Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Missionaries Arrive

The prison line up- just kidding! At the airport we take the picture so we can write above their heads on the photo their names and who their companion will be (once President give us the word).
(left) Elders White, Hyer, Menocal, Quintero, Barton, Hermanas Ochoa, Gutierrez, Elders Arrúa and Wilson.
For the Americans the flight here is a long day of two flights to get to Buenos Aires, a change of airport, then wait all day long to get your flight to Mendoza. Their first airline flight was to be at 2:20, then it was 6:30, but by the afternoon, it was 9:30 PM. They arrived too late to eat at the mission home, so we brought them to the offices and fed them sandwiches. They were tired (especially the Americans) but by the next morning, and after a good shower, all was well.

Viejitos Leave the Mission

Always a hard moment for President and I. We were especially close to Elder Squires who served as assistant to the president for a number of months. He will go home and do well no matter where he settles. Elder Boudrero was a zone leader and served long and well. The Hermana's were two of our best. We are so happy for them as they leave the mission to be greeted at the other end by awaiting, admiring family members. We send our love and thanks to their families.
(left) Hermana Llancanoe, Hermana Arrieta, Elder Squires, Elder Boudrero.
Aren't these two beautiful Hermanas.

Winner of Locura de Marzo- Villa Mercedes

Villa Mercedes took all the prizes this month. They won the Locura de Marzo game (March Madness) Best Zone statistics, and best district. Above is shown the Zone Leaders, Elder Mendoza and Elder Smith. We are so proud of them. Villa Mercedes Zone was just organized this year, being split off from the San Luis Zone.
Elder Sorensen and Elder Aschieris, both district leaders in Villa Mercedes and winners of the best district statistics for March. They will have their names engraved on the cup. These young men worked so hard for this. All of their numbers were perfect- on all key indicators.
We almost got the whole zone up into a pyramid. But what you don't see is Elder Redd climbing from behind. The next picture will show how well that went.
(bottom left) Elders Alvarado, Mendoza, Bills, Sorensen (middle) Elder Aschieris, Squires, Smith (top) Elders Garcia, Martinez (and almost Elder Redd)

So the March Madness game was based upon the regular missionary statistics, but played like the March Madness basketball elimination strategy. The winners- dinner with President and Hermana in the mission home and a Match Madness t-shirt (with a professionally designed logo by Ryan Lindahl) Second place- Alvear Zone, all awarded a hand signed tie by President (thanks to Tara Bowen) Third place- Ice cream party (paid for by Hermana Lindahl)
It was my choice as to what to cook, and I took the easy way out. Just a good home cooked roast beef, mashed potatoes dinner from the states (and yes that platter was full of meat five minutes before the picture was taken)
The bag game was a hit. To start there was a gift bag in the middle of the room. The missionary had to lift up one foot and bend down without touching the floor and grab the bag in his mouth. Each time the circle completed the task (eliminating as they went) the bag was cut down lower and lower until we ended up with a winner. This was Elder Squires who almost won the game.
This was Elder Squires after his last try.
Elder Redd for the win!
Elder Squires and Elder Redd with a winning pose.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Elder Frost Finally Arrived

Elder Frost from Arizona arrived 5 weeks late, but his visa finally arrived and after serving a few weeks in Colorado, we finally have him here where he is suppose to be. He will be great.
It is always great to see our new missionaries as they come through the airport security door. It is the beginning of their dream (hopefully not nightmare) and each one adds so much to the mission. The Lord knew what he was doing when he sent the "weak things of the world" to bear testimony, because when they are humble, the Lord can do mighty things with them.

Saying Goodbye to the Jarvis'

Sister Ruth Jarvis and Elder Kelly Jarvis from Heber Utah will be greatly missed in the Mendoza Mission. Let's just say our right and our left arm were just cut off. Sister Jarvis served as the financial secretary and Elder Jarvis and personal secretary to President and also a counselor in the Mission Presidency. Their assignments were many and they completed them well. So now we will rely on the Brown's for maturity and wisdom in the office, or as President likes to say, the indians will take over the fort! Notice all three carts are full of luggage, all belonging to the Jarvis'. This picture is priceless, it seems they have their whole lives packed up in these suitcases and now they are headed home to do...we don't know...and they don't either. But I am sure all their children and grandchildren will find a few things for them to do. Their family will be forever blessed because of their sacrifice and dedication in the building of the Lord's church.

St. Patricks Day at the office

Sister Jarvis, being from Chicago where they have a large population of Irish people, loves to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. She called everyone early in the morning and told them to wear something green to the office (I had visions of elementary school and being pinched if I didn't).
She and Sister Brown had put together a Green-everything lunch. Sister Jarvis made the cream of brocoli soup and green salad, Sister Brown made the green jello dessert and purchased every green colored food there was in the store. It was a fun lunch, and boy will we miss Sister Jarvis when she leaves. There goes the fun...
(left) Elders Cooper, Carter, Jarvis', Elder Rodriguez, President, Brown's and Elder Cabranes.

