"Being together is like catching a sunbeam; each new memory we make reflects light hinting there is more to see and know."

December 27, 2015

Week 44 ~ A Missionary Christmas

Christmas in Peru. Wow. What a busy and entertaining few weeks we have had! I know it’s busy at home with last minute preparations, buying gifts, party gatherings, music and family. Here it was busy in such a different way and we really felt the spirit of Christmas.

Wednesday we joined six other missionary couples to attend a Christmas music celebration at the National Theater. We went to dinner first at Scarlatti’s next to the La Rambla Mall. The food was excellent! Then we attended the music performance that included a full orchestra, about 150 members in the choir and then the Peruvian Cultural Dancers. What a show and performance! The music was so magnificent and spirited and the dancers and costumes were fabulous! And to think we got in for the price of S/. 30 or $10 USD. Everything was perfect, the company, the food and the entertainment.

                                                                                                     This is an ice cream crepe!

Look at these cute dolls. This is Sister Acosta who lives upstairs. She brought these dolls down to show me what she's been doing the last several months. Yes, she made these dolls by hand without a sewing machine to give to her dear friend Jessica and her daughter who live here in Lima. Everything about them is handmade. Truly remarkable and precious! I can sure appreciate the hours of handwork required for each doll. Wow!

We went caroling all through the neighborhood for about two hours. We had many, many who came to their windows and doorways to listen, to take pictures and videos and give us warm hugs and wishes for a merry Christmas. I must say, our little choir is pretty good with some very strong voices. It was really quite heartwarming, something I don’t think the Peruvians have seen before AND we sang in Spanish so they were quite impressed. We ended at the Bluth’s apartment with volcano cake and ice-cream, cookies and candy. 

December 21, 2015

Week 43 ~ Celebrating Christ's Birth

Our week in the office was a little crazy because of all the reimbursements that needed to be made to all the brethren who attended the annual meeting. It was complicated by the fact that Friday was the cut-off date for the bank card transactions and setting all the accounts to zero which included the eight men from Colombia and Venezuela. Vilma Ramos in our office helped Diane a lot, especially with communication with those having questions and problems. 

We had some incidents in getting all the men back to their homes. One brother got very sick in the Lima airport and had to go to the hospital. He was throwing up and fainted. Another flight was cancelled to Bolivia and the dear brother had to stay an extra day and then take a bus all night to his home because he couldn’t miss another day of work. On the way to our meeting, a brother from Huancayo took a group taxi with his wife. He was afraid of flying and even after our encouragement to take the nice bus Cruz del Sur, he still took the taxi which went off an embankment and rolled three times. No one in the car was hurt badly except for bruising and cuts.

The traditional craft fair at the Cultural Center is a little way past Jockey Plaza and artisans come from all over the country to sell at Christmastime. Some of the missionaries went down Thursday to spend a few hours browsing all the vendors. There were dancers in native costumes and Peruvian music which made the atmosphere festive. We saw so many amazing things and bought a few items, like our Amazon wood bowl, some Christmas tree ornaments, bird whistles, earrings, a roughly carved wood soup ladle, homemade bread (YUM!), and stuffed alpacas with real alpaca hair (for the grandchildren to play with). Each of the missionaries had their own treasures and we enjoyed sharing what we bought.

There is a group of all the American sisters that get together once a month called Lunch Bunch. It is held at various homes of the sisters, not missionaries because our places are too small, but those whose husbands work in the office or Embassy. The homes are always very spacious and beautiful with huge gourmet kitchens and large patios and backyards. Monday I attended the Christmas lunch and the home was huge but decorated for an old fashioned Christmas. It was charming with teddy bears and lots and lots of Disney everywhere with ornaments, pictures and toys. I bet there were seven Christmas trees, all decorated and one with the traditional train track around the tree. Each tree was a world in itself AND the wife is 8 months pregnant and three small children. Okay, okay, she has a nanny and her niece, two housekeepers, one cook and a yard maintenance man to make it all possible. We had a gift exchange and I ended up with a darling ceramic pot hand painted with Peruvian pictures.

