Monday, October 26, 2015

Week in Review - October 19, 2015 - October 25, 2015

[No pictures this week.]

Transfers! I need to think that the week of transfers was all fun and dandy until I became a Zone leader, and had to do it all.  Not to mention Elder Ottley finished his mission, so I was unavailable to ask for help. Wasn't too bad, just stressful, for the time and all, we had to send, and arrange transfers for one Elder or Sister in every companionship, so that became a bit costly and stressful.  A few from Huancayo to other areas inside of Juancayo, a few to Tarma, and to Huanuco, and even to Huancavelica. So basically my day was to babysit missionaries - - no just kidding, it is because a bunch of them were without companionships, and belong to areas over 1 hour away, so it wasn't a great idea to send them to their area just to have them be called back.  So, at one time in our room (between 2 zones) we had like 14 elders in our room, eating and waiting for their new companions.  Ugh. The kitchen is empty!  We got them all sent off and at the end of the day I was able to pick up my new companion Elder Schreiner, from Utah... A bit late in the day to actually do much visits, and I had planed our appointments for the following days because I didn't know from were he was coming..: So, all is well on the transfer font.  I was able to send and pay for everybody to get to their new areas, and meet their new companions. 

This week has been nuts, but good. It's raining more here, because apparently we are in preparation for El Niño which is on its way for December. They are modifying all the school schedules so they can finish before the storm. Even Saturdays and Sundays they are studying now... it's nuts. I don't even think it will be that bad, they get into habits sometimes of over exaggerating.. So we will see..  

All in all this week was pretty calm after transfers.  We made a cake in our Bakery Friends place. It is the cake that is the first layer cookie dough, next is Oreos, and the last one is brownie mix.  Yup.  It was delicious.  We went and ate it in the office with the secretaries and the assistants when we went to go and pick up packages.  

Also, this week we had our Area Conference which consisted of Peru and Bolivia. The speakers were Marcus B. Nash, Sis. Cheryl A Esplin, Juan A Uceda, and Elder Neil L. Anderson.  ALL of them spoke in Spanish, except for Cheryl Esplin.  Great talks, which focused on Sabbath day, and temple attendance, at any cost, any distance.  

Sorry its a bit short this week, and there are no photos, but next week I will try to do something... 

Love you all, and hope you have a great week!

P.S.  I slept this week. 

Elder Holmes
Huancayo, Peru

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week in Review - October 12, 2015 - October 18, 2015

Really Though.  Do I have to write this week?  It has been so SO SO Busy, I don't even know where to start. I hope that a picture is worth a thousand words because I don't even have a few words to share this week.  I will bullet point a few of the things that happened this week then I will try to explain a few of the pictures that are uploading right now so that at the very least some of them will make some sense.

Panchamanka.  This week we received permission from President Henderson to make a panchamanka.  This is basically a bunch of food that is cooked in the ground or above the ground by using stone heat to cook it all, even the meat.  So, as part of the goodbye thing for my companion we got permission to do it with a less active to try and animate them to have a bit more of confidence in us so we can help them out a bit more in their family and do the stuff we need to do. So, attached are a few photos of the steps we used to make the panchamanka, and what it consists of.  Maybe next week I will make a video that explains the photos of the panchamanka.  If not, just look it up online, I'm sure it explains it pretty well.  But you have to look it up from the earth, and not from the pan.  

Also, something worthy of mention this week is that we did Divisions.  Woo hoo. Actually they went through pretty well, it was just logistical crap for the last part because that is when we began finding out there were changes in the sister zone that happens to live with us, so we had to help them out a bit because there wasn't enough missionaries to go around.  Woah.  Long Story short, the other missionary that was in our room is now in the office, he is an Assistant to the President, and so we have been in a Trio since that Wednesday. Fun fun.  
This week I said goodbye to my companion, as Elder Ottley has finished his two years of service, last night and this morning, and like all of last week we spent time packing, and I think he finally made it all in, and just at weight.  Ugh.  I don't want to do that.  Yuck. 

There was a baptism this week in the ward, but from the sister missionaries, but I had the opportunity to be the Priesthood that baptized their convert.  A fun experience, and it was even more fun trying to fix the freaking machine for the font.  That sucks in water, pushes it out, and heats it up.  It's such a mess.  I will send you guys a photo of what it is like... Then you can see how fun it is when it breaks...

That should be it.  I will try to write something better up today, but I cant think.: I'm so tired.  I Will probably sleep next week after the transfers.  haha.  

