Huaytapallana: My Death this Week

So, this email is later than normal this week (4pm MDT rather than 10am!) because this morning we went to the highest mountain in the Huancayo region of Peru. The mountain is named Huaytapallana and in Quechua means “place to pick flowers.” However, there are absolutely no flowers! And there’s some kind of curse on the mountain that if you take flowers from the mountain, you will personally cause a TON of rain and miserable weather in the valley… Not sure if that curse is true, but it was a great hike! We hiked for about three hours on the uphill direction and an hour and a half on the downhill. There is a gigantic glacier that we figured had been around since the ice age and that there are probably some pretty fantastic creatures buried under the ice that we have never known existed! Well, maybe I’m just exaggerating this time, but whatever. (from Mom: David spelled it ‘exadurating’ — he is officially losing his English, I think!)

The Welcome sign to Huaytapallana. It says that we need to protect it the mountain.

The Welcome sign to Huaytapallana. It says that we need to protect it the mountain.

Me with Huaytapallana in the background. It is the ONLY mountain around here with snow, and that's just because there's a giant glacier on top.

Me with Huaytapallana in the background. It is the ONLY mountain around here with snow, and that’s just because there’s a giant glacier on top.

Me and the Peruvian flag on our way up to Huaytapallana! What a hike!

Me and the Peruvian flag on our way up to Huaytapallana! What a hike!

We had a good time on the hike. We ended up hiking along with President and Sister Henderson and we did some some good chatting. I talked a lot about things that are happening in our area and various other things. My companion and I actually talked with him about our plans for the area and asked him to not transfer us. He said that he was going to forget about us in Chilca for a while so that we can work how we have been for a long time. That means that I’ll be staying here and will be able to help a ton more people with Elder Torres! I’m super stoked that this is going down! I love this work, and am feeling so inspired right now.

THE GLACIER! Yes, we made it all the way up to the Glacier that you can see in the background of the Huaytapallana pictures. It took a while and it was a decently hard hike. It didn't help that we had to deal with REALLY high altitudes. The highest we got was 4,700 meters or 15,420 feet above sea level! Elder Bonner has a cool watch that measures the altitude based on the air pressure of where we are, so Pte and I were always asking him what our altitude was.

THE GLACIER! Yes, we made it all the way up to the Glacier that you can see in the background of the Huaytapallana pictures. It took a while and it was a decently hard hike. It didn’t help that we had to deal with REALLY high altitudes. The highest we got was 4,700 meters or 15,420 feet above sea level! Elder Bonner has a cool watch that measures the altitude based on the air pressure of where we are, so Pte and I were always asking him what our altitude was.

Huaytapallana and our entire Zone! Notice that I, the only truly warm-blooded missionary, am the only one not wearing a jacket. It was hot!

Huaytapallana and our entire Zone! Notice that I, the only truly warm-blooded missionary, am the only one not wearing a jacket. It was hot!

We had another adventure this week. Our Terma (a water heater attached before the shower head to heat the water as it passes through) exploded while my companion was taking his shower. He was in there and I just heard this big “pop” and then a yell due to the incoming rush of cold water. We called up the zone leaders to see if they could buy us a new one, and they said that they’d have to get it approved from the financial secretary. So for about two days, we broke into Chilca 2’s room (where the other elders from Chilca used to live before their area was given back to our area) and used their super shower. It was pretty nice but it often tripped the power breaker that is installed in the bathroom just for the Terma.  Then on Friday our Zone Leaders called us and said they had our new Terma all ready to be installed. So, we spent the morning waiting for them and then installing it. It really heats up the water quick and is a lot better than the old one. The only thing that scares me is that it has a running current of 25 Amps and has a voltage of 220V running through it… All I know is that water and wet bodies are really good conductors of electricity and that just 1 Amp could kill a human, so if we aren’t careful, we could die. I’m not worried, but it does give me something to think about. But we have a hot shower! Yaaaaay!!!!

The old Terma after it blew up.  Elder Torres had a cold morning shower.

The old Terma after it blew up. Elder Torres had a cold morning shower.

The new Terma.  I try not to think about things like voltage and amps.

The new Terma. I try not to think about things like voltage and amps.

Last P-Day was rather lame since basically nobody had any money. We really just chilled in our room and caught up on sleep and did other relaxing things.

The work is going well. We didn’t have any baptisms this week, but we have some really awesome ones lined up for August 24th. It is amazing to see how fast people can progress towards discipleship.

Elder Torres and me with the Pachis. That's her nickname -- she's not more than one person.

Elder Torres and me with the Pachis. That’s her nickname — she’s not more than one person.

I love this work and I love being a missionary. I can’t believe how fast this last week went!

Well, I’m off to have an adventure in the wonderful city of Chilca, Huancayo, Perú! Hope that all is well at home! Love you all!

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