Sunday, December 27, 2009
I hope this sad news does not cause great distress and mental anguish among our friends and family.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The day started with a craft where they made little jewelry boxes, which were later filled with a pearl necklace, bracelet, and earrings. A gift from the Mission and a remembrance of the talk given by Sister Lindahl, Mission President's wife.
Next it was a tango demonstration. Very awesome, and we all got to learn to dance "elegantly" as the tango is an elegant dance. Our instructors were so much fun, and so graceful.
It is a day of fun, and great inspirational talks, and lots and lots of wonderful food.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
She sits on the table with Panchita, and I think Panchita (my gold fish) really enjoys her new friend.
On a spiritual note, my "polly pocket" plant is a symbol of all the gifts we have been given by God. We cannot have enough purses or bags to hold them all. When one falls off there will be more blessings to take its place.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Well, thanks to the aid of Google and the internet, it wasn't long before I had more recipes all claiming to be the authentic, or just as good as authentic, or even better than authentic Cafe Rio dishes. I scanned over them, and to my dismay a few ingredients just were not available down here--especially tomatillos and flour tortillas. So back to the computer. What do you substitute for tomatillos, nada. Oh well. What do you substitute for ranch dressing mix--lo and behold, homemade recipes for ranch dressing. How do you get flour tortillas--lo and behold you make them yourself.
So to the store I go. Let's see, pork- check; cilantro-check; avocados--check; coca cola-check; Nope, no tomatillos, but we're going to do this. Away to my kitchen. Got my apron on! Cafe Rio here we come. I cooked, and I made substitutions, and lo and behold , it worked. The Green chili rice was scrumptious. The Pork Barbacoa-superb. The creamy tomatillo dressing (renamed creamy cilantro dressing) delicious! The homemade tortillas-yum!
The reason for the dinner was to celebrate and honor three of our office elders who will be transferred out this next week. It took many trips over to the office, but it was finally all set up. There was a sign--Cafe Mision Mendoza--thought we might have franchise problems if we called it Cafe Rio. There was a menu posted! There was a line you had to stay in as you went to the long table and made your dishes--burritos and salad.
The comments made all the work worth it, 'This is awesome! Just as good as Cafe Rio! Better than Cafe Rio! This is the best meal I have had on my mission!" It was fun! A challenge! and now just have to wait until my taste buds start dreaming again.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Members and friends from 4 stakes gathered to clean and make the grounds safe for the children to play.
Steve and I even got into the act. It was great to be a part of such a great thing. To help is what it is all about.
The San Martin Young Women all came ready with their sticks and their smilesto pick up paper.
Elders in action. Some working a little harder than others, The smiles say it all.
They all wanted to show off their big muscles. There were not many tools, so they just got in and pulled with their hands. Many huge truck loads of weeds and debri were hauled away.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Mision business was over and all the Senior Missionaries; Us, the Javis's, and the Lindahl's all decided to celebrate. They let the decision be mine. I hate that. I chose to do an outdoor adventure--visit Villavencencia and the cemetery in Las Heras. So off we went, dressed in our P-Day best.
The park we went to is in the foothills of the Andes, due west of Mendoza. As we entered the park, the vegetation changed to trees and grass. We stopped at the visitor center. This comemorated the passage way over the Andes by San Martin and his army--hundreds of years ago.
The high light of the visit was going to the old hotel, no longer in use. I could just imagine it filled with elegant people. The gardens and the patios were still beautiful.
Places for ashes and coffins.
One of the main walk ways, lined with individual family tombs.
The wall around the cemetery. The small graves for the poor people.
But this is part of the Argentine culture. This is part of their life.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
We have grown so close to so many of the missionaries from this zone, that it became an event we didn't want to miss. This is what a mission is about, bringing people to that first step, becoming a member of Christ's Church.
We drove down with three of the Elders. One of them, Elder Miles was finishing his mission the following Monday, so this was his last weekend in the mission, and he had served for months as a zone leader there. We arrived, and there was just a flurry of activity in every direction. Elders and new converts all dressed in white everywhere. The Chapel was packed with friends and family awaiting the special event. The poster in the lobby gave the names of all those to be baptized. 18 in all. That is awesome.
It was very difficult to round up everyone for a group foto, but here is the majority. What an amazing site. Young and old. Ready to be baptized.
One of the young women ready to be baptized by Elder Manqui!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Today as I arrived back from a Dr’s office visit with one of the Elders who fractured his “pinky” finger playing American football, I was very excited as the Dad of our Elder who fractured his back was at the office just getting ready to take his son to do some touring. I jumped out of the car and ran to say hello and introduce myself.
