Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dale and Connie are on their way home. What a wonderful 11 days we have had with them.

How can 11 days fly by so quickly?!
In a nutshell...
Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009 - Day 1
Dale & Connie arrived this morning. After stopping to see the temple driving in from the airport (I left my camera at home, so no photos), we went to Sacrament Meeting, had Sunday dinner, and after some rest time, we drove an hour to the "Noche de Luz"
"Silent Night" a wonderful Christmas musical program with video and slides and narration
by a 20-missionary choir, plus violionist and other instruments played by missionaries from the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission.
(We arrived 30 minutes early and almost didn't get a seat. The 8 performances--each Sat/Sun evenings in December before Christmas--plus some Thursdays, were filled to overflowing.
(A missionary could only come if they brought investigators.
The investigators had reserved seating in the front rows.)
Dec. 21 - Monday - Day 2
We're on our way to Iguazu Falls.
Dale and Connie sat behind us on the cama bus.
Tuesday, Dec. 22 - Day 3
We rendezvoused with the other Sr. Missionary Couples for dinner at Hotel Carmen in Iguazu.
Our 16 and 1/2 hour bus ride was delayed an additional 5 hours when mate farmers were protesting a new tax on their crop. They built a bonfire in the road and stopped all traffic from 10:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m., so by the time we got to the town of Iguazu at 5pm, the gates into see Iguazu Falls had closed for the day.
Many of the first group who had arrived on an earlier bus and spent the day at the Falls got really sunburned. We put on extra sunblock the next day when we went to the Falls.
Dec. 23 - Wednesday, Day 4
Iguazu Falls - 700 miles from Buenos Aires
Thursday, Dec. 24 ~ Day 5
Christmas Eve was with Elder y Hna. Bowen, our area president and wife.
Dale & Connie took photos of the Sr. Missionary Couples at the Christmas Eve Dinner and Program with our Area President and his wife and daughter: Center front: Elder & Hermana Bowen, and their youngest daughter, Devyn.Christmas Day - Friday, Dec. 25 - Day 6
Yes, Santa finds the good boys and girls no matter where they go in the world, and no matter what age~! One of the things we did on Christmas day...go to the Casa Rosada.

Saturday - Dec. 26 - Day 7
Traveled by car, subway, taxi, and bus... At Recoleta and Evita's tomb...this is only photo I took.
Walt didn't know if he would be pickpocketed again on the subway.
He had put his wallet in his sock.
Subway to Florida Street but city bus tour was sold out... Sunday, Dec. 27 - Day 8 - Church at Liniers

Monday - Dec. 28 - Day 9
We tried for the city bus tour Saturday, but the tickets were sold out for 3 hours ahead, so we went early Monday morning and got right on. CityBus Tour with headphones for the narration in English.
Family Home Evening with the Sr. Missionary Couples was at Bartons who gave a lesson on "change as a daily improvement" versus a bunch of New Year's Resolutions that go by the wayside.Tuesday - Dec. 29 - Day 10 - Had a tender experience when we went to see Hermina Silva de Avila, the widow of the branch president and counselor in the misson presidency, in Dale's first area of his 1959-1962 mission to Argentina.
(I left my camera in the car...then a cloudburst kept me from getting it--so no photos.)
That night Dale & Connie packed, and we packed some things in the space they had left.
Did I think to get a photo in the hub bub of trying to make sure each suitcase didn't weigh over 50 lbs? No!
Wednesday - Dec. 30- Day 11 - Last day and a second trip to LaBoca (sound familiar Janie, Daniel, Katie, and Heidi?) for souvenirs for family and empty nester friends.
Then a dash back to the apartment, a quick lunch, picking up the big Church van to fit the four suitcases and two carryons in.
Off to the airport....and they're on their way.
We thank their children for sharing them with us for this Christmas season.
We will be relieved to know they are back home in Twin Falls, Idaho, safe and sound after the failed terrorist bomb threat on Christmas Day in the United States.
Family & Friends are forever!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dale & Connie are here! We are thrilled.

Yes, they're here!
Dale & Connie's plane landed at 8:08 Sunday morning, Dec. 20.
We wisked them to our apartment...stopping at the temple for some photos --
except my camera was sitting back at the apartment. But they had their cameras.
Then we wisked them off to the ending of our block -- Sacrament meeting.
After dinner we finally let them get some sleep after their 16-hour, 3 different plane trip from Twin Falls, Idaho, to Salt Lake to Atlanta to Buenos Aires.
They breezed through customs when some airline person kindly escorted them past all the long lines and right out the door to where we were waiting.
And the $130 USD charge for each U.S. citizen entering Argentina that the US Embassy had advised us went into effect December 20th, didn't.
The photo below shows us at the Monte Grande Stake Center (1 hour drive) after the final performance of 8 of "Noche de Luz" (Night of Light) by a choral and instrumental group of Argentina Buenos Aires South Missionaries.
A marvelous musical rendering of the Savior's Birth, Life, and Atonement.

Connie tried to get a photo of this little boy as he was taking a photo of one of the pretty, blonde Sister Missionaries who had sung in the choir.

We had a typical Mormon Sunday dinner: Roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy...except the gravy was non-typical since Walt (before we dashed off to the airport early morning) seared it and put the onions on the bottom and top. However, I thought he knew to put in a couple cups of water since we let it slow-cook for 6 hours, but he didn't and all the drippings were burned. But the roast was okay. Luckily there was a "country gravy" mix left from our predecesors, which I made and it was better than no gravy at all.

Did I mention we're so excited to have them here?!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Birthday evening...