I know it isn't green, but Sister Jarvis and Brown have been passing these treats in the bread store since they have arrived and always wanted to try them. So the party turned into a goodbye party for the Jarvis' and Sister Brown bought this tray of desserts just so Sister Jarvis could try them before she left. As always, they looked better than they tasted.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chimbas Stake Conference and Zone Conference

Chimbas Stake Conference is always very well organized. They have the highest attendance of all the stake conferences, around 800 people. Elder Zivic was presiding at the conference, he is in the Area Presidency of South American South Area. The choir did a lovely job of singing, and these children were part of the opening song.
Some of you might remember the story of Walter. He is now a friend of ours. He was the little boy who had a dirty shirt and unwashed face from last years conference. During my talk, Walter left his seat and came up and sat with President for some reason. Jim determined that the Lord was telling him something and so he asked Walter to come and stand next to him at the beginning of his talk. He spoke of the difficulty of so many to stay active in the church, and then he asked Walter how old he was (11) and then where his parents were (at home) and if he came to church on his own each week (he said yes) and then Jim asked him, but WHY are you here at Stake Conference? And Walter said, "because I am suppose to be here. This is where God wants me to be." I will say it again- just watch this little boy, he will be somebody great someday.
I took pictures with these sisters again at this conference. I had made copies of our picture for them from last conference and one of them opened their scriptures and the picture was taped inside. Again it is reminder that we are on the Lord's mission, and we are planting seeds of hope and desire in regards to missionary work. (left) Sandra, Abigail, Paola Rojas.
The wonderful Cataldo family. The three children in front are baptized, but the parents are not members. The dad and mom are working on getting married and the Dad to stop smoking. We hope that their experience in conference helped them along their way.

Another view of the scripture work table I had set up for my part of the interview time. They were cutting and punching holes in their practice cards for next months scripture chase. Happy faces! So you mom's stop your worrying, they have it all under control.
Our two Hermana's in Chimbas, Hermana Roman and Villalba.
Scripture Chase this month has been very competitve. Each month we add 20 more.
The San Juan Zone all decided to show their loyalty by wearing red ties. They are one of the only zones with no sisters. They are looking great in their position for Locura de Marzo.
Pre-lesson on talking and communicating- planning. They were trying to un tangle the mess of hands (everyone gets in circle and grabs hands from two hands across from them) They are put in two groups, they try having only one person talk and giving directions, then they do it again and they are able to talk to each other and figure it out with pre-planning. Of course the latter works better.
San Juan/Chimbas Zone Conference
San Juan Zone Leaders- Elders Smith and Mayta
Chimbas Zone Leaders- Elders Wajchman and Medina

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March Zone Conferences (minus San Juan/Chimbas)

A surprise visit from two former Hermana Missionaries. Teresa Arcos and Annalia Tolaba from Buenos Aires. We miss them terrible, but it was great to give them another hug and wish them the very best in their lives.
San Luis/Villa Mercedes Zone Conference
Zone Leaders sitting right side of President
San Luis- Elders Bodily and Vazquez
Villa Mercedes- Elder Smith and Mendoza
Mendoza/Godoy Cruz/Valle de Uco Zone Conference
6 Zone Leaders sitting directly in front of President
Mendoza- Elders Stevenson and Reynolds
Godoy Cruz- Elders Zullo and Briceño
Valle de Uco- Elders Mamani and Wiest
Guaymallen/San Martin/Maipu Zone Conference
Zone Leaders in front
Guaymallen- Elders Boyd and Gonzalez
San Martin- Elders Ayala and Rodriguez
Maipu- Elders Kirk and Paz
San Rafael/Alvear Zone Conference
Zone Leaders on floor
San Rafael- Elders Roy and Aparcana
Alvear- Elders Matson and Patterson
Work Station for Hermana Lindahl while President is interviewing. This months work station included gift of cleaning cloths and sponge and a quiz as to how to use them properly. Review of how they spend their money (most show proof in their daily planner), English homework for Latins, cut out and hole punch scriptures for the scripture chase for next month. Also receive new Book of Mormons, a red and blue pencil, book marker, scripture marking trail to mark off the chapters, and a great talk by Pres. Benson on flooding the world with the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon challenge starts April 1st, and just like last year, we will all read the Book of Mormon in 66 days, approximately the same amount of time Joseph Smith took to translate the records.

I know you are all wondering what is Hermano Arce doing singing to us again- he and his wife and daughter returned to the mission from Salta Argentina where they live, just to visit us. He brought his costume and guitar to serenade us. His wife is not well and so he brought her here for one last trip.

Jonathan Rastelli (in the middle) will be leaving this month for the MTC in Buenos Aires, hoping to get his visa so he can serve his mission in Venezula.
All our new missionaries who have arrived since the Arce's left the mission.
The scripture chase got a little heated. But all in good fun. This was a great way to wake them up after lunch. The competition is stiff, and we know they will come better prepared next zone conference, because no one knows who will be called up, or even if the whole zone has to find the scripture.

OK what is Hermana Lindahl doing in the zone conference pictures in her p-day clothes. Actually the day after our San Rafael Zone Conference we stayed and went through a local bodega and watched them pick, separate, grind, and store the grape juice in large vats.
First they pick them.
Then they separate them and pick out the leaves and branches that might have gotten in.

The grapes go into a vat that moves them into the machine that separates the grape from the stem.

The stems come out one side (this side) and the grapes go out the other side.
This is a mountain of grape skins. They shovel these into a truck and bring it out to the fields to make into fertilizer.
A stack of stems to be broken down into fertilizer.
The laboratory where the real work is done, testing the juice and it's fermentation.