Yes. It has been raining every single day for the past week and a half. It doesn’t rain hard, but it is a cold rain and makes everything so cold. I have used Grandma’s amazing umbrella so many times this week. The only problem with it is that it is hard to put away in the cold as when metal gets cold, it shrinks a tiny bit. So, I really have to kind of shove it down when I put it away.
Here in San Pedro de Cajas, there are really no trees. Oh, and sheep and other animals outnumber the people about 1,000 to one. Yesterday we saw a man herding sheep into their giant fenced-in place to eat and rest for the night, and it took a good 15 minutes to herd them all into that area. It was crazy. Unfortunately, one of the babies was lost and was calling to his mom for a good while.
Last P-Day we went to a little museum in Junin while we waited for the Internet places to open up. It was a pretty cool place for being so small. The highlight, however was that there was a picture of Jesus Christ from our Church hanging up in the entrance of the museum. It was too cool to leave unnoticed, so I snapped a picture.
Also, I attached a picture of me in my new Christmas pajamas to prove to the family that I still followed tradition even in Peru.
On P-Day we also played a huge game of chess on the tiles in the other companionship’s room. I almost won, but we needed to get going. I need to get my own set.
Christmas Day was interesting. We woke up like normal, got dressed, and headed out to eat breakfast. We were served chicken noodle soup that was a bit spicy with some bread, hot chocolate, Panettone, and saltine crackers. Quite the interesting way to start off the holiday! During personal study, I studied patience, an attribute of Christ to get me in the Christmas mood for the day. Then I read the Luke Christmas Story as well as the 3 Nephi Christmas story. The rest of the day we went to appointments that fell through and contacted all the day long. Then we had dinner, called home and had a good chat, and then went to bed. It is certainly a Christmas to remember. Also, we watched the people do some dancing, play some music, and I saw my first ever llama in Peru. Good day.
Also, thanks to cousin GAVIN for being such a good fireworks master. Seriously. The kids here just light up little Cherry Bombs and throw them in the street without any thought. It is pretty annoying. I’ve also seen one kid light an entire BOX on fire. What an explosion Don’t do that ever, Gavin. There appears to be a big hole in the ground where that happened….
The branch here is pretty small. There are actually about 200 members, but only about 40-50 attend the meetings. I have not really spent time with my pensionista since she is busy running a restaurant with her husband. She does make some good fried chicken. The restaurant specializes in chicken, so we eat it a lot.
I’m working on building relationships, but it is pretty hard when we arrive to appointments and no one is there. There are some members that we’re getting to know pretty well, like the Branch President as well as a young man named Kevin.
My companion Elder Diaz is pretty funny and we get along pretty well. He is a convert of about four years and has really been striving to get to know the gospel. We actually teach each other stuff all the time.
And: yes, mom. My apartment is safe. It is in a pretty not-so-populous street and is behind two sets of doors.
And thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I can feel all of your strength.
Well, that’s just about it for this week. Off to work hard so that we can get some baptisms and make the area stronger.
Elder David Van Komen