Love you all

Elder Holmes

Monday, October 12, 2015

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

[Note: Click on pictures to make them larger]
General Conference Weekend

This weekend we had the opportunity to watch General Conference Live, but also in English! There were enough of North American Missionaries that we constituted a small room in the stake center. English is channel 3, and Spanish is channel 8. While many members were a bit tardy, we were there on time to take advantage of the time we have to listen to the prophet and his apostles in these days. I won't go through each one, because it was a conference of two days, but there were many discourses that called my attention, like discourses from Sis. NeillF. Marriott that “It will all work out” or Sis. Carole M.Stephens, “Teach them” or many others, all of which are available to still watch or listen to at On Sunday morning session however, the stake center was fill to the brim, but the other sessions were a very story. [?] Talking to the members, its almost as if the majority were unaware of the fact conference was a total of 6 different sessions in one week, and not just 1 or 2, ugh. Well, I will tell you I kept on the tradition of ice cream after priesthood session and got some with my companion, but it had to be super quick and in our room because the priesthood session ended at 9pm, and the absolute latest we can be out of our room is 9:30pm and we had to pick up our dinner to bring home, because on a normal day here in the mission dinner is served at 8pm.

Appointments that fail

An interesting topic I had the opportunity to teach this week was time management to a youth who is a recent convert to the church. An odd topic for missionary to be teaching, perhaps --- an odd topic for a missionary to be teaching in Peru – not so much. At home it is drilled into our heads in all aspects that ones time is your most valuable asset, and best do everything possible to preserve it and utilize it well, unless it is something taught by your parents, is not taught anywhere else, this making it way difficult to stress to individuals that being on time, or honoring an appointment is not a joke, or completely excusable for [?] half an hour late to activities… So, every once and a while we take advantage of this opportunity and try to make a teaching opportunity of it. The older generation is beginning to understand it, along with a few select families, but if the attention to this is not called, it makes it very difficult to teach sometimes, or to have members who will accompany us on appointments. So, with all of that there are many times we cannot visit members because there is no male present, or they simply aren't there because they decided to do a quick shop in the market – the same time we had planned with them – because they forgot and don't keep any type of schedule or reminders in the phones that they all have. Ok, rant [?] is now over.


P-Day this week was pretty darn fun. We took a comvee from Hauncayo to an outskirt town called “El Ingenio”. Were basically it is just trout farms with a bunch of local restaurants. We
found a super cool restaurant not only where we could fit all 16 of us (our zone) but we could also fish our own lunch! I wasn't very patient, so I took a plastic crate and scooped out my fish. This was by far the best fish I have ever eaten in the mission, and if it wasn't so far away I would keep going back. 

The plate cost like 13 soles, and the jar of lemonade for 2 was 8 soles. So, considering in total a lunch here is 7 soles with everything it was a bit 'pricey' but it was completely delicious. After El Ingenio we took another comve over to Santa Rosa Ptn Ocopa which is a Catholic Church/Museum clear back from the 1,600's. It was prohibited to take photos inside the structure but outside there was no problem. 

We did get them to lower the entrance fee because we said we were part of a religious organization, and the majority of us, Latinos or North Americans are foreigners, so we got the price lowered from 5 to 3 each one, not to bad. A lot of cool history stuff, photos, 22 [?] that nobody can read, and many old paintings from that era. We finished the day by taking a mototaxi around, I kinda sat on the back 'seat' but nobody noticed because it is something that many people do from time to time.


So you know that in the room that I am in we cook our own breakfasts, so we have a stove (no oven), a fridge and a couple other plates, and dumb stuff. Well, Elder Glasset and I have gotten to experimenting and so we have with many different items. Our latest two inventions has been stove top egg casserole and cactus syrup. Both of which might I add are delicious, and our Pension [cook] wants to buy the cactus syrup from us. It is fairly easy to find the cactus fruit here and then you just have to do the necessary steps to syrupify [?] it. It came out great! I have attached some photos of our attempts to imitate an oven on the stove top (for casserole) and some cactus syrup pictures.
Cactus Fruit

Peeled Cactus Fruit
The start of their egg casserole - stove top

Mormon Helping Hands

So, on Thursday we had the Worldwide Mormon Helping Hands project which consists of all members taking part in service projects around the world to help the community. That's it! Simple. I never go anywhere without my Leatherman, and let me tell you that was a blessing. A big part of our park clean up service project was taking down barbed wire walls, untangling it, cutting it, and installing it. Nobody had or brought pliers or thick gloves, or wire cutters, so my Leatherman and I became lifesavers. My hand hurt like heck after wards, but it all worked out. P.S. I'm glad I had my Tetanus Booster shot. :)

To explain photos that I didn't explain.... lets see.... there is a solar water heater on our roof now. We use that for all of our hot water in our companionship. And let me tell you, does that steam BURN your skin! We use it daily, and it works great! I think in dollars it is like 500. Totally worth it to not have to heat hot water and pay for the gas to do so, especially down here!
Solar Panel on roof of Elder's room
All in all we are doing good down here... My health is great, I'm definitely slowing down on my metabolism, but I guess that is a good thing. It is kinda weird to be helping a missionary finish his mission. ugh... weird. But I'm doing great.

