Monday, October 31, 2016


What a week!
Seems like every appointment we had planned/scheduled this week got canceled. So on Thursday evening I asked Joyce if she wanted to go on a picnic.  Well a picnic in southern Perú is unique. There are no wooded mountains or shady quiet places to go so we got up at 6:00 am and headed out the door.  It was overcast and cool, we walked for about an hour and a half to this beautiful spot that you can see below.  At 7:30 am we were drinking red Gatorade, eating sandwiches, fruit and a even little chocolate. We have discovered there are trails all over the mountains here. We can't really figure out why the trails exist, but for thousands of years people have lived here and walking was /is the main form of transportation for many.  It hardly ever rains here so the foot trails last a long time.  We saw where someone had marked the ground with the heel of their shoe and dated it 1999.  17 years and a scuff mark is still in the dry dirt. The sands of time move slowly here. 

This is Mirella Serveleons' mother.  Last week she came by and asked Joyce to teach her how to make a cake. Joyce got on line and found all of the conversions from "cups and "teaspoons" to metric measurements. Then we translated the ingredients and explained the entire process to her. She made a cake this week and brought us a sample.  It was delicious! 

Our good friend Agusto Ore' stopped by the family history center for a visit. 

Elder Peterson, Mayberry, hermano Julio and Elder Peña. After a family history training in Marcona. 
This man uses his horse to pull a harrow between the green beans. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

To the Mountains

We felt our first earthquake here in Peru Saturday morning just after 7.  They have quite a few of them around the country but we hadn't ever felt one.  This one just wiggled the furniture and doors and made all the dogs bark.  According to the internet, it registered as a 4.3 and occurred about 50 miles north of us.  We haven't heard of any damage done.

Another event this week that we didn't get a picture of was Curt's talk in Sacrament Meeting.  He talked about Home Teaching and how it is our responsibility and privilege to care for one another.  He did a great job.

As senior missionaries, we are allowed a few "perks"that the younger missionaries don't get.  One such perk is being able to get permission and leave our mission area.  We got that permission and so Sunday night we jumped on a bus and headed to Cusco.  We met up with Mike and Diane Meyers, their daughter Leslie and her husband Justin.  What a wonderful experience!

We jumped on the bus Sunday night for what ended up being a 17 hour (instead of 15 hour) bus ride.  One poor girl in our compartment ended up being sick most of the trip.  The smells and sounds almost made the rest of he compartment sick too!  Then, our bus started overheating so we'd have  to pull over frequently to let it cool down for awhile. But, the trip was well worth it once we got there!

Curt and I hiked down to take a look at the salt mines in the Sacred Valley.

A woman opened her family home so we could see a bit of the Quechuan daily life.  The guinea pigs (cuy) are a delicacy.  We still haven't tried eating them yet.

This was the view from our hotel balcony at Agua Caliente before we headed up for a day at Machu Picchu.

Curt in front of an Incan statue and water fountain in the central part of Agua Caliente.

During the tour, our guide snapped a picture for us.  There is so much to see, you want to look at least 3 directions at any one time. 

Good friends made the trip that much better! 

Curt in front of the Sacred Rock.  They had discovered a woman's tomb here.

About an hour hike from Machu Picchu, we reached the Sun Gate.  This picture doesn't begin to capture how beautiful it was up there as we overlooked Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu.

We bought bug spray but .... Curt got bit anyway.  (Did he put the bug spray on?!?)

A rock came off the side of the mountain and busted a window in the bus just in front of where Curt sat.  After they pulled over and got it all taped up, we were on our way again. We left Machu Picchu at noon, we rode a bus, a train, a taxi and then we had to run and we barely caught our last bus (luckily our guide was there asking them to wait) we arrived in Nasca 21 hours later.   

  Here we were waiting with the Sisters for a family history appointment - they were a no show but we did enjoy visiting with these beautiful gals.

And what did E' Peterson do this week?  Why, after only a few weeks in the mission he went to Lima and had his first surgery! They removed an ingrown toe nail - one of the joys of missionary work! He's recovered well and back to work!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Missionary Interviews

Sister Bellitti's first weekly interview after district meeting.

Elder Peterson waiting his turn.

Sister McGinn sat and visited with the missionaries while President conducted interviews. She even got to look at a yucky toe while she was here.  Hopefully it gets taken care of and the doctor doesn't get to see it too.

Elder Pena hanging out trying to catch what English he can. I already see so much progress.

Our handsome time keeper for the day.  His job is to keep the interviews on track so Pres. can get to Ica on time for his next appointments.

Sister Bellitti survived her interview with the Mission President. It was a piece of cake - he speaks English!

Sister McGinn taking photos of each missionary.
Sister Onate's turn!

Sister Onate, Sister McGinn and Sister Bellitti after the interviews.

Manuel came over to practice some English.  He's doing really good!

Curt came across a coyote a couple of times now out on his hikes.  I've still yet to see him when I've gone out.  Think my gasping and panting scare him away?

It's spring here and the new crops have started coming up.

The cactus aren't looking so healthy.  

The workers go down the row and stick these packets on with one of the needles.  They are supposed to have a little bug in it that helps get rid of the bacteria.  The guy Curt talked to called them little chanchitos (little pig). So in other words, they're telling me the put little pigs out there save the plants!?!? Guess my Spanish isn't getting better after all!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Slow Week

Some of the tile in our entrance area was coming away from the concrete so the owner sent a worker over this week to remove it, chip away the old plaster and try again.  It looks good.

We were out walking one morning and this dog stopped and posed for a picture with this bag of trash.  I'm sure he was taking it to the nearest dumpster!