After a big hug and thank you’s, I went into the office. I checked my pocket. No phone. I checked my purse, no phone. I had Steve call my phone, no answer. Humm! Perhaps I have dropped it in the car. I hurried out to the car and searched under, and around all the seats. No phone. I hurried out to the sidewalk, and looked up and down the street. I checked the seccia (the ditch). No phone. I guess it has been picked up. In fact two people across the street said they saw the garbage men pick it up.
Several hours later, a phone call came from Hermana Hunt. “I found your phone.” You what? “I found your phone. I called Hermana Brown on the phone and these people answered. I asked them who they were and I told them that this phone belonged to our mission nurse and it was so important and we needed it back. They gave me their address and we can go pick it up.” The phone is now back in my pocket. Steve says it should be tied around my neck.
God does answer prayers, and He does love the missionaries and missionary work. What a lesson to me to always kneel and pray and call down the power of God. He is a God of Miracles.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
This is Hermana Jarvis, mi buen amiga. She has the job of adding all the brown sugar. Yumm!
Hermana Lindahl and Hermana Jarvis putting cute little red ribbons on each packet.
And here is the finished product. Actually this is only a portion. We had already loaded several big boxes . These will be given out when Hermana Lindahl interviews each missionary next week with her husband. The cookie dough packets are rewards for the Missionaries cleaning their apartments (pensiones) on Mission Clean up Day.!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
That's what I felt like today! It was the Zone Leader "consejo". It is the day all the zone leaders from all over the mission come here to the mission office for training and to plan the next zone conference. They start arriving early in the morning, and soon the office is just busy and bustling with over 20 missionaries who love the gospel, are so excited that they are here, and have leadership just dripping from them.
They greet each other with the all too familiar missionary hug and "tap-tap" on the shoulder. They have smiles that cover their face as they see old companions and renew their friendships. They spend the day with the President and the Assistants, being fed and filled with spiritual renewal.
I had to deliver some medications to several of them to take back to their zones. As I did this the President had them stand and give me an ovation of clapping and cheers for my service. The tears just filled my eyes as I felt their love and appreciation for my service. I stood so humbly surrounded by this wall of giants. Giants in the mission. Giants to the other missionaries. Giants to the members and investigators, and Giants to the Lord.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The bush is a holly bush-ready for Christmas with lots of red berries, and now snow. Only one problem it is July.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Last night we had a movie night with the Jarvis's. As we entered into our apartment it was cold. Steve checked the thermostat, turned it up—the heater did not come on. It also heats our water. We turned on the water, no hot water. He fiddled around with it for about 15 minutes, still didn't work. I was getting prepared for a cold night in the apartment and maybe no shower in the morning unless I wanted to freeze.
I was kneeling waiting for Steve to come and join me, and it was cold!!! It was my turn to say the bedtime prayer. I just quickly said the prayer, and said, "Please help our heater to work so we can be warm tonight." Then I jumped in to bed as quickly as I could and pulled the blankets up around me. As Steve got into bed, we heard a sound; it was the heater turning on. Amazing! Coincidence? Steve quickly said, "Wow, we're going to have you say all the prayers. How 'bout praying for a million dollars."
He does hear and answer prayers!
Monday, July 6, 2009
That was the announcement from the stand at Church today. "Pretend you are in Japan. When you greet someone, just bow to them. No hugs, kisses, or handshakes." This is very hard down here where everyone gives a big hug, kisses on the cheeks, and hearty handshakes. Church for the next three weeks will be shortened to just Sacrament meeting to limit exposure to the flu. One of the young men stood at the door of the chapel and put hand gel in everyone's hands as they cam e in the door. Not many are wearing masks at this point, but it probably is not a bad idea. So far we have not been affected. I keep eating an orange a day and keep praying the flu stays away.
Last week, two of the Elders from Valle de Uco had to come in to finish some immigration paper work. They had to be here by 0700. So that meant they had to leave their area at 0400 in the morning. As they did the paperwork it was very frustrating. Calls were made back and forth for assistance from the office, but when it came down to finishing the paperwork it became evident that one number on the Latino Elder's passport had been entered wrong. It could not be accomplished. They were told they would have to come back again on another day with it done correctly. They couldn't come back later that week because they had baptisms they had to get ready for. So we told them, "Call and let us know the day you are coming in, and we will have breakfast ready for you."
Last night about 10pm, came the call. We're coming in tomorrow morning. So breakfast we will have ready. Pancakes, eggs, homemade syrup. This is the least we can do for these young men who are working so hard to serve the Lord.
PS. They came in this morning and the office was closed due to the flu. Another trip and the situation not solved. But they did eat lots of pancakes, eggs, and hashbrowns.
I am sick and tired (literally) of the flu. It has finally hit here in our mission. This past week we have had about 1/3 of our mission down with the flu or flu like symptoms. My phone has rang constantly. Most of the missionaries have been strong and have recovered within several days, but we have had several that have really struggled to get well.
