Mailing Address:
Elder Gabriel George
Peru Cusco Mission
Av. de la Cultura 2417
Frente de Urb. Santa Ursula
Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Peru


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Placing My First Book of Mormon

September 24, 2014

So yeah the first weeks was probably one of the longest weeks of my entire life.  Honestly.  It was not that fun.  I am really starting to get into the swing of things here though.  I am really enjoying that we have time set apart in our schedule to just study the scriptures and Spanish,  It really does make a difference if you just sit down and study.  The language is really hard and I don´t feel like I know anything.  But when I look back on what I knew before I came and what I know now, the difference is crazy.

We also watched a streaming of a devotional from Provo and it was M Russel Ballard.  He said that he didn´t even write a talk.  Instead he was just going to talk to us like he would if we were his grandson.  It helped soooo much.  He explained something I already knew but, something that sometimes you just need to hear it again.  He said that you should just put your head down and plow through.  But don´t forget to watch everything that is happening and write everything in your journal.  I have been keeping a really good journal I don´t want to forget ANYTHING!!!

The food here definitely does not fall in the, "Oh boy I can hardly wait to eat" category.  I have to admit that I am getting a little tired of the eggs.  They never really have been a favorite of mine.  There are eggs in everything we eat.  Seriously - eggs every meal.  The rice at lunch and dinner is really bland.  On P-day we all bought a bunch of different sauces to put on the rice in order to try and pep everything up a little.  But the rolls are really good - I probably eat 4 at every meal.  They are the only things that haven´t gotten old.  Chicken or beef are the regular meat selections.  We had pizza last night and it was TO DIE FOR.  It probably wasn´t really all that good but the rice and chicken made it taste like heaven.

I loved the Latinos that were here at the MTC (or CCM) when I first got here.  But they all left along with the other elders in our room.  I miss them quiet a lot actually.  They were all way more mature than many of the guys in our district.  And they were nicer too!!  Anyhow, my district has 5 companionships in all.  Not a sister in the mix.  Four are just a little too obnoxious for my taste.  I am really not a fan of what I will term locker room behavior.  I just  really believe that some thing are not all that funny.

E. Belliston(Detroit) and Harris(Atlanta) My 2 favorites!!
E. Allen and Freestone
E. Shoaf and Larkin (who is my other favorite)
E. Kline and Beaner

My teachers are Hermano Ruiz and Cesar.

I like Hermano Ruiz the most.  He is much more understanding and talks a lot more slowly.  He doesn´t know like, any English.  But he has got Spanish down.  He brought his family to meet us one day.  His daughter is 1 and is sooooo cute!!!!

Hermano Ruiz is about 5 foot nothing and laughs at everything.   So the other day we were stitting in class with him, he is seriously the best guy in Peru.  We always tell him that he is going to be the president of Peru by the time we leave and he just shakes his head and gives a face palm!!!  Anyway, we were talking about his mission and the subject of the Jehovah´s Witnesses came up.  He told one of the funniest stories we have ever heard from him.  He told us that he had a whole family with a set baptismal date.  On the week that they were supposed to be baptized a member of Jehovah Witnesses talked to the mom.  When he and his companion went to check on them the mom of the family wouldn't answer the door.  For 3 days they tried to talk with this family.  Finally he just looked us all right in the eyes and said "Freaking Jehovah Witnesses" and then just smiled at us.  Oh my gosh it was so funny and unexpected, we were all rolling on the ground!!!

We went prozolyting( burchard that one) [Editors Note: Usually I correct his spelling as I am getting his blog ready but this one made me laugh too hard to take away from anyone who is reading this.  I was totally giggling at both the word "proselyte" and "butchered,"] anyways, us newer elders were paired up with one of the elders that was going to be leaving soon and I got put with Elder Kelison.  He was totally nice but didn´t seem to know anymore Spanish than me really.  I felt bad for him.  Anyhow, we were paired up with two members.  We had one who was 13 and the other was 66.   For whatever reason the younger one LOVED me.  He always wanted to be talking with me and would push Elder Kelison up with the older guy so he could walk next to me and talk.  He was sooo excited about missionary work and he showed me how excited I should be.  He has a few hundred soles saved up for his mission and is sooo excited to go.  I loved gaining that excitement through him.

I also placed my first Book of Mormon with a security guard on that evening.  It was exciting to see that he was actually reading it when we passed him the second time.  He was really impressed with the little Spanish I knew for only having been learning Spanish for 10 days.  I don´t really even know what I was saying to him.  It was really the Holy Ghost making me talk and making me say whatever I said.  I´m so very grateful for that experience.  It also helped to remind me why I am here!!!
Talk to you next week!!!!

