Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mission President's Seminar in Buenos Aires

President Lovell and I are looking forward to the Mission President´s Seminar in April.  I was thinking about the amazing experience we had at the Mission President´s Seminar last October and decided to share a few of the experiences and pictures from the seminar with you.  All of the Mission Presidents and their wives were there from the South American South Area of the Church.  This includes all of the missions in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.  We were so blessed to have Elder Oaks and Elder Bednar and their wives along with the South America South Area Presidency there to teach us.  

It was very fun to get to know the other Mission Presidents and their wives.  We were able to share ideas with each other.  Some had been out for two years, some one year and about one third of us had only been out for a few months.

When we met President and Sister Levrino, President of the Salta Mission, we told them our niece Lexie had just received her call to their mission a few weeks before the seminar.  It was fun letting them know what a wonderful Hermana Lexie would be!

Elder Oaks and Elder Bednar and their wives were so kind and seemed to enjoy meeting and talking with all of us.

This is a picture of all of the mission presidents and their wives.

For each of the meals that were served, we had place cards to tell us each where to sit.   On the last evening we were excited to see that our place cards were right next to Elder and Sister Bednar´s place cards. It was such a privilege to be with them. They were so wonderful and were willing to answer our many questions.  The spirit was very strong and we felt a witness that this was an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Later that night we had the privilege to attend a wonderful presentation about the life of Joseph Smith done by musicians in the area.   It was an amazing evening!  Elder Oaks also attended and thanked the performers for their beautiful music.

It was written and conducted by these two talented musicians.  It was fun to hear their story.  During the time they spent together preparing and practicing this performance they fell in love and were married  in the Buenos Aires Temple just a short time before the performance we watched.

One of the highlights of the evening was meeting these two wonderful performers, Damian and Nicolas  Rosas.  Their sister Hermana Rosas was an Hermana in our mission.  Nicolas played the part of Joseph and Damian  played the part of Alvin in the performance.  They knew that we would be there that evening and found us after the performance with special letters to deliver to our mission! We felt an immediate bond to these wonderful brothers!

We were so excited to meet President and Sister Humphrey of the Chile Concepcion Mission.  Our daughter Ashley is a missionary in their mission.

We were able to attend the newly rededicated Buenos Aries Temple in a session with Elder Oaks.  

After the temple session, we walked over to eat lunch at the CCM - the MTC in Buenos Aires.


We sat across from Elder and Sister Oaks and next to Elder and Sister Bednar. Elder Oaks is sitting here next to President and Sister Carter of the Buenos Aires West Mission.  It was so fun to get to know the Carters.  They were willing to share things that have worked well for them in their mission, and I learned a lot about how to do a blog from Sister Carter.

After lunch we were able to go upstairs and meet some of the missionaries at the CCM that were preparing to come to our mission.

Just before we got on the shuttle to take us to the airport we saw Hermana Clair and her little daughter Crystal from the Catrial Branch in our mission.  She and her husband were there attending the temple.  What a great ending to a wonderful week!

Friday, March 22, 2013

What's in a Name?


The country of Argentina was actually named after an element in Periodic Table, Argentum, #47. It happened something like this:

In the early 1500’s, because of a shipwreck, Spaniards landed here. They decided they better give some gifts to the local people to endear themselves, and they offered silver. The local people basically said thanks, but we have plenty of silver. Oh really? Can you show us where? And they went and saw. Not too much later, this group went back to Spain with the news that there was plenty of silver for the taking. They named the river where they originally landed, the River of Silver (Rio de la Plata) and called the country Argentina derived from argentum, the Latin word for silver. As it turns out Argentina does not actually mine that much silver, in fact, it is clear down the list at #15.

Top 20 Silver Producing Countries in 2006
(millions of ounces)
1. Peru 111.6
2. Mexico 96.4
3. China 75.4
4. Australia 55.6
5. Chile 51.5
6. Poland 40.4
7. Russia 39.6
8. United States 36.7
9. Canada 31.2
10. Kazakhstan 26.1
11. Bolivia 15.2
12. Sweden 8.6
13. Indonesia 7.7
14. Morocco 7.6
15. Argentina 6.1
16. Turkey 6.0
17. Iran 3.2
18. South Africa 2.8
19. India 2.7
20. Uzbekistan 2.3

crescent moonHowever, as a minor point of interest, there is a picture associated with argentum. It is a picture of the crescent moon. Between medialunas and how the Argentines love night life, in one way or the other, I think it has turned out to be appropriate. Of course, we don’t know where the locals took the shipwrecked Spaniards to see the silver. We do know that silver has been mined in the Andes Mountains since the days of the Incas. The largest of those mines in Argentina is the Capillitas Mine which is found at about 10,000 feet. As you can imagine, it is not worked year round. minemine2Vista Capillitas Torregm-rhdchrst-argntn-03
SantaRitaThe Incas held a tradition that the blood of their rulers was turned to stone, and the stone was called Inca Rosa. These stones grew in the mine as stalactites and stalagmites. Then, about 150 years ago, people began to use the beauty of Inca Rosa and mine for it, specifically. It was discovered, during that era, that there are over 100 types of precious stones inside the Capillitas Mine.
capillitas2They are among the most beautiful and rare in the world. Interestingly, many of the stones were found among the debris of the silver veins.

