Monday, June 20, 2016

Daily Life in Peru

I've begun to realize that I rarely speak of my life on a daily basis in my blog. I apologize for this. When one reads the reflections of one living in a strange land, one must hope in part to read about foreign and interesting experiences. In Junin particularly, my life is pretty interesting.  Most Mondays, we travel an hour out to Tarma, a larger city in which the majority of our zone resides. After some recent emergency transfers, it's there that my old companion resides as a Zone Leader. We travel back Tuesday morning, have a quick District Meeting in our room, and spend the time between the end and lunch browsing the Tuesday Market which stretches through the  town in nearly every street. It makes for a devil of a time trying to visit people later in the day. 

With the tiny size of our branch, much of the responsibility for activities comes to us, which generally makes for good fun. In all of Peru, one day of the week is designated as Mission Night, where people can invite their friends to play games, have a quick message, and perhaps have a treat. I generally share a quick message, and then we play one of the many famous group games here: PedroPablo, Señales, Gato y Ratón, etc.  Most of these games were brought by gringo missionaries, so while they have different names, you'd recognize them if you saw them.  On Saturday, we lead Mutual, which is slightly more stressful now that my companion left who had all the games.  Luckily, the only thing youth like to do here is play soccer, which is very easy to plan. All we have to do is bring a pack of treats. 

We've recently also begun English classes on Saturday night, ever since a group of earnest rockers expressed an interest. We originally found one and while he said he wasn't interested, I noticed his Pink Floyd shirt and we started talking.  He invited the rest of his friends, and now they come to the church, learn vocabulary, a grammar concept, and a translation of one of their favorite songs, which are always awesome.  I've written down a lot of the bands to look up when I get back home. They also opened up in the end and said they'd love to hear our message as well, which we share at the end of each lesson.

Sunday is all the more busy. Once again, with the small branch, we are responsible for a good deal. Nearly every week we give talks, participate in the Sacrament, and teach a two-hour Sunday School Lesson. This last week, we were also very blessed to see one of our less-active youth we've been working with receive the priesthood. We also were very blessed to see the Sacrament Meeting attendance go over 30, which was one of the first goals my companion and I made when I came into the area.  The average attendance from January to March was 16.  In Sunday School, videos are very popular both with us and with the youth we teach.  We participate in Ward Council in the evening as mandated by Peru's Area Presidency to help direct the flow of the meeting and make assignments. 

It's a busy life, but it's a good life. I love the people here and am happy to serve in this cause. A man is free to choose the principles by which he holds himself bound. The level of his consecration is the level of his success. I have not been as devoted as I previously always hoped to be. Part by part, I hope to change. I am thankful that we are all able to do so by the grace and mercy of Christ through his Atonement. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.