Wednesday, Diane, my Assistants and I went to the bus station in Resistencia to meet the 17 new missionaries...we arrived at 6:45 am. If you do the math, figure half an hour to get there and 45 minutes to get ready and going to bed the night before after the 11 pm phone call and you start to get the picture. We arrived so early, even most of the dogs were still sleeping at the terminal.
But we did get great parking spots near the fence at the terminal.
So, we got there and waited...
And waited and waited and waited. Diane bought breakfast...called chipas (they are like round cheese pretzel balls, if that makes sense. Our son Chris said they were "a must").
My Assistants started visiting with the locals to be productive.
Around 10:30 am I said I had enough and was going to make the 12 hour ride to see the waterfalls at Iguazu. Diane talked me out of it.
This is what we were watching for about 4 hours...an empty bus parking stall, as if by staring at it we could make the bus appear faster!
Then it happened...a little after 11 am, the bus arrived and all 12 of the missionaries arrived...yep, 12, not 17...
Seems 8 of them still did not make it. Now I know you are thinking, wait, 12 plus 8 equals 20, not 17, and you are right...but that is a whole different story. Ok, 3 more of them are coming from Mexico and due to visa problems are still in Mexico. One hurt her leg and can't come until Monday. But 4 of them are still (as of Friday morning) in Miami!
But the story does not end there....so we paired up the new missionaries with some of the veterans throughout the mission which started the chain reaction of transfers. About 50 missionaries moving from one location to another with all of their possessions, by bus. We only lost 2...temporarily. One was supposed to go from Resistencia to Formosa, but did not get off there. The bus's next stop was Asuncion, Paraguay. Fortunately, the missionary did not have her passport with her and was left off on the Argentine side of the border. She waited for the next bus to Formosa and got there...just a little late. Which leads us back to my phone calls beginning at 1:00 am this morning. Seems another missionary was headed to Vera but his companion to be went to pick him up in Reconquista...1 1/2 hours away. The first call was from the missionary at a Shell station in Vera wondering where his companion was...my calls were tracking down his companion, finding out where he was, why and suggesting he find a taxi willing to drive him to Vera (at 1:30 am) to get his companion. The last call came from the Shell station and I told the missionary in Vera that help was on its way (in about 2 hours) and to buy some comfort food at the gas station and I would reimburse him!
So around 2:30 we put an end to this chapter...and the "Fugitive Four"? We're going to have the Church just send them by overnight mail!