Friday, September 26, 2014


Why have we never seen this before - genius solution to parking stress!

Here's how it works.  You drive down to the underground parking and look down the parking aisle.  If a red light is showing there is a car parked there.  Green light?  Go for it!  When the parking lots are quite full, this feature is incredible!!  Somebody pick that up in the USA!!

Tour of Los Sauces

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ready for a visual delight?  Today we were invited to attend the Branch Conference of Los Sauces - a tiny little branch in a pueblito about 3 hours to the south of us.  The early morning drive through the countryside was enchantingly beautiful and peaceful.  Join us for our day!

As we approached the little town we could see the red water tower.  Every little town has one of these (not always red).

And then we found the little chapel - flanked by palm trees!

We arrived early, but our elders were there to greet us - gates and doors unlocked and open.  That doesn't always happen!

Here are our two faithful elders with their President.  Elder G on the left just arrived a month ago and is in training with Elder N.  They are the only two missionaries in this little town.

We entered the little chapel and found it well prepared and super clean.  There were fresh flowers in the front and a cd playing reverent prelude music.  These are great elders!
Before the meeting began, the elders rehearsed a musical number with some of the brothers in the branch.

Here is Sebastian - adorable 6 year old brother of the Branch President, who is a returned missionary -
not too long ago.  He is single and lives with his mom and little brother.
There is such a need for leadership in these little towns!

Yaritza - little girl in pink - and her mom were just baptized a week ago!  Sebastian and Yaritza were the
only children at church.  There were 22 members total, including us and the elders!
Yaritza sat so reverently during all of the meetings.  Finally, during the third hour which
was Relief Society, she got a little restless.  I gave her my phone and let her browse
through my photos.  She was quite delighted:)

After the meetings, we were invited along with the Elders to have almuerzo with the Branch Pres. and his family.
The home in the background is across the street and is the home where Yaritza and her mom live.
Friendly dogs - watch out for pulgas (fleas)!

A delicious meal was prepared by Fernando and his mom.  The meals are always carb heavy, and they usually bring your plate already loaded.  We had a delicious glazed chicken, lots of rice, french fries (always!), cold mixed vegetables drizzled with lemon juice, cold corn tossed with lots of mayo, and bread freshly made in her wood burning stove.
Coca Cola is always the drink offered, and there was a very nice flan for dessert.
Needless to say, we were stuffed!

Here is the Branch President (recently released now) with his mom and little brother.  We are so grateful for their generous hospitality!  Mom is not a member of the church and we had some very sweet discussions with her.  

After the meal, we gave the Elders a ride to their home.  We asked if we
could come in - a surprise "inspection"!

We were really not surprised to find the little house immaculately clean and tidy
with freshly baked cookies on the table.  These Elders are amazing!

They love the Lord, they love the work, and they are making their mission
the best two years of their lives.  We love them and are so proud of them!


El campo! (the countryside)

Make way for the oxen!

Cute little bus stop or "parada".

Beautiful lake!

HUGE beautiful lake, that is!  Sweet little memorial by the side of the road.

Homes hiding in the trees:)

Muy tranquilo, as they say!  (peaceful, calm)

As we drove through Canete on the way home, we saw two of our Hermanas walking to an appointment.  President pulled over and I jumped out and snapped a photo before they could figure out who we were.  It was so fun to see them!  We loaded them in the car and gave them a lift.  We love our missionaries - are you tired of hearing that yet?!

Introducing the Counselors!

Friday, September 12, 2014

President Bluth (Lothaire, Dad, Grandpa, Dr. Bluth) is SO delighted to have two new counselors to serve with him in the Mission Presidency!  We invited them to come to the mission home for dinner this evening.  We chose to dress casual and asked them to bring their families.  Here they are!

Meet Pres. Montanares, who lives near Los Angeles (Chile!), and Pres. Parra, who lives in San Pedro.  They are already lifting the load and excited to work with the missionaries!

Here is Pres. Montanares with his girls:)!  Wife, Jessica, on the left, and daughters Anais and Camila.  This is in our living room at the mission home.

And Pres. Parra and his girls!  Hermana Parra on the left and daughter, Cynthia, on the right.  They have another daughter who is married.

Ready for service and so grateful for willing hearts!

Return & Report

Monday, September 8th

Several weeks after the arrival of a "batch" of new missionaries, we have them and their trainers return to the office to see how they are doing and provide some additional training.  This return and report happened to be on a Monday, which is Pday for all of the missionaries.  Those who are nearby like to come in to the office and check for their mail and get reimbursements for some of their approved expenses.  It's a busy day at the office!  I just love missionaries!!

La Marina

On Sunday, Sept. 7th, we attended the ward called La Marina, where two of our awesome Hermanas serve as sister missionaries.  You can see them front right - one from Columbia and one from Peru.  The members LOVE these girls!  After the meetings, we were invited to stay for the almuerzo (lunch) they hold for newer converts.  The sister on the left taught the Sunday School class, and the Relief Society lesson, and prepared the meal in the tiny church kitchen.  And never stopped smiling.  I just love these people!

