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!