Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santiago Temple, Santiago, Chile

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We woke early, got ready, and headed to the temple, arriving around 8:30 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. session. When we walked through the doors, the man at the front desk said in English, “You two look like you are from North America.” His name was Elder Biddaulph from Denver. He said he and his wife lived about 700 feet from the Denver Temple and were on a temple mission in Santiago. He asked us to be the witness couple on the spot and sent us to get our clothing. We went to the clothing window, picked up our clothes, and headed back. When I asked la hermana if I needed to pay, she said, “No.” So, we don’t charge those who attend the Santiago Temple.

The session was wonderful. There were four males and eight females. It was a very small session, but the spirit made up for it. We had a nice prayer circle. I completed the entire session in Spanish--for the first time ever. I did all right. I knew what it was supposed to be in English, but I was more than tenuous as a Spanish speaker. But I made it through and met Joanne in the Celestial Room, which was beautiful. We sat down and just enjoyed the spirit.


Later, we dressed and headed outside and toured the Temple grounds. What a beautiful place! Flowers were starting to bloom, the trees looked wonderful, and the grounds were immaculate, just like any other temple grounds. The Church has a systematic approach to keeping things neat, clean, and beautiful. Thank you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Viaje a Chile

Welcome to Chile o sea Bienvenidos a Chile!e are in Chile! Yes, we have returned the long, slender country know to the world as Chile, more specifically to southern Chile--Talca, La Union, and Puerto Montt with a plane landing in Santiago to get here. I will write when I can and insert pictures as we go. So, here are some first things:

As we were flying into Santiago, off to the east were the magnificent mountains that make up the Andes also known by many as the Cordillera. Wow! What a spectacular sight. I tried to take some pictures out the window; so, we shall see what they turn out to be. We landed around 8:00 a.m. By 8:30 a.m., we had passed through customs. We each had to pay a $131 entrance fee just to get in the country. Then we passed through customs. That wasn’t too hard.

We walked over to the Alamo place and stood there for a good half an hour for them to run through their things. Holy cats it took them a long time. I believe Budget spends most of their elsewhere. Finally, we were almost there when their system crashed so we had to start all over again. In the meantime, we finished and headed out to the car.

Now, what a experience this was. The guy and I walked around the car to make sure that he has written down all of the dings and things. There were a bunch, much more than the ones we see in the USA; but after driving around, I soon learned why. We drove out and followed the arrows. The GPS didn’t work; so, we didn’t get one to use. Basically, we were on our own. Soon, we did get lost and didn’t turn when we were supposed to. After stopped at a farmacia, we went on our way and poof got lost again. Amazingly, though, we just happened onto the Avenida Eliodoro Yañez. Ten blocks later we pulled off the street into one of the hotel’s parking spaces. When we checked in, we discovered we were way too early. We got directions and headed to the temple. Because of all of the one-way streets everywhere, it took us longer than we what thought. But in reality, it is only about ten minutes away. We plan on going to the temple tomorrow morning. We will try to hit the 9:00 a.m. session. The Church has a huge building on temple grounds. It must be the headquarters for the Church here in Chile.

When we returned, we checked in. A young man led us to our room. Lo and behold, it looks like a suite. He had already brought up our luggage and placed it in our room. Joanne and I lay down and fell asleep because we didn’t sleep well last night or morning, whichever it was. I just woke up around 12:30 p.m. and decided to begin my Chilean journey.

After we returned, we decided to walk around and find a place to exchange some dollars. Well, the bank where we wanted to go had a sign out that they were doing something inside; so, we couldn’t go in. We came back in ½ hour when they said they were going to open back up, but they never did. Come to find out, banks open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 2:00 p.m. Now, that’s where bankers receive the adage “bankers’ hours.”

Around 7:20 p.m., we walked down to the lobby and outside and waited for Fernando, Gloria’s husband (She served in our District/Zone in Puerto Montt). He was supposed to pick us up around 7:30 p.m. Because of the traffic y otras cosas, lateness isn't an issue. Well, around 7:45 p.m. or so, he drove up in his car. We gave abrazos, got in, and headed out to their apartment. The traffic was terrible. We arrived around 9:00 p.m. or so. We passed by Frank Aravena’s office, which is also Fernando’s office because they work together; then we headed for the apartment, arriving around 9:00 p.m. Gloria was there.

