Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Highlights

The Mission Home has an amazing attic!  Here we  store extra supplies for the mission  and also clothes and  things that  missionaries donate as they return home for the use of future missionaries.

During the several months before we arrived this wonderful attic was being repaired.  Once the repair was completed several Hermanas in the area came and helped us organize and discard things that were not usable.

The first Hermana's that arrived got everything organized.

As soon as everyone was here we had a delicious lunch.

Right after lunch we all got to work!  Several of the Elders helped us with the heavy items.

The Hermanas were so organized!  Everyone had a specific task.

We brought everything out of the attic so we could have a good look at it and decide if it was something that would be used by future missionaries or if we should give it to some members in the area.

It wasn't long before they found that there was a faster way to get things down!

 It only took a few hours before everything was sorted and organized. 

It was a great feeling to see things in order and our missionaries always have such a good time just being together.

We ended the evening with some beautiful music and each of us sharing one of our favorite things from the mission.

One of the things we found in the attic was some large posters about the church.  The missionaries decided to put them to use to encourage people to listen to General Conference.

They were able to share the gospel with many of those who passed by.

The posters were a great way to share the gospel but just look at these faces!  Our missionaries are one of the best examples of how the blessings of the gospel can bless our lives!


This is Marta that helps us with travel and visas here in the South America South area.  She came to the Mission Home to train us about visa requirements. Her support and direction is invaluable as we deal with the problems with visas.

Not only does Marta make all the necessary arrangements for the missionaries but she does everything she can to help them feel welcome and excited to be here in Argentina.  The Assistants arranged to have a special plaque made to thank her for all she does for us. 


We were able to watch General Conference with the 25 de Mayo and Catriel branches. 

During the break between sessions the members of the branch brought food to share with each other. We had some peanut butter and jam and crackers in our car so we shared that! Some of the members had never tasted peanut butter before.  I also brought some play dough for the children to play with.  It was a big hit.  Some of the youth joined in the fun.  This is the Buenos Aries Temple!

There had been a baptism here in the branch the night before and the baptism font was still set up.

President Lovell had some interviews to do after conference was finished. President Ulman, another ward member and the missionaries had a great time singing hymns while we waited for him.  It was so fun to hear them sing together.

Later in the month traveled the entire mission and met with all the missionaries for interviews.  It is always so great to see each one of them.   They are so patient with me as I do my best to speak their language!

The Sister Missionaries and I had so much fun with this cute little girl.  Her parents were baptized the next day and everyone was so excited.  It is a great blessing to see how the gospel blesses the lives of families here in Argentina. 

As we arrived in Bariloche we realized that we had a few hours before we needed to be anywhere.  We had not taken time to see any of the unique things of Argentina and decided to ride to the top of the mountain and see the beauty of Bariloche.
We were so glad that the assistants were willing to come with us.

You can see why people come from all over the world to see this beautiful area.

This is the Guevara family. They live in Bariloche. One of their older sons is a counselor in the Mission Presidency with President Lovell. It was so interesting to hear how Patriarch Guevara joined the church and how it has blessed his family. Their son in this picture served a mission in Chile. A son in a family he baptized on his mission is now one of the wonderful missionaries in our mission. 

President Dominguez, a councilor in the Stake Presidency in Bariloche, is good friends with our Assistant's mother in Uruguay.  It was so fun to make these connections! 
Mother's Day is in October in Argentina.  Our Assistants were worried that I would be neglected on Mother's Day. 

This will be a great way to remember them and our fun day in Bariloche!

We enjoy traveling all over the mission but it is always good to be back at the mission home!

Monday, October 29, 2012

October Transfers

One of the hard things about this transfer week is that two of our office missionaries are going back out to the "the field".  They have been wonderful and have been so good to teach us about the mission.  They have taken very good care of us!

We had a fun good-bye dinner together.

Another hard thing about this transfer is that one of our wonderful assistents is going home!  He has had the huge responsibility of orientating us to the mission.  He has helped us know where to go and how to get there!  We have learned to love and appreciate him so much and know he will find much success as he takes this next step in his life.

