Saturday, January 25, 2014

Preparations for New Missionaries and New Areas

These last six months have been very busy and exiting.  In June we had just over 100 missionaries and five Zones.  We had 17 Hermanas in the Mission.  We only had one Hermana from the United States!  Now we have over 250 missionaries and twelve Zones.  We just received our 103rd Hermana!

It has taken many people  to get the new areas ready.  Elder Ehmke is in the office over new pensions and has been amazing to work with the missionaries and professionals in finding and getting the appliances and furniture needed for each new pension!  We are so grateful for him!

It has been my responsibility (along with whoever is available and willing to help) to buy the dishes for the kitchens that the missionaries will need to use to cook and prepare their food.

 We have opened about 15 new pensions each transfer these last six months. That is about 75 new areas and pensions!  Thank you to all who have made this possible!





This is our wonderful Elder Ehmke who has done so much to get all of our new pensions up and running! Here he is celebrating the arrival of some new phones for our new missionaries.  There have been so many details for him to take care of!  One of the difficult parts of his task was that because of the trouble with visas we have only known a few days or weeks ahead of when our new missionaries arrived that they would really be coming!!!!   It is impossible to get 15 apartments found and  prepared in that length of time.  He has done a wonderful job and done it with a smile!  Thank you Elder Ehmke!
These two Elders moved into a pension without some of the appliances they needed.  They had fun taking these photos!  Please enjoy!

There have been many missionaries who have served in trios or had two companionships live together while pensions have been found and prepared.  There have also been many missionaries who have helped find apartments!   Thank you to all who have worked so hard during this exciting time of growth! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Leadership Council

We had an amazing Leadership Council with amazing Mission Leaders.  Because of having over 250 missionaries we now have twelve zones.  We also have 103 Hermanas in the mission!   We now have eight sets of Sister Leader Trainers and they are such a blessing to our Hermanas!  We are so grateful for all of our wonderful leaders!
There were many new leaders to introduce and welcome!

I especially love it when one of our Spanish speaking missionaries gives a talk in English!  This missionary bore such a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

The training and practices.

  We are so excited about a new program we have the opportunity to use in our mission called "Church Open House".   Elder and Hermana Ehmke will coordinate and run it.  The Ehmkes came to the Leadership training to explain it all to our mission leaders.  They are so enthusiastic and excited to share their testimonies through this wonderful program!

Hermana did such a great job sharing her part in Spanish!  We are so grateful for the Ehmkes and all they do to bless the mission!

These eight leaders are all from Mexico!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Issues with the Argentina Mail and Customs Procedures

Estamos experimentando algunos cambios en el sistema de correo de Argentina. Creemos que los cambios vienen de las restricciones grandes que está haciendo el Gobierno de Argentina con la tema de importaciones. Por causa de esto, hay muchos productos que no se pueden comprar localmente por la gente de acá. Las personas están comprando cosas por internet para intentar solucionar en parte esta situacion.  Todas las compras de afuera tienen que pasar por las oficinas del correo. Por eso, hay muchos paquetes que todavía no han pasado por esta inspección.  Tenemos misioneros que han estado esperando sus paquetes desde Octubre, Noviembre, y Diciembre, que están en Argentina, pero todavía no han pasado por este proceso en la oficina local. Hemos pedido por indicaciones de cuándo podremos recibir todos estos paquetes, y nos han dicho que la única cosa que podemos hacer es esperar.  
Con estas cosas, también hay los nuevos cobros del correo de Argentina, de cual les hemos dicho. Ahora hay un 35 pesos de cobro para cada paquete. Esto es además a los cobros de los oficiales en la oficina de aduana. Todos estos costos son muy difíciles para nuestros misioneros. Estos costos están deducidos de la plata mensual de los misioneros, porque la misión no puede ser responsable económicamente de ellos. 
Nosotros estamos sugiriendo que mandando paquetes por el correo Argentino ya no es un método viable para su hijo o hija para recibir los artículos del hogar. No usen FedEx u otro método de envío porque estas cosas permanecen en Buenos Aires para el destinatario recibir allá. Por supuesto, nuestros misioneros no pueden viajar fuera de la misión a Buenos Aires. La mejor manera a dar a su hijo o hija algo especial de la casa es poniendo más plata en su tarjeta personal para que ellos puedan comprar algo acá en la misión o enviándoles plata por Western Union, cuya empresa cuenta con oficinas por toda argentina.  
Cartas y sobres chicos todavía están llegando sin problema. Nuestro gerente misional, Elder Ehmke, estará encantado de responder a cualquier pregunta que usted pueda tener individuales. Por favor escriba a él en   

We are facing several changes within the Argentine mail system and customs procedures.  We feel the changes are due to the rather stringent restriction the Argentine government is placing on imports.  As a result, there are many products that citizens cannot buy locally.  People are trying to circumvent the restriction by ordering products through the Internet.  These items are required to go through local customs offices.  This has created a backlog in their offices.  For example, we have missionaries who have packages which arrived in Argentine in October, November and December but have not yet been cleared by our local customs office.  We have asked for an indication as to when we will be able to receive these back-logged packages.  We were told we would just have to wait. 
In addition to the long delays through customs, we have told you of the new charges through the Argentine mail system.  There is now a $35 peso fee for every package.  This is in addition to the fee charged by the customs officials.  The costs are becoming very prohibitive for our missionaries.  These fees are deducted from the missionary´s monthly living allotment as the mission cannot be held financially responsible for them. 
We are suggesting that sending packages through the Argentine mail and customs systems is no longer a viable method for your son or daughter to receive items from home.  Do not use FedEx or some other shipment method as these items are held in Buenos Aires for the recipient to receive there.  Of course, our missionaries cannot travel outside of the mission to Buenos Aires.  The best way to give your son or daughter a special treat from home is definitely by placing an extra amount on their personal debit card and notifying them on your next email that the money is there or sending money by Western Union, who has many locations in our Mission.  
Letters and small envelopes (no more than 8 x 11 ½) are still arriving without difficulty.  Our mission office manager, Elder Ehmke, will be glad to answer any individual questions you may have.  Please write to him at 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Our #10 daughter from Chile and her family

Our second daughter Jamie served a mission in the Chile Antofagasta Mission. Here we are welcoming her home! You can tell by how young we look that it was a few years ago! 

We received many blessings from Jamie serving a mission but one of the greatest blessings is that we gained another daughter!  Veronica came from Chile to visit us several months after Jamie returned from her mission and we fell in love with her! 
She visited our extended family....

.....and she and Jamie even went to girls camp with me!

We introduced her to Jeff, a life long friend who had served a  mission in Spain and they fell in love and were married! We have enjoyed many special times with them through out the years!

We were excited when they announced to us that they could come and visit us this year in Argentina during Christmas!  It was fun to prepare a few things so we could have Christmas together!

It is hard to guess what this present might be!!!!

It was a good thing we thought to bring a few games with us.  It took a little time to remember the rules to the games but we had a great time together!

It was fun for them to meet the missionaries.

Cata had a great time running through our sprinklers!

Nicco even helped me with a few projects!

We visited some of our friends here in the ward.

Cata and Camilla had fun getting to know each other!

President Tapia of the mission presidency visited us while they were here.  We let him try some licorice and he said that trying it one time was enough for him!  Many of those that try licorice here say that it tastes like plastic!

One of the most beautiful places to visit here in Neuquén is the river.

Thank you for creating more wonderful memories for us to share with you!