Sunday, July 31, 2011

random and totally useless mission home stats

I reminded Presidente the other day that we have been on our mission for a month now. Thirty-five to go. Not that I am counting, it is just what it is. He said that the time is going too fast, but it seems to me like we have been here a really long time. I think that is because there are so many things that are new to me and we are so busy everyday. Anyway, here is my list of random and totally useless statistics for the first month in the mission:statistics

unpacked 99 boxes

fed 43 missionaries here at the house

been transported by trains, taxis, remises, our car and the mission van

ordered vegetables to be delivered to the house

ordered ice cream to be delivered to the house (actually you can order almost anything to be delivered, but these are the two that we have done so far)

traveled all over the place to meet and interview 178 missionaries

fed 11? cats (It is really hard to know how many. Sister Benton fed all the neighborhood cats and left us with something like 150 pounds of cat food in the garage. The first week we were here the cat food delivery people called us and asked us if we wanted more cat food!)

attended 2 parent/student orientation meetings at school

Presidente has eaten at least 30 empanadas and 30 pieces of pizza ( Those are the missionary staples. I normally make my own lunch. I, however, have eaten at least 30 facturas, which are Argentine pastries…so yummy!)

met with members of the area presidency on two occasions

had our picture taken 200 or more times

put 2,000 kilometers on our car (Presidente says it is not the miles, but the hours enduring Mr. Toad’s wild ride. The drivers here are crazy!)

stood in a lot of lines (I have no idea how many or how long. It just seems like we are always standing in a line for something.)

lost our phone, internet and television service (In fact, we have yet to have all three of them working at the same time.)

worn a coat everyday

Presidente has read 68O letters

watched the sunrise 28 times, I think

played zero games of tennis, I know

walked more than 100 miles (I don’t know how far I have walked either, but we walk a lot everyday)

been offered help from the missionaries and from random people we meet along our way on a regular basis

understood some of what I hear (Normally, I think I am understanding like 80% of what I hear. But sometimes I don’t understand a thing.)

shaken 700 hands? Presidente has probably given/been given at least that many abrazos

listened to many beautiful missionary experiences

fallen in love and been amazed at the depth and breadth of our truly fabulous missionaries

dealt with the conflicting emotions of missing home and yet feeling incredibly blessed by this wonderful opportunity

been extremely grateful for all the prayers offered all over the world for the missionaries

felt loved and protected every single day

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


With the help of Elder and Sister Cox, the President, myself and our daughter, Brianna went to apply for our DNI this afternoon. This is a requirement for all missionaries in Argentina.  I forgot my camera, but I can tell you that the walls were gray and the floor was gray and the lights were fluorescent, giving everything a pretty gray cast.  I think the logo for the Direccion Nacional de Migraciones was blue and the public servants were all wearing navy blue shirts.
D.N.I. stands for Documento Nacional de Identidad, i.e. National Identity Document. If you're going to be in Argentina for any length of time you need it, and fortunately, the church has already asked the missionaries to gather the information for the prep work.
These are the documents needed in order to apply for a D.N.I.:
  • Original certified birth certificate which has an apostille or has been legalised by the Argentine consul in your country of birth. This must be translated into Spanish by a registered national public translator and verified by the Colegio de Traductores Publicos.
  • Your residence certificate as issued by the national immigration office (e.g. your RadicaciĆ³n temporaria or RadicaciĆ³n permanente.)
  • A document issued by your local police authority which states your current residential address (Certificado de Domicilio)
  • 2 passport photos
  • And…a photocopy of all of the above because the  government offices in Argentina are notorious for requesting photocopies of just about everything, so it's better to have them ready just in case.
When these are all in order, Sister Cox makes an appointment for the missionaries online and notifies them. At that point the missionaries go to the central D.N.I. office at the scheduled time.
Our appointment was at 4:00 and we arrived at 4:00.
The process at the D.N.I. office went like this:
  • Joined the only available queue.
  • Had our documents looked over and were given  3 numbers 396, 398, 399.
  • Proceeded downstairs.
  • Checked the number currently being served – 296.
  • Observed the length of time and number of people served and calculated that we would wait approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • Sat in the gray chairs and waited.
  • Waited an hour and 50 minutes and then had our documents looked over again (by someone more knowledgeable?)
  • Stated that my husband was currently being served at window 15 and had the fact that I was the mother of the person at window 6 verified.
  • Had photos done again even though we have photos with us that we were asked to bring. They handed those back to us.
  • Given an invoice so we could proceed to the second downstairs queue.
  • Went and paid the application fee ($30 pesos each for Brianna and I, or approximately $7, but the Presidente had to pay $50 because he had previously had a DNI).
  • Returned to the same, now waiting, 3 public servants that were serving us at windows 15, 10 and 6 with proof of monies paid.
  • Read things, signed things, had fingerprints made again even though they also have copies of those. (My fingerprints are particularly hard to read and even though my nails were white from the pressure I was putting on them, the processor had to add extra pressure to 8 of my 10 extremities).
  • Given a piece of paper stating that our D.N.I. applications are in process.
  • Advised by the Cox’s that this procedure normally takes the missionaries half a day since they usually go in the mornings when DNI offices are apparently even busier. The missionaries however, prefer to be working in the afternoon and evenings when the people are generally more available to meet with them.
  • Went home and felt good knowing that our D.N.I. application is in process and we would receive it… sometime?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Our mission has a little publication that comes out every six weeks. It is called the Standard of Success. Among other items, it contains a message. This month President Carter wrote it, but the message may come from various others, as well. His message introduces a new logo for our term of service. He explains the various items in the logo and the symbolism. We have already posted a picture of it on the sidebar here on the blog.

