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.
Doug talks the flower lady into splitting her arrangement to accommodate 16 white roses…Brianna’s favorite.
If 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.
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!
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.
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!
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)
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!
Brianna has been taking a theater class this term at school. Tonight we attended the performance of Stage Door.
Brianna did a great job! In fact, I think she was the best actress in the play!!!
Tricia has been in Argentina for nearly a week and hasn’t had empanadas yet, so we had to remedy that situation!
Tricia’s visit on day 6 is fully documented on the mission blog with the exception of this little comment that she made after lunch.
She looked at me with eyes wide open as if an incredulous thought had just occurred to her, “Mom, this day is only half over!”
“Welcome to mission life.”
Even though she is not a morning person, she didn’t give us any reason to doubt that she could be a wonderful missionary. She was up and ready, talking and inspiring others on the spur of the moment, handshaking the elders and brethren, kissing and hugging the sisters and children and most of all enduring to the end of every day with a smile.
Waiting after the transfer in the mission offices for Presidente
This is the link to tricia’s visit day six:
Tricia joined us for the Pastores Tour.
(They don't let you take many pictures inside. Tricia is feeling the different temperatures of the different colors of marble. )
Behind us is the Combi that took us everywhere.
After lunch, we went to a section of town called Boca, home of the soccer team, Boca Juniors. Boca's team colors are blue and yellow and their arch rivals, River, are red. Coca-Cola is a major advertising sponsor for both, but on the Boca Junior's stadium, the signs are painted black and white instead of the usual, red and white.
Boca used to be a villa (Argentine slum) until a local artist became famous. He returned and donated a lot of money into the area; it became a tourist destination. The town was originally made from any materials and paint that people could scrounge up at the docks.
3 of February Park
I was Tricia’s personal translator. She told me that I did a great job! I am so pleased that she thought so.
I cancelled my Spanish lesson this morning, but I asked my tutor, Emi, to come by and meet my daughter. They remind me of each other quite a bit. Later, Emi told me that she felt like they would be great friends if Tricia lived here.
We hadn’t done enough shopping yet…so we ran with one of my visiting teachers to a place in town that I had never been before where there are a bunch of outlets shops.
I had a tennis lesson scheduled for this afternoon and Doug and Tricia came with me. I think it is so funny that it costs 50 pesos to rent a court and 70 pesos for a lesson. For what amounts to an extra $5 you can have your own personal tennis trainer with you.
Pablo had a good time helping us all in my first ever group lesson with him.
This evening we went to a Mexican Restaurant in La Lucila. The train has an iron overpass that we cross over to get to the restaurant and so we got a nice picture of the train at night.Unbeknownst to us, it was the Day of the Dead. The holiday in Mexico focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. We learned about it when we went to Mexico, but tonight we got to see the real deal.
The owner of the restaurant seemed quite pleased when we asked if we could take our picture next to the altar. The altars are built using sugar skulls, marigolds and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed.