Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An Unforgettable Sunday!

Sunday, July 27th - an unforgettable day.  Lothaire and I had been invited to speak at a little branch in Santa Juana, about a 40 minute drive from our place.  Here we are driving along the banks of the BioBio River - just to show you a little water! It had been raining for four days straight - where does that much water come from, anyway?!  We don't get any of it in Arizona!!

Lush green forests - incredibly beautiful!

Approaching the town - "Bienvenido a Santa Juana" (Welcome to Santa Juana).  And the sign near the oxen says, "Monumento al Campesino" - Monument to the Farmer.  Lots of agriculture in this area.  Interesting that there is a big billboard advertising new housing above such a quaint little scene!

The town dog strolled over to greet us.
Kinda cute, but too wet to let in the car:)

Meet my new best friend, Daniel.

He and his family attend church in this cute little home which serves as their chapel.  Lothaire and I arrived a little early and so I chose to use the bathroom before the meeting began, knowing that we would be there for three hours.  I was delighted to find a nice, clean restroom - until I tried to unlock the door to come out and it wouldn't open.  I worked on the lock for several minutes and it wasn't going to budge.  What to do??  I knocked lightly on the door from the inside - nothing.  A little louder - and heard giggles from some little ones outside the door.  I knew that the meeting would begin in the next few minutes.  I was one of the speakers and had stayed up until 1 in the morning trying to prepare a decent talk instead of just getting up and babbling in broken Spanish.  I was grateful for the Google Translate program and my son-in-law, Max, who talked me through it from San Jose, California!  I had practiced reading it so that I wouldn't sound too much like a first grader!  And I was locked in the bathroom.  I finally used some force with my knocking and attracted the attention of one of the adult members on the other side.  I tried to ask her to go and get my husband, which she did.  By this time there were many, if not all, of the members gathered outside of the bathroom door to try to rescue Hermana Bluth, the gringa from Arizona.  I was beyond being mortified, and just told Lothaire to read my talk for me - it was in my scriptures on one of the chairs.  He tried to talk me through getting it open, but nothing worked.  Finally, I noticed that there was a small window over the bathtub (remember that this is a house, not a real chapel), and I pushed it open as wide as it would go.  The next thing I knew, a man was lifting my soon to be best friend, Daniel, up and through the window.  I thought to myself, "and what is this little guy going to do about it?", but he was coming through, so I climbed in the tub and caught him so that he wouldn't fall.  He was so cute and shy - and just hopped out of the tub, ran over to the door, and opened the lock.  Did that really happen?  What in the world?  I am a grown woman who has opened locks all of my life with no problem whatsoever!  And there was the entire membership of the branch on the other side smiling at me.  Nothing to do but smile back and say thank you:).  They assured me that they had been having trouble with that door for weeks.  I just figured that the Lord thought I needed a little more humility:).  I wondered how I would have the courage to stand in front of the congregation and try to give a serious talk.  I was spared, however, because the Stake Patriarch showed up unexpectedly, and he spoke instead of me.  A tender mercy!!

This is after the meeting.  The chairs were all set up neatly prior to this, and there is a podium behind the white board (which was pulled in for the Sunday School class that Lothaire taught after Sacrament Meeting).  There is a keyboard to the right, and the Sacrament table to the left.  And a warm little "estufa" (stove) in front of the whiteboard in an effort to add some heat!
Here I am with the four Hermanas who serve with the members of this branch.  From the left, Hermana V is from Mexico, Hermana M from Colorado, a humbled Hermana Bluth:), Hermana C from Guatemala, and Hermana L from Utah.
These four faithful, fabulous little Hermanas do a wonderful job!  Notice the heavy coats, scarves, and boots! This is in front of their little casa. We were glad for the chance to be with them on this unforgettable Sunday!


  1. Oh Connie, locked in the bathroom!?! That is unfortunate and funny at the same time. So glad little Daniel was able to come to your rescue! I am loving your blog, and I'm impressed with your driving story as well. You are amazing! You are doing great work, mi prima bonita!

    1. Gracias, mi prima! So good to hear from you! Hugs to you and your family and mom - send some photos my way! Same email.

  2. Jordan and I are laying in bed just howling with laughter. What a great story!!!!!!

  3. I had the same reaction when I read it, luckily I was in bed and don't drink beverages at the keyboard. I know better. Glad I found your site so I can follow your mission. May you continue to be blessed in your service. ~ Sue Strong from 4th Ward

  4. Best Sunday story ever!!! You made my day!