Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sisters JoEllen and Vivian Come to Visit

I picked them up Monday morning at the airport and they stayed until Thursday. They don't look too bad after traveling for a day and a half to come visit. I was so happy to see them after a year and a half.
We had dinner in a lovely garden restaurant called Francesco.
You can't come to Mendoza without buying a leather coat. Both coats are reversible, and tipped with fox.
The architecture of the Salentein bodega is beautiful.
This storage facility below ground level stores 4,000 oak barrels, not counting the other larger barrels on the main floor which produce the expensive Primus wine which is only made in their best harvest years.

Visit to Mendoza Continued

Salentein wine tasting table, which is a 3 ton, 18 foot slab of marble that was lowered into the room before the ceiling was built. It had to be cut into 3 pieces to get it in place. Notice there is no wine in our glasses. The tour guides are always amazed when we leave without tasting a drop.
Walking through San Martin Park, enjoying the 100 degree weather.
In the Plaza Independencia there are many activities going on for children. Jugglers, face painters, story tellers, and play equipment. The children play in the fountains to stay cool.

You can't come to Mendoza without trying the beautiful fruit. We brought them to our local fruit and vegetable stand to get to know Mauricio and his brother Fabian.
You can't leave without seeing the Cerro de la Gloria statue, with San Martin the famous liberator (on horse) who freed the Argentines from Spain. It is the only hill in Mendoza, so we bring the new missionaries to look out and see their mission.

Next was a trip up to the base of Aconcagua. Looking out the opposite direction is this view of interesting rock formations. The rock up close is volcanic, but the foothills to the next mountain are smooth as glass, and then the rocky mountain in the background.
The mules were coming down off the mountain, hauling the trash and camping equipment from base camp. They seem to know their way and know that they are close to home because they are running.
We waited for a long time, hoping that the peak of Aconcagua would clear, but the clouds remained on the mountain. The danger of climbing Aconcagua, is that storms appear everyday on the tops of the peaks, and it snows even during the summer. The glacier on the peak is suppose to remain 900 feet thick all year long.
The Inca Bridge which is the rock formation across the river (yes that brown water down below is a river) was the only place the Inca's could cross the river after they traveled across the pass from Chile. They were believed to have gone as far as Uspallata (about an hour down the mountain).
At the Inca Bridge is a little out door market where you can buy things that were specific to Peru and the Incas. Dangling in my hand is a bunch of dried claws of animals that clank together when you shake them. JoEllen and I had a little band going. At the market you could buy carved onyx, hats, scarves and sweaters made in Peru, mineral rocks, leather items, etc.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January Zone Conference

