Monday, October 31, 2016

Another change week

The old missionaries leave, and the new missionaries arrive. It gets more emotional each time because we've known them longer. This time they sent us sister missionaries in Virú...hurray! They live upstairs where the elders used to be. President Rios presented a missionary activity in three of the branches yesterday where he had all the members fill out referral papers. Later on in the evening we invited the sister missionaries and the elders to come over and meet with a few young adult members. They sorted through the referrals while enjoying a fun visit complete with brownies and chicha morada. We old folks can still throw a successful party!

Farewell to the old....

Farewell Sister Lindblom. She's gone home to Mesa, AZ.

Welcome the new! 

Translating and more

Welcome to Virú Hermanas Navia from Ecuador and Silva from Chile.

We go running together...hurray for Hermanas! 

Welcome to Virú, Elder Weller from Kamas, UT.

 Elders Weller and Ricse stopped by for cinnamon rolls. 

This little keyboard turned Jeffrey into a rock star when we brought it over for his sister Vivi.

After shopping at the market we couldn't help but marvel at everything that comes in plastic sacs: pepinos, olives,  bread, dried mushrooms, flour, tomatoes, herbal tea leaves, eggs, shortening, fresh milk, mangos and so much more. Also yeast, spices, corn starch, all dry goods, rice, beans, meat, fish, glue, small hardware...

And Ken just came home with a soft drink in a bag...that's burnt cevada, an herbal grain drink. 

Breakfast fruit medley with blueberries, mangos and pepinos...pretty as a picture. 

A small herd of llamas treks across our bookshelf. 

Lunch at the mission home, prettiest place in Trujillo! 

Monday, October 24, 2016


Donna and Phil came down from Canada to visit us and also Peru. What a fun time! We took advantage of the opportunity to request permission to leave our mission boundaries and met them in Cajamarca, a beautiful mountain city full of Inca history. It brought back memories of the good old days when Donna and I had our adventures together around the world. And let's not forget the romantic adventures of Ken & Linda back in '74.

Street dancing in Baños del Incas 

So kind of them to put this on special for us

Ken and Phil really worked up an appetite hiking the hills all day. They paused to sample papas rellenos, stuffed potatoes, in Baños del Incas. 

At the Windows of Otusco, an ancient masoleum cut out of natural stone, with Miguel, Donna and Phil

This bridge leads to the cemetery at Otusco. 

They wash the clothing of the deceased in the river below the bridge, and they wear it for a year. 

You can see them herding sheep all over the mountains. 

Really this is cow country, famous for dairy products. 

They make lots of yogurt, ice cream, manjar blanco, and delicious cheese.
In Baños del Incas, this is Atahualpa's private bath. The water comes out of the ground hot and is piped into all the houses here for less than a dollar a month. 

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this is the largest adobe building in the world since 1950.

Little boy blue come blow your horn...he sings a song and plays his instrument to call the cows for milking. 

Vintage carriage at the dairy farm

Beautiful gardens at the zoo in Granja Porcon

This is Donna's favorite activity. 

The waterfalls where we turned around on our horseback riding adventure

The horse whisperer

Standing on top of the world

This is the lady who took us horseback riding. She says she works this job to help support her son through university. 

The ransom room in Cajamarca where Atahualpa filled this room with gold up to the line, and then filled it twice more with silver. After paying this huge ransom, Franco Pizarro and the Spaniards took the riches and killed him anyway. 

Atahualpa in the plaza de armas of Baños del Incas

Infant tomb at the museum

Petrified forest at Cumbemayo

Ken with Stake President Barbosa at the petrified forest.

One of many petroglyphs we saw, this represents a puma in ancient pre-Inca mythology. 

Yes we really did walk up the steps to this church above Cajamarca. 

Amazing cathedrals in Cajamarca 

Beautifully crafted by Inca artisans
Standing on top of the world above Cajamarca with our tour guides Miguel & Sandra.

...from Donna's photo archives, 1974

Farewell to Elder Portillo. He's going home to Texas after a successful two years. We're so glad Elders Ortiz, Rokovitz and Harper are staying, even though he sticks his tongue out for fotos. 

