Family Night…. or Noche de Hogar


fun lady with 4 kids… She is a bit concerned because she just turned 30!!! in April… so OLD   We are standing on our 10th floor balcony.  Overlooking the city lights.  The ocean is to the left.  


Making a yummy traditional Chilean dessert. Sopapilas.. made with a squash called zapallo. kinda like pumpkin. Can you see the little girl being sooo helpful. Brings back the days of cooking from arms length, and over a small childs head


She’s such a great mama. She’s also a hair dresser lady.


Her little girl. She will be 6 in october. I have the kids write their birthday down on my family calendar.


Their whole family.  Minus littlest girl…. She was still in the kitchen rolling out her dough to fry.  


They like to draw on the white board.


The elders made it over in time for the games and the treat!!


Frying… oh yeah… frying those lovely treats in oil!!


what a fun evening we had with this family.   She taught us to make sopapillas.  Brian put together a game for the older girls to play.  He had them blindfolded and then set up a maze for them to navigate.  Meanwhile the elders were trying to either help them stay on course by telling them which way to go… or trying to confuse them by telling them the wrong way.  The people in the room are just calling out directions..  Go right… turn left…  walk straight… turn around… etc. etc.

You can guess what this activity was trying to accomplish.   We all have voices everyday giving us advice on where to go and it is important to listen to the right voice that will help us make better choices every day.  The older girls loved it.  They will be 10 and 12 this year.    Everybody had a good time.

This week I start teaching the older girl how to play the piano.  She loves to play.  She has an app on their phone they they use and she loves to come up after church and play on the keyboard.  She is excited to start learning notes etc.

It’s my hope that when I am gone she can play for their congregation.  That would be great.  They say over and over how much they enjoy having someone who can play for them.  Otherwise they just do the best they can without a piano.

Hugs to everyone.   We love you

Oh yeah…. and Hope you all enjoyed the Eclipse!!

Elder & Hermana Allen


Last Supper… Pantruca…New Elder


My first attempt at a soup called Pantruca…  Super yummy!!   It’s like the fat noodle chicken soup.  We will definitely be making this again…


a crazy dog at the cemetery….  he is very relaxed…    I have to get my dog fix in somehow.   I am not allowed to pet the dogs here because they may nasty bugs on them.    I haven’t pet a nice dog for a LONG time now.  

IMG_1937 (1)

Our new Elder….  new for us anyway.  A good one from Arizona.   We love Elder Passos from Brazil.  He is so great!!!   He is an older Elder and fantastic to work with.  He is learning English and does really good.   We are so lucky to have these great young men to work with.    They came for lunch after church today.  I made the pantruca again.   And… this time it was even better.  We had apple crisp with ice-cream for dessert.    That’s why everyone is smiling in the picture.  


How do you like the HUGE Lily…. and it is real.   The flowers here are beautiful.  This was one of our rainy days….hence the awesome rain boots and hoodie.

IMG_1921 (1)

Our dessert on the cruise ship!!!   I mean in Chile on our mission.   Hermana Diaz makes such great food.   Super delicious…

IMG_1920 (1)

More of the wonderful food for the youth (and adults)  that are heading home.  Come hungry!!!   

IMG_1919 (1)

Dessert Heaven… postres…

IMG_1918 (1)

I will miss you Hermana….   

Hugs to all… Thanks for you continuing thoughts and prayers for us.  And for these wonderful youth.  I am so glad to be here with them.

IMG_1931 (1)

Last but not least…. In Sunday school today we talked about the 2 types of Lobos inside us….One who is kind, compassion, love, patience etc.   The other is grumpy, angry, blames, hates, etc.   which Lobo will survive….     The one you feed!!       Nice drawing to go with his message.   And… i am understanding Spanish at church more and more.  Not talking just listening.   In fact I understood about 72% of the last speakers comments.   He did talk slowly.  Which was great for me.  

Until next time….

Elder & Hermana Allen

Sunny Days and Field Trips


a beautiful sunny day. we decided to take the camera to the ocean and climb out on the rocks to take pictures and sit in the sunshine.


We enjoyed the sunshine and just watched the waves come in and out.


a fabulous church activity. We did skits and then had treats. I made a apple cake. Because it was homemade everyone loved the cake.


