Friday, December 30, 2011

juan carter


This is Juan. I actually don’t even know what his last name is. He told me at New Way Remis, where he works, they call him Juan Carter. He takes Brianna and I all over the place. He goes the extra mile making sure we are safe and can accomplish our intentions. I am so grateful that I don’t have to drive! When Juan is not available, he never makes us call the company, he calls them for us and tells whoever will be picking us up exactly what to do.

The other day a combi (20 person bus) was supposed to pick up the refuerzos at the house. There was a misunderstanding and it ended up that they needed alternate transportation. We called Juan and asked for 5 remises. Pretty soon, he showed up with 4 other cars. He got out and gathered the other drivers to give them instructions.

He thinks he speaks English. Believe me when I say that my Spanish is waaaay better than his English. That day, however, in the moment, and loud enough for my husband and I to hear,  he said, in English, with his heavy Castellano accent, to his peers… “Listen to me!” We laughed and laughed.

When Elder Aidukaitis came to do our mission tour, he told me that I need to drive. I told him that I don’t even like driving in the States! “Oh well,” he responded, “you surely aren’t going to want to drive here then. How do you get around.”

Between Juan and the trains, I am doing pretty well.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

time with taylor heyman

Our friends, the Heymans, are on a real mission, meaning, they live out in the boondocks of Argentina where there are no beautiful old theaters that have been revamped into bookstores. However, their son, Taylor, joined us today on his very long layover back to the States. He hung out with Brianna and I as we toured some of the cities sights.

El Ateneo was once know as Teatro Gran Splendid. You can pretty much guess the translation of that. It opened in 1919, but about ten years later it was converted into a cinema showing the very first sound films here. DSC00586

In 2000, Argentina’s largest bookstore group, Yenny, converted the building into their flagship store. It is pretty amazing for a bookstore. You can even sit in the theater boxes and read. It is now considered to be one of the best bookstores in the world. A million people drop by every year to take a look and now we are among them.

DSC00588As we were driving down the road on the way to our next destination, we saw all these papers flying. Juan, our remis driver explained that the last work day of the year, many businesses have a tradition of literally throwing the papers out the window.








We headed over to the Cafe Tortoni. It was founded in 1858, making it the oldest cafe in the country. It is also rich in history and architecture. We stood outside and waited about 20 minutes to be seated for lunch. Surprisingly, when we got inside, it wasn’t crowded, at all! Taylor and Brianna had pizza and I had a vegetable tart and we all decided that the food was decent.





I understand that there is a tango show here in the evenings and I think I would like to go to that because it is small and the ambiance is really quite special.

There are two huge rival soccer teams in Buenos Aires, Boca Juniors and River Plate. When I told Juan that I wanted to go to the museum for both of them, he told me that he couldn’t go to River because his car would blow up. He meant it! They take their soccer very seriously here. We headed for the Boca Museum where everything was blue and yellow!DSC00594

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Even though I don’t know a thing about Argentine soccer players, it was interesting to see the displays and some of the amazing plays that are recorded for the fans’ viewing pleasure.DSC00605

DSC00597If you look at the advertising in the stadium, you will notice something about the Coca-Cola banner. It is pretty impressive and encircles the stadium inside on two levels and outside, as well. Have you noticed?

It is black and white!


ARGENTINA-RiverPlateGuess what the team colors are for River?


The stadium is called The Bombonera.

Three sides of the Bombonera are made up of traditional stands. However, the fourth side had to be built vertically, with several seating areas stacked one on top of the other, to stay within the property limits. My husband tells me that when he went to a game there ten years ago, no one, NO ONE, sat for the entire game. Even when nothing was happening on the field, everyone was standing.

Actually, La Bombonera is renowned for vibrating when fans start to jump in rhythm and apparently, the vertical side will sway slightly.

I don’t think you could talk me into going into the stadium on a game day!

All this shaking has lead to the saying,

"La Bombonera doesn't shake: it beats (like a heart)."


La Bombonera no tiembla. Late.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

at the ballet

DSC00559 Every time we take the Pastores Tour with the missionaries that are leaving, I think that I am going to go home and buy tickets to an event at the Colon Theater. Then I go home and don’t buy tickets. Fortunately, we have a very amazing office couple. Sister Cox was a ballerina herself and her sons and daughter grew up dancing and still participate in ballets. They gave us tickets to the ballet!




