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

April 5, 2015

WEEK 7 ~ We're Not Hors'n Around

It’s a beautiful day in Lima, Easter Sunday, General Conference weekend, the traffic quiet and weather cool. The church office building has been closed Thursday and Friday because of the Semana Santa, or Holy Weekend. Here in Peru, the people celebrate the Friday before Easter as the most holy day of the year because of the crucifixion of Jesus. We didn’t go to the celebrations downtown but have heard it is pretty crazy similar to Mardi Gras with parade, food, face painting, music, balloons and the Catholic Mass with all the tradition and ceremony depicting the death of Jesus.

So, in contrast, we have been enjoying the quiet of home and conference addresses. Today we walked to the town cemetery up on the hill, quite a walk actually. I think it is the only extended lawn area in the city except for the church office and temple. We were there right when the guard opened the gate to let us in and it was so beautiful and peaceful. When Pres. Uchdorf spoke of opening the gate, I thought of how the guard opened the gate for us so we could enter the cemetery. Joe and I are so grateful for the resurrection and as we looked out over the expanse of markers and flowers, we thought how great will be the day when the graves of the righteous will be opened and the people will walk again. Easter Sunday there were fields of fresh flowers!

Thursday,  I walked to the grocery store, about two miles, bought groceries, loaded them into my little hand cart and walked home. It got pretty hot so I’m not sure I’ll do that again, maybe if I don’t buy so much food! The grocery store was crazy crowded on Thursday, people preparing for their Easter feast on Friday. We also did some heavy cleaning and laundry. Also on Thursday, Joe went to the car museum which he found pretty impressive with about 100 cars on display.

 We had quite a large earthquake last Tuesday which lasted 10-12 seconds. The building was evacuated for 15 minutes to make sure it was safe. It measured 5.9. We were glad we were in such a safe building since the Church builds to US building codes and beyond. The same morning I was having quite an experience at home. I was going to have a bowl of oatmeal but there were weevils in the box , then the milk was sour when I poured it on my cereal, and when I cut the bread to make a sandwich (which was in a plastic bag on the counter) the ants came crawling out of the bread.

There is a senior missionary here who is an expert in FamilySearch. I took advantage of my free time on Friday to spend a few hours with her learning some of the wonderful technology tools available online and how to get around the FamilySearch program, how to attach families together and attach source materials and documents. Sadly, I haven’t been able to scrapbook so I hope doing family research on the computer will give me a new challenge. I’m pretty excited about it even though I don’t have a lot of time to spend at it.

Every day I work at the office answering emails, approving expenses, and helping Joe in handling some of the problem cases. I try to practice the piano an hour a day at the office and, of course, drill and work with Spanish a few hours a day, mostly at my desk. I’ve been working on saying my prayers every day in Spanish. I’m slow but I can say a pretty complete prayer. This week I’ve increased my vocabulary and can put together simple but complete sentences. I have a long, long way to go but at least I’ve seen some progress in the six weeks I’ve been here. I get frustrated easily when the same word means different things depending how you use it or, you use a particular word here but not in another situation even though the word is the same. Ugh! Joe is also meeting with the MTC tutor once a week wanting to improve the financial vocabulary and general office conversation. He helps me a lot.

Wednesday evening after work, a group of senior missionaries rented a taxi van together. The driver drove us down to Mamacona south of Lima to a hacienda that raises Peruvian horses. We attended a demonstration show of their beauty and unique showmanship. At one point, a Peruvian dancer danced with the horse and it was obvious the horse enjoyed dancing with her, prancing around her as she turned and turned, flipping her skirt. 

These same horses will compete in the National Horse Show next week so it was a real treat to see them perform for us what they will do next week in front of the judges. After the horse show, we were treated to a beautiful candlelight Peruvian dinner out on the veranda, and enjoyed a little more dance entertainment. The weather was delightful, no noise and we loved the company.

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