It truely was a great week in the vineyard, but not too many stories to tell this week that were absolutely amazing! So this week is transfers. I will be staying in Carhuamayo with Elder Cartagena to finish my mission .... 6 weeks to go! President told me that he would like us to concentrate on service here in Carhuamayo. It is very difficult to find investigators here, so we may be doing service and getting to know people in that way, and hopefully it will help us find those who have been prepared to hear the gospel. So we'll be doing service, service, service for the next 6 weeks!
On Friday we went to the swap meet in Ninacaca. We started to preach, but not like other times, we were preaching like this word had never been preached before!! We went with our pensionista, her daugher, son-in-law, and nephew. It was truly a great experience! Preaching in public, on buses, etc. seems like the only way we are going to get our word to the people here. Hopefully someone will show interest sometime. While we were in Ninacac we got to go see the cows, llamas, alpacas, sheep, and many other animals. I tried to get a sweet authentic Peruvian picture with an alpaca, but the sun was way too bright, and I couldn`t see anything, and I was squinting way too hard, but I got some cool pics! After playing with the animals, people just started to come up to me and ask if they could take pictures of me, and with me. So I said ahh OF COURSE! haha They love me here because I have blonde hair, blue eyes and I'm American! I'll just be a nobody when I get home, I'll just blend in! haha I took some pictures with a few people and more and more people started to approach me, then I decided it was the perfect time to tell them who we were. A lot of these people were from other towns and villages near Carhuamayo. They listened to me and then wanted more pictures! We "planted" lots of "seeds" that day! The opportunity to plant those seeds is evidence of God's love for those people. Hopefully, someday, future missionaries or members will harvest those seeds. I guess I did my service too, because I feel like I had my picture taken a ton that day, but the sad thing is, is that no one took pics on my camera!
We have been working with our pension's son-in-law, trying to get him to marry our pension's daughter so that they can be baptized. It is just so expensive to get married here in Peru, so no one gets married. It's just easier to live together and pretend to be married. Well, on Saturday at like 8 o`clock in the morning we went to our pensionista`s ranch. They put me in charge of making the pachamanca (chicken, and sheep) and a toooooooon of potatoes. So I made and tended the pachamanca while my companion and like 15 others harvested potatoes. My pench and her husband own a restaurant where that's all they serve is panchamanca and potatoes. I eat it everyday! And I love it, it's such a great Peruvian food! (Panchamanca is a traditional Peruvian dish where meat is cooked with hot stones in an earthen oven. The meat, usually lamb, sheep, chicken, pork or guinea pig, is seasoned with an Andean spice called Chincho, wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks and cooked in an earthen oven. This dish is specific to the central Andes Mountains and especially in the region where Luke is serving.) This is probably a service we will be doing a lot since our pension needs a lot of help. After we finished cooking and harvesting the potatoes, I carried heavy sacks of potatoes which weighed +200 lbs down the mountain. I still can't walk, but it was an amazing day. I learned a lot, and service really makes you feel so good! I want to make Panchamanca for everyone with Grandpa Vern when I get home! So after we returned from our all day excursion at the ranch, our pench`s son-in-law announced that they might just get married in the next few weeks! Pray that they continue to feel the spirit and want to take this step! Service really does make miracles happen. D&C 4:2 "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."
Love you all, and I'll see you in 6 weeks! Until then .... I'll be working hard!