Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29, 2012

We were walking along the street one day and saw the "traffic zebras" walking in a line across the road getting ready for their assignments.  By the time we got the camera out, they were just lines up against the building and starting off to their designated intersections.

This is Elder Dibb's favorite tree.  He has to duck every time we go down this street.  It's funny how they trim the trees.  There is no rhyme or reason, just "cut a little here and a little there".  Some of the trees look pretty "scalped" when they are finished with the pruning.

We decided to try a banana nut bread.  You can see that there is a huge "cave-in" in the middle.  We just have to try something, then adjust the ingredients to match the altitude.  It tasted good, but was a little gooey in the middle.

This is the car wash. All around the Plaza Abaroa there are men with buckets and rags, washing cars and trucks.  People know where to park when they want their car washed.

Elder Dibb bought me some more flowers for the Bolivian "Dia de la Madre".  I love flowers, so it is really nice to have them in our apartment.  They make it look like home and it smells good, too.

Hermana Auza is teaching a keyboarding class.  There are about 20 students in it, ranging from  about 8 years old up to mothers.  She is our blind sister who was 10 years old when Elder Dibb was here on his first mission.  We've been able to help her get some materials for the blind (with the help of Mindy in the U.S.)  I am helping her some.  I can write on the board and take some of the young people into another room to practice what she has taught.  It's a fun diversion.

These two young girls sang for the mothers in the piano class on Sunday because it was "Dia de la Madre".  They sang "O Solo Mio"  They had beautiful voices and it was so thoughtful of them to share their talents with us.

Some of the missionaries playing the cup game in our apartment on Monday - P-Day.  We played, ate pizza and made cookies, then watched "16 Miracles" on our computer.

Making cookies.

The district missionaries in our apartment after the activities of the day.  Two other missionaries who were there, had to leave because they had received new companions and needed to meet them and go to their new areas.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Zone Conference

We were invited to President and Hermana Quintanilla's home for lunch one day last week.  We enjoyed our visit very much and we especially love the children.  Bonnie is 8 and is trying to learn to play the piano, so I spent some time with her.  Josua is 4 and was having fun playing soccer with Elder Dibb.  He also enjoyed wearing Elder Dibb's hat.

We had a zone conference where there were over 70 missionaries gathered together for some team building games and some competition.  It was interesting to see all the elders and sisters in "play clothes".  It was hard to recognize some of them that we know well.

Here the sisters are working together to carry another sister to the finish line.  They had tires with 4 ropes and they had to balance their companions.  Looked like they were having a fun time.

This is Elder Andrade who is in the office.  We saw him and his companion going to the store on our way to the Chapel.  Because of his hat and clothes, we didn't even recognize him until they said "hello" to us.

The elders and sisters were put in lines and given a spoon.  Then they were given a lime that they had to pass from person to person from one end of the line to the other.  If the lime dropped anywhere along the line, they had to start over.  It was a fun competition.

These are the lines of missionaries for the "lime pass".  After the games everyone gathered in the gym in a circle and President Quintanilla debriefed them on the importance of working together and cooperating to achieve the goals of the mission and be successful.  It was interesting to see each elder or sister that responded to a question, stand up to answer, then return to their place on the floor.  They understood the importance of this great work and the need to work together to achieve it.

There was free time for playing volleyball.  Volleyball players in the U.S. would be interested to see how many times these guys and girls used their feel to keep the ball from hitting the floor, most of the time getting it back over the net.

Outside and the soccer/basketball court, other missionaries were playing basketball.

I know this is blurry, but it shows Elder Dibb going for a pass from President Quintanilla.

Notice the defensive stance of Elder Dibb.  He is "ready" for anything.  It was fun playing with the missionaries.  We got pretty tired and today have a hard time walking.  Tomorrow we meet together for further instructions in Zone Conference.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Last Monday and Tuesday we had a transportation demonstration.  All the buses, mini buses, and taxis were not running.  Not only that, they also blocked the intersections so that no other cars could get around.  This picture is taken from our apartment window.

This is looking the other way from our apartment window.  The buses filled the streets.  It was really kind of nice not to have all the traffic for a couple of days.  But schools closed and most people couldn't get to work.  The stores started running low on some of their products.  Luckily, it only lasted for 2 days and their complaints to the government were settled.

Most of the dogs that have owners wear clothes.  We see them all over in the park.  This one has on a dress so it must be female.

We got the braille hymns in Spanish for Hermana Auza.  We'll take them to her on Wednesday.  They are 2 huge books, but it will give her an opportunity to have all the words to the hymns.  Our kids ordered them in Utah and sent them here.  They said that there were braille books in the package and we didn't have any problem getting them through customs.  We've decided it might be good to send something braille with every package, but they are so big, it costs a lot to send them.

Here are some flowers I got for mothers day along with chocolates, cards, and a nice scarf.  Mostly it was just nice to talk to all the kids and grand kids on SKYPE.  Love that family of ours.

Elder Dibb is good to make breakfast.  This day, he picked up the regular flour instead of the pancake mix and made this pancake that weighed a "ton".  We thought it was a pretty design, but threw it in the trash and started over with the pancake flour.