I felt really bad for Sister Sybrowsky. She had been sick, well for just a little time, and then sick again. Her last bout kept her in her apartment for over a week. She was not only feeling bad from the flu, but depressed in having to stay home every day and just look at those four walls. She could keep almost nothing down and was getting weaker and weaker. We brought her in to stay a few days with us in the "Hermana Room".
As we picked her up with her companion, she appeared pale, listless, no enthusiasm for anything. Her parents called her while we were driving back to our apartment. She seemed fairly embarrassed by the call. She stayed for 3 days, and each day I could see more spring in her step, color in her cheeks, and no vomiting. Each day she would eat just a little more and do a little more. By the time she left she was back to normal-or at least headed in that direction. The two Hermanas made cinnamon rolls on their last night here.
Elder Hollinger was one of the sickest Elders. He came down with the flu and immediately started running a very high fever, severe headaches and chest congestion. I had him start by treating the symptoms with ibuprophen, decongestant, etc. His very dear companion, Elder Ahmad, doctored him like a baby. He called frequently, and would go and buy the medications I would order, and stood faithfully by. The AMA was called on an ongoing basis and his reply was always, "It's the flu there is nothing that can be done, they just have to endure."
Well after about the 4th day and he is still not better, still running a fever, and his chest in becoming more congested, I made the decision to go and bring him in to the Dr. As we entered his pension and I went into the bedroom where he was, I could see his eyes light up. I did an exam, and then asked him, Elder I would like to take you to be seen by a MD, is that OK? The tears almost welled up in his eyes as he said "Thank You!." It was like a miracle had arrived to save him.
We went to the Dr at the ER at hospital Espanol. He was examined and the MD found some white spots on the back of his throat and he listened very carefully to all the aspects of his chest. He ordered a steroid to assist with the congestion. He did not order a test for swine flu, but I think this is the closest case we have had to it.
We brought him back to the mission office. There, Elder Jarvis put did these wonderful hot pack treatments to the front and the back of his chest. He had a hot pack that he soaked in hot boiling water and then had Elder Hollinger lie on the exam table with towels draped over his bare back. The hot packs were put on and they would stay warm for at least 10 minutes. Then he would turn him over and repeat on the other side. It was like we were roasting him until well done. The object of the treatment was to loosen up the congestion in the lungs.
One of the medications was an injection of steroids to reduce the lung congestion. This was the second injection that I have given since I have been here. Actually I am not licensed to do injections in Argentina, but in some instances it is just the most efficient way to have it done.
Afterwards we brought the two Elders over to our apartment to eat lunch. As Elder Hollinger walked in, he exclaimed, "You have such a nice apartment, I feel like I am in the States." PS, He is now on the mend, but the awesome Elder that nursed him all the way is now sick with the flu.
As the sick ones get well, it just seems that new ones take their places. Fooey on the Flu!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Yes, there is gold in that bowl! That gold has a tail and fins and is swimming around. Her name is Panchita. She is the newest member of our little missionary family. Even before we left Grantsville for our mission, I talked of getting two little goldfish, just to keep us company. As Steve says, I just have to have something to feed. We arrived, and it just never seemed the right time to buy the fish; we couldn't find a bowl. We couldn't find a fish, etc, etc.
Well, finally, with much, much coaching on my part, and I think Steve just grew weary of my nagging for a fish, we went to the little pet store and picked out our fish. I picked a beautiful, fat gold fish with beautiful tail and fins. Steve picked out a very colorful calico goldfish. Into the little bags they went. We bought a little container of food, some rocks for the bottom, and a clear class canister that would function very well as a fish bowl. (And if the fish died, I will have a great container for cookies, etc).
Fish have to have names, so that was the first big chore. Steve quickly named his, San Martin. Not bad. San Martin is just about the biggest historical hero down here. I tried to think of a female name that was meaningful for Argentina. Hummm! I have it! I will name her, Panchita. I love their hotdogs down here. They call them "Panchos". So, a Panchita would mean "little hotdog". That's perfect!
They seemed very suited to their new house. They seemed to like each other. No biting, kicking, scratching, etc. So, we went to sleep that night with very pleasant thoughts of our two new little members to our family.
I awoke early the next morning to study. The first thing I did was run to the coffee table to see our fish. Yep, there is Panchita swimming around, but where . . .oh, there is San Martin. He is not swimming. Actually he is lying on the bottom of the bowl. No respirations noted. Can't feel a heart beat. He's awfully limp. Too late for fishy CPR. I carefully lifted his little body from the bowl using the fish net and placed him on a special paper towel on the counter to lie in state until Steve could pay his respects. After all, this is San Martin. Then the final act! The lever was pulled! He was gone!