This should have been the last picture- the Assistants at the end of the zone conference. Elder Martin and Squires sitting in President's office starting to plan for the next month. The hours are long, the associations are great, and the pay is unbelievable (life changing blessings). The Lord has a perfect plan for all our missionaries. At the most "invincible" years, all our great missionaries learn where happiness really comes from- giving, not getting. And in their "humbling" they learn more about themselves than any 4 year degree would teach. It is the most inexpensive education as far as money, but it costs in sacrifice.
It has been a long day, and Hermana's Deem, Flake, Rojas and Pintos wait for their ride to the bus terminal. They bring the suitcase to carry back all their "pedidos" (mail, packages, missionary needs).
During interview time with President, these smart missionaries found the only room with a fan- the primary room. The temperatures outside are close to 100 degrees. I hope they didn't bend any chairs. It is fun for them to get together and visit. (left) Elders Whitefore, Berezay, Ayer, Barra, Lloyd, Williams.
Just saying hi to all you mom's out there. (left) Elders Ayer, Berezay, Jones, Ashby, Williams, Ahmad, Moncur, Crowther, Martins, Eliason, Zullo, Linares.
Happy Missionaries- Elders Mitma, Williams, Brown, Deuel, Hopkin, Robinson, Harvey.
Elders Bodily, Garcia, Matin, Rogers, Conti, Toledo.
Elders Sanchez, Davis, Hawks, Morgan, Smith,Porres, Squires, Alfonso, Miller, Harker.
Collecting their pedidos- Elders Figueroa, Morinico, Hermanas Maucotel, Burnett.
Hermanas Pintos, me, Flake, Deem, Bonilla, Rojas, Warren.
Elders Cubilla, Bateman, Martin, Canaza.
We were privileged to have Dr. Petersen and his wife Eileen with us on the zone conference tour. This is their 3rd tour in our mission during their 18 months service as the Area Medical doctor. They leave next month for home (Burley Idaho), and we wanted to give them a little memory from the Mendoza Mission- a knife and fork set for their "asado" barbeque, and a rose stone bracelet for Sister Petersen (mined here in Mendoza). We will miss them very much, not only because Dr. Petersen is a great doctor, but because we consider them dear friends.
We are blessed to have some wonderful pianist in the mission, who are very accomplished. Here Elder Pedersen is playing the mission song for us, but he also played the musical number for his zone conference. The funny thing about this new group of pianists is that along with Elder Pedersen we have Elder Patterson, and Elder Peterson. It is quite a tongue twister.
Elder Hawks saying goodbye to the Rastelli family for the last time. He is leaving this transfer. Also Jonathan Rastelli has just received his mission call to Venezuela and will be leaving in a few months. Some lucky mission president has no idea what a fine young man he is receiving.
Hermanas Petersen, Maucotel, Burnett, Brown, Me, Villalba, Chamorro. (Thanks Sister Barlow for the necklace)
Our Zone Leaders helping out in the kitchen, Elders Wiest, Reynolds (Elder Meldrum just stopping in to see if there were any leftovers).
President with his bodyguards- Elder Castellon (Columbian military freedom fighter) and Elder Lebron (ex-Puerto Rican gang member). Nobody better mess with them.
Singing the mission song after their conference. Elders Martins, Guzman, Crowther, Fielding, Berezay, Whiteford, Barra, Rojas.
At all the zone conferences was a great video introducing March Madness, a friendly zone competition with brackets of eliminations. The movie was a hit, but I think the most laughs went out to Hermanas Brown and Jarvis as the cheerleaders. Thanks Elder Carter for your great editing skills.
San Juan and Chimbas Zone Conference.
Elder Smith and Elder Mayta (San Juan Zone Leaders)
Elder Bills and Elder Wajchman (Chimbas Zone Leaders)
Mendoza, Godoy Cruz Zone Conference.
Elder Stevenson and Elder Reynolds (Mendoza Zone Leaders)
Elder Wiest and Elder Briceño (Godoy Cruz)
Guaymallen, San Luis, Villa Mercedes Zone Conference.
Elder Toledo and Elder Gonzalez (Guaymallen Zone Leaders)
Elder Vazquez and Elder Bourdrero (San Luis Zone Leaders)
Elder Clayson, Elder Mendoza (Villa Mercedes Zone Leaders)
San Martin, Maipu, Valle de Uco Zone Conference.
Elder Ayala and Elder Rodriguez (San Martin Zone Leaders)
Elder Medina and Elder Kirk (Maipu Zone Leaders)
Elder Cardus and Elder Mamani (Valle de Uco Zone Leaders)
San Rafael, Alvear Zone Conference.
Elder Aparcana and Elder Roy (San Rafael Zone Leaders)
Elder Patterson and Elder Matson (Alvear Zone Leaders)
Special Guest Speaker- Miguel Pedersen
Last photo with the office couples for Dr. Petersen. (left) Elder and Hermana Brown, Elder and Hermana Petersen, President and I, Elder and Hermana Jarvis.
We love our Senior Couples. We are all in this together. We all volunteer our lives and our hearts to the service of our Heavenly Father. No where in the world would you find people willing to leave their families, businesses, and pay their own way to go to a foreign country (and some not even speaking the language) just because a prophet said- "WE NEED YOU."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January Consejos With the Zone Leaders

