoto for another devotional with the members and the missionaries. 
The district presidency that serves in Tarapoto pictured with the mission presidency. 
 Our senior couple the Maynes jump right in and practice along side the other missionaries.  Sister Mayne has taught the woman of Tarapoto about making cookies, better sanitation, how to make quiet books.  They just approached her about helping them to make skirts.  Elder Mayne is helping to get the youth programs of the church up and running and he also is focusing on humanitarian projects.  Senior missionary couples contibute so much because they have so many wonderful life experiences.  
Our last farewell with zonas Moyobamba and Tarapoto.

Their departing shot of us
Farewell Tarapoto, our little rustic Hawaii of the selva. 
We enjoyed our last mototaxi ride through the streets of Tarapoto.
View of the selva (jungle
 We are so glad we had missionaries serving in some of the jungle cities of Peru.  Of the past three years we have had over 300 flights to and from the jungle ciites of Peru. Flying to all these cites each month has been a lot of work but it has been so worth it to see the missionaries and to enjoy a tropical paradise.  Of all the cities we have flown to Tarapoto remains my favorite.  It is a beautiful tropical mountainous area.
During the course of our mission each month we have celebrated birthdays by giving out loaves of banana bread.  Over the the course of the three years we have given out over 600 loaves of banana bread.
Feliz Cumpleanos!
Our final devotional was held in Lima with seven zones.  About 100 missionaries were in attendance.  The president and I both shared some departing thoughts and many of them shared their testimonies.  The most exciting thing about this service has been to see the missionaries enter as teenagers and to see them leave as men and women of God.  The gospel of Jesus Christ changes people on the inside.  They all go home looking about the same but on the inside their hearts have changed because they have grown closer to Christ and His doctrine during their time in the mission.  We will forever love these missionaries that we have served with.  We are invested in their spiritual well being and we have all served in the Peru Lima North Mission.  Los Nortenos Avanzad!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Farewell Iquitos


This last week we flew to Iquitos Peru for our last specialized training with the missionaries in this city.  Iquitos is so unique because it is located in the heart of the Amazon jungle.  Over the course of our three year mission we  have flown in and out of Iquitos about 90 times.  Access to this city of 400,000 people is only by air or boat.  We have 48 missionaries serving in this area.  July 1st Iquitos will become a new mission in our church.
Tourists flock to Iquitos for an Amazon adventure.  We have flown to Iquitos each month to teach and train missionaries. This city if filled with the buzz of motokars, dirt side streets, river traffic, palm trees, aguae
 and open air markets.  It is also filled with 48 missionaires that work in 16 different chapels of our church that are there.  We had a wonderful opportunity to express our love and gratitud for them and their service in our last training with them.  
 Hermana Price and Alvear
Elder Turley and Elder Rix
On a  few preparation day excursions we have been able to discover a little of the sites in and around Iquitos.
 The mighty Amazon River.  It is the second largest river in the world.  At some points it is 6 miles across and you can't see the other side.  It is full of some of the world's largest fish and pink river dolphins. 
Flat boat traffic on the Amazon.
 Typical items to buy in the market.  The black charcoal is harvested after they burn the forest to clear the land.  The women use this charcoal to cook over.  Many women cook outdoors because it is so hot and many do not have electricity or natural gas in their homes. The wealthy homes have tile or cement floors.  Many people live in extreme poverty with dirt floors.   
There are many kinds of tropical fruits in the jungle.  The green bananas are used to prepare a jungle dish called tacacho which many people enjoy with BBQ pork.
Motokar capital of the world.

  Most all the labor is done by hand.  Here men are mixing and hauling cement.  They are using 5 gallon buckets to hall the cement to the second floor.  People work so hard to earn so little, just enough to provide food for the next day.
 Once a year the Amazon river and other surrounding rivers flood.  Life continues on like normal during this time. The Belen area floods each year.  People live here because the land is cheaper.   
Motokar traffic becomes boat traffic.

