Monday, January 19, 2015

Week in Review Jan 12, 2015 - Jan 17, 2015

Click to enlarge. The two areas that Elder Holmes is serving
in, Satipo and Mazamari, Peru. See blue arrows. I put enough
major cities in the screen shot that you will be
able to look up on Google Maps for a better view.
Hey there! First off, no packages yet and the Internet is HORRIBLE, so sorry if it the message is garbled, and incomplete, I will try to make it better next week... [I have Elder Holmes keeping me up to date on his packages since we have sent him very specific items that he has requested. There are 3 packages still waiting to arrive to him, just the latest being sent last week. But the first of the 3 being sent just after Thanksgiving.... love international mailings.]

SO.  A BUNCH happened in the last week. We had emergency transfers, **I'm still in Satipo, but I live in a different house**  So, I am now with Elder Inkley from California which lives close to Disneyland... [For those that don't know, Elder Holmes family lives about 90 minutes from Disneyland, if traffic is good. lol So that is great to have someone else from his hometown with him. No native companion either.] Funny note about the transfers... I think there is only about 8 missionaries out of all the 220 that are from California, and 4 of them are in here in our Ward in Satipo.  Yup.  We all know where each others houses are and it is great!  2 Sisters from California, and us 2... In our Total district *also all the missionaries from our ward* we are 5 North Americans, and 1 Latino form Argentina.  So yea, its great here!  hahahhaa...

No Jaguars or Piranhas yet. Fruit we have Mangoes huge, avocados that are huge, All different types of Bananas *look them up* and we also have coconuts... wooo!! [We asked him about these.]

As far as water goes, we do NOT have hot water, and we don't even have water at this point.... we are collecting rainwater and using that to shower and clean and flush the toilet manually.  :)  I remember waking up in the middle of the night because it was raining super hard So I put out all of our containers that we have so we could catch all the water that came down. [We also asked him about his water situation because we had heard from friends different ways that they get hot water. I wasn't expecting his answer, but anyone that says, 'it's not a big deal to become an Eagle Scout or even to participate in scouting....' I would think again. He even uses a sleeping bag to sleep in. And he has several types of water filters with him, including the ones they gave him at the missionary training center. He will be fine. Another note: We looked up online and this week alone, the weather in Satipo, Peru, is rain, rain and more rain, every single day with the average high in the 80's and about 1/2 to 1 inch of rain daily. I guess that is why the jungle is so green.]

Also, we have a 3 day party that is RIGHT NEXT to our room.  2 days ago there was fireworks DIRECTLY above without a clearance our house... Yup, that scared the crap out of me..... So many drunk people,. we counted on one day 1600 beer bottles!  2 more days to go!  I will fill you in on the next week!

12 January 2015

Woah, Today was loaded!  P-Day in the Jungle means a trip to one of the many waterfalls. [If you type in 'waterfalls in Satipo, Peru' in Google Images, there are so so many beautiful waterfalls. Amazing pictures.] Don't ask me what it is because our guide got a bit lost.  But whatever, it was great, we ate wild mangoes, and our path was blazed by a machete. Don't worry, I took a bunch of photos, but it might be a while before I can send them! Tonight was a different story though.  We received a call that my companion Elder Mamani is being transferred to Chilca in Huancayo, and I am receiving a new companion Elder Inkley and we will be doing this transfer tomorrow.  This is not a normal transfer as I am sure that you know, so this will be interesting... We also will be receiving two sister missionaries which are the first ones here in Satipo for over 10 years. Woah!  Time to pack, because we are also changing my Pension, and where I live... This should be a fun few days...

13 January 2015

Today we had our Emergency transfers, said goodbye to Elder Mamani, turned into a trio with Elder Malave, and Elder Rassmussen until My Companion got here around 5 PM. Welcome to Elder Inkley, who is from California too... So awesome!

14 January 2015

We moved out of our old room today and into our new room.  Our New room does not have water **Side note it still doesn't have water, and it hasn't had water since at least 3 weeks ago, so we collect rain water, because this house does not have a storage tank for water like all the other houses do...**** Anyways, yup,. we have killed a few fun jungle bugs in our room, and more or less we are adapting and getting ready for what is to come in the next few weeks... [Jungle Bugs?? Love that. The biggest bug we have had in our home in the mountains, was a Wolf Spider. Look it up. It was on the wall in Elder Holmes wall and they ONLY way I could kill it was using the vacuum hose. It was that BIG. Don't look under your bed tonight. lol]

15 January 2015

We went to Mazamari today which was fun because neither I or my companion new much about the area, so we brought a member from our ward and bought him lunch and paid for his passage fair so we could not get lost today... Pretty good day, and we had a mini miracle with that. I wanted to get a map printed out of the city so we went and found the Town Hall type government center and tried and tried and nobody wanted to help us even if we wanted to pay for it... We eventually ran into a member there who we don't even know, and she filled out all the information that we needed, and got us free copies of the city map, even printed out on a plotter machine for a large huge copy for our room.  Really nice, because we technically have 2 areas, so the faster we can learn them, the better....

