Christmas Day has always been one of our favorite days, but ever since we’ve had boys out on missions, this day is even more special. We were able to Skye with Connor this year and boy was it exciting. We were able to talk with him twice. The first time he called, it was about 9:30 in the morning. We hadn’t even opened our stockings when he Skyped Spencer first. The 10 minute practice call ended up being about 50 min. Mom was not complaining, but the kids were getting anxious and everyone was hungry. Connor had a couple of lunch appointments, so he said good-by and made plans to call back later in the afternoon. It was so good to see him and talk to him.
He ended up calling a couple of hours later and we talked to him for about an hour and a half. He was at his Ward Mission Leaders house along with the other set of missionaries that he lives with. We go to meet his Companion, Elder Estrada and he was wearing the tie we sent him. He thanked us for the gifts but especially thanked us for the Hot Sauce. Connor looked good, sounded great and seemed very happy. He kept joking with the people he was with and with his brother, Spencer (in Spanish), who he hadn’t seen in over 2 years. Even though our family wasn’t together in one room, we were together thanks technology. We had our computer and two cells phones with Lauren and Uncle Brett face timing. We learned a lot about his mission and what he was going through. It’s emotional when you first hear your missionary’s voice and it’s great to learn about all they are going through, but it’s hard to say good-by. Overall, it’s worth every minute of time you get to spend with your missionary.
So here are the things we learned about his mission:
He was able to go to his Ward Mission Leader’s house to use his computer to Skype. He ended up using a phone and that worked pretty well. But there were so many people there, we had a hard time hearing him so we went into the other room, but there wasn’t a good internet connection because he was too far away from the connection.
The people in Argentina sleep a lot. They take a siesta from 1-5pm every day. And they really do sleep.
There are no fountain drinks anywhere in Argentina. Everything is in bottles.
The people love anything that is American.
In his Ward, ½ the members are well off, that’s his area, and the other half is ghetto and that the other companionship’s area.
They have lunch everyday with members. They eat around 1-2 p.m. They eat a lot of homemade chicken nuggets. They never have dinner with the members, its only lunch. They also have pizza, empanadas, and lots of meat. They make potato salad, too. (Hal Gaisford, Sounds like it’s a lot like the potato salad like you made us for our Argentina Dinner). A lot of times, the members will have their meals ready to go and they take it back to the apartment and eat.
The Mission Office takes 2 hours to get to. They had a Mission Christmas Party. There was a fireside and they had dinner. Dinner was chicken legs, chorizo, and pasta salad. They did an activity where everyone had a gift and a story was read, and they past the gift back and forth until the story was over and then they got to open the gift. Connor got Pringles. He was a happy camper.
There is not salsa anywhere. The Argentinians don’t like spicy.
He walks a lot. He is challenged and pushed a lot. It was easier in Utah, but he likes it better in Argentina.
On P-Days he studies, cleans his apartment, goes to the Internet Café, gets something to eat. A lot of times it’s a hot dog. There are hot dog places all over the area. And then they go play soccer.
There is a new mission rule that he has to be in by 8 p.m. It’s for their safety.
The Temple is closest to his area, but it is out of his area. The only way they can go to the Temple is if their district has the most baptisms. It’s a reward for the missionaries.
We talked about a lot more things, but I didn’t take notes from the first call, and then I stopped taking notes after a while. It was so fun to see him and hear him speak Spanish. He has a pretty good accent and he is getting the language down. He loves being a missionary and is having some great experiences. It’s always fun to have them call. Feeling their love for the Gospel is amazing and knowing he believes in what he is doing is comforting. The call gives a boost to be able to make it through until Mother’s Day! We miss him terribly, but are so proud of him the decision he made to serve the Lord.
Christmas Skype with Connor. Talking with Lauren, Brett, and Grandpa
Connor and his District Leader
Elder Estrada and Connor talking with Mom and Dad
Thank you for the ties! Wearing their Christmas Ties
Christmas Family Picture