Finally on Thursday we get out new missionaries!  Elder Peterson is from Marana and he just finished at the Mission Training Center in Lima.  Hermana Bellitti is from Utah and she went to the MTC in Provo so after a flight delay, she's finally here!  (I don't really think she's sure where "HERE" is exactly just yet.  We are excited to work with them and they both have great companions in E' Pena and Hna Onate. 

With the missionaries being gone picking up their new companions and no one showing up Tues night for Family History or Wed night for English class, we were excited that Leonor came over to work on some English assignments.  
Last week the young adults had their party and this week was a celebration for the married folks. Nasca and Vista Alegre branches combined for the fiesta de casados.  They've told us that both of these parties are thrown throughout the church in Peru.  They were very surprised that we'd never been to one.
Unfortunately, most acted like old married folks and most stayed home!  This picture was taken over an hour after the party was to have started.  The Sisters had stopped by and other than that, we had the branch Pres. Compana and the women's RS Pres. Hermana Ventura.  They had both cooked all day and made a huge meal for the evening.  Luckily, a few people started trickling in.
Sunday at 6:00 a.m., the electricity was shut down to the entire area for maintenance. It wouldn't be back on until late that afternoon.  Some stores shut down, others, like this one, pulled out a generator and carried on. Other than not having a microphone, church seemed to go off without a hitch.

Our district P-Day activity!  Hamburgers and potato salad and chocolate chip cookies.  We were even able to find hamburger this morning and didn't have to adjust our menu! The chocolate chips we brought from North America.

E' Pena forgot to put the kitchen sink on that burger.

After lunch we took a quick bus ride out to the lookout tower to see the Nasca Lines.

We easily caught a bus heading to Ica and jumped on for 3 soles apiece.

Then, they forgot to stop and let us off!  Luckily Curt and I noticed we'd just passed the stop but by the time Curt got the driver to pull over, we had a bit of a walk to get back to the tower.

Finally we're up on the tower where we can see 3 of the Nasca Lines: the hands (which I think look more like a frog), the tree and the lizard.  So what do you do when you climb a tower?  Take a selfie with everyone!

Hna Mirella came by and let Curt help her get online and accept her mission call!  This weekend she got her call to Quito Ecuador and she leaves in January. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Rosa y clavel

With what little they had, this young man and his wife had left Venezuela and were trying to get to Chile where a  job awaits him.  We met them near the bus station and helped him look for an inexpensive bus to Tacna.  He said he was inactive in the church.  Curt said, I think you meant you WERE inactive in the church.  He laughed and agreed that his inactivity would be past tense.  

Note to self: when you double a recipe --- make sure you have a pan that's big enough!  It didn't stop anyone from eating it (except the part on the bottom of the oven).

Hermanas Onate and Herrera welcome Jordan (with his mom) as our newest member of the Nasca Branch.

Scanned almost 100 photos this week for family history!

In Ica, in a taxi heading to our zone meeting.  We sure love these Sisters!

Our Ica Zone. Elder Epenesa (CA) is taking the selfie for us.  Elder Mcdonald (NC) is hamming it up on the right.  He is finishing his mission this week.  Well done E'!

After looking  at the pictures, E' Wahl (AZ, 2nd from left) said they looked like Dairy Queen employees with those zone shirts on!  I think I'll have to agree. 

Sister Herrera's first time in Tottus.  It's a bit bigger than what we have at Raulitos in Nasca.  
Sister Onate playing with a toy snake she found.  It doesn't take much to entertain us!

I had recently taught Sister Herrera the phrase "put your shoulder to the wheel".  We saw these tires and we thought - close enough!

Playtime is over and we jump on the bus to head back to Nasca for appointments.

I was trying to get a great shot of my finger but Sister Onate and Curt were teaching Leonor and Luis some English and they totally photobombed my picture! (I don't have to admit to ALL my mistakes do I?  Some are so obvious!)

While they were working on English, Sister Herrera and I were working on dinner.  With her English and my Spanish we have some interesting conversations!

Thanks to my wonderful Sister and Brother-in-Law (Pennie & Danny) and the great package they sent - we had tacos for dinner and they actually tasted like .... TACOS! (We didn't share the candy though)

This is on a hill that Curt enjoys climbing.  We've been watching this water tower get built for quite a while.  They work on it awhile and then the town runs out of money and they stop for awhile.

Curt ran into some guys hauling bags of cement up.  Of course he offered to help.
This was the path they used to get all those bags up there. I think Curt got his workout in and those guys were super happy he'd offered to help.

Definitely in his element right here! This man loves to work!  I think there may have been sore thighs the next morning though.

This is Pres. and Sister Camacho.  He is our district president and works as a machinist in the mine in Marcona, she is a school administrator.  The Young Single Adults had a rose and carnation party.  Curt and I and one other
 couple spoke about courtship and marriage, then they had a question and answer portion before dinner and dancing.  

The Otsukas (counselor in District Pres) The Camachos (District Pres), The Mayberrys (Missionaries), The Atocsas (Branch Pres in Marcona).

Some of our Nasca JAS -Jovenes adultos Solteros
Cesar and Curt.  We sure think the world of this guy!

Mirella is still waiting for her mission call!  Yes, I think we have some favorites!  She will be an awesome missionary!

Agusto was trying to take a pic for us.  He was telling us it wasn't working. No sirve!

Curt was trying to show him how to do it and then, after quite a few attempts, they figured out that it had been switched to the selfie direction.  We all enjoyed quite a laugh over that one and we had a LOT of selfie photos!  

We got a house alarm put in this week.

It doesn't work yet - but it's in!

Family Home Evening together sharing testimonies after a wonderful General Conference.

We were also saying goodbye to Hermana Herrera who is being transfered to Canete.