16 January 2015

Weekly planning, Baptism preparation for one of our investigators, and by the way I am baptizing him tomorrow, so I have a bunch of photos, and super sorry for the shorthanded email this week, but I am trying to send everything in it right now.... I fixed the font so now it will drain water, because before it wouldn't... Long story there too.... Once we filled the [Baptismal] font, it was filled with yellowish green water because the day before it rained here in the jungle and when it rains heavy duty they turn off the water, so the water we got today was nice and lovely... haha.

17 January 2015
[Update 2/2/2015; received pictures of his first baptism.] 

We had a baptism Today!  Woo hoo!!  It was my first baptism, and my 3rd convert here in the mission and I didn't screw it up!  Woo hoo! I did however write the name on my finger because he has like 5 names.... But all the other stuff was fine , even in Spanish.  Woo hoo! We are now teaching his parents, and have some optimistic hopes for them as well!

Elder Holmes
Satipo, Peru
If you look really close, the water is a bit yellow/green. They collected it from rain water.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week in Review Jan 5, 2015 - Jan 11, 2015

Hey There! Week 2 in the Jungle!

Forewarning, I have already been to 2 Internet because the Internet is SUPER Slow.  So, for now... This is the main email for all to all... [And no pictures, still. Bummer, but we understand. It must be like dial-up Internet for him.]

Hey there from the Jungle!  Thanks for adding that fun Info Mom about Indiana Jones and the Name Satipo, if you could that would be some fun information to add to the blog! [I already posted that in the last post, but if you missed it, CLICK HERE.]  Things are going well here, it rains pretty often as it is winter here, but it is also very hot at times.  

Also, worthy of mention is that I technically have TWO Proselyting areas as part of my Assignment with Elder Mamani (From Chile) here in Satipo.  We work in Satipo for 5 days of the week, and on the other 2 days we are in an area about 40 minutes from here (A whole other city) named Masamarte (That is how it sounds) [I looked it up and it is actually spelled Mazamari, Peru. It's about southeast of his other area of Satipo, Peru.]  and work with members over there who have a Casa Capilla which is a House Chapel.  About 26 members over there....
Oh, I wanted to correct a few misconceptions that you might have about Mission Peru Huancayo.  
-Mission Home is not at 14,000 Feet that is in Cerro de Pasco.  The mission is in Huancayo. 
-The temple prep class I was scheduled to teach never actually came, so I never actually taught that. Yet...
-Companions will not always be from Peru. More than half of the missionaries in Mission Peru Huancayo are North Americans, and it is very likely that during my mission I will be paired with another North American as well...

5 January 2014

P-day!  Woo hoo!  Not much to report, we had a plan to go to a waterfall as there is a bunch here in Satipo area alone, but it rained pretty good today, so we were unable to go.  So, as an alternative, we played Monopoly, Peruvian Version.  Yup,. it was actually pretty fun! [If you take the time and type in Google Maps or images for Satipo, there are beautiful waterfalls everywhere.]

6 January 2014

Had the opportunity today to visit a member who is less active because she has a health disability which does not enable her move her arms or legs, let alone leave the house... So we had the opportunity to meet with her, give needed help and assistance when she needs it, and just had a good time to be with her.  It was nice.

We also had Correlation meeting with our Bishop today, which was nice to get some of the priorities for our new area out on the drawing board and figure out what we are to do next as missionaries...

7 January 2014  

Well, today every single one of our appointments fell, none of them were in their houses.  Great.  This evening we had our Ward Council Meeting which is always interesting to see how it works well with other wards or how things work overall....

Also today, we traveled to the Area called the Black River and gave 2 blessings of Health to a family over there.. Love being able to use this to help others with the power of God for us today...

8 January 2014

Today we were in Masamarte, our other area... Yes, we have two Areas, and I will try to explain that on another day, but for now it sufficieth me to say that we have two proselyting areas and each are huge.  

In the Evening I gave an English Class and created a English to Spanish to English Reference sheet with the basics of Pronunciation and works and sentence creation, etc... At the bottom is reference guides from Google Translate, and also a link to my blog so they can practice their Spanish. If you have time, please add the translate widget to my blog so they can practice it in both languages.  Thanks! [Already done when the blog was created.]

9 January 2014  

Weekly Planning today! 
Taught 2 Investigator lessons today which both of them were super awesome, one of which wants us to teach her and her family because she notices that the Mormons here are examples to her family of how we should be as a people with our characteristics, moral standards... etc... right?  So, we are teaching them, and they are very very receptive to what we have to say... It is a great family.

10 January 2014

Zone Conference today!  Not a bunch of missionaries in this Zone, but yea, it was nice to get together, meet the other missionaries here, and have some mini training sessions for things of the missionaries.

