Machu Picchu

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas in Cusco

[On Christmas day the entire family gathered around the computer and we anxiously awaited our Skype call from Connor.  The time for the call came and went -- with no word from Connor.  About 30 minutes later we did get a Skype call from him but the reception was so bad we could barely make him out and couldn't hear him very well.  We decided to wait to try the call tomorrow.  Evidently the internet / cell phones / communication in Cusco was very overloaded on Christmas day!]

[Before our rescheduled Skype call we got the normal weekly email from Connor.]

Hey guys.  So the big news is that I will be transferred this week.  I am going back to Puno!  It is the exact same zone that I was in when I served in Juli, but luckily this time I will be in the main city of Puno.

[Puno is the second biggest city in Connor's mission, and is a 7 hour bus ride from Cusco.]

My new companion is a gringo named Elder Lara (from Arizona) that has recently finished his training, I think he is fresh out of training so I will be his second companion.

My sector is called Mirador. In the Huajspata district, in the Bellavista zone.  My sector is actually on a mountain.  From what I have heard, you have to take a car to get up, but it is pretty flat once up there!  I sure hope that is right!  Lol.

Pictures from this week:

Our Baptisms!  Here are those pics I promised from our most recent baptisms! LOVE IT :)

Mission and Zone Christmas Parties

[You have to do a bit of "where is Connor" in the first three pictures!]

[He is at a table on far left of the pic about three rows back]

[He is one of the Elders taking a picture in middle of the group.]

[He is in line for food - about middle of the picture.]

[Middle of pic under the framed picture.]

I have been here with my greenie now for almost 5 months.  So Puno is probably going to be my last area!  Is crazy to think that I will have served two years and only been in 4 places!  Cusco to start; Juli forever; back to Cusco and now to Puno!

We had a fairly casual Christmas yesterday.  We did go to church for just the first hour and then spent some time with some members and our recent converts.  Was fun, but really bummed me out when we couldn't talk live at the at the end of the day.  Oh well.

We have a key to the member's apartment across the street from us and will log in for our Skype call in a few hours.  See you then!

-Elder Barry

[Our day-after Christmas video chat with Connor was awesome!  We had so much fun and just loved being able to see his face and talk / laugh / LOVE him.]

[Here are a few pics.]

[Small video of him speaking in Spanish and explaining to us what he did that day!]

[Last small video of him just answering a question re: what he misses most about USA]

Monday, December 19, 2016

Successful Week

Not a lot of time to write this week -- but will talk with you guys in a few days!

So this week Geidy was baptized, and Urpi was interviewed for her baptism!  I am really happy with the success that we have been having! Sorry, but I don't have my camera with me so can try and send some pictures later.

So Elder Damazo, one of my old companions extended his mission and finally finished up yesterday.  He stayed with us his last day so I took him out to eat Chiles along with Elder Sanchez on Saturday night.  It was fun!

So this week Kasumi was also going to pass her baptismal interview, but apparently her Mom doesn't want her to be baptized until AFTER Christmas.  This is pretty lame really because I won't be here (assuming I get transferred the day after Christmas), but apparently they are going to be traveling, so needed to push the date back!  Oh well, is still great that I got to teach her and she will be baptized eventually.

See you guys on Sunday 6 pm my time, but might be 7pm, but we will work out it out.  See you later.  Love you.

-Elder Barry

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mission Christmas Conference

So today was our Christmas conference.  But unfortunately I woke up today with stomach sickness again!  All the "fun" like last time including throwing up!  Uggh.  I assume I must have ate something bad in the last day or two.  Last night I felt pretty bad, so I decided to take it easy, and to go to bed, hoping I would wake up better, I guess not.

But as of right now, I am feeling a lot better, still not 100%, but definitely a lot better than I was earlier today.  So we had a 6 hour conference (on our P-day as well) that I had to "endure" through this sickness!  Here is a picture from the Christmas conference.  [He does look pretty sick in that picture!  It seems like he gets a bout of something nasty once or twice a month lately!]

