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.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
While all of Argentina was preparing to watch fútbal, we had our exit interview with Elder 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!
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
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.
It has been my joy and pleasure to serve the mission in this way.
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!
Monday, June 23, 2014
General Villegas is the furthest outpost of the mission. You don’t make a quick trip there to do an interview because even the best trip takes five hours, one way. Nevertheless, we did go there today for a baptismal interview and we had a great lunch with the missionaries before heading back to Buenos Aires.
As the missionaries do every Monday, they received a message in the Sol from Presidente. Of course, the thing that was different about the Sol today was that it was his last message. I have copied it below.
I want to thank each of you for your participation and kind words and acts last Wednesday during the transfer meetings. The Hermana and I were very touched by everything that happened on that special day. From the banner to the last hugs and kisses it was very special. Each of you had a part in making the day very memorable and satisfying in every way. The book of hand written letters is fantastic and so well done. We thank those who worked so hard putting it together. The other gifts and acknowledgements we received will be cherished forever. I want to recognize the office Elders and the Ashton family for their participation and organization of so much of what took place. They are very busy and I am sure worked very hard to make everything special and just right for such a special day. The spirit that we felt for you and the Lord in the final meeting and during the greeting of each of you at the end will always be remembered as a sacred and special experience for both of us. We cannot thank you enough for what you have done and most importantly who you are.
We are having a wonderful month of June. We will not see the final results until next Monday morning like you when you access your email. However, I want you to know that we will be anxious to see the results of your hard work when we read the final Sol of June 2014 next Monday morning. We have been successful in bringing many souls unto Christ and many more await your efforts to bring the plan of happiness to their homes and their hearts. We will be praying for all your investigators during this last week as we finish completing our efforts in this great work.
I have been communicating with your new mission president during the past few weeks and he and his family are excited to come to the best mission in the world. They will be anxious to meet you and begin working with you. President and Sister Robertson were set apart last Thursday by a member of the Twelve. They are beginning their first full day of training in the MTC in Provo today and will complete that experience at the end of the week. As I mentioned earlier, they will travel to Argentina on Friday and arrive here on Saturday morning. Please refrain from calling President Robertson or his wife for a few days. If you must get in touch with the mission president you may call…but try and direct your calls through the assistants if at all possible for the first few days. Remember that you are writing to President Robertson next week. I feel lucky to receive one more week of letters from each of you.
I want you to know a few things about President Robertson. I know that he has been selected by the Lord to preside over this mission at this time. He has lived his life worthy of such a calling and will be directed and guided by the Lord in all he does. Eventually President Robertson will make changes to how some things are done and what needs to be done to carry the work forward. This is a natural process that happens when there are changes. It does not mean what was done previously was right or wrong, it does mean that you are going to do it different and you are required to follow he who is called to preside over you. Give your whole heart to your mission president and trust in him in all he asks you to do. Do not make comparisons, murmur or spend time reflecting on the “good old days”… the best days of the mission are still ahead of you. Make the most of every new day, every new experience and every new direction or counsel you receive. Embrace change with a willingness of heart that will demonstrate your faith and love for your new mission president. I hope and pray for him and you that together you will be able to take the mission to new levels of success as you strive to build the kingdom here in the Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission.
During my mission in Peru I served in the office as the financial secretary when we received a new mission president. Our experience at that time in the mission and especially in the office was interesting and we learned a great deal from the experience of learning from both men. My two mission presidents were very different and came with different talents and strengths. We cherished what we learned from the first mission president and embraced the new president and his family with enthusiasm and excitement to continue learning. I loved each of my mission presidents equally and consider it a blessing to this day to have known two great men that loved the Lord. Help the new president by being the best missionaries possible in every way. Do not await his direction…move forward with what you are currently doing…his direction and love will come in time.
This work is true and the most important work that can be accomplished on this earth. God loves each of us. Jesus is the Christ. We have a living prophet on the earth today. We are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Hermana and I love you with all our hearts and look forward to the day we meet again. We will be friends forever!
Sunday, June 22, 2014
This picture is not in the gospel art collection. That is because we are having church at the home of the volunteer fire department of Bragado. We couldn’t leave the country without going to campo one more time.
This is the leadership team of the Chivilcoy District…two members of the mission presidency on the left and two members of the district presidency on the right.
And below we have the missionaries currently serving in the Chivilcoy District.
After the conference, we stopped off to visit at the home of the Rizzos. They are the family that my husband will reference in our Pastores video. Their son is currently in the MTC in Brazil. The dad was looking on from his bedroom window wishing he felt well enough to join us for the photo.
Presidente asked the missionaries from Junin to meet him at the chapel later in the day. They were expecting some kind of message or task and were surprised when he answered their queries by stating that he just wanted to see them one more time.
We are spending the night in Junin. Just thought I would give you a glimpse of the central park. Basically, every store, every everything is the same. Vamos Argentina!