Saturday, January 31, 2015
Week #2 in Cusco - we are on the job!
At the beginning of our 2nd week in Cusco, we are really "on the job". By the end of the week, we had all our technology functioning and are meeting more and more of the wonderful people and members in Cusco. Here is Elder J in an English lesson. One of the mission couples, Elder & Hna Rhoades, among their other responsibilities for employment and education, hold English classes twice a week for the Latin missionaries. More than half of the missionaries in the mission come from Latin America, and most do not speak English. Most are paired with a North American missionary. This is brilliant, as it assures that language is not a barrier in teaching the people, and new English speaking missionaries are "immersed" in Spanish with their companion. One of President Harbertson's goals is to make sure the Latin missionaries can speak English by the time they return home. This will make them better leaders, and give them many more employment and career opportunities. Here, Elder J observes while E. Munoz and E. Guevara drill each other in words and sentences from a chart. I helped with some of the pronunciation and a lot of gestures.
A rooftop view of part of Cusco. Not shown is the 6 floors of outside stairs that we had to ascend, with no guards or handrails. One misstep, and it would be a long way down quickly. We were very careful, and the view was worth it.
Elder J and some new friends. These are local members who have opened their own automotive machine shop, and it has become a very successful business. The man on the left is the 2nd counselor in the Stake Presidency. I felt right at home in their shop, and discussed the various operations they were doing on engine blocks and heads. They said I could have a job there, so If I don't come back, you'll know where I am. Anyone who earns their living with their hands and some enterprenurial skill has my respect.
Peruvian kids are so cute! These 3 were anxious to pose. When I printed out their picture, they were amazed, and looked at the printer and said "hombres pequino escribir?". They thought there were little men inside the printer writing very fast to make the picture.
Hna J. is showing our family photo book to this family. This family is the "pension" for Elders Black and Guevara. The pension is the term for the family that is paid to prepare 2 meals per day for the missionaries (lunch and dinner). This saves a lot of time for the missionaries, and provides a little income for the family. We were waiting for the father to come home from work (after a 12 hour workday), so that we could schedule a Historia Familia meeting with them, which we will hold next week.
Hna. J and one of her new friends, Ludmilla. She is a very faithful member and a stalwart in her family. We were able to copy some of her priceless family photos, and will upload them to her familysearch.org account for perservation. We are also working with her to assist her Historia Familia efforts for temple ordinances for her family.
Hna J at our Espanol leccion with Sthephania. We just got news that she is moving to Lima with her family soon, and we will lose our tutor and guide. We are sad to see her go, we'll have to find another tutor to help us learn. Unfortunately, since neither of us are fluent in Spanish, we can't really help each other too much - about half of what we teach ourselves is incorrect, so we need to have someone help us learn.
Our big achievement this week was getting a new cell phone with WiFi hotspot capability. How many hours do you have to stand in line in Peru just to get a cell phone? The answer is 3.5, and that was with the help of a local member. And there is more paperwork to sign (including fingerprints), than when buying a house. There was a lot of frustration leading up to this, including buying and returning a modem that we found out wouldn't work with our computers, because the new modem is only supported by operating systems introduced in 2001. With this WiFi capability, we now can take our computers anywhere there is a cell signal, which is almost all places in Cusco, and log onto the internet to the familysearch.org website and create accounts for members or add information. We are so happy to have this capability, which will really help our work. Now I just have to figure out how to operate another newfangled electronic device.