Monday, October 27, 2014

Week in Review Oct 21, 2014 - Oct 26, 2014

Click on the Photo to see this picture much bigger
Hello All!  About a bit over 2 months in and I am Wonderful Huanuco, Peru in some Internet cafe that is so slow and I only have one hour, so sorry if I cannot respond right away, but don't stop sending Emails!  I love them, and take photos of them on my camera so I can read them later.  Also, part of the slow Internet means no direct photos sent to anyone.  I upload them to my Google Email where my mom grabs them and puts them with my emails [blog] in about 1 day.

This is at which is nice because this way I can send more photos to all of the world to see missionaries here in the Huancayo Mission!

Some of you have been asking about the food.  I have a "pensio" [Like a boarding house] where I eat all of my meals at, and I just found out that my pensio owns a restaurant, so this is where all my food comes from. [Is that amazing or what? What a blessing!!] It usually isn't that easy.  I also pay someone else through my church withdrawal monthly for my laundry every week. [I guess no pounding his clothes on a rock, not yet anyway. lol]

As far as packages go, stick with the information that my family provides on the blog, *Mom, the same information on Facebook from Sister Henderson* because I truthfully cannot say what will or wont work here since the Postal system here is whack and I haven't received anything yet. [Peru is going through a postal strike and has for the past 4 weeks or so. We have now sent 2 packages, the last one just last week. We pray that he will receive them by Christmas. Continue to email him as that is only way to make contact right. I am sad that he doesn't have the ability to print them.]

The language barrier is definitely a physical wall that asserters itself at the least of convenient times. I know there are times my companion hates it too.  But slowly it is coming.

I am proud to say that it hasn't happened yet, but I can totally understand this now, because I have been very close, and it will be inevitable.  All missionaries I have talked to said that your mission won't be a true South American mission until you loose all bowel controls and are away from the bathroom.  Let's just say one night we RAN home, and I got there JUST in time...

Also, probably get about 1 earthquake per week, enough to wake me from my sleep, but it doesn't freak me out, probably because I have had them before, and always grown up with it being in my mind. [Living in California has given him this experience for sure. I did a quick search and found that there was an earthquake yesterday, October 26, about 50-100 southeast from his location, it registered a 5.6.]  I also bought Panneton for me and my companion.  This is a very rich bread/cake, and yes Mom, it is the same thing that you made homemade, but way bigger and way cheaper here.... [Okay, now I am curious which one of my recipes is similar.]

I continue to hope and pray all is well with you and your families, and I know that this sounds cheesy, but try for a day and make a list of all the dumb little things in your life you are grateful for, and I will share mine with you next week, and I can tell you that being here in Peru, that has definitely changed my list! [A great challenge!]

Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru

October 20th 2014

Monday!  Preparation Day!

Today we traveled up to the Cross which overlooks all of Huanuco, Peru.  Took some awesome photos which should be uploaded by the end of this email.  And don't forget, my Lego Figurine goes with me wherever I go, so he made it to the top too!  We did this trip with other missionaries in the area, and it took about 2 hours give or take for all to make it up.  Wonderful view, reminds me of the view of San Bernardino, only Huanuco is smaller.  Also, bought Ice Cream with a small piece of cake.  Yum...,.,

21st Tuesday

District Meeting Today.  Painful English class from a Latin today.  That's it.  I bought teaching materials and my companion and I are talking of me doing a Free English Class for the City and Area we are in on a weekly basis.  Definitely is fueling my desire to be a teacher when I return.

22nd Wednesday

Taught someone how to use Music.Lds.Org today and how the church has wonderful resources for learning music, especially with the interactive music player.  Also, had some real chocolate cake tonight in return.  Beyond loving this cake.  And it wasn't small, even better.  Oh, a dog died in the park near our apartment....Looks like it was scared to death, because it is petrified facing the sun. [I have to add, Andrew said that there are dogs everywhere. See it mentioned in a previous blog post. When I was doing Google Street View, there were so many dogs in the street view. He is so totally right, they are everywhere. I think in one view, we saw about 3-4 dogs. It was crazy.]

23rd Thursday

View of Huanuco, Peru with the Rio Huallaga
River in the foreground
Ugh... SO contacting today was basically just my job.  Oh, how I miss English.  When people say things that I don't prepare for in my head, it gets messy.  All in all today was a good contacting day. Also taught a lesson with an investigator where I was able to talk semi decently and carry a conversation.  Woo hoo!!!

