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, September 30, 2010

Our last evening at the MTC

Our last night here at the MTC.  The temple training was the most special for us with Elder and Sister Pinegar. It was hard to say goodbye and thank them for all that they gave us this week.  Another experience I enjoyed a good deal was getting to know our fellow senior couples here with us preparing for other temple service.  Far greater sacrifice has been made by these folks with their various challenges.  Colds, congestion, and bugs continue to move through the ranks of the seniors. Meetings are punctuated by coughs and colds. Nothing as serious as Zion's Camp though.

We were given instruction by the managing director of the temple department and told of the continuing effort to make temples available to the members of the Church throughout the world.  The work continues and we are happy to be be apart of it in Peru. Few people can retire in 3rd world countries and often work well into their seventies, hence the need they have for us to help with keeping the temples functioning.

The suitcases are about packed and I have some cleaning to do while RA finishes folding the laundry. We are happy to be leaving for Lima in the morning.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Day of Instruction

Today was another great day with Elder and Sister Pinegar in the Provo Temple.  I had asked Elder Pinegar if he would talk about his experiences of traveling with President Kimball in Brazil during the early 70's and events that lead up to the Sao Paulo Temple announcement as well as the 1978 Revelation allowing all worthy members the priesthood blessings of temple attendance.  He said he would and told us in detail about it today.  It was very touching and moving, likely the highlight of my experience here at the MTC.  It is hard to measure that exactly as there are many things we will treasure and cherish such as one dear Philippino sister who essentially has spent her life savings to finance her mission to the Manila Temple.  Friends and family are helping and her ward in Texas. She receives no support from her two children so it is very difficult for her but she has remarkable faith. She has taken to heart something Elder Pinegar shared with us the first day, D&C 31.  I suggest if anyone is worried about a senior mission they do as Elder Pinegar suggested and replace Thomas Marsh's name with their own.  We are satisfied our "little ones" will be looked after. This includes all of our children and grandchildren.

We are packing our bags tonight and received an email from some fellow workers in Peru about a welcoming party Saturday PM La Molina.  We are anxious to be going finally, though tomorrow is our last day in the temple with Elder and Sister Pinegar.  I am so grateful we could be tutored by them as tomorrow is their last day after 3-1/2 years also. They have such deep roots and experiences with those who have gone before whom we have loved so much.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day Nine, two more to go...

Another day in the Provo Temple and further instruction from Elder and Sister Pinegar. Just a note to any who are contemplating a senior missionary assignment and I suppose it would apply to the younger missionaries as well are how many coughs and runny noses there seems to be in our group of temple missionaries.  Perhaps the close quarters and 10-12 hour days together spreads these rhino viruses.  I suggest you be careful, wash often, and shake hands less if possible. Apparently, several years ago hand shakes were banned in the MTC because of flu bugs here. In any case the instruction was superb from the Pinegars and others.

We also had opportunities to study our individual languages which was helpful. This afternoon we are returning to the temple for further study. We are enjoying our last days here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Transition Day at the MTC

We are happy to be transitioned to the temple portion of our training for our last four days here.  We are being instructed by a number of people but are especially enjoying the tutelage of Elder and Sister Rex D. Pinegar.  He was a Seventy in the First Quorum for 29 years and then President of the Mount Timpanogas Temple. For the last 3-1/2 years he has been here instructing and training the senior missionaries going off to one of the many temples around the world.  This is their last week.  They are to be replaced with Elder and Sister Melvin Hammond formerly of the Washington DC Temple and an emeritus Seventy.

We also picked up our new name tags en Espanol so we feel we have made a great transition today. I am certain and several of the young elders here have confirmed my suspicions that Espanol is the predominant language at the MTC, no hay duda! We are happy to identify with our friends, elders, brothers and sisters here.

RA is in front and facing the Provo Temple. The flowers and gardens are beautiful.  Watching  a DVD of a talk by Hugh Nibley in our apartment on Saturday he said that early on in the construction of this temple he wrote a letter to the Brethren making it clear the architect had ignored an important aspect of temple design.  The major axis of the Provo Temple does not correspond with the cardinal points of the compass like the other temples do and dating back to antiquity. Apparently, the architect rotated it some to "better" position it on the hill. Brother Nibley did get over it and several other points he shared with the Brethren.  He has written in multiple places the Provo Temple was his favorite in all of the Church.  We learned they are open here during the week at times until midnight accommodating the numbers of patrons needing to attend.

