Machu Picchu

Monday, May 30, 2016

After 6 Months in Most Remote Portion of Mission: Connor is back in Cusco!

[About 8 am this morning we got a random picture from Connor's camera with just a note saying: "Change to Cusco."  So we knew he had gotten transferred and could tell from pic he was on the bus.  This trip is something like 6 to 8 hours in total depending on roads / weather / stops they make.  We didn't know if Connor would have time to send any more emails but he did get chance.]

Here is the random pic from Bus

So, Im in Cusco again! Like 20 minutes away from my old sector but its a different zone. Its called Tahuantinsuyo, we are actually sharing a sector with zone leaders (Elder Cortijo and Elder Kline). We pension together and live together, is interesting.

My companion is Elder Damazo, he is cool.

I dont have pictures because I dont have my camera, we arrived to Cusco late, ate , and came here and i left all my stuff in the room, will be nice though

Elder Ludlow got sent to Quillabamba, its a jungle part of cusco. Looks like hes gonna be finishing there with just 3 changes left.

So Im thinking of going to Macchu Picchu NEXT change, because thats actually when elder ludlow goes and it would be good to go together, we talked about it!


So yesterday we are relaxed at like 6:00 in the afternoon, and the ZONE LEADERS call us telling us the changes. They tell us that there is going to be a strike in Puno like Tuesday and Wednesday  so they said I had to do my bags RIGHT NOW and be in Puno THAT NIGHT because the bus leaves at 8 in the morning. So legit I was cramming to do my bags, (so hard) and then the LIGHTS WENT OUT when Juli lost power again. So I was legit trying to do my bags in complete darkness.

So yep, Macchu Picchu in July or somewhere around there, its going to be SO sick, legit exited!

This is a strong ward, like 110 people go to church every week, and our pension is a CHEF, so that is pretty cool! It has a lot of work! Its weird though because there are TONS of tourists!

My comp is from Elder Ludlows group (but hes Latin so he finishes in November) Hes been in this area for 2 changes (3 months)!

It was a bummer leaving Bordon, but there is some big news about Juli.

So apparently the mission is getting a lot smaller missionary count wise, so they legit combined Ilave and Juli. The district is only 4 elders now, Bordon with an elder that was in Ilave, and their sector is Ilave and Juli, and then Yunguyo with Powell and Daybell.

My new comp is from Peru, from a place north of Lima called like Wacha or something.

Here are two pictures from our Puno Zone dinner last week.

I don't have the address of house we are staying at, but there is one, so will have to get it this week and send it next week so you can try and find it on Google Maps.

Should be fun living with 4 Elders, our house is pretty big, Elder Ludlow told me living in Puno with 4 Elders was the best time on his mission.

So crazy to think Elder Ludlow has this change, and then 2 more, thats crazy! He completed 1 year when he was with ME!

Bus ride was actually pretty crappy, the only place they stop to let us buy stuff is a place where they rip you off, so thats an interesting strategy.

I will take pics with people, you might recognize Cortijo, he was my district leader in Yunguyo my first change in Sanabria before Powell came!

I am excited to have a pension again -- and a CHEF at that!  I really dont want to put on unneeded weight here, def gonna have to do exercises every morning I think.

Also there are English classes here wednesday and friday at the church building, should be fun!  I won't teach them right away, but think in a few weeks I might.

Mission President leaves in 3 weeks, he is here for half of this change, like helping the new President I imagine not sure, the new one arrives in a few weeks.! Crazy right!

Our Zone Leaders / Roommates are Elder Kline from the US and Elder Cortijo is a guy from Lima, I know him already so one gringo one latino.

Its weird though, this sunday are elections AGAIN (for the last time) That means no proselytizing again, might do something between us 4 elders in the house, not sure , we will see!

I love you, see you next week

Will take pics

Monday, May 23, 2016

Another (hopefully last) week in Juli

So this week my package finally got here, thanks so much for everything! (All of the mac and cheese are gone already)!

I bought a new shirt this week, 30 soles is what it costed.

So this week, we didn't go to the branch presidents house because he is no longer branch president! We got a new one now, its a younger guy returned missionary, like 25 years old or so.

I DID NOT bring my camera to the zone conference, but I panicked when I realized and messaged Elder Ludlow to bring his, so we actually have photos together he just has to send them to me.

