Sunday, January 27, 2013

Some final farewells

We leave Catamarca tomorrow around midday.  We'll be driving to Cordoba to finish up details with the pensionista (elder in charge of apartments) on the house we've been renting and to visit with President Salas and his wife.  On Tuesday we'll drive down to Buenos Aires.  Wednesday we'll be flying down to a little town in the southern end of the country, El Calafate, so we can see glaciers and beautiful mountain ranges in both Argentina and Chile.  We'll arrive home the morning of Wednesday, Feb 6th.  It's hard to believe our mission is coming to an end.  While it has been very difficult to say goodbye to so many wonderful people, we look forward to the reunions we'll be having with our children and grandchildren.

We've had the opportunity to visit with several members throughout the stake to tell them goodbye and have some pictures to share from those visits.

Presidente Montalvo is the branch president of the La Quebrada branch in La Rioja.  Here he is with his wife and daughter, Albina, and son, Felix.  We were there on Felix's 12th birthday.  Pte Montalvo is an extremely dedicated church leader and his enthusiasm is contagious.  He's originally from Bolivia and Sister Montalvo is originially from Peru.

Luis Villafañe, 1st counselor in the Los Incas bishopric with Bishop Alvarez.  We were in the clerks office working on ward membership records with them.  More dedicated leaders in La Rioja.

Presidente Daniel Villafañe with his wife Cintia and their new daughter Dafne, other daughter Valentina, a friend, and their son Bautista.  Pte Villafañe is the branch president of Antártida Branch in La Rioja.  We've loved working with him.

Carlos and Laura Machado with their daughter Antonella in front of their new home that Carlos built.  Their little son will be born in March.  They're in the Valle Viejo branch and have to drive 1.5 hours to get to church as they live up in the mountains.  Another wonderful family.

Here we are with Marcela Luis and her son, Thiago, who was celebrating his 4th birthday, and Marcela's mother, Olga Contrera.  We visited them one time and they immediately started attending church again, after many years absence.  They're faithful and very dedicated and have been instrumental in introducing the gospel to other people as well as talking to other inactive members in their neighborhood, encouraging them to return to church activity.

Dany and Delia Crettaz with their 15 year old son, Damian.  We're still praying for their return to full activity.  Another special family.

In back with Doug and me is Mariana Rojas.  In front is Victoria Parmigiano, her cousin Julieta Bambicha, Eli, Esperanza, and Claudio Parmigiano, and Efrain Bambicha.  Eli and Mariana are sisters.  We've loved our visits with them.

I taught Monica Sachetti how to make chocolate chip cookies.  Below, Agustin had to taste them to make sure they were good.  He approved!!

Roberto and Lia Suaya with their son Karin.  They treated us to an asado and enjoyed seeing them one last time.
Nicolas Arpires is the stake executive secretary and is extremely dedicated to his calling.  He helped us so much with all the updating of records for the various wards and branches. 

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