Estamos muy feliz! (We are very happy!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Days 6 and 7 at the MTC

Days six and seven have been and are about the young elders and sisters here. Saturday was our chance to get the laundry done, walk to the main campus book store, and get our passports scanned to email to Lima Peru.  A counselor in the presidency and others are securing our apartment for us and needed copies for the landlord.

On our way to the bookstore we passed through the "Wilk Center." It used to be called the Wilkinson Center. My how times have changed and what would President Wilkinson think about this slight to his full name.  We walked by RA's first apartment in Heritage Halls. (It was on the way.) Nice to have a tour guide who knows her way around even if it has been 42 years. I have to note we further taste tested Cougar ice cream in the Wilk Center and there is no question Aggie Ice Cream is better. Even Farr's next to the Ogden Temple exceeds the BYU Creamery in quality, taste, and smoothness. Maybe like the BYU football team the creamery is in a rebuilding year.

We had more than a couple opportunities of interacting with companionships and groups of young missionaries.  We took on the role of investigators and were committed by them to do better in our preparations for becoming better speakers of the language and of course listening to their messages.  One elder asked if I had heard of Joseph Smith before and I could not resist by answering that my great great grandmother married him when she was 23.  I did not go into other details however. Those are largely for the family.  I thought of Uncle John and Uncle Irvin.  Maybe they would have wanted me to disclose more but I resisted. One companionship tried out their wings for the first time with their 'Preach My Gospel' first lesson overview. One elder came to a roadblock mentally and asked his companion to proceed.  He was working very hard and so concentrating. We assured them they would be fine and wished them well on their missions. You just want to reach out and hug these young men as they are so intense and so eager to learn and do what they have been asked to. Mothers somewhere should know their years of efforts in teaching and love have not been in vain.

This morning we had a fast and testimony meeting with several districts. One fairly large group is going to Madagascar.  They spoke in their new language. It was impressive for young men to be so committed and willing give up the prime time of their youth, freedom, and friends to go to such a far away place with little more knowledge about it before they came here than a Pixar movie.

More meetings this afternoon and tonight then next week we are in the Provo Temple for more specific training.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 5 at the MTC

Our best day though I admit I started the day by learning to say "Yo estoy feliz que es Viernes!" I practiced it on our tutor Elder Vasquez and he laughed. I have also learned some other really good Spanish: " Podria apagar su telefono celular." Please turn off your cell phone.

I am impressed with the other seniors here whom we have had met and worked with including a few who are going to temples in Spanish speaking countries. We see much greater sacrifice among these folks for their missions. I will not write about them here as I do not want to break confidences and disclose very special and private conversations. Needless to say some have made huge sacrifices with their family, have health challenges and financial challenges. Our sacrifice is small by comparison.

We have had enjoyable experiences with the young missionaries here. The newly arrived Elders this week studying Spanish like to yell out "Holas" as they walk by and are a bit taken aback when we respond similarly with an added "Tenga buen dia" or something like that. We have had a couple discussions given to us as we have been walking around.

One thing we would do differently next time would be to bring a car. This for a couple reasons, and if we lived closer, we would stay at home and not be in the senior housing at the MTC.

Next week we are in the Provo Temple so that will be different than this week of "Preach My Gospel" study.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 4 At the MTC - Making Connections

Some discoveries today -- First, watch where the Polynesians queue up for their dinner. There is an area toward the east of the cafeteria where they have yesterday's menu selections and lots of rice. Not always, but at least half of the time the toppings for the rice are better than the current main course.

Another discovery we made, and connections are always happening here of where you are going, where you are from and do you know so and so...? We met a senior couple from Richfield and it turns out his Grandmother Moss and my Grandmother Fisher were sisters. They were both daughters of Evan Jones. He reminds me a lot of the Orderville Fishers and is definitely kinfolk. The Moss's are going to Indiana. They are member and leader support missionaries.