Awwww. What a great group of young sisters and Elders. They are all smiles. Even though the evening was misty and chilly.                                                                                                                   Brian and I had quite the adventure getting there. We were bus hopping… trying to get closer to the right building. Our last resort was to ask a toothless native where we might find la iglesia de mormones. He took us to the building on his way home. He took us through some pretty dicey areas that we would not had gone by ourselves. What a great little miracle to help us get to our destination.




This looks like the grudge house. it is time to knock it down. We walk past it every time we go to our ward building. After the last rain storm some of the dirt and building materials were falling out onto the ground.     Right next to it are some very beautiful and colorful hostals and restaurants and they have the stairs all painted different colors.  


The women helping with the field trip. Like trying to herd cats….




The bus ride home with every chair taken by the kids….  Made for a very interesting and LOUD bus ride home.  We aren’t sure if it was a holiday or just a fun day for these kids to dress up and go for a field trip of some kind.  Reminded me of times of taking kids on field trips … when as a teacher you just want to keep all the kids together.  


On our ride home from beach. We got to enjoy the bus ride home with a group of kids on a field trip. How do you like the costumes.


Well friends…  What a great month of June…   Off and running to July.   I wonder what we will do for 4th of July??   I am guessing that no one around here cares about 4th of July BBQ and firework show!!  Maybe we will find a sparkler… or candle.. to celebrate with you all.

Thanks for all your prayers and support.  Hugs to you

Elder and Hermana Allen



32nd year of being married!! Who would have imagined that we would spend it in Valparaiso, Chile… we took the day off from working with the books in the cemetery. Spent it out in the city.


We like Peruvian food. So…we found a nice restaurant to eat at. The electricity only went off once. HA HA….   Brian had some great salmon potato and sauce.


Yummy chicken and fries.. Tasted great   Oh yeah… and RICE


We went shopping for sweatshirts… because it gets a bit chilly in the work place. They don’t have central heating. So we get to wear warmer clothes. we found a store that was called Nostalgic. I am guessing it was like a step above Salvation Army… Anyway… I found a nice sweatshirt that says NY Jets on it. So apparently I am a fan of the Jets now. who knew??


We found a BYU Cougar sweatshirt for Brian…. AND it was his size. What a great find. Both these sweatshirts were about $10….


Our new awesome Elder from Brazil. We have 2 from Brazil. One from Peru, One from Chile and Argentina. The rest are from USA. What a great new group. For our anniversary…. I made banana chocolate peanut butter brownies. Once they guessed how many years we had been married they got to eat the brownies. They like me because I feed them. I like baking… they like eating… Win – WIN

Hope you all are having a fabulous June….   Life is good here.   It is their winter time.

So far as we can tell winter means a bit colder and some occasional rain.  BUT…. now that we have sweatshirts it’s all good.   Our apt is nice and cozy warm.   I have my supply of hot chocolate and toast.

Hugs to you all.   and thanks again for all the well wishes for our anniversary.

El Matrimonio Allen’s

Good-Byes and BIG books


saying goodbye to some of the wonderful sister missionaries. we were all in Santiago. These ladies are awesome. Also… there’s the other “senior” sister…. she works in the mission office. Hermana Gould is wearing the blue scarf. What a great day


The Santiago Temple. We left at 6am to get there and be ready by 9am. Traffic didn’t get bad until the last half hour. It’s a smaller temple. Still very beautiful on the outside and on the inside. Very peaceful and calm.


This is our work space. My head was hiding the GIANT book of names. Dated 1901. Hopefully family members who are searching for great grandparents can find them now.


This is the book. Wanna guess how many pages it has?? Well… 4600 to be exact. And we took a picture of every single page. Took us about 7 days of work. We work about 4-5 hour days.


another day at the market. we like going to the market to get veggies and fruits and whatever else we can find.  I think I was trying to show us that the roof was gone.    But… oh well… that doesn’t seem to bother anybody.     at this market we went upstairs to see what it was like.  It was a food court of sorts.   Anyone that walked up there was totally mobbed by the people who were trying to convince you to  come and get food at their “restaurant” .    We weren’t hungry so we tried to make a mad dash to run out the back stairs. 

As always… we thank all of you who think of us and pray for us in any manner.   We do love it here.  Especially working with the people both those alive and those who are just a name to us living in BIG books…

Life is good


Youth that we LOVE


Choir practice with the youth… getting ready for Elder and Sister Packer to visit. We practiced first then sang happy birthday and took selfies.  The Sister in the purple jacket heads home June 13.  She has mixed feeling about leaving… I will miss her a lot.   I have gone with her 3 separate times for overnighters (called intercambios)   She is a wonderful missionary.  