The Standard also recognizes the missionaries that have met specific standards of excellence. This transfer 28 companionships are recognized.

The final page shows the Pastores, missionaries that are completing their mission and the Refuerzos, missionaries that are arriving.

If you don’t speak Spanish, you may still want to see the pictures of the companionships that have been recognized. Just click on the link “July” on the sidebar underneath the word Estandarte and share our mission joy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

cox family


Elder and Sister Cox work in the mission office. She takes care of the medical needs of our missionaries, interfacing with the area doctor. He takes care of the mission finances, including the housing for the missionaries. They stayed over Saturday night and Elder Cox accompanied the presidente on his responsibilities on Sunday. Sister Cox, Brianna and I attended our local ward. The Cox’s lived in Chile for six years and Mongolia for four years on work-related assignments with the church. As you can probably imagine,  they are very interesting to chat with and they are also fun! Sister Cox even made cinnamon roles for us. We feel so blessed to have them in the mission.

Friday, July 22, 2011

zone leaders council


We invited the zone leaders to the mission home today for the zone leader council meeting. Normally the missionaries each give my husband a big abrazo at the beginning of each meeting and there is always a handshake for me. However today, they said that they were going to give him a very special welcome. DSC01630

And it was. Each missionary brought a tie and gave him a tie along with an abrazo.DSC01634

It was a very emotional experience for the Presidente. He said that he felt like each missionary had shared a part of himself in that way.







I loved hearing the missionaries singing with gusto.DSC01635

The Presidente and the assistants trained for 3 hours. We had lunch and then a final wrap-up for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, we took a group photo on the front porch DSC01642

and then some individual pictures that various missionaries requested.DSC01646

DSC01648While waiting for the bus to take the elders back to the mission office, I grabbed my camera to capture a moment that I feel shows the Presidente’s joy and love for these elders.

See you all again soon!


Thursday, July 21, 2011



Last of all, we met the elders and sisters serving in Lujan. I have been looking forward to meeting the elder that my husband set apart as a missionary over a year ago from our stake, Elder Scott. We feel so very blessed to have such amazing missionaries. It has taken three weeks, but we feel like we know each and everyone of them, at least a little bit. The missionaries serving in Lujan beginning in the top row from left to right are: Elder Schwaar, Elder Foster, Elder Rasmussen, Elder Velasquez. Second row: Elder Hutchins, Elder Salazar, Elder Bagley, Elder Escobar. Third row: Elder Millard, Elder Bauldomero, Elder Felipe, Elder Scott. Fourth row: Sister Tucker, Sister Svedin, (above) Elder Walker, (below) Elder Heddy and Elder Lencina.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011



