The trip to Machu Picchu(named one of The new 7 wonders of the world) was truly a blessing because the missionaries actually encouraged us to go and they even had a friend at a hostel in the town.  We were planning to go only if we had time and they didn’t need us to do anything.  So we set it up with a travel agency and were on our way shortly after telling our testimonies and eating lunch after church Sunday.

I’ll cut to the actual learning experience and hike Monday morning.  Paulo and I got up early Monday morning because we planned to walk/hike up to the top to meet the tour guide.  I don’t know if it was because it was so early or I just didn’t think/understand that this was going to actually going to be a hike because I wore jeans, tshirt, rain jacket, hat, and poncho because it was pouring down rain the entire time.  After hiking up for a little bit, I began to have problems because I was soaked. So right there on the trail, I changed into shorts and continued on.  I feel like changing into something else means I realized I didn’t prepare the right way and that I needed to re-evaluate the situation just like you may need to re-evaluate a choice you made in life.  We continued on for a little bit further and then I began to lose my breath very quickly.  I wasn’t pacing myself well and began taking breaks often.  I felt bad because I was not able to keep up with Paulo and he was having to wait often.  He was patient and began to talk to me and ask how I was doing.  He gave me some hints on how to continue and I gave it a try for another little bit but at this point I began to feel sick to my stomach and hot even though the cold rain was still pouring down.  At this point, I think my body was really rejecting the fact that I had some food that morning and that I was out of shape. haha.  I think the spiritual meaning was that when you are trying to grow in your relationship with God and go higher, there may be some purging or cleansing that he needs to do.  I tried to keep drinking water and a girl on the trail even stopped at offered some energy juice of some sort.  I just kept feeling sick and the energy was zapped out of me.  I don’t even think we were a 1/4 of the way up and I felt like I was done.

Paulo felt led to pray for me at that point and asked the Lord to help me and give me the strength.  I really thank God for the brother that he is.  It’s times like this in life where you don’t have anything left and you need somebody to come along side you and be Christ to you.  He was Christ to me on that mountain.  He prayed, he encouraged, he loved, he was patient, he was kind.  Another 10 minutes or so after him praying, I was ready to continue only because I was wanting to persevere.  I was still feeling pretty crappy but I went on step by step.  Soon, I felt better as the air began to come out of my stomach and it settled.  I also just took one step at a time and took deep breaths purposely and consciously.  All the while, Paulo continued to encourage me and took breaks when I absolutely needed them still.  I look back now and it seems like that the last 3/4 probably took as long as the first 1/4.  We finally made it up that mountain and although we missed the tour guide starting out we were able to catch up with him and learn about the awesome place Machu Picchu is.  God taught me many things on this day but most of all he taught me perseverance and what it takes to get past some obstacles that I/we will come across in life in order for us to grow and become closer to him.  However, I still took the bus down the mountain, lol.