Peru

Peru
Machu Picchu

Monday, March 27, 2017

First week! Last area?

Hi guys!

Well I can't lie, but Juliaca is pretty ugly!

Tons of mud, like, everywhere, pretty much all the streets aren't paved.

But that doesn't really matter because, at the end of the day, the work is pretty good!


I am struggling to write at the moment because I am SO full. We ate at Pizza Hut today (the first time in over a year for me!)  I actually weighed myself last week, was pretty curious.  It turns out that I am 142 pounds (and think I was like in the 182 range when I left on my mission).  I feel like I have eaten 5 pounds of food today though! :)

Here is a picture of the little slice of civilization out here in Juliaca!  Is crazy really, as most of my areas didn't have that many restaurants all in a row!  I mean this is a place with basically ZERO tourism so my companion (a red head American) and myself walking around always creates a little buzz of people watching us!



Here is a picture of the "Park of the Virgin" which is real close to our house (us walking through it on one of the videos!).


Here is a video of us in the park as we are out working / walking.

video

So here is our house: LINK

Our house is the one with the red door on the left (not the red door on the right!).  We live in a room on the third floor.  We are seriously ON the roof.  There is a little square room built on the roof, but we walk outside of our room and we are out in the open air on the roof with stairs going down into the house AND our bathroom is up there.  I have a video of that as well.

video


We live with the Bishop, but we don't really see him all that much.  

Our room is fairly big and we are happy here.  I really like the work in Juliaca.  We are starting up this new area (as I told you last week) so we are looking through a VERY old area book (from like almost 2 years ago when missionaries were here) and unfortunately it doesn't help that much.  We have some AWESOME recent converts here though in our ward and they are helping us out a ton!  I know we will find some more people to teach this week.

The only bummer is that is is VERY cold and windy though.  Like. Super cold. Lol.  Most of my mission has been in cold places, but this seems to be the coldest yet!

The roads are literally always covered in mud and is just hard to get around.  Here is a video of me and my comp just trying to navigate the mud!

video

I am pulling a little bit of a trick on the ward though.  ALL of them (Bishop, pension, and all the ward members) that have asked me how long I have left on my mission.  I tell them all that I just recently hit the one year mark!  It will be pretty funny when I say "PEACE I AM OUT OF HERE" in a few months! Lol :P

I have been thinking a lot about school when I get home and what I want to study / what I want to do as my profession.  I know that I will be guided in what I should study / do, so I am trying not to freak out about it too much!  I think the advice in my patriarchal blessing will help.  I just force myself to work harder with my companion when the thoughts of home / what to do after the mission start to occupy too much of my time!  I just want to end my mission strong and love working here with Elder Lara.  He is great!

Well, we are off for this week.  Talk to you guys next week!  Have a good week.  Thanks for everything guys -- I love you.
Will try to get more pics/vids.
-Elder Barry

P.S.  Although it is freezing cold all the time here, we have a ton of flies!  I am guessing that is because all of the livestock just walks right by our house and into the park!  So my companion and I are keeping a tally of all the flies we kill in our room!  We are up to high death count.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Transfers / New Area and Very Sick Companion

Okay guys, I have like 30 emails this week that I need to respond too (a lot of them are birthday messages!) but just typing this first.

So I got a change, I will be leaving current sector (Mirador) and being transferred to Juliaca!  That is literally like 45 minutes away!  [Editors note:  What is crazy is that in the San Diego mission where we live the ENTIRE mission is encompassed in a 45 minute drive; but yet in Connor's mission that is a crazy "short" inter-zone transfer in Cusco!]

The weirdest news is still to come!  I AM WITH ELDER LARA IN JULIACA!  [Elder Lara is his current companion.]  Like we are closing Mirador and opening up a new sector in Juliaca to be called "Universidad".  I am actually VERY excited about opening a new area AND staying with Elder Lara.  He is a great guy.  I will be a District Leader again, so not really excited about the additional administrative work!

So apparently our new area will be pretty huge!  It is called "university", apparently because, yes you guessed it, that is where the university is.  I have heard the work in Juliaca is really nice, just got to wait and see!!!!

Apologies for no pictures, videos or anything today.  We didn't really plan on coming to the internet when we did, so left my camera back in our room.  From what I have heard about our new sector, we will live with the Bishop, but not with the pension.  That is about all I really know.  The Ward is a bit stronger than Mirador (as it will have around 80 members in attendance from the 50 we had in Mirador).  

Pretty crazy that I am 20 years old right!?

So my birthday was "ok."  I tried not to tell any members, (only the pension knew).  In the morning, we ate cake.  She bought a 50 sole cake from PlazaVea here, which was super kind of her!  Then she made me any lunch I wanted.  I chose a plate that consisted of mashed sweet potatoes, and like a stir-fry type thing on top.  I guess it is pretty weird to describe, but I really liked it!  That evening, and I don't know how they knew about it, but the Bishop and all the YSA came over to our house and wished me a happy birthday.  It was very nice of them, but pretty awkward as well, because they all were saying stuff abut me and basically embarrassing me! :) but it was cool.  