This is the zone with the most sister missionaries. Our daughter Brianna enjoyed chatting with them. The collage shows companionships—Elders Steele and Guzman, Elders Anderson and Savage and Sisters Azcurra and Herbsommer. The next row we meet Elders Heims and Ponce, Elders Cerda and Brown and Sisters Clark and Navarro. In the last row are Elders Leavitt and Vorwaller, Sisters Duarte and Johnson and the zone leaders Elders Gutierrez and Quackenbush. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011



The elders in Moreno are in the smallest zone in the mission, but mighty in spirit. We met Elder Walsh, Elder Parker, Elder Preslar, Elder Vilches, Elder Berglund, Elder Castro, Elder Lewis, Elder Caceres, Elder Peoppelmeier, Elder Schmeil, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Riutor, Elder Sypherd, Elder Alkema, Elder Hermansen and Elder Santana.

Monday, July 18, 2011

the office

We have four fabulous elders that work out of the mission office. Today they came to our house to help set up a duplicate transfer board here at home. Each card was labor intensive and it was definitely a group project since each card shows every companion and every transfer for each missionary. It will be such a blessing to have one here at home.

Elder Bagley and Elder Lopez are on the left. Elder Packer and Elder Horrocks are on the right. I have to say that these four elders have done everything to make our initiation into the mission as smooth as possible. Then when we leave to go home, they go out and find people to teach and baptize. They really are amazing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

transfer video

Every six weeks when we receive new missionaries, it is often a time for transfers, as well. We arrived at the beginning of  week six. The missionaries put together a video sharing some of the baptisms from the past six weeks. It is being shown to the missionaries as we travel around the mission.
I love seeing these beautiful newly baptized faces. I wish I could see every single one of them! However, I am blessed with the opportunity to meet the missionaries who are working diligently all over the mission inviting others to come unto Christ, and that is a very wonderful experience.

You can view the original full-length version created by the missionaires including our arrival here:

Or, you can view the second half of the video beginning with a 30 second clip of President Uchtdorf, showing just the missionaries pictures and baptisms here:

P.S. The number at the end is not the number of missionaries, it is the number of baptisms in the mission the past six weeks.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Our boxes came from the United States this week, so in addition to our missionary schedule, we have been unpacking and creating a home. Today however, we didn’t even notice that we were tired. The great spirit we enjoyed as we met, taught and talked was incredible.  We met with Elder Workman, Elder Weiss, Elder Roundy, Elder P. Perez, Elder Hughes, Hermano Sanabria, Elder Oliverson, Elder Fernandez, Elder Cubas, Elder Krausse, Elder Shepherd, Elder Lazaro, Elder Valencia, Elder Hernandez, Elder J. Jimenez, Elder Castillo, Hermana Yingling and Hermana Reales.
At the end of the second week of meetings and interviews we have met with 125 of our 177 missionaries currently serving in the mission.  Three zones and 52 missionaries left to meet and interview. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

marcos paz

aldo bonzi
Today we are over halfway through meeting our missionaries. We normally leave the house around 6:30am and get home around 7:30pm. We are taking lots of notes and matching them with names and faces so that we can remember each and every one!  However, as with the previous posts the following listing of names does not match the order of the pictures above.  Today we saw and met with Elder Phillips, Elder Rodriguez, Elder C. Castro, Elder Montierth, Elder Weaver, Elder Centena, Hermana Salazar, Hermana Clayton, Elder Brown, Elder Parque, Elder Latteier, Elder Meneses, Elder Pickett, Elder Bravo, Elder Kawasney, Elder N. Perez, Elder C. Albornoz, Elder B. Jimenez, Elder Barrios and Elder Ortiz.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

aldo bonzi

aldo bonzi
The Aldo Bonzi Zone includes a mini-missionary. We have several in our mission. They are local youth that serve as a companion to our missionaries normally for six weeks. Mini Rodriguez shares the same excitement and enthusiasm as the rest of the missionaries.  She has braces, so you can probably figure out which one she is.  In addition to Hermana Rodriguez we met with Elder Rounds, Elder Baudon, Elder Aldave, Elder Mancia, Elder Estevez, Elder San Martin, Hermana Urdapilleta, Hermana Scanlon, Elder Wilson, Elder Lopez, Elder Nuttall, Elder Arguello, Hermana Schneider, Elder Bush, Elder Jimenez, Elder Jensen, Elder Morales, Elder Cervantes and Elder Q. Godfrey.

