Favorite recent and insightful quote I have read recently:

Favorite quote I have recently read: "The word temple comes from the Latin templum, which signifies an extended open space that has been marked out for the observation of the sky. In what manner is such a space marked out? According to Dr. Hugh Nibley, the word templum, "designates a building specifically designed for interpreting signs in the heavens--a sort of observatory where one gets one's bearings on the universe." The root "tem-" in Greek and Latin denotes a "cutting" or intersection of two lines at right angles, the point where the "cardo" and "decumanus" cross, hence where the four regions come together." Matthew Brown - "The Gate of Heaven"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dates the Temple is Closed

We have been asked what days the Lima Temple is closed for holidays and other purposes such as cleaning and maintenance.

Here is the list:

Maintenance Closings
Monday, 1 February 2010–Monday, 15 February 2010
Monday, 2 August 2010–Monday, 16 August 2010

Other Dates Closed Friday, 1 January 2010
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Friday, 24 December 2010
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Friday, 31 December 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Welcome Letter/email from Hno. Ron and Hna. Nadine Ramirez

Dear Brother Fisher,

How wonderful to hear of your mission to the Lima Peru Temple.May I first tell you that we have loved our mission. With all our hearts we wish that we were going to be here to serve with you. We are sad to say that our mission ends in June. Since we live only a couple of hours north of you and do come to the Salt Lake often, maybe we will be able to meet you before you enter the MTC to answer any questions you have.

But first let me answer the questions you have asked. We do not live on temple grounds. There has been a combination guest house and missionary apartment authorized for the Lima Temple grounds. When we first arrived we were told that since the plans had all been approved, the temple presidency hoped that construction would start soon and we would be able to move in about six months later. Unfortunately, problems keep coming up to delay beginning of construction so now President Bowman is hoping and praying that he can have construction started before he completes his term as temple president in November.

We live 3 and a half blocks from the temple and walk to and from the temple everyday. We have never felt endangered in anyway in traversing to and from the temple, even when we have came home late at night. The security in the neighborhoods in La Molina is quite good. Most streets have security guards posted on them and they close the gates on many street so cars cannot pass through. Most apartments I have seen are like ours. It takes 3 different keys all for deadbolt locks and each key has to be turned 3 times to open the door. My big worry has never been about someone breaking in. My worry is how long would it take to get out of the apartment in an emergency. No, we leave our laptop out on the desk all the time. I am not worried about thieves breaking into our apartment.

As far as things that we wished we had brought with us, yes there are a few, but I think my wife would be able to answer that better than I would. I think I will let Nadine discuss that with your wife.

We work in the temple 5 days a week. The temple is open by 6:15 for prayer meetings etc. each day. Tuesday through Thursday, our first session begins at 7:30 am and we run a session every hour on the half our but have an extra session at 7 pm which is our last session. On Friday the schedule is normally that same except we are running a trial right now where we are having sessions every half our from 6:30 to 9 pm. By time you arrive the temple president and area president will decide whether or not to make that a permanent expansion of the schedule. Saturday we begin at 7:30 am and run a session every half hour until 7:00 pm.

However, you will only work about an eight hour schedule each day. Right now there are two shifts each day. The first has a 6:45 am prayer meeting and normally leaves the temple between 2 and 2:30 pm. The second shift has their prayer meeting at 1:15 pm and we normally leave the temple between 9 and 9:30 pm.

The local transportation is by either bus or cab. Both are extremely reasonable. The currency exchange is approximately S/. 3 (3 soles) to $1. To go to church which is about a half mile away, it costs us one/half sole each which is the equivalent of about 17 cents each. If we want to take a taxi, it is normally S/. 4 or about $1.35. Believe me, the taxis and busses are plentiful. If we have to wait five minutes for a bus, we are surprised.

No, there are no real issues with shopping for food. There is one supermarket called Metro which is about a mile away and another which is two miles away which is called Wongs. We normally go shopping twice a week because the refrigerators are quite small. There is also a little bodega or small market in each block where you can pick up things you run out of during the week. One thing that was a surprise is there are very few canned goods or frozen pre-prepared foods. We are back to making things from scratch. But there are wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables. You can find some American food products but the are normally the expensive items. Really, we have found our food costs quite reasonable. We do soak our fresh vegetables in Clorox just to be safe but I am not sure it is necessary. (Nadine says it is.) Yes, we do eat the lettuce with no problems. There are some that say right on the package that they are guaranteed germ free. There is a large mall, exactly like those in the Salt Lake valley (except they don't speak English) and the prices there are comparable to US prices. There are also many small shops in galleries (local malls) where clothing and other things are far more reasonable. That is where the locals shop.

During the two weeks the temple is closed, we have taken trips to see Peru. Mission rules say you can't leave your mission boundaries, so some other couples we have invited on our little excursions have not been able to go with us because their mission boundaries are smaller. But for the temple missionaries, our mission boundaries are all of Peru so you can go anywhere except leave the country. We have taken the money we have saved on living expenses and have traveled Peru from the north to the south from the coast and islands off the coast called the Ballestras (or the Galapagos Islands of Peru) to the jungles of the upper Amazon and the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. There have been no problems with traveling. I have seen no anti-American sentiment, in fact, quite the opposite. They love Americans in Peru. We have always had English speaking guides and the accommodations in 3 star hotels are quite comfortable. We can give you the name of our travel company if you would like.

Most of the missionaries who serve at the temple or the area office attend the La Molina Ward. The area president and the north American mission presidents who have children also attend that ward. The sacrament meeting is in Spanish but they do have headsets and someone who translates for you. There is a English Sunday School class, but relief society and priesthood are in Spanish only.

Yes, both my wife and I love the ceviche and most of the other peruano foods. I am the kind of person that eats anything that doesn't eat me first and I have loved Peru. We have continued to have our weekly date nights which always includes going out to dinner so we can give you a list of many of the fine restaurants we have found and there are many more.

Well, I know that this is a novel and I have probably told you more than you really wanted to know but please, feel free to write us any question you have. It was just two years ago that we received our mission call. We enter the MTC on the 21st of July. Even though my name is Ramirez, I didn't speak Spanish before our mission (a long story) and I wouldn't say that I am totally fluent now. I probably speak Spanish like many Latin Americans speak English, but, I can normally make my intentions known and the people are so kind because you are trying to speak their language. Again, we love our mission!

Oh, one thing that we have found as a problem is that all electricity here is 220V so you either have to have 220V appliances or a transformer. With the weight of transformers I would suggest you buy them here rather than try to carry them but anything you can bring that uses 220V is useful. I did bring a power strip for my computer and printer. Someone suggested that we bring an electric blanket which we did (there are no furnaces), but the first time we used it we burned up the controls even though we thought we had a proper transformer, but with blankets and a bedspread, we haven't had any problems sleeping.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Elder Ron Ramirez