Friday morning at 7:00, the finance department gathered for a traditional Peruvian breakfast and gift exchange. Joe and I went down early, yea, 6:15am, to set up table decorations for a surprise. We used the garlands and Christmas balls we had from our meeting and the cafeteria looked very festive. Otherwise, it would have just been “the lunch room.” It was quite unusual to have a typical Peruvian breakfast . . . a pork sandwich! Needless to say, Joe and I were pretty surprised. There were no eggs and bacon, no cinnamon rolls or doughnuts, no fruit, orange juice or hot chocolate. Instead, we had the Peruvian favorite, Sanguche.   Pervians have a sandwich for breakfast, lunch or dinner, in between, before going out or at the end of a long night, actually any time, and always with tastes of Peru. This Sanguche was with roasted chunky pork on a Kaiser roll with some cooked red onion. It was missing the mayonnaise or cheese as the sandwich was a little dry. It was served with Inka Cola or Maracay juice to drink.

At a mall close to us, there was a life-like manger set up with stable and animals and characters . . . except there was no baby Jesus, just the empty cradle. Diane thought maybe someone took the baby. How sad. Then Joe asked a worker at the Dunkin ‘ Donuts and with a little chuckle told the Americans that the baby hadn’t come yet. How unique! We had never heard of that. They put the baby Jesus in the manger Christmas Eve.

December 13, 2015

Week 42 ~ Mission High water Mark

This week has been a high water mark week for us on our mission.  First of all it marks the culmination of all of our efforts from when we began in February to this point.  Everything we have been doing was looking forward to this weekend in our annual training.   It's so hard to believe we have come this far and are at this point.  We spent the week putting the finishing touches on a meeting we knew would be the most important for us in our mission, bringing all the Assistant Area Auditors from four countries into Lima for our annual two day training.

On Thursday, the day before our big training, we participated in an area wide devotional.  The couple missionaries were asked to sing at the devotional.  It was a special time for us.

Afterwards we joined all the office employees for a special lunch with the Area Presidency.  All the employees and missionaries loaded onto very nice buses to ride to a wonderful restaurant where we were treated a wonderful buffet of a great variety of Peruvian dishes including the country favorite ceviche.  In the photos below, upper far right, is a picture of our dear area president, Juan Uceda.  What a wonderful gesture of unity and love given as a "thank you" to the church employees and office missionaries.

We were greatly blessed to be with our "Assistant Area Auditors" from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru.  How special it was to be with them and with Elder Montoya, via teleconference from Salt Lake.  We also were blessed to have Rahn Price, from the Church audit department with us.  Diane mentioned how the room and arrangement looked like the United Nations, with all the name plaques and countries in front of the men.  We were so blessed to be with these humble good men.  This truly is the "Payoff" of our efforts and what a time of year to gather as we are reminded of the reason we do what we do, bring others to Christ. Yes, it is even the mission as auditors in the Church.  These dear men are so humble and so greatful and gracious.  The biggest expense we have all year is in this one training.  We fly them here, we feed them catered food, we house them in a very very nice hotel.  And most come from very humble circumstances.  Even in traveling here many made great sacrifices in time and effort and even, in one instance, a near tragedy.  Our brother from Huancayo, en route with his wife in a taxi car, went off the road and rolled three times.  Miraculously no one was injured, only some scratches.  We were moved to tears listening to him describe his journey.  We want to finish with this sweet email one of our brethren from La Paz Bolivia sent today.  He wanted to express his feelings to us in his humble English:
My dear Elder Cheney:
First: Thank you for everything you for us.
Second: thanks so much to Sister Cheney. She's great.
Third: Please don't forget send me the instructions I need to know.
And the last: I'll need your help all the time in this calling. And for practice and learn more english.
Thak you very much.
God bless you all the time.

Erick Escobar

This what it is all about.  We are truly blessed to be able to associate with these good good men.  What a way to finish our year.  Now we will gird up our loins and start over again.  One year to go and loving what we do. 

November 30, 2015

Week 40 ~ A Thankful Heart

Happy Thanksgiving

We are so thankful for what we have but more importantly what we have had in our lives, for such good and dedicated parents, for our knowledge and sure foundation received in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for our safety and health all these years, for our freedom and privileges living in America, for our dear friends from around the world who have inspired, lifted and loved us through the years. We are so grateful for the background we have that has given us what we enjoy today.  We only hope we can somehow give back to others who cross our path, to share our testimony of Jesus Christ, to give hope where there is despair and put smiles on the faces of those around us.

Following is what Elder Hansen shared at our Thanksgiving dinner. Helps us put things in perspective:

Received on 10 Nov 2015 from Dale Mouritsen

This sister missionary, Joslyn Bunderson, is serving in the Brazil Vitoria Mission.  She is the granddaughter of dear friend, Dale Mouritsen, in Sunnyvale, CA.  We love this true missionary, having never met her.

