Peru

Peru
Machu Picchu

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween in Cusco

First off all, sorry for last week, we didn't have much time to email and it was a crazy busy day.

Anyways, here I am, happy :)

So, this week was COOL.

FINALLY, BRADY HAS HIS INTERVIEW. We literally had to teach each lesson 3 times (just so he could capture the basic idea), but we got everything! I imagine it would be like teaching any young teen every gospel principle and then having an interview after, ROUGH!

Also another cool experience that happened this week.  So the mission is putting a new emphasis on FAMILY NIGHTS and SEMINARY/INSTITUTE.

So every Monday we have family nights with members, and also, we CAN bring recent converts and investigators to institute/seminary!  We can only come once with each recent convert, so that is sorta sad, because it is awesome, but this week we were able to do it!
We woke up at 5:00 AM. Went to the investigators house with a member too, and we all went to Institute. It was SO awesome! We were able to learn so much and I understood EVERYTHING. Was so cool, got me pretty pumped for institute classes when I get home.  I guess it is the mission training, but I was able to understand/answer more than anyone in the class! A big difference from when I was in Seminary I think. LOL.

So, I found a nice store, called El, where I can get pants. They cost about S/120, and I got 3. But they fit NICE. I am picking them up tomorrow.  I also got a cool iron! I went to the store and there were like 10 GARBAGE irons for 30 soles, and 2 nice ones, (160 and 170), so I got the 170 one but it is awesome! Finally my clothes aren't gross!

It is kind of sad that an iron makes me happy, but yeah, it is a steam iron. I like it, it works really well!  You should have seen some of the other ones there, as the $10 iron just looked scary to use lol.

2 weeks until changes!  I assume I will be transferred to a new area. It is probably almost a 100% odds that I get a change.  Then it is possible I go like 3 changes and 2 more in a final sector to finish it off, or 5 in a final one, but that is not that probable. Will probably have 2 more sectors for rest of my mission. But only for 4 months and then 3 months.

Is crazy to think about that I will already be going in to my 4th sector.

I realized the other day (because there aren't very many Gringo Elders in the mission) that I am like the 5th "oldest" gringo Elder in the entire mission!

1.Elder Hogan (Feb)
2. Elder Wimmer (Feb)
3. Elder Vance (March)
4. Elder Tsousie (May)
5. CB!

We really need some more North American Elders lol, they are slackin.

Anyways, in the picture below, all the guys and the girl on the very left are members (and my companion), the girl in between the guy and girl is an investigator (has been listening to the missionaries for years, but recently took interest in the message).



Here are those videos I promised (both happened on p-day and the second one while we were trying to play soccer!)

video

video

That is all I have for now, will have to make more. :)

Anyways, in the soccer tournament a couple weeks ago...No one won... as we planned it rather poorly and we didn't really implement the "elimination" we wanted.  My team didn't lose any games we played though (just saying) hahaha...

My Halloween package has not arrived yet! They really don't celebrate the holiday here in Peru.  In the main plaza (touristy place) they have some Halloween stuff, but nothing big. It is not anything like the door to door treat parade like in the states.

I am still trying to do my exercises.  Every morning and night (except Sundays) I do 30 push-ups and situps. I am going pretty well, but it is rather boring. I would like to have some kind of gym to go to, as sitting on the floor is sorta boring lol.

Next week I might hint at president I want to go to Puerto Maldonado (jungle), but I don't know if he will do anything about it (because after all, it IS revelation and not really my will, but maybe I will luck out!)

Well I have to go.  Bye you guys!
Love you!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cusco

Hi guys!

It was a great week. Elder Sanchez and I working hard. I have some videos but they are big, I will try and upload to the Dropbox.  

Anyways, Brady had to reschedule for his baptismal interview, because he went out of town with his family. But he is scheduled to have his interview this Saturday at 4 pm! We are pretty pumped. 

Here are some pictures from this week:

My hair after getting out of the shower haha..



A giant iguana that lives in the house in front of ours?  We were like amazed by it!