A wonderful lunch with a great family.  They made some yummy fried fish dish.  The sister without the missionary tag on is wheelchair bound. She is 28 and her dream is to visit Utah and go to the Conference Center for General conference.  This family treated us so kindly. They wouldn’t let us ride the buses back home.  They said… “please, don’t take away our blessings”.  So they loaded their daughter in the car and took us home.    



Brian has a little stranger interested in the back of his head. We’re on the Metro headed to Villa Aleman for the conference with the Packers.  The ride to the conference was wonderful, quiet, tranquil, serene.. and it was at 830am.   The trip home was a different story.  Different people just randomly show up on the train and start singing or playing an instrument and they you pay for this “entertainment”.    When we saw the trumpet guy come through…. oh yeah!!  Nothing like a trumpet player on a subway type train.   He actually was pretty good, so we gave him some $$.  The rap singer guys were next.   All they did was make up songs that made fun of everybody they could see on the metro.  For them… no $$.   We were happy to get out of there before they were done “entertaining”  


We are happy to be here… Happy to share pictures…. Happy to meet wonderful people and be involved in good things.

Hugs   Elder & hermana Allen

Rainy Days, Hiking Days and Mother’s Day


Our first look at rain here in Valpo. It was fairly impressive. The best part was ALL the red mud that comes flying down the hills. Their drain system works fairly well…. just couldn’t keep up. Luckily this lasted only a day. We did decide to buy an umbrella though. Standing in the rain waiting for the bus wasn’t fun.


we also learned it’s wise to stand away from the road a bit when the buses go by….   They can splash the water pretty good.  


One of our favorite things to do is google hangout chat with the grandkids.  They are so fun to talk to.  Katelyn definitely gets her turn… or else!!   She especially likes  to  talk to grandpa


okay…. so this picture may not be so thrilling to look at.  But, these are some of the old records we are taking pictures of for family search people to index and find their family names and dates.  Anyway…. we thought it was interesting because notice that to put together this paper they did not use tape… they stitched it together with thread.   Maybe tape wasn’t invented in 1845…. I don’t know.  But… there’s an interesting old record


luckily….  the rain only lasted a day.  The next day was sunny and bright…  on the bus ride home we see this street dog so happy for the sun that he was asleep on his back in the plaza.   Just made me laugh.   They do take care of their street dogs.  They have water for them all over the place.  And the people here feed them.   We will walk around and see piles of dog food randomly placed.   They don’t clean up the dog pies however…. be careful where you step.  HA HA


Our trip to Vina…   we looked for a place to hike and found an outdoor ampitheater.   It was pretty fun to walk  around it.  Looks like it gets used.   


our hike by that ampitheater.   We try not to compare….however…. just sayin’…. it’s not quite like hiking in the Oregon gorge….  Nice view of Vina though.  And a beautiful day to be out hiking around.  



Our Mother’s day guests..   We made… or attempted to make… a fairly traditional Chilean meal.  It’s like shepherds pie.  A nice meat base with corn in it.  Mashed potatoes on top.  A few black olives with the pits still in them scatted in the meat.  Baked up nice and then cheese on top. The elders loved it.  Some nice rolls and jello with whip cream.  Super yummy.  They make awesome bread here.  So… we always have bread to eat.   I made some lemon bars for dessert.  Everyone was happy .   Elder Almeida being goofy in the background.    They stayed at our apt to call their moms for Mother’s Day.  Very sweet experience since the moms and families are so very excited to see and hear from their boys.  


While eating dinner with the 2 Elders we hear a knock at our door.  Which was weird cuz we only know the 2 that are sitting across the table from us.   We open the door and 3 more missionaries come in holding flowers and a gift bag.  They are there to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.   It was so great!!   What an awesome group of young men.  

Life goes merrily on….  We even felt a little tremor on Sunday again… now we just smile and don’t get to excited about it.

Every day brings something new and different.  We love the new experiences.  Life is good.

Thanks to everyone who sends little notes on Facebook or replies on this blog.

We are healthy and happy and eat way too much bread!!  But, it’s so good!!!

