Machu Picchu

Monday, April 24, 2017

Baptisms in Juliaca

Hi Mom and Dad!  So this week was a great one working away in the mission field.  In particular, this week we had 4 baptisms in my District.  It was a "White Night" with that many great baptisms scheduled.  We also had 12 investigators come to church in our Ward this week!  That was pretty crazy and is definitely a record for me on my mission.

Our Mission President is talking about opening up a second area in our current area (Universidad), so that would mean we would have 4 missionaries in the Ward.  That would be neat, but we wouldn't live together, although we would share the same pension!  It is always fun to have another set of Elders in the same area.  We will find out the specifics next week when changes happen (May 1st).

I can't believe that this will be my last change / my 17th in the mission!

My companion got his cast off this week and everything is good with him.  We are guessing that we will be split up next week. I am guessing they might just move one of us to the NEW Universidad area and bring in two new companions (one for each of us), but guess we see.  We have 14 missionaries going home this transfer and 17 come in, so I think that means the mission will try and open up at least 3 new sectors.

The next multi-zone conference we have will be my last one and the one that I am asked to give my "last testimony" at.  Is a time when the old timers talk to the younger missionaries about what they learned, what they might wish they did differently, etc..  That will be around mid-May for me.  

So yeah everyone was making fun of me in my baptism pants!  They are HUGE on me.  People didn't believe they were actually my pants.   

My companion and I are still running (pretty consistently) in the mornings. But only for like 25 minutes.  Is really nice though, but TIRING. We get literally like 5 to 10 minutes into the run and our chests start throbbing and just hard to breathe.  Will be interesting to see how I do at home.  

It still would be a great way to end my mission with training a new Elder.  But I doubt that will happen.  I have seen it before with only one transfer left, but is pretty rare.  They just usually want the trainer and the trainee together for 2 changes.

Well we are off to have lunch and then just hang out and relax (no plans this p-day and that is actually kind of exciting!).  

Love you guys.

Hope you have a good week..


Monday, April 17, 2017

Floating Reed City of Uros

I can't believe another week has gone by so fast!  Is crazy how time seems to be speeding up as I get closer to the end of my mission.  I can't believe I have 8 weeks left, but just have to finish these last few weeks working hard.

We unfortunately had to postpone our baptism from last week.  The new date is this Saturday (the 22nd).

We had a great "super" P-day this week at Uros.  It is a super big tourist trap now for sure.  Overpriced stuff that they sell on the shore cheaper than on the islands!  We had probably 80 missionaries on the floating islands!  It was our entire zone, the 2 zones from Puno and all the missionaries from Sicuani.

Me and my companion started running this morning.  We got really tired at like the mile+ mark.  Then my chest was throbbing, etc..  People where looking at us like we were crazy.  Was sort of funny!  I guess the elevation (12,000 feet) makes seeing a jogger something more unique.

We worked hard this week, trying to find more investigators and started teaching the two families we found last week.  About the only excitement that happened was that we almost got EATEN by dogs!  They came out of nowhere in a pack and just charged us!  We are fairly used to crazy dogs here in Peru, so we just threw some huge rocks at them and after hitting a few, finally forced them to leave us alone.

Well we are off to go play soccer and run some more errands.  Love you guys!  Looking forward to Mother Day Skype.


Some more pics

From our zone conference and zone activities on island

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hi guys!  I am online now.  So we don't have P-day today, but only time to write emails.  We aren't having a true P-day today because we are going to Uros with the Mission President on Friday.  Uros is that floating island of reeds in Puno.  I will make sure and send pics when I go.  So Uros has been off limits to missionaries for the last year or so.  But apparently we get to go for a special occasion with the Mission President, so that will be exciting!  

Here are a few selfies with a member who was baptized like a month or so ago and is so excited about the Gospel and sharing it with everyone!  AWESOME!

In terms of work here is what we have going on:

-Avril passed her baptismal interview and so we will have that on Saturday!  That will be exciting!

