Saturday, January 26, 2008


Argentina was an interesting place to visit. I spent two years there. I arrived in June of 1977, just in time for the start of winter. My experiences were those of a naive young man in a foreign country.

The trip to Argentina went via Los Angeles, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires. I do remember looking out the window and seeing below a blanket of green for as far as the eye could see. There was a blanket of clouds occasionally. When I arrived at the Buenos Aires International Airport I was greeted by a scene that was unexpected. The terminal building was in a very poor state. Days before our arrival there was a bombing at the airport.

We (several missionaries) were led to a corner of the terminal building and we were instructed to open our luggage and lay them out in a row. We did as we were instructed. The officials came and inspected our personal belongings as our papers were reviewed and stamped. We then taken by the son of the then Mission President, Miguel Angel Fernandez, to a private residence to stay the night and be transported the next day to the bus station. They asked us for $20 each for the privilege to sleep on the floor with no additional accommodations. We experienced our first fleecing.

I remember some things about my mission, but the details have long left me. After a visit to the mission home and being assigned to our traveling companions we were on a bus again to our destination cities. I met my first companion in Santa Fe. Elder Basile was argentine. We lived in a little building back of an older couples home. We had a shower, toilet, and a couple beds and a table. Maybe I should go back and read my mission jounal to remind me of those days.

I remember being quizzed by the landlord about my ability to speak the language at our first meal. We ate with the family. I remember it cost about $80 a month when I first went on my mission. My parents were charitable to me in giving me support on my mission. By the time I left the mission 2 years later it cost more than $200 a month.

My first companion was not as motivated to get out and work as most. He was interested in me being the driving force in the work, but I was the greenie.

I had a regimen of study to learn the scriptures and the discussions. I worked diligently to learn the language, the discussions, and read the scriptures. I had a lot to learn as I did not concentrate on doing that before my mission. I put myself at a great disadvantage by not dedicating myself to seminary and going to church regularly and studying.

The part of Argentina where I served was a bit different that what I had ever seen before. The humidity was high. Temperatures seldom traversed below freezing. Everything was damp and mouldy. Flooring was commonly made of ceramics or stone. No wall to wall carpet there.

The new language eventually was easier to speak. Eventually I was even asked by somebody if I was Argentine.

The work on my mission went well. I was fortunate to arrive in the missionfield when things were being shaken up. We went from 90 baptisms a month for the mission to over 500 a month in a short period. I kept the names of those that were baptized by me or by my companions and they total about 200. I am thankful to have been invited to the harvest.

I wonder what happened to some of the people sometimes, but not enough to try and ascertain the answer.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to serve a mission and grow my testimony of Jesus Christ. My mission was a life changing experience for me. In the future I may relate some specific events I experienced.


  1. It's interesting how our missions were similar but different. I really enjoyed hearing how you got fleeced and you indicated that there were other times.

    The first day I was in Mexico, I was foolish enough to hand the taxi driver my wallet to let him take what I owed him. It's a wonder that I didn't get taken.

  2. I really like this post. It inspired me to post about my mission today.

  3. I should tell more about my mission. I may have to go study a bit to remember. It was 30 years ago.


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