Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Funeral, two missionaries & several baptisms

I first met Sister Ortiz in church at the Las Flores Branch in Virú. A quiet humble sister, she radiated strength as told told me about her returned missionary son and her current missionary daughter serving in the Dominican Republic. I later found out that her husband was waiting for their daughter to return so he could be baptized. A week before the end of that mission, Sister Ortiz passed away suddenly from heart failure. The daughter said she'd been prepared for this by a dream. Shortly after Sister Ortiz the daughter came home last month, Brother Ortiz was indeed baptized. Then last Saturday the town of Virú ran a special price on marriages to celebrate mother's day, so one of the Ortiz brothers married his wife of several years. That evening he and his family were baptized. And to think it all started with Mama Ortiz and her quiet strength.

Meanwhile I chatted with the relief society president about how her husband got his name. Wilson, that just seemed curious for a Peruvian name. Apparently when he was born, his mom sent his dad to officially register the name of the new born. In all the excitement of having a new son,  getting to the town hall, waiting in line, talking to people about his new son, he somehow forgot the name. He had to register something, so he looked around, spotted a soccer ball on the floor, and copied down the name from the ball, Wilson.

Baptism of Monica and Manuel Ortiz 

We cooked lots of rice plus yuca and grisly beef for the wedding dinner. 

Afterward we piled into a combi to visit the cemetery and remember Sister Ortiz.

Instead of grave stones, they build little "houses" over the graves. Then on Day of the Dead, they bring food to put inside in case the dead come back to visit. 

Also in our week, as two of our grandchildren back home reminded us that we're missing their baptisms, we have a Peruvian granddaughter who was just baptized. Camilla Rios, daughter of our mission president, turned eight May 5th and was baptized May 6th, The celebration was most festive.

Me and my Peruvian granddaughter Camilla: notice the beautiful table skirt. 

Familia Rios with Elders Alcazar, Millet, Stephens, Sanchez, Maldonado, Ramos

and us

Four homeless elders: due to an accident at the Lima airport, their flight home was canceled. They finally flew out a day later, the longest 24 hours of their missions. Elders Cook, Webber, Ashcroft, and Price

Skilled Elders Christensen and Miller 
Look, it's a truckload of our favorite soda! 


  1. Too bad Sister Ortiz couldn't have witnessed the baptism, but then again, she probably did. I feel really bad for the moms of those homeless Elders.

  2. What a neat experience with Sister Ortiz and her Dominican Missionary! Sometimes it might be easy to dismiss an older women who was past her physically strongest years, but the cornerstone of her spiritual strength and faith will continue to bless her family for generations now.

    Your other granddaughter named Camilla is coming up with a birthday soon too!

  3. I think this post answered out gravesite question. That is wierd, or a completely different custome than we are used to for the day of the dead. After we thought it, it does kind of make sense though.

  4. That is a sweet story about Sister Ortiz.

  5. Hey-- the kids want to know if you hijacked that inka kola truck!! And when you do, please bring them some!

    1. We couldn't catch the truck, but we'll bring you some Inca Kola.

  6. Elder Christensn and Elder Miller got skills!!

  7. Poor Elders and beautiful baptism! Yes, beuItful table skirt Mom! Great job!