Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Setiembre 24, 2013

Monday/Tuesday Sept. 23-24

Hi everyone.  We just experienced our first "cambia" (new missionaries coming in from the CCM (MTC) here and then changes in companionships with the Elders and Sisters.  What a busy time in the office. Monday there about 40 Elders there to receive new assignments and then most of the day Tuesday was for the new missionaries coming in.  They didn't meet their trainer/companions and that was quite and experience to see how that works. All coming this time were spanish speaking and coming from not only Peru but Honduras, Brazil, etc. so it was interesting.  They were a little shell shocked to know it was time to go out in the field.  All of the trainers are very good and have had anywhere from six months to 1 year out. The one new Sister from the US hurt her knee at the CCM yesterday and will not be able to go out for about 3 weeks because there is so much walking to do here.  The only people in the whole mission who have cars are the Mission President and his wife. I am sooooo glad we do not drive. It is certainly scary just being in a taxi and walking home trying to get across some of the streets.  We do take a taxi in the morning for about 5-7 soles (about $3) and then walk the 1-1/2 miles home at night to get our exercise for the day.  This is the best time to walk because it has had time to dry out whereas it is very wet from the fog in the morning.  On the way home from the Church three Sundays ago we say fathers carrying their young children (from 6 months to about 3 years old) around between the lanes of traffic trying to collect money. They keep the children drugged so they will sleep and when they start to wake up they give them a piece of bread (laced with a narcotic) to put them back to sleep so they can get people to feel sorry for them and thus give money. These children don't have the joy of being awake, moving around and learning and it is extremely sad. Nothing is done about and it seems to be acceptable. Women carry their young children around in back slings and try to sell pieces of candy from bags for about 5cents a piece as a way to earn money. I don't seem many buying though some will give a 5-10 cent piece of money.  Sunday night we had the experience of going to a baptism in another area of our mission with the Mission President and his wife and say two families baptized and that was really great.  We have been to a lot of zone conferences and training conferences. In some we have been asked to bear our testimonies and then one of the office elders will translate for us. We need to work harder on our testimonies in Spanish though......in fact our Spanish period. Ken gets around well though and a lot of the people here try to speak a "little" English but mostly they speak very fast Spanish. The young elders and sisters learn spanish so fast I can't believe it.  Many of the Mission Presidents have remarked several times that the missionaries coming out of the MTC now seem to be speaking their mission languages better than ever before and that is a blessing. The spanish speaking ones are asked to learn English from their english companions while on their mission.  For many of the spanish missionaries here in South America a mission is an eye opener to a better life than they have come from. There is money for food, medical needs etc but not for dentistry and even though they are suppose to get that taken care of before the Bishops and Stake Presidents seem to let it slide by. Also vaccinations are very optional here and many don't have them because they can't afford them like so many things we take for granted. The time seems to be going by so fast and we keep so busy in the office. There are many things that need to be done, we are certainly a church of order when it comes to the Lord's work.  Take care and know that we love and think of you often. We know we are where we need to be and doing what we need to be doing.  It has been a humbling experience and the time is going by so fast. Thank goodness our Mission President wants us to see the different parts of our mission and has and will be inviting us to go with him at different times. Some of the trips are 10 hours each way and some we will have to fly to so that will be interesting.

Carolyn and Ken, Mom & Dad, Grandpa & Grandma............

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