Love tons,

Elder George

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Longest Week (for us at home too)

September 17, 2014

Okay a quick story for today.  On Monday night we had to teach the Latinos in Spanish for 15 minutes using NO English.  WHAT????  So Elder Ard spoke for a whopping 1 minute and 42 seconds and then turned the time over to me.  I was so mad.  Mad at everybody, myself, Ard, my teachers and quite frankly Heavenly Father!  It was so bad, that after about 8 minutes of trying, I couldn´t do it any more.  I honestly just broke down into tears crying all over the place.  We were teaching Elder Martinez, he flew down here with us but he is fluent and so he is only here for two weeks.  He is one of the nicest guys here.  He honestly knew exactly what to say.

My teacher came over and took me out into the hall. He is so very kind and drives 2 hours a trip to teach us.  He is just so humble and loving.  I was a mess and he spoke to me in Spanish the entire time.  If I didn't know about Heavenly Father the Spirit, I would have no idea how I could understand everything he was saying to me.  He explained that he could see how dedicated I am to the work and that I am working really hard.  He told me that Heavenly Father loves me and that he knows I will be a good missionary.

I have kind of felt lonely since that night because everybody saw me and I feel like they judged me HARD CORE.  I don´t care because I know why I am here.

So here's the deal I will be one week behind you guys because we only have an hour on the computer. The older guys in my room say the best thing to do is to take a picture of our letter and read them in our room. Then write out-ish what we want to say for our next letter so we can just type as fast as we can.

Love you TONS,

Elder George

In the last few minutes I just wanted to tell you thank you for being my mom.  There isn´t anybody in the world I would trade you for.  You were always there as a shoulder to cry on and now I can´t really do that but you are still with me all the time.  I carry your and dads picture with me everywhere I go.  Thanks for putting up with me all those years.  It has truly been a privilege to be your and dads son.   I love you with all my heart and when the going gets tough I just think about you guys back home and it makes it a little easier.  I really haven´t gotten home sick yet - just home sick for your cooking.  Rice and eggs are already getting really really old. Anyways, keep on keeping on.  One of my favorite Elder in our district says that and it is getting to me.  We can't send picture at the CCM (the Spanish initials for the MTC) they will come later!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Made it to Lima

September 10, 2014

So I made it to the MTC safely and I am super, super, tired.  We didn't make it into bed until about 2:30ish.  It was a really long day.  I felt like it was dragging on and on.  The people I sat next to on the flight to Georgia were not interested in talking at all.  We had only been on the plane for about 5 minutes and this guy is snoring right over my shoulder!!  Haha!  Well, my companion is from Rigby, Idaho.  He really didn't want to get up this morning, but he is really cool and fun to be around.  he reminds me a lot of Parker.  I don't really know what is going on ever as they only talk in Spanish.


Elder George

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Greatest of Tender Mercies!!♥♥

September 9, 2014

Well that was the quickest night ever!!!  We all got up early and headed to the airport.  One of the little blessings of living in Idaho Falls is our airport is not quite as busy as most other airports.  We got there and truly, there were not many people there.  Gabriel check in.  His bags were right on the edge when it came to weight.  He was less than 2 pounds away from the limit on one and within 5 pounds on the other.

We had 3 pretty sad little girls.  All of this became just too real.  Each knows that she has the best brother ever.  Hannah said it best once when we were teasing Gabriel about being everyone's favorite brother.  She said, "Nope, he's not mine."  We were shocked for only the briefest fraction of a second before the grins all started to appear.  "Jesus is."  Like I said it only took a brief fraction of a second before we knew where she was heading.  I guess if you are going to be trumped by only 1 person he is the guy to trump you!  Gabe really is in good company.

There was a kind lady who offered to take our picture, although I think none of us, with the exception of our missionary of course, was looking their best!

All grins!!
He was pretty much all grins.  There were no other missionaries just him.  The rest of us?  Well his dad is just jealous of him.  He is so excited for his boy!  For he truly knows what sort of experiences await him.  Me, of course I am delighted for him but miserable for me.  I am not a fan of the growing up and leaving home thing.  I know that the saying, "Grandchildren are better than having children" is a lie.  Nothing will ever be better than being a mom!!  Not that I won't love that other part of life but there is NO WAY it can be better than this part of my life!  I love it most of all.  But I can let him go because I know how I love a couple of countries called Belgium and The Netherlands and the people who call them home.  I could never be so selfish as to keep my child from such a gift given from a loving Heavenly Father.  So I smile as tears slip down my cheeks.  Lacey, oh dear, she is as big a mess as I have ever seen.  She is always so put together and sure of herself, and now?  Now, her best friend in all the world is going away for 2 years and it is more than she can take.  Her heart does not just feel broken, it feels as if it has been yanked from within her very being and demolished in a most torturous fashion.  Life just seems to be crashing down around her.  Sydney is perhaps the most stoic of our children.  Her silence screams volumes to the rest of us.  Finally, as she just silently sits, it too much and tears stream down her face.  Our little Hannah, our gift, is so little, and so sad.  Yet, none of them would have it any other way either.  For truly we love Jesus more than we love the natural man part of our desires.  We love Jesus.  That is really what this is all about for us!

