Tuesday, January 21, 2014

At the top of the Mission

We're in Cerro de Pasco, which has the highest Stake Center of the Church in the world at 14,400 feet.  A "Stake" is a collection of individual congregations, usually six to twelve in number.  This is the Stake Center, behind a couple of Sister missionaries, on an unusually sunny day.
As you may know, Cerro de Pasco became one of the world's richest silver producing areas after the metal was discovered there in the 17th century.  Although the silver was largely taken out by the Spanish, it is still a very active mining center, producing lead, zinc, and still some silver.  The center of the town is occupied by one of the deepest open pit mines in the world, which continues to enlarge and force people to move.  The mines of Cerro de Pasco were a chief source of wealth for William Randolph Hearst and his family.
Now, don't you feel a bit smarter?  The conditions in Cerro can be difficult, especially for newcomers, and at this time of year, cold rain every day and sometimes snow are the norm.  
We are here for the periodic interviews with the sixteen young missionaries serving in the city, and so that I can have my monthly meeting with the leader of the Stake, a delightful 33-year old native of Cerro.
Sister Henderson goes out and works with the Sister missionaries in the different areas frequently. Tonight she's bundled up and working with a couple of great "gringas" (North Americans).
Meanwhile, I'm likewise bundled up back in the hotel room after my meeting with the Stake President.  Contrary to the web page, there is neither heat nor a secure parking place, and it's a bit on the cold side.  
We scored the Ricky and Lucy Suite, complete with double beds and English-speaking bedspreads.
However, those are just details.  We are honored to be here and to help the good missionaries in Cerro and the good people of the town, which according to the Web is the highest city in the world with more than 50K people.  Now you feel even smarter, no?
We hope that you don't have to wear your jacket and hat to bed tonight...
Dave & Paula


Brian Williams said...

Great to see the church is growing in Cerro de Pasco. I was there in 1989. Love following your blog.

Tabb and Michelle said...

Great post! The Church is so amazing - truly the gospel is found in the four corners of the earth. I just never thought of it as the highest point on the earth! Raleigh is in a deep freeze so we can finally relate to what you're experiencing. Stay warm and keep the posts coming!

Thom Shurtleff said...

Unka Dave, this is Thom Shurtleff sending you a little thank you for your blog. Very much enjoy keeping up with your wonderful good work. Just retired from federal service on Jan. 3 2014 - looking forward to being retired but no comfortable until all the "interim" payments are finalized - email is thomshurtleff@gmail.com - I am also feeling a pull to get back in church so your blog helps that very much.

Patti said...

Yes. I feel smarter. And very cold. (That open pit mine in the middle of town is surreal!)