24th Friday

Well, the dog in the park is still there.  Later in the day somebody put some dirt on it, more like an above ground grave.  Ummm.... Ok.... Also, had some BBQ Chicken today loved it.  Later in the day though, I passed a vendor who put her hand in a bag, and then threw about 100 chicken feet *only feet* on the fryer grill.  And then cooked them up.  Yum.  According to my Peruvian Companion, it is kinda difficult to eat *Well duh!  Its feet!* [I bet chicken feet is similar to pork rinds in the U.S.A.] but good.  Yea, I will wait on that one....

25th Saturday

Bunch of rain today!  Some lighting, but when it rains here the roads are all just so nice and beautiful... Said no one ever.  Glad my shoes are waterproof and I didn't sink too deep in the dirt/mud stuff here in San Luis.  Oh, the Dog is still there but the rain took away all the dirt.  I wonder how long this dog will be here? [That was one thing we didn't purchase for him before he left, BOOTS. We just didn't have the room. The mission packet made it clear he can purchase them in Peru. I hope he does it soon.]

26th Sunday

Help, gave my testimony 3 minute talk in Spanish today in Sacrament meeting.  It is also our first sacrament meeting because of voting, General Conference, and Stake conference...One of the great things about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that it is the exact same gospel all over the world, same as it was hundreds of years ago with all the other prophets in the bible all the way back to Adam.  The only difference now is this is in more languages!

*By the way, I'm starting to not like fish.  Just kidding. Not starting, I've been every Sunday for the same 2 meals.

Until we meet again--
Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week in Review Oct 14, 2014 - Oct 20, 2014

[Holy Cow! You can't imagine how bad Andrew's typo's have increased since he has been in Peru. I know part of that is a foreign keyboard and the other is his language is becoming Spanish more and more each day. But that is why I am here, to clean it up before you read it. lol Andrew will mention in some spots of the blog about going to the blog. This was originally written for a mass emailing to friends and family. But it is getting difficult to do that, so when the email is sent to his family, mom will edit and post in the blog with pictures. Enjoy!]

First off, All photos form now on will be sent to family only because of limited bandwidth,
and because I want to be able to send more than the computers in the Peru with Internet will allow.  They will be inserted into my blog within about 1 or 2 days, Check my blog with photos and links to some of the things I reference!  Thanks for keeping interested in my crazy travels and accordances here in Peru!  Hope all is well in the states.  It was funny, I had someone ask me what was the 1 thing that California is known for making... I stopped.  I couldn't think.  we make so much!  Tech, Agriculture, Gas, Energy, Watersports, etc... we have it all!  So for a moment, forget all the taxes, politics, agendas, and enjoy the state that literally has it all!  And so with that, this is what I did in the last week here in Huanuco Peru!


So, today was P-day!  Computers here are fast but the Internet is painfully slow.  Just so you know, we have 1 hour of Internet that includes entering our data on and emailing President Henderson [His Mission President] first, then everything else.

Today our P-Day was jam packed.  We went on a sightseeing trip of Huanuco and took a bunch of photos.  All have GPS Coordinates built in, so you can street view them.  I took one photo with me and other missionaries in our District at the Huanuco Sign.  I would like this to be my new cover photo for Facebook please! [Done] And the one of just Huanuco sign... For the blog... [Done again] This keyboard really stinks... Sorry..... [As you will notice, I am trying to make the experience a bit better by cleaning it up and now it is readable.]

Anyways. we visited a museum which we actually got to see a bunch of
Peruvian Artifacts which I took some photos of before we were told not to.  Nice History tour of the people and the Area!  Also worthy of mention was a visit to BanaFria which is a subgroup of Nestle [Andrew is a huge Nestle Quik Chocolate Milk fan].  It is like a Baskin Robbins with less flavors.  But I love Ice Cream, and we all sat and enjoyed our little piece of heaven.


District Meeting Today.  My companion is the district leader and likes to sometimes do things that involve me without telling me until the last minute.  So with that in mind, I taught a lesson with Elder Whitaker for Spanish to English Learning Class which today included praying and building sentences using the words.  It went pretty well, but I think the fun part was teaching the pronunciation of the words.  I'm sure they laugh at our pronunciation just as much though, so I really don't feel bad. 


