The long plane ride to Buenos Aires gave me ample downtime to imagine how the next 12 days of my life would play out. I did a mental inventory of all the people I remembered who I couldn’t wait to see. “I wonder if Brother Quinteros has stayed active?”, I said to myself. “I wonder if Sister Rodriguez ever felt welcome in Relief Society, or if the sisters eventually drove her into inactivity? I wonder how Brother Rocha is, and I wonder whether we should have baptized him in the first place?” Of course, these were versions of the same questions I’d pondered after each mission transfer back in the day. But this time things were different. This time I would soon KNOW the answers to my questions.
Like most American elders in my mission, I promised countless investigators and churchmembers that one day I would return to Argentina to visit them. Unlike most American elders in my mission, I actually made good on that promise. Roughly 16 months after I returned home, I travelled back to Argentina with a friend who’d also served there — once-a-year BCC commenter John W — and together we embarked on a whirlwind tour of La Mision Bahia Blanca. Our trip was intended as part mission visit, part tourism, but once we arrived, we quickly jettisoned all touristic ambitions, and spent every day retracing our old stomping grounds, looking up every memorable person we’d ever had any meaningful interaction with. (We’d eventually hit 5 of my 7 areas, and 3 or 4 of John’s). It was quite the adventure…. in more ways than we ever anticipated.
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