Monday, July 7, 2014

July Visiting Teaching {The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Advocate}

This month the visiting teaching message focuses on how Jesus Christ is our advocate with the father.  It is a beautiful message about how, because the Savior paid for our sins with the Atonement, all of our sins can be erased through repentance. 
With the Savior as our advocate, We can turn our lives around.
P1210198With that thought in mind, I made a fun pinwheel with the message printed inside, and a tag with that statement on it.  To make some to share with your sisters, you will need a sheet of cute cardstock. It can be double-sided, but needs to be able to have a side that can be printed on, {white or a light pattern} so that you can read the text.
P1210165You will also need some kind of stick to attach the pinwheel to.  I used 16x1/4” dowels for mine, {but I’ve seen people use paper straws, or regular straws} and a pin or brad or upholstery tack.
P1210174 To begin, print the message and then cut the bottom off so that you have an exact square.  Then fold the page diagonally and unfold.  Cut along your folds until you are about an inch away from the middle.
P1210175 Use a small hole punch, or pin to poke holes in every other corner.
P1210178Take your pin, and stick it through all four holes, and then push the pin through the center of the paper at the middle of the X where you folded previously.  Affix the pin into the stick and secure it {we used a small hammer to make sure the pin stayed put}.
P1210187P1210195P1210197So easy and fun! 
You can print the message here.
You can print the tag here.
Happy Visiting Teaching!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Peru Part 2: Machu Picchu!

To get to Machu Picchu, you must go to Aguas Calientes.  To get to Aguas Calientes, you must either take a train, or hike in, as there are no cars per se in town {aside from the busses that you can take up the mountain to Machu Picchu}. 

20140407_062224 We arrived in Aguas Calientes and were greeted by a hotel representative who guided us on foot through the town to our hotel.  We then grabbed some dinner {at an amazing restaurant that had some of the best food we had in Peru, called Yanantin Grill—btw, the crinkle fries were really that big.  The Peruvians love their veggies super-sized}

20140406_203529and a few snacks and then headed to bed because we wanted to get an early start the next morning.

20140407_061228We had heard that it was best to be on the first bus of the day so that we could see the sun rise over Machu Picchu.  We had also heard that it was a good idea to take our own lunch up since, there is only one restaurant up at the top and it was pricey.  So the night before our climb, we stopped at a few shops looking for grocery items so that we could make some sandwiches or something.  We came away with 2 $6 boxes of stale granola bars and some fruit.  This is what I chose.  I can’t remember what it was called, but it kind of tasted a pear, only not as sweet.

20140406_213708 The next morning as we were waiting in line for the buses, there were a couple of shops open right by the line.  They had entire sandwiches for around $5 a piece, and if we did it again, we would just pick up a sandwich on the way.

The bus ride took about 20 minutes and as we wound up the steep switchbacks, we passed quite a few brave people who had hiked from Aguas Calientes.  Originally, that had been my plan, but I’m glad we took the bus, since we did a ton of hiking once we got to Machu Picchu, and there’s no way that we could have done both in the same day. 20140407_064822_Richtone(HDR) Guys.  Machu Picchu has been on my bucket list for many years, and it did not disappoint.  It. was. amazing.


There are two peaks on either side of the ruins at Machu Picchu.  One is called Huayna Picchu, and the other is Montana.  Only limited amounts of people can visit the peaks each day, and we climbed Montana.  After seeing the sun rise over the ruins, we headed up the mountain, so that we could avoid the hottest part of the day.  Montana is quite the climb, and as mentioned in my previous post, has a bajillion stone steps.  The steps go all of the way up the mountain.


It took us about an hour and a half to two hours to near the top, and was pretty steep.  It was beautiful, though and had amazing views of the ruins. This photo included because it kind of shows you how steep the mountain is, but also because it has the Urubamba River in it.  And Urubamba {ooo-roo-bam-ba} is fun to say.  Urubamba.  Urubamba.  See?  Machu Picchu is off to your left.


There were also really cool irridescent butterflies that would kind of flop-fly down the trail above us.

20140407_100156 After climbing Montana, we had a quick lunch and then took a tour of the ruins {included in the tour pass that we purchased at the airport} and then were free to explore on our own.

20140407_12530420140407_12580720140407_10560120140407_132200Opinions vary but nobody really knows what Machu Picchu was used for.  Our tour guide told us that it might have been a place for the wealthy, and that in those times, it wasn’t money that made people wealthy, it was knowledge.  So maybe as a type of university.  Others have speculated that it was a retreat for royalty, or that it was used for religious ceremonies coordinating with solstices and equinoxes.  Nobody really knows.

20140407_134736Check out that staircase.  And there’s the Urubamba again.  Urubamba.  Urubamba.

20140407_13564720140407_141037 Visiting Machu Picchu was an amazing experience, and so, so neat. 

When we were finished, we headed back down to Aguas Calientes and did some shopping at the market there, learned to play the bamboo flute from a street vendor, and had some Peruvian pizza for dinner, before taking the train back to Cusco for the night.20140407_16403720140407_17125320140407_175352Although, if we went again, there are a few things we would do differently, we loved seeing Machu Picchu, and are so glad we went.  

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