Our Area Conference this November was held in the Sheraton Hotel in Buenos Aires. We met Sunday night thru Wednesday, all day in the Hotel. We learned techniques for teaching and were greatly blessed for being there. It was the very last area conference meeting with an Apostle. After our conference, Apostles and Seventies will no longer travel for training in area conferences but they will be taught by our local area presidency. Elder Bednar and his wife Susan and Elder Snow and his wife Phyllis were there to help us be more affective in our work with our missionaries.
Elder Snow and Phyllis, President Wade and myself as we are in our casual clothing ready to leave for a Argentine ranch experience.
Elder Bednar and wife Susan, Elder Bowen and his wife Lynette in causal clothing ready to leave the hotel.
A very special group of people. These are our friends who we went out with one and a half years ago. They will be eternal friends. President Benton (Cheryl) BA West, President Villalba (Ana Maria) Rosario, President Northcutt (Cynda) Salta, Jim and I (No. 1 mission in the world Mendoza) President del Castillo (Olinda) Restistencia. We came to the edge of the light and took two steps into the darkness. We celebrate together our success and sorrows. This takes an abundance of faith.
The National flower of Argentina, the Ceibo. The Erythrina tree (means coral tree from the Greek word for red, in allusion to the color of the flower) and is known for its crooked trunks. The wood is so soft and breakable you can not climb this tree. To see it's blossom look at the last picture at the close up. The two petals are partially bound together and form the flower's keel, protecting the reproduction of the flower.
On Tuesday in the afternoon we went to the Susana Ranch, a huge ranch that use to be a working ranch years ago. On the grounds was a museum and this little chapel. In one corner is a wedding dress from the early 1900's, and the cutest confession booth. The chapel was used by the family and all the workers on the ranch.
The museum was full of fun things that we all remember from the states and our own youth. OK maybe not this record player, I am not that old. But it was fun to reminisce.
Chairs made from the bones of the cow. Not too comfortable to sit on, but on a ranch, pretty cheap to make.
After lunch there was entertainment. There was a folklore dance with the traditional dress, and below, the tango.
Lunch was served by the gaucho's. They take you on horse and buggy rides, cook the food on the outdoor parillas, serve the food, dance, and then go outside and participate in the horse show.
There were three groups of horses, obviously from the same families because they were all matching in color, roans, buckskins, and dark colored. The gaucho would pull a horse with a bell tied around his head, and as they would trot out, the horses would automatically form groups following the ringing of the tone of bell they have been trained to follow.
Wired to each ribbon hanging from the wood frame was a small ring about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. These gauchos would run a full gallop towards the ring, and with a small knife the size of a pencil, would spear the ring, standing tall in their saddles. I could see doing it with a ring 3 or 4 inches, but this was truly amazing. Then they would bring the ring over to the stands were they would give the ring to a woman-- for a kiss.
OK I just had to get myself a ring, and yes I was willing to give him a kiss, but only on the cheek. The camera of course didn't capture the kiss, but only the after math and the blushing. I was just hoping Elder Bednar and Elder Bowen were not looking.