Elder & Hermana Allen



Birthday Fun


A really beautiful palace we toured.


taking pictures of the ocean. Very windy.


first time on the “subway” I was thinking it would be a quiet ride….not so… there was a performer who rode with us playing music and singing. After he was done. Get the money out!! It sounded pretty good so we gave money. Just like everyone else. It was a nice ride compared to the buses.


more palace pictures. They had a great mirror in the foyer. Brian took lots of pictures on his nice camera…


The beach at Vina. Such a nice day. Lots of people out and about at the beach. Some swimming. Although the water is still pretty cold.


Birthday dinner was a Peruvian restaurant. Brian had seafood of some sort. I was really happy the waitress brought out English menus. Because I was thinking of getting some skewers thing. Come to find out on the English menu that it was beef hearts on a skewer. AHHH NO THANKS… So I had chicken and some tasty red rice.


This is how we spent Brian’s birthday this year.  A lovely trip to Vina Del Mar.  A bit of walking around, a bit of touring and some eating, of course.  It was a fun day.

we are enjoying our time here.  I put occasional pictures on FaceBook if you want to see more pictures.

Every day is something different.  We got to  feel a few earthquake tremors.  Nothing new apparently to those who live here.  For us… we got a little more excited about it.

At the cemetery…. where we work in the  back room with all the old books.  They gave us a nice escape route.  Just in case…  They are concerned because the building is really old.  They don’t want to have 2 crushed gringos in the back room.

Hugs to all

Elder & Hermana Allen

Time with The Living


a fun evening planned by the elders…. people brought sandwiches, chips and sodas to share.   The Elders did a little skit.   It was celebrating an elder who was  going home.  Funny thing was…. the Elder had already gone home 3 days before… HHHMMM… Kinda like, after you are gone we will celebrate.   Fun times


Cutest little brown eyed beauty.   She wanted to hang all over her mom while the Elders were trying to chat with her.   I volunteered to hold her so her mom could listen and talk.  Best hour for  me.   Her older sister joined us and we played with their stuffed animals.  The older sister taught me the names of the animals…. since I don’t know them in Spanish.  Now I do.


Artwork time.   Elders teaching about Pascua…  (Easter) and about Jesus Christ being resurrected.  It helped that we all got paper and pencils to draw what we heard.  This room is their living room area.  Kinda doubles as a hall to the kitchen area.  Fun family.   I know have  mine and  Brian’s pic hanging up in out apt.


I went with the Hermanas for the afternoon, evening and over night.  They walked and walked!!  IT was great.  We visited 4 different ladies, walked miles, rode the bus, taught an English class in the evening.  Super hard workers.   This lady made us a HUGE lunch.  Their eat BIG lunches and small dinners.   The lunch I had was a plate I would give to a teenage boy.  Creamed lentil soup,  next was plate full of rice, meat, veggies.  Then… dessert.   I wasn’t hungry again until the next afternoon.


Great group of ladies.   The super smiley one in the grey is trying to learn about Jesus and live a happier life.  She talks fast and shared her story.  I understood about… 10% of it.  But I smiled a lot and gave hugs.   They hug a lot.


Had a sleep over with these awesome sisters….  We stayed awake and talked a lot…. luckily in English…. about families… life… work… schooling… hopes… dreams… etc.   They got me up at 7 am to work out… then study.  Then on bus we went back to the city.   Their apt is about 20 minute bus ride away from Valpariso.   It ‘s quiet, neighborhood area.  yards, kids playing in cud-de-sacs.  people have cars.  It was nice to see a difference.  AND… at night…. it was quiet.  Not the continuous barking dogs.

Well folks… that’s all for now.

Hugs to you all

Elder & Hermana Allen

Birthdays & OLD pianos


Happy Birthday Daniel….


Fun “surprise” birthday for one of the Elders…. during a zone conference. Nothing like a few minnions to wish you a great birthday. Good food. Great Company.


A beautiful old piano. Look at the wood!! I was the only one who knew how to play that day. So… I did it. I would love a piano like this when I get home. Maybe Santiago will ship it to me. HA HA

We are continuing to have new adventures every day.  Bus rides…  a fire off in the distance that had the city of ValPo shut off for hours…  We don’t know why??  Oh well

We saw a nice little taxi…. they drive like maniacs… ..  crash into a building.  That was exciting .

I don’t know how to speak Spanish like I want to.  Apparently  it takes longer than 6 weeks.  : )   I can understand more than I did at the beginning.  Still a far cry from chatting it up with people on the bus.

Brian can talk for  me.  So… that’s the good news.

The food is good and we are enjoying the people and the time here.