Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Despedida a la Hna. Chaves

[September 6, 2015] Sunday

In a previous blog entitled Relationships, I talked about the Chaves couple who serve in the temple and their daughter who is going on a mission. She comes nearly every night to the temple so we have all gotten close to her. She left on her mission to Peru today (Monday). Saturday night she asked me if I would like to attend a get together for her in her Ward on Sunday night. She told me that Hna Valdizan (a temple missionary and the first sister in the picture below) knew where her Ward was. She informed me that the meeting was scheduled for 6:00 but would probably begin at 7:00. She hoped we would come.

Hna Valdizan talked with the other temple missionaries and it ended up that Hna Valdizan, her new companion Sister Butler, Charlie and I would walk the two miles to the Chaves' Ward at 6:15 or so. It was a fun quick walk East on Av. Circunvalación. We had never walked that far on Av. Circunvalación so it was an interesting walk in spite of all the huge trucks along the way. It is a major truck route and now that the Día del Peaton was officially over the trucks were out in full making up for the day.

We met three sisters who serve in the temple on the way. They had dishes of food that they were taking to another function in another ward. So fun and unexpected to see familiar faces.

Thanks to Charlie's GPS on his phone we found the chapel. It was a large chapel in a nice area of town. Hna Chaves and her sister arrived the same time we did, a little after 7:00. Her father was already there and welcomed us warmly. He was very surprised that we walked "all that way". He showed us into the chapel where we waited as others from their ward came.

Charlie was asked to play the piano. It seems no matter where we go he is asked to use his talent with the piano. He is always willing and does a great job. Hna Chaves' younger teen age sister wanted to sing "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". Charlie didn't have any music but was able to play it without. She also wanted to sing it with English words but was concerned with her pronunciation etc. She had a print out of them. So Hna Butler got to sing with her during the program. It's so nice to be able to participate and be appreciated so.

The meeting was like Sacrament Meeting without the Sacrament. The JAS (Jovenes Adultos Solteros - Young Single Adults) leader in the ward conducted the meeting. He mentioned our names and that we were temple missionaries and had walked from the temple to be there. We began with an opening Hymn and a prayer. Two young men from JAS spoke about serving missions, shared their experiences etc. Then Hna. Chaves' mother gave a sweet emotional talk, her father spoke next, then her little sister. After she spoke, she and Hna Butler sang "Come Thou Fount". Charlie did a great job accompanying them. He never even looked at the piano, just kept his eyes on the singers.

Hna. Valdizon, Hna. Butler, Hna. Chaves, Hna. Lyon

At this point the Young Man conducting invited anyone who wanted, to come up and give Hna. Chaves a few words. About 15 young people went up in mass. They were so cute, they really love Hna. Chaves, many thanked her for her example of faithfulness. After about 8 youth speakers the Bishop got up and said only 3 more. So when the last sister got up to speak the rest of the youth stood with her and held up a poster they had made for Hna. Chaves. She was given some time to speak and then the Bishop wrapped it up. We sang a closing song and had a closing prayer/blessing on the refreshments.

The refreshments were set up on a table in the kitchen. The mother of Hna. Chaves made dozens of little doughnuts with chocolate frosting. They were very tasty. We all hugged and kissed Hna. Chaves and her family many times and took pictures as you can see above.

We were very glad we came. They were so appreciative of our efforts to get there and support them. One of the things we love about the people here is that they don't overlook anyone. They are gracious and appreciative and make sure you know of their love and gratitude for just being there. Everyone talked to us and thanked us for being there, young and old alike. They treat everyone (not just the missionaries) like celebrities.

Due to the time and the darkness, we walked down to Av. Circunvalación and caught a taxi back to the temple.

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