What a wonderful gift and blessing to talk to Jeff on Christmas day!
Jeff is loving his mission and all the wonderful people that he gets to serve and teach. He goes to Huamanga, Ayacucho (my home town) once a week for his district meetings and he says the drive from Huanta to Huamanga is about an hour long and similar to the dangerous road up to Mount Diablo but at much higher altitude and fast speeds, that the taxi drivers drive like maniacs; super fast just like race car drivers and sometimes they look sleepy on the wheel so he talks to them the entire ride to keep them awake.
He told us that the church is relatively new in Huanta, Ayacucho, they don't have an actual chapel yet and that the members are mostly young adults, teens and children and they meet in a house and that the baptisms take place in the river.
He sure loves the friendly Peruvian people, wonderful mission companions the beautiful scenery, blue skies and how everything is so green in Huanta! He had guinea pig for dinner recently and said it tasted just like fish sticks. He walks so much that his two pairs of shoes have holes already.
The Inca elderly women call him "Papito" as a term of endearment and he calls them "Mamitas" (Little moms) He's loving the bread called "chapla"whole grain bread from Ayacucho (my favorite as well) .
Around town he walks/hikes everywhere and at times he has to ride the very unsafe motorized tricycles or public buses.
On "P" day the missionaries are not allowed to play soccer anymore ever since some Elders got injured and suffered fractures, but they can play volleyball and "capture the flag." He once went to the Lima Zoo and will show us pictures in April 2015 when he returns to the U.S.
He spent Christmas Eve in Huamanga, Ayacucho and the elders were allowed to be up until past midnight to join the celebration and there was a huge display of fireworks everywhere commemorating Jesus birth and it sounded like a war zone because of all the fireworks explosions.
He hasn't gained any weight, still very fit and doesn't get sick or food poisoning and he attributes all of these blessings to the Holy Ghost.
Jeff loved seeing his three lovely sisters, two fun brothers in law, two beautiful little nieces again and meeting his new adorable baby nephew Tommy for the first time... and me his silly mamallama ... talking about llamas ... he said: "I didn't see any llamas or alpacas yet but I ate llama and it was tasty ...tasted like chicken!"
As you can see he is still as funny and happy as ever and sends his love to you all, wishes us a wonderful 2014 and reminds us to pray and read our scriptures daily, help the missionaries and BE missionaries ourselves
PS. His Spanish is excellent! He speaks fast and proficiently! I held back the tears until the very end when he also got teary eyed and said: I'll talk to you on Mother's day! Now I'll be counting the days to May 11, 2014
|Screen shot of our Skype call- left to right: Elder Gonzales (Bolivia), Elder Bromley, and Elder Oliden (Argentina)|