Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We are here in Argentina

We are official. We have our badges and we're ready to go! Well, almost!

Here's the official sign on our door as we leave the MTC. There's no turning back. Now it is home to pack and t0 get everything to fit in our suitcases. Good luck!You never saw so many suitcases in your life. I think we'll need a bigger plane! Maybe you could all come to the airport and help us carry these!
Had a several hour layover in Dallas. It is so futuristic! Their airport makes you feel like you are at Disneyland. They have a monorail that runs around the whole airport. Of course we had to ride it the whole way, just for fun.

Steve loves to look out the window when he flies, so me made an extra special point of requesting window seats . . . .but didn't take into consideration that we were flying the whole
way in the dark, all through the night. We tried to sleep, but, oh well . . . .

When we stepped off the plane in Buenos Aires and were greeted by warm, summer air, palm trees, and sunshine. Hard to remember this is January. We were met by a member of one of the ward bishoprics. He took us over to the Argentine MTC which is right next to their beautiful temple. We had lunch at the MTC and then I slept for a few hours. The highlight was walking around this beautiful temple.

On our way back to the airport we saw just a bit of the Buenos Aires skyline. 20 million people live here. We drove along the Parana River. It was so wide we could not see the other side. The color was a definite muddy brown.
We then took another flight that would take us to our destination of Menoza. We arrived to an amazing welcome with cameras flashing in all directions. The Mission President, his wife, and the two other senior couples were all there with hugs, and welcomes. We were then wisked away to the Mission Home for a marvelous dinner of roast beef, turkey, all the trimmings, topped of by a fresh peach, custard cake.

Then off we were taken to our community of Godoy Cruz, a suburb of Mendoza. The streets are very lovely all lined with trees. It makes taking walks very nice during the hot summer days.
Our suitcases just about filled up our small front room. Everything has bars on it, the windows, the doors, and the yards all are fenced with locked steel gates, and cars are all parked behind steel bars.

We are on the second floor. That makes us lots safer. We have two single ladies named Nellie and Christina, that live by our front gate. They are always home and seem to be always out in the patio talking and keeping track of things. Nothing gets by them. They are there to remind us to please lock the door as we enter and then relock it after we close it.

Every evening we are greeted with the fine voices of our neighbors across the street. They are big dogs, and oh can they howl.

The Mission Office and our Stake center are just across the street and down the block, very convenient, since we are there almost every day.
There was a ward missionary meeting that we were invited to. We have the greatest bunch of missionaries. It was a great meeting, and I was asked to give the closing prayer. I even gave it in Spanish to the amazement and delight of those there. I was so nervous I was sweating by the end of my prayer.

By the way, the town was so excited we are here that they named a street for us!
Well, this is our update for a few days! We have much to share! What an experience! We are well, and loving it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Here we are at the MTC. What an amazing place. We have never seen so many missionaries headed all over the world to places we never even knew existed. Some are going to places that sound like an episode from "Gilligan's Island". It snowed non-stop the first 2 days we were here.

We have been busy with classes from 8am and then with our studying we fall in bed about 10:30pm, just exhausted. We have had the opportunity to practice our teaching skills with volunteers from the community. That has been fun. The food is plentiful, and if we don't watch it we will leave here weighing much more than when we started. They plan the menues around what 19 year old boys love to eat.

We are official! We have our badges. I am Hermana Brown and Steve is Elder Brown There are 73 senior missionaries in our group. One couple, the Smiths are in their early 80's and this is their 5th mission. They kind of run circles around the rest of us with their energy and enthusiasm.

The spirit is amazing here. You never know when it is going to land on you and the tears just start flowing. We love it, and can't wait until next Saturday when we get on that plane and head south. We have talked to our mission president twice and it looks like Steve's skills in fixing things is going to be put to use in repairing the missionary apartments. This next week I will receive medical training and Steve will be trained in office procedures.

We have been working hard on our Spanish. Carlos is the best tutor for us. He has such a since of humor and has really helped us alot. Wish we could put him in our back pocket.

Getting Ready!

Well, here we are, with lots of snow at our house. We have packed, we have washed, and shoveled snow. Boy, Argentina sounds better all the time.

As luck would have it, our fridge decided to stop running about a month before our mission. We thought of buying a new one, and decided instead to punt. We have been using our ice chests and the weather helped by being down in the teens, so we had an outdoor fridge.