It all started very early as usual. Andrew and I met up with Geovane, our Mission Mentor, at her church and from there we went to south of Cusco to share the Gospel. It was a long trip of about three hours, but we finally got there. It was up in the mountains close to a big, beautiful lake.
The trip and our time there was interesting and a new experience for me because it was very different from the other mission trips I’ve done. On the trips with my church, there’s lots of energy with lots of volunteering to do in a short amount of time, so everyone’s full of enthusiasm and excitement to help with whatever hard work there is to be done. But this was different. It was slower (well, a lot of things here go slower), and not quite as much energy. It felt more like an average day for a missionary (which it was). I don’t know if this day was an exact representation of missionary life, but I’ve heard it’s very different from a mission trip with a bunch of high school students for a week.
First, we went to one of the houses of the members of the church to eat lunch. We ate fried trout, rice, and chuño (freeze-dried potato, a traditional Incan food) and it was the best one I’ve tried so far! We talked about the state of the town and the work that Julia, another missionary with us, had been doing there. What she talked about surprised me a bit because religion here is not like how it is in the U.S. She talked about problems they’ve had with witches and spiritual warfare that the missionaries have seen. I’m still thinking about this.
I asked Julia and Geovane how they became missionaries. They both said they felt God’s call to spread the Gospel and be missionaries. They said you have to pray and listen to God.
We met the pastor of the town and he was very nice. He has a dairy farm where he makes cheese for pizza! We tried some of the cheese with bread and drank coffee, and we also went to the lake for a bit and relaxed in the sun. I didn’t talk much because I was trying to take it all in, and I was thinking a lot. They had a guitar that I fiddled with a bit and tried to remember some of the songs I learned over the summer at camp. It felt good to play some music. It seems like a quiet life, but also harder up in the mountains.
That evening we invited the town to watch a movie about Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection. Lots of kids came and it was really fun to talk with them and tell them about the amazing love God has for each and every one of them. The movie was dubbed in Quechua with Spanish subtitles, so it was a chance for me to practice my Quechua. It wasn’t easy but I understood a few words, and now I really know the word for teacher – yachachiq!
The movie finished late, so it was kind of a journey to get back to Cusco, but we finally made it back. I got to bed around midnight. A long day but worth it!