Monday, June 29, 2015

Week in Review - June 22, 2015 - June 28, 2015

[No pictures this week. He was having trouble with Peru's Internet.]

Ok, so this week will not be divided by days, but just by what happened.  I'm in the corner of my internet, and my hand hurts because it has to be shoved in a corner to use the keyboard.   
But all is well here!  This week we had a Multi Zone Conference here in Huanuco with Elder Wadell, and let me tell you, we learned a bunch.  Elder Wadell is one of the Elders from the first quorum of the 70, so it was fun to get some training from him. As usual, I directed the hymns.  Its like the people here know that I can do it, and it has just become a routine!  

This week we had a great opportunity to give some service to those in need.  From one of the streets in our area and for the sections above, where there are not any roads, they had their water cut like 5 days ago, and since then have not had water.  To add to this, they live super far away from the roads in respect to bringing in water, and the water tank trucks that bring water like 2 times a week cannot get close enough to the houses.  So with that, we noticed a great time for some service.  We started with one family and their buckets to bring water to their house, and then after that everyone else brought their buckets!  We were helping about 45 people in this little section with their bucks, and let me tell you, these roads and stairs to all the houses, they are not small.  They are steep and long!  We got a good workout!  I invited the other elders from our ward to help us out, so we could get some more people serviced.  It became a very good activity.  We have been doing a bunch of service like that this week, and have contacted a bunch of people this week only through service.  48 people contacted only through service.  we did not knock on one single door.  Ahhh... I love this so much more, but my back hurts!  I need Jennifer to walk on it!  hahahhaa [Our daughter Jennifer (almost 13) has a fun little talent of being able to massage your back by walking on it. Her dad has trained her from a very very early age. She knows exactly how to do it right.]

This week we also had a mini conference with President Henderson and his wife as a Zone.  Usually we do these as multi zones , but this time he wanted to be able to talk to us a bit more, so we did it like this.  I really do like the conferences when we get the chances, to have them!  

I will try to talk a bit more next week, maybe I will write it out first and send you a copy of the page, but you will then have to type it and put it in the blog....   

Things were good here over all.  Just because there wasn't power in the city all day of Sunday, and I'm super sore, it was a great week.  I hope that all is going good in home, and that you are all enjoying your summer!

Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru

PS: It wont snow this week.  It doesn't do that here... it isn't that cold.  [Okay, we need to explain this one. I guess has failed us. We would check on the weather from time to time and it looked like it was in the 20's at night and a snow was expected this weekend. NOT! I guess we will see I spelled it right or another weather site. Okay, I just checked, I have been spelling the town he is in wrong and to believe that my wrong spelling is actually a town in Peru. In case you are interested, here is the LINK. lol]

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week in Review - June 15, 2015 - June 21, 2015

Elder Holmes was able to attend the temple dedication via Satellite
for the new Trujillo, Peru temple. These are his temple recommend and handkerchief 
Well, I will need to let you all know... this week was one for the books, a bunch of stuff happened this week, and so as I have before I will go through it all one day at a time!

June 15th, 2015

Well, today was P-Day, and in the first part of today we had to move the sisters room, and uninstall a few of their things that are property of the mission.  Like their smoke detector and the water heater for their shower head.  Yes, I did the two, but it was all good.... But when we were doing that, I accidentally left my phone in the room of the sisters when I was reinstalling the new smoke detector.  Whoops.  Normally if president calls the missionaries for assignments like district leader or to train he does it the Monday night before the transfer... So I wasn't freaking out to bad, but of course... President liked to change things up.  He called my phone at lunch time... The sisters picked up.  Uh oh.... Sisters on the other side... I'm sure that looked great!  But basically i had to call president later in the day and found out that I will be training in the mission!  A New missionary!  Woo hoo!  I will leave tomorrow morning with the other missionaries that are in Huanuco that will be training as well...

Elder Holmes and Elder Cano
June 16th, 2015Ok, today was those goodbyes.  And after 9 hours of traveling to Huancayo, (normally it is only 5 or 6, but we were stuck in Ambo for like 3 hours, so that added some time to our journey.  I can tell you that I bought so much food on this trip, especially when I got stuck in there for 3 hours!  Ajhhjhhhh.  So, after all of this we arrived in the Mission Office at 8 PM, we got some dinner, Pizza Hut Wraps and Pizza, and I can tell you right now, that pizza destroyed all the missionaries!  All the bathrooms were loaded with missionaries... such a change in diet... I was so messed up.,  I needed my rice to get back to normal.  Haha. 

Capacitador means Trainer

June 17th, 2015

Ok, so this morning we had a training as the new trainers of the new missionaries.  Just a quick little meeting to remember how our training was, and to improve upon the experience that we had when we were learning how to be missionaries.  So, they all walked in, I still didn't know who was mine, until President did the role call, and assigned everyone to their companion.  My New Companion is Elder Cano, and he is from Lima, Peru, and is a super cool guy!  And guess what?  He knows a bit of English.  Yup, we are talking English now, so he can practice.  Woo hoo!  So cool!  After the training, we had some Burger
King for Lunch.  No Joke.  There is Burger king here!  and I got to eat the lettuce!  Woo hoo!  Yum yum!   

