Saturday, August 27, 2011

dinner with the stake presidents and their wives

One of the things that the Area Presidency suggested we do as soon as possible was to have a dinner and invite the Stake/District Presidents and their wives from our mission. Presidente meets with the Presidents on a regular basis, but, for us both, it was a pleasure to meet their wives, as well. There are 8 stake presidents and 2 district presidents, however, not all of them were available tonight.

DSC02196One of the perks of being a mission president’s wife is all the  help that is available for an evening like this. The Assistants served. Two sisters from Gonzalez Catan cooked. Elder Rook and Elder Abarca helped out in the kitchen to be nice, but the real blessing of having them here was to be able to listen to their testimonies and experiences 



and Elder Rook’s piano playing. He can and does make primary songs sound like concert quality compositions. Of course, he has his own original compositions and he shared my favorite, The Storm.


Good company, good food, good service, good music.

Fabulous evening in la casa de mision! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

zone conference – day three


Moreno Zone

Back row:  Elder Cude, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Cerda,  Elder Poeppelmier, Hermano Ferreyra

Middle row:  Elder Caceres, Elder Castro, Elder Santana, Elder Sypherd, Elder Riutor

Front row:  Elder Krausse, Elder Hermansen, Elder Goodworth, Elder Walsh, Elder Heims, Elder Vilches


Ramos Mejia Zone

Back row:  Elder Jensen, Elder Griggs, Hermana Rodriguez, Hermana Azcurra, Elder Guzman, Elder Mielnikowicz

Front row:  Elder Godfrey, Elder Cervantes, Elder Day, Elder Bush, Elder Savage, Elder Cerda

zone 3

 Aldo Bonzi Zone

Back row:  Elder Mancia, Elder Jimenez, Hermana Urdapilleta, Hermana Scanlon, Hermana Schneider, Hermana Herbsommer, Elder Estevez, Elder Pulsipher

Front row:  Elder Arguello, Elder Gibson, Elder Rounds, Elder Valencia, Elder Johnson, Elder Wilson

zone 4

Merlo Zone

Back row:  Elder Shepherd, Elder Roundy, Elder Nesbit, Elder Lopez, Elder Davis, Elder Parker

Middle row:  Elder Perez, Elder Cubas, Hermana Yingling, Hermana Reales, Elder Jimenez, Elder Castillo

Front row:  Hermano Sanabria, Elder Hughes, Elder Weiss, Elder Workman, Elder Perez, Elder Gonzalez


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

zone conference – day two


Chivilcoy Zone

Back row: Elder Gonzalez, Elder Steele, Elder Cooper, Elder Hamilton, Elder  Jackson

Middle row: Elder Hernandez, Elder Herrera, Hermana Herrera, Elder Castro, Elder Fernandez, Elder San Francisco, Elder Kupihea

Front row: Elder Fish, Elder Paxman, Elder Alvial, Elder Durham, Elder Darrington, Elder Marshall


Oeste Zone 

Back row: Elder Preslar, Elder Ponce, Hermana Clark, Hermana Navarro, Hermana Tucker, Hermana Duarte, Elder Anderson, Elder Leavitt

Front row: Elder Kimball, Elder Hernandez,  Elder Quackenbush, Elder Gutierez, Elder Vorwaller, Elder Hochkirch



Back Row: Elder Kalmar, Elder Edwards, Elder Woodruff, Elder Rook, Elder Heddy, Elder Hull, Elder George

Middle Row: Elder Claiter, Elder Moore, Elder Salazar, Elder Abarca, Elder Gomez, Elder Parque, Elder Velasquez, Elder Schmiel, Elder Morales

Front Row: Elder Moorhouse, Elder Harriot, Elder Dayhuff, Elder Mather, Elder Johns, Elder Elder Acuna, Elder Flores, Elder Foster

zone 2

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

zone conference – day one


Castelar Zone

Back row: Elder Lattier, Elder Garcia, Elder Bower, Elder Quist, Elder Saldana, Elder Dorius, Elder Aldave

Middle row: Elder Andrus, Elder Perez, Elder Kent, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Carazas, Elder Vogler  Elder Pinones

Front row: Hermana Vindas, Hermana Danes, Hermana Clayton, Hermana Alvarado, Elder Lencina, Elder Ramirez


Marcos Paz Zone

Back row: Elder Johnson, Elder Phillips, Elder Kwasney, Elder Centena, Elder Papa, Elder Brown

Middle row: Elder Howell, Elder Aklema, Elder Weaver, Elder Barrios, Elder Montierth, Elder Bravo, Elder Ortiz, Elder Meneses

Front row: Hermana Johnson, Hermana Salazar, Elder Lazaro, Elder Rodriguez, Elder Sepulveda, Elder Brown