So, about our Skype call for Christmas, not completely sure about the timing, but I think it would be better Sunday night like at 6 pm our time.  Does that work?

Anyways, we had a good week.  Geidy passed her baptismal interview.  As I said before, her mom is a member, and also all her sisters, but Dad is totally against the church. But the Mom decided that she wants to get her daughter baptized, no matter what.

This Saturday, Urpi will have her baptismal interview. She is very excited.  I am really happy for this one because she has been investigating the church for 10 years now and has gone through dozens of missionaries!  Woohoo!

David and Monica have sort of disappeared.  Which is a bummer, but I am confident that at the right time that seed we planted will bear some fruit!

We want to put a baptismal date for next Friday with Kasumi too. She is also very excited, but could not have her interview this week given some scheduling conflicts.

We had a conference on Thursday with Elder Godoy from the Seventy.  It was awesome!  I learned a lot!  It was interesting because he had all these "statistics" from the Peru missions and he kept telling us that our "key indicators" were among the highest in all South America!

Key Indicators are the "essential" things the mission follows up on.  For example, things like:
New people with Baptismal Date
New investigators
Lessons taught
And TONS more lol!

It was very cool, but that meeting (like our Mission Christmas conference) went on for almost 6 hours!  I am definitely not a fan of super long meetings (especially when you have stomach issues). Lol.  Maybe I get that from you Dad?

Anyways, I DID receive my Christmas package. And its awesome!  Thanks so much for sending it!  So that new service really works much better huh? I must have gotten this package like within 10 days of you sending it!

I realized I have REALLY small fingers though, because the size 8 hardly fits me, but is still awesome, the 9 just falls off.  Luckily, my companion has huge fingers. lol so the size 9 fits him well.

[We had bought Connor two different styles and sizes of CTR rings for Christmas.]

Hey guys, well I gotta run now.  Talk to you guys next week! Then the following Sunday we use Skype! Crazy! Then changes!


Lol the other missionaries are leaving me...gotta hop off!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Cusco Talent Show

So it has been a good week.

We had a talent show (put together by the Ward Mission) this week, we have had it planned for a little over a month. It went great! Tons of investigators came, and even some who participated.

We had 2 skits as "missionary work", put on by us 4 Elders with the ward mission leader.

Then my companion and I were also in the Elders Quorum skit as well.  That was a hilarious one, and I am pretty sure someone took a video of it, so will try and ask around to see who has a copy.  Then my companion and I were in the Bishopric skit as well!

It is finally a sunny P-DAY! That means a good day of soccer!

Here is a video last week as Elder Costa and I are walking.

We are basically just talking in some Peruvian slang, messing around. He is not Peruvian either, he is from Bolivia, so we both like to just joke around in Peruvian slang haha.

He said, "we are gonna go play some soccer in the rain", somewhere around those lines.

Pretty crazy right that we just have 3 weeks until Christmas Skype! Time flies!

So we are going to go to the members house that lives right next to us. Her family has a brand new laptop, and a decent internet connection (at least I hope so)!  I will let you know more specifics when we get closer.

That is Elder Costa right next to me.  It is pretty weird not speaking English.  We don't really speak English much as my companion isn't really a huge "fan" of wanting to learn.  Elder Costa likes trying to learn though, he has actually learned a lot.  So it might be like 2 or 3 days in a row that I go without speaking any English!  Pretty wild.

Well Elder Reyes and I are going to the church already.  They are waiting on us, since we got the key! Lol.

But yeah, 1/2 way through this transfer already.  I am guessing it is like 100% that I will be transferred this time, as I have only heard of one case where an Elder stayed 6 changes, 5 is already a ton!

So this Thursday we have a general authority coming to our Mission.  Elder Godoy - believe he is a Seventy.  It should be a great meeting!

Love you guys a ton!
Talk to you guys next week!