I returned home from a mission, in Argentina, back in April of 1994. Ever since that day I had the strongest desire to return. Often I would dream that I had returned, only to wake up and realize that it was just a dream again. It was common to have such dreams more than twice a week. Each dream was so real that I was sure each time it was not a dream. I would even stop, inside my dream, and look around to verify that it was in fact real this time. Once certain it was for real I would continue on in the dream. It became a growing disappointment, across the years, each time I awoke to find that it was not real. In fact, it became more like a nightmare to keep dreaming it, and then never arrive.
So you can imagine my excitement to finally be able to return almost 12 1/2 years later in November of 2006.
I stayed in Buenos Aires for 3 weeks, so I have quite a few pictures, here are a few of my favorites.
I can hardly believe it, but I'm actually here, and it's not a dream this time!
That is my friend Alejandro. He came to the airport to
pick me up and is seen here helping me load my luggage in the car.
Here I am drinking an Argentine staple,
This was when I went to church in Gonzalez Catan. There were some of
Kids at church.
I sat in nursery class for a little while and help watch some of
This was the church that I went to when I lived in Hurlingham,
the last area of my mission.
My friend Anibal
The Passion Flower
Argentine garbage cans
I think they are up like this so the dogs cant reach them.
The Kiosko. (Candy Store) there is one on every corner.
Such a cute picture of such a cute little guy!
Lunch at the Fernandez home in Hurlingham.
Sister Fernandez (In Libertad)
My angel, Belén.
I went to a soccer game. This was between Racing and Boca Jr.
Argentines really love their soccer. A little too much sometimes and
so they have riot police, fences to separate the opposing teams
fans, and still it gets pretty crazy.
These police got to ride horses.
This end of the stadium can get pretty wild. There are no seats,
just standing room only. There are times that you are smashed
in-between people pretty tight and the crowd pushes each other
around in one huge mass. It can be quite a workout to survive
a game. ....and this was just a regular small game. I cant
imagine the playoffs even after seeing them on TV.
Here are some video clips of the game:
Where's Waldo....I mean Alejandro.
These games can get pretty wild. One thing that will happen is that the crowd "liquefies" and becomes a tight mass of people flowing. It can get pretty dangerous, but this game was pretty tame.
Visiting the home of some neat friends, the Rosalez Family.
Then we went to visit another friend, Eduardo Chamorro.
Alexis Emanuel came with me to visit Eduardo.
I saw this odd looking spider. When I got closer I realized that
it was a mom carrying over 100 babies on her back.
These actually taste much better than they sound.
I returned for another visit to the Fernandez family in Libertad.
I enjoyed mate as often as it was available, and it was always
I love the Soda Bottles in Argentina. You get to mix your own
concentrate, or just drink it plain.
Samuel. He was just a little guy when I was here last, now he is
all grown up.
Samuel and Daniela
Brother Benitez gave me a ride back to Alejandro's house.
Today I went to church in Hurlingham. I was excited to see a good
and faithful brother in the gospel, Brother Rosalez.
This is Sister Benitez and her Family.
I kept trying to use the self timer on the camera and we had a
hard time getting it to work.
Alexis and me, at the Chacaritas cemetery, Buenos Aires.
We had a good time on our visit to Capital.
At the tomb of San martin in Cathedral - Plaza de Mayo. This is
right next door to the the Pink House (Casa Rosada) which is the
Argentine equivalent of our US White House.
Lunch at Gabrielas house.
My friend Gabriela Romero and her dad.
The Romero family.
The Floripón Flower
Street performers on the famous Florida street in Capital.
..yeah, it gets pretty windy here in Buenos Aires (Good Airs).
Even I got blown away this time.
Damian and Jimena
Alexis and Matias
Buenos Aires Temple
Me at the temple
Me, recreating a picture that I took on my mission. Someday maybe
I'll get that other picture scanned in to show as a compairson.
Going to dinner.
Evette and Marianas Family
Yummie food at Sigua la Vaca (Follow the Cow) - An all you can
eat restaurant in Buenos Aires.
Flan for dessert. It was such a nice meal.
Dinner with Alejandros family
Paula & Anibal
In Puerto Madero in front of the Puente de la Mujer (Woman's
I took this picture. Can you guess how?
Just returning from a nice visit to Ferderal Capital Buenos
Lunch at Alejandros house. Can you see me?
While at church in Libertad I ran into a familiar face, Elder
Foster. I was his Sunday school teacher back when I lived in
Clearfield. How exciting it was to see him and find out that he was
serving in the best mission in the entire world.
This was my Bishop when I was a missionary in Libertad. I love
and respect this guy so much. He is an example of dedication and
tireless gospel service. He is now the stake president.
Lunch at Danielas & Hermindas house.
Another traditional and yummy meal.
A meal with sister Ana Romero & Family in Libertad.
Going out for a night on the town with the Fernandez Family. How
many people can you fit in one car?
Dinner with the Fernandez family.
The Fernandez grand kids.
Visiting the Salimbeni home.
This morning I made a classic U.S. Breakfast. We had French
Toast, scrambled eggs and bacon. I had the butcher cut me some thin
pork slices which made for some good tasting bacon. I brought some
maple syrup extract and made maple syrup. This is considered a
"heavy" meal for breakfast, by Argentine standards.
This is how I communicated home every day. It was difficult to be
apart for so long.
My visit to the Basilica in Lujan.
The Lujan Cathedral
I got invited to an Argentine wedding. This was at the civil
Later that night was the reception.
"Say Queso!" (Cheese)
Dancing with the bride.
Argentines wedding receptions often go all night, till the next
morning. Here I am tearing up the floor.
My luggage, plus one cat. Alejandros cat loved my suitcase.
My new buddy Wolfie
¿Que Seria? = What would it be?
So in the joke it sounds like are asking what is on the 4th corner. They will spend forever guessing all kinds of stores and when they give up you say "Why are you guessing? I already told you it was a Cheese store!" hehehe I love that joke!
The funny thing is that, while there are meat stores, bread stores, candy stores etc... on virtually every corner in Argentina, you never actually find one that is called a Cheese Store, So I had to visit and take a picture of this one.
Me with the Cheese store ladies.
Saying goodbye was really sad, but even my hair was willing to waive
goodbye for the camera. Here we are toasting with a non-Alcoholic
The day before returning home I went to stay with my friend Yevettes
family. We watched the movie "Open Season" in 3D.
They took me up north to Tigre to a place called Parque de la
Costa. We had a nice time visiting a lot of shops. There was this
Churro stand that made the best churros filled with dulce de leche
(caramel). It was so good I ate 2 bags of churros.
On my last day, before heading to the airport, I was able to
visit with Cesar Parodi and his family. He has such cute kids and we
had a nice visit.
These last 3 weeks have been filled with a lot of hellos and
goodbyes. This was the last good bye at the airport in Ezeiza with
the Torrez and Olguin family.
Now I'm back at home. Here is David trying out the big Mate.