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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Beware the Car!

Our car is great but we are beginning to think that it is jinxed. With the history of the bumper getting scraped in the parking lot of the grocery store, a parking ticket in Tunuyan and window broken and our stuff stolen in front of the mission office what else could happen?. Well we were off doing inspections in Lujan just south of Mendoza when we took a wrong turn. It was a very low traffic area and surely a U turn would be easy. We pulled over a bit to the right to get a good wide turn and THUNK….. the right wheel went into a concrete ditch right down to the frame. How could that happen??? It looked clear there. Turns out that it was a short uncovered section of the ditch about 30 inches long (just enough for the wheel to fit) that was camouflaged by some weeds growing out of it. With the help of the two young Elders that were with us and some nearby construction workers we lifted it up and out of the ditch to asphalt with no damage done. Later that day as we returned to the car after an inspection and some repairs we discovered that the pigeons would add insult to injury by pooping large quantities all over the side and windshield of the car! Sorry, no pictures of either incident. Hmmmm….. not sure what else lurks out there in the future. Speaking of inspections, we went into the pension of the Office Elders and up on the cabinets there was a huge collection of cereal boxes! Good home for cockroaches I suppose but we did not find any. The siesta time where everything closes between 1 and 5pm continues to be an obstacle at times. On another inspection the bathroom sink was not useable due to a very bad leak in the drain. There was a missing compression washer in the piping. So, not realizing the time of day, we all piled in the car to go to the local hardware store only to find it closed for siesta. Not having time to wait around for another 3 hours Fred was thinking of some alternative way to fix the leak. In the meantime we swung by for the Elders to pick up their lunch from one of the church member’s houses. When we saw the woman hand them their lunch in a plastic bag, Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! Of course! A plastic bag just might do it! So Fred took strips of the plastic bag and twisted them up to fit around the pipe inside the slip-nut and BINGO! No runs, no drips, no errors. Sink back in service. Fred said that Ray Erickson, the guy who taught him the plumbing trade is probably rolling over in his grave (but more than likely with a smile). Along with visiting several less-active member families in our Branch, we are now officially teaching 3 non-members. The first being Delia Esponda, our landlady. We may have mentioned that her husband passed away in Jan. & now her niece just died from breast cancer. She’s been very sad and lonely and we asked if we could share a message of comfort with her. She was very open to that so we began teaching her about 2 weeks ago. We started with the Plan of Salvation which is usually the 2nd lesson, but due to the eternal aspects of it, we decided that would be better for her to hear it first. She is Catholic and has a pretty good understanding of life after death but not from an LDS perspective. She really liked what we taught her and has never hesitated to make another appointment with us. On Tuesday, we taught her the Restoration lesson which was all new to her. She said she believed the Joseph Smith story. As directed by President Goates, our mission president at our last Zone meeting, we asked her to be baptized!! Her eyes got very wide and she said, “That’s a difficult question!!” As we pursued it, she just kept coming up with that same sentence, so we thought it best to just let her think, pray & read about it some more. She said she enjoys our visits very much and welcomed us to come again on Fri. So stay tuned. Our other two are Bolivian teenage girls, 12 & 13, who belong to the huge family of Condos who live on a farm where they are currently growing a big field of garlic. We have visited there several times and always thought that these girls we’re baptized but they told us last week that they’re not. So we offered to teach them the lessons and they got all excited about it. So, on Sunday, they also had the Restoration lesson and we gave them each a Book of Mormon and had them write their name in it. Their older sister/aunt, Juana, is baptized but has been away so long that she’s sitting in on the lessons too. It’s so great to see the intense interest in their faces as we teach them & show videos! WE LOVE THIS WORK!! As we were leaving their house in the dark, Linda discovered the chair she'd been sitting on was wet and so was the back of her skirt!! When we got to the very l-o-n-g path that led from the house to where we parked the car, our flashlight wouldn't work. So here we were two diligent missionaries slowly walking along a path that had ditches across it every now & then and we couldn't see a thing, it was freezing cold and Linda had a wet skirt!! About half way there we realized, "Duh, we can use our phones for light!!"The youngest, Analis, is finally warming up to us as well. It was our turn to sponsor the monthly activity for the couple missionaries so we all went out to the Fournier Winery for a tour and lunch. A very hoity-toity restaurant. We had a great time and the food was spectacular! We left a lot of unused wine glasses. We all then went to our house to watch the video “A New Day for the Book of Mormon”. A great, sort of, documentary on the Book of Mormon. If you haven’t seen it, Google it and you can find it on BYU TV. Some very interesting nuggets in there. Cintia, a 24-year old member, is married to a man who is not a member of the church so we visited them to get better acquainted. She is trying her best to get her husband more interested in the church. Not sure yet what we can do to help. They have the cutest little girl named Flori. Now what could be cuter than a pretty little girl with a puppy and a balloon? Zone conference was this week. We got a lot of good instruction from President and Sister Goates and our other leaders. Of course afterward there is a lot of goofing around! Yep that’s our zone leader , Elder Gil, from Mexico City on top. He is actually one of the tallest Mexicans I have ever seen. About 6’3”.

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