I couldn't believe Steve. He is accusing my fish, my Panchita of fish murder. Yes, he says it was, "In the fish bowl! With a fin!" Well, he has no proof. He didn't even do an autopsy. It has now been several weeks and I catch Steve mumbling under his breath, "He was murdered!" He even sometimes says, "I hope yours dies soon so I can get another fish." We all know that the real truth will probably never be know.
In the meantime, I am training Panchita to be a world famous , performing gold fish. She is so smart and so talented. I am certain that Sea World will hear of her soon and they will send for her. What does she do? Well, this is just the beginning, I know there are many tricks to come. But for right now, she is learning that when I feed her, I tap twice on the bowl and then put the food in. She is responding by when she hears the taps, she swims to the top of the water to be right there with her mouth open when the food comes. Now is that amazing or what! I can see the glitter of all the gold she is going to earn. Soon she will be doing flips and all kinds of special things.
Sometimes you may wonder when you say your prayers and you routinely say, "And please bless the missionaries all over the world", whether God really hears your prayers. Is He really blessing them? Every morning and every night Steve and I kneel and always include the welfare of the missionaries. I know with all my heart that He does hear our prayers. This morning my phone rang at about 02:30. That is never a good sign. It was Sister Warren from the group of Sisters in a community, San Luis, about 3 ½ hours from here. She is one of those young women that is always having a crisis in her life and has a tendency to exaggerate. So when she said, "I feel so sick, everyone is sick, we're all throwing up, and we have diarrhea", I took this in stride. My thoughts were, "They probably ate at a member's house, got some bad food, and they're having an acute attack of food poisoning. " When I asked who was throwing up, she said," Well, no one actually has, but I am feeling so bad, you better talk to my companion." The phone was then passed to the companion. She was having a splitting headache and said the other three were also. She mentioned, "Isn't it strange that we are all sick, all at the same time. Could this be caused by gas?"
A light went on in my head. Yes, it could. Of course! The symptoms; headache, dizziness, and nausea. It fits. Hurry, open your windows, was my command. Let's check with the ER and see what they recommend. The only phone number I had was the one for the ER here in Mendoza. The Sister called the number, and they said to call a local ambulance. Dial #911. OK, I had been told 911 didn't work, but let's give it a try. Within 10 minutes the ambulance was there. The Sisters were on their way to the hospital. The care they received there was great, and they are all doing fine!,
Looking back, here are the Angel interventions:
- Most missionaries call me in the morning and let me know they have been sick all night, and choose to tough it out, or just don't want to call and disturb anyone. Some angel prompted this Sister to pick up the phone and make that emergency call.
- Some angel prompted the other Sister to think clearly enough to question, "Could it be gas?"
- Another angel made the 911 # work, when everyone has told us it just doesn't work down here.
- This small community had an ambulance service that responded likety split.
- This very antiquated hospital had staff waiting their arrival and gave them immediate treatment.
Yes, there are angels watching over our missionaries here in Argentina, and everywhere, all over the world.
Monday, June 1, 2009
It was a beautiful day. A day that would be much more fun to be outdoors than to be in the office or our apartment. "Come on, let's go do a service project!" With a little coaxing, we soon were both found out front, broom in hand, sweeping these huge leaves into piles. Almost as soon as we swept, I could feel leaves falling on my head and shoulders. Perhaps this is futile. It looked so good. Another Brother and a young Teacher soon found brooms and plastic bags and joined our efforts. "Que linda!" Now the sidewalk will be clean for church tomorrow morning.
As we walked down the sidewalk early the next morning, I almost had to break out in laughter. The sidewalk was once again covered with leaves. It almost didn't look as though we had done anything. But in my heart, I knew I had swept that sidewalk and if even for a few minutes I knew that it had looked great. I guess that can be sort of like things in our life. Things like cleaning the house, pulling weeds, or even helping someone out. Even though the house gets dirty again, or the weeds just come back, or that person still has problems, perhaps, just even for a minute it was "Que linda!" Beautiful for a minute.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
We especially thought the grandkids would like to see some of these amazing, fun animals. There were many, many more, but these are some of our favorite pictures.
Thanks to Kasey for helping me get this slide show on the blog! Kasey, did I do it right?
Thursday, May 7, 2009
We have two bedrooms. Our bedroom and then a smaller one that we are using to house the hermanas (sister missionaries when they need a place to stay. That is the best experience ever. So far we have had 5 guests. Later this month they are having a Sister's Conference for the Hermanas and we will have 4 at our house for the night before the conference.
We love our apartment. We are just right above the Jarvis's (the other senior couple) In fact our kitchen window is right above theirs, so when we need something we just holler out the winddow and send it by "window mail". They are great neighbors and its a great comfort to know they are so close.