Rhodochrosite is the official name for Inca Rosa and is found in several places in the world, however, only in Capillitas Mine, in Argentina, can you find the banded stones, with colors ranging from almost white to rich pink to brown. When the bandings show a distinct chocolate brown color, it is called a capillite.
Although the mine has been mapped, its excavation has not been well-documented and it is thought that perhaps the story of Inca Rosa/Rhodochrosite like the story of Argentina itself, has not completely unfolded.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Los Refuerzos...The Reinforcements (March)

We have been very excited for these missionaries to arrive! Because of knowing that twenty two missionaries would go home this month we have been anxious for at least that many to get their visas to take the "Fieles" places here in the mission! We feel very blessed to have these wonderful missionaries arrive this week! Five of them are the ones that we talked about in a previous post called "Visa News!" Last week we also received word that Brother and Sister Asbell were also able to come this transfer. They will be a leadership couple here in the mission. We cannot call them a senior couple because they are much younger than we are! They took some great pictures of all our "Refuerzos" in the Buenos Aries airport and their arrival here in Neuquén. They are all included in the "Missionary Photos" on the blog.
I usually have to take our first pictures of our new missionaries through the frosted glass at the airport but the Asbells were right there to get some great pictures from inside the baggage claim area!

They are prepared for anything!

Here we are on the other side of the glass catching the first glimpses of these new missionaries!
We took the Elders to the Casa Grande (The home where the Ehmkes, the Assistants and the two mission secretaries live) and the Hermana's came to stay at the Mission Home with us. We had some taco soup and empanadas outside. It was a beautiful evening!

After dinner we came into the Mission Home to learn a little bit about each other and about the mission.

The next day they had all their paperwork to fill out and they were able to have their first interview with President Lovell. These interviews are one of the things President Lovell enjoys most about being here in the mission!

There was also pictures to be taken, journal entries to write and time to relax just a little! 

Everyone enjoyed the time we had to just visit with each other! 

Hermana Ehmke is our mission nurse and is always there to train and answer questions. She takes very good care of the missionaries in this mission! Everyone feels better after just being able to talk to her!

With the help of these wonderful missionaries we quickly had things ready for lunch!

Remember to double click on these pictures if you want to see them bigger.
Then there was more training by those who work in the office. Elder Ehmke wears many hats here in the mission. Here he is explaining things about the pensions in the mission. The new missionaries also met with the mission secretary and the financial secretary.

One of the things I do in the mission is to help the missionaries who are learning a language. There are of course the missionaries that are learning Spanish but all of those who don't know English are asked to learn English. This will be a great blessing to them in their lives and it is also fun! The church has a program called Companionship Language Study that they make available for us to be able to teach English. This was the perfect group of missionaries to have a very fun training about this program. There were the exact number of English Speakers and those whose main language is Spanish.


One of the activities we did was for each of the English speakers to work with a missionary that speaks Spanish in a practice that is part of this Companionship Language Study program. They all seemed to have a fun time with it!  

It was fun for all of us to get to know Brother and Sister Asbell better. Brother Asbell is a great story teller and both Brother and Sister enjoy being with the missionaries! As you can tell...the missionaries enjoy being with them! The Asbells will serve in the branch of Trevelin.  


There were actually a few more minutes to just visit and relax! 
This Hermana was so excited to take out the garbage and try out the containers that hold the trash here in Argentina. It is just so fun to be around these enthusiastic missionaries!


The next day was a day of training with the new missionaries and their trainers. It was so exciting when the trainers arrived. No one knew who their companion would be but it was so fun for them to all get to know one another. It is always an amazing experience to see trainers that are just learning English and new missionaries that are just learning Spanish start working together. It really is a miracle! 
Much of the training the next day was in the chapel at the church so I didn't get pictures of it but there was such a good feeling among all the missionaries. The missionaries that arrived earlier this transfer were included in this training. Since they arrived in the middle of the transfer cycle they have been in trios for the last few weeks. They were all here to be trained and to find out who their trainers would be. It was so exciting to have this many missionaries together to be trained!
We had a little break before dinner. These Hermanas helped us finish prepare the meal for the evening. They were always there volunteering to do whatever they could to help.  

Dinner was a success and a good time to get photos of your missionaries! 

We served chocolate pudding for desert and had quite a bit left over. The missionaries are always willing to help me with that kind of problem! 


The group of Missionaries that arrived this week 

The same group of missionaries with their trainers 

The group of missionaries that arrived in February and their trainers 

All of the missionaries that arrived this transfer cycle and their trainers