We joke with our missionaries that are serving in Iquitos that they are having a  "Nat Geo" experience.  (National Geographic experience)  Here they are serving a mission for the Lord and He has placed them in the middle of the Amazon jungle. 
President Blunck, a missonary to the very end.  Here he is obtaining a reference for a family to visit.   
We will finish our mission on June 29th and arrive home on June 30th. We are very excited to see our family and friends in the states.  If you are interested we have been invited by our bishop to speak in the Canby II Ward on Sunday July 21st at 11:30am.
Address:  Canby LDS Chapel
1285 S. Elm St.
Canby, Oregon 97013 
 Thank you for your love and support!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Asking in Faith

Specialized training this month focuses on the difference between having prayers and asking in faith.  Elder Bednar gave an excellent talk on Asking in Faith.  Basically having our prayers is communicating with God but asking in faith is prayer followed by action.  Pres. Hinckley says it well, "Get on your knees and pray then get on your feet and go to work." 

Our training started off this month in the city of Pucallpa. 
This will be our last visit to Pucallpa and to this zone.  In July these missionaries will be receiving a new mission president, Pres. Gomez. He will help the missionary work grow in this area of the jungle. 
Elder Valle  with his new trainer Elder Hernandez.  

Elder Price always has a smile on his face.  Missionaries learn
the most as they have a chance to participate.

Sister Martinez and Sister Orellana enjoy a bowl full of brownies
 prepared by their pensionista.  They tell me they have the best
pensionista in all of Pucallpa.
Where there is good food the elders will gather.  The sisters were kind enough to bring a bowl of brownies for the elders.  They are always thinking of others.  Here Elders Anderson, Uribe, Baker, Quispe, Rivera, Clavijo and Truman enjoy a few bites.
 Elder Blanco has learned English while on his mission and is now helping Elder Romero learn to speak English.  Both are from Mexico.  Our hope is when they return home speaking English, that better job and educational opportunities will be opened for them.  All Latinos are given this opportunity. 
 Zona Pucallpa.  This was our last visit to this zone.  No words can express the love that we feel for these young people.  They have made our lives full over the past three years.  In many ways they have changed our lives and we have seen their lives change as they have served the Lord.  Forever they will be apart of our mission family. Duriing testimony time one sweet sister first shared her testimony in Spanish then she concluded by sharing the last part in English.  We were so proud of her. 
After our departing devotional with them they shared a
departing song with us. The hardest part in saying good bye is not knowing if you will see them again. Eighty percent of our missionaries have been Latinos.  This is one of the blessings of email and facebook.  This media can help us keep in contact.    
 Sister Rodrigez and Sister Ryder.
Peru's new soft drink.  It comes in about twenty different flavors. 
We love you ZONA PUCALLPA!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The train keeps moving!

Missionary work is like a train, it keeps moving forward.  When a new president arrives the old president jumps off the train and the new president jumps on.  The work continues on because the Lord is the master engineer.  Mission presidents only help to guide His train and His work.

Mission leadership council.  We love having the sisters attend.  They add very valuable spiritual insight.
Our sister leaders are:  Hermana Vasquez, Mamani, Zagal,
 Orellana and Alvear.
July 1,2013 the mission will be divided and the new Peru Iquitos Mission will be created.  This mission will include most all the jungle cities in Peru.  The American zone leaders had one last chance to say good bye to each other before the divide.
 The president has had two counselors serving with him the last three years.  President Chauca and President Cavero, both served as stake presidents here in Peru.  They have both provided excellent help to President Blunck and the mission.
President's other counselor and wife, Hermana Blunck
 On the road to Yurimaguas. 

 Last visit to the members in Yurimaguas.
We have four missionaries serving in this jungle city
To travel to Yurimaguas you fly into Tarapoto and then catch a taxi and travel 2.5 hours to this town over the most curvy roads in Peru. 
A future missionary in Yurimaguas.
 Sunrise in the jungle as the president makes his way back to
Tarapoto to catch an early morning flight back to Lima.

 Scenes along the way.
 Day breaks with blue skies.
This mountainous selva area is dense with tropical foilage and trees.