So I decided to get rid of a ton of clothes that didn't fit me anymore (picture below).


Anyways, a video is uploading, but not sure it will finish as it is very slow.  

We are having some CRAZY hail this week, and of course RIGHT when we are playing soccer today.

Anyways, so..... I am not really sure what is happening, but the pants I sent to be stitched still dont even fit me well... They fit me, but they are still huge and I have to use my belt so they stay on.  The bishop (who is the tailor) didnt even make me pay anything for the work he did, but he practically told me, "there is too much to take off, if I cinch it more it will ruin the pants". So I practically don't have pants lol that fit me well. The pants that Elder Kline left me are big too now...I think my pants are growing? I dont know.... haha

So I actually was wondering, what should I do? All the other Elders tell me to just buy like 3 pairs to last me my mission. But I don't know...I don't really like spending money....

I am not sure what I am going to do, I was looking today....So a nice pair of pants costs like S./150 , and that is awesome, but apparently they aren't like a machine wash material (there isn't much machine wash material pants here).....If you machine wash it, you HAVE to iron it after......and my comp has a nice iron that cost him 150 soles here, but when I have a transfer I wont be able to use it....

I just hate these situations....

Buying an iron is just spending more money, and I have to lug it around, the only good news is that I could use it in the house....

[We told Connor to buy more pants AND to buy an iron!  He has been VERY good about money on his mission, even though we keep telling him to spend a bit more, take his companions out to a nice dinner sometime, etc..]

Well I gotta go, we are gonna play Soccer!

Pays off though, just getting in better shape.

Will talk to you guys next week, my videos can't seem to upload to dropbox yet, next week I will have more time to put em up.

LOVE YOU GUYS

I will try and take care of my pants situation!  

BYE, TAKE CARE
-Elder Barry

Monday, October 17, 2016

Another week of working in Cusco

Well, this was a good week. Was rough, because Brady STILL could not have his baptismal interview (even though he has had all the lessons) because he didn't officially have his moms "signature", even though he had her permission.

Yesterday we were finally able to snag that signature, and now has the green light to have his interview.

So this week we were really trying to find new people to work with, but it was rough.

We started talking with Brady, and it turns out that just listening to our lessons from the other room, his mom has decided to start to listen to us. That was really a cool experience. Reminded me of a story from the Liahona magazine from this month or last (I don't remember which) about the dad who started to hear the missionaries from another room and decided to listen, was cool!

So lets see...

This week we had a multizone conference.  The zones that were included were: Cusco, Los Incas, Tahuantinsuyo, Quillabamba, Sicuani, Inti Raymi.  All of these zones belong in the Cusco region, even though some are as far as 4 hours away!

It was fun, I got to see 5 of my old companions, (everyone except Ludlow).


TONS OF RAIN THIS WEEK, look how the weather is pretty much every day.


So, as I told you guys before, at the 1 year mark we get new plaques, well, mine officially got here, (4 months late), but anyways, I am thinking I might just keep it clean and save for a keepsake / memory, because my current plaques are still perfectly fine and usable, just a little scratched up.


Well, today, we are actually to have a soccer tournament between 6 teams. (All different Zones)

1. Tahuantinsuyo
2. Inti Raymi (1)
3. Inti Raymi (2)
4. Los Incas
5. Cusco
6. (Some cleaning service lol)

So it is like a single elimination 20 minute games.  Some church cleaning service (a bunch of older guys) are also making a team lol. It is going to be way fun, we start at 2:30pm and play for like 3 hours!

The district is doing well! So having a lot of fun working with them all.  I am going to try and grab my companions camera and grab all those old photos I kept promising to send.

Here are a few from baptisms past.



By the way Mom.  The new shoes fit.  They are actually a little big, but still fit well, I use them mainly for important stuff, like conferences.

Here is a photo with some Elders that went home.


This is a picture of "Pisco Sour" which is some kind of weird drink (usually made with alcohol), and it has a raw egg in it in that small glass, was a little interesting, haha.