Friday, July 8, 2011


We left the house at 5:30 this morning to drive out to Chivilcoy. It takes a little over two hours to get there from our home. It is a beautiful town  out in the country (el campo). The sidewalks are about three times the width of normal sidewalks and the streets are clean. We didn’t see any graffiti. The buildings were interesting and really, there were so many photos that were begging to be taken. However, we didn’t have time today. We found the chapel and these great missionaries waiting for our arrival.  We met with Elder Mather, Elder Kupihea, Elder Flores, Elder Durham, Elder Paxman, Elder Hernandez, Elder Bennett, Elder Alvial, Elder Darrington, Elder Quist, Elder Jackson, Elder Hamilton, Elder Fish, Elder D. Gonzalez, Elder Cooper and Elder San Francisco. 
So, we finished our first week in the mission field having met and talked with 56 missionaries in three zones, the 5 office elders and 3 senior couple missionaries. It has been a full and wonderful week.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I was so cold yesterday that I decided to wear double of everything today. Double skirts, double shirts, double jackets, double scarves. However, the room heaters in the building were working! It is a lot like sitting by a fire. The side of you next to the heater  is extremely warm and the side of you away from the heater is ice cold. You can tell by how the sisters are dressed that it really was not that cold today.  All in all another great day with the missionaries.  We met with Elder Ramirez, Elder Day, Elder Gibson, Elder Pinones, Elder Vogler, Elder Carazas, Elder Hart, Elder Saldana, Elder H. Gonzalez, Elder Gomez, Elder King, Elder C. Perez, Hermana Claros, Hermana Alvarado, Elder Andrus, Elder Cude, Elder Garcia, Elder Johnson, Hermana Vindas and Hermana Danes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

gonzalez catan

gonzalez catan
We had our first "meet the President and interviews" today.  The missionaries each had an individual interview with Presidente and also an interview with me, some before and others after the general meeting. I took these pictures during our interview. Seriously, I think that this classroom was the only “kind of warm” room in the building. All of the missionaries talked with me in Spanish. They are so encouraging! I was thinking on the way home tonight how different each of them are and yet they all truly love what they are doing right now—teaching the gospel in Gonzalez Catan. For me, Elder Edwards said it best when he said that he loves the opportunity to change the world for the better a little bit at a time.  We were thrilled to meet with Elder Johns, Elder Godfrey, Elder Woodruff, Elder Albornoz, Elder Rook, Elder Mielnikowicz, Elder Dayhuff, Elder Harriott, Elder Cruz, Elder Moorhouse, Elder Goodworth, Elder Moore, Elder Edwards, Elder Kalmar, Elder Sepulveda, Elder Acuna, Elder Marshall, Elder Hull, Elder George and Elder Robinson.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

the reinforcements

Above starting at the top left we have Hermana Herbsommer, Elder B. Jimenez, Elder Santana, Hermana Navarro, (bottom left) Elder P. Perez, Elder R. Castro and Elder Kalmar.

The three missionaries on the right below belong to us. The four in the middle are “waiters”, meaning that they are waiting for visas to go elsewhere. We currently have four other "waiters" in the mission that have been here from 5 to 14 months.  They are Spanish speaking missionaries trained in the MTC here in Buenos Aires. We are happy to have them all!

Monday, July 4, 2011

missionaries leaving

We are saying goodbye on the 4th of July. Even with a coat, scarf and jacket, it is very cold. We are standing next to the river and downtown Buenos Aires can just be seen on the right of the picture behind us.
From the left we have Elder Gibson, Elder Thompson and Elder Unker.  Every six weeks missionaries leave and the next day we receive refuerzos (reinforcements).