Sunday, September 18, 2011


First Bi-Annual Argentina Mendoza Mission Reunion
September 30th Friday
5:00-8:00 PM
3000 South 210 East, Heber, Utah
Bring a Guest
RSVP facebook page Argentina Mendoza Mission-Lindahl

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Process of Saying Goodbye, and Closing a Chapter of Our Lives

We said goodbye to our Gringos the week we were leaving the mission, so they could go home the same week as us. Our last testimony meeting and dinner with a group of missionaries. The latinos will have their farewell dinner with the new President Avila in the week to come.
(left) Elders Petersen, Barrus, President, Orduña, Miller.
There was a special good bye dinner put on by the Rastelli's. President's counselors were there and the local Stake Presidents. We will miss their association and their valiant testimonies. They are what keep the Mendoza area moving forward in the church.
(left) Rastelli's, Pedot's(Godoy Cruz), Cabral's (Church Facilities), Chauque's (Guaymallen),
Acosta's, Sister Tidei (Maipu), Ojeda's (Mendoza), Ontiveros' (new Mendoza Pres.)
Our farewell lunch at the office with the office Elders (and a few oldies). Sister Packer made the delicious meal and the Elders of course ate every bit. The menu was sweet pork tacos. Thanks Sister Packer.
Saying goodbye to Carolina at the "libreria" were I buy the office supplies. She has become a good friend through the years, and we both laugh as I struggle to explain what I need, not knowing all the spanish words. We even got good at hand language (a family to sign language).
President's beloved bonsai was given to Laura Mallea our housekeeper. She knows how much joy it brought President each morning to water "Maria" and talk to her. Sister Mallea will take good care of her.
Had to take a picture of the guy at the Shell Station who pumped our diesel fuel every week. These people become our close friends as we visit with them weekly.
Our Assistants when we left were Elder Harvey and Elder Leal. They tried so hard to make our exit on the mission smooth and trouble free (if only!), at least they tried. The last week was a great trial of problems after problems. We tried to leave the mission in the best shape we could, and thus we were dead tired when the last day arrived.
Saying goodbye to Nestor Cabral, the man in charge of all the physical facilities in the Mendoza area. He is in charge of over a hundred church buildings, an almost impossible task for a man with a crew of three or four men. Nestor has become a dear friend and has always been there for President as they both worked through the problems of the mission.
The photo may be blurry but this moment will always be imbedded in our minds as we watched the Avila family get off the airplane and begin their adventure in Mendoza.
President Lindahl giving President Avila a big "abrazo."
The Avila Family from Buenos Aires, called to serve a mission in the Argentina Mendoza Mission. President Avila is only 47 years old and so will have the vitality and energy to get out and train our missionaries. He has served as an Area Seventy in Buenos Aires and so he knows the program, the pit falls, and what needs to be accomplished to grow the Mendoza Area.
Our last hug with Sister Laura Mallea our housekeeper. She has served us well, and has kept our confidences. She promises to never tell our secrets if we don't tell hers. A great arrangement. We will miss her shining face and beautiful smile. Thank you Laura for everything. We love you!
Showing the Avila's the 6th floor condo they will now call home. With bringing children on the mission, I am sure they will need to make some changes, but we hope that they are happy.
Saying goodbye to our dear friends Mauricio and Fabian Larrubia (and mom) at our fruit and vegetable stand. They have been helping us weekly for 3 years. It is hard to say goodbye to people who are so a part of your life. Though not members of our church, we can always hope that their hearts will soften and they will remember the times we shared our souls with them.
Good bye to our office Elder Hoggard (Historian), who has helped us put old videos back together, gather all the pictures of our missionaries, and print off our old Aguas de Cuyo newsletters through out the last 3 years. Thank you for your love and service.
(Elder Hoggard that is the cleanest I have seen your office in months. I hear children singing [mission office joke] ).
Antonio Lusvardi the man who made every repair in the mission office, chapels, mission home. He is a man who can fix or build anything. Again, not a member of the church, but possibly the most dependable human being alive. We had an on going joke with him when he would come to our mission home and fix something, we would offer him our "mormon wine" which of course was our famous grape juice grown and made locally in Mendoza. He thought the joke was funny and even found us another supplier of grape juice in town and brought us new bottles to try.
On the left is Elder Durran. He was a missionary who was called to serve in Venezuela but who couldn't do the walking because of a knee injury. He came and served with us for two months while they were evaluating his knee to see when he could return to the mission field. He was affectionately called my "esclavo" (my slave). He was so capable and intelligent he could do anything. Lucky mission president that gets him!
On the right is Elder Ivie the mission secretary. Most of Elder Ivie's time now is spent in trying to keep the missionaries in the field, since Argentina now only allows our missionaries a one year visa. Just another of the trials we experience here in this country.
Elder Packer from Layton, Utah who serves as our Postmaster and keeps the missionaries in supplies (books, pamphlets, garments, etc.). He also has set up an emergency program for the mission. He, Elder Boisados and I traveled the mission inspecting the pensiones and putting up the smoke alarms. The mission apartments are now in good shape, as we prepare the mission for a new President.
Elder Boisados the "pensionista" who is in charge of all the apartments and contracts. He was learning English words as we traveled the mission, while I was learning the Spanish equivalent. Thanks for handling such big problems Elder Boisados. We have changed every apartment (65) since we have been in the mission, trying to bring the conditions and surroundings of the apartments up to a higher level. Number one for safety, and number two, so the missionaries could concentrate on their work and not always be spending time trying to boil water to take a bath.
Sister Packer, my dear friend and confident. She is the mission nurse and I felt good that I was leaving our missionaries in her competent hands. Our plans are to meet up after they finish their mission (7 more months) and sculpt together.
Brother Moto, a man who works with Nestor and helps fix the chapels. He is the uncle of one of our favorite missionaries Elder Wajchman, who served as an Assistant.
The day President has been waiting for for months. The shifting of the mantel. I had to document the moment as President Lindahl passed the phone over to President Avila. In that split second, President Lindahl was released from his three year mission to the Argentina Mendoza Mission.
Just to make getting out of the country difficult, we ended up spending three hours at the airport paying visa fines and being interogated by the customs people. After a "gift" of 600 pesos they finally let us get on the airplane. As the airport official slide the 600 pesos in his pocket, it was great closure for three years of trying to not to be thrown in jail.
And so President James B. Lindahl and Sister Colette A. Lindahl say farewell to our dear, sweet, capable, spiritual giants- our missionaries. We will love you forever as our sons and daughters.
Thank you to all the parents out there who have raised up these fine young people to serve with us in Argentina. They are the Lord's army in these latter-days.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Last Few Weeks