Here are the last old pictures I can find on my comp's camera.

Me and my old comp with Elder Arias and the mini missionary, Elder Herrera.


An a picture of a missionary farewell activity.


I will try and take a few more videos of just us walking / working around this week.  I have to get off now, as we are going to go eat lunch, then go play soccer.

LOVE YOU GUYS
BYE
-Connor

Monday, October 10, 2016

Cusco

Hey guys, anyways, this week was great.

We postponed the baptismal interview until THIS Saturday, so next Saturday he will be baptized.


Pretty much finished my money collection, 1 more to go, will be an AWESOME thing for memories.


So the baby is Fakundo (the youngest son of our pensions family).

That black thing is the thing all the women use here to carry children on their back, I am not too sure how to use it still lol!

Anyways good news, my convert in Juli (Janice) is now studying in Lima (people go to college when they are 16  here).  I also saw Ulises the other day! My first convert! Was awesome! Was just in the church for some meeting. Apparently he is super active part of the singles ward (or group) now.

I also heard that Christian (second convert) is now serving as the Elders Quorum President in a ward that 250 people go to every week! Crazy!

So this week the Sister missionaries asked permission to go on like....a "tour" bus kind of thing, where it is like roofless and they are up high and drive around all Cusco.

So the process is like this:  They ask me (District leader); I ask the Zone Leaders; and they ask the Assistants.

So the Assistants said no, since apparently there is a rule that we can't go in those kind of buses, because we aren't supposed to like like tourists.  Anyways, I get stuck with the crappy job of having to tell them that they DON'T have permission.

So as you might imagine I get to hear a Sister complain and I felt like I was the person working in a restaurant and just getting torn apart by someone for something they didn't even do.... (Like a person complaining to the cashier in a restaurant about how bad the food was) ...  but yeah, I guess that was a fun experience....

IT IS REALLY WEIRD WITH EVERYONE GOING HOME.... Like Elder Ludlow just finished (he wrote me this week), Elder Bordon (Argentina) and Elder Damazo (Peru) both go home November 14. Elder Sanabria (Colombia) and Elder Segura (Peru) both go home in early February. It is CRAZY.

But yeah, I am holding up (still) haha.

So changes are in 5 weeks.  I am excited though.

I would LOVE to go to Puerto Maldonado. It is 12 hours northeast of Cusco, it is basically on the border with Brazil.  It is PURE jungle though.  I hear from people that it is like 100 degrees the whole day.  But apparently it is SO unique....

Everyone is always messing with me saying that I am going to be Zone Leader there at the next change.  Elder Wilde is finishing his mission in 5 weeks and is the current Zone Leader there, so everyone thinks that since after that transfer I will be like the only gringo with more than a year out that I will get sent to the Jungle.  They say it like it is a bad thing - but I would LOVE IT and am actually hoping I get to spend some time in Puerto Maldondao.  But who knows hahaha, whatever happens is alright.

I don't know if I would like to be ZL. It seems like a lot of work that isn't really "teaching" / missionary work if you know what I mean.  A lot of administrative work and other stuff you gotta do for the zone lol.  I think I would rather just spend my time teaching and finding people to teach.

It is like 90% sure that I will get a transfer at the next change though, since I will have been here 4 changes and that is a lot.

The new president told the assistants, and the assistants told us that he is thinking of changing the amount of time a missionary will stay in a sector. He is saying about an average of 2 changes than 4 now. But who knows....

But yeah, the mission is awesome, it is rough at times and I am not gonna lie, with all of my comps starting to go home, it seems to be particulary rough lol, and when friends write me, but its cool...
I just know that at home, everything will be waiting when I get back and that I am where I am supposed to be right now.

We are gonna go play soccer (even though its raining a bit)
BYE. LOVE YOU GUYS

Monday, October 3, 2016

Another transfer down and more District Leader duties

I am here, with a crappy keyboard again, woohoo! So apologize in advance for weird spelling and missing words.  [I try and fix as many of Connor's typos as I can and his English writing skills have decreased over time on the mission, so fix a few of those as well!]