We had another day of Preach My Gospel and learned a good deal of information. Tonight we are off to language class with our tutor Elder Vasquez from Honduras. Tomorrow is our last day of this study and regimen and next week we are in the Provo Temple.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 3 at the MTC

It is 8:00 PM and we just finished two hours of Spanish language instruction and the last hour was with a native Peruano. We were able to review temple vocabulary and dialogue we might encounter at the recommend desk or clothing issue. Our day started after breakfast at 8:00 AM learning the second Preach My Gospel lesson and practicing the nuances of delivery, simplicity, and commitment with each other, our class teacher in our district, and with a volunteer.

Following the conclusion of our missionary instruction we went to the MTC health services and both received vaccinations for yellow fever and I got a hepatitis/Twinrix shot. There was quite a line of senior missionaries needing various vaccinations not completed previously in our home health departments. We were prepared, and maybe it is by design, for this by having creamery quality ice cream at lunch and dinner. Both inoculations and ice cream just coincide on Wednesdays.

Tonight we can study and prepare for lesson #3 of Preach my Gospel or we can prepare for Spanish dialogue we might encounter in the Baptistry. Guess which one we are going to work on more?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 2 at the MTC in Provo

We accomplished a good deal of training today, (in English), of the new missionary approach called "Preach My Gospel." I compare it to the Brother Brown dialogues I memorized 40+ years ago and find it eminently superior in every respect. It may not appear to have direct relevance to our call as temple workers in Lima, but it does have application for other aspects of our call and preparation for the mission field and life after. I am continually comparing this experience to my first in the old "Mission Home" on Main Street in Salt Lake. Some attitudes still remain such as adverse reactions to role playing and theater. Overall, it is a much more satisfying experience.

We should note that Espanol seems to dominate the conversations of many young Elders. I can't say for certain if it is greater than the English speakers, but there are lot of missionaries who are studying that language. For some reason they greet us with 'Holas" as we walk about the MTC here. We respond of course which seems to delight them.

As mentioned previously there are a number of senior couples here preparing for temple missions elsewhere around the world. We have discussed their assignments and what they know about their soon to be temple experience. We are very delighted to hear that the guidelines we have been told about for the Lima Temple seem to be widely and universally practiced at all of the other temples where our MTC friends have been called to.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Are we in Peru yet?"

Today we drove from Centerville to the MTC in Provo. As we got closer to the MTC our three year old grandson (shown in the photo with us), asked, "Are we in Peru yet?" Later he asked if we would be coming home after his play group on Friday AM. It is hard to answer those questions of a three year old. We checked in and have about a 9'x12' cubical for a room. It relates to something like a small motel room in a rural area of Utah or Southern Idaho. Contrary to rumors and instructions they do have a few hangers in the room.

We have a relatively fast internet connection here, thank you BYU, and have some amount of latitude and leeway while here. We can leave in the evenings and go out to dinner with friends or family if we so desire. Having said goodbye once is enough however to both family and friends.

We were delighted to learn we will have three days of Spanish language instruction for two hours each evening. That seems to be new as our predecessors indicated it was pretty much on a personal basis. We are having companion study per instructions of "Preach My Gospel" in English each night and focus on that during the daily activity.

I want everyone to know I have an awesome companion here in the MTC. I think we will get along just fine. We seem to have a lot in common and enjoy a lot of things together. Sister Fisher is really cool!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Information they wish they had known - from the Cordons

Welcome Bro. and Sis. Fisher.

We are looking forward to you joining us at the Lima Temple. We are really enjoying this great experience. This is our first mission together and my husband knows Spanish, but I had nothing when I got here. We have been here about a year and I still have very little. I have got the ordinances and a small amount of conversation. I know that I have missed a great deal of my associations with the sweet sisters because I can't understand them.

Is this your first mission together? Do you know Spanish? When do you come? We have heard several dates.

There are a few things I wish I had known before I came, so I will share them with you. First the lists of things to bring are not very accurate. As I remember there were two for us to look at. The one for the young missionaries is totally off and the one for temple is a little over on some things. We wish we had more casual clothes. We only brought one or two casual outfits. We spend half of the day in the temple and the rest at home. I have been living in my warm winter robe because I don't have any warm casual clothes to wear. So, it would be nice to have a few pairs of pants and blouses that are comfortable. It think it said three dresses. Well, I am only using two. One each week of a shift. We change shifts every two weeks so I just rotate them. We have a nice washer and dryer so our laundry is easy to do. We have had no trouble with keeping our whites white.

