Machu Picchu

Monday, November 30, 2015

Connor in Cusco

Well everything is good over here! Today is my 5 month mark so thats pretty cool!
Cant believe that we are already on week 5 of the current change, that means in like 2 weeks its probable that I could be in a different part of the mission!

Nothing really cool happened this week, lost a few investigators with a baptismal date because they didnt come to church (sometimes my least favorite part about the mission is the agency of other people) haha.

We played soccer again today, and it was cloudy and even raining a little bit, not even a bit of sun, but I got burnt again, I really dont understand.

Thanksgiving was nothing special here, one member who served in Los Angeles here told us he would invite us over for dinner, but was like super busy or something and wasnt able to.

Thats not fair Josh is still getting tall, when is it going to be my turn?  [This was in response to our email to him re: his little brother getting taller and taller and basically outgrowing his clothes!]

Elder Ludlow gave me a additional dollar he  had, on the top there are 24 letters, for each of the 24 months of a mission. So mine is marked to show I am done with 5 months!  Its just something cool that North American elders do :)

I also received my official non-resident ID card from Peru this week, just took a photo. Its just a copy though as mission office keeps the official version.

I forgot to make a video! I was thinking this entire week but forgot, I suck :/ But I have almost learned how to do the rubix cube completely, I will learn before next monday hah. 

We didnt have too much good that actually happened this week, it sort of sucked, like we had at least the minimum for the "norms of excellence" in the mission, but nothing really cool happened. Lets see here.... the only thing that was sorta funny this week was when an investigator told us, "I feel like I have received an answer the Book of Mormon is true", and it was cool, but then she told us later that she still wants to be catholic, a mormon AND a "christian" (doesn't really know that that's not really a church).  Might be a little rough explaining to her that it doesn't really work like that!

Everything is alright here. You know its a little different now that I don't have my trainer Elder Ludlow), but that's to be expected.

I think my Spanish is pretty good, I don't think I have increased in skill a ton this change, but my companion says he thinks it has as compared to when he arrived, so I'm not really sure. I think it just goes little by little so that its pretty hard to give notice.

But yeah, I remember you asked about Machu Picchu a few weeks ago or something like that. About that trip:

So elders can go IF they are in CUSCO any change they want, because it happens once every change, but if they are not in cusco, they have to wait till they come here, or if they never come and stay in like puno or something, they get to go in the end of their mission. I have never really wanted to go, but I realized it might be better to go like next change because I am going to go again with you guys eventually. If I get a change and leave cusco in 2 weeks, I'm not really sure what I will do, maybe just go twice at the end of my mission? Maybe return to cusco in a differnet zone eventually and go? Not really sure.

[We told him that it would be great to go as soon as he could -- given we will want to go with him again when we come and pick him up in 19 months basically!]

Well my time is up :( We got 1 hour to run to the molino and buy some stuff then gotta have a district meeting to close the day.

If O don't get a change this month, I think I will go to Machu Picchu next change, we will just have to see :)

Love you guys!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chuno Soup!

Hey guys!

So this week was pretty good, we found 11 new investigators!

Usually our pension knows I don't like soup, but she decided one day (because it was like 1 degree colder than usual) that I had to eat soup. Even worse, it was Sopa de Chuño. First time I tried chuno, Its pretty gross, the texture is super weird.

[Chuno is something we have been waiting to hear how Connor reacted to -- when he first tried it.  From our earlier research into Peru it is a common menu item.  Here is a link for folks who are interested.] 

Weather was pretty cool this week, it hailed golf balls on Saturday so that was pretty cool, we were in a baptism during that time though so it was okay.

Today for P-day we had the Turkey Bowl. We rented out 2 turf fields and played american football, but most of the latinos used the other one to play soccer.

I feel like my stomach isn't too bad right now, its definitely not the same as it was at home, but its better.

1) Hailing!

2) Baptism of the sister missionaries.

3) Me standing in a mount of hail.

We have 3 people with a baptismal date, and 1 more but he would have to get married first. December 12th we should hopefully have a baptism, (2 days before changes)! I might not be here for the rest of them.

Its likely I will move after this change, (the 14th). Usually people are in a sector for around 3 transfers, plus a lot of missionaries train here in cusco so I think elder segura will do that here.

[We had asked Connor if he had any details re: one of the two times a year we get to actually talk to him live -- on Christmas and Mothers Day.]