Farewell to Elder Hart as he looks forward to his new assignment as zone leader in Chimbote. We forgot to take the photo until the pancakes were gone. We're glad Elder Ricse gets to stay.

Ken just got back from the hardware store to get parts for the missionarys' apartment upstairs. Hope he remembered to get all the parts he needed. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Manos que Ayudan

Manos que Ayudan, Helping Hands, is a church program focused on service. Saturday morning we donned the official aprons and went to work sweeping and cleaning the main street of Virú. Fifteen young missionaries pitched in with district members. We accomplished much and had a fun time besides!
We spent most of this week in Trujillo with missionaries in meetings and interviews. It's fun to see their growth as they progress in their missions. We often picture our grandkids on a mission here. Next week we move on to zones Chimbote, Casma, and Huarmey.
We stayed two nights in the mission home with the Rios family. President Rios has been obsessed with asking us to make pancakes for quite some time, so we planned on Friday morning. First we had to figure out what ingredients to get. They didn't have flour, baking powder or milk. Oil was no problem because they do lots of frying. So after our meetings Thursday we headed to PlazaVea, a big super store that often stocks imported foods. To our surprise we found some Betty Crocker complete pancake mix, a bit pricey but well worth the convenience, especially for the next time Sister Rios wants to make pancakes. When we arrived back at the mission home they couldn't wait for morning, so we cooked up a small batch of pancakes before bed. Everyone liked them except President Rios. When he saw the pancake mix he said, "Oh, no, that's not the kind of pancakes I like. I do not like them from a box... I only like the kind made from scratch, from basic ingredients like flour and eggs and milk. No I do not like them from a box!" With a fox? I guess you can't please all the people all the time.
We celebrated President Rios's birthday last week with an Argentine barbecue. Elder Benitez from Argentina and Elder Sanchez from Paraguay took charge of grilling up 5 kinds of fancy meats and also bananas. For dessert: the infamous tres leche cake, lucuma filled. Everything was delicious.

Manos que Ayudan right here in Virú!

You can read about us on the backs of their aprons.

Elders Rokovitz and Sanchez drive the bicycle style municipal trash cart with Renzo Blas.

Two sweet Blas brothers working together

Elders Rokovitz and Greer from UT and Elder Portillo from TX

Elder Ricse from Lima taking a breather from dusty sweeping.

Elders Collazos and Pacheco from Bolivia and Raul from Viru. Raul, center, served in Bolivia.

They're having a good time.

Elders Cruz, TX; Hernandez, Lima; Rodriguez, Bolivia; Rokovitz, UT; Harper, MO; Sanchez & Ortiz, Ecuador; plus the two Blas boys, Virú

Elder Torres, Peru, sweeps up leaves in the grassy irrigation ditch.

We finally have our childhood dream fulfilled, we're garbage men!

Elder Ramos, Arequipa sweeps loose dust and leaves off the dirt.

Elder Ricse sweeps the sidewalk to the dusty end.

While the band marched through our path...

Show us trash. We're ready!

The two district leaders: Elder Harper, MO; and Elder Hart, UT

Elder Ortega, Cuzco and Elder Velasques, NJ serve up KFC to Sister Leaders Herrera, Peru; Flake, AZ; Merchan, Bogota; Espinola, Argentina; and Vidal, Ecuador.

That's Sister leaders Ashton, UT; Herrera, Peru; Flake, AZ; and Merchan, Colombia pampered by Elder Velasquez, NJ, yes New Jersey.

Elders Ortega and Velasquez serve up Inca Kola to Elders Ramos, Arequipa; Pacheco, Bolivia and Fernandez, Peru.

Elder Ortega moves down the line to Elders Pacherres, Peru; Miller, MT; Arretea, Lima; and McMillan, UT.

Hooray for Hermanas, yogurt, and photo bombing Elders.


Los tres chiflados

Selfie by Elder Arévalo from Pucallpa with Elder Juárez

You can tell it's party time when Elder Sanchez brings out the glasses for Inca Kola.

Happy Birthday, President Rios with Elders Morales, Peru; Alcazar, Mexico; Benitez, Argentina; Millett, UT; Sanchez, Paraguay.

Elders Benitez and Ortega get ready for the Argentine barbeque.

And the meat goes on the grill!