"Soon I will have to go wash my clothes by hand, with a washboard and soap.  And hang them to dry.  I will take a cold shower tomorrow morning, which I will be grateful for because I will have sweated all night. I'll brush the ants off of my table and eat some bananas and study the Scriptures and some Portuguese in the hopes that I will understand all the people and they will understand me.  Then I'll go into Sao Gabriel with my companion, praying and searching for the Lord's elect and loving the people I get to meet.  I am so blessed!!"

I sent the email to our children.  Later that same day our son, Clay, who served in Sao Paulo South (which is about 700 km southwest of Vitoria) a few years back, responded.

"And if she's really lucky, she'll be sleeping with fleas. It was so awesome being a missionary. Cold showers, washing clothes by hand, bananas and papayas and mangoes and avocados, fleas, big cockroaches, stray dogs, people throwing rocks at us and spitting on us, the magical moment when I understood what people were saying and heard myself speaking coherently in Portugues, dreaming in Portuguese, loving complete strangers, baptizing dozens of people in a river in the jungle, seeing people change their lives and be healed of addictions, just to mention some of the great experiences I had in Brazil," and we would add, in Bolivia, Venezuela, panhandle of Florida, England, Hawaii, Argentina and to mingle with people from all over the world at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

We love the people and the work and love being a missionary here in Peru minus the fleas and cockroaches.

November 22, 2015

Week 39 ~ Beautiful Weekend in Cusco

We had a very fast and unexpected trip to Cusco to help complete the outstanding audits. Although we were not there as typical tourists, we enjoyed the sights, sounds, smells, food, shops and cultural experience of this lovely city. Cusco is so clean with a mixture of the old . . . very old, and new. Everywhere in the old city is found the Inca walls of 1500 years ago, mixed with the Spanish colonial built around the original city, cobblestone streets and traditional Quechua Peruvians in their native costumes mingling with the modern generation and tourists. We had a little trouble adjusting to the altitude of about 10,000 feet, mostly light-headed and mild headache.

Some time was spent in the main Plaza de Armas and it was fun to just watch the people and the children. Since it was Saturday, the children and families were enjoying the beautiful weather and blue skies. The older Peruvian (Quechua) women don't like to have their pictures taken but the children love to pose.

The one thing we did was take a tour of Qurikancha. It was a little disappointing as most of it was Spanish colonial but some significant parts of the old Inca Sun temple have been uncovered after major earthquakes. The major earthquakes severely damaged the church, but the Inca stone walls, built out of huge, tightly-interlocking blocks of stone, still stand due to their sophisticated stone masonry. After the last major earthquake, I think it was 1995, the original Inca temple was again visible and is now a major attraction for tourists in Cusco.
 The Inca Sun Temple
(now the Church of Santo Domingo)

Saturday was spent with these two great men, Victor Condori who lives in Cusco and Hamilton Yupanqui who lives in Puno and took a bus 8 hours to arrive in time for our meeting Saturday.  We accomplished a lot and felt good about the training that took place.  It was a very important meeting to have and now we feel that things are back on track in the Cusco Coordinating Council.  Afterwards we ate lunch at a delightful Peruvian restaurant, Camino Real. We found the Peruvian food excellent.  The weekend was both busy and culturally fascinating.  Diane and I want to come back and spend more time here.  

We stayed at this hotel, Casa Andina. It was filled with antique furniture from the colonial period and some ceramics and stone pieces from the Inca. I asked about the beautiful antique tables shown here. There were about 7 of them along the corridor with chairs where people would sit and put their drinks on the table. Oh my gosh! These are at least 500-1000 years old and didn't even have glass on top. I asked if they were available to buy and the lady said, "Oh no, these are antiques and special to our heritage. We cannot sell them." You would think they would take better care since the inlaid wood was coming lose and there were some water marks from glasses set on the tables. Weird but these tables were beautiful in their antique state with the inlaid pictures depicting Peruvian colonial life.

November 15, 2015

WEEK 38 ~ The Bigger Picture from Above

This is a continuation of our weekend last week. After our day to the Ballestas Islands and playing on the sand dunes, we had another two hour drive east to Nazca. We drove through some charming little towns and enjoyed the real cultural experience of Peru. We arrived late at Hotel Alegria but at least the Cheneys had a late night swim which was perfect.