-A really cool 20 year old came to church this week with a member, and he is VERY interested in learning more.  So we have an appointment already scheduled to teach him this week.  

-We got 10 (other) new investigators this week, so we will see how they progress over the next week or two.  

We found the 10 new investigators by just knocking on doors this week!  We are still working through our old area books, and we found an entire family that was interested in taking the lessons!  They were NOT the people in the book, so was very cool to find them.  

We would have had 12 new investigators, but decided not to count 2 of them, because they were a drunk husband AND a drunk wife, but they did in fact listen to us and were asking questions.  But obviously not understanding that much given the amount of alcohol they had drunk.  

So my companion's hand was not broken last week, just a torn ligament.  He has to wear a cast for like 2 weeks.
We found this place out walking around this week.  I think it is a bit of a copyright infringement on Napoleon Dynamite!  

Well I am off for today.  Love you guys so much! Take care!!!!!
I will  take pics at floating island this week...pretty much have Pday on Friday..but we won't be able to write again until next Monday.  

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hi guys!  So I was on another computer originally, but it was SO slow!  It literally crashed every 10 seconds trying to upload pictures, so I had to change to a new computer.  The internet here is not what we are used to in the US!  Although where we are is supposed to be as fast as road runner evidently -- and have "Speedy 2 mb of velocity internet" as you can see in the picture LOL.
Speedy huh?

Anyways, this week was pretty good!  We are walking a ton, because we still don't really know the area that well and are meeting people and trying to find folks to teach.  We have a 10 year old girl as an investigator right now, her Mom is less active, and her Dad isn't a member (and doesn't want anything to do with us -- and is pretty funny how he goes to such lengths to avoid us!) but her grandparents are all super active.

She has a baptismal date for 15 of April, we are committed, but is a little rough because she isn't home that much, so we are trying hard to keep teaching her and helping with whatever we can.  

Today, we were played soccer with the zone, and my companions hand got kicked by another Elder!  He can't move his wrist right now and it is SUPER swollen.  We think it might be broken -- but we are going to the hospital later tonight.  

So that was a pretty awesome General Conference huh?  I cant believe it is the last one in my mission!

We did get to watch it in English.  We were upstairs in our church building with 4 other Americans in a small room.  It was pretty funny, everyone was teasing me because they all have over a year (or more) left in the mission.  When the picture of a guy at the temple getting married came up on the screen, they all started hollering my name...haha!

Here is a delicious video demonstrating the beautiful landscape of Juliaca, Peru.  We were out working one day and trying to find a house for 2 hours that we found in the old area book.

Here is another video of my companion with his pant leg up to his shin wet!  He wasn't looking where he was going and backed up looking at the house addresses and BOOM -- he sunk like a rook in a dirty sewage little hole in the road.  

It is VERY cold outside by like 5:00 PM and we are entering into the "frozen" time so the natives tell us!  Late April, all of May, and June are just way way way cold.

Is crazy that Elder Lara is only second English speaking companion.  We do like to talk English when we are together, but we do have to keep working on his Spanish.  He is definitely getting better.  But sometimes he gets a little flustered, and messes up even more. But is cool, because he just laughs at himself.  Was the same way I learned Spanish early on.  

I did get ONE of my packages (the first one you sent) and I also got new sheets from the zone leaders this time around.  I still have a package in the office then (the second one you sent with my Birthday stuff) and my companion has a package as well.  We told zone leader just to tell the office guy to send it, and we will pay for it, as it is seriously like 15 soles around there to send it. I really don't want to wait 6 more weeks till the next zone leader meeting.  But yeah in this package I did get all the goodies, snacks and the cream for my sunburns.  

We have been eating / sharing all my goodies a lot through the conference sessions.  So I was everyone's best friend for that day! :P

Well we should get going.  We have to get approval from mission office for my comp to go see a doctor.  He is not really in pain at the moment, but can't really use that arm!  He has had a pretty bad "series of unfortunate events" lately.  

I don't have any more photos, but will take some in the next week :P

Have a good week
Will have more news next week :P
Love you.
-Elder Barry