Our travels took us through out the mission in two weeks. The picture above is of the type of desert scape you see as you drive down the highway along the foothills of the Andes Mountains. The desert stretches on for hundreds of miles. Low, flat desert. Similar to driving through Nevada or Utah.
San Juan is a friendly town, the people are warm and loving. Our greatest number of baptisms come from this area. Above is a palm tree that we have passed for three years going to the Chimbas Stake Center.
President wanted to turn around and take a photo of this man in front of his knife shop. The man was out on the sidewalk sharpening knives. You will see that his sharpening stone is placed at hand level which is attached to a chain run by pedaling the wheels of his stationary bicycle. Actually quite ingenious.
A close up of his work. It might be dangerous work, but I notice he still has all of his fingers intact, so the ACLU can rest assured that all is well.
Driving to the Retiro Chapel in Chimbas was quite interesting. You will notice the far off look in the eyes of our traveling Assistants Elders Bigelow and Roberts. We had to take a few detours along the way, which brought us through dangerous neighborhoods called "villas" where you shouldn't be driving a nice car. But this is what we go through to meet with our Elders for interviews.
As we arrive at the Retiro chapel, off in the distance we see two handsome young men walking towards us. Gratefully we greet them, since they are the ones with the keys and it is a very cold day in the San Juan area.
Our two Zone Leaders of Chimbas Zone, Elder Burns (Idaho) and Elder Menocal (Nicaragua).
When you look into these faces you can see why people are drawn to them. Not just because they are smiling, it is because they have something different in their eyes- it is a special light. That light is what we are all seeking. These two young men are living their lives as close to perfectly obedient than maybe they will their whole lives. Twenty four hours a day they are disciples of Christ. They don't come in when it is cold or too hot. In the "villas" or nice neighborhoods, they carry the same message of hope and love. So what you see in their eyes is Peace. They are doing what they were set apart to do, to bring others unto Christ.
Leaving the "villas" following the customary sight of a wagon drawn by a horse. These poor boys are picking up what useful metal or wood that they can to sell for money. These are the people who break your heart. They will grow up doing this, and their kids will do the same.
Perhaps our last walk through San Martin Park down from our home on Avenida Emilio Civit. We will miss our walks which aired our brains and kept us alive.
Our path takes us around the lake in the park. We figure our walk is around 4 1/2 miles.
Our favorite part of the walk is taking a moment to sit on the bench on the island and watch the sculling teams practice around the lake.
O.K. so it took us 3 years to do it. I told President that I was not going home before he took me to the little cafe across the street from our home and buy me a "factura" (pastry) and a cup of hot chocolate. After our walk in the park on our last P-Day we did just that.
Saturday afternoon the Paez's took us up the canyon to one of their favorite walking spots. It is an area 20 minutes off a gravel road where there is this little community where all the homes are made of the local rock, inside and out. They are very quaint. We had a nice hike on a very chilly day.
Bishop Paez got out of the car so we could take a picture of the ruins of the old indian fences that still survive. This divided that land and the animals they were keeping inside. The canyon are was full of granite rocks of various colors. There were green colors, orange, red and black.
As we were saying our goodbyes to them, Bishop Paez gave us a gift. It was some hand crafted items from Mendoza, a bracelet for me and a scarf and concho. I had to document though the sack that they were wrapped in- Vino (wine). I made a joke about the Bishop giving us a gift of wine. It was all in fun.