After viewing the Nazca Lines, we loaded up in the van again and rode for about an hour or so across the desert on a very rough dirt road to some ruins of the Nazca people, called Cahuachi, that have been nicely excavated. The Nazca were pre-Inca people living in the area about 100 BC to 500 AD. The structures that are currently excavated at Cahuachi were more for religious purposes vs. a functioning town where people lived, but there are another 30 mounds not excavated yet that will prove to be the rest of the city. My daughter asked me if the Peru ruins all start looking the same. Yes, pretty much. These temples are located pretty close to the Nazca Lines so it is thought the people from Cahuachi were also connected to the Nazca lines. It is all still quite a mystery. Maybe in the next life we’ll see the historical picture of how it all fit together. 

We continued on to a wonderful resort to have lunch. I think we were the only ones there at the time but it was a magnificent place with huge manicured gardens and lawns with a very large pool. We enjoyed the llamas and alpacas that roamed about the property, the two ostriches with their three eggs, the totally tame deer and the monkey. The monkey was naughty the day before as he had gotten into a bucket of purple paint. His arms and feet were purple as was the window sill and frame. The resort was so large to accommodate huge crowds we felt a little weird rattling around the huge facility with just the 8 of us. 

Very close to the resort were the Nazca aqueducts called puquios about 1500 years old. These were amazing as we saw how the underground stream was found and 36 spiral puquios were excavated. They were lined with large river rock where the people could walk down to the water and they were close enough together so they could be cleaned out periodically and to restore the canal in case of earthquake. These puquios extend clear to the mountains several miles away and most are still in use today to bring water to the desert. Amazing engineering!

We are currently in Cusco for several church audits and training. Last week in Nazca; this week in Cusco. We have had so many problems here in the Cusco Coordinating Council because the Assistant Area Auditor assigned to this region became very sick with cancer and didn't even tell anyone. He passed away last July. It took about six weeks to have another brother called to the position and because of the time lapse between the two AAA's, the work basically stopped. There is so much distance to cover between units, it's very difficult to get back on track, eight hours in one direction and five hours in another. BUT we are trying, teaching, training, talking, testifying, traveling and trucking along to get the work done. 

Today we attended church in a large ward and, quite by accident, we met the son of our AAA who had passed away. We had a nice visit and offered our condolences. Dave Adams from the area office joined us today as we attended in an area where he served as a missionary. He said it had grown so much. He actually talked with the lady whose house he stayed in as a missionary. She was sure surprised to see him. There are several large chapels here in Cusco and the people are so wonderful. I spent a few minutes in the Primary of about 35 beautiful children and loved to hear them sing the Primary songs in Spanish. Although we are not here as tourists, we did walk many blocks and got a feel for the city. We will report on the work undertaken and accomplished next week in this beautiful city.

November 8, 2015

Week 37 ~ Been There, Dune That

We spent the weekend with two other couples, the Bluths and the Merrills traveling south of Lima with our guide and driver, Eduardo and Jorge.  Our first stop was in Paracas and a boat trip out to the Ballestas Islands.  We spent some time in this delightful port city before we boarded a 30 person launch.  We were able to take in the sights, smells, and sounds of the fishing crews and their very old and "full of character" fishing boats.

The Ballestas Islands are sometimes called "little or poor man's Galapagos".  The ride took us about 1 1/2 hours out into the ocean.  On the way we passed by an Island with the ancient three-pronged Candelabra geoglyph, a giant figure etched into the sandy hills, which is over 150m high and 50m wide. No one knows exactly who made the geoglyph, or when, or what it signifies, but theories abound. Some connect it to the Nazca Lines, while others propound that it served as a navigational guide for ancient sailors and was based on the constellation of the Southern Cross. Some even believe it to have been inspired by a local cactus species with hallucinogenic properties.  The other islands provided amazing sights and sounds of sea life (sea lions, penguins, and thousands and thousands of several species of birds.  We were very enriched and invigorated by the experience.

Ballestas Islands

Our travel buddies, Rob and Mary Merrill, Diane and Joeus, Kelly and Robert Bluth.  

After eating lunch, off we went again. About 2 hours later and inland in one of the driest areas of the world, we arrived at the Ica sand dunes where we boarded a dune buggy and raced out into the mountains of sand dunes.  Diane and I sat in the front seat. We were a bit nervous at first as the driver drove like Mad Max, around, over, and nearly under the massive dunes.  Several time we thought, "well here is where we leave this mortal life" as we thought it would be the first time we would roll in a dune buggy.  We flew up and around the crest of a dune and then over the lip of another.  We were thrilled and survived but Kelly Bluth wasn't as impressed.  She was such a good sport and rode it out to the bitter end.  Then out came the sand boards (improvised from snow boards) and off we went speeding down the sand dune mountains.  What a thrill for these "old" but young at heart seniors.  

