One of our Peruvian general authorities Elder Uceda recalled an adventure at Machu Pichu as he taught us to pray with the heart instead of just the lips. President Russell M. Nelson spoke about joy, the gift of the faithful. Joy has little to do with circumstance, can exist even in tragedy and persecution, and has everything to do with attitude. Christ is the source of all joy. Elder M. Russell Ballard declared that the good ship Zion has Christ on board, so why would we want to be anywhere else? President Eyring counseled us to count our many blessings with gratitude.
We do lots of service for people, such as baking pizza and hemming temple clothes and teaching piano and so much more. Often they offer to pay us. Just the other day I replied to someone, Yes, we want to be paid...in blessings. I told him they promised us blessings for serving a mission, so I have my list. It's all about our children and blessings I want for them. I want them to be happy and successful, especially in their families. Sometimes I wonder when those blessings will start pouring in. It's not that I'm impatient; I'd just like to start cashing in on some of those specific requests. Suddenly I realized that we have been basking in a wealth of blessings throughout our whole mission.
When I hear news about our kids having fun together at Joe's baptism, I think, What a blessing! When I hear that they love and support each other, I think, What a blessing! When I hear the grandkids love to visit each other and have such a super time together, I think, What a blessing! I hear about Melanie, Martha and Becca getting together, and I think, What a blessing! Chris's kids are growing up, going to college, playing volleyball and much more, what a blessing! McKay visits Martha: what a blessing! Martha visits Matthias, and then Melanie: what a blessing! Everyone's healthy and well: what a blessing! And then there are all the on the mission blessings, too numerous to list. Yes the blessings pour down upon us. It's time to give thanks and show gratitude.
Another fun conference tradition is inviting the four missionaries from Chao over for dinner between Sunday sessions. They live too far away to go home for dinner, so it's an opportunity to pamper them a bit. We served up roast beef, gravy, potatoes, vegetables plus pickled beets and chili sauce, and brownies for dessert. Elder Rokovitz, who just has three weeks in his mission, asked Elder Portillo, who has three weeks left on his mission, how often he's had such a meal. Elder Portillo replied, Never...this is the first time! Missionaries here always make me feel so appreciated!
And in the continuing adventures in choir, today Marleni was absent, so we called up her enthusiasm and employed her breathing exercises as we sang the hymns. We also noted that one of our songs was sung in Conference Saturday morning, "If the Way be full of Trial Worry not." We had fun copying the Motab style with the men singing the lead in the second verse. Then we started "Master the Tempest is Raging" with reasonable success too. Afterward the District president, President Blas talked about getting special choir dresses for everyone and matching ties for the men. It makes me nervous because what if they expect me to sew them. I should suggest scarves or some other accessory instead. We'll have to what happens...stay tuned.
|Sunday dinner between conference sessions: Elders Whitney, Portillo from TX, Rokovitz from Spanish Fork, Ortiz from Ecuador, and Harper from MO.|
|Plaza de Armas in Salavery, just outside Trujillo: how's that for a sand dune?|
|In the Huaraz market upstairs, a friendly lady talked us into trying her sopa de cabeza, head soup. What kind of head? Sheep.|
|In the plaza we met this lady with her llamas, Flor and Blanca. This time they didn't spit at us, but just smiled for the camera.|
|She showed us how she spins the wool into yarn.|
|All dressed up with new leggins...not LuLaRoe, but the best you can get around here.|
|Very cute mother and child getting off the combi outside Caraz|
|Dinner at Don Vito's in Huaraz with Sisters Bray from GA and Hielo from AZ.|
|Riding a full combi van between Carhuaz and Huaraz, a group of 25 middle school students flagged us down. Surely we won't stop for them? Wrong...the driver said that they weren't going far, and they all got in. This selfie doesn't do it justice.|
|This is the view from where we had lunch one day in Huaraz. How do you say pharmacy in Quechua? Notice the Farmarecuay.|
|We watched passengers boarding the dark combi van on the left. Got luggage? No problem, just fling it up top.|
|Our hotel had this well in the court yard, or is it a baptismal font? No wonder the water tasted funny.|
|These cute kids just chased all the pigeons off the plaza.|
|Watching the action in the plaza de armas is way more exciting than tv.|