President Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy came to Mendoza to speak to all of the missionaries in the mission. It was quite a crowd and all were edified and energized. If you look carefully you can see us in the front row.
We had Thanksgiving at the mission home with President and Sister Goates along with the other couples and presidency members and wives. Great grub! Fred's back went out and we were "immobilized" for the first part of December. Our branch had a surprise birthday party for Linda at our little place. They all showed up at our door at about 9:30 at night. Just the way they do stuff here.
We had two Christmas parties for half of the 200+ missionaries on one day and the other half on the next day. We were in charge of the piñata and Fred made a battle axe looking bat to swing at it which the young missionaries liked. Fred was doing some serious teasing of Elder Warner because he got chosen by Sister Goates to be Santa for the mission Christmas party.
What goes around comes around!
The branch Christmas party was next and Fred got selected to be Papa Noel (Santa) which he reluctantly accepted. Now Elder Warner and Fred can share Santa stories. The Santa suit was made of very flimsy see through material. Fred decided that if he was going to be Papa Noel he would have to be a well-dressed one. So we bought the material and President Polla's daughter, who is a good seamstress, made the new suit plus beard in two days! Fred discovered a Christmas fact; when you are Papa Noel you are popular with EVERYONE (except for the ones that are struck with sheer terror at the sight of the big guy dressed in red) from...
...cute little kids
to cool teenagers
to suave adults!
Well, it has not been all parties this month. Linda was called as 2nd counselor in the Young Women program. The president & 1st counselor are both 18 yrs. old and only speak Spanish, of course!! We have helped the Elders teach some people who have subsequently been baptized. But this month Fred was privileged to baptize two girls who we have taught all the way through the lesson process. Isabel Condo(12) and her aunt Yesica Condo (13).
They are two sweet teenagers that live on a farm in a HUGE 3-generation family. We are also teaching Isabel's younger brother and sister who may be baptized in January. Stay tuned!