We also needed to bring a full supply of ibuprofen and other over the counter stuff we use. Makeup etc. is more expensive here if they have it. Prescription meds are available here over the counter and cost less. We did bring our prescription meds for the whole time.

Also, we both have lost weight. The average loss is about 10 pounds within the first two months or so. I lost 40 and all of my blouses and skirts sort of hang on me. There are nice ladies who sew here and we are having some things made. We buy he fabric and show them the article we want to copy or a picture and they do a great job. It is very inexpensive too. The men have suits made here that are very nice.

The grocery store does have canned veggies but they are so expensive. There is very little prepared food, so we have enjoyed fresh everything. I think that may be why we lost so much weight. Anyway, I brought some recipes I use at home and they are not good here. No creamed soups, or other things that make them good. We find substitutes and make things taste good, but not the same. I feel like a newlywed learning all over again. The ovens here do not have a thermostat and are not insulated, so the head goes everywhere and is not even. I did have an oven thermometer sent and it helps.

If you have any questions we are more than happy to answer them. We are very excited to have another English speaking couple here. We just got one to replace a couple who went home in June and I guess you are our replacement. That is a strange thing to be thinking about.

Thanks, Kay Cordon

Information from Elder and Sister Cordon

Hello Fishers.

We are looking forward to your serving with us in the Lima Temple. We are loving our experience here. We have been here about one year and have been amazed at how fast the time goes.

It sounds like Sis. Ramirez will fill you in on the clothing needed here. We did wish we had brought more P-Day clothes. We are in the temple 8 hours a day, but at home we don't have comfortable clothes to wear. I have worn my robe most days and have been glad to have it. I did throw in two lounge dresses that I wear in the warmer weather, but for winter a pair of sweats would really be nice. Because there is no heating or cooling in our apts. we dress according to the temp. In the winter I like to do baking to heat up the house a little and we vent the dryer into the house in the winter. It is already so humid that a little more doesn't seem to matter.

We have a great FHE group of English Speaking Seniors who are serving in Lima. Because we have the MTC and Area Offices here we do have some great people serving in all areas of the church. We take turns giving the lesson and doing refreshments and meet on the first and fourth Mon. of each month. We go on adventures together and see the city etc.

As to books. Don't bring anything but your scriptures. There is internet access to so much and we really need very little. When we talk about a lesson in FHE we mean something from the Ensign, or such. It is sure not fancy and we just love being together. We are one really big family.

As a FHE group we are going to a Silver Factory tomorrow. They also have an outlet store there, so we can spend some more money. We try to do things around the city and usually make it out about once every two month or so. Not very structured, but fun. We women like to go shopping at the Inca Market where they have the crafts etc. of Peru. It is a great place. So fun just to look.

Many good times are had here in and out of the temple. Sat. the temple was really full to overflowing and we were so happy to have all of those special people there. I love the busy hum of the temple. It is really too small for days like that, but they seem to love it anyway.

We would be glad to answer any questions you might have. We are getting another new couple in May. They are from Calif. and neither of them speak Spanish. That means for about one month there will be three English Speaking couples in the Temple. That will be very nice.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Kay and Steve Cordon

Understanding Peru from Hna. Ramirez

Dear Hna. Fisher,

As far as finances go, we have found it very good to just use our debit card and credit card using our US accounts and have not had a bank account here. Our experience with the local banks has not been good for the most part. They have their own way of doing things and can be quite difficult to work with. We learned that when we were trying to arrange payment for our trips around Peru. We looked into an international transfer and found it was much easier to just use our debit/credit card. Yes, they charge a fee because of currency change but it is minimal and we pay it.

Vegetables here are mostly wonderful and very inexpensive to buy. I'm not sure it is worth your time and effort to try to grow things inside but you could probably find the materials you need if you really want to. The big front window faces south but sunshine is iffy except in the summer. It is mostly overcast here most of the time.