This one is called The Corsair. These people were authorized pirates. In this ballet they are saving the maidens or ballerinas from the slave traders. I read about the story online before going, but I was so mesmerized by the experience, I don’t think it would have mattered had I not known it.


It was beautiful in every way. The scenery, the music and of course, the dancing. The prima ballerina is ranked among the top 10 in the world, but her counterpart elicited the standing ovation, even though she was too wonderful for words herself.


It was the last night of the season, but I hope to be able to go back to the ballet for the 2012 season!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

christmas eve


Lilies of the Nile bloom right around my birthday every year. I love them and have had them in my yard for almost all of my married life. They are blooming all over Buenos Aires now!

Doug and I decided to take a walk in the city today. There are so many beautiful store windows. I would have loved to have captured the one with the Christmas tree surrounded by mannequins in bathing suits. I have discovered that photographing windows isn’t that easy.

Summer is in full swing with the local kids out of school until almost March. Brianna attends an international that will resume in February.


I thought this was a cool Christmas tree made out of triangular leather samples.







Many vendors are promoting peace and love.


We became  fully Argentine tonight when we decided to open our presents before going to bed!


Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

elder mather


We were very happy to meet Elder Mather’s parents. We are very sad, however, that it is time for him to leave. He has been a wonderful missionary.

We planned to have an early dinner, meaning 8:00pm because that is when restaurants open. There were some problems for the Mathers getting up to the suburbs tonight though, and we finally arrived at the restaurant around 9:30pm. It doesn’t really matter, because when you book a table, it is yours for the whole evening. We ate and chatted and ate and chatted until we realized how really late it was. The Mather’s didn’t end up getting back to their hotel until 2:00am! We are so grateful for the time they spent with us tonight. They are on their way home tomorrow to spend Christmas together with the rest of their family.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


3 Nephi 11:38

38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

One of the most difficult things for our missionaries is finding a man and a woman who have a testimony and want to be baptized, but they cannot because they are not married. They cannot get married because one or the other of them is not divorced. Divorce is very expensive and very time-consuming. We recently had a couple that have made it through all the loops and hoops and after three years were finally able to get married and then baptized the next day.

One of the sweetest experiences is to go to a baptism. Presidente and I went and met up with Elder Parque and Elder Davis this Saturday afternoon. These kids are excited to be part of the Young Men/Young Women programs in their ward and their leaders were there to welcome them.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

it’s beginning to look like christmas

We haven’t had much time for extra-curriculars, but I did talk Presidente into taking a couple of hours today. DSC09528

We ate outside at a little sandwich cafe and afterwards walked a couple of blocks around Palermo Viejo. DSC09523

It is a trendy little neighborhood with lots of interesting stores and places to eat.


We smiled about the windows announcing summer, in  English,  and the new year simultaneously.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

bruce lester carter


Doug’s dad went to live with Heavenly Father today.

He is a good man.

He was a good father

and a good husband.

He was good to me.


Families Can Be Together Forever.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

sweet sixteen


Doug talks the flower lady into splitting her arrangement to accommodate 16 white roses…Brianna’s favorite.




We spend the evening with Brianna celebrating together in the city. It is a beautiful summer night, and we have dinner outside  enjoying  the lights and the changing scenes on the river.DSC09427

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!FeLiZ CuMpLe!

happy birthday brianna


asia-de-cuba-01If it is a quite special occasion, we have a favorite restaurant in Puerto Madero, that quite fills the expectation. This evening we went to Bice to celebrate Brianna’s 16th Birthday. There are beautiful views of the port from the restaurant and this time of year, it is especially pleasant to be seated outside to enjoy the nice weather.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving


We had Thanksgiving with the office missionaries, which included, Elder Godfrey, Elder Baudon, Elder Woodruff, Elder Riutor, Elder Foster (still recuperating from appendicitis)  and Elder and Sister Cox.  It is a gorgeous sunny day, spring is leaning toward summer with 87 degrees outside. The Linden trees are in bloom making the city smell incredibly wonderful and the Jacaranda trees are starting to carpet the street in lavender flowers.  It was a beautiful day for giving thanks.

We were able to buy two frozen 9 pound turkeys, there is always tons of potatoes available, I was extraordinarily lucky to find artichokes for the stuffing, Tricia brought us pumpkin and the Bentons left behind some cranberry sauce. I did order apple strudel from the German bakery down the street because my apple pie doesn’t begin to approach the amazing-ness of what they make. I have made my rolls several times in Argentina, and I have finally worked out the kinks of a different oven and texture of flour and the rolls turned out perfect. If you count the strudel as apple pie, and I did, it was a very traditional meal for us.

