Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Great Weekend

Our dear friends from the MTC in Provo, President and Sister Lyon. President Lyon serves as temple president in Santiago Chile. We all spoke this weekend at the Godoy Cruz Stake Conference. He probably is the reason we are serving a mission, so when we saw him I didn't know whether to kick him or give him a hug (it all depends on the day).
Our new senior couple (middle) newly arrived at the airport, Elder and Sister Jarvis. We feel they were prayed here. What tremendous faith they have. Elder and Sister Quist (right) will be leaving in February. We just pulled them in from out in the countryside. It's almost a party!
With Richard and Vicki in the car we were just out driving and discovering new things. Out of the blue there arose out on the horizon a brand new amazing wonderful WalMart! Only 5 minutes from our home. Some of you just will not understand the excitement of the moment, even Vicki who doesn't do WalMart was thrilled! She even approved the bathroom for human use.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Week with Richard and Vicki Willes

At the Valle Grande Dam above San Rafael Argentina. This is a beautiful area along a rushing river of turquoise blue. The whole area reminds us of southern Utah.
Good Friends Forever! Richard Willes and Jim at Aconcagua.
A "proud moment." At the zoo with the Richard and Vicki. I loved this picture of our friend the bengal tiger.
This is a National Geographic moment Richard caught on the camera. It was as if they were just waiting for us to take the picture. The Lion King has nothing over on us!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Antonio Larrosa Family

Today in Maipu, Jim and I spoke at a Stake Conference with Elder Desilva and Elder Zivic. It was a wonderful day. They released the Stake President who had had a stroke, and this wonderful man with slurred speech bore such a sweet testimony, everyone was in tears. He was helped to the stand by his counselors and they stood and held him there as he talked. A man came up to Jim after the meeting. The above picture is of he and his family. His name is Antonio Larrosa, and when he was 14 years old he was baptized in Piriapolis, Uruguay. The missionary who gave him his baptismal interview to be baptized in Uruguay was Elder Jim Lindahl. They had a great time swapping stories and comparing who they both kept in contact with. There of course is no greater reward in the church than to see your missionary success 38 years later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Old Missionaries go home

They have complete what they were called upon to do- they worked miracles in the lives of so many people, but the greatest miracle was listening to each of them bear testimony of their own changed lives. Bien hecho- Elder Park, Hermana Kirkham, Hermana Cherry, Elder Estock, Elder Quezada, Elder Segovia, Elder Marquez, Elder Arias, Elder Hoschouer, Elder Love.
(ABOVE- 1st Elder Arias' parents, 2nd Elder Love's parents, 3rd Elder Marquez's parents)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Missionaries Come

Elder Chase, Elder Morgan, Elder Briceño, Elder Smith, Elder Cardus, Elder Kirk, Hermana Villalba, and Hermana Pintos. 
Elder Briceño, from Peru, has a great conversion story. He hung with a rough group of young men in the city of Lima. One day that rough group of young men played a trick on their friend. They saw the Mormon Missionaries on the street and suggested to them that their friend would be a great contact. The Missionaries knocked on his door and he was later baptized. Now that is the kind of trick more people should play on their friends.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Bears (oh my!)

The Mendoza zoo was a once in a life time experience. We were experiencing animals four feet from where we were standing, not like San Diego Zoo where you have a hard time even making out the animals in their cages. We were thinking this was great just to take pictures of the lions and tigers almost within arms reach, when we came across the zoo caretakers along the path. Jim spoke with them for awhile and the next thing we know they are our personal guides, allowing us to pet the mountain lion named Marcas, pet the bengal tiger, feed the monkeys popsicles, and feed the elephants. The mountain lion is their favorite and they even go into his cage to feed him he is so tame. The others are not as tame, and one even hissed and leaped at me hitting the chain link. Took two years off my life. The bengal tiger we were able to pet only while sitting and not looking at them, or they won't come near. Everywhere we went we could see the liability and danger to the public, yet the caretakers said nothing bad had happened in the 105 years it has been open. Obviously the teenagers in Mendoza are not like the ones in the states, who look for ways to get around the rules. All in all, we would say that the zoo experience tops anything we have done here in Argentina.

