Monday, September 27, 2010

September Consejos

Zone Leader Council starts with a brunch- fruit, pastries and sandwiches. The Zone Leaders come from all 12 zones in the mission, some travel as far as 4 hours (5 hours on the bus) to arrive by 9:00. But don't they look wide awake and ready for the morning? They look great!
The monthly "Copa" winner, the Maipu Zone with Zone Leaders Elders Harvey and Ruiz.
They contributed 12 baptisms last month to help the mission break their long standing record of 103- with 125 baptisms. Thanks to all the zones who all met their goals.
After the 4 hour meeting, the missionaries are ready to eat, and eat, and eat. This is the famous taco dinner that they all wait for, with fruit, pasta, and jello salads. For "postre" is texas sheet cake and the famous Argentine "helado" dulce le leche and raspberry. For the north americans it is a taste from home, for the latinos- they just think we are weird for liking that hot mexican salsa. Say hi to Elder Daivs and Elder Ruiz! First in line.
Elder Fowler and Elder Conti ready to start into the food line. That Elder Fowler might look innocent with only two taco shells on his plate, but just give him time, I think he went through the line three more times.
Elder Sorensen stealing my place at the table to eat his dessert, Elder Medina, Alfonso, Gomez.
Elder Harvey and Elder Bigelow enjoying some time looking at some photos. It's good his mom can't see the cut under his left eye where a tree jumped out and whacked him! Those trees can be dangerous.
Getting comfortable on the sofa after lunch. Elders Benitez, Ruiz, Oliveros, Porras, Conti, Morera, Gimenez.
Amigos- Elder Mitchell and Elder Aparcana.
The group picture after lunch. President couldn't be with us for lunch, as he left Consejos and drove with Elder Frishchknecht to Chimbas to speak at the funeral for Patriarch Zanni who died yesterday. Here in Argentina they bury their dead the next day because they do not embalm.
(left back) Elders Davis, Smith, Barrus, Porras, Robinson, Lucas, Paz, Bills, Gomez, Gimenez. (left middle) Elders Oliveros, Ruiz, Harvey, Bigelow, Fowler, Medina, Conti, Morera, Benitez, Alfonso, Mitchell, Leal. (left front) Elders Hopkin, Wiest, Wajchman, Aparcana, Rodriguez, Sorensen, Reynolds.
Hard to get the "boy" out of the "missionary"

Friday, September 24, 2010

President tracting with his Missionaries

President in Valle de Uco with Zone Leaders Elder Morera (left) and Elder Mitchell. Out in the country you have to walk lots of miles to find the people to teach, but they found them. They The vineyards on the left are just starting to show their buds. The spring is here and the weather is beautiful.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Our Oldies Leave and Our New Missionaries Arrive

Our "viejitos" gathered for their "last supper" with President and me. It is always a bitter/sweet evening as we bear testimony of truth and acknowledge together that none of us on this mission could have lasted a day without the strength the gospel brings into our lives. But the hard days bring a clearer view to the brightness when again easier days shine forth. To know the sweet, you must taste the bitter. Like the sun shining after a storm, each day on the mission provides a school for life. All hard days will get better, and with sufficient hope we can see the silver lining (even a sliver of it) to let us know that we are watched over and loved .
(left) Elders Figueroa, Smith, Pres., Mayta, Kirk (front) Hermana Bonilla
I had to include this picture of our sweet Elder Crossa, who for the 3rd time has arrived at the Mendoza airport to be greeted. He has had to return home to Uruguay two times to be treated for an injury that occurred before the mission (rod in his femur). There are strict instructions in place now- no sports of any kind until after he goes home.
Hermana Diaz (Argentina)
Hermana Resquin (Paraguay)
Elder Hunter (Arizona)
Elder Bready (Washington)
Hermana Wilde (California)
Elder Passey (Alberta Canada)
Elder McClain (New Jersey)
Elder Jacobs (California)
Elder Burns (Idaho)
Elder Treadway (Arizona)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Great Week

The week was the beginning of the three month long assignment to speak in the 9 Stake Conferences in the mission. Chimbas was the first stake, which is in San Juan. We took Elder and Sister Nope with us (our new senior couple) and they had the opportunity to bear their testimony in Spanish in both Saturday and Sunday meetings. They did a great job! During Priesthood meeting on Saturday Sister Nope and I went to visit President Noriega of the San Juan Stake. They have a precious family. We love the Noriega's. Even with their humble surroundings they wanted to give us flowers (laying on the table) as a gift for our service.
This young man is a special friend. His name is Daniel Fernando. He lost a kidney and the second was failing, there was little hope for his surviving. President gave him a blessing the first year that we were in the mission. His health has greatly improved and we like to keep tabs on him (sorry caught him with his eyes closed).
Christian Funes a potential missionary. He will be putting his papers in this year.
Every Stake Conference we have taken a picture of these two young ladies and their mother. Sandra, Mother, Paola Rojas. This sweet young lady by my side is one of the most beautiful young ladies in Argentina. Problem is she can't find a husband- as you can see she is as tall as I am. I feel so bad for her, if only she could go to the states where we grow returned missionaries so tall.
Saturday morning before we traveled to San Juan, President and I walked around the lake by our home. They were having club races. Jim took this picture with his phone. The teams raced in 4 man, 2 man, and 1 man boats. They came from Chile, Buenos Aires, and Bariloche (South Arg.)
After the training this week in the San Martin Zone, President took the missionaries for ice cream. It was a beautiful day to sit outside along the street and enjoy the sunshine.
We wanted to take this special picture of the Assistants who helped us achieve the 125 baptisms this month (August numbers). Today we have new assignments for 3 of them and so we wanted to take this picture before they left.
(back left) Elders Wajchman, Medina, Paz and Smith (our traveling AP's)
They have been presenting and training the 8 new focuses the church is emphasizing for missionary work.
(floor left) Elder Wiest and Rodriguez the office Assistants to President.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Assistants Trip to Aconcagua

President took his Assistants, Elders Wiest and Rodriguez to Uspallata (part of a District) for a conference. After the meetings, they were so close to the highway to Aconcagua, they continued on the road up the canyon to view the peak. The day was cold and windy, but they were able to get glimpses of it when the clouds would part. As you can see in the picture below, the peaks are covered with clouds. Some say that the peak creates its own atmosphere and cloud cover because the snow never melts from the peaks and the wind is always swirling.

Aconcagua, "The Sentinel of Stone". Its name has roots in the Quechua language and when translated means "The Sentinel of Stone".

Aconcagua, at 22830 feet (6959 meters) is the highest point in the Western and Southern hemisphere, towering above the surrounding peaks in the Argentine Andes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Can you say cold?

We all woke up to snow covered mountains again and a winter chill. Our missionaries are so-o-o cold. They only have small space heaters to keep them warm. Elder Olson and Elder Eliason sent this picture hoping we would feel sorry for them. Only problem is the heater in our apartment is hardly ever working- so atleast we could commiserate together. Spring is trying to appear, but it is hard to see the buds on the trees through the rain and sleet.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Consejos August

The Zone Leaders gathered for a quick breakfast before Zone Leader Consejo. The night before they gathered for games and an asado (BBQ) to celebrate breaking the mission baptism record of 104. The mission had 125 baptisms in August. These are the men who worked the hardest to get those numbers.
Elder Harvey and Ruiz won the award for the winning zone, Maipu. All the missionaries in that zone will be celebrating. The award is just not based upon baptisms but other criteria like open the mouths, progressing investigators, church attendance, and fellow-shipping. Actually Maipu didn't have the most baptisms, but it is prorated according to the number of missionaries in the zone also. It takes a mathematician to figure it out.

Elder Hopkin (left) and Elder Robinson (right) of Godoy Cruz were second place, and Elder Morera (holding the tea pot) and Elder Bigelow (2nd left) from San Juan were 3rd place. All of these zone leaders did a fantastic job and their numbers were off the charts. But the math dropped them into 2nd and 3rd place.
All the Zone Leaders of Mission Mendoza (12 Zones)
(kneeling) Elders Rodriguez, Medina, Wiest (AP's) Hermana Lindahl
(left) Elders Leal, Bills, Oliveros, Robinson, Fowler, Hopkins, Ruiz, Harvey, Porras, Meldrum, Canaza, Morera, Gimenez, Sorensen. Elders Smith, Paz, Wajchman (AP's) Aschieris.
(Stage) Elders Mitchell, Lucas, Linares, Frischknecht (sign that says 125 baptisms) Elders Ashby, Campbell, Snow, Barrus, Bigelow.
Elder Oliveros (now a zone leader) receiving the district leader award for last month.