We do not have much to report over the last two weeks. Much as at home in Australia the few weeks after Christmas are fairly uneventful following a hectic December. We have done our usual daily things in the office and not ventured too far away.
Last week we had the sad experience of farewelling a fellow missionary couple who returned home at the completion of their missionary service. They were the couple who met us at the airport when we arrived and took it on themselves to help us settle in and show us how to do things in our new city. Additionally he served as the Area Medical Adviser (a doctor responsible for the missionaries’ physical and medical health throughout the five countries of the area). Their office was next door to us so we had a lot to do with them each day. Craig also played tennis with him a couple of times a week.
One of the blessings of missionary service is meeting other missionaries with whom you quickly develop friendships because they fill in those gaps left by family and friends at home. However, the nature of the service is that people come…and people go. We are happy that senior missionaries get to go home to their families (they only really talk about their grandchildren), but all of these missionaries are wonderful people and they have a place in your heart.
Last month Craig was called into the branch presidency of the English speaking branch in the Missionary Training Centre, in addition to his normal missionary role. This means that we both now go to the MTC each Sunday for church meetings, where we teach Sunday classes, attend other meetings, conduct interviews, and enjoy getting to know these young missionaries at the very start of their missionary service. They come for six weeks, usually from the USA or Canada-but we have an Australian from Brisbane currently. They then go to their assigned missions and we start the process again with a new group every two weeks. The focus is on learning Spanish and their missionary role. They work hard and always amaze with how quickly they learn to speak Spanish by the time they leave. In addition to their hard work there is no doubt that they receive divine help. This is because their motive is to learn to speak the language so that they can serve and teach others. They are young and bright and eager to learn and grow. We see their faith rewarded every week. Mind you they think we are the ones with the funny accent!
We have nothing much more to report, except that our New York City grandchildren have finally seen snow. They have been very patient. We are “patiently” experiencing summer here. Not as hot as at home, but we are getting used to 90+% humidity each day. We do miss air-conditioning. However, we can report that it actually rained last week. This is the first time we have seen rain since June. We define rain as seeing drops fall out of the sky and splash on the ground. None of this walking through misty clouds that just descended to touch the ground. We even got damp walking in it on the way to the office. Our friends who left had never seen this type of “rain” in Lima in 18 months. It is amazing what small things can bring you joy.