Lujan Zone

Back Row: Elder Escobar, Elder Munoz, Elder Rasmussen, Elder  Davila, Elder Hutchins,  Elder Walker

Middle row: Elder Calpanchay, Elder Scott, Elder Felipe, Elder San Martin, Elder Albornoz, Elder Schwaar

Front row: Elder Bagley, Elder Berglund, Hermana Claros, Hermana Svedin, Elder Hart, Elder Baldomero


Hermana Svedin, Hermana Vindas, Hermana Danes, Hermana Johnson, Hermana Carter, Hermana Claros, Hermana Alvarado, Hermana Clayton, Hermana Salazar

 zone conf 1

Sunday, August 21, 2011

an historic conference

Argentina hasn’t seen the creation of a new stake for nine years. Everyone was super excited about the “Conferencia Y Creacion de la Nueva Estaca Ramos Mejia”. Elder Arnold from the Seventy was presiding and his counselors, Elder Aidukaitis and Elder Foster were there as well. Presidente was asked to speak for 5 minutes at the session for investigators at 9. We were both asked to speak at the general session at 10. We arrived at the church about 8:30 am. At 8:40, Presidente told me that almost everyone was already on the stand. We went and took our places and the meeting started 15 minutes early at 8:45. The chapel was completely full already with investigators/new members.

Since the building at Ramos Mejia has two chapels and a huge cultural hall, it can accommodate quite a lot of people. There were also numerous rooms set up in the building with transmission equipment. Later we were told that 1700 people attended the conference today.

The general session also started early. It was such a blessing for me to look out on the sea of unfamiliar faces and here and there see our missionaries smiling, giving us the thumbs up and other forms of non-verbal communication that said, “We are here for you. You are doing great!” They were there with investigators, and they were there with newly baptized members. They were there with new companions, and they were there with many smiles and abrazos as they greeted their fellow missionaries. They were there healthy and some of them were even there feeling a bit under the weather. We had another cold snap this week with the temperatures dropping down to 1 degree Celsius.  Presidente has  joined a few of them who are fighting an upper respiratory infection. It is a miracle to watch how they all carry on accomplishing their goals.

Presidente and I were asked to attend the setting apart blessings for the new stake president and new counselors after the meetings.  Taking pictures today was impossible for me.DSC02047 They did have a photographer there, so I hope that some of those pictures will show up in the Church News. I handed my camera to Brianna and asked her to do what she could. Looking at this picture, I see that the office elders were helping her!


Elder Bagley, Elder Lopez and Elder Baudon



Elder Savage and Elder Guzman


Elder Ponce, Elder Vorwaller and Elder Leavitt

Thanks Brianna! Here she is with Hermana Rodriguez, aka Mini Rodriguez. She is from Buenos Aires and she is serving temporarily as a missionary companion to Hermana Azcurra. Mini doesn’t smile in pictures because she has braces :), but in person her smile is ever present. DSC02036 Last month, Hermana Azcurra and her previous companion, Hermana Herbsommer baptized a family of 5 and 3 others into the church. Hermana Azcurra humbly acknowledges a friendly competition, and I am pretty sure that she’s got the elders scared, especially since she has 4 other family members coming along! In actual fact, we had two sets of sisters in the top 10 baptizers last transfer! Yeah for the  Hermanas!


After the conference, it is back to the tasks at hand for the office elders--Elder Bennett, Elder Baudon, Elder Godfrey and Elder Packer, as well as all the rest of the missionaries.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the wrong shall fail, the right prevail

We arrived at the airport first thing this morning to meet our most incredible missionaries. DSC01954I have been like an expectant mother waiting for and thinking about the elders that we met in the MTC. We have been so busy the past 7 weeks, but they have held fast their place in my heart.


And they arrived with the most incredible story!

For just a little background, when we were at the MTC we were given a list of the missionaries that would be coming to our mission. President Benton had previously sent us a list as well. However, the evening we met them, we had an extra missionary, Elder Nesbit. We joked around with him a little bit and told him that he didn’t exist and carried on with our meeting.


Yesterday, when the elders got to the Salt Lake airport, Elder Nesbit was told that his carry-on luggage was a little too big. He set a packet of papers on a shelf near where he was standing and proceeded to move a couple of items from one suitcase to another. When he turned back to get his papers…they were missing, including his passport!

Of course, he thought that he had put them elsewhere and searched all of his pockets and then all of his bags and then checked with his 24 traveling companions, all to no avail—at which point, he talked with one of the agents.

She started asking questions, but pretty soon, so much time had gone by and the luggage people told him it was now, or not on this flight for his luggage. In an act of faith, he told them to send it.

