Friday, July 24, 2015
We hope you guys are enjoying summer there because it is COLD here with temperatures down to freezing and below almost every night. Our monthly outing with the other couples here was at the Mendoza Zoo. It was a fun outing were we saw lots of interesting and some boring animals. One interesting fact is that some of the animals have escaped from their cages and still hang around the zoo in the woods and shrubbery there. The lion walking around loose was cool. JUST KIDDING. It was mostly monkeys and some other animals we had never seen before. One of the highlights was watching a couple of grizzlies dancing, so to speak. Elder Carrea from Chile decided to try out his new theory on “scripture study by osmosis” during a break at our District Meeting. I think the idea needs a little work yet. Then there are the gangsta sistas from Valle de Uco Zone flashing their gang signs. No wonder half of our zone got transferred this time! Our Tres A La Vez in La Consulta was a smashing success. Like the others it ended with a talent show where we had lots of participants. We did our part by getting all of the missionaries from the US to do that long standing tradition that everyone knows but can’t remember exactly when or where they learned it; that all-inclusive dance; that icon of American culture; the HOKEY POKEY! It went down with resounding applause and cheers from the crowd. Now all of the Latino missionaries that saw it are doing it! The whiteboard exercise down at the town square was highly successful. We got over 50 contacts with addresses to follow up on. More than all the other towns combined! I love this town! Hmmm… looks like Elder Gray is also testing out the “scripture study by osmosis” theory. Pension inspections produced another goofy hat to try on.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
"Tres a la vez" is a program in our mission that focuses on baptism, retention and reactivation. Our zone in Valle de Uco had an all-day event planned for contacting investigators, study, contacting potential investigators and a talent show. We were a bit skeptical about the whole thing that these young missionaries had planned but went along to support the activity. It was in another town, Tupungato, where all 16 missionaries in the zone would swarm down and focus on the tasks at hand. Normally there are only 6 in that town. Each companionship was assigned three investigators to visit that we had never met. Then we met back at the church afterwards. First house - the wife answered the door and promptly waved us off. Second house - nobody home. Well our skepticism was really off the chart at this point and we figured we'd be back to the church in no time. The third house was a couple in their 70’s named Villaverde. We had such a wonderful time getting to know them. It was an awesome experience! We ended up spending an hour or more with them sharing a video and teaching them about the restoration. Had to slap myself for lack of faith. After lunch and study time (during the siesta), we headed downtown to a plaza where the plan was to have a couple of whiteboards with markers and ask people on the street to write down some of the things they felt were a blessing in their lives. Skepticism was raging again. Turns out people were happy to do it! We spent an hour or so and the young missionaries got over 20 names and addresses to visit at a later date! Another slap for lack of faith. I cannot think of another activity I have ever seen that produced so many contacts in such a short period of time with such easy effort. The talent show was fun and many of the ward members and missionaries took part. One guy sang three songs that were at the professional level. Absolutely amazing. Got home late but the day was a success we will not soon forget it. The Quecanos are such a sweet family. They are the ones who cooked the yummy bread in the brick oven. They invited us over after church to have "asado" for lunch. Asado is roasted meat cooked over coals much like a barbeque. They fired up the brick oven again where they divided the coals in three parts. Cooking sliced potatoes in the oven…..heating water…..and cooking the asado. The meat was beef ribs, sausage and some sort of sliced beef. Done to perfection it was scrumptious! We get such a kick out of Sister Quecano. She is a bit shy and is only about four and a half feet tall but such a generous and sweet personality. We are still teaching the Condo's teenaged girls. They have a tentative baptism date for August 15. Their 23 year old brother, Jose, who has not been out to church in years, is helping and we are hoping he and the rest of the family will take this occasion to renew their commitments and activity. Stay tuned!