So, this week me and Elder Zare have went running every morning at 6 am. We wake up at like 5:55 and we are out the door at 6, it is rough but helps a lot to start the day.  The rough part is, that I don't seem to really sweat here, instead, I just run out of breath haha.

video


Anyways, Elder Ludlow stayed a couple days in our room, it was great seeing him. He is so ready to go home though, gonna miss him, but will see him soon enough.

So this week Elder Augat, who is also going home, was with Elder Ludlow. They were looking through all their mission memories and Elder Augat actually had a scale that he is bringing home to his house. Not sure why you buy a scale here, but it is a nice one and it cost 50 soles, maybe that is why.  Anyways, reluctantly, I took the chance to weigh myself, haven't done it since I've gotten out here on mission.  I weigh like 35 pounds less than when I started my mission!  Was really surprising, I even went to go do it on another scale because I didn't believe but I guess its true. Crazy right.

Well this week we are just going to try hard to teach all the lessons to Brady, he is going to have his baptism interview this Saturday.

NEWS.
So today are changes, everything is the same, except my district grew a TON. They closed the other sector where there was another district leader, and now I am the district leader of the entire zone.

5 Companionships

1. Elder Barry and Sanchez
2 Elder Arias and Zare
3. Elder Costa and Walker
4. Sister Wagner and Sister Rodriguez
5. Elder Paulsen and Hna Paulsen

It is WAY WEIRD because I have a senior missionary couple in my district, also sister missionaries.  I am never going to be able to sleep as I will have to do calls so much!  Lol.

General conference was pretty awesome this time.  The talk by Elder Juan A. Uceda was pretty awesome to hear.  The story about serving in Cusco and the Machu Picchu climb sure hit home.  [It was a pretty interesting thing to hear a talk in General Conference about same place Connor was at!  Here is the talk if anyone missed it.  TALK.]  By the way, I've met Elder Uceda, since when I got into the mission he gave a talk in Stake Conference I attended.

We watched General Conference in English this time, with all of the office Elders.  It was cool, but a little cramped.  Was AMESOME.  It was a LOT better in English because we were in a smaller room instead of the chapel, where apparently you couldn't hear much with all the talking and kids crying and stuff.


My companion / greenie is so much better.  We are always joking around in the streets now, laughing our heads off. I think his first few weeks were a bit of a dear in the headlights sort of thing.

I feel good about training, I mean its rough because I hate 2 hours of Comp. study to be honest, but I guess its worth it, because I know I am going to mold him for the rest of his mission.

He is always like ... Sheesh dude you have so much time, I still have 22 months to go.

Lol I remember when I felt like that, I always help him out though.

Here are a few pics.



Anyways, that is Elder Zares bathrobe, not sure why he has it, but I just put it on haha.

A picture of a pair of suit pants that don't fit anymore.  The tailor said he couldn't fix these as the design would be ruined I guess by how much to take in!  LoL.

Elder Ludlow has his final interview today, a training tomorrow, and flies home tomorrow night

A few Elders that have their parents picking them up are already gonna be with their parents TODAY. Crazy.

We are going to go play soccer AGAIN. We played in the morning too until lunch, but it is so fun, and we only get to do it once a week haha.

Yes mom, I got the pictures you sent, thanks a ton. I have a ton of the pics and videos you guys send me all saved on a USB, and we can see them with our little DVD player that we have in the room that they give us to watch like the District and church videos.

Anyways I miss you guys a ton. I hope everything is going well in the house.

Sorta sucks to see my trainer go home, but I guess its necessary so I can end up going home haha.

Next change 2 more companions I have had are gonna go home, crazy.....

Love you guys a ton.

P.S. Mom, for the package, don't forget about the scripture marker, would be AWESOME.

Another p.s. I am finishing the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time on my mission, woohoooo, I've got the majority of it all colored up and marked like a little kids coloring book haha, but it helps me.

LOVE YOU GUYS

Tell josh to write me this week, I wanna hear from him.

BYE