Sunday, October 25, 2015

Grandma Duty Always Needed

Last night we had a baptism. It was huge, three families! Our Elders hard work finally paid off. And we have two more scheduled before the end of the month. One of the families asked me to babysit their cuddly six-month old, so Maité jumped in too. It was a couple hours, so I was glad to have her help. By the end of the evening I told the parents that I was adopting him as a grandchild.
Today at area conference I got to kiss my new grandchild again, and later I noticed Maité had found him too. He's such a cutie. Speaking of Conference, the choir sang "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning." Some of the young singers are so creative they wanted to sing it to the time of "Come Thou Font," so we did, the last two verses. Elder Millett arranged a beautiful accompaniment. Everyone was wowed, and Elder Whitney shed tears. After conference, President Blas told me the next choir assignment would be Christmas carols in the plaza de armas of Chao, Nuevo Chao and Virú. Sounds fun.
We've also spent time this week planning a temple trip for Nuevo Chao. We've been doing family history with members so they can take the work to the temple. Meanwhile Family Search notified us about a 1921 Newfoundland Census newly indexed. It captivated us into the wee hours for several nights. We now have 63 ancestors awaiting ordinances. Hopefully our temple trip will come together some time soon. 

I love Grandma Duty.
Maité loves helping. 
More baptisms!
Baptisms galore!
Amazing papaya trees in Virú 
Grandma Linda and her other grandkids

Doumit Noah Bassil, his brother Naim, Doumit's wife Mary Rose, Naim's daughter Martha Bassil Boulos,
children of Doumit & Mary Rose

Edward & Martha Boulos, my grandparents

Paul Boulos, my uncle who died at age 11

Grandma Martha Boulos with daughters-in-law Lodi, Caucub (Kay) &  and cousin Mamie

Doris with daughters Linda & Tina at their home in Rexdale

Sunday, October 18, 2015


As Ken went over his lesson Sunday morning, he noticed a minor disturbance out the second story window. The yard across the street is enclosed by adobe walls, and perched high a top the back wall strutted three young turkeys, back and forth teetering and bumping each other as they went back and forth. It looked like a video game with birds fluttering by each other pushing along at the top of the wall. Suddenly one toppled off. He landed down inside the yard nearest our building and couldn't fly out. He called desperately up to his buddies, and they answered back in solemn despair. Just then a human head popped up. Noticing Ken at the window across the yards, he called out, "Have you seen my turkeys?"
"Uh there's one down below."
"Oh, what color is it?"
"That's my turkey! Can you get it for me? What if I put a ladder down there? Could he climb up?"
"I don't know; did you train him to?"
Pretty soon the guy paddled around the front and had a ladder against the wall. He climbed up and started calling out to his no avail. Just then our landlord, Santos, appeared and took command of the situation. "Hey, you, get down....what's going on?" The guy peered around, and Santos recognized him, "Hey, neighbor, what's the problem?"
Super Santos was standing up on the wall in a  flash. He pulled that ladder up one side and dropped it down the other. He chased the stray turkey around the yard till he nailed it by the foot and stood there feeling proud of himself...till his eyes met Ken's. Ken called out, "Santos, you hunting turkeys this morning?"
He answered sheepishly, "Um I'm just helping my neighbor solve a problem." Pretty soon he was back over the wall, turkey delivered, muttering, "Otro situacion problematico resolvado!" Our day was off to an interesting start.
Our week took us from Virú, to Trujillo, back to Chao and Nuevo Chao. Highlights include meeting with investigator families, sharing chancaca  (molasses) cookies, attending an investigator evening with several families, accepting their manzanilla tea, playing with all the children and learning how to play Peruvian Jenga with matches and an Inca Kola bottle. All in all, a fun busy week.

Strolling along in Chao 
Peruvian Jenga....
...just as exciting as Jenga 
Mary, another talented student 
The Selfie Queen snatched my phone again! 
31 flavors of Papas...invented in Peru!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

SUD Santos de Ultimos Dias

From conference comes our new favorite scripture: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth (grandchildren, too) 3 John 1:4.
Busy week....Monday we spent the day in Nuevo Chao visiting, doing business, teaching piano, washing blankets. Tuesday we greeted new missionaries in Trujillo including Hermana Celina Hielo from our St. David Stake. We helped spread out breakfast for about 30 missionaries, and after meetings we went to the mission home to serve lunch. As he welcomed the new missionaries, President Rios introduced us the "Abuelos," Grandparents of the mission. Wednesday brought us zone meeting with a birthday treat and more piano lessons. I have a father and daughter pair of students who do all their assigned practicing! They even sight read through the beginner lessons. Whatever will I do if they get better than me? Guess I'd better keep practicing too. That evening we stumbled on a parade with lots of dragons and people carrying torches to celebrate the anniversary of the local school. Thursday was a big day. We had a service project sweeping sand off the streets and sidewalks in Nuevo Chao. They rounded up a hard working crew from the District, and we worked all morning. By the end we felt like a couple of old folks and snuck quietly away. Before we got far the phone rang, and Lydia invited us back for some of her special ceviche. They had a "little snack" for everyone, a huge spread including gallons of ceviche, seaweed, various salad ingredients, camotes-sweet potatoes, yucas and Peruvian spaghetti, plus Guaraná to drink. To top it all off, we got to ride home in the chartered van instead of a combi. What a day! That evening we attended the wedding of Raúl and Cynthia in Virú. It was huge. They packed a hall with guests and served up a fancy dinner with Inca Kola to drink. Some say it's the champagne of Perú. Peruvian law says that the marriage must be performed by the local mayor complete with legal documents and inky finger prints. And after all that, we danced. It amused us to see everyone dancing sixties style, everyone except us. Ken couldn't resist twirling me around with his own sweet steps. We must have been the first to leave at 9:00, exhausted, but we heard the party went on through the wee hours. Friday we met the newly weds at the temple for their sealing, so special in the new Trujillo Temple. It seemed odd that only six people showed up. I guess celebrating with the bride and groom in the temple is a tradition that has some growing to do.
Saturday's a prep/recovery day. We've got lessons for Sunday, and.....our choir has an encore. There's an area conference in two weeks requiring a choir, so of course, that's us. Angie, Maria and I brainstormed at the service project, so today I get to organize our ideas and print out music for tomorrow's practice. And that takes us to Sunday, our day of "rest."

Feliz Cumplianos, Elder Callata. 
Birthday cake up the nose is why we keep our birthdays a secret.
Bienvenidos new sisters and elders....
...with their first, but not last, servings of rice.
Vivi and Jeffery, little angels
Everyone loves a parade...
...long scary dragons.
OSHA approved ladders?
Really Linda's there...she slipped out of sight just as they snapped the photo.
That's the sand that was on the walk.
Kenliness is next to .....?
Mote, Ceviche, Camote & Yuca, Seaweed, Maiz Nuts
Raul and Cynthia
Amazing how happy you can get on Inca Kola

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Conference Photos

My how Conference has changed from when Elder Whitney served his mission back in 1969-71. He remembers listening to Conference weeks later when the reel to reel tape arrived in the mail. Meanwhile they would listen to the Saturday Priesthhood session live over a telephone, set beside a microphone. Sunday morning in church they would hear the Saturday morning session the same way. Really? Yup, that's what he said.