Saturday, October 23, 2010

No, It isn't the Garden of Eden but...

The South America Northwest Area Mission Presidents' Seminar was held at a resort hotel in the Sacred Valley. Built on the property of a 19th Century hacienda which stands almost hidden in the center of the resort, the hotel has the feel of a monastery. The old house surrounds a classic stone patio with with two floors of rooms on three sides. The patio opens into a cloistered garden paradise of tropical flowers and plants. Three mackaws were watching us from their perch as we walked through the garden to our building.

We are perched on a Machu Picchu-shaped rock with the chapel and mountain in the background. To our left is the main dining area and lobby. The meetings were held in a sunken garden beyond the main building, a peaceful and private setting given the spiritual nature of meetings.

This bed coverlet draped across the bottom of the bed is made of alpaca. We love the color and design.
We really appreciated the fresh flowers and glass tray of fruits. I don't know the names of the fruits but they were delicious.

Dr. and Hna. Weidner are living in Bogota. We really enjoy being with them. We flew to Bogota to meet and welcome them into the mission field. They are doing a great work there making contacts with medical advisors and seeing to the health of the missionaries in the three northern countries.

The Ramoses and we are standing on a knoll where llamas graze. Brother Ramos is a former mission president, the Director of Temporal Affairs for the Area, and a counselor to President Whetten at the CCM. Rosie is in the Relief Society presidency. She is the one who asked me to demonstrate making brownies in Relief Society. They are originally from Guatemala.

President and Hna. Sloan preside over the Quito Ecuador Mission. They have invited us to visit in January to speak in zone conferences!

This is one of the motel like buildings on the property. The rooms are absolutely sound proof and elegant in layout, design, and amenities.

This Catholic chapel is a functioning parish.

Dad and I are standing on the bridge that leads to the cloistered garden by way of a path on the right side of the chapel.

These evergreen trees are my favorite--tall, stately, and symetrical. I think we cannot grow these trees in Utah because they require so much humidity.

Everywhere we looked and walked, there was beauty in design and color.

This lagoon and plantings are really colorful and peaceful. There are other lagoons we heard about but didn't have time to see.

This close up of us and the Weidners was taken from a different angle and is especially fun because the llamas were in the background. One of the mission presidents got too close to the brown llama which spit in his face. He told us his skin and eyes burned. He had to return to his room to wash his face and irrigate his eyes.

I took this picture looking back toward the main building fromn the bridge. At night the lights are really beautiful. We could have walked an hour and not have seen all the grounds. We wish we had had more time. We didn't even have time to shop in the hotel gift shops. The meetings started Sunday night with a Sacrament Meeting and talks by each of the Area presidency. The meetings were rich with doctrine and tools for teaching missionaries how to teach more effectively the mission and Atonement of the Savior and the role of the Holy Ghost. Monday night a stake of Young Men and Young Women presented dances from the Cusco region.
This picture gives a glimpse into the color and design of the property.

Unfortunately, this picture is not clear, but we were inside the cloistered garden.

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