Friday, July 6, 2012

4th of July, Birthday week and Care Package from Nellie

The last week and 1/2 seem to have gone by so fast.  Millie and I aren't sure where the time goes.  Each day now has as it's own routine for me.  Tuesday Brother Robles and Aravena co-ordinating the shift, Wednesday Brother Mejias and Rohr, Thursday Brother Lopez and Mendiola, Friday Brother Ramos and Maureira and Saturday Brother Rojas and Carreno.  Tuesday, Friday and Saturday are always fraught with worry about will we have enough workers to get the temple work done with out having coronary attacks.  So far so good but I must say it does test Elder Figueroa's heart condition!!!

This last Wednesday was a very unique experience.  Sister Onate, a single sister missionary from Concepcion, Chile, was sealed to her mom and dad and to her husband.  She had waited quite a long time to have the temple work done.  What was so compelling?  All 5 Adult missionary couples were able to be with her.  Elder Lee who is a sealer, did the sealing.  The spirit was very overwhelming.  Much like the day I had my mom and dad sealed and at the same time sealed myself to them.  Rachel was proxy for my sister Fayetta.  There are special days in the temple all over the world every day.  There are currently 136 operating temples with many more announced.  A temple mission is very special and we are blessed to be serving.

This last week we also got a care package from Nellie and Paul.  Thanks so much!!!  It was like I was in the mission field in 1969 getting packages from home.  I am saving my 1 box of Junior Mints for an appropriate movie.  Of course the other box disappeared rather quickly. 

What could be in this package?

Candy, food, cooking stuff!

On Saturday, the ward from San Felipe, that my friends are in,  came to the temple to do baptisms.  I think 30 or so youth came.  Denisse and Martin Palacios were among them.  I met them in 2008 in Calama, Chile and they have since moved to San Felipe.  Was so exciting to see them again.

Millie, Denisse, Martin, Van

Millie, Denisse, and Martin
My random wedding picture of the week.  It was cold and cloudy but they always go out take pictures!!

Who are these gringos taking pictures!

Yes it was cold!
My birthday week started on Monday.  I had determined that I wanted to eat breakfast at a restaurant most like one I would eat in the States.  So we went to the Sheraton Hotel and had their buffet breakfast.  We found out quickly that this hotel has most every commercial pilot that flies to Chile.  There were allot!  Also a convention of Baptists from the United States.  We were joined by Gary and Debbie Davis and Joe and Dixie Bowler.

Cinnamon roll, ham, pancakes, banana bread, and eggs!!

Gary and Van

Debbie and Gary

Dixie and Joe

Van and Millie

The glamorous side!

Joe, Dixie, Millie and Van

Gary, Debbie, Millie and Van

Debbie and Millie.  Notice the swimming pool!

Debbie, Millie and Dixie

high rise of about 20 floors for the hotel
Then on the 4th itself, we worked in the temple.  It seemed odd in that we weren't BBQ ing!  But we did go to a session in English in the evening with about 25 Northamericans, Chileans and others.  Then we all went to the La Hacienda restaurant for dinner after.  Millie had steak and I had salmon.  We got home late and went to bed later.  We have paid the price all week.

Millie and Van on the 4th of July at La Hacienda

Note and piece of birthday pie from Eduardo and Soledad Rojas.  My shift co-coordinator on Saturday morning.

Millie and Van on my birthday July 4, 2012
Then on Thursday night we had dinner at Gary and Debbie Davis's apartment.  They treated us well as always!!  She brought me from the states Jello pudding!  Chocolate of course!  It is so nice to have them close.  We don't see them as much as we both might like but they have their things to do and we are in the temple 5 days a week.  We sit together at church on Sunday and talk on the phone and drop by to see each other at least once a week.  Funny we have come so far to be close to each other!!

We will miss being at the baby shower on Saturday in Galt, California for Nellie Gonsolis.  Nellie's baby is due at the end of the month.  No news on boy or girl.  But Paul is paying dearly for finding out on delivery day.  I hear Nellie has ordered a Porsche?   Well maybe not that expensive but something nice I am sure for making all her sisters, aunts etc wait!  Hopefully we will get a full report in short order!

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