Tuesday, July 1, 2014

our homecoming

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Everyone on our flight saw our happy greeting. “Welcome Home” groups are not that common in the Charlotte airport.
What a beautiful sight!
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Almost as soon as we got back to the house, we called our missing daughter and her family. She is in the hospital waiting as patiently as possible for the arrival of our new granddaughter. They joined us via Facetime.
Presidente read our release letter from the First Presidency and the thank you letter from the Quorum of the Twelve. We took off our black name tags and pinned each other with the mission logo pin.
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On to the next chapter…

Sunday, June 29, 2014

the robertsons arrive

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It was a very cold and foggy morning. We had some worries on our way in that they might end up in Uruguay waiting for the clouds to lift. Fortunately, that did not happen. Our first stop was at the mission office.

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Then we continued to the mission home where we spent the rest of the day together. I have to say that it is all a little bit surreal.DSC02564

Saturday, June 28, 2014

our extra day

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It turned out that the extra day in Argentina was not only a blessing for us, but a blessing for our extended family, as well. We all appreciated the time and opportunities that it unexpectedly brought.

This evening, we met up with the office elders for dinner. I think that the missionaries that serve in the office are the unsung heroes of the mission. They do all the leg work and have a ton of additional stress making it all happen, in addition to teaching and baptizing. A million thank yous would not be enough.

We have a little code in the mission that if you have an emergency, you can call twice in a row. Over the three years, we have received some double calls. The truth is, that it is seldom an emergency. However, with our few genuine emergencies, it has been a real blessing. Fortunately, we had no real or imagined emergencies and all of us enjoyed a celebratory dinner together. I just forgot to take a picture before it was back to work while Presidente paid the bill.DSC02549

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As always, going the extra mile, the elders presented each of us with a little going away gift that will continue to remind us of our mission days…not that we are likely to ever forget! Nevertheless, we are so grateful for their kind gesture, and even more importantly the extra time we had to spend with them this evening.

Friday, June 27, 2014

last leadership meeting

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The last leadership council was a great one. Normally, we don’t have special musical numbers at these meetings, but today, there were two, and they were both extraordinary.
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Sometimes parents can be fortunate getting things into the country. Presidente received some Guarana from Brazil and I received this handmade shawl that is a tradition to wear on the first day of spring.
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One of the zones made a flag for us. And there were some leftovers for the missionaries to take back to their pensions for dinner tonight!
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The missionaries are also working on a welcome project for the Robertsons. We learned today that the long goodbye was going to last even a little longer than we thought. Hermana Robertson’s visa didn’t come in time. Their arrival and our departure has been delayed 24 hours.
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Normally, the missionaries come in and leave almost immediately after we finish. Today, everything was more relaxed and almost everyone wanted to take a few extra photos.
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A few years ago a youth soccer club in Thailand was highlighted by a bank that used the theme—Make the Difference. Our missionaries certainly are making a difference and I used it as the theme for the spiritual thought!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

the exit interview

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While all of Argentina was preparing to watch fĂștbal, we had our exit interview with imageElder Gonzalez. I believe that I met him for the first time when we were in the MTC in Provo. My husband, as the stake president, had previously worked with Elder Gonzalez when he was serving as the President of the North America Southeast Area. Elder Gonzalez has been an important and influential part of our mission, especially since he was called serve as the President of the South America South Area.

I loved how he expressed that some people think that the call as mission president lasts for three years, but that we now know that the call lasts for time and all eternity because that is how long our love lasts!

Sooooo true!

I am not sure that Elder Gonzalez meant things to come about exactly as they did, but I am very sure that it all happened according to the Spirit, and he said something that was very much a personal payday for my husband. Oh how blessed I feel to witness these tender mercies!

We love the missionaries and we love the work of salvation!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

the long goodbye

One of the strangest experiences for me in the mission has been our long goodbye. We have had stake conferences almost every Sunday for the past two months and every Sunday we say goodbye. It didn’t actually seem all that real until our beautiful experience with the missionaries last Wednesday. And now here we are just days away from leaving.

This is not going to be my last post, but we have some very busy days coming up and so this morning I wanted to take a minute to write a few things.

I have had quite a a lot of questions about the blog. My daughter helped me set it up before the mission and at that time, the expectation was that it would be an avenue to share our mission with our family. This morning with 485,000 pageviews, I realize that my family has grown significantly in every way.  I am always pleased to know when it has brought a moment of joy or given a bit of information. I appreciate more than I can express the love and support that I have felt through this medium.

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At this time, the Robertsons do not plan to continue with the blog. They will have their own traditions and talents to share. However, this blog will continue to stay on the internet. In a few months, I will post the link to the last blog book, as well.

We will return to North Carolina to visit with our children and grandchildren before returning home to Florida. We have plans to go to Utah for conference in October. It would be wonderful to meet with our missionaries and/or their families, if they are available. I will post some updates about that when the time is closer.

In any scenario, I will always keep our contact information updated on the blog tab at the top where is says “Contact Information.”

We always say that the missionaries have cement shoes because when it is time to go, we have the hardest time getting everyone moving. Not to mention the fact that in Argentina everyone has to have their own special goodbye acknowledgement. It is actually a tradition that I have come to love. I find that I am wearing cement shoes these days! So, with that in mind, I will post our goodbye video. Just know that you can expect to see a few more posts as we finalize our time here in the mission.

In an electronic world, I am grateful to be able to send out my love, but just know that from the bottom of my heart, I hope that it comes very personally to each and every reader!
Sincerely,
Hermana Carter