Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Demetrio's Family - Another Tender Mercy

[October 20-26, 2015]

(Skip down to Sunday for our sweet experience with Demetrio and his family.)

Tuesday 20 October 2015
This was a regular day at the temple. The sessions were pretty small, so Molly and I got to be the witness couple for the last session. That's always nice. I had the front desk responsibility from 3:15 to 4:30 pm - that rotates between all the temple missionaries so we can let the afternoon workers in before the preparation meeting.

Wednesday 21 October 2015
Hno. Paredes, who was the shift coordinator, had me be the veil coordinator today. He likes the way that I do that responsibility, and it gives us some time in between session start and end to visit. He really is an amiable person, with a very strong testimony of the temple and the work we do here. We have a number of jokes between us, now. The most common one relates to having done something that indebts the other. In that case, the indebted one is supposed to get a "chancho" for the other one (a roasted pig). We laugh over that one all the time.

Another one has to do with going out to dinner with our wives, and "llevando nuestro proprio pañuelo". It's an idiom that literally means carrying your own handkerchief, but means going dutch. It's fun working with him on the morning shift, in part because I can't be distracted into visiting with the white missionaries in English - it's pure Spanish on our shift right now. That will change at the end of the month, when Molly and I will go back to afternoons with the other missionaries.

After the shift, Molly and I came home, had lunch, and went down to La Cancha. We really would like to find a vacuum cleaner like a Dirt Devil, but they don't have any such thing. The closest thing, with a beater brush, etc., was $450, so we didn't get one. The cheapest ones were $45, and they did nothing more than vacuum - no beater action. We did find her a nice sweatshirt so she doesn't have to sleep in her nice sweater when she's feeling chilly, a scale to monitor our weights (I'm down to 191 lbs now - from 220 18 months ago, and 200 when we got here. But, I feel healthy.), a purse for Molly to carry her iPad to church in, and another nice Bolivian blanket called an aguayo. I'll have to get a picture to show it here.
Bolivian Aguayo - arranged to be a chair cushion cover.

Thursday 22 October 2015
A couple from Salta Argentina, whom we have gotten to know this week through the ordinances at the temple, dropped by with a sack full of alfajores for us to enjoy. They are an Argentine treat that is not common here in Bolivia. It is a kind of sandwich cookie with "dulce de leche" as the filling, and it is covered with a chocolate or vanilla frosting. 

Friday 23 October 2015
This afternoon we went down to Charles Spurrier's Mexical restaurant for dinner, walked up the street to Dumbos for ice cream, and then over to the German Santa Maria center for the Multistake, JAS (that's Jovenes Adultos Solteros, or Young Single Adults) Dance extravaganza. It was pretty fun. I made a movie of the Cobija Stake entry. I can't seem to make it work here, so I'll just upload it to the Family Google+ account. Sorry.

Saturday 24 October 2015
We went out to dinner with the missionaries tonight at Fridays. We sat with the Thomases and Calders and had a nice visit, then we walked up the street to IC Norte to get some groceries on the way home.

Sunday 25 October 2015
There was a regional conference, broadcast from Salt Lake to all the stakes in Peru and Bolivia. It was pretty impressive to have Elder Marcus Nash and Elder Neil A. Anderson present their messages in Spanish, along with President Uceda of the Area Presidency, and Elder Soares from Presidency of the Seventy. Sister Esplin spoke in English, which was translated. All their messages were important and uplifting, but there was a special emphasis on the Temple by President Uceda, which we clued into carefully.

Yesterday, Molly was visiting with Marcy Millard, a lady we met along with her husband, James, on Friday. She asked us to go to the conference with them, since they don't yet know anyone in their ward or stake, so we changed our plans from going to the Cobija Stake center to go to the Universidad Stake Center. Marcy was baptized in Santa Cruz in 1975, and served a mission shortly thereafter under President McCallister, who was my mission President. She also knows Saul Montaño from our American Fork Ward.

After we sat down and visited while waiting for the meeting to start, I realized that Demetrio Carballo was sitting in the row in front of us. He's the brother that was baptized when I was in Punata, whom I met in the temple a couple of months ago. I had his phone number, but couldn't connect, and I thought I had his correct address, but couldn't find him. I really wanted to meet his family.

When I realized he was sitting in the row right in front of us, we said hello and visited briefly - it was sweet that he just happened to be there. After the meeting, we walked with him to his apartment, where he lives with his wife and four children. (My address was off 180 degrees... He lives south of the main cross street, not north.)

We thought it was quite the coincidence that we sat right next to him, but it actually goes further. He is currently working in a little community of about 50 families 6 hours outside Cochabamba.  He teaches Math, Chemistry, and Physics to the teenagers. He only comes home about once a month, and had been here last week. But, he just decided to come this week again, surprising his family, and there he was, right in front of us in the conference. Small blessings (that really feel big to me).

We met his family - his wife and three of his four children. His youngest son is handicapped - pretty severely - but it was so sweet to see how he interacted with his dad. The love was so clearly present. His older son, and only daughter were there as well, and they were so gracious to greet us and let us briefly invade their humble home on a Sunday.

Then we came home and had dinner with all the temple missionaries. A new couple just arrived yesterday - Jim and Ann Calder. They were here last year as well, and have returned for six months or so. They know President and Sister Lawrence and Carol Clarke in the AF 12th Ward, whom we love dearly.

Monday 26 October 2015
We got up early this morning to try the bread from a panadería close here. We heard about it from James and Marcy Millard - the couple we met on Friday. We got to the place at 6:00 am, and it opened at 6:15. The bread was still warm, and tasted good, but didn't seem to be what they were telling us about, so we'll have to see if there is another one that we missed.

We went down to La Cancha around noon to ask the guy at the place we bought the printer if he had any ideas about the lack of printing any magenta color. He said to bring it in and he would fix it at no charge, so we'll do that on Wednesday. Then we went looking for a cordless phone with a speakerphone feature, since that would make visiting with the folks and kids easier when Skype isn't working. We found one in the Gallo - another section of La Cancha with electronic goods, clothing, and other such. It should work well for us. 

We got more  news of Sawyer - some lesions on his liver, jaundice, and a fever. We're hoping and praying that he will start getting better soon. This is a lot of stress on his little body, with the colostomy and all on top of the aplastic anemia. He's been such a trooper, and everyone loves him. The Jordan Meadows Ward Primary sent him a stuffed baboon - we got a picture of him with it - very sweet.
Sawyer with his gift from the Primary.
Sawyer right before his surgery - brave trooper.

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