Monday, June 30, 2014

Sacrifices for A 2 Year Service Mission

When I tell people that I am going to Peru for my two year mission, many reply with, "Oh my, That is on my bucket list to visit before I leave! I am so jealous of you!"  Naturally, I am beyond excited as well for this opportunity, but you must realize that Missionaries are not out to vacation, they are out to spread the word of Jesus Christ, and give service to those in need.  End of Story.  We do however get one day a week to ourselves for doing things like Laundry, Shopping, Local Sightseeing, etc... But all within good taste.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Bought What?

Inca Kola and Antichuchos (Beef Hearts).  Yum Right?
So. Foreign Country, New Language, and totally new lifestyle.  What am I supposed to expect?  Personally I am still asking that question, but I have put together a bit of what I have learned from co-workers, the internet (Hallelujah for the Internet,) and of Course.. Wikipedia.  Of course the first thing that I have learned is that Peru is a melting pot as far as its influences on food.

They have their version of Coca - Cola (Bubble Gum Flavor, Not sure how I will like that), as well as Anticuchos  which is BBQ Beef Hearts.  Yum.  My Mouth is watering. (Insert Sarcasm) My Mom and I will be however, visiting El Rico Pollo which is a local Peruvian Restaurant that from what we hear from others is quite authentic for America. So I guess we will have to try that!  I have also learned that they have an abundance of Fresh Fruits due to the climate, as well as an unhealthy supply of peppers.  Of all types.  I only like flavors like
Underground Meat Cooking Similar to this.
that with my Chick-Fil-A Sauce, but I fell that US/Peru Customs will not allow me to bring that with me on the plane.  Nor will it fit in my allotted 90 lbs for the next 2 Years.  But one cool thing about the food is that they love meat.  AMEN to that.  Underground Pressure Heat Cooking is a technique they use which is similar to the Tongan-Hawaiian technique used to cook their meats underground during the day.  It is a strenuous process, but I cannot wait to taste it!  

Now that we have discussed the food, on to other topics!  I have been told that I will not have super reliable power - batteries are super expensive, personal small devices might be difficult to charge, etc...  No problem for me!  Solar Power to the Rescue!  As a Missionary I will not need electricity for many things, but those that I do have, I have come up with a solution!
I do have a few devices I wish to bring with me, one of which is a UV Water Filter from the CamelBak Brand.  I have attached a link if you seem a bit sketched out by a "light" purifying the water.  To Clarify in short.  The UV light is emitting a certain spectrum of Light Waves that essentially KILLS the bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts.
Voltaic Systems Solar Backpack Attachment (Charges Phones, Flashlights, Tablets, And my Camelbak UV Water Filter) - Won't wear it in Peru, but place it in a window at my home...
◙2 Liter Camelbak Bladder for all day water
◙Camelbak UV Water Filter (UV Wavelength kills Bacteria,Viruses, and Protozoan Cysts at a 99.999%)
◙Sawyer Physical Contaminant Water Filter attached to my Camelbak Water Bladder for as drinking filtering

◙Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight - Flashlight can be charged via Sun, Crank, or USB. Can also recharge something else via its USB.

It might seem like overkill, but this is the future!  With this setup, I will NEVER have to purchase any batteries on my 2 Year Mission, as well I will always have a charged up flashlight, and water filters to take out all those fun "floaties" in the water!  Yea!
*Update* I have used the UV Water Filter in the San Jacinto Wilderness as the main supplier for Filtered Water.  And Guess what!  I did not lose bowel functions, nor did I die from weird things that possibly survived the UV, because the UV Did its job!  Yea`

So these are my adventures thus far in preparing for Peru.  Batteries, Food, and Water Filters.  But Hey, you have to start somewhere!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Huancayo, Peru! It's time for my Mission!

Hello there!  My name is Andrew Holmes, and I was just recently called on an LDS Church Mission to Huancayo, Peru!  I will be reporting to the Lima, Peru Missionary Training Center on August 26th for 6 weeks to learn the language, culture, and of course... Brush up on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In another Language!

I get alot of people asking me, did you take Spanish in High School?  Well, the first answer to that question is yes.  3 Years.  But living in a Rural-type community, I never really got a chance to utilize it, so here we are.  I am Mr. Greengo and I have to re learn everything I have unlearned in the last few years.

I am beyond excited for the upcoming 2 Years of Opportunities I will have to serve the people of Peru!  It is amazing to me how often we as Americans cannot see past how good we have it here in the US.  I haven't even left yet, but as I prepare for what I will need in Peru, I am learning that so much of what we take for granted here is not a modern convenience there, and I will need to find a way to improvise.  But that is what life is about right?  Improvising?

As I get closer to my departure date, I learn more and more of what it takes to get ready for a Mission, both Physically like the purchases of Luggage, Clothing, everyday items; but also for the Spiritual Preparation like Temple Prep and Scripture Study.

So here I am, a Southern California Teenager, getting ready for my Mission to Peru, while finishing my School Work with BYU-IS, Working for Rim of the World School District, and 1st Counselor in the Crestline Ward YM.  I cannot wait for the challenges that lie ahead of me, and I hope to share those challenges and experiences with all of you via Social Media!

-Andrew Holmes