Greetings from La Merced

Well, I’m currently sitting in our old Zone Internet store-place in La Merced.  We’re in La Merced because we have a multi-zone conference tomorrow with Presidente Ardila.  We left San Pedro at about 8:00 last night and made it at about 9:40 here in La Merced.  It was actually super exciting to pass through my first area and enjoy seeing what I saw for three months straight.  I really reflected on how far I’ve come as a missionary and how far I still have left to go.  And, after three months in the mountains it feels really good to be in the heat again.

We had a pretty decent week.  We did a lot of decent work.  Monday for P-Day we watched Mobsters and Mormons.  I really love how many church movies Elder Cifuentes has.  It was a really funny movie.  We then headed back to our area after a few errands in Tarma and then took a nap because it was raining pretty hard.  So, decent day.

Other highlights of the week…  hmmm….  Well, on Wednesday we had a split with Elder Bogado, our other Zone Leader.  We had a pretty good time with that.  We saw a bit of the election of the new Pope since it happened while we were eating lunch.  Pretty interesting ceremony and very interesting to know that he is from Argentina.  The day was pretty standard after that.

Saturday was super fun.  It was a day full of service for us.  We had plans, but we decided that helping out our Pensionista would be much more us for us, especially since one of our awesome investigators is one of the employees at the restaurant and it is always good to become friends with those that you teach.  So, what we did, since Hno Freddy (the husband) was gone, was clean a freaking ton of potatoes.  I know now how to clean potatoes with a broom and some water.  Then we had to light the oven that cooked the rotisserie chicken.  That was a challenge.  Mary uses straight up charcoal, so we spent about ten minutes fanning a little fire that we made with egg cartons.  We did get it started, though.  We also helped prepare the chicken, which is made with some really delicious sauce.  The sauce is a whole bunch of hot pepper, with some green onion, a spice mix, and water.  It makes some pretty darn good chicken.  Whitney would be in heaven if she tried it.

After that, we headed off to the plaza to talk with another investigator that we met that is so interested in everything we have to teach.  And then we encountered a member that led us to a new family, so we taught them, too.  After that, we headed back to Mary’s to finish the preparations.  When people started coming in, I helped Yoshi (our investigator) wait tables and serve food.  It was seriously super fun.  Then, we got a freaking huge piece of chicken each to eat to celebrate our hard work.  It was soooooo good.  Next week I’ll send some pictures.  (I left my camera in my Zone Leader’s room this morning.)

Sunday, we gave talks.  I talked about charity and the pure love of Christ.  It went really well and hopefully the members will feel the Spirit of what I tried to teach.  I discovered that that is truly what the members needed.  Then, as we were changing after church, we got a phone call from our District Leader saying that we had to be in Tarma at 7:00AM this morning.  Elder Calle and I decided that it would be better to leave Sunday so that we wouldn’t have to get up before 5:00AM to head down the mountain to Tarma.  So, we hopped in a car and discovered our driver had been drinking.  That seemed all right until we encountered another car.  Apparently the other car was supposed to wait for us to pass, as those are the rules, but it didn’t.  I guess cars going down the one-lane dirt roads get to go before cars coming up.  So, our driver got out of the car and talked with the other driver.  After about thirty seconds of talking, our driver throws a right hook at the other driver through his window.  The other driver storms out of the car and they get in a pretty decent fist fight.  It was entertaining, but we needed to get to Tarma.  After five minutes, everyone got back in their cars and our driver let the other driver pass.  It was pretty darned interesting and very entertaining.  We switched cars soon after that and the ride was then very uneventful.

Now I’m in La Merced ready to have a fun P-Day with my zone.  Should be interesting, and I’ll write about it next week.

Love you all!

Elder VK


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