Date

January 1, 2018

Area

Cieneguilla, Peru

Companion

Zakary Gibbons

Week #20

Holy cow, what an amazing past two weeks! It has by far been the best weeks of my mission. I was transferred from my first area of Andahuaylas on the 18th of December right before Christmas. I was hoping for a new companion, but didn't want to leave the only area that I've known in the mission field. I have grown to love the people here, especially Ricardo and Rosa, who have treated me like their own since I arrived, and have fed me well. lol I was transferred to a new area and also received a new companion, Elder Gibbons from Oregon. My new area is Cieneguilla and it's so green. A welcomed change from a lot of dirt and dogs. haha My companion is awesome and is a great teacher. He has been out for 17 months. We are having great success together and get along great. We are the first Elder missionaries to be in this area and our area is huge!!! It takes us 2 hours by bus to go from one side to the other. It's crazy nuts. There are lots of parrots, lizards, horses and frogs. It's super cool, but dang hot. I sweat like crazy and have already lost 10 pounds because I sweat so much and maybe because our Pension keeps leaving us hanging for our meals too. She was nowhere to be found on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve for dinner, so we just have to go out and find our own food. Definitely not eating as well as I did in Andahuaylas, but my pants are fitting better so I guess that's good.

Cieneguilla is an area that is either super rich or super poor. The President of Peru actually lives in our area! It's also a tourist location. I love seeing green more than the dirt.

Christmas was just another work day for us. Nothing exciting except for being able to Skype my family. That was awesome and made me way happy!

So my buddy Erick's brother was scheduled to be baptized last Saturday and then I got transferred out of the area, I was hoping to be able to go back and baptize him, but things didn't work out that way. Instead, I had my own baptism in my new area. His name is David and he's a lot bigger than I am. I really had to try hard and pull him up out of the water. haha He wanted me to baptize him because he just felt like we had a good connection. He's a super cool dude.

For New Year's today, we made Pachamanca. It's a traditional dish here in Peru, super good and is made up of lamb, chicken, guinea pig and sweet potatoes. It's cooked in the earth using hot stones. That's what the word Pacha (earth) and manca (pot) mean. I am sending some photos of us helping to cook it. The little lady in the picture is an Otavalo and she speaks the Quecha language. She is also 97 years old! Crazy......

There is no rules or restrictions here in Peru for fireworks, so you can imagine how crazy it was here and there wasn't much sleep happening with the fireworks going off all night last night and on Christmas. We stayed up way past our curfew cooking food for today.

We have found some great families here in this area. One family has 9 investigators. We have lots of work to do and we are killing it as a companionship. I love the area and people. They are super cool and super humble. Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year's. I love all of you guys. Happy New Year everyone!

S.T.U.D.
Elder Kaeson Baird




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Peru Lima East Mission
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