I am going to take you on a "Tour of the Mission" so you can see the variety of scenery we get to enjoy here in the mission. These pictures were taken several weeks ago as we traveled around the mission for Zone Conference. That was before the last transfer so think back to where you missionary was then so you will know what zone to look in!
One of the things our mission seal shows is this variety in the landscape of the mission. We have the Atlantic Ocean on the east side of the mission and the Andes Mountains on the West side. Geographically...our mission is one of the largest missions in the church. This is a long blog post because there are many things to see. Remember to double click on a picture if you want to see it bigger! I am excited to take you on a tour of the mission!
This street is called Olascoaga and is the street the Mission Home is on. We will be driving to Trelew today. It is about a nine hour drive.
As we leave Neuquen we go past these beautiful rivers. They are a blessing to the city for the water they bring and for the recreation they provide. People love to spend time down by the river!
Most everyone goes through this toll booth to go in or out of town. You must pay a 1/2 peso to go through the toll booth. There is an agreement that if there are too many cars waiting in line then they will raise the bar and let everyone go through for a while without paying to keep the lines shorter. There is a lot of horn honking here as people try to say that they think the lines are too long!
Neuquén is known for growing fruit. If you look close you can see the apples on these trees.
There are several small cities bordering Neuquén and we drive through them on our way to Trelew.
Once we get outside of Neuquén and the surrounding cities it is quite dry and desert like.
After several hours of driving it is nice to have a little break and stop to get some gas. It is nice to get out of the car for a few minutes and stretch our legs!
One thing we notice in many areas of the mission is that the farmers plant this fast growing tree to separate their land. It works well as a "fence" for them.
Again...it is the water that makes all the difference!
Then we are back to desert for most of the nine hour drive.
One thing that breaks up the drive is if we get stopped for an inspection to see if we have red meat or to check the paperwork for us and the car. This was the first time this has happened... but this nice lady saw that we were members of the church and just let us go on through. She said she was also a member of the church.
Back to more desert!
We arrived! We are in Trelew!
There are parks to enjoy
The Bus Station
The Flamingos in the pond
The food court where we like to eat because it is so fast!
The downtown area is very clean and modern. We are especially glad to see this building because it is our hotel! We stay here every six weeks.
The next morning we had to our zone conferences in this beautiful church. We were so excited to see these missionaries!
The Trelew Norte Zone
The Trelew Sur Zone
After Zone Conference we drove the four hours to Comodoro. We wanted to be in Comodoro this Saturday night to make it easy to drive an hour to Caleta Oliva in the morning for church. Caleta Oliva is one of the Districts in the Mission. The districts of the missions are under the stewardship of the Mission President so we try to visit them as much as possible.
The City of Comodoro is growing. There is a lot oil and gas industry. It is one of the most prosperous towns in the mission. It is beautiful along the ocean. It is also very windy.
We got up early the next morning so we could get to church in Caleta Olivia. The one hour drive along the Ocean was very enjoyable. What a beautiful part of the mission!
This is Caleta Olivia!
They have a beautiful Church here. There are four branches in the Caleta Olivia District.
After the meetings we drove to President and Sister Castro's home for lunch. President Castro is the District President of the Caleta Olivia District.
President Castro loves to cook and they both always make us feel so at home. We then went back to the church for an afternoon of meetings with the District Presidency.
After the meetings we picked up the assistants at the zone leaders pension so we could get back to Comodoro. These are four great missionaries!
Sunday night we drove back to Comodoro. We will have Zone Conference here tomorrow morning. It was getting dark as we arrived but here are a few pictures of the downtown area of Comodoro.
The next morning before went to Zone Conference we had a very important task. We were to pick up the facturas! They make them all right here. As you can see...they have had a busy night here at the Panaderia!
It is a tradition in the mission for the missionaries to eat facturas as we gather for Zone Conferences.
We had a wonderful Conference with the Missionaries in the Comodoro and Caleta Olivia Zones.
The next day we started on our ten hour drive across all of Argentina to Bariloche.
We are so grateful for our GPS! With it we feel pretty confident that we will arrive where we want to be!
Notice all the oil wells out in the field. This oil is a big industry in this part of our mission.
It is dry and desert like on our drive but there are many interesting things to see.
We were hoping we would see what we call the ostriches and we think we spot some up ahead!
This is the most we have ever seen! We saw a mom and her babies in the spring but we were so excited to see them here so we could show them to you!
Some parts of the road need repairing. It is a very long road!
As we drive through some of the little towns it is fun to see the children playing.
In many of the small towns we drive through...the only roads that are paved are the main roads through town.
This is a town where we don't have missionaries right now but hopefully we will be able to have them be here soon!
It is so fun to start seeing the mountains on the west side of the mission.
These are the mountains of Esquel. We usually stay overnight in Esquel but we will drive straight to Bariloche today so we are there for Zone Conference tomorrow.
We couldn't tell what we were being stopped for here.
Then we saw the "La Trochita"...a tourist train here in Esquel.
The children had fun waving at us!
We really do enjoy traveling together. It gives us time to talk about many things of the mission but it also a time to just spend time together. Our assistants are wonderful and very fun to be with!
The scenery on the way to Bariloche is breathtaking! I think I have taken pictures of these same places five or six times. They are just so beautiful!
We loved being with the Bariloche Zone for Zone Conference!
Bariloche is very beautiful. It has beautiful mountains but when you add the lakes along with the mountains it is amazing!
The city of Bariloche
After Zone Conference we received an important e-mail. We wanted to share it with the assistants but not just in the car on the way to Zapala. We made wanted to tell them somewhere special. We made a plan! We told them we wanted to take a few more pictures down by the lake.
They do know I love to take pictures so they didn't suspect anything unusual!
Then President told them about the e-mail he received the night before. The mission was going to be divided! They were pretty surprised! It was a surprise for all of us that it was happening this July. We would have many things to talk about as we drove the 4 hours to Zapala for our Zone Conference there!
The drive from Bariloche to Zapala is beautiful!
I didn't take many pictures in Zapala so I am including some from a few of our missionaries that have served there so you could get an ideas of what Zapala is like.
It was so great to be with the Zapala Zone for Zone Conference!
Now we were headed for Neuquén! I only have a few pictures of our trip from Zapala to Neuquén. We saw desert and scenes like these.
We are getting close to Neuquén....
This is our street. It goes past the Mission Home...right down to the river. People love to go to the river to cool off and spend time with friends and family.
We are home! It is always so exciting to be here and sleep in our own bed! We will be here for the weekend and have three more zone conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tuesday morning we started early to get to Roca for the Zone Conference there. The assistants had ordered the facturas and it took just a minute to pick them up.
It was beautiful as we drove about an hour to Roca for the Zone Conference there.
One of the churches in Roca. This is where we will have Zone Conference today.
The Roca Zone Conference was great!
As we return back to Neuquén we use the big round about. Round abouts are very common in Argentina.
Neuquén is a beautiful city!
We go back through the toll booth and we are back in Neuquén!
This is the main part of down town Neuquén.
The next day we had a Wonderful Zone Conference with these two zones!
The Neuquén Oeste Zone
The Neuquén Zone
This was a very quick tour of the mission. There are so many other places to see and people to meet. We hope you got a feel for the beauty and variety that we get to experience every six weeks! Because of the distances we travel and the things we do in each area it usually takes close to two weeks to travel the mission for Zone Conferences and Interviews.
We have many feelings as we realize that we won't be able to see many of these places and the many wonderful people we have grown to love that live in the southern part of the mission after July. We do recognize the hand of the Lord as the church continues to grow and bless the people here in Argentina!