On Monday we started the week by eating Tokuush. Tokush is a really stinky peruvian dish that they really believe in. They take corn or potatoes and keep them under water for months until the begin to almost rot. It smells so bad, but it has a ton of penicilin and they believe can cure almost anything. Well, I was telling the members that I had not yet tried it and that I could not leave Perú without trying it. You see the greengoes always refuse to eat it and when they do they never take more than one bite. Well, the relief society president invited us over to her house Monday night. She had masa mora (kinda like a warm pudding/jello) made out of corn tokush. So I am pretty proud of myself. My Latino comp refused to try it and I ate my whole dish. I am sending a photo home.
So, Tuesday night we got a call from the zone leaders telling us that we needed to be in Huaraz the next morning at 10 AM. The president of the mission was coming to do a training and to interview us. So the next morning we got up, got ready, and made the hour and a half trip to Huaraz (an hour and a half may not seem like a lot of time or a long trip but we do a lot of traveling here so we are always glad if we do not have to go to Huaraz). We got to Huaraz at 9:30 and then waited for President Archibald.
We were trained on how to better study. We studied 1 Nephi 1: 1-4 with the president and we learned so much from those four verses. He taught us that every verse has something to teach us we just have to know what to look for. We then had our interviews. The president talked to me for almost an hour. We have started to gain a good relationship and he was just giving me all kinds of ideas of what I could do with these people and with the members. When we were about to finish I asked him a question and to respond he read me a letter he wrote to his two kids who are in the mission (in Brazil). It was a really good interview and I am going to do all I can to use all the things I learned to have more success and be a better missionary.
Okay, so I want to describe the culture a little bit. The President was sure to make sure that I knew that this area was the most different in all the mission and that I need to work differently here. I already knew that it was different and now I have more ideas on how to work. So here everything is different. The culture is preserved very well. Almost nothing has changed in the last 100 years. The clothing, the food, their back-woods accent, and the way the people work. However, one thing did change in the 70´s. In 1970 there was a huge earthquake that buried one of the small villages in our ward. More than 20,000 people were killed in just a few minutes and hundreds of children that had gone to the circus that day were left orphans. This earthquake really affected this area. The people believe in God, but they often wonder if He loves them or if He is even really their Heavenly Father. It is sad that they feel as though this disaster was brought on by their Father in Heaven, but we are here to change that way of thinking and help them know that God loves them and their families. There is a you tube video the president always talks about and is going to show us. You can just search Yungay earthquake on You tube. It is super sad, but you are going to get a feel of what this area is like.
On Friday we went to do service in the chacra (really big garden) of the couple that we baptized two weeks ago. I just have so much more respect for these people. To get to their house it is more than an hour in taxi and you have to go up into the mountains on the most unsafe roads I have seen in my life. It really is such a sacrifice for them to go to church on Sundays. Their story should be in the Ensign... they are so awesome. So when you get to their village called Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) you are just in the tops of the Andes mountains and I do not know how but it looks like this little village is in the sky. Sadly, I did not get a photo of this little village, but it is one of the coolest places in the world. It looks like it is straight out of a movie or story book. So, when we got there they prepared pacha manca which is a type of food they make in banana leafs and then bury in the ground to cook with hot rocks; by the way it is sooo good. So, while they where cooking we collected ears of corn in their field and husked it. It was super fun. We also taught their daughter and son-in-law. They want to get baptized too with their two daughters. We just have to get them married first.
So Saturday we had a baptism, or I should say we should have had a baptism. Our investigator could not get baptized because there was an emergency in her chacra. On Sunday we went to visit her after church (she did go to church) and she was so sad that she did not get baptized on Saturday. You see she is a single mom and her mom and sister are members. While we were at her house we spoke with her sister and she wants to start going back to church we also found out that her nine year-old son is not baptized and wanted to get baptized with his aunt. So while Saturday was a sad day for everyone this Saturday is going to be a great day for everyone. I know that Milagros was not baptized on Saturday because our Heavenly Father had more in mind for this family. He wants them all to be active members in His church and this Saturday we can help that bacome true. Sometimes a tradegy is really just a miracle in disguise.
So that for the most part was the week. It was very different, but very terrific. So I hope you all had a good week. I am glad that Nash is okay and is feeling well. I really have the cutest four nephews. I do not know how their parents did it, but good job. I expect at least one more Waite and Garner nephew or niece before I get home. Love you all and I will talk to you soon. Oh yeah, feel better Taylor I know that it is not fun having stomach pains... they are the worse."