We spent the day at the Larco Museum. It was a marvelous display of the many different cultures that are part of Peruvian history through the ages. It is supposedly one of the largest displays of antique pottery in the world and covers a time period of 2000 BC to 1500 AD. It contains an amazing array of jewelry and accounting and numbering strings called “quipus.” The Inca could actually read these knotted strings like a book. We were just so impressed and awed by the knowledge of these incredible cultures.
Really, honestly, most of our weeks (about 80%) are spent doing the same thing over and over, get up, shower, read scriptures, have breakfast, couple prayer, walk the daily walk of “death” to the office. If we want to get there the 5 minute route, which has been every time we have gone to the office, we walk along a narrow street which is probably the only street in all of Peru that doesn’t have a speed bump. The traffic goes from a two lane to a four lane right in front of our apartment. They hurry to try to get ahead of each other and then fly through this little opening where we walk at about 50 mph (no kidding). There is construction on one side where we walk where they have tried to make a walking path with ……….. construction tape. I kid you not. It makes us feel perfectly safe and protected …. NOT! Then we get to another place where we have to wait for the traffic to pass and then make a mad dash to get around some bushes right next to the road. We literally have to walk or run into the road to get past that point. From there it is a short relaxed walk the rest of the way to the promised land. Kind of like life. But that is what we have to do if we want to make the quick five minute walk. The other way takes about 15 minutes through quiet streets and a park, nice but not nearly an adrenaline rush.
Our weeks keep us busy and our weekends make us look like we are really having fun, fun, fun …. Which we are! We have also had some very tender experiences with the members and with non-members who we associate with on a daily basis.
Like last week when we went to the Larco Museum in downtown Lima. It takes quite awhile to get there… so we learned. We decided to take a bus as far as Jocky Plaza, a popular and upscale shopping mall. We thought we would be closer to downtown and that our fare would be half as much for a taxi from there. The bus fare was 1 sole each (about 60 cents). We got off the bus and hailed a taxi and were told it would be about 20 soles. Diane was not happy. I really didn’t know how much it was supposed to cost. Finally a lady came up to us and asked if we needed help, in English. We told her our situation then she said, that’s a good price. The taxi driver who wanted to take us drove up and said he would not cheat us and he really wanted to take us and that 20 soles was more than fair. We got into the cab and he took us downtown. We were pretty shocked to realize how far it was. It was a lesson to us and especially a wonderful experience to speak to this good man who was driving and wanted us to know he was an honest man. He really went out of his way and helped us understand better the taxi system and the distances and fares between different locations.
During our ride, I began to talk with him about our mission and the Church, living prophets, and the Book of Mormon. He had heard some about the Church and had friends who belonged. He and his wife had just had a little baby girl several months before. We talked about the eternal nature of the family. He was very interested and touched. It was a time I could have kicked myself for not having a pass-along card with me. We exchanged information though. He told me without any prompting that he would go to our Church the next day. He lives a few blocks away from a chapel. I had heard that promise before so I told him, “I know you are an honest man because you went out of your way to prove that to us today. So when I ask you something and you say you will do it, I know you will keep your promise. Will you go to the LDS Church tomorrow and will you seek the missionaries out and invite them to your home?” He said “yes, I will do it.” I will follow up and see.