Monday, March 2, 2015

Week in Review - Feb 23, 2015 - Mar 1, 2015

Elder Holmes with the Ashaninka people and his new friend, the Boa!
6 Months!?! Are you kidding me?!?!

So, its official.  I have been out in the mission field for over 6 months!  What is this!?!  While I would love to recap all of these last 6 months with you, I barely have enough time on this precious computer with internet to share this last week.  So, we will start with that!

Elder Homes and Elder Inkley and their new companion
I am just loving being in the Jungle!  So, we will start out with our adventures in the missionary force of Peru on this last Monday.  So, we had a multi-zone conference in La Merced which consisted of Missionaries from Satipo, Pichinachi, La Merced, Tarma, Oxypampa, San Pedro de Cajas, just to name a few.  But of course we also did a Multi Zone P-Day!  Off we went to a place called Pompa Michi where a local tribe called the Ashaninka live [Click Here, for more info on this tribe] -  they are sort of like our version of Native Americans on their little reserve and sell gifty things afterwards -  which was a bunch of fun. Started out there with getting dressed up in the Tribal clothing, and our faces painted to match. Yes, I can hear you getting jealous, but it doesn't stop there... from there we learn about their history and then are part and learn of one of their ritual dances.  After that we were able to buy stuff, but that wasn't even my favorite part either.  My favorite was the Boa. Yup, the boa snake.  I would say it is about 8 feet long, maybe a bit more... I hate snakes with a passion, so the following will surprise you.  I held the snake around my neck and held it by its head.  And I got a photo!  Wasn't a huge fan of the muscularly snake playing on my neck, but thats another story.  We finished the day by going to a a very fancy Ice Cream Shop, where I easily spent 10 soles on Ice Cream, something which is almost unheard of, because you can buy dinner for a good 7 to 10 soles.  Well, let me just tell you this Ice Cream was worth the American equivalent of $3.  It had brownies and syrup, and all the good stuff... [I have a feeling he will be visiting Cold Stone as soon as he comes home.]

That night we all stayed in a hotel called (yes in English) Texas City, which was actually pretty nice, we got a complimentary soap and toilet paper.  Life was good.  Spent the night there , next day for breakfast we just ate yogurt and some drink and called it good.  Then off to the conference.  The building we were in, in La Merced was beautiful, and it had Air Conditioning!  1st building in 6 months i have seen with AC.  Must be because it is in the jungle too!  I just wish ours had it too in Satipo.  Anyways, my comp was asked to play piano, and i was asked to direct music.  Surprise!  All in all, the conference was great, President Henderson and his wife did great as they always do, brownies were yummy, assistants to the President did a good job, and it was a very nice conference.  After the conference all the zones got together and did our usual photo shoots, which if internet goes well today, you get a copy. Then we all said our goodbyes, had lunch.  I had Chifa [Fusion Cooking, Chinese food meets Peruvian Food. When I looked it up, just looks like something you would find at Panda Express, lol], then off to Shima, our taxi service that the mission uses for the missionaries to do distance traveling.  We got back in Satipo about 2 hours later which was enough time for us to go to 1 more appointment before dinner at 8 pm.  

Wednesday was our usual day to go to Mazamari, the other city that we visit so long as we have references.  So, we continue to go, because we do have references that trickle in, its just hard because we aren't there all the time, it is difficult to check in on people.

Thursday!  6 month mark!  Woah!  6 months in the mission, and 6 months since the CCM!  25 % done with my mission?  Already!?  There were times where it went painfully slow, but looking back that was super fast!  No, I (haven't burnt my tie as of yet, I am searching both Satipo and Mazamari for used ugly ties of any type.  Let me tell you they do not exist!  I do not have it in my heart to burn one of my ties as of yet  So, when I find one it will be burnt in memory of the 6 months.  Today was a pretty normal day, did our stuff, hit up the Soft Serve Ice Cream place, and taught English class.  The works.  However, I don't know what happened at English Class today, I was just about to start teaching and like 20 kids NO JOKE came into my class.  Id swear it was like the scene form the Santa Clause where all of them knew he was Santa and swarmed him.  It was like that for the English Class, on the upside though, I made a new English Cheat sheet and have begun distributing them at my classes.  

Also today, I had the opportunity to try a mix of products from a brand name OmniLife From one of our investigators.  Basically it is a nutrient supplement powder drink mix.  Well, he wanted me and my companion to try this mix we call the Bomba.  Yup.,  The Bomb.  4 packets, 1 bottle.  My face  tightened up so quick and I almost threw up.,  I felt nasty for the rest of the day!  OmniLife my butt, it was disgusting!

Friday!  Weekly Planning and our appointments after lunch!  1st off I will start of with the Hno. Arturo, the Investigator who I am buying his wedding cake... well he announced to us he wants all of his family, including his wife, his daughter, and his son, to be baptized and in the river, in the same day as his marriage!  Woo hoo!  Off to find all the baptism clothes!  Also, today he brought his mom to this lesson.  So we taught her as well, she liked it, and came to church the following Sunday!  You should have seen it though, he announced to his mom while we were there that (it was a secret before to her) that he was getting married because he knows he was living in sin.. I was so awesome to see this family announce that and move forward as a family now!

Today on this Saturday we stared out with our district meeting, then headed off as a district to Mazamari to do a district attack so we can use less time to find more people - the investigators that the other missionaries had before they closed this area.  It helped us quite a bit actually, we found some members, and investigators, so it was a success.  Ended the day in the chapel with our Ward Mission Night.  Not to bad.

Fast Sunday was today.  The most interesting part of my Sundays are the Ward Council Meetings.  I along with the other missionary have adapted for our use the philosophy that nobody leaves ward council without an assignment, or something to do for the week.  And so we assigned things.... and things start looking up, we are beginning to get the ward involved in their own activities, just needed some direction is all..

All is going well here in Satipo, and there is so much more that I want to share but am Limited by time and email space!

Love you all back home!  25% down, 75% to go!

Elder Holmes
Satipo, Peru