Machu Picchu

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ending with a Bang!

So we had 2 baptisms this week, 2 confirmations, found 5 new investigators to teach and had 7 investigators at church!  Cool stuff.  Is great to be so busy as the time gets closer to going home.  Just keeps me focused.  We have another baptism scheduled for June 17th, but that will have to be handled by Elder Lara in my "absence!"

I also spent 2 days this week traveling to Cusco.  I got a call last Monday night and was told I have to give a power of attorney and then be fingerprinted for something with visa / Peru travel rules.  I have no idea why they couldn't have done that when officer Elders were in Juliaca last week, but I got on a bus and traveled to Cusco (7+ hours) and then the next day came right back.  Sort of crazy and inefficient, but whatever.

I can't believe I am coming up on the end of my mission.  I am getting tons of emails from the office about "rules" of finishing your mission, details about last few days, instructions for travel and immigration paperwork, etc... Here are some pictures of one of our baptims this week.  For some reason I only took them from the first baptism and not the second!  Things got really busy with the White Night and number of folks getting baptized.

So Elder Lara stayed with Elder Wells and Werlen (the two serving in our neighboring area) while I traveled to and from Cusco.

So I also have some potentially sad news.  So evidently we might not get to see Elder Christensen.  Apparently he is only coming to Cusco, but the mission really doesn't have the money to send us all to the event.  Is a little frustrating actually and many folks are angry.  I find it interesting that they can  afford to bus me around for something that could have been handled in person a week before, but oh well.

It struck me pretty hard this week re: money spent in the mission as I had to stay with office Elders on my quick trip back to Cusco.  The office house is DEFINITELY a huge step above what I have stayed in my entire mission!  So they have a huge complex, like in a tower that is very close to the mission office.  They basically have a complete house that is really nice.  3 bedrooms; 3 bathrooms with actual working showers.  A super nice kitchen and a nice balcony with city views.  I had to take a pic (below) to just show my District back in Juliaca how some folks got to live in the mission! :)

We pay 250 soles a month for our house, getting showered with a bucket, living in a little hut on top of some guys roof!  Yet the office Elders live in an ultra modern apartment tower, with super nice water heater thingies for their showers, and their rent is around 2,000 soles a month!  Crazy.

Anyway, was still an experience to ride the bus for so long and to people watch and talk with folks who wondered what the "lost tourist" was doing on the bus!  We got stopped two or three times by police on the trip and they searched for stolen electronics and checked people's identification.

Here is a little video of Elder Lara and I having some fun.  Meet "the Barley Challenge."  I had dared Elder Lara to eat a spoonful of that Echo drink I like and he totally thought he could do it!  Result:  FAILED.  It was totally funny though.

A member took us out to "Asador Point" this week, which is pretty much the only good restaurant Juliaca has to offer.  I ordered Lasagna.  It was actually pretty good (definitely in comparison to the food I normally eat here).  I gave it a 10 out of 10.  Lol.  The member is 19 and turning 20 in December.  He is very mature though for his age and seems a lot older.  He is the Ward secretary.  He is a recent convert (think about a year and a half ago) and is planning on turning in his mission papers in the upcoming next week or two.  His family aren't members and he has it pretty rough.  His mom has some sort of illness where she got paralyzed and his Dad doesn't live nearby.

I heard from my entire Lima MTC group this week and they are all going home on the 12th of June as well.  So that is going to be exciting to catch up with them back home.

Here are a few more random pics from this week.  I am off for now.  Will talk to you guys next week, which I guess will be for the last time!

Take care!

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