December 15, 2009 - to end my birthday, Walt took me out to dinner.
Our camera has a mind of its own--the date changed without my noticing till we were in the restaurant. The photo should say 12/15/09
Walt took me out to dinner at "Kansas," which advertises as "the best North American food in South America," and it is! I ordered the "Houston Bar-b-que Spareribs. Walt and I shared...he gave me half of his grilled salmon and I gave him half of my spare ribs.
Sometimes the date goes waco on my camera...the photo is really 12/15/09

First, before the photo of what we had for dessert at my birthday dinner,
here's what's left of the delicious fudge gift from all of our kids.
Thanks, kids, this is the best fudge we've to John's, of course.
We usually don't order dessert after dinner at the Kansas Restaurant, but for my birthday I got the New York cheesecake... but we were so full, I took half of it home.
Walt chose a hot fudge sundae -- no surprise.
Except the "fudge" wasn't hot.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thank you for all the birthday greetings today...

It's fun being 71!
I'm wearing the "Inca rose" stone necklace Walt gave me.
Sometimes the date stamp on my camera goes waco. This is really 12/15/09.
Here is the beautiful Argentina gem.

Our little corner of Buenos Aires...

Our corner of Buenos Aires this morning...view from our living room,
and second bedroom where we have our desks and laptop.
So this is what we see when we're at our computer.
This shows up better than I thought it would.
I've been wanting a photo of the view from our apartment's 2nd bedroom. Sunday Walt said he thought it would show up best in the morning. Since I've been up since 4:50 a.m. this morning when Walt was leaving to go pick up an Elder and his companion to go to the hospital for a hernia repair, I've been trying to get a good photo.
The sun is starting to lighten the sky more.
I think this is the photo we'll have made into a poster size to put up in our office den at home in Burley to remind us of the view of "our little corner of Buenos Aires."
Fed Ex came through a day early! Walt's driver's license arrived yesterday, Monday, Dec. 14, so when Walt and Elder Leckie returned from the subway trip to Florida Street downtown Buenos Aires, he was authorized to drive our Church Toyota mission car again.
Thank you, Fed Ex!

Yes, it is going to be a

Monday, December 14, 2009

My last day to be 70...

December 15th will be a great day for more reasons than just
the day I turn 71. Read on...
The photo above is in our area office this morning.
I've been driving in Argentina since Friday evening going to our apartment from the area office. Friday afternoon Walt discovered that the paper he got from the police station on Oct. 13 when he went to report his wallet had been pickpocketed on the subway--does NOT authorize him to drive without his driver's license that was in the stolen wallet.
Up until that moment he had been told it authorized him to drive. However, that afternoon
he read at the bottom of the paper that it did not.
His new driver's license is scheduled to arrive tomorrow,
Dec. 15, via Fed Express from Boise.
Until then, I've become the designated driver.
So far so good...
1. The mile and a half from area office to our apt.
2. Saturday morning from our apt to our grocery store "Jumbos"...about 1/2 a mile.
3. To our ward building Sat night for the Christmas party...a couple of miles.
3. Sunday to ward for our 9am to noon Church block.
4. The mile and a half this morning to the area office.
As long as I can stay in my lane with Walt telling me when I need to change lanes
...I've done okay.
It's just when some of those 13,000,000 other people--well maybe only a million of them have cars...try to push me out of my lane or make 5 lanes across where only 3 lanes are painted,
when I start to panic.
Fed Ex...please come through tomorrow with Walt's driver's license!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Merry Christmas month continues...

At the end of the final zone conference in the Paraguay Asuncion Mission.
The four zone conferences were from November 30 to December 3.
We hope that our health presentation and then talking with missionaries one-on-one to help resolve their health concerns will help this Lord's Army of Righteous young men and young women go forward in converting many so they will be able to receive eternal blessings through the temple ordinances and covenants.
This mission is not blessed to have any senior missonary couples.
Presidente y Hna. Callan from Farmington, Utah, are doing an exceptionally wonderful job as mission president and wife of the Paraguay Asuncion Mission since they arrived in July 2009.
We enjoyed the 5 days we were invited to spend with them and their missionaries at their four December zone conferences.

Of the 160 missionaries, 92 had a health concern that they wanted to talk to Dr. Petersen about at the four zone conferences Nov. 29 to Dec. 4. It took about 12 hours driving to get to the different areas of the mission.
I keep the records of concerns, diagnosis, and treatments suggested by Dr. Petersen.
Mail from home for a missionary is like manna from heaven.
We love serving missionaries. Caption is at the bottom of this photo.
Missionaries...above, pose just before going back out to teach the truths of the Gospel to God's honest in heart.

We love all missionaries, but have a special place in our heart for Sister Missionaries.
Only a few Christmas packages come in time for Christmas. Most of the parents don't realize how long it takes to get a package to a missionary....even after it arrives in the country.
So most get their Christmas box in January, February, or even March. These missionaries had "sandwich pizzas" for lunch in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.
The boundaries of this zone are next to Igauzu Falls.
You can tell which Elders have been well taught at home, they don't have to be asked to help. They see what needs to be done and do it--like cleaning up after zone conference.
The Callans said that Elder Eyring told them that when he thinks of missionaries in Paraguay, he thinks of the red dirt on their shoes. We saw the truth of that...the dirt here IS red.
Great missionaries! From all over the world.
Teaching God's truths.
I always lose one photo per post. I lost the Elder playing the piano. Will have to put in another post. This Elder is a great missionary and a great piano player.
Below: We love to see missionaries eat.
Some days they don't have much food, but on zone conference day they get tp make up for those scarce days.
My favorite photo from Paraguay Asuncion Mission Zone Conference #2
This 3rd and final Twin Rix shot will give him life-time protection from Hepatitis.
Paraguay Asuncion Mission Zone Conference #1
Ten of their 16 sister missionaries are in these zones.