How sweet are these women?!!! They wanted to throw a goodbye party for our family, and so they planned to have us come to church the day after Joe returned so they could shower us with love, gifts and a book full of well wishes from families in the ward. I was in tears almost the moment I walked through the doors!
Our family is all here, I promise. Joe's behind the camera and the kids are having a blast running around with their friends.
These are some INCREDIBLE hermanas. Yes, this ward has some very difficult challenges. But when I see these faces, love fills my heart. These women are strong, and faithful, and love the Lord. They want to do what's right even if circumstances make it tough to do so.
I'm grateful for these friendships and pray that when I see them again one day, our hearts will still be bonded in Christ.
Luke and his all time favorite nursery teacher, Inez Munoz. She is THE CUTEST lady and even despite have a husband with Alzheimers and a bad hip making it tough for her to walk, she was there every single Sunday with a lesson planned for the nursery children. Often times it was just Luke who showed up, but she made sure she was there and even practiced some English words so they could communicate better. What an ANGEL she has been in our lives.
Hanging out, playing a little soccer in the Primary corridor. How cute are they? I love these boys.
Luke, Lucas, Liam and Ian.
My dear friend, Joana Mena. This is one incredible woman and I love her so much. I noticed her first when I volunteered to do singing time in Primary when we first moved here. She came every single Sunday with her daughter, Constanza, and sat in the back and never said a word. She always stayed in Primary. Never left to go to Sunday School or Relief Society. I think this had been going on for months. I had only spoken briefly to her every Sunday as time would allow, but I didn't know her very well, and I was still trying to understand the language, so I was limited. When I got called to Primary President, I just knew I needed her in my presidency. So she was called as secretary, and she accepted... then as my counselor...and I have been blown away at what this woman can do. She is a powerhouse. She gets it. She's not afraid and runs away when no teachers show up, half the presidency is out on vacation or sick and we don't have anyone to do singing time. She just says, "Don't worry! We'll figure it out and I'll do it." And she does. She started taking English lessons so she could better understand the English half of our Primary. She is a single mom of three beautiful girls and she supports not only them, but her entire extended family. She is an inspiration to me and I feel so blessed to call her friend. I'm going to miss her very much.
Oh.... Pauli, Lorena, Valy and Tiffany.
I just have made some AMAZING friends. I feel so blessed.
We thought we'd capture what was going on while the adults were all in the cultural hall talking and eating and shedding tears. Nice.
Eli, Kate and Macey.
I'm so grateful Kate has had such good girlfriends at church. Even though she is younger than both of these girls, she's taller as well, so it seems as though everything evens out a bit and age doesn't really matter.
The room that I have spent practically every single Sunday in, my entire time in Chile.
The kitchen across from the Primary room that usually smelled pretty gross.
Saying goodbye to the Primary Corridor :)
Yep... just because. I'll be happy to say goodbye to the bathrooms and the "nonexistent drinking fountains" in the building. That's for sure.
And one last picture. I don't know how many times we told the kids to leave the nursery tables alone. They have busted one too many by thinking they make the PERFECT slides. Yes, and the night of our party... there it was again. Had to capture it.
What an evening! It was so nice and we felt overwhelmed with love from our ward family. THANK YOU Tiffany and Valy for planning such a nice event. We are so grateful for you and will miss you so very much.