Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More travels around and about

Last week we took the sister missionaries, Sisters Brown/UT and Adair/AZ, on a little drive and here are some of the pictures. 
We found this river, which runs into the Pirquitas Dam, and walked across this foot bridge and enjoyed the cool water (dipped our feet in the water) and the cooler weather.

Another monument but what I really liked were the cactus plants all around it.

Legend has it that Gauchito (Cowboy) Gil was an outlaw but would rob from the rich and give to the poor - a 19th century Robin Hood.  He was hung for his wrong doings but prior to his hanging he pledged to become a miracle worker.  It's very common to see these memorials and red flags all over the country along roadsides.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Wonderful Zone

Monday is transfer day...again...  They seem to come so quickly.  Right now we don't know who will be transferred but we do know who will be leaving for home - Elders Adams/TX and Nitta/CA.  They'll be greatly missed.  The zone leaders bought, with money provided by Presidente Valdez, the stake president, some facturas (Argentina's version of pastries) and juice.  What was left?  The empty juice cartons.  So we got a picture of the pyramid of juice cartons and missionaries.

Front row:  Sisters Brown/UT and Adair/AZ, Nancy and Doug
Middle row:  Elders Auma/Peru, Crespin/El Salvador, Hughes/UT, Adams/TX, Nitta/CA, Correa/Chile, Gossling/GA, and Bilbao/Chile
Back row (can barely see some of them): Elders Egbert/UT, Guymon/UT, Araya/Chile, Perez/CA, Burton/CA, and Critchlow/UT

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Doug was asked by an investigator, Exequiel Barros, to perform his baptism yesterday, which he gladly complied with.  This morning we attended another baptism of an 8 year old, Asael Cano, who's part of a family we've been visiting.

Elder Araya/Chile baptized Samuel, Elder Critchlow/UT baptized María, and Doug baptized Exequiel.  Below:  Elders Perez/CA and Bilbao/Chile with Exequiel and Doug.  As you can see, missionaries are always super happy at baptismal services.

Laura and Ezekiel Cano with their soon-to-be-baptized son, Asael.  Below, some additional family members with us in front of the chapel.

Not a bad way to begin the Sabbath day!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Drive in the Mountains

For P-day today we decided to go for another drive as we learned a road had recently opened between two pretty little towns - La Puerta and El Rodeo.  We really enjoyed the drive as it was so scenic as well as much cooler.

We drove from La Puerta over to El Rodeo and loved the scenery.  They'd done a lot of blasting away of the mountain to make room for the road.  It looked like in parts they'd even changed the flow of the Rio Ambato/Ambato River.  More greenery, which is always such a beautiful sight to behold!

As we reached El Rodeo we saw their statue of the Virgin Mary.  Then as we drove further we came across this very interesting statue paying tribute to the men who built the road.  Just beyond the statue was an intriguing monument of the men building the road. 

We saw another beautiful little yard in El Rodeo so had to snap a picture of it.  We just don't see these kinds of yards with so many flowers, trees, and lawns in Catamarca. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Día de los Reyes

January 6th is Día de los Reyes or Day of the Kings - the day Argentines celebrate when the 3 wise men came from the east to visit the Christ child.  The night before the children leave hay/straw and water to feed the camels and in return, they leave toys for the children.  So...in Argentina, Santa doesn't bring all the toys and surprises to the children.  That morning, we found a surprise in our freezer (and we didn't even leave hay/straw and water) and the sisters had a conspiratory smile on their faces.  Here's the proof:

We first saw this little sign on our refrigerator...

Then when we opened the freezer, we saw a wonderful ice cream gift.  Lucky us!!!

Gracias Hermanas/Sisters Brown/UT and Adair/AZ!  Saturday morning they moved out of our home into their own pensión/apartment.  We're empty nesters once again and miss their smiling faces and happy spirits.  They're great missionaries!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!

We hope you had a marvelous new year's eve and are enjoying the start of 2012!  We didn't do anything to celebrate and bring in the new year but were awakened with the noise from all the fireworks being shot off.  In fact, some sounded like they were in our backyard.  As I was walking around the plaza this morning, I saw TONS of debris from all the fireworks.  Now that would have been the place to be...if we could have lasted that long.  We found a fun Santa decoration so wanted to show that.  Today we also went to the main plaza - Plaza 25 de Mayo - and took pictures of that as well as pictures from inside the main cathedral.  We were tourists for awhile this morning and enjoyed it.

This Santa was displayed on a rather busy main street in town.  He was waving to everyone as they passed by and we really liked it.  We didn't see many decorations so got excited when we saw this one.  It just seemed so out of place to find all the "winterized" decorations (Santa wearing long sleeves and jackets, etc.) when we're in the middle of summer. 

The following pictures were taken inside the Cathedral.  The ceiling had exquisite murals and the walls had some very old and beautiful paintings.  The "bodies" of the Savior and Maria were underneath one display, as you'll see.

An outside view of the cathedral.

Here's a view of General San Martin at Plaza 25 de Mayo, the date when the first government from Spain was set up and...Doug's birthday.  It's fun for him to see street signs and plazas honoring his birthday.  Plus we couldn't miss taking a picture of the Coca-Cola sign as they happen to be everywhere.  Frío means cold.  Remember, it's summer down here right now and quite hot so this really draws attention and appears very refreshing.