Our experience with BAG has never failed to be wonderful. I won’t even try to describe what was said today. But Brianna and I sat at the table and wept along with  All The Men as each and every person shared personal and special Blessings, Accomplishments and Goals.

I love Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

after hours

The Mission Presidents Seminar was truly wonderful in every way. It began on a Sunday night. Not all of the attendees had arrived from their various areas, but most of us attended a Sacrament meeting together. The Sacrament Meeting was held in the same conference room in the hotel where all of our training took place, but it was immediately obvious that this meeting was going to be extra special. After the Sacrament, we were given the opportunity to share our testimonies and truly the Spirit could not be restrained.

There were five new mission presidents in Argentina this year. I remember watching the Church News as a little bit of information was posted about each one. After number four, we waited and waited and waited and still there was no word about number five. They finally made an appearance on the very last New Mission Presidents page…The Heymans. They are standing next to us in the picture and continuing to the right are the Giulanis, the Avilas and the Levrinos. In the MTC, we all bonded as Argentina Presidents and it was so exciting to see them and find out how things were going in their missions. One thing that I really love is how different the style is of each President, and how wonderful that is because they are inspired by the Lord, and they are taking the work forward using their unique talents.


We have been especially blessed to become friends with the Heyman’s. Diane and I write to each other often. We share ideas and give each other encouragement. The demands of this calling can be described, but not imagined very accurately.  How I love her insights from one who knows how it is.  President Heyman posts the funniest blogs about mission life in Resistencia. He pokes fun at himself, but I know him to be incredibly hard-working and intelligent, following the Lord in every way.

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They arrived too late Sunday night to meet up. We had pre-determined seats at the seminar and at meals, but we were grabbing every second to catch up with each other. It didn’t take us long to make a plan to spend the evening together. It didn’t really matter what we did or where we went because it was really just an excuse to hang out.

We laughed so much together over our joys and trials. Of course, we had so much fun on Monday night that we could hardly wait for Tuesday night. Sadly, they had to go back to Resistencia before Wednesday night rolled around, but we did take them to the airport Wednesday afternoon with the hope and a prayer in our hearts that they will be able come back and spend more time. We understand that mission presidents are supposed to take a few days off once a quarter, but neither one of us have actually tried it yet. I liked Diane’s idea…after our missions, we will trade off visiting each other in Arizona and Florida. We will all sit around and talk about the good old days remembering when….


The first night we brought them out to the house. They could see it was a work in progress, but at least it is well on its way now. Presidente Heyman loves Argentine ice cream so we made that part of the evening both nights. The second evening was a warm spring night and we walked most of the length of Puerto Madero as we chatted amongst ourselves.

We feel so blessed by their friendship and love.


From an email on 21 November:

Hola mi Amiga!,
How are you doing? It feels like it was months ago that we were with you in Buenos Aires instead of a couple of weeks. Thanks again for showing us around and entertaining us. It was so much fun! We loved every minute. I think it was therapeutic to be able to share and laugh. Thank you, thank you!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

International day

There are kids from all over the world that go to Lincoln. Every year, her school sponsors an International Day showcasing the food and traditions of many different countries.

These boys are from Pakistan, Bolivia, Spain and USA (Seattle, Washington)

Brianna and her friend Gonzalo, who is from Brazil.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

tricia’s last day

We had an unexpected P-day when the visas didn’t arrive for our missionaries, which meant that they didn’t arrive. We did have to make a trip to the office though.


Afterwards, we drove out to Tigre. It is a tourist-y little town. Presidente has always wanted to have lunch at this restaurant on the river. It was pleasant to sit there and enjoy the beautiful day.


It was such a blessing to have Tricia come, that I could hardly be sad when it was time for her to leave. It would have seemed selfish and ungrateful. We so appreciate her family for their sacrifices while she has been away. I loved having an hermana to hang out with me all week, especially since the hermana was my hija.  We tried to compact as many experiences as possible into a week long picture of the last four months of our lives. That was good for us too. It’s been nice to step back and take a look.

Even though Tricia is not a morning person, she put her best missionary foot forward rising and shining with a smile that lasted all day everyday…except when she was crying, of course. It made me realize that a mission is  an emotional journey, every single day.


Goodbye Sister Lewis! We adore you!