About the Skype call, so it says it SHOULD be 45 minutes, but Elder Ludlow told me it can be a little longer depending on your companion, but at least we will have 45 minutes! We have to find someone who has good internet who is willing to let us do it, but who knows I might be in my other sector already.

Today I bought a rubix cube for 13 soles, ($4), its pretty nice, and my companion is going to teach me how to do it before our change is over.

"Its like the play-station of missionaries" is what my companion told me today hah, literally almost every missionary knows how to do it.

Okay ill make a video this week with me struggling to do the cube.!!

My time is up though, we are just going to go back to the house and chill for 45 minutes and then head to the chapel for the district meeting every pday at 6 to end the pday.

Hope you guys have a good week! Take as much pictures for me and i will try to do the same for you :)

Next monday I have 5 months ! :)

Which means after this change, in 3 weeks, the latino hermanas will not be going home before me :))))))

Love you guys! Have a good week!

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16th -- Cusco

So yeah, this week has been alright, dont think anything too crazy has happened.

Bad news: So I got my package and its super awesome, all the treats and peanut butter intact, and the speakers intact too! I was super excited for the speakers, but I plugged them in with my ipod, and everything worked for like 20 seconds then the speakers just pooped out. Im not sure, ive read the manual like 400 times but the speakers just dont turn on anymore. I think the voltage here just might be too high or something, but that sorta sucks :( I am going to look again for a speaker in the molino today, because I also lost my USB this week with all of my music so I cant listen to anything anymore :(

This week the south american food really hit me, I have had some interesting experiences in the bathroom lately :(

Dont know if you guys know but in peru, the currency is Soles. There are some from like a collection that are special and only a certain number like are made. There are 26 in all of the collection, I already have 15. Being in Cusco you find more of them than anywhere else. Its pretty cool though, this week I receieved the oldest one, called the Tumi de Oro. Its worth like 30 soles here or like $10 so thats pretty cool, I just received it as change in a bus :)

But yeah, answer to moms question about the next package.

I need another missionary journal if its possible. I heard they sell cool ones in Desert Book if you are ever around that area, they also sell other cool little things in Deseret Book I think dont they? Like little things for missionaries? Also, if you dont have them, some nice pens would be awesome.

I lost my USB which I could plug into our DVD player to listen to all of my music. I took like all of Elder Ludlows music from his USB, but now hes gone, so that sortof sucks that I cant get it again.

But yeah, I will just have to go to the molino and buy a speaker there, I should be able to find a decent one for like under 50 soles which is less than 20 bucks, But the problem here is, no one here has something that can swipe a card, so if I want to use money from home I will have to take out money at an ATM which has a little tax. Im not sure if you already saw but I did already take out 400 soles which im still using.

Elder Segura is awesome, and we had a super busy week. Funny story this week though. So this week it was raining pretty hard, and there was literally a river running along the side of the road. We were just walking with my umbrella when this bus sees us, swerves and just sprays us with water. I thought it was pretty funny,  but he soaked us pretty good.

But yeah, our internet time is up for this week dang it always goes by so fast.

Hope you guys have a good week! Miss you guys tons!

-Elder Barry

Monday, November 9, 2015

Second Companion (Out of Training)


So yeah we had changes, this week has been okay though! It was really hard the first couple of days because I was doing all the planning because he didnt know the area! But now its been alright, I understand most of what he says but he is from Lima so he can talk really fast haha.

He has really taught me a lot already though, he is a REALLY hard worker! We found 4 new investigators this week and they all already have a baptismal date!  So we are working hard!

But yeah, everything came in the package last week, it WAS reopened by someone but resealed, think they just checked it out im not sure. But yeah I really like all of the ties to be honest, I really like the church ones too, especially the captain moroni blue one its super cool!

How are you guys?

(Got my hair cut today for 6 soles ($2). Not too shabby).

As far as how the work went this week:  We set a goal for 4 new investigators, and found 7, 4 already with a baptismal date, 2 came to church on sunday, with 18 lessons in all in the week is pretty good!

Oh yeah though, the other day we were just coming back from visiting this less active member (who lived in San Bernadino, Cali, crazy!) and some big dog just started barking and like sprinting to attack us. My bag was on my back with the strap all done and stuff so I couldnt really use it to defend myself, so I just like kicked and nailed this dog that was coming at us. It was a super lucky hit and the dog stopped atacking us lol. First time ive ever had to actually hit a dog, usually you can just act like you are picking up a rock and they run.

[I replied to Connor and said I was glad he got a new companion who spoke really ONLY Spanish (good for Connor's language skills) and that he was such a hard worker!]