Our mission is such a diverse and cultural experience we will treasure the rest of our lives. We work hard in the office, especially now as we prepare for the annual meeting to include all the Assistant Area Auditors from all five countries (35 in all). A new member of the area presidency has been called, Elder Hugo Montoya. He is from Mexico but currently serving in Salt Lake. There is a problem getting the VISA cleared and will not be here in the office until the middle of December, just missing our annual meeting. Joe has been having a video conference with Elder Montoya nearly every day this last week since we will work directly with him.

We have been serving in the La Molina area for nine months and we were introduced to a new store called Macro. Oh my goodness, it is almost identical to Costco minus the variety of American items. The prices were cheaper and there were bigger quantities, more cheese and frozen food. It was easy to get frustrated because we have such a tiny freezer. We sure had fun looking at the warehouse full of food, personal care supplies and kitchen gadgets.

I stenciled this fun pattern on the white wall to highlight the pretty arch in the room. Putting our stamp on this place to make it feel more like home.

November 2, 2015

Week 36 ~ Halloween in Peru

It seemed appropriate to visit this national cemetery in October for Halloween. Finished in 1807, it has such beautiful mausoleums, statues and markers honoring those who died in defense of the country. It houses the remains of several important political, military and literary figures. Most prominent of all the mausoleums is the Panteón de los Próceres where war heroes are buried shown here with the marching guards.

I was so excited to see pumpkins in the store even though it is spring here. I bought three pumpkins, baked them, scooped 'em out, pureed the pulp and put the pumpkin in the freezer for pies and desserts in the weeks to come. Here's the finished bags of pumpkin in my tiny freezer! And strawberries, soup, beans and other vegetables.

While in Nazca Saturday night for Halloween, we walked towards the town plaza. It got more and more crowded and more and more noisy. The children were out by the dozens all dressed in Halloween costumes, going about from store to store chanting “Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!” as the store clerks dropped candy in their buckets. It was a scene I’m glad to have experienced. 

October 25, 2015

Week 35 ~ Still loving life in Peru

The week before general conference, my friend James Vergara, realizing I was a lone man in the wilderness with Diane in the states, invited me over to his home in between conference sessions on Saturday.  I took a bus out to Musa where he lived and was surprised to learn that they had planned to cook sushi for me.  Wow was it good.  I have never had sushi that good, so fresh, different, and plentiful.  I never would have guessed they would have fed me sushi.  Their daughter had learned how to make it from her brother who is living in Provo.  I loved, loved, loved it and then enjoyed the Saturday afternoon of conference with them.  It was nice to not have to be by myself for the weekend, very kind of this dear brother and his family.

Here are some weird things we find in Peru:

Joe and I sang in the stake choir today for the opening of our regional conference video broadcast. We got a few of the other missionaries to join us, one of which has been a member of the Tabernacle Choir. He had a beautiful base voice behind me. It was quite a challenge to read the notes, read the Spanish words and pronounce the words correctly all at the same time. But I learned well and it was pretty fun to have that experience. One song was “Hark, All Ye Nations” and the other “Let Us All Press On,” both of which were perfect to sing as missionaries. The other members of the choir loved the Americans joining them.

October 20, 2015

Week 34 ~ Calling Peru "Home"

A few weeks have been missed because Diane was in Utah helping her daughter and a new granddaughter, Adalinn Rose. That's the first time we've been apart for so long so it was nice to get back together and back to a routine.

We also visited the Pucllana Huanca ruins and had an hour tour of the grounds. The ruins are made of small adobe bricks by the thousands and have only recently been excavated, maybe the last 10 years. The temple is only half uncovered from the mounds of rock and dirt that cover it. We were told that some 15 years ago, it was a popular place for dirt bikes riding over the mounds. It is interesting to note that although the temple is very large, there are no rooms inside, no tunnels, secret chambers or tombs. It is simply raised holy ground for ritual offerings, sacrifice, feasting and prayers.

Explanation of pictures: 1st column (1)We met Paula on the tour. She is LDS and travels by herself because her husband doesn't like to travel. (2)Just a small museum on the premise. (3)These were burial places where there were always three individuals, man, woman and baby. They sacrificed a baby because they believed they were the closest to the afterlife to guide them back. (4)Notice the space in between the bricks. This was on purpose to allow for seismic activity which happens a lot in Peru. 2nd column (1)The huanca or temple site is right in the middle of the city. (2)the magnitude of the temple is shown here. 3rd column (1)the map shows how much is still not excavated, the section to the left. (2)figures showing how offerings were made.

