Monday, February 29, 2016

My First Landslide!

Dear Family & Friends - Jake and his companion were called by the mission office to go "rescue" an Elder who was stuck in a landslide on the main highway to Lima. You'll see from the map below that their area was one of the closest to where the landslide occurred. Unfortunately, Peruvians don't find a landslide newsworthy and there's almost nothing written about it on the internet. Evidently, missionaries sometimes have to travel alone to Lima for Visa processing. We aren't sure why. Here is what Jake told us. We learned from the mission office later today that he and the other five missionaries from Huancayo will fly back to their mission on Wednesday. He's safe, hot and humid but says he really misses the Huancayo mission and can't wait to get back!


HEY FAMILY! How is home? Yeah Lima is great haha...I'm in Lima! So not much happened this week except that on Friday I got a call from Elder Holmes in the mission office! He started out by asking if I still had money from transfers and I said yes so he told me that Elder Solorzano and I need to go to a landslide that happened on the main highway that connects Huancayo to Lima haha! One of our missionaries, Elder Petersen was stuck in a bus (that was literally stuck in the mud) in the landslide and he was alone and we needed to go get him. So I took the 700 Soles I had and we left La Oroya and took a personal taxi to San Mateo, a small city. We walked for an hour and we found a moto-taxi to take us down to the buses that were stopped in the landslide. We get to the bus and found Elder Peterson, who had spent the night alone on the bus without any food! So after we got to the bus, we realized it was way too dangerous to get back to San Mateo and go back to our area. We tried to go back up to La Oroya but it is a huge mess on the highway and it would have been too dangerous. Plus, there was no way to get a taxi to take us back. So Elder Holmes called us and asked if there are taxis to Lima (going the other direction) I started asking around and people told me yes there are taxis just below the landslide! I had to make the call on what to do so we decided to do the safe thing and head down toward the taxis to Lima. Well turns out Peruvians are really good liars haha! So we cross this huge landslide that has wiped out all the highway and wade through the Rimac river, which is running crazy fast and all over on the highway. And after a while, we got down the highway past the slide and found like 100 moto-taxis. A tiny little taxi takes us down to a city called Chosica. It costed 50 Soles and they said it would take 15 minutes but in reality it was two hours away! When we got to Chosica we took another taxi into Lima and went straight to the temple. So Elder Peterson, Elder Solorzano and I descended from La Oroya at 12,272 feet down to sea level in Lima. From the temple we got help from the Elders in the Lima East mission and they have taken us in and we are staying with some Elders in Santa Anita, which is in Lima East mission but right near the Rimac river. It was great to see the temple again and to see my buddy Elder Ramirez haha! There are 6 of us from Huancayo here and we are staying with missionaries here in Lima East and working with them for a few days. I don't like it here because it is so hot and humid and yeah I miss Huancayo...and La Oroya! It's nuts here and I miss it all haha.. so yeah we are chilling here in Lima until they can get us a plane back because the highway back to Huancayo is DESTROYED HAHA! Things are nice and sweaty here in Lima! We weren't prepared for an extended trip so we've had the pensionista helping us here in Santa Anita with getting some clothes cleaned and we also had to go buy some basic bathroom supplies. Church in Santa Anita was great! They have like 200 attending so church was cool!  Things are good..... I am safe and okay! I love you all! I hope to be back in La Oroya this week but we will have to first fly from Lima to Jauja and then get a ride back to our area. And then the following week we will be going to Satipo (the jungle) for a multi-zone conference. But I love you all! Take care..... hahahaha :)

Reflection of the week: Being here in Lima East has made me really appreciate and love where I am serving in Huancayo :)

The PURPLE lines show the taxi ride from La Oroya "down" to Lima and then the BLUE lines show the flight and drive back to Jauja and La Oroya.

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