Sunday, February 28, 2016

Week in Review - February 21, 2016 - February 27, 2016

Laughs, Landslides, and Layovers

Well, sorry to hear your week was less than exciting... But here in the office there is always something new every week.  EVERY WEEK.  Let's go through what happened this week.

Starting with Saturday we began with the transfer.  The 4 who were finishing their mission went home (after missing taxis, bus problems, and almost missing their flights - up until I received calls from the Area stating that they received calls from the airport stating the missionaries had not arrived yet.  Yea!) 

The new group came in this week as well, first group we had them come in on Cruz del Sur, a local Peruvian bus company - by far the best bus company in all of Perú.  Truthfully we feel way better that we have changed this company, and it has made our lives way easier too as it is way less coordination that we have to do now.

Now, the fun part.  There is a word in Quechwa which is Huaico.  It means landslide.  How fun!  Luckily the landslide happened AFTER the transfer, but not after when we sent some missionaries to Lima.  I will tell the following story chronologically so it will make the most sense.

Tuesday Morning:  We send two missionaries from Huancayo to Lima to have a small operation that would be best carried out in Lima, due to medical staff, training, etc.  No problem.  They get to Lima safe and sound and are with the Area Offices for a good amount of time between Temple Trips and Medical Visits.  No problems here.

Wednesday:  Today was transfers in the mission... Missionaries all over the mission are carrying out their new transfers, which can easily include transfers from one end of the mission to another, which cold take about 14 hours in a car.  How fun!  

Thursday:  2 Missionaries are sent to Lima for immigrations purposes.  One from Huancayo and the other from Huanuco.  Both leave in the morning.  Both arrive in the Huaico (Landslide) in a rural part of the Main Highway between our mission and those of Lima. One missionary makes it to the landslide, the bus stops and says they will not be able to pass for 2 days, and lets everybody off the bus and allows them to find their own way to get to Lima with their own money.  I receive a call from this missionary and give him instructions on how to get to Lima (a 4-5 hour additional journey from where he was at the moment).   The area offices are informed and agree to meet the taxi in a special terminal in Lima and pay the taxi fees that I was unable to pay from here.  Missionary from Huanuco is done. Made it to Lima well.  Tired, but well.  

Now, we have the missionary from Huancayo.  He got stuck in the landslide.  I put myself in contact with the bus company (Cruz del Sur) and basically what it came down to is that the bus would either stay there for 3 days and wait it out, or this missionary would have to either find a car back to the mission (and pay super high prices) or find another car and take it to Lima.  His phone was dying, and didn't really have the desire to stay there for 3 days in the middle of nowhere.  And I do not blame him.  So... We sent over a few missionaries from the farthest corner of our mission in this area.  La Oroya.  We assembled a mini (rescue team) haha to see how this Elder was doing in the Landslide.  Sent them with a good amount of money, food, water, and a phone battery.  After about 5 hours they met up with the missionary and assisted him to find a taxi to Lima (still has to go to immigrations) and when the missionaries from La Oroya get there to the taxi, after passing through the landslide, they inform me it would be less than safe to return through the landslide at that hour..

So what happens next?  Well, President Henderson and everyone else was super out of cell phone range... So, I gave them permission to leave and go to Lima with everyone else. Best for their safety.  So... Lets see what we have got now.

2 Missionaries that have been in Lima for a while for medical reasons.  1 more that made it safe and sound passing through the landslide from Huanuco... and 3 more from the other side that also are now in Lima.  With help from the Area representatives in Lima we got the whole group of our mission together in Lima, and they will be working and being together in Lima until further notice.  Most probable for Monday Afternoon is when there will be the way to return back to Huancayo.  Poor guys, but i'm sure they are loving every bit of it.  Rescue teams, landslides, emergency temple trip, the works.  In the end, they are all good, and deep down, I think every single one of them has really enjoyed what has been happening in these last few days.  

And so, en fin, my phone has no joke been ringing non-stop since Thursday Afternoon from 5PM, all night, until Friday, 8PM.  Non-stop. But we got them all, everyone is happy, safe, but maybe the only thing they are missing is an additional pair of clothes.  But truthfully I believe they are happy.  And who wouldn't be?  Temple trip!  

So, I am sleeping again, President is still out and about in the mission, and I just ate pancakes.  Not sure what we will do for P-Day today, and I don't care, as long as I am not in the office, it is ok with me. I have just heated up one of the hot chocolate packets... thanks!

Also, I have attached a photo of me with Top Ramen and my Mini Parm Cheese when I was stuck in the office with the Landslide. It made the night go a bit better...

When we heard that Elder Holmes was in need of
Parmesan Cheese, we sent some over
I hope your week is not as fun filled as mine, and that when it rains, the whole main highway for your nation does not collapse.  

-Élder Holmes
Misión Perú Huancayo