June 18th, 2015

Always wear your seatbelt! So glad he did and all is okay!

Ok, so today in the Mission Office we are still here, because it would take like 9 hours to travel back to Huanuco, so we hung out until the morning in the office.  I happened to snag a New DVD Player for our room, woo hoo, and placed a new order for the Scripture Case for the Book of Mormon that is always in my hands.  I will have a flag of California on the back, that will look very nice there.  Ok, so we waited until 10:30 to leave, and was all good, then on the way something happened.  My companion and I were in our car all calm and all, and then it began to rain on the road.  No big deal, but I forgot how crazy our taxi drivers are, and we were sleeping for a bit, then about 20 seconds before something, my companion and I woke up, it was really weird... Then we realized in a few seconds that we got into an accident.  My taxi driver was hydroplaning and we hit a concrete pole.  From the concrete pole which we totally riped out of the ground, we went in reverse off

the road as you can see in the other photo.  Backwards.. It was awesome!  We are all ok, there was no problems what so ever with us, but more then all it was because we were using our seatbelts!  My agenda and a few things in my front shirt pouch pocket went flying out to the back seat, but its all good. After that i looked at my companion which only has a few hours in the mission, looked at him and said, Welcome to the mission Elder!  hhahahahahhaa... You should be able to take the picture and put it into your GPS Software I left behind to see exactly where the accident was.  We changed cars, and it was all good, luckily we were traveling as a caravan with a few other cars to Huanuco and the missionaries, so we quickly loaded up into another car. 

After this lovely 10 hours of driving, car accident, and being stuck in Ambo for 3 hours, I was able to get our bags dropped off in our room, then pick up food, and off to the English Class.  Yup, that was a short lesson!°

June 20th, 2015

Today the main event was the Cultural Event going on in Trujillo, Peru, In Preparation for the Dedication of the Temple,. President Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar, their wives and a few cronies here from Peru where there to see the Activities.  We got to see them here as well in the Stake Center on the projectors as long as we brought some less active and investigators to watch.  It was really cool, dances from different parts of Northern Peru where this temple will be serving.  You can look it up on and watch this part for free.  It was soo cool!

June 21th, 2015

Up close of the handkerchief that they handed out.

Today was the Temple Dedication of Trujillo, Peru!  Only those with Recommends to Enter the Temple could enter the Stake Centers here in Peru to watch the Dedication and participate in the dedication.  The little kids of 8 years or older could enter, but they still needed a little card, which I was able to snag one as a little recuerdo. [??]  As you can see from the photo I also got a white handkerchief which we use as part of the ushering in of a new temple.  Temple number 146.  Woo hoo!  I will admit though, we lost power in the chapel from 15 minutes before the dedication until 5 minutes after it starts.... As this is an extension of the temple for this activity, the doors were locked and nobody could leave.. it was a very interesting experience.  A super full stake center, which a bunch of quiet and confused people.  But, we only missed the prayer.  President Uchtdorf, Elder Bednar, Pres. Uceda, and a few others were there, one of which will be visiting the mission in a bout 1 week.  His name is Elder Waddell.  Uhh... Oh yea, the dedication was in English with a Spanish translator translating President Uchtdorf and the rest.  He even tried to speak a bit of Spanish.  Sorry Pres, only German is for ya... hahaha...

So, that was this week!  Loaded with adventures, and fun things to do.  I celebrated fathers day as a new dad in the mission.  I'm training!  And  had a car accident (I only told you guys in trust, something that I do want in the blog just so people know that when you use your seat belts it really does do its job, and here as missionaries, we are protected!)
Pizza Hut, English Class, and more.  I guess you could say it was a loaded week, and I am a bit tired... We will see what adventures this week brings!

Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week in Review - June 8, 2015 - June 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Elder Holmes
Hello there!  Not a bunch of time to email you guys this week, but I will try to squeeze it all in... 

So this week I had a birthday!  Oh no, I am now 20.  But that really doesn't mean anything to me here because they all think I am like 28 (without the fake glasses) so the whole age thing has just passed and gone.  But, with that, I was able to enjoy my birthday in the Pension with the pensionista, and she went out and bought a cake!  Woo hoo!  A big fat vanilla cake with my name and everything.  Yup, that was my breakfast.  It was so funny too, I walked into the pension and they said, Happy Birthday! And I was all like, what?  I had totally forgot as had my companion.   It had completely slipped my mind!  But I enjoyed and am continuing to enjoy the birthday cake.  Yum!

The English Classes and Ward Mission Nights are continuing every week, with a bit more success every week. We are beginning to get references through these activities which is a good sign that they are feeling comfortable with us. Yea!  But with that in mind, We also had Ward Council as we do every Sunday evening. Yup, I burned them good. Really Good.  Uhh.....  The life of the missionary continues..

On Sunday I was also asked to give a talk for 15 minutes on the Missionary Work.  I was asked on Saturday. Whoops!  But it went well, I used a few different teaching manuals, and taught it from a different aspect because i am basically tired of teaching the same thing that we always give talks!  

