Sunday, December 27, 2009

Panchita is gone!

For those of you who might have noticed, Panchita is no longer with us or on the blog. She came to a very sad fate. The glass coffee table broke, when "you know who", sat on it. I am not accusing anyone, but it seemed a little spiteful of him. Panchita went flying to the floor. I scooped her up. Ran her to the kitchen and to a bowl of water. She seemed a little sad for several days, but then seemed to recover, and then, she just died. Belly up she was. A funeral was held with special words and tributes, and then . . .Down she went.
I hope this sad news does not cause great distress and mental anguish among our friends and family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What do the Viejitos do on Last Night in Mendoza!

They eat lasagne, brownies, and fly paper airplanes! Let me explain. This was a very different transfer. Usually the viejitos (the missionaries going home) have their special dinner with the President on their last night, with a very special testimony meeting. But for various reasons, this was held on Sunday night, and so on Monday, after their exit interviews with the President they had not another thing scheduled for the rest of the day and the evening.

I had expected the two Hermanas to eat with us as they were spending the night there. But they were busy shopping and visiting. . so I decided to just bake a big pan of lasagne that could be eaten any time. During the afternoon, we discovered that two of the Elders had no plans for dinner and really had no place to go. So, hey we can feed two more! So we added two more plates to the table.

We had just started to eat and the door bell rang. There stood two more hungry, going home missionaries with no place to go or eat. So we added two more plates to the table. Now we had the whole group. The lasagne was soon gobbled up and then the fun started.

Everyone made their very best paper airplanes. Every size and description. Mine of course was so original. Then we all went up to the roof and sailed our planes into the night sky. One of mine actually went far enough to land in the tree outside our window. It was so fun! Steve actually is one of the very best paper airplane designers in the whole mission although he was outdone by Hermana Hussey from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Then it was downstairs to have brownies. Hermana Jarvis had made a pan of the most delicious brownies. Then it was visiting! Sharing mission experiences, and finally after much coaxing we got the Elders to leave and we all went to bed, thinking of how to design our next, best paper airplane and the viejitos dreaming of their plane flight home.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Hermana Conference

The conference was held at the Mission Home. The night before all 17 stayed at a hotel and giggled and laughed the whole night. Only twice a year do all the Hermanas get to be together as a total group.

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.

Hermanas can have fun! Just get them together and it starts.

It is a day of fun, and great inspirational talks, and lots and lots of wonderful food.

Anyone for a back massage? Two started and soon there was a whole chain.
I gave a talk on self Esteem and Health. I focused on "Bloom where you are planted".

Here we are! All the Hermanas of the Mision Mendoza, Argentina. Until next spring when we get to do this again.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Polly Pockets

On the day of the Cafe Rio party, one of the Elders very thoughtfully gave me this most unusual plant. As he handed it to me, there was one of these very unique blooms. It looked just like a purse, complete with a flap on top. I noticed there were many little "purses" ready to to open and bloom. Well, lo and behold, I have a plant now loaded with many, many purses. Hence the name "Polly Pockets".
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

Cafe Mision Mendoza aka Cafe Rio!

Does your mouth ever just water for a food that you just love and just isn't available anywhere around. My mind and my taste buds just started to wander back to Utah and visions danced in my head of my favorite place, Cafe Rio. Oh, if I could just have one of their big salads or burritos.
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

Escuela Hogar-Eva Peron-4 Stake Service Project

This was a service project to clean the school grounds for this orphanage here in Mendoza. There are about 350 children that attend school here, from ages 4-14.

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.

A tired, but very happy bunch of missionaries from Mision Mendoza. And a very grateful school for the service rendered.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Belated Birthday Adventure!

Well, it is never too late to celebrate a birthday. Mine was delayed due to the visit of the Mision Area President and critical medical situations. No time for birthday parties! Although it was not forgotten by friends and family. Thank you for all your messages. The missionaries all sang Happy Birthday to me in both Spanish and in Ingeles. And the Office Elders gave me a bottle of treasured pure grape juice.

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.

Tucked next to the hotel was a beautiful, quaint, old chapel--almost 90 years old. Inside is one of the most beautiful murals of the last supper I have ever seen. The individual apostles were each a work of art.

Before we left this beautiful place, I took time to pretend to cook on the Argentine type oven where they do their "asados", and of course I could not pass up the opportunity to pet this friendly lama.

Next was the trip to the Las Heras Cemetery. Whew, what a scary experience. This was like no cemetery I have ever seen. I have always been fascinated by cemeteries. This was amazing, covering over 8 city blocks and still room to grow. Their were areas very old and crumbling--like something out of a horror movie, and then other areas where wealthy families owned family tombs. You could look right in and see the caskets, and family members could go into them and be by their deceased. The poor people were just buried in the ground with little white crosses. We were told that you rent your space for your coffin. If you stop paying your rental fee, they just take your casket out and dump the bones out in the garbage. They do not embalm down here, so funerals have to be held, by law, the day after the person dies.

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.

This is what was on the inside of the wall. Old, crumbling, decrepit casket slots. Creepy!
But this is part of the Argentine culture. This is part of their life.

We finished the day off by eating at our favorite restaurant down in Central Mendoza. I was given a small silver angel complete with magic wand by Sis Jarvis, and Sis Lindahl gave me a pair of leather and sheepskin slippers. I loved both gifts. It was a great birthday.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Super Bautismo!

This was a special day that the Valle De Uco zone had waited for . Their super "White Baptism". They had been working hard! Their goal was to have 25 people ready for baptism. These are very humble people. The branches and wards are very small. They wanted the new converts to get the feeling of belonging to a larger group. To give them strength in numbers. So the decision was made to have all the baptisms for the month of August to be done on a special day, at a special time, all at the Stake Center.
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!

The smiles on the faces tell it all. What joy that comes when you are doing the things Jesus would have us do.

A group foto. Once again only part of the people. We were so touched by the testimonies and love shared by these people. We drove home knowing we had been witness to the work of the Lord.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Un Milagro!! (A Miracle!!)

If there could be one thing that could happen that would be the worst, what would it be? Well, losing the Mision Nurse’s cell phone would be close to the top. There must be at least 20-30 calls a day.
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.
Very sadly I walked back to my office and told Sister Jarvis and my husband that my phone was gone. I did not know it at the time, but Sister Jarvis quickly gathered three of the Elders and said, “Let’s get down on our knees and ask the Lord to somehow let the person who has the phone know how important it is and that we need it back." So they knelt and prayed.
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.
Milagro!!! (Miracle)
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

We're all in pieces. Fix us!

I made a jigsaw puzzle of a picture of Steve and me. Click on the link and you will be able to help put us back together. Leave me a comment telling me how long it took you to do it!

Help put us back together.... Click Here

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Argentina Style

Happy Birthday Elder Brown. We had a surprize party for him, complete with banner, hot wheel cars (party favors for the guys,) and new bath sponges for the girls.

Instead of cake I made real pumpkin pie, from fresh pumpkin. Pretty Yummy!

And he huffed and puffed and blew out the candle. I'm not sure what he wished for. You can make a birthday wish for him. Hey, 67 years old seems pretty young to us these days.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Yes, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough mixes! How many? Well, maybe a million! Nope. Seemed like thousands! Actually, 180 bags of cookie dough mixes.

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.!

Only thing, quite a few of the pensiones do not have ovens that work. Oh, well! I don't think that should stop them. When I made chocolate chip cookie dough, most of it was eaten before it ever got to the oven anyway!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Standing among Giants!

    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

Snow in Argentina!

We looked out our window and what did we see . . . snow!!!

The bush is a holly bush-ready for Christmas with lots of red berries, and now snow. Only one problem it is July.

It is so strange that we are in the middle of winter. Brr! It is really cold!

This is the yard next to the mission office. Almost enough snow for a tiny snowman. It was fun for alot of the missionaries whom had never seen snow. Enjoy your 98 degree weather and the swimming pool.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Coincidence?

A Coincidence?

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

Don’t Shake Hands!

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.

Pancakes, Eggs, and Maple Syrup!

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

There is Gold in That Thar Bowl

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.

And Angels Watch Over Them Night and Day!

    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:

  1. 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.
  2. Some angel prompted the other Sister to think clearly enough to question, "Could it be gas?"
  3. Another angel made the 911 # work, when everyone has told us it just doesn't work down here.
  4. This small community had an ambulance service that responded likety split.
  5. 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

“Que Linda”

Fall has officially arrived, and the leaves are falling. All of the sidewalks are covered with the leaves from these big, beautiful trees. All the neighbors up and down the street spend time each day sweeping and cleaning their own patch of sidewalk tile. Alas, no one has been cleaning the sidewalk in front of the chapel and the mission office. Probably everyone thinks someone else will do it. The piles of leaves were quite deep and very unsightly compared with all the other sidewalks.

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

Join us at the Mendoza Zoo!

Join us for a trip to the zoo! This was our wedding anniversary adventure. We took the afternoon off and just spent the day, just the two of us at this very beautiful zoo. We hiked up and down hills, and followed the road to discover all these wonderful creations of god.

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

Our New Apartment

Here are the stairs leading up into our apartment. We live on the second floor, but in Argentina the first floor is called Planta Baja--then the second floor becomes the first floor--go figure, the third floor becomes the 2nd floor etc. There are three floors in our building. This winding staircase goes all the way up. We even have an elevator, but we don't use it too often as sometimes it doesn't work and we would hate to be stuck there. On our top floor there is a roof patio called a terrazo. Ours doesn't have any patio furniture. It is fun to go up there at night and look at the stars and the city. There is no big dipper down here. It is a sky of all different stars. We are learning to find the Southern Cross. It is real tempting to want to throw water balloons down on everyone. So far we have resisted the urge. Sometines I go up there to the roof and exercise in the morning.

This is looking in from our front door. We bought a big red couch. We feel so daring. We like it alot.

This is on the other side of the living room, it is our dining room, looking into the kitchen. Whoops! I don't have any pictures of the kitchen . It is alot bigger than our other one. The stove and the fridge are the same size--tiny.
This is our fun bathroom. We even have a real tub, not very common down here. They don't put vanities in the bathrooms, so you just have to carry stuff into the bathroom and then out when you finish. We do have another bath, a very small half bath. It is so small, I think a very big person would not even be able to squeeze in.
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.
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