In the evening we taught a Missionary Preparation Class from Preach my Gospel for prospective missionaries.  This is now an ongoing class every Saturday, as well as our English Classes for the community every Thursday.

11 January 2014

So, today we had splits to cover more ground since one missionary needs to be in our area of Satipo, and the other missionary in Masamarte.  So, I was in Satipo today, and we had the opportunity to give the sacrament and a small talk and musical time with the sister in our ward who cannot leave her house because of her health.  It was a wonderful experience....Sometimes there are just some things that you just cannot explain with words, and this is one of them...
Elder Holmes
Satipo-Masamarte [Mazamari, take the time to look them up on Google, very beautiful but also very humble and rural areas.]

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week in Review Dec 29, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015

Satipo, Peru (From Google Images)
Hello family, friends, and whoever else reads this!

So, As I have been saying I knew there was a transfer of missionaries coming up, but was pretty darn sure that it was my companion that was getting transfered... Well... I was wrong.  I got transfered!  But like I said, I wasn't going to be crying about this one... [The funny thing is his mom, that would be ME, was telling him, even in his last letter, that he was going to be transfered and it was going to be in the Jungle. Mom's just know. lol]

Welcome to the Jungle, We have fun and Games! I am now in Satipo, Peru - Jungle Territory! [Just a fun side note when I did some digging around. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones goes into a ancient booby-trapped temple to get the golden idol. It is in Peru. And his guides name is Satipo. Google search it for more info. But I thought that was some fun trivia. I will need to send that to Andrew. If you search in Google Images Satipo, Peru, there are some beautiful pictures of that part of the country.]  I guess paradise has its disadvantages though, the Internet here is beyond painful, and I do not believe that at this current Internet location I will be able to send photos... It is that slow.  So, text will have to do while I am here.  I am just glad that I was able to Skype BEFORE I got here!

So, the day before transfers my old companion and I were visiting all the families basically saying that Elder Chapeton se va.  That he was out of there.  I didn't really say any goodbyes because I was sure that I was staying!  I was wrong!  Come about 8:30am and we get the call that Elder Holmes is going to Satipo, Peru where he will meet his new companion Elder Mamani (From Chile), and travel during the New Year. Woo hoo!  I know it might not be glamorous to start off the new year this way, but I love it! Traveling to the Jungle, In Peru, where I will spend the next Entire Year in this country?  Awesome right!?!?!?!

Basically a bit about my companion. His name is Elder Mamani, he is from Chile, and is just a few years older than I am. Sometimes I think he gets trunky, but If he wasn't a bit, I would be worried too... he only has like 3 transfers left... He is also my District Leader, so I am learning form that as well... Hey.. President Henderson... So far both of My companions have been District Leaders, and my current companion has been here for a long time too.... What are you thinking? Hehehehehe....

Anyways, the Pension [His cook, in case your forgot. lol] here is great, and my companion had the desire to make me laugh by telling the Pension (Hna. Julia) Pronounced Who-lia that I was complaining that I was hungry in the street today... Something I know NOT TO say around the Peruvians because they will feed you without mercy.  So, off my Pension went to work.  You are now speaking to one of the 3 North Americans in Satipo, that is eating more because my pension thinks I am always hungry. I'm going to get so fat here.

A side note for that... I have learned that by experience here in Peru to eat at the same pace as the others at your table, so you don't have to get seconds of a specific part of the dish (which in reality they just double everything again, which is why I am afraid, it is good food, but I cannot always handle that much MORE food!).. Anyways... I was eating at the same pace as my companion Elder Mamani right?  So, the Pension looks at me and tells me "Ud come su comida como un gato!!"  Basically, she told me I eat like a cat... so from that point on, I sped up... Another Bad decision, that coupled with the fact that my companion joked saying I am always hungry....I am eating SO MUCH now.... Exercises here I come!

It's a good time for me to be here in the Jungle because it is *winter time* here so there is a bunch of rain, and less of the sun that beats down on you like an African drum.  It's Hot.  Bugs and insects, there are a bunch of different kinds yes, but no real mosquito's that are bugging me, and I am totally ok with that!

All in all it is good here, we are opening a new Area called Satipo 3 which is a division of the City of Satipo which was originally only 4 missionaries with free reigns to visit all of the city. Now, we are divided as 6 missionaries with each group and their own area to work more efficiently.  There is one Ward for all of this, and one Family Group which we visit via Moto taxi 2 times a week because of its distance from our house.

I received letters from Home, Dear Elders, the Washburn's Letter, and the Bishoprics the other week. Still haven't received the packages with retainer [Andrew put in a request for his retainer, go figure....] or others that you have mentioned. I will keep you updated on that.

So, I'm in the Jungle, it is humid and hot at times, but right now it is pretty darn beautiful. Don't have the ability at the moment to send photos, but I can view them if you send them.

Love you all!

Elder Holmes
Satipo, Peru