We had been planning to visit Arauco sooner or later, but because of a mix-up in appointments with someone who wanted to apply for a PEF loan, we made the drive down the coast on the last Sunday of November.
The farthest we had been was the white beach of Lota.
We kept going down the well-engineered Ruta 160, which is being widened and expanded, like most of the highways in Chile south of Concepcion.
We passed the main Arauco wood products plant, which gives the surrounding countryside its main source of income.
To Elder Kennington's delight, we also passed pastures full of grazing cattle. He says he can feel the angst fall away when he is in the countryside. Since coastal areas can often be cool and quite windy, they are not vegetable- and fruit-growing areas like the inland areas, but they can grow pasture.
The municipality of Arauco
Rama Arauco, the LDS branch, was small, but had a young, dynamic president who answered all our questions. He is an engineer at the wood products plant and financed his degree with a Perpetual Education Fund loan.
After visiting with Elena Andrea about a possible PEF loan, we saved the family a long walk by driving them home.
Arauco has many nice large homes with un-gated yards.
More grazing dairy cattle on the way out of town.
This is our third week of teaching a class of English for You Now Tuesdays and Thursdays, to a group meeting in the Institute building. We usually have an attendance of 15-20. Our students are bright, articulate, and speak English pretty well.
We made a special order to the copper man for this Plancha of the Washington D.C. temple. He did an amazing job on it. It is on its way to Florida to one of my favorite couples.
We found a juego de sartenes - set of pans - fine German cookware on a good sale at a restaurant supply shop, and bought it so we could give pieces to people we love. We gave the large pan and pot to Maria Conejo, who cooks so many dinners for so many missionaries, and were told she put it on the table to look at it, and wouldn't cook with it for a week. She is cooking with it now, and discovers she saves on food costs because it doesn't burn.
Sunday we drove to Penco so I could accompany Romy's women's Christmas chorus and the Penco full-time missionary choir on the piano. President Arrington had unwisely transferred the young missionary sister who was accompanying the chorus, and since he had taken her away, he had to replace her with another sister missionary.
We could smell roast peanuts from the confiterie cart across the street, a welcome change from the often unusual smells of Penco.
The missionaries and women's chorus started gathering. Eventually the entire stand was full and overflowing of young voices. It was a pleasure to accompany them.
The stake presiden'ts wife Solange, who knows just what to do with a big chorus of young people. They sounded wonderful. Our presentation will be on December 20th.