Saturday, March 26, 2016

Yummy Food and Dear Friends

[March 24, 2016]

Hermano and Hermana Vasquez are some of the sweetest people. They live in La Paz and come the third week of every month to work in the temple. Brother Vasquez and his son picked us up from the airport in La Paz and took us to their home where we had a lovely lunch. We wanted to invite them for dinner to thank them and to spend time with them. We had a wonderful visit with them and plan to do it again.

One day Hna Vasquez came over and taught me how to make empanadas. It was fun and they were very yummy. The best part was learning how to make the dough for the crust. I want to try filling it with fruit. She is going to teach me how to make salteƱas next. They are my favorite.

 Filling the empanada, notice the piece of egg and one olive.
 Ready for frying.
 Cute Herana Vasquez "folding and pinching" to make the pretty edge
 Fried, finished and yummy

A very dear sister, Lilly Arosa, invited President and Sister Jensen, the Thomases (who are going home this week) and us for lunch at her home. It is customary when invited to somone's home for a meal to bring something. Hna Jensen brought Lindt chocolate, Hna. Thomas brought some lovely flowers and we brought some chocolate chunk cookies (they don't have chocolate chips here but Bakers makes some yummy chocolate chunks that you can get here, a little pricey, but hey it's chocolate). We all fit in the President's 5 seater van. Charlie climbed in the way back. He said it wasn't any worse than riding in some of  the trufis we've been in.

Hermana Lilly Arosa is a very interesting and fun woman. She was a representative for Bolivia in England and has had some other very interesting jobs as well. She speaks several languages, has a great sense of humor and is very generous. Her home is very beautiful inside and out, but the food was amazing. Her son was our cook. He has studied in Italy to be a chef. We had sopa de mani with an island of meat (lamb, beef and chicken) in the middle with crunchy yummy garnish on top. Very tasty. The second course was beautiful! Looked like something on a cooking show. There was mashed camote (sweet potato), a side of cooked pea pods and mushrooms with herbs. A piece of fish was beautifully placed over the camote with a drizzle of yummy sauce. It all tasted wonderful. For dessert we had individual lemon meringue pies. Quite gourmet. We drank fresh apple juice. The conversation was wonderful as well. Her cousin, another sister from the temple and her son joined us. There were ten of us in all around a very lovely set table.

Johnny Chambi, one of Charlie's companions in Punata, started working in the temple this week. It's so sweet to continue these relationships. President Garcia was in charge that day and had them both stand up in Prayer meeting and told everyone that they were companions 40 years ago. 

We Skype or FaceTime our children every week. Holly's Gary (almost 3) is usually there when we Face Time Holly but he doesn't ever talk to us, only makes faces and interesting noises. Well this week he talked a lot. They had an Easter egg hunt at the park with some neighbors and I guess the excitement of it all overcame his shyness and opened his mouth. He told us all about it. I just had to put that bit of historic trivia in.

There are always sweet tender things that happen every day in the temple. Here is one that Charlie and I both shared.

I was assigned to the baptistry, so I went down to check if anyone had come. I was told a young couple wanted to be baptized for the wife's grandparents and then do their initiatories, endowments and seal them as well. Charlie was the veil coordinator and was determined to help them get it all done in the morning shift. It was already 10:30, starting the second session. The third and last session of the morning shift begins at 11:30.

When I learned who the couple was I was very excited to get to help them. Yesterday a brother knocked on the dressing room door asking for Hna. Paula, she was in Initiatory. No Hna. Paula, maybe Paula was her first name. It was, her apellido (last name) was Paredes. So when I saw her I called her Paula. She had the most beautiful smile and was tickled that I knew her name. Charlie was the officiator of their session and they were the witness couple. We also saw them as we were walking down to catch the trufi . So we felt we had some connections with this cute young couple.

Charlie told me the brothers were ready to help them in the baptistry and a temple employee was going to do the baptizing. So I brought them down to the baptistry. I had a good visit with them while they were waiting. About 11:00 they were dressed in their whites and ready to go. We had to wait a while for the employee. While he was getting dressed the husband baptized his wife. Charlie came in about this time. Hno. Paredes was so sweet  with his wife. She had a hard time getting totally immersed. After about 4 tries they finally got it. Charlie took the name cards upstairs to get stamped and ready in the Initiatory booths. I waited for the Paredes to get dressed and took them up in the elevator. By this time Charlie showed up so he rode the elevator with us. He took the Bro. and I took Paula. I got to help with her initiatory and walked her into the chapel for the session. They made it and were the witness couple again.

Charlie talked to Pres. Garcia about doing their sealing after the last session (by this time the sealers are gone). He agreed to do it and Charlie, along with Bro. Sandoval, the shift coordinator, were the witnesses and Hna Sandoval and I were the invitados (guests). We saw them through to the end. When I walked her back to the dressing room I told her we were family. She hugged me tight. They are from Santa Cruz and hopefully will return in June. I believe this young couple so far away from home needed "family" here and we got to be it.

They were out front taking pictures when we came out of the temple and we got to be in a picture with them.

I love these connections, they are like the yummy dessert to an already delightful meal. 

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