Meanwhile, Elders Kent and Kimball had noticed a young man placing “church travel documents” in his backpack. When the agent began to question them, they hesitated because they didn’t want to be false accusers, but they said that it did seem a little odd that he was wearing  a t-shirt. When she asked for a description of the person, they said, that he was standing just at the top of the stairs. She went over and askedDSC01962 him to empty his backpack,

and…sure enough…he had the papers and the passport. We are so grateful that Elder Nesbit arrived safely in Argentina with the rest of the group, considering the fact that not only did he not exist…he didn’t have a passport either!

P.S. “The thief” also traveled.  The elders said that it was more than a little weird seeing him sitting there on the plane with them.


Eleven of the elders on the flight were ours, and after loading up their luggage in the cold and rain, we went to the CCM, aka the MTC in Argentina. It is next to the only blue temple in the world. Of course, they are in the process of renovating it and we keep assuring the taxi drivers and others that ask, that it WILL be white again, eventually.



We picked up 8 more elders. Four of them are waiting for visas to Venezuela. We would be quite thrilled to have them permanently in our mission and are happy they are ours for now, at least.






img_0689We took all of them to the mission home where we introduced the north Americans to Hugo and facturas.800px-Facturas_en_plato

We showed them some mission orientation videos and Presidente interviewed each of them while they did some paperwork. After lunch, meaning around 5:00pm, we went to the mission offices.


The reinforcements sat on the left side of the chapel, their trainers sat on the right side of the chapel and they all waited for Presidente to announce the companionships;


at which point, they met with an abrazo and moved to the center pews.

More training.          DSC02006

DSC02033Finally, sometime after 8, they are off with their new companion, new pillow,  new blanket and their luggage (probably new as well)--very anxious to brush their teeth and get a good nights rest.

Tenga suerte!

Monday, August 15, 2011

transfer day

The mission offices are located in the part of Buenos Aires known as Ramos Mejia. They are attached to a double-chapeled building. We often use the dual “salon sacramentals” for training, but today the cultural hall was a very busy place.


All of the missionaries that would be receiving new companions and/or moving to a new area were contacted this weekend and met to find out today, exactly what those changes would mean for them personally.


Elder Mather and Elder Johns will be zone leaders in Gonzalez Catan, the largest zone in the mission.








Elder Bush is hurting, but he is also here today taking on a new assignment with Elder Day as zone leaders of the just created Ramos Mejia zone.

More to come on that this weekend when we have two stakes in the mission that will become three.







Although this group of missionaries have an area, their companions are not here. They are our trainers, known in the mission as Papas.




Presidente met with them to give additional instruction in preparation for the arrival of the reinforcements tomorrow.


The future of the mission is very much in the hand of these wonderful elders.



Elder Packer is taking care of mission needs when Presidente talks with  Elder Godfrey and Elder Baudon. They will be his new assistants and Elder Packer’s companions. 


The missionaries in our mission normally have the opportunity to pick up regular letters, packages and emails from non-family members  about every two weeks. DSC01932

Since it is Monday, it is back to the pensh for most of them and then off to a place where they can send and receive their weekly emails to their families and tell them about the events of the past week, including this morning.

*I think they call it a cybert, but I’ll have to check on that :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

things that presidente sees

1.  He looks at  the  number of  the area medical advisor, Dr. Hollingsworth, on an incoming  phone call during P-Day, and then answers it.

DSC018882. Later, he is apprised of information from the hospital that one of his elders is going in for surgery.



3.  That evening, he contemplates the chain of events that will inevitably lead to a restless night for a family in Utah when he calls their stake president.

4. This morning, he catches sight of  the nearly empty avenues, a novelty of driving into Buenos Aires on Sunday morning.


DSC018935.  A few hours later, after his own conversation, he passes his phone to his wife. Soon, he notices  her sitting on the hospital balcony shedding tears with a mom who, of course, wishes she could be in Argentina to comfort her son.



DSC018986. After relaying the phone to the hospital bed, he catches a glimpse of this missionary talking to his family, even though it is August 14, and it is not Mother’s Day or Christmas Day in ANY country.



Presidente  recognizes miracles.

It is mind boggling to even try to imagine how long ago the puzzle pieces were fitted together so perfectly,  just  for the well-being of this elder.

Consider the chances that Elder Bush would actually, currently have a companion, who has had “apendiceetees”—a companion from Chile, who would insist that the doctor was called, because Elder Bush is not the type that would just call in and say that he has a stomach ache.

Consider the chances that the hospital would operate on him yesterday, even though the appendix had not yet ruptured, nor did the tests that they took show a precarious situation. Dr. Hollingsworth requested that they take him in immediately, and they did, finishing at about 11:00pm last night.

Consider the chances that the hospital staff would release this elder less than 24 hours later, even though they had previously told him that they would not. Last night, Sister Cox told us about his wonderful Priesthood blessing.


Today, we  testify of miracles.

Along with Presidente, the whole mission takes great joy in seeing

the miracles in this missionary’s life.

We all continue to pray for your speedy recovery, Elder Bush!