All in all this was a good week, and who knows... this week is transfers... There might be some move around in our Area, there might not... Just wait and see next week... Because this week is when we normally have transfers, not the emergency transfer that I had to get into Huanuco again.  
A slice of cake and hot cocoa
Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru

P.S.  Thanks all for the Birthday emails and wishes!  They don't go unnoticed!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week in Review - June 1, 2015 - June 7, 2015

Happy Birthday Elder Holmes!!

Well this week has been a long one. I will not be specific in everything, but sometimes there are just times that you get tired. Pooped. This week was one of them... But, as missionaries, we just keep pushing on, and we find out that when we are doing our part, and we are pushing on, that it is through our efforts that we become less tired, and we have more motivation to continue working. So with that in mind, welcome to my week!

In the last week I received 4 packages!  Woah!  Woo hoo! Thanks Mom and Dad, and Grandma, and Grandma and Grandpa!  I sent a photo with all the packages that came at once, so it was awesome to get all the goodies!  I live in a room with 3 other missionaries, and they were extremely happy that I got these packages because they know that I will share.  4 types of Jerky, bunch of chocolate, M & Ms to cover the face of Peru.  Yup, I guess you could say that I am happy! [Elder Holmes turns 20 years old this coming Sunday, June 14. Happy Birthday!!]

I'm finding a bunch of cool people here in Huanuco, and learning more and more of the stuff that I need to do as a missionary, and as a District Leader.  Being a District Leader ya, is fun, but it also has its drawbacks.  Taking numbers every few days stinks, because it takes a bunch of time, but it is a nice time to talk to the other missionaries!

I can tell you, this week in the District Meeting, we will be eating Beef Jerky, and M&Ms and enjoying life.... 

Oh yea, and I am teaching my pensionista how to cook, under the direction of her husband.... bahahahah....We made a bunt cake, and she did something wrong, and it went flat and she got all depressed... I took it out, flipped it over, did a powdered sugar trick we use for brownies, and showed her how to make vanilla icing (nobody here uses icing for cakes, so they loved what I did when I iced the cake.  All in less then 20 minutes. Thanks family for teaching me how to eat and cook!  Woo hoo!!  I am teaching fun little things like that almost every day.  My Pension's mom tells me that whatever wife I find will be super lucky, ugh,,..... I'm feeling trunky....

Oh yea, so this week was pretty good, all in all, we are finishing this transfer in the following week, so it will be interesting to see if anything changes here in Ward Colonial.  

Love you all, and thanks for the packages!  I and all of my district thanks you!

Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week in Review - May 25, 2015 - May 31, 2015

He is cooking tacos at his pension's (cook) home. He also made homemade
tortillas. He said that they take forever. I bet they were yummy!
Hello all!

First off I will answer a few questions.  Yes, there are glasses in that photo.  NO, I am not blind or anything, I still have my perfect vision, but I'm trying to protect it with Glasses that are without prescription.  They were very cheap, so don't worry.... like 8 bucks... But they work pretty well!  And when everyone is making comments about :How beautiful my eyes are: they cannot see them as well with the glasses... I'm not kidding, I get those comments every day! [Elder Holmes has blue eyes. I am sure they don't see very many of those.]

My Fun English Comment for this week is that I am the only Gringo in my room of 4 missionaries, so when they have questions about English, I help them out. This week, I explained the difference between 

Twerking (Miley Cyrus) and Turkey (Pavo)

Ya, that was a fun one to explain.... hahahhaha

I hate dogs.  I loved Dogs before the mission, but as a missionary the dogs are evil!  I never really believed it, but they are out for us!  And, they are hungry in the nighttime, sometimes we take different roads because we know where the gang dogs hang out....

I have decided that Missionary Life is like a Sim Game.  The game is fairly adaptive, but the goal of the game is to create a civilization and maintain it.  Communicate with the people, find out what they like, do it, and make them happy.  But, sometimes there are parts of the game that simply are not intractable.  You cannot progress more in that section of the game.  
Just like missionary work, there are just some people that don't want to listen, or will not work with you.  Our job as missionaries is to find the interactive parts of the game, and work within them to make the area and to help them with the "construction of their sim city"  Its awesome!

Oh yea, so there isn't any Gas here in Peru.  Cooking Gas (We use propane in all the houses, because there aren't pipes in all of Peru for Gas) and also no gas for Vehicles. Supposedly there will not be any for the next few weeks, and we are already in week 2 or 3 of this. Taxi prices have skyrocketed, and everyone already wants more from me because I'm white, but then I talk Spanish with them and they are all like... Oh, crap.  He understands.... But, Elder... there isn't gas!  Ugh.... nationwide shortage of gas really cramps our plans!

I'm now teaching Principles of Gospel here in Huanuco in our ward.... Fun fun fun, this last week I taught the word of wisdom, so things are going pretty good.. I had someone of the stake presidency in my class... Ya no ya, no pressure... ugh....

Also worthy of mention is Pizza.  We had dinner with the bishop!  Loved it, but there wasn't enough!

I would love to send more stuff, but I'm running out of time... Hope all is good at home and that you are all loving hearing about the fun stuff here in Peru!

All these Elder's share the same apartment
Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru