|Tanner and the two missionaries he trained.|
I am definitely gonna a need a good foot and hand spa treatment when I get home. :) Maybe Emma and Mick can help me out that Friday night. As you can see from the picture, my foot fungus has returned once again. I am guessing Mick and Emma would be overjoyed to help me... :)
This week was a real good one. On Tuesday I was feeling pretty sick with diarrhea and vomiting, but by Wednesday I was feeling fine again. On Wednesday we had a multi-zone conference. Other than it being really long, everything went well and it was a good conference. I was sad to see a bunch of my favorite missionaries for the last time. That night we got back to Facatativa at 8:30. On Thursday we had to go back to Bogota to get my new cedula or Colombian ID. Luckily it was pretty easy and not too much of a pain in the neck. That day we also helped an elderly woman clean her couches. They are made of some sort of carpet/wool material, so we scrubbed them with soap and then with pure water. She was content with our work.
We also did another "Cine Mormon" activity this Saturday. This time we watched the Other Side of Heaven. It is a pretty decent movie. We had a good crowd show up. It was fun and everything enjoyed themselves.
So today we had our "flower tour." [Note from Brad - I have an employee who's parents are from Colombia and currently live in Miami. They operate a flower importing and distribution business. My employee arranged with her father who does a lot of business in Facatativa to have a tour of there facilities there. Her father was very pleased to be able to do it.] We met up with this guy named Felipe, some representative of a flower company connected with Sole Farms, or Mauricio Jaramillo´s company, at 10 AM. He and some woman drove us 30 minutes to Mountain Farms or Mountain Flowers, or something like that. Sole Farms has 45 farms in the Facatativa area. Each farm employs about 400 people. We arrived and were given a tour by Felipe, and 4 other staff members of Mountain Farm, including the main boss. They showed us the way flower are planted, maintained, cut, stored, packed, and shipped. It is a pretty legit scientific process. What I did not know is that they cut the flowers before they are fully developed so that when they arrive in store or your home they fully bloom or open there. They transport the flowers in very cold conditions right after they are cut until they arrive at Walmart, Costco, etc. The farm is all pretty well kept and well organized. Check out the link I will include below that shows pictures of the huge white tents under which all the flowers are grown. The tents are huge and the rows and columns of flower beds go on forever. Also, roses can take literally years to grow. They have some rose bushes that are 17 years old. Anyway, they treated us very well, got us free drinks and food at the cafeteria, showed us all over the facility, and even gave us two huge bouquets of flowers. These flowers were already packaged and I SWEAR the packaging had the Stop and Shop logo on it. Maybe SoleFarm is the provider of Stop and Shop flowers?? The bouquets would probably be dang expensive in the states. Anyway they then drove us back to Faca and dropped us off. Everyone was very nice and even though every single worker was staring at us the entire time, it was a cool experience. Mom would have loved it. I did not take any pictures, so look at the website for an idea of what it all looks like.
This is a run-down of my final week before I head home.
----This is my last week in the "field." On Sunday I will travel to Bogotá during the afternoon to stay with the missionaries in Quirigua overnight. Monday morning, I have to pick up Elder Henningson, my companion for the last week who is also ending his mission with me, from the bus terminal as he is coming in from Bucaramanga. Monday night we have a special fireside (a close knit meeting) in the mission home among all the missionaries ending their missions. There are 12 of us in the same group. 2 gringos, 3 Latin Sisters, and 7 Latin Elders. On Tuesday we have a program called PEF that lasts from 8AM till 5PM. PEF is pretty much a debriefing before they send us home. After PEF we will go to the temple in Bogotá. Wednesday I have my final interview with President Laney. Thursday I will have to wake up at 2AM to go to the airport on time to from my 7AM flight. Elder Henningson and I will both fly to Atlanta, but then he will head to Utah and I will head to CT. That pretty much sums up the last week of the mission. -----
I am out of time. I need to go. Love you all very very much.