Service is a big part of being a missionary, and I feel it has a higher significance for individuals here in south America.  We helped out a member who lives way up on the mountain side of where our area is.  I think we moved around 50 mud block type bricks from the front below of the house, to the back above side of the house.  I love these kind of projects for two reasons.  Being able to see the faces of those you serve afterwards, and the 2nd is it helps us as missionaries exemplify our calling as missionaries and serve by the power of the name on our plaque we always wear.  Jesus Cristo.


Spanish is coming along, but not as quickly or effectively as I would like, but it is coming.  One sign of this is I was able to teach half a lesson (Ping pong with my companion) and I committed an Investigator to baptism!  Woo hoo!  We could all just feel the spirit of happiness in the room, and I could really tell she was excited that she was asked to follow the same example of Jesus Christ instituted when he was on the Earth, and become baptized by someone holding the power and authority of God.  Now it is time to learn more Spanish so I can teach more!  Oh, and the people are still always calling me Gringo.  I need some sun.  

Later in the evening, I had the opportunity to practice my Spanish with some youth while my companion was talking with someone else.  It is so much easier to talk with little children, and so much more fun!  Adults will scare me with their Spanish sometimes, especially when the have the following combinations. Speaking fast, is old, has no teeth, and their lips don't move, and they are practically deaf.  This is when I just look at my companion and have him talk all of the lesson.  

I also took some panoramic photos of the city from up where we did some service.  It is a great view of the city.  It also has GPS but there is NO WAY for street view at this house. 

I just miss my bathroom from home.  I miss putting toilet paper, you know.. In the toilet.  Keep this in mom.  [He knows me too well, I actually thought TMI, Too Much Information. lol] Past tense speaking here.  I was sick for 1 day.  It has been gone for a bit, basically all the gringos get this.... But the most uncomfortable part was probably having to be nice to the toilets and the bote [A trash can for the toilet paper as it doesn't go into the sewer system.] can where my t-p goes.  I'm just glad we have toilet seats, because that would have made me sad.

Anyways, today was [LDS] General Conference, Saturday Session (Because Last week was steak Conference and the week before was voting) Ya, I'm glad I saw these in English because my Spanish isn't great enough to understand this yet.  So out came my notes.  I would have to say on Saturday, my favorite talk was President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, [Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth] and our abilities to understand anything when we have the right tools.  He used the comparisons of trying to explain the microwave to someone 100 years ago!  This is real, we know it, but nonetheless people will still try to tell us that it is impossible. And others might even reject it.  This is because they don't have the proper tools to understand it yet.  The same is with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I would highly suggest all to watch it.  The video will be on my blog in a bout 1 or 2 days. But it really helps for all of us to put things into perspective.  I love having the opportunities to listen to modern day prophets and apostles and just like in times of old in the Bible.  All in all, things are great here n Peru!


Day 2 of [LDS] General Conference.  As always, Conference is Great, and I loved the discourse from Apostle David A Bednar [Come and See] regarding why Mormons go all over the world telling others about the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ and out of the goodness of their hearts no matter the pain.  As a companionship, we committed 2 more to baptism!  Woo hoo!  I have just counted. I have 23 bug bites between my calves, and hands.  Yea, It is awesome. 

Elder Holmes 
Huanuco, Peru

Museum in Huanuco, Peru

The cover of his Book of Mormon they give him at the CCM (MTC)

This photo has a lot of meaning for our little family and especially Jennifer. I got this idea that we purchase two little Lego guys that look like missionaries. Andrew has one and Jennifer has one. And then Andrew will take pictures of his Lego guy throughout Peru to share in the travels. Here is our first picture of the 'Lego Guy' holding onto Andrew's missionary tag.

Elder's Chapeton and Holmes

Huanuco San Sebastian Church

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where do I start?

[Forgive the formatting of the blog post and fonts. When published, it changes for some reason. And I don't like it. But I want this post to go out to be read. I will try and fix soon. Thanks for your understanding.]

Well, two weeks later, and here I am, in Huánuco, Peru.  Took a few busses, Taxis, and everything to get here, but here I am! 