She had fixed us jugo. We had such a nice chat, some in English but mostly in English. Soon, it was time to eat. They had fixed asparagus, papas de purė, tomatoes, roast beef, little potato balls, and cucumbers. For dessert, we had flan, which is okay for once in a while. During the meal, we reminisced about Concepcion, about the mission, and about the families. After dinner, we chatted, took pictures, said our good byes, and Fernando took us home. We arrived around midnight. Joanne and I were both exhausted. After reading scriptures, we fell into bed. But what a wonderful evening with my Chilean friends. Just wonderful!

Stay tuned for more from los viajeros Chilenos!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stick Horses

When my youngest daughter was young, she moaned about not having a horse. At times, it has become so bad, I hated to drive by a pasture where horses might be nibbling on a leaf of grass. She will use that voice, “Oh, Dad, aren’t those horses beautiful?” We did succumb and give her riding lessons, but that didn't lessen the desires of having a horse. She thought that since she had riding lessons, a horse should follow, something akin to if you go to a basketball camp, your parents should buy you a basketball court or put you on a basketball team. Fortunately, manufacturers solved that problem: portable basket hoop, which we had for years in our driveway. Now, what about a portable horse?

My Uncle Wilford solved that problem years ago—at least for me. With his nifty bandsaw, a chunk of inch or inch and one half pine board, a couple of white tacks, colored string, and 36" dowel, he was in business. One family reunion at the old rock building in Menan, he brought a whole herd of horses in the back of his pickup. And they didn’t even make a mess or require much coaxing to get them out.
He maneuvered them through the white doors of the building and handed them out to the little people, me included.

Mine was a beaut. The way I remember him, he was the epitome of a perfect stick horse: black head, cut carefully by a bandsaw; white tacks stuck deep in the pine and served as eyes. Carefully placed in the crevice where the saw dipped in to make his mouth, the yellow string reins were drawn tight to the back where the mane was supposed to be and stapled high on the neck. Its body was one slim dowel smushed tight in a round hole, held in by wood glue. How could you not love such a wonderful creature? And he was mine and didn’t take much of corral to keep him, either.

At that time, my corral was 1509 Beverly Road in Idaho Falls. Our backyard bordered what was to become Casseopeia Street. I don’t remember a road then, just high weeds that had some semblance of a trail weaving through it, built just right for little boys and stick horses. The weeds served simultaneously as sagebrush and big trees we could lope around and through. And on a good day, I could jump them although my horse’s hoofs sometimes dragged in the brush. I could never get him to make the clean jump. His 36" shank just couldn’t clear the tall timber. Not once, though, did we roll or get bucked off because of it.

I usually rode bareback. I climbed on from the left side, just like a regular cowboy, and grabbed the reins with my left hand. Sometimes, I was plain bold and hopped on from the back end, like I had seen Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger do. And when I was in a big hurry, I stuck the long shank between my legs and rode pell mell out into the back yard, out the back gate, and through the weeds, pretending I needed to save folks holed up in fort just over the ridge. My job was to save souls and ride hard.

Often, my little pony would begin to buck incessantly. I have to admit, though, I induced him to buck more times than not. It was awesome the way I stayed on, left hand on the reins, right hand back (often vice versa), sometimes with my hat waving in the wind. He bucked high, and then he twisted around like some wild bronco I had seen once at the Jefferson County Stampede. If the judges had been there on those occasions, I probably would have scored high.

Somewhere along the way, my stick pony ended up in the fire bin, I suppose the way all good pine horse go. But I had several along the way. I think I even made one, once in cub scouts.

My daughter is now too old for a stick horse and out of the house. I figure by now the thoughts of possessing a pony have dissipated from her mind although I doubt it. I still think about the reasons why I just didn’t buy her a regular horse. But the thoughts of a different kind of horse comes to mind: one that does not need a garage or insurance or new tires or beaded seat cushions. I wonder if I could talk her into just riding her shank pony.