We have a "Casa Grande" here in the mission.  It is about four blocks from the mission home.  Elder and Sister Ehmke and the office Elders live there.  The garage has been made into a bunk house for Elders during transfers, those coming to zone council, those here taking care of updating visas and any other time the missionaries need to come to Neuquén.  The Ehmkes are so good at making everyone feel at home.  The missionaries are starting to request Sister Ehmke's famous brownies when they know they will be coming.  She can make two pans of brownies and they are gone...just like that!

Sunday night is the night that transfers begin.  The "fieles" that live in or near Neuquén come in for their final interview.  We don't have a meal that night together but when I offered toast and peanut butter and honey to these Elders, they took me up on it!  I will plan something better for next time!

This is such a wonderful time for us.  We love to be with these faithful missionaries.  This time there are thirteen Elders returning home.
They enjoy being together!

It is so fun to hear them play the piano. Many have been the pianist in their wards or branches throughout their mission. What a blessing they have been to those wards and branches. There are many wards or branches that have no one to play the piano. The conductor just stands up, gives a pitch and the congregation all sing without any accompaniment!
I think our past mission secretary is happy to turn the phone over to the new mission secretary!

Some of the fieles have been in the office during part of their mission and are willing to teach us things they know.

What a great group of missionaries!

Lots of memories on the bulletin board in the kitchen!

President and Sister Peterson made a DVD of memories for each of the missionaries to take with them.  It was fun to watch that together.  We could all feel the love the Petersons have for the mission and the missionaries.

Thirteen of some of the best Elders in the mission!

This occasion calls for some delicious food!

President wanted to check the bottoms of their shoes.  They were all pretty worn out!

There are so many memores in these packets. They have all the letters they wrote to the President Peterson and to President Lovell. There are also other memories included.  While they were looking at their packets two of the Elders had some very important family members arrive!

What a happy reunion!

Then we had a very spiritual testimony meeting and then a piano concert that turned into powerful singing. 
I hope you can feel the power of these missionaries by listening to them sing their testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

The next morning we arrived at the airport very early.

Our two assistants.

May God bless you as you return to your homes.
Our hearts are so full after saying good-bye.  We return home to get ready for our new arriving missionaries!

What an exciting day!  We have six wonderful mssionaries to take back to the Mision Home.
They are happy to be here and we are so happy to have them here.

This time they all speak spanish.  I did my best to help them feel welcome but I will be so glad when I know a few more things to say!  I am so grateful that Presdient Lovell speaks so well.

That first night we went back to the mission home and shared information about the mission. Our new assistant just jumped in in the training. It is such a blessing to have such wonderful missionaries to help lead the mission. The new missionaries were very excited to learn about the mission.


During the meeting the assistants left to take a phone call and didn't come back for some time. I was getting a little worried. When they came back and sat down I could tell something was wrong. Our eyes met and I could tell they wanted to share something with me but didn't want to interrupt. After the meeting they told me they had gone to the kitchen with their phone call and found water all over the floor. There was a broken pipe. They had spent time cleaning it up. With their expert knowledge they knew how to get the repairs taken care of.


We love it when we have new Hermanas arrive because they stay at the mission home.  We have breakfast together and then they get started on the necessary paperwork.


Right around lunch time the Trainers arrive.  Noone knows who will train who and there is alot of excitement. 

Then the Refuesos go to the office for training and the Trainers stay in the mission home for their training.

Hermana Ehmke decided we needed a little break and asked this cute Hermana to lead us in Head Shoulders Knees and Toes in Spanish! 

This group of missionaries is trained and ready to go.
While President Lovell and I were finishing the meetings with these missionaries the assistants were at the airport picking up two more excited missionaries. 

We enjoyed getting to know these two great Elders. 

They met their trainers right away.  All of them stayed at the Casa Grande that night and then did training the following day.  Together they learned what they needed to know about the mission.
It  is great to have these prepared missionaries join the other missionaries in the Neuquén Mission!