Finally, it was just time.  Our Elder was so ready!  He hugged us each goodbye and then he headed toward the gate.  We watched as a he took off his belt and shoes and watch and emptied his pockets.  We stood as he walked through the gate and put everything back in place.  A kind TSA person walked from behind where our young man had just walked through and brought us kleenex.  She said, "He said that he was pretty sure his parents would be okay but, maybe not his sisters."  Then we moved so we could watch him go up the escalator and turn the corner out of sight.  The whole way up the escalator Lacey was quietly muttering what my heart was pleading, "Please just turn around, just one more time."  He did.  He grinned, and waved, and was gone.

Now you would think that that is the end of our day.   But it isn't.  Not by a long shot!!!

We all walked back to the car after that.  It was a pretty wet ride home.  I was a bit surprised that they didn't have a flash flood warning in Idaho Falls.  As we were driving and the girls were crying, Brad glanced at me and said, "You're just going to head to work and really come back to watch his plane take off, aren't you?"  He hasn't been married to me for the better part of 24 years for nothing.  We got home and the girls pretty much headed back to bed.  Brad said, "I'll come with you."  Secretly he really wanted to go, not so much as a support for me but because he just wanted to see the last seconds of his boy in Idaho Falls too.  He and I went back and found a spot to watch our boys plane take him away for the next 2 years.  I got out and took a picture as I watched the plane carrying a huge chunk of my heart begin to climb into the air.
That little white thing in the middle that is perhaps a blur to you is clearly that chunk of my heart I was talking about! 
My computer had a tab open to flight tracker the entire day.

This part of the story actually began about a year ago.  Our missionary daughter is serving in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission.  She left on her mission on July 10, 2013.  Her story is fun too but is told in a different blog.  Yet this part is something that is a shared blessing for both of my missionaries.  When Molly, Sister George, to all in Georgia, got to Georgia she figured out that Atlanta was a hub for Delta.  Years ago, before 9/11, she had an aunt serving a mission in New York.  Her uncle was called to serve in Spain while his sister was in New York.  Well, during his layover in New York, on his way to Spain, they got to see each other.  Of course, like I said, that was before 9/11 when you could still go into the terminal and wait at the doors.  Yet the gift they were given was still the sweetest of miracles.

Well, I remember when I got a letter from my Molly that told me that she had told her trainer that her greatest wish was that her younger brother would have a layover in Atlanta and that she would be able to see him.  Her trainer told her to get that wish out of her head because it would never happen.  That even if he did have a layover she would never get permission to go see him.  Yet I believe that my daughter never ceased to pray for her miracle.

The day after we got his flight plans, only 6 days before he left, I got a text from a member in ward where she is serving.  She said that my daughter wanted to know what her brother flight plans were.  I was crushed because I knew of her wish and the thought of her not being blessed with it crushed my heart just a little bit.  I hoped that maybe knowing that he was in the same state as her would be enough.  I reluctantly sent his plans to the member with the message that hopefully knowing that they were in the same state as each other would be enough for my little girl.  Well, maybe 3 hours later I got a text that said, "She got permission to go to the airport!!"  Oh my!  I was not sure how I felt.  I wanted her dream to come true.  I knew my son would be stressed, his layover was only 2 hours long, and Atlanta is a HUGE airport.  And so plans were made to try and help from our end what was going on in Georgia on her end.

So most of the day was spent with our missionaries' parents silently praying.  I watched as Gabriel's little animated plane flew across my screen and landed in Atlanta.  He landed a full hour early.  I knew that if they saw each other I would get a text picture; for my little Sister George and enlisted the help of one of her choicest members in Georgia.  Sister Watkins was sure to send a text picture of the two of them together.  After an hour of him being there I still hadn't received that picture!  Then suddenly my phone rang, it was Sister Watkins!!!  She has been known to be a little naughty and call me when my child has been in the car with her.  She said, "Kelly, his plane landed an hour ago and he still hasn't called!"  I was so frustrated and so very helpless.  I had given him her cell number and told him to find a phone and call if he had problems.  There was nothing I could do.  My heart was breaking just a little for my little girl.

I hung up and not 10 minutes later there was a ding from my phone that said I had text.  And there it was!!!  There was my picture of my missionaries together!!  There was the answer to many prayers!!
Sister George and Elder George!!!

