Monday, May 30, 2011

El Bautismo

We had a baptism this morning!  The guy's name is Toshiro.  His mom is a recent convert from other missionaries and we started teaching him.  He progressed really steadily over the last month and a half and chose a Monday morning for his low-key baptism.  He was really happy and has already been pretty active, so it'll be nice to see him continue in the Church.  I'm still thrilled with what a great, helpful ward we have!

We were happy to escort Toshiro into the waters of baptism. 

Toshiro stands between his mom and me.  Elder Zaugg is on the right. 

Mom's birthday boxes finally came--a few weeks late but still good.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Four Months and Loving It

Sometimes it can be hard getting people to come to Church on Sunday.  They don't realize what an important part that is to their conversion.  The people here are really nice, though, and we can always find people to teach.  Some progress more than others and we always feel like there's more to get done!  I came to realize this week how great our area is.  The members, the people, everything!  It's kind of large and our chapel is far away.  Pretty soon that should be fixed, though, since they are going to construct a new chapel.  I wish I could stay here for the whole two years.  We have a really great ward.  Members stop us on the street with referrals and invitations and everything!  There are a good number of youths preparing for missions and others that just got back and they're all eager to go with us.  They will hopefully help us cover our huge area a bit better.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kristian's 20th Birthday

Kristian had been warned about a local birthday tradition, and this is what happened....

It was interesting! It was more fun than I thought and there wasn't too much of a mess....We went for dinner and found that the other elders in our apartment had gone early to decorate. Dinner was really really good, and then they pulled out a cake! They sang Happy Birthday in English and Spanish and I blew out the candles. For a second I thought that the danger was past, but then they told me to taste it. Then I realized where it was going but I went with it. All three of them shoved my face into the cake and then started attacking me with eggs and shaving cream. Then they started getting each other with the shaving cream and we all came out laughing and dirty. I ran my head under the shower and we went back to the apartment with four slices of cake and got some pop. We all showered and then ate cake and played Ludo. It was really fun! Grandma and Grandpa Sims sent a tie and tie pin and so I had a pretty great birthday! 

Our party with our pensionista and her lucky kitten.

The sister baked this great cake.

Feliz Cumpleaños, Elder Sims

Yes, that is egg all over Kristian's shirt and hair.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

USS Comfort

The US Navy and civilian volunteers came to the port of Paita to offer free medical care. 
We worked as translators for the doctors.  Here is their main staging area.

This is the USS Comfort, the ship the Navy came to port in.

The Navy and volunteers were getting started.  

A few hundred people were let in every day. Some got dental care or extractions, some got optometry exams and glasses, a lot met doctors and pediatricians and presented their complaints. They got various medicines, or sometimes were told we couldn't help them. Very few got the privilege of going to the ship for free surgeries of various types. For me, it was a very interesting experience. I didn't know so many medical problems existed, and I didn't know that doctors know them so well.  Sometimes we had to tell the people grave things about their health.  I also had to spend a little time at the back gate trying to disperse a crowd of people who got in without permission and wouldn't receive treatment. Sobering stuff... 

With Elder Young and two Navy sailors, waiting for our assignments in Paita.  We actually ended up going to La Huaca, a farming area with banana trees and rice fields, to provide translation for doctors.

May 9, P-Day trip to the ice cream store. 
The ice cream here is spectacular. They have some incredible flavors. 
It might also help that ice cream is so nice to have as a missionary in Peru.

Motos are everywhere.  
You just hail them like a taxi and haggle before going where you want to go. 
This one was outside of our apartment.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Humanitarian Work

This building at the end of our street has been built in just a few weeks.

This is the view from our balcony.

This is across the street from our apartment.

Today, tomorrow, and a couple other days this week, we're with the US Navy and a group of volunteers from the Church who are offering free treatment to Peruvians on the coast. Bilingual missionaries are going to help translate. I can't do a lot yet but I helped at the registration trying to translate their complaints.  The people just come for free treatment.  It is pretty amazing.  It is affecting our regular missionary work, though, and we will have a lot to do catching up with our investigators after this week.