We brought our own small inexpensive printer and are glad we did so. Computers and supplies are readily available and cost about the same as the states BUT some things, like specific kinds of cords, etc., can be a real headache to find. Bro. Flores at the temple has helped us several times with problems but even one who knows like he does has problems. There IS a transformer suitable for a power strip into which you can plug all your 110 watt computer stuff. Bring a power strip and be SURE you have exactly the right cords for the computer and speakers and everything else you are bringing. Just trying to save you a headache. The 110/220 problem also adds to the mix.

One more thing I thought I should mention. Expect to probably lose weight while you are here. We have found with eating more fresh foods and using little or no prepared products, you naturally lose weight--not a bad thing!
I have lost 10 lbs. and Ron has lost 60 lbs. (which he has been trying to do for many years). We are gearing up to keep our weight the same when we return home. Anyway, knowing that might influence your clothing purchases. We find we are eating more healthy and we even like the peruvian eating schedule of breakfast about 8, comida (the big meal) about 2-4 pm. and a snack at evening about 8. Doesn't fit with the rest of the family though.

Have to run...ask any more questions you may have. We are happy to help!


Hna. Ramirez

Sister Ramirez last letter from Peru...

Dearest Family & Friends & Fellow Missionaries, 5 June 2010

We will be departing for our home in Blackfoot, Idaho, in just 10 days after serving a 23-month mission in the Lima Peru Temple. Our hearts are full and we have many happy/sad feelings as we prepare to leave. If you have followed our quarterly updates, you have shared in our missionary experiences, our testimony and many of our adventures as we have visited many areas of Peru. But in this, our final update, we want to simply share the blessings we have received because of our service here.

We might categorize our blessings in three groups. The first is the great love of the people and the knowledge we have gained about the country as we have served a mission in Peru. Peru is a beautiful country with grand vistas like we have never seen before. But there are many beautiful places on this earth. One great blessing has come from getting to know the people of Peru.

* All the people of Peru have treated us with kindness and courtesy where ever we have traveled.
* The members of the church have been so loving and appreciative of us. They go out of their way just to shake our hands and thank us for coming to Peru.
* We have come to appreciate the church "pioneers" that live in Peru, the sacrifices they make for the gospel and the examples they set for us all.
* We have come to know a patient, kind and loving people. We feel their love and their great spirit even when we don't understand everything they say.

The second are the blessings which have come from the personal progress we have made in mind, body and spirit. We feel our lives have been changed forever and we will never be the same.

* We have been blessed with being able to learn the language, at least enough to be able to fulfill any assignment given in or out of the temple.
* We have found that we could do everything asked of us and more.
* We have been blessed with a feeling of peace and joy as we have done our Heavenly Father's work each day.
* We have had the opportunity to literally sit at the feet of 5 of the apostles, 10 of the seventy, 1 of the presiding
bishopric, the General Relief Society President, the General Young Women's President and the General Primary President and be taught about the kingdom of God. They made our spirits soar!
* We have been blessed with a respite from the world.
* We have been able to live and enjoy a much simpler life.
* We have had been privileged to serve and associate with some of the finest people we have ever met, people whose only desire was to serve God by serving others. We know that many will be our friends forever.
* We have learned more about ourselves---especially about our weaknesses and how we can overcome them and be strengthened through the atonement of our Beloved Savior.
* We have grown closer as a husband and wife.
* We feel our testimonies have grown even stronger.
* We see more clearly what the real priorities are in life and are more resolved to keep that focus. Oh, the joy the gospel brings!

The third group of blessings comes from an even greater appreciation and love for our Heavenly Father and His wonderful plan and our Beloved Savior and Redeemer.

* We have been able to see little miracles every day.
* We can more easily see the Lord's hand in everything going on around us.
* We have had our vision of the Lord's plan and work greatly broadened as we now see it from a world-wide perspective.
* We have watched as our Heavenly Father has blessed our family because of our willingness to serve Him.
* We find ourselves more and more in debt to our Heavenly Father because of all the many blessings He has given us.

Again, words cannot express the joy we have felt in serving a mission. We truly hope and intend that this will not be our last mission. We hope you have enjoyed sharing our mission experiences with us. We will return to our home in Blackfoot, Idaho. Please stop by to visit anytime you are in the area. We send our love and our appreciation for your support during the last two years.


Elder and Sister Ronald and Nadine Ramirez

Additional Insights from Elder Ramirez

Elder Fisher,

Good to hear from you again. To tell you the truth, it is fun to continue to talk about Peru and our mission. It helps in overcoming the feelings of missing it so much. This transition back to non-mission life has been more difficult than I ever thought it would be.