(Left back) Elders Boudrero, Mendoza, Mayta, Reynolds, Wajchman, Bills, Vazquez, Matson (Middle) Elders Cardus, Mamani, Toledo, Gonzalez, Ayala, Briceño, Kirk, Clayson, Stevenson, Patterson (Front) Elders Smith, Martin (AP) Aparcana, Roy, Squires (AP), Rodriguez, Weist, Medina.
The morning starts at the chapel with a brunch. The Zone Leaders (24) travel long distances to gather for their training. They are all wonderful leaders in the mission who have taken on an extra share of responsibility to keep the mission running within their zones. They take the pressure off the President and the Assistants. We couldn't do it without them.
All these fine young men are working on their English. I help them with their English and they help me with my Spanish. Some days I think their English is better than my Spanish.
Elders Wajchman (Buenos Aires), Elder Mamani (Buenos Aires), Elder Cardus (Spain), Elder Mendoza (Buenos Aires), Elder Toledo (Chile)
Just kicking back after a long day and a lot of food. Elders Gonzalez, Mayta, Ayala, Aparcana, Briceño.
Hermana Mallea putting the cream on the jello. It takes us all day cutting fruit and vegetables for salsa, and the salads. I buy 14 pounds of ground beef, 120 taco shells, 10 packages of cheese, and pounds of fruits and vegetables. In one hour time it will be all gone along with 2 sheet cakes and 2 kilos of ice cream.
Elder Reynolds sharing with me a book that his mother had written about her experience losing her husband three years ago in an accident, and caring for her seven children. Her book "Solo" talks about her steps through the process of grieving and then towards wholeness and healing. I wanted this picture of us together so I could put it in this book so I will always remember this fine young man who has been such a strength to his mother. He is a young man who is mature beyond his years.


Poor Elder Williams ended up waiting in Chicago for his visa for 2 months. He finally arrived safe and sound. But after 2 months of driving a car and living in a lovely apartment, we will have to whip him into shape. None of those luxuries found in Argentina. He will be lucky to have a working shower. So it is back to scout camp for Elder Williams. I think there will be no problem, he looks pretty tough. His companions are Elder Smith, and Elder Deuel.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Missionaries Arrive and Old Ones Leave

We have yet to have all of our missionaries arrive at the same time for the last 8 months. Poor Elder Luce arrived a few days late because of visa problems, but he is the lucky one because Elder Williams has still not arrived and it is going on two months. But Sister Kartchner still holds the record of serving 3 1/2 months in the US before her visa arrived.
No, this is not a line up shot. We take this picture in front of the solid wall at the airport to reproduce later and write their names and companions names above their heads. It makes it easier for the office staff to have names and faces all on one paper. (Left) Elders Fielding, Carr, Davenport, Tucker, Barlow, Moncur, Mason, Benitez, Hoggard, Boisados, Taylor, Ruiz, Hermanas Román, Whitmore.
You can't see us all melting, but it was 104 degrees and it was hot standing in the direct sun. We go to the top of the hill "Cerro de la Gloria" so the missionaries can view their city and where they will serve.
On their way to the mission home to have dinner with Hermana and President Lindahl.
Viejitos- the Oldies after they have had dinner and a testimony meeting with us in our mission home. We took this picture with everyone standing in a specific place so that it would match a picture that they all have of each other in front of the Provo temple before they left as a district from the MTC. I meant to scan it in, but didn't have time. We have the picture in our guest book in the mission home. This is a special group of Elders who all had leadership positions in the mission. They have remained close friends since the MTC and every zone conference looked for each other. We will miss these valiant young men. Each one went home exhausted from running so hard. (left) Elders Steig, Wells, Malakai, McNees, Workman, Slater, Jesperson, Ryan, Lambert. WE LOVE YOU!
Elder Malakai and Elder Ryan, using their Argentine flags as their superman capes. They truly are supermen.