Elder Holmes

Huancayo, Peru

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week in Review - September 28, 2015 - October 4, 2015

I cannot stress how much time we do NOT Have here in the internet cafe stuff that they have here.  it is almost impossible to be able to share all that you want to share.  And for that reason the other day I wrote it out before and sent it to you guys so you could at least read it.  But that is also increasingly difficult to do as it also takes up time that I am finding that I do not have as we are planning trainings, talking to other missionaries about their areas (because they call super late and they do not respect the time of other missionaries, but that is another topic).  So, if this email seems a bit low on the details sorry, I am trying my best on trying to get all of what happens into this email in a few minutes.  Also, My USB that I have just got a worm virus.  Yea.  So, With all these things I have the 1 hour of internet. Yea!

So, starting with Monday we had P-DAY. Basically it was a companionship p day where we just did shopping and got the stuff we needed for the week. As Elder Ottley is finishing his mission in a few weeks we are doing some super fun shopping like recuerdos and what not. Needless to say I have been inspired to start some shopping for home as well.  I'm not done, but I am getting a good chunk done.  I wont tell you what I am getting, but just be satisfied that I am getting it. And you will like them!  I guarantee it.,  

Tuesday we had our District Meeting.  Not much new stuff, just fun to hear about the other missionaries and see how and what they are teaching the other investigators and less active members in their areas.  And how as of yet hardly any of the ward members are aware that there is General Conference this week.  That could be a problem.  Later today we began to search for pickup trucks because the sisters in Concepción are moving tomorrow and don't have any means to make the move.  Just love it when the plans we made and told people we would pay them just decide to bail on us, and not even tell us. Tomorrow should be super fun!  hahahaha

Today we had the lovely opportunity to move the sisters from Concepción.  Found a guy with a pickup moving truck, and had him  help us move the sisters over to their beautiful room where they basically are living in a Mini Mansion, with huge grass lawns, sheep, fountains, the works.  It is a beautiful house, but it was a pain in the butt to do the moving, and convince the sisters that the only way all their stuff and their million bags will fit is if we do it in the following way.  Yup, that was a fun one to show, but after about 2 hours of showing and moving and what not, we got it all in, and settled down.  Hope that lasts for a while there.  Ugh....  Also, later on today we went past a less active and I gifted a copy of the Simplified hymns to his son who is learning the piano.  He got straight to it and began practicing the simplified hymns.  i really hope that even with this it will help them to have a bit more desire to stay in the church, and at the very least, learn some more piano, an art here that almost doesn't exist. 

Thursday we had interviews.  As Zone Leaders we had to be there all day to supervise the others while they were waiting, and help out doing practices with the Assistants and the missionaries in our Zone.  Started at like 8 Am and finished for Lunch.  Had a nice chat with President, but it is always hard to read him sometimes, not in a bad way, just in a way that he will say something in a code (I feel) and then you have to figure it out.  ugh... hahaha but it is all good.

Later on today we get a call from the Stake Family History lady.  She found in the chapel today a couple who came to the chapel looking for missionaries from our area.  They are having a few problems in their family and felt the need to search out the missionaries.  The mom didn't know why, where, or how to do it, but found a number in her phone that actually worked, called it and got directions to the church building.  Happened to find somebody there, and the chapel was open, gave us a call, and we came right over.  It worked out great.  We now are visiting the family, and we know where they live.  There are so many miracles that happen like that here, that there isn't enough time or room to write them all.

Friday, I ended up doing a Baptism Interview for somebody in another one of our Districts. Over 1 and a half hours later we finished the interview. Woah. This was by far the most spiritually uplifting interview I have ever done.  The ability to apply repentance to the life of somebody and watch them make the change, and apply the principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is something amazing to witness.  Put him with goals, approved his baptism. Woah. What am I being prepared for.  That was draining, but in the same breath, uplifting. 

Saturday and Sunday, I will put in next weeks email, there is not enough time to talk about General Conference. But just let it be said that I watched the 5 session in ENGLISH! Woo!! We had our own little room and everything, it was great... I will talk more about that next week.

Love you all!  Hope you have a great week! 

Elder Holmes

Huancayo, Peru

[PS: No photos this week, just not enough time.}