This is a picture of us with Carmina and Alex before his baptism on Saturday.

The young man at the right, Rodrigo, is the mission leader in our ward and has received his call to serve in the Bahia Blanca Mission in Argentina.  He's a nice young man. You can tell Alex is excited to be baptized.

A picture with Alex again.  As we have mentioned in our letter, Alex is from France.  His dad was a diplomat for France and was an ambassador to a couple of countries in Africa.  Alex speaks 5 languages, including English.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Visit to Batallas and Alex

We visited Batallas this past Saturday.  It is a small branch on the Alti-plano.  The young men on the right are the missionaries there.  The one on the outside is the Branch President and was really helpful in helping some of those present to understand.  We had over-prepared with a power point presentation, etc. but after the first few minutes realized that they had no idea what we were talking about.  The R.S. was to learn about Visiting Teaching.  They didn't even have a full presidency in a couple of the branches.  They had not program at all and didn't know where to start.  So we trashed all the preparation and set a few simple goals.  We're hoping to return in a couple of weeks to see how they are doing in reaching their goals.  The YW and YM don't have access to the Personal Progress materials or the Duty to God materials.  We left the things that we had and will try to get more information for them.  We are learning a lot and hope we can help them get the programs of the Church working in these small branches.

This is Alex and Carmina.  She was baptized about a year ago.  He is from France and has had a rough life.  He is very bright and read the Book of Mormon in about 2 weeks.  Not only did he read it, but her remembers a lot of what is in the book.  He speaks 4 languages and has spent his growing up years doing extreme sports and living in various countries because his father was an ambassador.  He said that he realized that his life was not going anywhere and really wanted to change and be "a good person".  He is scheduled for baptism this coming Saturday.

Here we are with Alex.  Not many pictures this week as Elder Dibb was really sick Wednesday and Thursday.  We ate lunch at a member's home on Tuesday.  He made the mistake of eating the ham and bacon.  It was really good - (made with chicken and was in rolls.)  But he can't eat pork.  He was very sick, so we spent those two days in the apartment.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tiwanaku II

This is the little valley before you get to Tiwanaku. Notice the house with the thatched roof.  Most of the farms had stacks of grasses standing in a pyramid shape and drying. 

In the town of Tiwanaku.  We love to see the men in their native dress.  We have lots of pictures of the women, but the men are interesting to see as well.  We feel uncomfortable taking pictures of them, but figured from the back wouldn't be too bad.

Elder Dibb going down the stairs and narrow opening from the main temple in Tiwanaku.

Another monolith.  This is the one you can see through the door of the moon from outside the temple complex.

This monolith that you just saw was holding things in each hand.  We thought this looked like golf clubs, so had to get a close - up.

This is the door of the sun.  You can easily see the figure of the sun in the middle.  Other figures surround it.  This one is well preserved.

This is the back side of the door of the sun. We had a great day and it was warm most of the time.  A breeze was chilly at times, but for the most part, it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed seeing the ruins a lot.  The only thing that would have made it better was if the guide would have explained things in ENGLISH.  But we got some of the information in Spanish.  There was a couple we talked to, he was from Ireland, and she was from Jerusalem.  Interesting couple.  Others were from Brazil and Paraguay.  Fin and interesting day.

Tiwanaku April 30, 2012

We wanted to show you the "mini" bananas.  They are about 2 to 3 inches long, have a really thin peel and taste wonderful.  These would be great for small children who only eat a part of a regular banana. 

This is the church in Tiwanaku, near the ruins that we visited on our last P-day.  A lot of the stones used to build the church were taken from the ruins before it was protected.

This is a part member family, the Cordero's that we invited to go with us.  The father is a member and we have been teaching and loving the wife and daughter.  Even though they have lived here their whole lives, they had never been to Tiwanaku.  We were happy they could come.  It was another country holiday, so Lucia was out of school.

This is the top of a doorway.  It has puma, condor, fish, and snakes carved in it.   We saw this in an area where there were huge stones laying around on the ground. 

This is the door of the moon going into the main temple with a monolith seen through the door.  When we were here about 8 years ago with Andrew, we could walk up the steps and through the door.  It is roped off now.  The stone wall in the front is the subterranean temple.  It's amazing to think that the people moved these huge stones into place without heavy equipment.

We are in front of the wall of the subterranean temple.  In all the walls are carved heads representing all the cultures that used these temples 1500 years BC to 500 years AD.  Some are well preserved, others are just rough rocks.

This is the wall that goes around the main temple.  Elder Dibb is pointing to a water drain.  You can see the small "canal" that carries the water away from the wall to another small "canal" that goes all the way around the temple.  This is a large area and has the same dimensions as Solomon's Temple.

This is a monolith within the temple walls.  You can see the walls going up the hill behind the monolith.  This is the base of a pyramid that they had just started to unearth when we were here before.  It is huge and goes all around this hill in the area.  Other pictures will come.  The Blog wouldn't save or publish all the pictures at one time.