Today we have a special Pday activity dinner thing in Puno at 6, should be interesting. What sucks is that we are going to be there until night so we will have to sleep in a room on a mattress without pillows with 4 other elders and there is one elder that snores like a bear, so should be REALLY fun!

Me and my companion ate 2 mac and cheese on Sunday because we didn't have anything to eat and we couldn't buy anything (sometimes the Sabbath day can be so hard without a pension!)

Thanks for buying me some white shirts.  I prefer long sleeve, but if I get sent to the jungle, I might need some more short sleeves as well.  I am going to have to burn a shirt here in like a month from now, crazy to think! [At his one year mark he burns a shirt]

Well I gotta go, next week will have news on changes, love you guys, will bring my camera to the dinner today :P

Bye! See you guys next week!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Yet another week in Juli

So! This week was actually pretty dull! A whole lot of walking and nothing more lol.

So this week we went to the branch presidents house and it was hard because we had to hike like 10000km lol, it lasted like 5 hours in total, with time for us to get there, meet with him and then getting home!  He has a super annoying donkey too that wouldn't stop...... I don't know what you call the noise they make.  [Braying is what it is called ;)]

We are going back this week to branch presidents house, so I will try and take a few video clips of us going there, and you will see, there is literally NOTHING civilized out there; just all horses, cows and stuff.

So this Sunday was yet another Juli classic!  My companion had to direct the hymns (and they didnt even know his name, so they just pointed to him when they needed someone to direct lol), then I was supposed to be the one breaking the bread for the sacrament but no one else was there to help, and my companion was leading the hymn so I had to wait for him to finish the hymn and then awkwardly broke the bread AFTER the hymn, gotta love that... Then we gave talks in Sacrament meeting. Then we went to Sunday School and apparently there wasnt a teacher there so we had to give that class too :O, even worse, my comp was feeling sick that day so I just practically gave it. Then we went to Priesthood where the teacher also forgot to prepare the class so he just read out of a book word for word for an hour.  I guess you can say I am ready for a change in a few weeks.

We really didn't do anything for P-day, so boring here, everyone just goes right back to their own sectors after the district meeting, I am very excited to do stuff for Pday again in my next sector!

We had our meeting in Juli today, then we went and ate, then we came to internet, not much of a Pday, but next Pday we have some kind of SURPISE pday in Puno, not sure what it will be, but that is just what they have told us.

But yeah gotta take a video of the walk in the boonies this week.

The only 2 pictures i have this week are me with that hat on. That style of hat is what ALL of the women wear here. Some kind of tradition lol, they are super uncomfy though i think.

I look forward to making the video and hiking out the field, it can be sorta cool lol, there is a river and stuff like that.

It will be awesome to get a change though, I am really hoping not Juliaca or Puno though, I want to get to know all of the mission :P, and those 2 are just so close lol.

I haven't received my package yet, but this thursday we got a zone conference, but not sure if the zone leaders already have my package, maybe it comes with changes in 2 weeks not sure :O

We unfortunately don't have any CONSISTENT investigators at the moment, we have some lessons in and out but nothing that is consistent, sorta sucks -_-.

I don't actually think it is possible to have our baptism by the goal date for the entire mission.  In Peru and Bolivia, the mission rules established by the area presidency is that people have to come to church 3 times before being baptized, and Junior only has 1, and so coming 2 more times doesn't fit in before May 28 :( Would be nice to be in Brazil where they only have to church 1 time before being baptized lol :P

But hey my time is up, love you guys a ton though, will take a vid this week of the field, bye!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day

[Updated on Tuesday @ 3:30 PM.  Connor was able to email a bit today -- after having some problems on Monday.  I am leaving the original posting (before hearing from him) below.]

So yesterday was crazy! We traveled to Juliaca which is like an hour farther away from Puno and ate PizzaHut in PlazaVea there! A ton of traveling but was sort of worth it :P  Then we got stuck in some CRAZY traffic in Juliaca because its just so crowded, and also there was a riot from the college students and they were throwing rocks at cars, interesting!

Not much more to say than what we said on skype, but here are a few photos, the red shirt is a new one i bought recently just becuase it says "California".

We were just stuck in Juliaca till like 6 and got home at like 9, was crazy. (Sucks being so far from everything!)

Today my skin is peeling a ton on my forehead in one part, like where my scalp starts, I got skin looking like Deadpool lol.

