Monday, November 2, 2015

Tin Palace, Parque Botanico, Halloween?

[October 27 to 2 November, 2015]

Since I’m now keeping my real journal in Personal Historian, I’m going to try to just put the things here that might be interesting for others to read, and less of the mundane, daily details.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

After our temple shift this morning, we decided we'd like to go see the Simón I. Patiño center. He was reportedly, the fifth richest man in the world during the 20th Century, with his wealth having come from tin mining ventures that started here in Bolivia. It's a pretty interesting story.

He started a home here, really a palace, modeled around European palaces. It took twelve years to build, and due to health issues that caused him to move to Europe, and later to New York, and later Buenos Aires, he never lived in it. The house is very fancy. I'll look for some inside pictures on the web, since we couldn't take any ourselves inside.

Molly in front of the Simon I. Patiño Palace.
Gardens around the Simon I. Patiño Center.
Gardens around the Simon I. Patiño Center.
Here's a link to some additional info and pictures that might be interesting to some:
Simon I. Patiño Center

Thursday 29 October 2015
While I was at the desk today at the temple, a couple named Pozo came to the desk. Strangely, they asked if I knew Saul Montaño. When I told them that I did, the wife told me she was Saul's sister, and that they had been told to look for us. For those who don’t know, Saul is a native of La Paz, Bolivia, and we served our missions here in Bolivia together. We were never companions, but we served in Santa Cruz in the same branch, and lived in the same house, eating breakfast and lunch together, attending the branch together, etc.

When we moved to American Fork, we found that he and his family lived just across the street. So, for 25 years, our families were very close – he’d teach some of the kids in Sunday School or Primary, I worked with his kids when I was the Bishop, our kids went to school together, etc. Small world.

After we ate lunch, Molly and I walked to the Parque Botanico. Very pretty. I took lots of pictures. On the way back, we met a couple of sister missionaries. One, Sister Hermanson, is from Spanish Fork, and has relatives in American Fork. Small world twice in the same day.

Here are some pictures of the Parque Botanico:

Path lined with palm trees.
Vinca - for Stacy's benefit!

Saturday 31 October 2015

Today is Halloween back in the States! Halloween really isn’t practiced here, traditionally, but it looks like there is an attempt to integrate it. We saw lots of street vendors selling masks, spiders, costumes, etc. I don’t think they really do much trick or treating. Tomorrow and Monday are their big holidays – Día de los Muertos, and Todos Santos. The upshot of these holidays consists of putting out a feast of pastries, candies, etc., for their relatives who have passed on to come and eat during the night. From the comments of members, though, it’s mostly an occasion to have parties.

Monday, though, is a “Feriada” day – businesses are closed, buses and trufis are limited, and so on. Reportedly, the cemeteries are decked out, so maybe Molly and I can make our way down to the cemetery just southwest of La Cancha.

Sunday 1 November 2015
In the Rosedal ward, today was the “farewell” for the oldest son of the counselor in the Bishopric who always greets us before the meeting, Hno. Delgadillo. The son is leaving tomorrow for his mission in Peru. Hno. Delgadillo was quite emotional as his son bore his very strong testimony. I had had the opportunity to help the son with his initiatory and endowments a couple of weeks ago, which made this a sweet experience for me to see him so prepared to go.

After the meeting, we visited with his mother. She has such an interesting story. She was sent, at age 13, for reasons she doesn't really understand even now, to live in Utah with a family who, at the time, couldn't have children. She lived with them for 9 years, during which, the mother gave birth to eight children. This sister was treated very well, just like their own children, but as you can imagine, she had quite the adjustment to make. She spoke no English at the time, and learned it by going to the Spanish class at the High School. She said that the teachers and friends were so helpful to her.

Over the past few years, she has had a number of health problems - seizures leading to falling and breaking bones, etc., and she told us that she hadn't been to church in a number of months because she was bedridden with a severely broken leg.

But, with her son leaving on his mission, she is determined to come to church each week to support her husband. They are a sweet family - one other daughter - and they exemplify the fact that even faithful families have struggles and trials to overcome. But, the happiness in their faces, and in their lives, shows their faithfulness and diligence in living the gospel. This sister speaks pretty good English, and offered to help Molly any time she needed help. Very kind.

Monday 2 November 2015
Today is our 36th Anniversary. I bought Molly some flowers at the Feria on Saturday, but, sadly, I think they are already wilting. One thing is for sure, though, our relationship is better than ever. We enjoy spending time together, and especially enjoy seeing each other as we serve in the temple.

We're going to try out a Pizza place that was recommended for dinner, and Molly is fixing the treats for the Missionary Couple FHE tonight. Not necessarily the most exciting Anniversary ever, but still fun because we are doing it together.

36 years, and still enjoying every minute of it.
Lastly, some random pictures, just to liven things up:

A Flota parked in the Temple parking lot.
An aguayo (blanket) we bought at La Cancha last week.
Selling a few bananas in La Cancha
The temple at dusk


  1. Love your weekly updates. We are so happy for you, we know you are where you belong. Love you, Dad & Mom

  2. I so loved talking to you today! And I loved this post, especially the pic of you two. Happy Anniversary to the Best Parents EVER!!!!!

  3. Yup - Best parents ever! Love you guys :)!

  4. I love you guys! You are amazing! Thanks for the vinca

  5. I worked with Melissa Pozo at the Cougareat at BYU! She would tell me all about Bolivia. She was a good friend.