Well, where to start? This last week has really flown by. I can't believe that it is only 2 weeks until Christmas!! Time is a strange thing in the mission.
So, we have been really trying hard with the family of 4 to help them progress, but this is the third week that we have invited them to come to church, but they just don't come. I don't know what the deal is. The dad can be kinda weird at times. For example, on Saturday we had an appointment with them at 7, so we went over and it was just the dad. He said that his wife sends her apologies that she wont be able to come because of something that came up. So, he was kinda pushy to get us out, I don't know why, but I knew I had to at least invite them to church. I started talking about the church, and he just cut me off right in the middle of my sentence. We all left after that, pretty upsetting. So, I guess we'll see if they end up accepting commitments and progressing.
We had something interesting happen just this week. We were told that our old investigator that moved to Puerto Maldonado would be moving back to Cusco because her husband is basically a piece of crap. So, even though she has a little 1 year old, and is pregnant, she is leaving him. So, we are going to visit her this week, seeing that she gets here tomorrow! She told us that she really wanted to get baptized, so that will be another on the 24th! We have 2 for sure baptisms programmed for the 24th, and a few possibles. So, we'll have a "white" Christmas this year! Were all real excited! Were trying to get a couple married, but I don't know if it will happen. He works up at Machu Picchu for months at a time, and when he comes home (like he will tomorrow) he comes home for only a week. Then he leaves again. So, we'll see if they decide to get married. If they do, the wife really wants to get baptized. She told us that yesterday at church. She is so awesome! Her and her 7 year old kid were waiting outside of their house yesterday morning to go to church at 8 with us. She is making a lot of friends in the church and she whispered a couple weeks ago during the sacrament, "I feel so peaceful." It was really special. Her boyfriend (whom we have taught many times before) told her once that he would belong to the church. He didn't say when, just that he would. So, before you know it, they will be a complete family! Such a great feeling.
So that's what's going on in the work for now! Thank you guys for getting after the boys to write me. It was good to hear from them. And thank you dad for helping with Machu Picchu! I am meeting with a guy today from another ward that is a tour guide to talk about all the details for our trip next Monday! We are all really stoked to go. We will be waking up at around 2am to take a bus from Cusco to a place called Ollanta to get on the train that will take us to Machu Picchu Pueblo. There is a little town at the bottom of the mountain that actually used to have missionaries there, but it was closed. So from the pueblo we will get on another bus that will take us up to the actual mountain. We will be there for the sunrise, and most of the day just exploring the ruins and taking pictures. It's gonna be so fun!!!
And yes, Skype this year! It's gonna be so strange to see all of you! I will have all the details ready by next week. I know that the President wants all of us office elders to spend Christmas at the mission home, and I'm way stoked for that. Last year they said that they spent Christmas eve there, watched Disney movies, and just slept over until Christmas. I am so lucky to be in the office for Christmas! It should be a lot of fun! So we'll see when and where we will be skyping, and I will let you know next week! Mom, I'm sure they will love the present you got! It sounds perfect. Really, it does. I can see him putting it in his office or the house somewhere. But, no. I have not gotten the package yet... Still waiting. You might want to call Vanessa and see whats up. But I'm excited for the package! Thanks so much for that. What am I NOT supposed to open till Christmas? I will wait, I just need to know! Also, yes dad, I will be here until the 27th, That's when we will have the change meeting here in Cusco. I don't know where I will go yet, and I don't know if president will let me pick either. But you'll know when I know! Keep your fingers crossed for jungle! ;)
So funny story. Yesterday we got to Sister Carrascos house for lunch, when we hear from behind us, "The Mormons from America!" We spun around to see kind of a scraggly looking guy with long hair. I said, "Yup, that would be us. Where are you from?" He answered, "I'm from Norway. (pause) I like Joe Smith. I like what he found... the... the... the script! I listened to the missionaries in 1970." So then we asked him where he was from or if he was visiting. He started to walk away, then turned around and put his hand on the side of his mouth like he was whispering and said in a voice that I cant really explain, just that it was hilarious, "I'm looking for something!" Hahahaha, we walked in the door and bursted out laughing. Oh man, you should have heard it. He was a crazy. For sure. So, training is going well, Elder Buckner is learning quickly how to do everything.
Anyway, I don't think there is anything left to say, just that I love you all! Be sure to tell Stu and Lori thanks for me! I will be sending them something special in the mail for sure. I'll just send it to the house, and you guys can take it over to them. They are so great. I miss them! Tell Stu that I'm still taking my vitamins! And I got an email from Stewbabe, so tell him thank you very much for that. I also got an email from Uncle Mike, he sent me an electronic copy of his season card he does every year. It's so great to hear how everyone is doing. Especially this time of year! You're all missed dearly, and I can't wait to see you Christmas day! Take care everyone!
P.S. Were listening to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas right now, and were lovin it. I love Christmas! Sure miss the snow!
Misión Perú Cuzco