Last full day here at the CCM!  And what do we do?  Pack and get ready?  Well after we got to immigration's all day then sure !I am officially a Peruvian religious, education, service, citizen!  ID card and all.  I would show a photo but I have had to turn it into the mission office before I could.  Let's just say their flash wasn't on, and they wouldn't let me smile! I look like a sad puppy! 
We had the opportunity to say goodbye to one of our favorite teachers, Hermana Villa Nueva.  Not gonna lie, I think everyone in our district was a bit sad after that. 
Got a Haircut!  First one that wasn't from my Mom.  Long time, I know... He did an ok job, but I had to do the front part and top by myself which isn't that great, but it has grown back in a week. 

Said a bunch of goodbyes and if we both knew Spanish well, then it would be great to continue being companions with Elder Bell, but we both need the Spanish only a Latin can bring!

At the Top of the Pass about 15,000 feet

And we are off!  Left the CCM at 7 am in a really nice tour bus where there was like 4 seats for every 1.  Great way to see Peru for the next 7 hours to Huancayo, Peru.  I took a bunch of photos, most of which are geo-tagged for your convenience.  All of the locations are correct, while I didn't get the altitude corrected until the photo with snow in the background.  Which should have the altitude in one of the photos.  Once you have all the photos, just load them up in the Geosoftware [This is a learning processing for me. I haven't loaded the software and haven't learned how. My project this weekend, to learn the new software.] I left you and all these photos should show on a Google map with the Altitude, Direction, and Barometric Pressure. 
Nobody got sick to the point of throwing up, some were close tough. I was fine. I'm sure all the times I changed altitude at home, even a little bit helped.  I felt great. I will admit though, the bano in the back wasn't fun during speed bumps and dark tunnels with no lights.  Sorry... No photos for that...

We arrived at the Presidents home for a welcome to Peru MTG and interview as well as writing home for 5 minutes.  We didn't stay here though, only the Hermanas did.  Beautiful home, felt better than many homes in the states!  President and Hermana Henderson are awesome!  Seriously, how they take care of us, and the best part is that they are real people too!  Joking around about Peruvian things and informing us about things was very nice too.  We ate some KFC and pizza that which was very filling and definitely felt out of place!  This night, we stayed nearby at a Missionary Major apartment with a bunch of other missionaries.


Elder's Chapeton and Holmes

Orientation day in the field!  I met my new companion who is Elder Chapeton.  He is 22 (I think) and is a convert of 3 years.  Most of the people down here in Peru are converts, very few are born into the church in this area. [The Peruvian people are on the shorter side of height. Andrew being 5' 7", his companion is small but mighty.] He doesn't know much English, so this will be great for both of us!  I received my ecclesiastical card, and can begin using it soon.  Oh, yea... My new area is Huánuco!  No, that isn't a typo, of Huancayo.  It is Huánuco.  Super Excited!  We stayed at the Missionary House again because our area will take another day to travel to.  Others who are closer left after lunch.  Because we don't travel at night, we went out proselyting... They people here are so awesome!  We ran into a members house and now it was Elder Chapeton (My Comp) Elder Whitaker (From my CCM District, and my new district as well) and his comp.  And I are in this members house.  She was so so so exited to see us she sent a relative to the tienda nearby to buy us Peach Juice. [Ok, so now I need to buy some peaches and put them in my Ninja and make some Peach Juice, probably not the same.]  Best juice ever. I think like it here in Peru.  :)


Help.  Packed all my stuff away. Again.  That wasn't fun the first 4 times, it wasn't fun again.  And I have about 3,000 more books, (All good but still more) and LDM and more clothes also.  Where did I put it all? Good thing each bag was 65 pounds and the busses don't care! 

View from Elder Holmes first apartment
looking over Huánuco

2 Taxis, and 8 Hours later we arrived in Huánuco.  I met my Pensionista who is also he Bishops wife.  We as missionaries pay (out of our fund) these pensionistas to take care of our food for us.  It is a new rule in South America for Missionaries that they are required to cook for us and that missionaries are not allowed to eat at members homes unless it was prepackaged.  Apparently way to many illnesses.  They are also now required to cook with clean, filtered, contained, water... Relief!  Hahaha... We also went around, I was introduced like a new horse to all the members in the ward, and already assisted in a Blessing.  Oh yea, I also did the anointing in Spanish.  Without a card.  Yea, I needed help, and remembering the names is very very difficult.