We did have a fairly wild week work-wise.  We didn't get to work on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, because my companion had to be in "complete rest".  But he is way better now, but he was VERY sick this week.  He evidently had a very serious stomach infection and we had to visit the doctor almost every day.  

I am guessing it is almost certain that I will "die" in Juliaca though [finish his mission].  It would be great if Elder Lara is my final companion.  That isn't impossible anymore, since we are opening up a new sector.

So I basically hung out when my companion was sick.  I wrote my talk (which I gave at church yesterday), listened to music, studied and basically tried to cheer him up in between him taking all his antibiotics and trips to the bathroom like every 20 minutes!  Poor guy! 

I am excited to open up a new area, I think that is a great way to reinvigorate me for the work for my last two transfers!  I am not all that excited for the added admin stuff of a District Leader, but am sure it will be fine.  I would love to have a few more baptisms before I go home, I know it is possible.

Well guys, next week I will have news on Juliaca!  Love you guys.  I will take pics and vids of Juliaca (p.s: its SUPER ugly:.....lol)

BYE

Elder Barry

P.S. Here are a few pictures the mission sent around.




Monday, March 13, 2017

Keeping up the work in Puno

Hi guys.

So my companion woke up today sick as a dog. So that is a bummer, and I truly know how he feels!  I think we are still going to play soccer today for P-day, but think he is going to sit this one out!

This week was pretty rough here in the mission. I am not going to lie.  We got to spend some time in a little pueblo called "MaƱazo", which is about an hour away from our house.  This was a zone activity where we all went to different pueblos to contact people.  It is pretty hard for folks who are interested in learning more to even proceed with the lessons given they usually don't want to come to church being so far out from town.

We also had our multizone/interview with mission President this week.  That was a good day, but still involved a lot of traveling.  We did end up making a lot of new contacts this week, so I guess that is a good start for the weeks ahead as we continue working here in Puno.

I still haven't received my package -- and I guess the mission President couldn't travel with all the missionary packages, so it wasn't brought out to Puno from Cusco this week.  I am sure it will come eventually!

We have transfers next week, and I would really like to train another new missionary.  Evidently we have 10 Elders and 11 Sisters coming in next week!  There is work to be done here in my district and I really feel like having a greenie for the last two transfers of my mission would help me keep focused and working hard!  But I guess the odds of that happening aren't that high! :(

My first greenie, Elder Sanchez, is in my zone so I get to see him every P-day.  Is fun to see him and notice how he has progressed. It is his birthday tomorrow!  I can't believe I turn 20 in a few days.  Crazy how time has flown by out here.

Here is a picture of me with a balloon sword -- the Elders Quorum president here knows how to do all that balloon art! :)  


I am trying to keep focused on the work and not get too "trunky" thinking about home.  I just have to keep working for 90 more days!  Hah!


Well we are out of here!  See yah next week, news with changes.

Love
Elder Barry


Monday, March 6, 2017

Puno

Hey guys!

This week was decent, we did tons of walking, but also had a good amount of appointments and got a few new investigators.

We went to a ward activity this week (our investigators came too!).  Here is a pic.


Will send more pictures, but they load slow!

We are going to play soccer today with the Bishop of the ward the zone leaders are in. Apparently the Bishop put together a team of old guys, and they are willing to pay for the field, but only if we actually "form a good team".  So only a select few of us from the zone are going!  We are going to crush them as they are just a bunch of old guys with guts, so confident we are going to run all around them.   But hey, they are paying for the field, so what more can I ask for.. HAH.

This week was decent though, went in Divisions, I went to the District Leaders sector, but with his companion (guy he is training), Elder Rojas....Way cool guy.  We had tons of contacts, new families to teach, but just unlucky it wasn't in my sector!.  HAH

Today a guy told us he didn't really have time to hear us or talk with us because "his leg hurts", was one of the weirdest excuses I have heard in my mission.

Almost got struck by lightning this week, it seriously sounded like a gunshot in our hears, and left them ringing after. Was pretty crazy, struck the house next to us, then the cables above us like blew up, and all the lights went out, we went running back home!

We've only been on 40 mins, still got 20 minutes left, but we are going to go play soccer.

AFTER soccer, will come back and write again for a short bit......Will have the pictures!
Love you guys a ton..

LOVE YOU!

Hi, we are back!  First off, we WERE invited to go see the temple groundbreaking, but we had an appointment, they told us late about the temple groundbreaking and we couldn't go :(

The primary kids drew a picture of my companion and I, and we found it on the door to church!

They were just told to draw the elders and what they do.  Pretty hilarious when we saw it.


They said we teach about Jesus Christ, help people in accidents, baptize people and then bring them to the temple.  I guess they got a pretty accurate idea. Hah!

Here I am deep in thought.....


Jeez these pictures are taking FOREVER to load....Internet must be pretty gross

Okay going to send this message and attach them in other

So we won the soccer games (of course).  There were 3 teams, 1 full of bishops and the stake president. 1 full of YSA from different wards and 1 full of missionaries from the zone.

Was super fun, and they all INSISTED I was from Europe, because "apparently" people from the states "cant play soccer".

We are off to a family night with a member family that doesn't come to church because they had some "problems" (fights) with other members.  Pretty sad because he was branch president before:P

Talk to you guys next week
Take care!