On the highway to San Luis we always see accidents and are delayed. This time is was a potato truck which jack-knifed and dumped its contents onto the road. They were salvaging what they could. The highway to San Luis is dangerous because of the high winds. Along the road there were many trucks pulled over waiting for the winds to calm.
Leaving the interviews in Valle de Uco, a group of latinos came out to take pictures with President. I thought it was a unique photo op myself. Our missionaries represent so many countries.
(left) Elders Obaldia (Panama), Gomez (Argentina), Portillo (El Salvador), Trujillo (Peru)
In San Luis we found our Elders happy and well, but COLD. We made it even colder by ordering ice cream for the zone. This is the Villa Mercedes Zone (minus the zone leaders from San Luis on the right standing). Sitting around the table on the left Elder Moon, Hyer, Esplin, Austin, Galdo. Standing left, Elders Tanner (how did you get in there?), Esplin, Boyle, Ostler (Elders Huntington and Burr)
Five kilos of ice cream gone. Added to the picture is Elder Yasan on the left.
Being a good zone leader and not wanting anything to go to waste, Elder Hyer volunteered to clean it all up (yes even the left over ice cream- isn't he so kind!)
Next we saw the San Luis Zone with a large group of sister missionaries. The lovely ladies are Sisters Crapse, Ochoa, Cuello, Pelton.
This picture took us about five tries. We all had our cameras on auto (all 10 seconds), but each of our cameras went off at different times. Most of the pictures have legs and arms hanging out, but we finally got one with all of us fully intact with heads attached. Don't we look like the proud mom and dad of so many children.
(back left) Elder Price, Baker, Burr, Huntington, Esplin, Tanner, Moscoso, Roncal
Hermanas Crapse, Ochoa, Cuello, Pelton.
To finish off the San Luis tour, President Mitillo of San Luis and his family took us out to dinner. We took this picture in the hotel lobby. They were very generous and kind and gave us two ponchos that we will always cherish.
We celebrated the birthdays of Sister and Elder Packer. Their birthdays were June 19th and 20th. How convenient to only have to have one party. We invited the office staff and the Assistants to come celebrate with us. Somehow I didn't think they would mind the roast beef and mashed potato dinner, or the carrot cake. We are so grateful to the Packers for all of their help during the last 10 months. They will stay under the direction of President Avila for the remainder of their 8 months. We can never give enough praise or gratitude for our senior couples who come here not speaking the language, but do what ever they are asked. They have earned their angel wings, and more.
Though you can't see them well, there is (left) Elders Boisados, Leal, Harvey, Ivie, Sister Pack, Elder Packer, Elders Hoggard, Bigelow, Roberts, and Elder Kammerman's elbow can just be seen.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Missionaries Arriving Late All Month

Each of the following Elders have arrived at various times in the month. President counted 10 times to the airport in one month. We also include in that number two sister missionaries who left the mission for health reasons.
Elder Trujillo arrived after visa problems with the Peru MTC.
Elder Moscoso from Peru with visa problems.
Elder Christensen from Brigham City came late after an injury in the Provo MTC.
Elder Lue from El Salvador with companion Elder Arrua
Elder Gutierrez (right) from Colombia with companion Elder Sierra. Lucky Elder arrived in time to receive the clean pension award (and chocolate) given to his companion.
Elder Garcia (right) from Guatemala with companion Elder Morinico.I don't think I ever put in Elder Gutierrez (right) from Grantsville with companion Elder Canaza. He arrived a month and a half ago, because he was fast tracked in the MTC because he already spoke Spanish. He arrived in the middle of a transfer also.