Thursday, January 24, 2013

guest post by tricia #1

My husband is the best. Really.
He took care of everything so I could go to Argentina by myself for NINE. WHOLE. DAYS.
Thankfully, I slept on the flight last night the best I have ever slept going to Argentina. Usually when we arrive, I'm half-zombie and ready for nothing but a nap. But today that wasn't an option.
Because I walked right in to Missionary Leadership Council (formerly Zone Leader Council). And my mom put me on the docket on the fly. And the next thing I knew, I was in a dress and leading a discussion on how to plan effectively and deal with the unexpected....which was unexpected. My mom says I told a funny story--in actuality, it was the story of my life. I had given Dan a typed of list of where to be and when to be there. He looked at me incredulously and said, "Do the kids really have to go to school?"

This is what Mission Leadership Council looks like:
After we said goodbye to most of the missionaries, we went out back and Elder Morgan gave my dad a hair cut. We had stopped by his salon in Knoxville to try and meet his mom back in January, but she was off that day. The resident cats provided us with lots of entertainment--hissing at me and cozying up to my dad.

And then the doorbell rang. And in came the father of one of the missionaries currently serving from Chile. He brought my parents a beautiful piece of artwork depicting Lehi's vision. Not only was it incredibly generous, it was so nice to see him take time to stop in to see my parents while he was in Buenos Aires on business. And how tough for him to know how close he is to his son (in fact, he had just missed him at Missionary Leadership Council) but he cannot see him. Sometimes being obedient kind of rips your heart out.
And after all that long day, we changed clothes and went out for fajitas to Maria Felix.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

the hardest part of the trip is when you have to say goodbye

by Tricia

Today was our last day in Argentina and we wanted to go downtown. The younger kids wanted to touch the dog's nose in Recoleta since they also needed to be sure they are coming back to Argentina one more time.

We did a little shopping and bought more Toms. Courtney had been looking the whole trip for a purse and she found one she really liked. I was super annoyed because my mom and I bought matching shirts. I thought I got a good deal when I paid $15 for mine. She paid like $3 for hers because she paid in cash. Grrrrr.

We drove right past the famous Obelisco and Dan caught this shot in the car.

We walked through the fair at Recoleta. I really wanted to visit the National Museum of Fine Art which was just down the street, so we strolled through there also. There was quite the crowd. They had some post-Impressionist stuff by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Tolouse-Lautrec and Degas that I really wanted to show Carter since we have studied them this year.

And then it was sadly time for our farewell at the airport. The kids were so pleased to see the Argentine flag made out of legos still there.

We love and miss our Nana and Papa and pray for them each and every day.

Friday, January 04, 2013

sharing lujan

by Tricia

This morning my parents had a testimony meeting with the missionaries that went home today. Afterward we all went to lunch together at Kansas. I always think it's funny that some missionaries like having American food the day before they are going home and can get it for real.

Tonight we drove out to the town of Lujan. It's actually a zone in the mission. This imposing cathedral makes up the center of town.

We arrived right as a serious thunderstorm was brewing. My parents discovered a great restaurant nearby called La Patrona. They told us we'd be lucky to keep the power during dinner so we hurried and ordered to make sure we at least got our food before everything turned off. Thankfully, we just had a little flickering of the lights, but the normally-packed restaurant only had a few souls out braving the elements this evening.

Dominoes with Nana is always a favorite with the kids.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

seguines on tour

by Tricia

Carter, Courtney, my dad and I all got up early to head into Buenos Aires for the Pastores Tour.

Getting there we had a really funny experience that makes me laugh every time I think about it. We were behind a car that was trying to wash its windshield, on the freeway. Not only was it rude, but it looked to us like the water was shooting straight over the car on onto us. We thought maybe the guy was giving his whole car a wash! My dad, being a boy for the moment and not really a mission president, zoomed in front of the car and put on his windshield sprayer. Needless to say, the guy backed right off. We laughed so hard, especially when we realized we had missed our exit to make our retribution. Ah, it was worth it.

It was a gorgeous morning at the Casa Rosada where we met up with the missionaries.

We enjoyed the tour through the Teatro Colon once again. The tour was in Spanish this time, but I was impressed with how much my kids remembered.

The kids were fans of the buffet lunch. They thought sticking their fingers in the cow's nose was hilarious. The missionaries said they wished they were 10 years old so they could do it too.

Lovely views from the Puente de la Mujer.

My artistic Courtney fell head over heels in love with Boca. She loved the colorful buildings and ramshackle architecture.

Then we went to Recoleta cemetery where we visited Evita's grave and touched the dog's nose once again. Touching the nose guarantees you will come back to Buenos Aires.

We got a surprise outside when my mom, Dan, Izzy and Jonah all showed up. We went shopping with the missionaries for Toms and gifts for their moms and future spouses.

Jonah, Dan, Elder Schmile and Elder Foster all bought matching Toms. (I went back later and got a matching pair too!)

On the way home we stopped for ice cream swords.

The kids chowed down!

Jonah's sword holder broke and he somehow managed to explain to the worker that he wanted a new one.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

sharing our family

One of the things that we were advised to do in the MTC was to share our family with the missionaries. We wondered how that would be possible. We feel so blessed that it has become a reality and today was transfer day!

  About 2/3 of the mission came in for the transfer meeting.

These guys are going home, so they sat at the back. One of the Elder's dad had passed away about two months ago. He bore the sweetest testimony about how he had been wearing his dad's black name tag his entire mission, but he had never felt so close to him as during the past couple of months. He knew he dad was with him.

Izzy helped give out the January birthday gifts.

One of the sister missionaries did my hair in the bathroom before the meeting. It was so hot and humid in the building, and she said this is what she does to her hair everyday to stay cool.

Dan spoke (in Spanish!) during the transfer meeting. He spoke about how the mission prepared him for real life...having a job, kids, wife, etc.

My mom is just plain cute. I couldn't be more proud of her and her awesome Spanish.

We met this great missionary named Elder Morgan. He is from Knoxville and he is the only member in his family. We are going to Knoxville in a couple of weeks and he gave us a restaurant recommendation and asked us to stop by to see his mom.

After the meeting, Dan, Courtney, my mom and I went to the temple. The Buenos Aires Temple is in the Buenos Aires West mission, about 15 minutes from the mission offices. The cab driver decided to take us the long way to the temple, which was quite an education in itself.

The temple was rededicated on Courtney's birthday and is so beautiful. Everything is done in the colors of the Argentine flag. I actually have temple envy. The granite floors, the stained glass, and the fabrics were perfect for Argentina.

Dan and Courtney spent time in the baptistry. Courtney joined in with a youth group and did baptisms and confirmations in Spanish. Dan helped out with confirmations and said they did about 300. He said they did names from all over the world and was happy to help out with English pronunciation (like when they got the Native American "Elk Woman White Eyelashes").

My mom and I did an endowment session. The session was full because a group had come down from Salta for the holidays. They stay at some apartments right across the street from the temple. There were about nine own endowments in the session. It was so wonderful to see husbands and wives bringing their other halves through the temple for the first time.

After our wonderful afternoon we picked my dad up and went to Rosa Negra for dinner.

There was nothing about today that we didn't love