I am so tired of these internet connections, in places like Cusco I think it is better, maybe next time when we skype I will be in a sector with better internet! :O

We finally GOT IN CONTACT with Junior, he said he is coming to church this week but I don't know, its just so hard because he lives way far out there in the fields! Its sad news though, so much of our zone has lost baptismal dates recently for that day at end of May where we had a mission goal for baptisms, I don't know how many we will actually have! :(

People here think California is SUPER cold, not sure how they got that in their head lol. No houses here have heating-cooling, only the church and the mission home from what i've seen! And I don't know, but the heat just doesn't stay in like they all say "it does" lol.

Sorry tons of emails from others day, couldn't write much and times up, but ill see you guys in less than a week already! Will take pics and TRY to to moms "request"! Love you guys.


[After about a 40 minute delay due to internet issues @ Connor's location in Juli --- we got to talk to him around 5:00 pm on Mother's Day.  It was a great conversation!  He is looking so GOOD! :)  He seems to be in great spirits -- but it was clear that although he loves his current companion he really has been in Juli far too long!  (He has been there since November of last year).  

This is the ONLY place in his entire mission where they don't have a "pension" (someone who cooks for them, does laundry, etc...) and so it is just a very removed / rural location.  There are not a ton of people in the location, the branch struggles, and the amount of missionary work he can do there is just limited by all those factors.  We are hoping he will get a transfer in the next change -- which is 3 weeks from now.

I did record our entire Skype call again -- but haven't been able to upload any videos yet.  I have posted a few pics from our call below.  

The quality of the Skype call ranged from "ok" to poor -- so we missed a few words / conversations.  We lost video at time, etc..  It was VERY hard to say goodbye and honestly depressed us a bit to say good-bye and realize wouldn't see him again until Christmas!

The following day (Monday) was his P-day and normal day for emails.  But we didn't receive anything, so not sure if he had internet problems again.  Bummer.  :)] 

Monday, May 2, 2016

A week of sickness!

So, this week was quite terrible!

So Tuesday night, I literally just randomly start feeling like it got super cold out of nowhere, so I put on a sweater and I still am just shaking like nuts, I get sorta confused, try to go to bed and cant end up doing it till like 4AM, fun!

Wednesday I wake up even worse, I feel like hot and cold at the same time, shivering and with a terrible headache, I legit just didnt get out of bed.

Thursday, same day!

Friday, SAME DAY!

Saturday in the middle of the day I just finally felt better, it was just really weird.

The worst part of it all was the constant stomach problems though, I cant explain how just terrible it was, that is actually the first time I've gotten sick in Juli!

Sunday: Church! was good, we finally got the good news that our young mission leader is going on his mission, and leaves this Saturday for Bolivia. Interesting experience, for the first hymn they started singing "How Firm a Foundation" to the tune of "Spirit of God" it was REALLY interesting, me and my companion were just looking at each other wondering if this was some kinda premade thing or if they actually think that is how it goes. I am sorry to say its the second.

Today we went to Puno we went to cut hair, ate at PlazaVea, and went to like a special market they are having there, it was sorta nasty, just a bunch of people burning stuff so it smelled super bad!

When I got so sick I just had to tell our District leader.  The rule is basically that if you are throwing up you don't leave, so that was pretty horrible experience.

It is just I dont know how it came! I literally always wash my hands (or try to), and I hardly ate ANYTHING that could do me any harm lol, it was just confusing how fast it came.

I was told I could go out and buy "stuff" to help, so on Wednesday I bought a pill that was recommended by Zone Leaders and it did practically nothing I think, would have preferred morphine I felt like I was dying lol!

My companion gave me a blessing.  He basically just studied and actually slept a bit too, I think there is only so much studying you can do solo at least :P.

We had an interesting ride on a moto taxi today.  Very rattly and the driver was trying to act like our tour guide and not watching the road!

We don't have ANYONE lined up yet for our goal of a baptism by the 27th! Sorta sucks! But there is still hope! We have someone that only needs to assist 2 times, but time is ticking!

We did have a rescue last week though, forgot to say that :P

Have other 2 lined up too :P

Lots of less active work

Sad to hear, I just had a bit to talk with Elder Noel, from my CCM group. So apparently there is an Elder from our group that recently went home early :( Not sure why, but sad to hear :(.

So Sunday we have permission to Skype and I am super excited.  I will chat with you on Skype before the video call with specifics.

But hey time is up, but I will see you in LESS than a week in VIDEO! Will be exciting!!!!!