And their Momma's joy was full!
When my daughter had first gotten to the airport with her companion, Sister Hulme, and Sister Watkins they saw a few Georgia missionaries in the airport.  They went and spoke to one who was with his parents and little sisters.  They found out that he was headed to. . . well the Lima Peru CCM (a.k.a. MTC).  So there was obviously a little bit of discussion about a certain brother who was also headed there.  With two hours to go this elder turned to his family and said, "I gotta go.  I don't want to miss my flight."  My Georgian missionary was left waiting, hoping, and praying for her miracle.

Well, as they waited, Sister Watkins looked at them and said, "We need to say a prayer."  And they did right there in that busy Atlanta airport.  They appealed to a loving Heavenly Father.  My cute daughter said in her letter home, "Momma, after that prayer I just felt peace fall over me like a blanket.  I didn't know if I would see Gabey or not but I knew that it would be okay.  I knew that everything would be fine."  Sister Watkins later told me that Molls said after the prayer, "Maybe it is just too hard for him and maybe it would be too hard for me.  It's okay.  It is enough to know that we are both in the same airport."  Molly continued, "But Sister Watkins went into Mama Bear mode and went over to some airport guy and was trying to find out if they could page a passenger.  As she was talking to him, Molly looked down the hallway where she was hoping to see the face she loves, the hoping was over.  He was there.  He was coming.  Accompanied by the Elder from Georgia who they had talked with.

Our favorite Georgian Peru headed elder had gone and found the other missionaries who had flown from Salt Lake.  He found Elder George and asked if he had seen his sister yet.  Shocked, Gabe said, "No. I don't know where she is.  I don't know how to find her."  This sweet young man looked at Gabe and said, "Grab your passport and your boarding pass we will need those to get back through the gate."  Then he looked at the other elders and said, "We are leaving our carry-ons with you.  No matter what happens take them with you."

And so my joy was full!  My missionaries got 15 cherished minutes!  The Watkins, both Brother and Sister, will forever be a blessed part of the George family.

Just one last note, we watched as Gabe's animated plane flew over Ecuador where one of his best friends, Parker Kuhn, landed earlier that day to start the proselyting part of his mission.  I was not by the computer when my boy landed in Lima, but his dad was.  He came and told me, "He just landed.  He is in Peru."

Monday, September 8, 2014


September 8, 2014

So after waiting, and waiting, and waiting, it finally came!  For some of us it was way too fast in coming, and for others, and one in particular, it couldn't happen soon enough!  We will let you decide who was in what camp.

Last night, Gabriel was supposed to be set apart at 8:00 pm.  We went to Panda Express.  Maybe it was in remembrance of when he received his call, we went there after he opened it.  Or maybe it just seemed like a good idea because the boy is a fan of orange chicken!  Then we headed over to the stake center.  We were there a little early but not much.  Still we were the first arrivals.  Everyone, except mom piled out of the car and soon started making laps around the stake center.  Slowly but surely the girls got back in the car and Gabriel and his dad kept lapping the church.  I am pretty sure those were cherished last moments for both of them.  Time passed (SLOWLY TO BE SURE) as one by one Gabe's grandmas, bishop, and young men's leaders showed up.  We decided that the guest of honor was present but the host, President Hathaway, just was not making an appearance.
Waiting for President Hathaway

I know that most of the people there didn't mind that the host was not there but here is a picture of the guest of honor.  Finally our bishop called him.  I am not sure what happened but he apologized profusely when he got there.  Gabe was cute and said, "That's alright you are only 35 minutes late."  I think Gabriel was trying to be gracious but poor President Hathaway kind of got a stricken look as he hung his head and shook it a little and said, "Oh man!  You've been watching the clock."  Gabe quickly assured him that it was alright.

We all went to the high council room while President Hathaway took our young man to his office for his final interview before setting him apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  When they finally came in, the good men who have been a part of Gabe's life, one from the beginning, and others throughout his youth assisted as President Hathaway fulfilled the long held desires of Gabriel's heart and set him apart as a representative for our dear Savior, elder brother, and friend - Jesus Christ.  As Gabe's mother, I understand the Saviors mother a little more.  For most of that night's proceedings I will do as she did when, she "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."

I envisioned the little babe I held in my arms not really all that long ago.  He was perfect then and he is "practically perfect" now.  I adore him and am more thankful than I have words to express for the past 18 and a half years that I have been privileged to have him in my home.  I must say I am thankful that he is only "practically perfect" for if he had reached perfection already he would have been taken from me before I could send him to Peru.  I am so thankful for him and for Peru.  For I truly believe that he, much like Esther, could answer the question in an affirmative, ". . . and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"  Esther 4:14  In the deepest part of my heart I believe that Gabe was born unto this call.  He was born to be a representative of sweet Jesus.  I know they love each other.

And thus begins our, okay his, great adventure!