Sunday, November 27, 2016

Clear days in Huaraz

We made a quick trip up to Huaraz with President Rios to check on the missionaries and hold a conference. Riding in the president's car is such a luxury compared to the slow  hot noisy buses. We climbed the mountain in less than half the time and more than twice the comfort. However when we stepped out of the car upon our arrival, we realized the downside of the trip. Climbing 12,000 feet in such a short time left us both breathless and dizzy in the high altitude. 
Today was District Conference and showtime for the choirs. The Primary and Youth choirs performed in the Saturday session. Their singing was so outstanding that President Blas invited the youth to sing again today. The adult choir sang awesomely today and even did a prelude and postlude of Christmas carols. The missionaries helped us out with the men's parts, and the two sisters sang harmony, so we really had a fine sound. Also Marleni sang her solo "How Great Thou Art." Everyone was wowed, and I can't help but think that she was wowed too by the powerful spirit in her first LDS service. 

 Just enough rain fell to beautifully frost the mountains around Huaraz. 

On a clear day you can see forever in Huaraz. 

On the way up President Rios stopped at Tortuga Bay: Elders Henao, CA; Benitez, Argentina. 

We passed the time at the beach waiting for our seafood dinners. I had shrimp. 

 President Rios takes good care of us and even indulges us with selfies. 

In the morning he insisted on finding us a typical Huaraz breakfast of quinoa with apples. The trouble was that they only sell that on the street, and he's always taught us to beware of street food. He finally found a place that looked safe. The lady there turned out to be a church member, so that was an added bonus. 

The quinoa was delicious, and we know it was nutritious. 

As I walk out in the streets of Huaraz, I just can't stop myself from taking these beautiful pictures.

Hurray for Hermanas & Paneton in Huaraz: Hermanas Paredes, Lima; Hielo, AZ St David Stake.

We're practicing for the District Conference choir: Hermanas Navia, Ecuador; Silva, Chile. 

The Primary choir did a great job with "Jesús en pesebre."

The youth choir sang their hearts out with "Juventud de Israel" and "Fuente de la Vida Eterna."

Here they are with the district presidency after the conference. Aren't the flowers beautiful!

And finally the adult choir sang "Master the Tempest" and "Weary Not." That's "Paz, cálmense" and "Si la vía es penosa." The Elders look and sound so good across the back, plus Elder Hernandez on the piano and don't forget our sister missionaries at the right. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

japi verde tuyo

"Japi verde tuyo, Japi verde tuyo, Cumpliaños felices que los cumplas Linda Vernardini." We celebrated another birthday here and in Trujillo too. With the miracle of the Internet I was overwhelmed with birthday wishes, but of all the wishes, this was the most interesting. It took me several tries to understand the Spanglish. Pronounced in Spanish phonetics this comes out as, "Happy Birthday to you." Tuesday at the end of my piano lessons, Ken happened by. I thought he must have had a meeting. As we left he said we needed to go back and close windows in all the classrooms. I started to enter one room with him, but he said not this room, the one across the hall. So I opened that door to find the room filled with people sitting in the dark and a table with cake, cookies and a bucket of chicha morada. Everyone ate all the cookies and then sent the cake home with us. On the way home I gave half to my friend Patti for her family. Then we called the four missionaries that live close to us and invited them to come do service by helping us prevent that wonderful tres leches (three types of milk) cake from going bad.
The next day after our Zone Leader Meeting in Trujillo, we all went out for pollo a la brasa, Peruvian grilled chicken. It was delicious as usual, then after, they brought out not one but two tres leches cakes to wish me a happy birthday. I felt pretty pampered, but that's not all.
The week before was our 42nd anniversary. Ken said we had work to do visiting missionaries in Casma, so off we went. To my delight he booked us two nights in a resort hotel close to the beach in Huarmey. We strolled the beaches, explored a bonefield next to an ancient cemetery, feasted on shrimp and ceviche, and oh yeah, we visited missionaries too. What an awesome anniversary...thanks Sweetheart!

Don't let that cake get too close to my nose! 

Japi Verde tuyo!

The cake says, "Feliz dia Hna Withney"

P Day picnic with Hna Silva, Chile; E'Weller, UT; Hna Navia, Ecuador; E'Ramos, Arequipa; E'Ricse, Lima; E'Rodriguez, Lima

Feliz Cumpliaños!  Again . . .

Hermanas Vidal, Ecuador; Espinola, Argentina; Rios, Lima; Merchan, Colombia; Ashton, UT; Whitney; Flake,AZ; Herrera, Peru 

Cool waves in Huarmey . . .  about 58° F

Even the seal is cold.

Don't turn your back on the ocean.

Coming out to party

Is he getting ready to fiddle or just dancing on the beach?

Bones, pot shards and burial shroud

No gold left, just silent pieces of history

Not really a laughing matter

Happy 42nd and counting

Even the planets were aligned that night.

Primary Program today

Monday, November 7, 2016


The Huamanchumo sisters, Angie and Fernanda,  and their friend Micaela have always been fascinated by my baking. Monday they all came over to learn how to make brownies. It just amazes them to see all the desserts we have. We finally concluded that whereas rice is a daily staple here in Perú, desserts are a staple in the US. That explains why we're so much fatter than Peruvians. We had a good laugh about it.
We're looking forward to district conference at the end of November, and for more reasons than one. Apparently word of my "expertise" in choir directing has gotten around, and I now direct three choir practices every Sunday: Primary, Youth, and Adult. They're all for performances at District Conference. It gives me a new appreciation for all the dedicated choir directors I've sang with over the years. I never realized the extent of the stress in preparation and trying to get people to sing as directed plus the total exhaustion I feel at the end of the day. The Primary has made huge strides with "Away in a Manger," and progressed from singing monotone to two parts, girls and boys with a touch of harmony. We put on quite the comedy show as I tried to get the Primary President to play the automatic piano. Somehow we could never get the timing of the piano right with the kids, and plus the intro kept getting confused with the song. So after stopping and starting a dozen times we decided to sing without accompaniment for now. The Youth choir practices "Come Thou Font" and "Hope of Israel." They have their antics, often reminding me of my high school teaching days. A certain two brothers who remind me of Twedledee and Twedledum kept me on my toes as I confiscated their device, had them get rid of their gum and finally separated them to opposite ends of the choir. They sang beautifully and we had fun working with our piano player Elder Hernandez who loves to play improv. He's so creative that he couldn't remember the fancy flares he added from one time to the next. You can imagine the kids and me stopping over and over again to help straighten him out. Elder Hernandez also plays for the adult choir. He's so bursting with talent that he keeps playing the piano during instruction times, and he plays whatever song comes to his mind, or maybe his fingers. Finally I threatened to hit the off button on the piano, and he quieted down, but kept playing at a lower volume.
Last week we visited all the missionaries in Chimbote. We inspected their rooms, checked their area binders and distributed cookies. A good time was had by all.

Angie, Micaela and Fernanda

Excellent brownies

Such a fun time! 

Adult Choir

Youth Choir

Elders Hart, Fernandez, Velasquez and Millett

Elders Guerrero,  Choque and Whitney 

Elders Quevedo, Arretea and Shiiz

Notice the name of the restaurant in the background. 

Two of our favorite "grandsons"

Sisters Ashton and Fullmer
Elder Jensen
Sisters Vidal and Dillree
Elders Weeks and Diaz

Sisters Cachca and Panta