Saturday, October 8, 2011

Then and Now

My blog entry about watching General Conference in 1975 versus 2011 started me thinking about the differences in serving a mission as a 19 year old single adult in the mid 1970's and a 55 year old married man in 2011. Here are a dozen that come to mind.

Then: About 35,000 members of the Church in Argentina.
Now: About 400,000.

Then: 10 companions over a 24 month period.
Now: 1 companion for 36 months.

Then: My bicycle (I named it, "Trigger"), my feet or a colectivo.
Now: The Toyota Hi-Lux 4x4.

Then: 7 pensions to live in.
Now: 1 house to live in but 10 hotels to sleep in while traveling.

Then: It took 2 weeks for a letter to go between the U.S. and Argentina.
Now: Instantaneous cell phones, Skype, emails, texts, Facebook and blogs.

Then: 3 suits, 7 white shirts and 2 pairs of shoes.
Now: 15 suits, 20 white shirts and 9 pairs of shoes. (Diane takes good care of me)

Then: Wondering how, of all of the places in the world, I was called to serve as a missionary in Argentina.
Now: Grateful that of all of the places in the world, I was called to serve as a missionary again in Argentina.

Then: A battery powered cassette player, unreliable film strip projector, Bible, Triple Combination (they didn't make the 4-in-1 sets yet) and a notebook filled with laminated pictures.
Now: iPad 2.

Then: Looking for a great adventure.
Now: Trying to avoid the types of adventures I used to look for.

Then: Tap water and its biological consequences.
Now: Bottled water and its physiological and psychological tranquility.

Then: Hand-writing a weekly letter to my Mission President.
Now: Reading and responding to 190 weekly missionary emails.

Then: Being somewhat of a knucklehead.
Now: Being somewhat of a knucklehead. Ok, I know that is the same, but I am a knucklehead for different reasons now than I was then. I will say this, though, I loved being a missionary when I was 19 and I love being a missionary now.


  1. Crazy to think how things have changed so much, especially the technology!! Just think of what it will be like in another 40 years!!!!!

  2. I'm glad that knucklehead is my father!!

  3. Every time I hear knucklehead I picture you hitting your head with both fists with jillie Elmer haha :)

  4. I am amazed that the term "knucklehead" and it's applicability to you is the only thing that has stood the test of time!

  5. Once a knucklehead, always a knucklehead! It has been so fun to read about your mission experiences, we love it! Keep up the great work y tengan un buen dia, presidente y hermana!
    Love, Jillie and Kyle Gifford

  6. Jillie...there are knuckleheads and then there are knuckleheads! You and I remain the only true members of the knucklehead club.