Me too, Its really hard sometimes because im used to a chillaxed lifestyle before my mission but working hard, studying hard, and always doing something definitely does make the time go by quick.

Our time is up already this week on internet, time FLIES here on internet haha.

But for my next package (whenever that may be, maybe Christmas), it would be super cool if mom could send like a small photoalbum. I have seen a lot of elders with these and its cool. Just any pictures she has of me, with friends and family and stuff.

Also It would be awesome to receive a pack of good pens (6 or so ;) , its so weird how even the pens arent as good here haha. Elder Ludlow received a package which had some and gave me one, but im already half way through it since we are always noting down stuff. The ones his parents sent are Pilot Acroballs, and they work great.  

It may sound wierd, but some good pens would really help a lot lol.

[So I guess we need to send Connor some nice pens now!  Gotta love a $10 purchase that will cost triple that to ship and arrive in 3 months! :)] 

But yeah we gonna go play soccer for zone Pday in the chapel, love and miss you guys so much!

-Elder Barry!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A quick additional post

[As you might imagine, I have a full bookmark list of other missionaries and their blogs from the Cusco Peru mission.  I love to read about other experiences in Connor's mission and am always on the lookout for Connor in background photos!  :)  One of my favorite blogs is from a senior couple in Cusco that is serving a mission focused on helping people research their family history!  Their blog can be found at at this link.  Connor appeared in a photo this month -- and I've excerpted just a few paragraphs from the Johnson's blog below.]

Before we embark on a long (8 day) trip to Puno and points south, we're able to meet some new people in Cusco.  Even though we've been here for nearly 10 months, we've just scratched the surface of the opportunities right in Cusco city and places close.  It is our objective to travel to all districts of the mission, and hopefully we will be able to get that accomplished.

After the Sunday meeting block, we've got several appointments, including one with Gustavo Sr. and Gustavo Jr. (in the picture with Elders Ludlow and Barry).

Monday, November 2, 2015

Last few days with trainer / first companion

[We had asked Connor a series of questions this week:  (1) Had he received a new companion; (2) Did Cusco have daylight savings time; (3) Do they celebrate Halloween in Peru / Cusco; and (4) had any of the multiple packages we sent arrived yet!]  


So yep, changes today, and Elder Ludlow got sent back to Puno! Apparently the Puno curse is if you start in Puno, you will go back, so he already got sent back just to a different stake to be zone leader, he is not too excited.  My new companion is named Elder Segura, I have never met him and he won't get here till Wednesday. He is a latino from Lima, and apparently hes supposed to be pretty cool. He has 3 more changes than me in the mission.

I don't think there was day light savings.

Yes, they celebrate Halloween, but definitely not as strong. Just some people walking around in costumes. People believe Halloween here like brings evil spirits so some people don't celebrate it haha.

Yes! The package arrived the day before Halloween, we also finally received our shirts from the onesight organization, they are pretty cool. Thanks so much for everything in the package!

[For our loyal readers of this blog -- :) -- this package was the one we sent to him in late August after he informed us of his need to accessorize as a missionary (white shirts and dark pants only go so far you know!).  So we requested some additional ties, and "Paisley ties" in particular and his wrist watch he forgot to take with him.  So we sent him like 4 or 5 cheap paisley ties and 2 or 3 church themed ties (with CTR and/or Standard of Moroni on them), some See's suckers and his old watch and a new (cheap) University of Utah watch.  The picture below has him wearing the UoU watch, holding Sees suckers and wearing the Standard of Moroni tie).]

We don't have much time today, as we have to go to a baptism in an hour and a half.  The bishop called and was like "I cant go you guys need to"! A little annoying because ward baptisms aren't our responsibility and its taking up our P-day time, but whatever I guess!  Every baptism is a great one!

We painted our room this week :)

Our halloween lol :) We had a family night in our pensions house. Our costumes included us switching our name badges.


If you guys didn't know, I lost my name tag in a taxi, the one that went on my white shirt, it SUCKS! I lost it actually last change, its been a while, but I just forget to say so. But yeah the zone leaders already ordered me another one for like 8 soles so now i just have to wait. It should get here this next change though.  I was in a taxi, got out, and it wasn't there, sucks :(

But yeah, this week was alright, we didnt have too much but we had a decent amount of lessons. 

Yeah we gotta go though, I wish I could say more but we gotta go to the church to set up stuff for the baptism, fun stuff! 

Next week I will have some pics with my new companion

Miss you guys!

-Elder Barry