Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Am Posting This Now So In Twenty Years I Will Remember The Moment

"Take my hand, take my whole life, too. Cause I can't help falling in love with you."

La Clinica Fleni, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Octubre 2012

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mission Presidents' Seminar

We had our Mission Presidents' Seminar in Bariloche at the Hotel Llao Llao! Just a couple hundred yards from where we had a home on Lake Moreno with our buddy Jeff for a number of years. A great place with great memories from back then and new great memories now! Here we go....

We stayed here for the first time in July 1997...who would have dreamed we would come back for a Mission Presidents' Seminar.

The first couple is President and Sister Barreiros, Mission President and wife of Taylor Lythgoe. The second couple is President and Sister Newsome, Ian Hatch's Mission President and wife. The last couple is President and Sister Arrington, our son Taylor's Mission President and wife. We enjoyed getting to know them all.

We snuck out during a break with the Carters to check on the house on Lake Moreno. There is a new electronic gate with a sign that says, "Guard dogs loose on property". Not exactly an abrazo and cup of mate to welcome you....so, of course, Doug Carter held the gate open just a crack while I slipped through and took this long shot from around the bend of the from of the house. I made it back out without any dog bites.

This was a fun moment. Elder Knapp, who is serving a mission with his wife in our Area was actually my Branch President in the LTM (now MTC) back in 1975 when I was a young 19 year old missionary. He has not aged a bit so it was easy to recognize him. He was impressive then and is impressive now.

A beautiful wind blown Diane and me looking down on Bariloche.

This is how we got up and down.

And, we got to spend time with the Daltons who are presiding over the Chile Antofagasta Mission. He was the Area Presidency Executive Secretary before his call. The Daltons often visited Diane when she was in La Clinica Fleni in Buenos Aires and this was their first time seeing her since she learned to walk again. It was an emotional reunion for them.

The beauty of Bariloche.

It would not be the Patagonia if there was not a lamb barbecue, Gaucho style.

I have eaten ice cream on five continents. The BEST ice cream in the world is from Del Turista in Bariloche. I had to go back there and took Diane and President and Sister Openshaw of the Buenos Aires Mission Training Center there to show them how great the ice cream is.

At the airport Diane saw the Hey sign and wanted me to pose and be her Hey...man. Not the first time I have heard that one! Then we ran into Jorge!!! Jorge was my driver when I would visit Diane in Buenos Aires....and he drove Diane, Jen, Lori, Chris and the Holms around, too. He was there to drive someone else, but it was our first time seeing him since Diane has recovered. And so, we had a great time and then flew back to Resistencia...our home away from home!

Monday, October 14, 2013


Today is a feriado day. Another holiday. Argentina has a lot of feriados. Most people I asked do not know what we are celebrating today. But one person said that today is to commemorate the colonization of Argentina, so I am going with that. Here are a few feriado observations made over the past few months.

1. The most frequent statement that the new missionaries write to me in their weekly letter is that "the mission is hard". They are right. Especially when they are trying to make the transition from non-missionary life to missionary life, another culture to Argentine culture, their native language to the northern Argentine castellano and a life generally focused on themselves to a life focused on others. But the transition happens quickly and in a few weeks they will be writing like the rest do, "this is the happiest I have ever been"!

2. You can really tell a lot about a person by the ring tone they choose on their cell phone. Some make perfect sense and match perceptions of the phone's owners. Sometimes a heavy metal ringtone seems out of place with the person who chose it. And sometimes you just think, "Yep, I could have told you who owns that phone". For example, Diane's ringtone is the theme song from the TV show, "I Dream of Jeanie". When people hear it ring, they always smile.

3. The transistor radio will never become obsolete. It just never will. Somewhere someone will always broadcast the local weather over an AM or FM frequency and someone else will always tune in to listen. It has nothing to do with technology. It is all about trust.

4. Advertisers are just fooling themselves if they really think a consumer is more likely to buy something because it costs $99.99 instead of $100! I love the fact that some gas stations are advertising premium gas here for $9.999 argentine pesos. Ask any attendant how much premium gas costs and they'll tell you, "10 pesos, Che".

5. And finally, isn't amazing that while these two spoonfuls look the same...

One is sugar and is sweet and the other is salt and is...salty? You would think that they could be distinguished a little more to reflect their vast difference in taste....or maybe they could just sell sugar for $9.999 a kilo and salt for $10.00 a kilo! Now, that would do the trick!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Been a Little Sick and Traveling A Lot

These past two weeks I have been a little sick, but have been on the road. So, it is one of those situations where I just can not seem to get over this but at the same time I do not feel like I should be staying home or in bed. The bottom line is I do not want to talk or write much. So, here are some photos with brief comments in no particular order.

I sat across the desk from this good man looking and looking and he finally said, "Yo se, Ud piensa que soy parecido a Al Pacino". "I know, you think I look like Al Pacino." Yes, that is exactly what I was thinking!

Two of my Assistants taught and baptized Hermana Gomez over a year ago and two of my Assistants accompanied me as we set her apart to be a full-time missionary in Chile.

Last year we listened to General Conference from a hospital room in Buenos Aires. This year we watched it from our living room in Resistencia.

Andrew Lark is a good family friend and former roommate of our son Chris. In the "It is a small world category", no one knew when this picture was taken of Andrew and our son Taylor way back when that they would serve in the same mission years apart..."La Mision Chile Concepcion"!

Photos like these of our returned missionaries getting together and enjoying themselves just make our day!

These three vertical grandchildren were born while we were on our mission!

These days I am looking for any good reason to grill meat. I am told that I am not bad for a gringo.

Mom..."The One and Only"!