I served in the city of Fray Luis Beltrán from August 28, 1996 to December 17, 1996. It was a small city a few miles north of the main city of Rosario, Argentina. I think we were part of the Capitan Bermudez ward, which was a city just to the south. This was the third area of my mission. (See this article on my first mission area, the Gazano Branch in the city of Paraná, and my second area, the Rural Ward in the city of Santa Fe). This was an enjoyable area to serve in and the first where I was able to have a leadership opportunity of being a district leader and trainer.
- People We Taught and Baptized
- Members of the Church in Beltrán
- Missionaries I Served With
- Neighborhoods in Beltrán
- Apartment in Beltrán
Above: This is the baptism of Maxi Paré Sept 8, 1996. His mom was baptized the week prior, having received most of the discussions before I got there. But Elder Gertge and I taught Maxi all the discussions and then he was baptized. I remember teaching him the principle of keeping the Sabbath Day Holy because in the lesson, he mentioned that he played in a basketball league and had games on Sunday. He did not want to stop playing ball on Sunday, and I felt bad pushing the issue. I remember him agreeing to a rather weak commitment to come to church and to avoid playing basketball if he could on Sundays. I have often wondered if I did the right thing.
The picture above was taken at the baptism of Aldo, September 29, 1996. Aldo was a great young man. We met him my first week at Church when I was in Beltrán. He was dating a girl in the ward, Gabriela Reide. We taught him the discussions and he was soon baptized. Click here to read the full Conversion Story of Aldo.
The baptism of Betiana Pare and Silvina Saucedo, October 6, 1996.
This is the baptism of Agostin Zapata, November 24, 1996. Agostin’s was a memorable conversion story. Read it here.
This is the Columbo Family (the three in white across the front: Enrique, Yolanda, and Ines). They were baptized only weeks before I got to Beltrán.
This is Yolanda and Maria Jose Celentano’s baptism. They are in white with Elder Gertge. Her husband and their younger son are also in the picture. They were baptized only weeks before I got to Beltrán.
This is the familia Godoy, the older daughters were Gishela and Shamila, and I don’t remember the names of the others. Sister Godoy would wash our laundry for free. All she asked was that we pay for the laundry soap, which we were happy to do. Thanks Sister Godoy! She would go above and beyond the call of duty in cleaning our laundry. As I recall, we once arrived at her house to find her ironing our jeans. We, of course, told her that was not necessary. The Godoys also fed us frequently and for that we are very grateful.
This photo was taken in the home of Claudia Santoro. She is in the front left, and her mom and sister, Hermana Wagner, are on the right. Her dad is in the middle. Her daughter Raquel, and other family and friends are in the photo. Sister Santoro was a relatively new member as I recall, about 6 months. She was very stalwart and served as the stake primary president. Sister Santoro would cook for us often and each Sunday night she would let us use her phone for 30 minutes (not an inexpensive thing). Read more about the Santoro family here.
This is Monica Brenner and her three children, the younger two are named Emanuel and Pamela.
Here’s the Santoro family. Alejandro Sr was not yet a member, but Claudia, Raquel and Alejandro Jr were baptized a few months before I got there. The dad was baptized a few months after I left.
Here is the familia Torres with friend Leandro Paré making bunny eyes in the back. Children Daniel, Elizabeth, Maita, her son Leandro.
Here’s Jorge Torres (no relation to the Torres family above) and his wife and seven kids.
This is Brother and Sister Zacarías and there two youngest children, Rafael and Gloria. They were also very stalwart members. Several of their sons served missions.
This is Sister Portillo with two of her children. One of the things I remember about her is that she had been endowed in the temple and thus one of the few people who was able to do all our laundry, including temple garments.
Brother Jose Chopita playing ping pong in a table set up in the chapel of the Church owned and constructed building in Capitán Bermudez. The two in the back are resting against the sacrament meeting podium. Each Sunday we would set up chairs in that space for sacrament meeting.
Here’s my companion, Elder Gertge, on our first day together. He had been with his trainer for four weeks. We would spend the next three months together.
This was the composition of our district of missionaries: Elder Draper, Elder Segelke, Elder Gertge, Elder Smith, Sister Sines, and Sister Johnson.
Me and Elder Gertge got caught in the rain and took refuge at Sister Santoro’s house.
Another picture of the missionaries in our district. Elder Videla is the new one. This is the room in the Capitan Bermudez chapel where we had district meeting each week.
New missionary in the district is Sister Ireland. I think she was brand new out of the MTC.
Elder Gertge and I pretending to drink mate. I only drank it for real once, and that’s when it was accidentally given to me in a normal cup by a member. Usually when Argentine’s drink mate, they do it out of those special cups with a cool, filtering straw called a bombilla.
Two new additions to our district. This photo was taken at the mission home, where we would go once a month to have interviews with the mission president. Sister Ireland, Sister Julien, Elder Smith, Elder Adams, Elder Videla, Elder Manriquez.
Here’s me standing out in front of the mission home in Rosario.
This was the view looking north (I believe) from our apartment.
The city of Fray Luis Beltránwas located right on the Rio Paraná. A large river that had huge barges going up and down it.
This is the Terminal de Omnibus, the central bus station in Rosario. Each time we had transfers, you would see a lot of missionaries coming and going through here.
This is a Carrefour super store, kind of like a Super Walmart, but much more rare in Argentina. They had a huge assortment of groceries and other things that were hard to find anywhere else. I believe there may have only been one in Rosario at this time and it was near the mission presidents home. So we had permission to go there after we came in for interviews with the mission president.
The Carrefour had a McDonald’s in it. McDonald’s were rare in Argentina at that time. This was the only time I recall going.
Here’s where we lived. This is our land lord’s house, and he rented the second floor it us. It had one bedroom, a kitchen, and a bathroom, all a missionary needs. We would sometimes hang laundry out to dry on the roof that we could walk out to.
This is our land lord, Luis Sanchez and his wife. They were always very kind to us.
This is the bathroom toilet and bide in our apartment. I never used the bide and don’t think most America missionaries did. Once Luis, the land lord, found out that the bide was broken and he was shocked. He asked “how do you clean yourself?” We explained that we use toilet paper and we shower daily and that keeps us clean.
This is the birthday party of Luis Sanchez. We almost always got back to the house around 9:30, and Luis knew that. But on this particular day we had a discussion that went long and it was about 10:25pm when we walked in. We were planning to race to bed to meet our 10:30 bedtime in the missionary schedule. But when we realized they had been waiting for us, we decided it was more important to socialize with them, so we joined them for the party.
A picture of me at Luis’ birthday party. Luis gave this one to me and signed his name on the back.
Me in our apartment. Getting ready to go to district meeting, I believe.
Here’s Elder Adams in our apartment.
Here’s what my mom sent me for Christmas that year. Thanks Mom!