How many times can I be called Gringo from the rooftops of houses.  Apparently not enough!  Later today we began practicing a song as missionaries for 2 of these 4 zones for the upcoming stake conference this weekend.  Somehow it turned into Elder Whitaker on the Piano and me directing.  The newest missionaries on the block are now in charge.  Woo.  I will tell you, I say this is no distain for anyone down here... it is evident that they do not use their pianos (Which are player pianos btw) very often because it is evident in their singing of the hymns.... 

So, with my limited vocab of Spanish commands and some help from Elder John, we got the band together.  No joke, it felt like the Mayberry band on the Andy Griffith Show (Insert Video Here [Andrew asked me to insert it, so there it is. I fun quick 5 minutes clip]) it took a bunch of work, and we were just about ready to sing (Oh my Father) in Spanish....Only like 8 gringos and the rest of 26 were Latin, someone had the idea to have the last verse in English, and I took care of the rest.  1 Hermana 2- Elders 3- both 4- English.  Yup, I had an English Pronouncing Class that I did following this activity.  It felt great to be on the opposite side, especially trying to see them sing (Approbation) but some how, it all came together and it sounded great!  Can't wait for Sunday!


Today we had the family session of the Stake Conference.  I met Elder C. Scott Grow [For those not members of our church, that really is his name. I remember hearing that for the first time in conference and we chuckled. The C stands for Cecil] of the 1st Quorum of the 70 there and he put me on the spot... 1st question was how long was I in the field.  When I said, Solomente tress dias, he responded in English (Oh, you are good, you are off the hook!)  Met with some of our investigators and it was nice that for the most part I could understand them, and they could understand me.  For dinner I had one of the best meals so far.  The Bishop (Pennsionista Husband) brought us dinner saying this is an authentic Peruvian dish.  I will admit, it freaked me out a bit.  But it was delicious!  Rice and Chicken and fried bananas all wrapped up in a big big leaf.  Yum!  Let me know the next time you eat out of a leaf!

Rice, Chicken and Fried Bananas wrapped in a BIG leaf


Today was Sunday session of Stake Conference.  A new stake presidency was instituted and because I let the Special Musical number, And Elder Whitaker played all the music we both sat on the stand.  On the spot they asked us to do an additional 40 minutes of prelude music.  Oh yea... Did I mention we didn't have power at our room or the church.  So accordingly the Piano (Which we desperately need) was off.  We did get a generator so we at least had the piano and the Mic. Elder C. Scott Grow and President Henderson and His wife loved it. (If they read this, thanks for at least pretending...) :)

The Missionaries were great, and we even got matching ties from the stake which we actually get to keep!  Woo! 

So far eceryda [?] has had something extra built into the schedule.  Today we had our every 3 month interviews for the Area.  Not much new to report to President Henderson because it has been less then 1 week since I spoke to him, but all is well!

Today is the first real P-Day in the field, and I feel it is a long time coming because we haven't had one in 2 weeks.... Hopefully all my photos send....

Elder Holmes,
Huánuco, Peru
LDS Missionary

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Peru Huancayo Mission - San Luis Area - 1st Assignment

[Today we received an email from the Huancayo, Peru Mission Office. This is what was included in the letter:]

Elder Holmes with President & Sister Henderson
Dear Holmes Family

     We want to let you know that Elder Holmes arrived safe and sound here in the Perú Huancayo Mission.  We are grateful to have him here!   He and the other 15 new missionaries arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and we oriented them that evening and for much of the day on Wednesday with their new companions.  Elder Holmes  and his training companion then headed to their proselyting area in San Luis.

     Thanks for letting Elder Holmes come to our Mission.  We look forward to two good years together with your good son.

President David Y. Henderson
Peru Huancayo Mission

[Okay, so I have to admit, I had a hard time finding where San Luis is. When I did my first look around, I found a San Luis in Lima, Peru. I knew that wasn't it, out of his mission. Then I found one that was called San Luis de Shuaro. That was in the jungle. And then we found a San Luis Ward in Huánuco, Peru. I believe that is where Andrew is. Here is the WIKI Page for Huánuco, Peru.]


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I'm Here in Huancayo!