1st column (1)a walkway through the maze. (2)these are the colors used around the temple. (3)excavation still going on one wheelbarrow at a time. 2nd column (1)the adobe bricks were made by hand in a bin like this where water was added to the mud. (2)this platform is at the top of the temple. The poles held up the roof where offerings were made. (3)Peruvian hairless dog is a breed of dog dating back to pre-Inca cultures. They are very expensive. 3rd column (2)look carefully to see the line of where the excavation ends and how much dirt needs to be removed covering the remaining temple.

Elder Waddell has been a counselor in the Area Presidency here in Lima but he was called to serve as a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric last week. He is featured on the LDS website. That means he will be moving back to Salt Lake and we will have another brother serving in his place. Elder Waddell has been the Audit Committee Chair and we reported to him directly having a formal meeting with him once a month with other members of the committee. We will miss him and his sweet wife Carol.

We had a special missionary experience this past week.  It began with the taxi ride to the airport. The following is from Joe's journal:    I want to talk about the missionary experience I have been having.  It began with my ride to the airport to pick up Diane.  The Taxi driver, Carlos, began talking with me.  So it’s his fault.  We talked about everything and he was genuinely interested in the Church and the Joseph Smith Story, in tithing, in prayer, and eternal families.  We talked all the way to the airport and all the way home.  He told us of an experience he had which was similar to that of Joseph Smith in that he was needing comfort or answers and he knew when they came after praying for a long time.  That happened to him several times but the most evident was when his son, Sebastian, was diagnosed with Leukemia.  His wife had taken him to the hospital and the prognosis was not good.  All Carlos could do was go home, a ways from the hospital, and pray with his other three children.  He prayed long and hard and then by himself, day after day, and at work.  After several weeks, the doctors suddenly found that all their son’s test were negative.  They couldn’t believe it but Carlos attributes it to the prayers in behalf of his son.  He was very touched and since that time prayer has been vital to him.  As he dropped us off at our apartment I felt a strong impression and connection to get his address and phone number.  I told him I wanted to bring a Book of Mormon to him.  He gave me his info and we embraced.  He is 43 years old has a wife and four children (daughter 20, Carlos Benedi, Sabastian, and Fernando).  Yesterday I mentioned him to Miguel (counselor in the mission presidency and fellow worker in the office) and told him I wanted to take a Book of Mormon to him.   He lives about 20 minutes from our area.  I decided to call him from the office and we decided to meet today at 3:00.  Miguel contacted the Sister missionaries and then took me to Carlos's house today.  We were able to meet with this dear family.  They have lots of questions but Carlos is the one who is leading out.  He is so desirous that his family come to Christ.  He has been praying for something,  Today one of the Sisters told me it was a “miracle” this had dropped into their laps.  They have been struggling to find investigators.  I was touched and felt very tender.  The Lord certainly does know the hearts of his children and is in the details and puts others at cross roads.  Carlos took me home after the discussion with the Sisters.  He told me he was so anxious and fearful for his family.  I told him the Lord knew and was very aware of his family and promised him, if he led the way with patience and love, the Lord would watch over his family and would bring peace into his home.  This was, indeed a very special experience for me and one I am thankful to be a part of.  Carlos will be attending Church on Sunday.  I will be watching with prayer and interest.... Today is Monday and from the Church Office I phoned the Sisters to see how yesterday went.  They were very excited.  Carlos did not go to church but his three boys did and they loved it.  The Sisters had a discussion after Church with the family and Sister Reyes said it went very well with a very sweet and tender experience.  The Lord is indeed in the details of our lives.

Each week Joe teaches two language classes in Spanish and in English.  The only day he has off is Wed.  Friday he decided to combine the classes for a "conversation Friday".  We spent half the class with the English class speaking English to the missionaries and the other half of the class, the speaking Spanish to the office workers.  It was a wonderful experience.  Everyone was communi-cating and now when they walk the hallways they know each other.  It was a marvelous class.  

After Diane spent three weeks in the States, together, we have come to realize Peru is home. For several months after arriving here, it was always "Lima" rather than "home". We love our mission, we love the people we serve and work with, we really enjoy the food and we look forward to another year full of surprises and experiences.