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

July 13, 2015

Week 21 ~ And God said, "Let the Earth bring forth every living creature . . . and it was so."

Actually, this has been a very average week and nice to stay at home but, then again, I guess nothing is very average with our mission although we get accustomed to the events of each day. We interact daily with the leaders of the area, the Area Presidency and 16 Area Seventies for the South America Northwest Area. We have wonderful and dedicated men who serve as area auditors. Our immediate supervisor is the Area Controller and also part of our office is the Local Unit Finance manager dealing with all the tithing and fast offerings and disbursements in the South America Northwest Area.

Also as part of our daily encounters, we associate and share with mission presidents, the MTC president, and temple presidents. In fact, the temple president for the new Trujillo temple we are very close to as they were the area auditors before us. We were at the grocery store the other night having taken a bus to get there, and the mission president got in line behind us and gave us a ride home. Our mission president President Boswell, is from Bentonville, Arkansas and Tessa knows of them although they left for their mission before Tessa moved there. When I visited Tessa in November, we actually went to the Boswell’s home so I even know where they live. We received a new Lima Central mission president this week, President and Sister Larson from . . . Caldwell, Idaho! They know Joe’s sisters very well!

We enjoy being with the other senior couples who are serving here. The Murrays are from Walnut Creek, California and we know so many of the same people and places. Brother Bill Murray serves as a real estate lawyer and Sister Billie Murray is writing up the history of the Saints in Peru. We love the Clarks, Ron and Bonnie, who are also from Eagle, Idaho, and also know Joe’s sisters very well. Here we are in Lima, Peru and it is just an extension of home.

We celebrated Joe's birthday over the weekend with a party at the office and then more surprises for Joe at home, especially the weight set. He was so excited he immediately did a workout.

Joe and I went to the Parque de las Leyendas (Park of the Legends) which included the Lima Zoo. It was a beautiful day. We felt adventurous so we caught a bus right outside our apartment building and rode it all the way to the zoo, about an hour to downtown Lima. The park was very nice, not that there were a lot of animals but what they had was great. My favorites were the large variety of monkeys from the Amazon regions, some monkeys as small as a little kitten. They were so cute. They didn’t have the gorillas but many other varieties with funny faces, including the howling monkeys from Ecuador we heard but couldn’t see when we were there. Another highlight were the cats! They were beautiful, two white tigers, an orange tiger that really gave us a show, a pitch black panther, couger, leopards, and the most beautiful black jaguar we have ever seen, in addition to the beautiful traditional brown/gold jaguars. Wow. We also enjoyed the hippopotamus pool; they were so active and playful in the water. Of course, there were also amazing birds and other jungle animals. We really enjoyed our day there.

BUT, as part of the experience, the zoo is built around pre-Inca ruins, so we were able to see ruins that date before the Spanish conquest right in the middle of Lima. There were six huacas, ceremonial/burial centers. Since they were so close together, I just imagine they were families or tribes in each huaca but they all interacted together in trade, farming and hunting. Most of the huacas had restricted access by a main entrance with a walled perimeter. Because the climate here is so dry, these ruins survived even though they are made of handmade adobe bricks. There was a museum also that had artifacts found at these sites with explanations and models of the huacas. It was all quite a unique experience at the zoo.

It was nice to be at home for our weekend. There are many interesting places to see right here in Lima to visit on our days off. We hardly want to see a Saturday go by where we don't get out to explore the area around us. It is all so very unique.

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