I made it to Huancayo this afternoon at around 3PM and I am here for 5 minutes of computer time just enough to send an Email saying that I made it here.

We did a huge trek of 7 hours to make it from Lima Peru to here, and I am attaching some of the photos, but not many because of lack of time.  I heard a rumor that depending on what location we are assigned to (we find out tomorrow) we will have p-day on Monday. But we will see.  Everyone made it here that is supposed to be, nobody got sick, and the bus we took here was great.  Took a bunch of Photos and the GPS Feature on my Camera was well worth it already!  We hit a peak of about 15000 ft, but if you check the data on my photos in the software the location is correct, but my data for the height needs to be reset.  I fixed that for future photos.  

Hope all is well at home!  I am taking photos of my emails and will respond the next time I have a real time to respond which will probably be in about 1 week.  

Love you all!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1.5 Years of Spanish, and the First Day of Spring!

First Day of Spring, Conference is Coming up, we had an Area 70 [Those are General Authorities] speak, things here are starting to wind down...I leave the CCM on Tuesday, So no clue when the next time I can email will be, but just know it will the earliest possible so you can know where I am...

24 de Septiembre

Went to the Temple and completed 1 full session in Spanish.  Check!  The highlight of today was in the evening when we (my companion Elder Bell and I) received our final review of how our lessons went with one of our ¨fake investigators¨. This is the same one that I had mentioned earlier and said we had sung her a hymn during one of our lessons.  Anyways, we had both been anxiously awaiting this meeting and it went very well.  We discussed with her what our strengths and weakness were in her lessons and what could be improved upon.  

*All of the following my companion and I totally agreed with the teacher on when she said the following*  Our first few lessons were very sterile (much because of the Language barrier and limited words) but there was a lesson where we had completely stopped and catered to what we realized she needed.  The following lesson was the one where Elder Bell and I sang ´¨Did you think to Pray¨´ in Spanish, which had allowed us to brake the barrier between the fake investigator and her personally.  In her words she noted that from that night on, we had broken past teaching the fake investigator part of her, and had begun teaching her personally. That is why we were all crying and didn't quite know why.  She said that after that lesson we had the most powerful lessons and that out of all the companionship's she has trained, only 1 other has been able to breach the barrier between her and the fake investigator side of her.  That, is the power of the Holy Ghost that can tell us exactly what we need to do, and how to say it in Spanish. I can guarantee you, that I could not have effectively said what I had wanted to WITHOUT the spirit of the Lord.  

***Another side note, the Fake investigator that was our teacher was pretending to be was actually a real person she taught on her mission in Pura, Lima. Which had made it just that much more real for us.

26 de Septiembre

Today is our 1 month anniversary!  Ok, so I did some math.  We have done approximately 10.5 hours of some sort of Language Study everyday for the past 31 days.  That comes out to a total of 273 hours of Language Study.  If there was 1 hour of study everyday in a school year (180 days) including time for homework because we all know that no class is 100% effective.  That comes out to the equivalent of over 1.5 years of study in a matter of weeks! 

27 de Septiembre
Today was a day like many other days that started with a few eggs.  But lunch, we had with our meat.... A churro.  A blessed Churro with caramel inside and covered with Sugar.  Amen.
Not much to report today, but I would like to have everyone where possible to watch The First Great Commandment, by Elder Holland. You can find this on,, or Youtube.  It really puts into perspective if you would really leave everything to follow the Savior.

Things are progressing with our new investigators, and we are finding that it is becoming easier to strike up conversations and understand what the freak is going on.  Our hopes are dashed though once we hear a Latino speak 'normal speed' and we feel like we are at square one again.

For those who I told I would write you an email in Spanish, I will probably do that in about 2 weeks, once I am out in the field and situated.  I want to make sure I know enough Spanish before I start an email!

28 de Septiembre

First day of Spring in Peru!

Fast Sund.. today...  Also, had our District and Zone Leader meeting to discuss needs of the districts and it is very interesting to see even here at the CCM where everything is handed to you on a silver platter, and how there can still be contention that arises.  

Testimony meeting was great.  I conducted the music and even had some individuals ask me to go again later because they love how much fun I have while I am up on the stand directing the music.  On the topic of Music, we also had a 1 hour class on ¨¨how to conduct music¨ which I just basically helped teach my companion which was really fun since all of our hymns are in Spanish anyways.

