Monday, December 28, 2015

Penguins in Peru and Mission Miracles - Here we COME! OCTOBER 2015

                                                                                                                                                 The five Bolivian Mission Presidents and their wives. (Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz North, Cochabamba, La Paz, La Paz El Alto) 

P day!!! Did you know there are penguins in Peru?

We got to see the candelabra of the Andes.This hieroglyph is carved 2 feet into the rock and is dated 200 BC. It is large enough to be seen at sea, from 12 miles away

We also went sandboarding on the sand dunes of Paracas. Beautiful!

Mission Miracles
A year ago we had to send one of our missionaries home, because a brain tumor was discovered here on her mission. She did not want to go and pleaded to stay, wanting to delay surgery until her mission was complete. That of course was not reasonable. The Cochabamba mission prayed and fasted for a successful surgery, and all went extremely well.   In October, one year after her brain surgery she has returned, full of faith and smiles. She is one of our miracles.

In October and November we received a LARGE number of missionaries. In fact for a while over 30% of our missionaries were in training. They came with faith and energy and love. We had just finished a zone conference and during that conference we talked a lot about what it would mean to be a Zion Mission. Just a few days later we were greeting missionaries at the airport. As is our custom, we began singing "Called to Serve" as soon as our first missionaries walk through the gate. One missionary, with tears streaming down his face said to President Hansen, "I feel like I have arrived in Zion".  To us, his words were another mission miracle.

Discovering Bolivia, a lost little girl and a special conference NOVEMBER 2015


Both our mission cars needed to be changed because of their mileage and age. So in bringing a 'new' car to Sucre we got to travel new roads, and discover new cities. 

Someday perhaps we can send missionaries here, but for now we build from centers of strength (we teach close to the church buildings so we do not have members in far away areas without support of local wards or branches.)

As usual, the trip was full of things to see alongside the road.  The mama pig was leading these little piglets down the road but I did not get the camera fast enough to get her too.

Goats love to run across the street. President Hansen has to be very watchful. This is taken through the car window.

We arrived in Tupiza to participate in a district conference only to     find our missionaries hurrying down the street. One of the little girls whose family had traveled from Uyuni for the conference, was                                                  missing.
 We joined in the search and every time we went down a different street we saw missionaries, out in force, looking for this little girl. We were so proud of their united efforts and prayers. The police finally found this little one, VERY far from where she went missing.  

One of the amazing things about Bolivia is the distance the Saints travel to attend meetings. This entire choir was from Uyuni, they traveled MANY hours by bus or train arriving in the wee hours of the morning. But they came to enjoy the District conference, smiling and enjoying their journey. 


                                                                                                                                           The end of November brought a wonderful gift. We were privileged to have Elder Godoy come for a special zone conference with ALL missionaries in Cochabamba and another conference with ALL missionaries in the south, held in Sucre. He lifted, taught and inspired us.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hugs from our family - visitors to Bolivia

August and September brought us two daughters!  We took time for our very most important responsibility as mission president and spouse. OUR FAMILY.  I thought it would be fun to post a few photos for tourists in Bolivia. There are many more places in our mission but these are the ones we visited, these two months.

Toro Toro National Park 
I need to admit the drive there and back were NOT my favorite parts of the trip. It is almost a five hour drive from Cochabamba, over dirt and cobblestone roads. 

                              Once there we found dinosaur footprints from many different                              dinosaurs. (no worries, she is not stepping on them . . .)

 Caves to explore, crawling through narrow passages, sliding and sometimes rappelling down rock faces, finding the blind fish - fun exploring!

Hiking to the bottom of the canyons finding water falls and swimming holes.

SALAR DE UYUNI - Worlds largest Salt Flat

There is no place this! The largest salt flats in the world, cactus islands, volcanoes and flamingos. Taking photos is always an adventure.  Ending a perfect day with a night in a hotel made out of salt just adds to the uniqueness.

High Alti Plano

There is quite a drive to get to the Salar but that is part of the fun. (The roads are good!) This is the high altiplano of Bolivia. We love the mountain geography, beautiful farmland and llamas which make for a fascinating drive

Rain Forests and Villa Tunari

 Hiking and exploring time!Rain Forests ......
Swimming holes

And a place to stay right in the middle of it all, so we can explore. We found beautiful flowers, butterflies with transparent wings and MONKEYS. We had heard they were around, but on this occasion we sat and they came and crawled on us like toddlers. Then at an unspoken signal they simply disappeared again into the forest.  



                                           We love this varied, always interesting country!