We had transfers last week. I am in Jauja. I am in a decent sized town that used to be the capital of Peru. Well, that was years and years ago. The city hasn’t grown very much, but it is pretty nice. It seems to be a grown up version of San Pedro de Cajas, where I entered just about a year ago. It is a nice city, and I’m enjoying the fresh air.
My companion is Elder Aleman from Honduras. He’s from the coast, so he’s suffering in the cold. He was in my district in Cerro de Pasco, so we already know each other a bit. He’s been in the mission for 14 months. He’s a funny guy and is a really good missionary. We’ll be getting a ton of work done and will enjoy each other, I hope. I am District Leader, and Elder Fawson and his new companion Elder Gurrero are in Concepcion 1 and Sister Brock, Sister Jensen, and Sister Gonzales (from the US) are in Concepcion 2 and are all in my district. My zone leaders are Elder Pereda and Elder Diaz (yes, my old companion).
The ward here in Jauja is a little odd. There used to be three wards in our area, but they were combined into one and there is an attendance of about 50-60 people each week. There is no bishop and the ward is pretty lost without one. We have a lot of work to do out here to help people out.
Funny story. On Sunday, as we walked into sacrament meeting, I saw something odd. I literally said to myself, “Is that REAL blonde hair?” And it was! Out of the blue, and something that I would never have expected out here, was a family from central Utah come to visit. The dad of the family grew up in Jauja and went to the US to work. He met his wife and has lived there ever since. They came to visit the “grandparents” for Christmas and will be here a couple more weeks. It was quite the surprise to see a family from Utah and just shows that even though the world is gigantic, it is pretty small!
We had our Christmas conference as a multi-Zone yesterday. It was very nice, and the spirit was strong. However, the best part was the sketches that each zone had to pull off. Huancayo did a gangster version of Joseph in Egypt, and it was excellent — Joseph was a returned missionary and his old friends sold him off to slavery. El Tambo did a funny sketch about a hypocritical missionary that became their zone leaders. The missionary always talked about the “law” but never actually followed it and often did the exact opposite. And we did a church version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” I was the Grinch, and it was awesome. I hope Pte. Henderson puts some pictures up on the mission blog.
Well, this week is Christmas and it will be pretty hard to be away from home on such an important holiday for me. However, I have really learned the true meaning of Christmas and yesterday’s Christmas conference as a multi-Zone was just so awesome and it helped calm me down. I am yet again in a new area right before Christmas, and it will be hard. But that’s all right. He never said it would be easy, but He certainly said that it would be worth it. I am really starting to refine myself and become who I need to be.
I hope that you all have a very merry Christmas and can take some time to ponder and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas this year. Have a great adventure, because I’m off to have my own!