So, it is the first day of spring here right?  We have also not eaten since 24 hours ago as well, and guess what they do here in Peru?  Food Fest!  Chocolate fountain, wonderful chicken, (Rice of course) and I even brought some Chick Fil A sauce!  Then, the president and his wife saw my companion Elder Bell and I gorging and suggested to us to take some of our extra casinos (cookie brand here) and use them in the chocolate fountain.  Duh!  It was pretty awesome, and it was worth it to see the kitchen staff get excited about us getting excited.  

If you ever find another chocolate fountain here in Peru, Let me Know....

29 de Septiembre

Things are wrapping up here at the CCM!  We took our group photo of all the Advancados in our Manti Branch and our District 107.  Should get that photo soon so I can send a copy of that home. 

Spanish class is beginning to wrap up as well.  We just stated the last 3 lessons which are all subjunctive.  We all hate these, not necessarily because it is hard, but because it just doesn't make sense in English.  If you translate it back, it just doesn't sound right.

I will admit, I think of Home and work while I am out here, but not a whole lot because there isn't much time for it!

Finishing up the night we had CRE-TRC Teaching again which is basically practice teaching lessons in the language you are serving.  So Elder Bell and I taught some Latinos tonight who are obviously great in Spanish, but we both were able to understand each other and for the most part be able to share... While writing this is becoming increasingly difficult for me to write totally in English, because my vocab is being replaced with Spanish words!

Elder Holmes
Lima, Peru CCM

PS: [Andrew sent the family some additional notes that I thought would be fun to add to his blog/email here, Enjoy!]  The CCM is no longer doing proselyting activities as a CCM entity.  We would originally do it every 2 weeks, but no more because they are starting to mimic that of the MTC in Provo.  

Instead, they are going to be constructing miniature fake houses in the Campus where we will teach real and fake investigators in these mini houses.  Pretty cool right?  But not for us, because we leave on Tuesday!

They will also do feedback via videos and more technology... Pretty amazing stuff going on...

So, as time passes here, I realize there are more things I need to take care of.  Like my hair.  Just bought a hair trimmer today for only 35 soles on Prep Day so I can cut my own hair.  This is about to get real.  Not sure how well it will come out, but it needs to be done.  Maybe a photo will go home of a before and after.....  Pray for me!

Also, we were talking to some old missionaries from Huancayo, they said each missionary gets around 4-6 baptisms every month!  whoa!

So, because this is the last week here, I bought a bunch of stuff and exchanged most of the last of my American Money I brought with me.... Bought a tie pin, envelopes for mail....Pringles, Chips, Peru Version of Nutella,

Time to go, Love you all, and hope my emails bring some fun information home!
I will email everyone sometime next week, hopefully when I reach Huancayo!

Elder Holmes
Lima Peru, CCM
Missionaries at the Lima, Peru Temple - Andrew
at the far right!

[I will end with the first photo we received of Andrew from another missionary mom, some of the missionaries at the Lima, Peru LDS Temple. A great picture and not only the first one, but the first one with his missionary tag.

I sent Andrew his first Pouch Mail through the church on September 14th.... they say it takes about 2 weeks for him to receive any mail that way. Haven't heard one way or another. I am hoping he receives it before he leaves the CCM.

We also sent our first care package to Andrew on Monday the 29th. We hear anything from 4-8 weeks. We packed him his English Small Hymnal that he requested, crunchy peanut butter, non-melting type candy, cashews, a few hot coco and apple cider packets. Another tube of super glue. And some pictures of home. And we must not forget, a few packets of Chick-Fil-A sauce and individual Nutella packets. Weighed in just under 4 pounds and cost about $25. Now we just pray that he receives it. Working on his Christmas care package next.

One other fun note. I got this message from another missionary mom whose son is also serving in Peru with Andrew. In her son's email home, he said this: >>My son, Elder Bush is also at the CCM and he mentioned your son in an email saying "mom, you thought I would be the most prepared missionary here, but you should see Elder Holmes! I think all of us have borrowed his crazy glue" haha. Thought that was cute and wanted to share that with his mom who I'm sure was the one who prepared him well.<<

We will end on that fun note. Here is hoping we hear from him next week, but if not, two weeks from now.]