Feeding the elephants

This is my National Geographic picture of the elephants in their enclosure

The elephant almost pulled Spencer over the wall when he took the eucalyptus leaves. He touched the snout and he said it felt as hard as the rock wall.

Melinda dantily feeding her elephant. These are around 35 years old.

He missed one of his leaves, so I was feeding it to him. The trainer said to watch the end of the snout as it can pinch down tight. I could have lost a finger in that exchange. 

Feeding the Bengal Tigers

Jim actually put his hand in the bengal tigers mouth. We were instructed not to look at the animals because they would not come over if we were staring at them.
Melinda was bit more cautious, smart girl.
He was chewing my hair!
Spencer obviously loved it!
Potential danger everywhere you went.

More Zoo Pictures

This lion is four years old, it was raised there at the zoo
There were about 7 Grizzlies all in an open pit area that was easily accessible from the top path above their arena.
The Condor is their national bird. This one was just warming it's wings in the bright sunlight. Their wing span is 7-10 feet wide. 
This is Spencer's National Geographic shot of a monkey sitting by him.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mendoza Zoo with Spencer and Melinda

The zoo was a once in a life time experience. I have over a 100 pictures. I put the picture of the lioness in to show how close we were to the animals. The monkeys were just out in the trees swinging, and that Jacob's sheep has four horns (only found in S. A.). No barriers, no motes, just a little chain link fence. In many of the cage areas you could climb up the rock on the side and jump right in. There were ladders down into the cages for the water animals that anyone could climb down, and the steep terrain was sometimes a hazard. This was the most tranquil zoo experience I have ever had. The animals looked well cared for and healthy. 

Feeding the Monkeys

Obviously not a monkey, but a cute picture of a seal, you could touch his nose. He was all by himself in the enclosure. Sad.
Melinda feeding  Marco the maucho monkey a popsicle. They chew on them just like humans.
Melinda feeding the female. Marco was so mad he threw himself all over the cage and made a racket.

Colette feeding her monkey.

Trip to the Aquarium with Spencer and Melinda

Uncommon friends!
This aquarium in Mendoza was on a blog as being an excellent aquarium with thousands of fish. We all got a good chuckle over that one when we toured the place in 5 minutes and the cost of admittance was only $1.50. The alligators and turtles were cute, laying on each other as if they were buddies. The Sea turtle was huge, and worth the visit. The problem is the water & animals were not well cared for and it was hard to see in the dark, damp enviornment.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

La Tupiña Restaurant and Salentein Bodega

So you don't miss the artistry of the photos- the picture at the top was taken at the famous La Tupiña restaurant (look at blog for Sister Allred and Dibbs). Jim caught Spencer and Melinda in the reflection of the glass and the table. I tried my hand at it and caught the bodega in the reflection of the glass, with the Salentein insignia above. We had another 15 course lunch at the restaurant, and we almost have the tour of Salentein memorized. What a joy to have our family here with us!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Inca Hotel

Spencer and Melinda are standing in front of the Inca Hotel. It is a hotel that was carved into the stone. A 20 room hotel that had bathrooms with springs popping out from the floor. It was closed in 2005 because of deterioration. It looks more like a prison to me. Above, We are bartering for Inca hats for the grandkids for Christmas. Melinda is wearing a new Inca sweater because it was pretty windy. The hotel is on the way to Aconcagua.

Aconcagua with Spencer and Melinda

Near the border of Argentina and Chile is Aconcagua, the highest peak in the northern hemisphere. It is almost 23,000 feet. We are standing at the trail head to the peak at around 11,000 feet. It was very windy and cold. We braved it for the picture. The climb to Aconcagua is known as the highest hike in the world. You only need crampons to climb over snow and ice, but no other climbing equipment is needed. Still people die every year. It takes 12-18 days because of the need to acclimate at various levels. You can't see it well, but on the right side of the mountain is a sheer cliff of snow that must be 200-300 ft. thick. One of the wonders of the world. We made sure President didn't cross the border or his mission boudaries.