Monday, December 31, 2012

Everything closes down in Argentina for holidays. So we just enjoyed hanging out together, playing games and chatting. My mom, dad, Dan and I made it out for some tennis in the afternoon which is always fun.

We wanted to go down to the river to watch the fireworks at midnight. It was so windy we didn't dare take our own fireworks to shoot off. Our remaining ladybugs will have to wait for a future trip.

Right at midnight, we could look down the river and see the city of Buenos Aires erupting in fireworks. Meanwhile, fireworks were going off all around us too. It was such a happy celebration and an incredible display all over the city. Fireworks are totally legal, even in the city, so there were also lots of fire engine sirens going off after midnight too.

It seems hard to believe that it could be this cold after the heat that we experienced just a week ago on Christmas Eve. It was cold tonight!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

chillin' on sunday afternoon

This trip was much more relaxing than our last trip. We all needed the break and this was the perfect place and with the perfect people.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

a special baptism

One of our favorite missionaries from our trips is Elder Foster. He was the zone leader in a town called Arco Iris, which literally means "rainbow." This was Elder Foster's last week in the mission and he and his companion, Elder Davis, baptized TWELVE people into one ward. We were so privileged to be able to go to that special meeting, even if it was a little dicey getting there (trying to avoid the "no driving on dirt roads" rule of my parents can sometimes prove daunting).

One thing that made this baptism extra special is that they baptized a one-legged man. They introduced him to a man in the ward with no legs. He became instrumental in the teaching process and when the investigator received a testimony and wanted to be baptized, he asked his friend to do it. It was quite a memory to witness one of the elders holding the chair of the man with no legs in the font and the other one in a position to help in the immersion procedure of the baptism.

They had everyone getting baptized in a big line outside.

After the baptism we went to the new Rosa Negra 1000 on the horse race track for dinner. Yum.

Friday, December 28, 2012

the zone leaders and the seguines

Today my parents had Zone Leader Council at the house. We joined in for lunch and ice cream. I think we figured that 9 of the missionaries were at Jonah's baptism almost 8 months ago!

I love seeing the missionaries shoes outside my parents front door. You can tell just by their shoes how hard they work.

Then my mom, Dan, Jonah, Izzy and I took the train to Martinez. The price has risen from 25 cents to $1 to ride the train! The Littles were kind of tired out shopping and kept stopping to rest at all the park benches we saw.

They were spurred on mostly by the promise that we would go get candy at the kiosk on the way home. We did stop in and got a noodle for the pool.

I kept dragging my poor parents out in the sun to chat. I was soaking in every minute of the good weather.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

time to hang out with the seguines

We stopped by the Buenos Aires Temple on the way home. We didn't take any pictures because we (mostly me) really weren't looking our best. However, that didn't stop my parents from trotting us through the CCM (the Argentine MTC on the temple grounds) to meet the MTC President and a bunch of the missionaries. The kids thought it was great eating breakfast in the MTC cafeteria and Dan enjoyed talking with a man who was the Buenos Aires South mission president just before Dan went on his mission.

We finally got to the house and Dan and I crashed. Nana and Papa took the girls shopping for bathing suits and then the kids took to the water. It was a lovely summer day and we were so happy to be there!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

saying hasta luego to the evans family

I couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity and blessing it has been to be here in Argentina as a family.
I love that I have walked the walks my mom makes every day to go to the grocery store or bakery.
I love that I have seen the tree lined streets in every direction and walked them with her.
 I feel like I know a lot more about this little town of Acassuso outside Buenos Aires where my parents live.

 From the pasta shop, the craft store, the hardware store, the ice cream store or catching the next train to go buy vegetables with our cart in tow...I really like this little town.

 Its a dang good thing we don't have a Cappelia's near us. The amount of dulce de leche facturas we consumed was, well, a lot.  Best morning walks ever!
We saw where Brianna goes to school, which happens to be located right on the Rio de la Plata, the widest river in the world.

 And dad at his board.  If you couldn't find my dad, he was usually either asleep on the third floor, or working on the board.   We had a number of missionaries who apologized to us that we needed to do missionary stuff while we were visiting.  We tried explaining to them that it was part of the reason we came.  We came to be part of the missionary experience, and it certainly blessed each one of our lives.

I love all of the other small memories that were made.
As we were sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on our way home one day, the boys were getting restless, so my mom started a game to see who could find English words.  Before she even finished her final word of explaining the game, Elliot came through from the back, "Bacon".  For days we would randomly throw out "bacon".
I loved singing all of the Christmas hymns in Spanish this year.
I loved watching the Elders and how they look up to my dad and love him.  Almost every conversation ended with the elder telling my dad that he loved him.
Likewise, it was neat to watch the missionaries love each other.  They are a huggie bunch!
I love that Spencer was so excited for me to see and all that we saw, because he said I now have a better glimpse of what his own mission was like.
And while I didn't think I would miss the noisy streets that start around 10pm with cars honking, music playing and fireworks going off, or the garbage man who comes around midnight, our house seemed far too quiet as I lay in bed our first night back.
 Well, I think it is obvious that we loved it all.  Every day.  All of it.
And it was really hard to say goodbye.
But we've made it half way, and we can do it again.  But now it will be a little different, because we will always feel part of it.  Our boys have seen what its like to be a missionary with a whole new light, and they are more excited than ever.  Elliot said to me on our final day, "Well mom, now I know where I want to go on my Buenos Aires, Argentina!"
Mom and Dad, thanks for being such wonderful examples.  As we waved our final goodbye, we rounded the corner at the airport and Nolan looked up at me and said, "Mom, I am going to miss them soooooooooooo much."  And somehow, I choked out, "Me too."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

our christmas card

christmas at midnight

Since everyone had gone to bed at 6:30, we all woke up just before midnight, which was perfect because Christmas was just about to start in Argentina.  It begins with fireworks.  Lots of fireworks, and we watched them from the balcony along the top of the house.  I couldn't help but think it was cool that we were "Up On The Housetop" on Christmas.  Elliot wrote in his journal, "...At 12:00 midnight we went up on the balcony and watched fireworks and one went over us and hit me in the head!  But it did not hurt!"

  Then it was time to open gifts.
A lot of those boxes had puzzle pieces inside for the gift that was waiting for the boys at home in Virginia.  Opening paper for Christmas went pretty well. :)
We all loved and appreciated everything this special Christmas.

 Then, it was back to bed...or a nap, or something, around 4am.

 By the afternoon, we had everything cleaned up and we were ready for the office elders to come enjoy a Christmas Day BBQ and games.
 The office elders presented a gift to my parents.  A stained glass tree made out of the tissue paper from the craft at P-Day.  It was very cool and thoughtful and I loved it.  So, I get to take it home and the elders are making my parents another one!! :) 
 Then the marathon dominoes tournament began.

The elders came in and out as they took turns calling and/or skyping their families back home.  But Elliot kept winning and winning with Elder Escobar.  Who knew we had matched up the dominoes experts?
It was a Merry Christmas!