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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Where's Waldo?

We finally discovered why we were picking those wine grapes! While we were out there with our missionary tags on a fellow who was working the harvest came over and introduced himself and asked us about our service project. He told us his name was Waldo and that he had served a mission in Buenos Aires some years ago. He further explained that he was following the grape harvest and we all supposed that he lived somewhere other than here. He asked about conference and where it could be seen so we explained that it would be shown in Tunuyan, the next town north. We were invited over to Brother Coronel's house the following Monday night for Family Home Evening. Guess who shows up. Waldo with his wife and daughter. Turns out he lives right here in Eugenio Bustos until he has to return home way up north in Salta. He did not know the church was here. So he went to conference and will be out to church this Sunday. So where's Waldo?....he's back at church in La Consulta, Argentina thanks to a bunch of wine-grape-picking missionaries. That was the highlight of the week. One of our assignments from the Mission President, after he found out Fred was a Facilities Manager for the State Department, is to inspect all of the missionary living quarters. They are called pensions here. We went up to Mendoza Monday to check on the logistics of a trip 3 hours north to San Juan to inspect 24 pensions and deliver water filters in a three day trip. We parked our car in front of the mission office and went inside to get all coordinated for the trip. When we came out we discovered that the right rear door window had been smashed and was laying under the car. Our coats and the GPS had been stolen. Nobody heard the alarm. The thieves were obviously in a hurry and didn't take time to look into the shopping bag on the rear floor of the car or they would have seen our ipad there and surely would have taken it. So that delayed our trip for another day. We confiscated the other Toyota that the office missionaries use until our car could be fixed. So the next day we headed out for San Juan in the back seat of the mission pickup truck. Not too comfortable. The mission put us up in a nice hotel while poor Elders Ruiz-Diaz and Trelease who went with us had to sleep on the floor of the pension of some of their fellow missionaries. We felt terrible about it but we had nothing to do with any of the arrangements and not much could be done. The inspections were interesting. They varied from very clean and tidy (mostly the sister missionaries) to... they might as well be living under a bridge down by the river. The vast majority were okay but a few.....not so much. We considered threatening to take some pictures and sending them to their mothers. But you just gotta love and appreciate those young missionaries for all they are doing!!! One of the reasons we wanted to come to this particular mission in Argentina was to try and find some of Fred's family that used to live here. We have old letters from the 1920's with an address in San Juan. After the inspections we hunted down the address in the old part of the city. The exact address was not to be found but we spoke to some of the neighbors and they told us that the huge earthquake of 1944 levelled that part of the city. Over 10,000 people were killed and 90% of the buildings were destroyed. Perhaps some of Fred's ancestors perished in that group. In any case the old house that was built before 1900 no longer exists. On our way back we stopped in Watermelon Heaven! We bought a couple at a very reasonable price and headed for home. One for us and one for the young missionaries that slept on the floor. They were good but not the wody we grow and are used to every summer in Vacaville.

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