We are always treated like guests of honor - it is very humbling.

Weddings & Baptisms!

It is September 4th.  We have finished our first set of entrevistas (interviews) and are ready to head for home.  We feel like we know our 225 missionaries a little better now!  This was our view as we looked out of our Holiday Inn Express window in Temuco this morning.  Gorgeous, right?!

Calla lilies grow like wildflowers down here - and so tall!

Can you see the snail in this one?

Shortly before we were going to head for home (a 4 hour drive), two of our Elders asked if we would attend a wedding reception for two of their newly baptized converts, and if Lothaire would speak at it!  What??  We were so glad that we chose to stay!  It was a priceless experience.
It is a VERY common practice for two people to live together for years and years and never marry.  In fact, the government provides special benefits for single parents, which are sacrificed when marriage takes place.
In this case, Rolando and Elisa had been living together for 15 years, and have a 14 year old son who is also named Rolando.  They loved each other very much and were very happy.  Young Rolando was introduced to the church by one of his friends, and felt the truth burn within him.  He desired to be baptized but his parents objected and wouldn't give him their permission.  He met with the missionaries and attended church alone for three months to show his commitment.  His parents finally gave him their permission.  Rolando's next hope was that his parents would come to know the truth of the Gospel and be baptized so that they could become an eternal family.  With time, a faithful Bishop and exceptional missionaries, this came to pass.
There was only one thing standing in the way of their baptism - they had to be living the Law of Chastity, which means they had to get married first!  So - wedding first, followed by baptism, followed by a reception in their honor given by their family, friends, and missionaries!
When we arrived, everyone was seated in the chapel of the church and there were two white covered chairs in front of the pulpit.  Lothaire, as the Mission President, was asked to speak and gave a beautiful talk on love and marriage.  Then the Bishop spoke, there was a pretty musical number, and a video of their life together!  And then the back curtains were opened and we all went in to where the reception had been set up.
They were so, so happy!

Here you see young Rolando standing in front of his parents, next to one of the missionaries who taught them.  There was wedding cake and punch and lots and lots of food!

Here are Elisa and Rolando with the Elders who taught and baptized them.  It was delightful to be a part of this heartwarming occasion!
Two more of our great Elders, happy at the party!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hungry Anyone??

Thursday, August 28, 2014

These next photos will either make your mouth water or activate your gag reflex - your choice:)

When the interviews go from 9 AM to 6 or 7 PM, we take an hour for almuerzo about 1:30.  We like to take the APs, Zone Leaders, and Sister Trainer Leaders and their companions with us, since they are there for most of the day.  Here are photos of today's adventure!

Four lovely ladies in our back seat!  Hermanas S, R, M, and L (not supposed to share their names).
Just so you know - they are INCREDIBLE missionaries!  And who wouldn't want to let them in - they are so cute!
Destination - Mr. Sandwich!

Think they can't eat the whole thing?  Think again!
These girls put in miles of walking every day!

Happy Elders W, D, A, and P - surrounded by deliciousness!

This is what WAS on the plate closest to the mirror in the photo above.  They snarfed it right down!
It is called chorrillana and consists of a plate full of french fries topped with beef, hot dogs, fried onions and, of course, fried eggs.  Still hungry?  The missionaries LOVE this stuff!

Lothaire and I opted to try the pichanga - similar to the chorrillana, kind of.
Starts with french fries again, then beef, hotdogs, tomato, olives cauliflower, hard boiled eggs, and lots and lots of palta (avocado)!  Sort of like french fry nachos, right?!  I'm glad we chose to share it:)

Another day - waiting for our almuerzo with Hermana's A and T - powerhouse missionaries!
 Notice that juice is a hit down here!

 Elders G, E, P, A, M, and P at the next table.  I may have mentioned this before, but we have the best missionaries in the world!!

On The Road Again!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Time to head out to the field to finish up the interviews!

But first we need to get Elder B. taken care of - appendicitis!  The surgery went well and he was a trooper.  As was his companion, Elder S!  Missionaries can never be alone, so Elder S. stayed in the hospital room for the 3 day period.  Which was fine - there was a window seat bed to sleep in:).  However, the hospital does not provide food for guests, only patients.  And there isn't a cafeteria for the public!  So we took turns taking food into Elder S.  We are SO grateful for our mission nurse and her husband!!!

Just so you know, road travel is interesting in this part of Chile.  Here are a few highlights:

This is one of my favorites.  I am standing behind the cars on the right.  They are in the far right lane waiting for the left turn arrow.  Go figure!

You just never know what will be in the lane next to you - on the highway no less:)

Or off to the right side of the road!  Lothaire loves the oxen!!
And now we are out on the highway - and here is the speed limit sign.  Can you read it?  120!
No worries - we're dealing in kilometers:)  (So this is about 75 mph)
Ready to start the interviews!  First, Pres. Bluth meets with the companions together.  Then he sends one in to me (Elder P. here) for the easy questions while he visits with the other one.  And then we switch.  And if they pass my questions they get their homemade oreo:).  By the way, the little wall heater is a life saver!  We're still in winter here.