When you arrive in Lima, you will work an eight hour schedule each day, normally five days a week. There are some weeks when they have a "feriado" or federal holiday, where the temple will be open on Monday morning. On their federal holidays, the members flock to the temple so we stayed open with a last session at noon but that only happens a couple of times each year. Assuming that they will continue with the same schedule they have now, you will work two weeks of mornings, 6:15 till about 2:30 and then switch to two weeks of afternoons, 1:15 to about 9:30. You will alternate with the other English speaking missionary couple. The only difference in your temple schedule and the one we had, is that you should have some study time built into your schedule to study the ordinances in Spanish. However, most of your training will be OJT (on-the-job training) where you will take a card with you to do the ordinance.

As far as general conference, the temple missionaries are normally invited to the CCM (the Peru MTC) to watch general conference in English with the English speaking missionaries. In the past we have had lunch there with the missionaries. If not there, then most of the other missionaries meet at the Area office to watch it on the large screen there and then have a pot luck lunch between meetings. Where ever you watch it you won't have to worry about transportation. I am sure that President Bowman will come by to pick you up in the white temple van, with all the other temple missionaries, to attend conference. He will do that for normal Sunday church meetings, unless he is visiting a stake conference, and for family home evenings, etc. also. The chapel we attend is about a 15 minute walk, or a quick bus ride (cost about 15 cents) from the apartment. The chapel, which is the La Molina Stake Center, the CCM and the Area office are all located adjacent to each other and you will become quite familiar with all of these places.

I would recommend that you concentrate on the veil ceremony so that you can present at the veil and also the prayer you will need to offer in the prayer circle. These are two things that you can't use a card for. As far as our language skills, remember, neither Nadine or I spoke any Spanish prior to our mission but we can bear testimony to the gift of tongues. The Lord always blessed us with the language skills necessary to complete the work assigned.



Advice from Elder 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 the temple grounds. There has been a combination guest house and missionary apartment authorized for the Lima Temple grounds. 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.

We work in the temple 5 days a week. The temple is open by 6:15 AM 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.

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.

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

Insights and Advice from President Bowman...

I have copied from the several email we have received from the temple president helpful advice and information for our preparations. These will be useful for others as well.

Dear Elder and Sister Fisher,

We are delighted to learn that you will be serving as senior temple missionaries in Lima Peru Temple. We appreciate all you have done to learn Spanish and we know that you will be able to learn it much quicker as you serve here among the Saints.

Perhaps the most important thing that you should do at this time besides signing your acceptance is to do what is needed for your passport and visa. Please respond to those requests as soon as possible, as that seems to generate the most significant delays.

We are delighted to hear of your progress in learning the ordinances and we are anxious for you to be here. I trust that all is going well as far as your visa applications. There is plenty of time, so we hope there will be no delays there.

We are looking forward to meeting you and working with you. As to the term of your mission, I suggest that you continue with the plans for 18 months and after you have been here for about a year you can consider an extension. There usually is no trouble in extending the term of a mission, so I suggest it would be better to wait and see how you feel about it at that time.

Thank you for the information on the flight and your arrival. If there is any change let us know. I will be at the airport to meet you. I will be there with one of our brothers from security with a van so we have room for your luggage. The temple will be closed that Saturday because of General Conference. We generally attend conference at the CCM (MTC) where we view the satellite broadcast in English. There will not be much time for us to orient you to the city on that day, so we will do it on the following Monday.

You will find the Lima temple a little different from the Bountiful Temple. I realize that you have been here, but until you work in the temple you do not realize the adjustments that have to be made for size and other factors. It is a lovely temple and the workers are wonderful and loving people and I know that you will enjoy working with them and learning from them. I am constantly reminded of some of the sacrifices that they make in order to serve.

I hope you have had time to attend the temple and listen to the sessions in Spanish. Can you arrange with the temple president to let you study the veil ceremony in Spanish? That would be a great help if you could do that when you get here.

If there is anything you need or need to know please contact us. We are excited about your arrival and we trust that you will have a great experience at the MTC.

Best wishes,

Carlos M. Bowman