Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tennis: last P-day in Ramos Mejia

Arthur Ashe Stadium

Paddle Ball

Sean making his Roger Federrer moves

Oasis Tennis Club

Christmas Eve Fireworks

Christmas Eve watching fireworks

I think the look on my face is answer enough for the joy/fear the festivities gave me.

P-Day Navideño

Missionaries of BAW
(Sean is sitting in the first row, right in the middle in the green tie- in front of President and Hermana Benton) click on pic to make it bigger!

Elder Sabey and Elder Gilmore, mastering the sound system for the skits

Guarding the goody bags

President and Hermana Benton with the office Elders

All current and past office Elders still in the mission

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #79

I promise this is the last week I am sending an email late....

Hey there clan,

We just got back from my last P-day activity. I finally made it to some of the clay courts of Buenos Aires to hit a few tennis balls, and I had a great time. I had Patrick McEnroe’s voice in my head the whole time like he was commentating on my French Open debut in Arthur Ashe Stadium. I kind of had a little moment…anyway…they also had some little miniature courts to play “paddle tennis” which was actually really fun as well. It is basically like racquet ball, but on a small tennis court. You can use the walls and your racquets are small and fat. Do we have that in the States? We should because it would be a hit!

So the call home was great! I really enjoyed it and it really helped to make my Christmas special! (That was for you Mom) It went by way fast, but it always does. I experienced similar feelings as you did, Mom and Dad. The last two calls I was really trunky after and it took a few hours to get back into gear, but this year I hung up and wasn’t down at all. I felt nothing…haha what I mean is that it didn’t make me trunky. Maybe it was because I feel at home now or something, especially in the mission home. Christmas Day was really good. I think I mentioned last year that everyone lights off fireworks at midnight on Christmas Eve, and this year was no disappointment. I am surprised there aren’t more injuries or fires. Maybe there are and I just don’t know, but in any case, it sounded like a war was going on outside. It is kind of an interesting way to celebrate, and now comes a week of cease fire until New Year’s Eve!

Anyway, this week is transfers, so we will find out where I will be continuing my missionary service. My replacement comes in tomorrow. We just found out who it was last night. His name is Elder Page from Idaho, and he is currently companions with…Elder Tyler Burns Sabey. So Elder Page is going to come in tomorrow and I will head out to 9 de Julio with Elder Sabey…just kidding, haha when we called last night to tell them I told Elder Sabey we were going to be companions again and all he said was, “Please tell me you aren’t lying.” That would be funny, but no, we won’t be companions again. So tomorrow I will start the training…and then 5 days later I will leave…I heard in other missions elders are trained for a whole transfer…not here…the longest training is for the finance secretary…he gets 2 weeks…I guess it doesn’t really take that long to figure out how to sort mail…or how to make sure the sacred funds of the Lord are managed properly and efficiently. We have IMOS now anyway…so I am pretty sure Elder Maxwell just presses a button and it all fixes itself. I am not really sure what he does in his office all day.

Anyway, I don’t really know what else to say this week, because we just talked on the phone…but hope all is well. Oh yeah, Lucio got baptized on Saturday, so my goal of having a white Christmas was fulfilled. We ate lunch with them on Sunday, and all I have to say is I wrote a long journal entry on my personal experiences seeing how the gospel changes lives. Lucio is a completely different person now. He was cold and always looked angry before, and now every time we see him he is smiling and cracking jokes. I was talking with Gladys, his oldest daughter who lives there as well with her husband and four children, and she mentioned that she hadn’t seen her father like that since before her younger brother passed away. Suddenly the story of Lucio unfolded a little more, and I realized a little more just how important the plan of salvation is to everyone. He never told us about his son passing away. Gladys says he doesn’t ever mention it. I can only imagine how he felt when we talked about the plan of salvation. I just sat there and watched him play with his grandson and one of those surreal moments washed over me like you see in movies, and I felt pure happiness. It was one of those moments when you feel like an hour has gone by, but only a few seconds have passed. The best part of all of this is I GET ANOTHER SIX MONTHS OF THIS STUFF!!!!! Who even knows all the great experiences that are waiting for me in my new area, or the great people I am going to meet. In Ramos Mejia I have realized what everyone means when they say they love the people on their mission. I thought I did before, and I did, but my understanding is broadening, and for the first time, I honestly feel kind of sad about having to leave them and go home in six months.

Speaking of going home in six months…about this whole apartment thing, everything sounds good. It actually just so happens that I was talking with a sister in our mission while her companion was in the office calling home for Christmas, and she was talking to me all about BYU. She said stay far far away from Glenwood. Also she said that she heard King Henry was bad, and then she said the best place to live is Liberty Square…what a coincidence! So there is another testimony. That is cool too that Trevor would be living with us, then we can have a party when he opens his call letter. So yeah sounds great. Also today was pretty interesting (it is Tuesday now by the way because this week started off with a bang and I have been swamped with stuff to do for transfers) We were out delivering mail to everyone, and a sister missionary named Hermana Daniels asked me if my first name was Sean. Not a question I usually get, but I answered in the affirmative. She then told me that her mother said that she knows my parents and talks with them all the time on the missionary mom site…I muttered under my breath, “Miguel strikes again…” I don’t think she heard me, but Elder Varela did and started laughing because of his time and association with me in the office. Anyway, Shout-out to the Daniels family.

Love you guys!

Elder Vuestro-hijo “that is for Brett and all those Spaniards out there”

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #78

Merry Christmas !!!!!!

YO YO YO YO YO HEY HO HO HO HO HO HO FAMILY!!!!!!!! Or as Elder Don Spaniard Anderson would say, ¿que tal vosotros? Or as Elder Ng Anderson would say, Comusta? M´bouti…ng…grignak

Well, I got my package! It was…suuuuwweeeeeeet! Thank you! I loved the ties. They were more conservative than years past, yet very classy. The mango liquorice is already gone…oops…and the peppermint toffee is dwindling rapidly. Also the Winnie the Pooh ornament from Lacey is sitting on my desk as well as the coolest thing I have every seen in my life – the miniature Hyrum and Joseph statue. I am pretty sure it all got here in one piece. It was great . I was going to wait until Christmas, but only lasted about 3 days. Plus, I listened to the tape you sent me and Mom told me half of everything that was there, so I figured I had waited long enough. Thanks again, it was great! I think we will go to a member´s house for Christmas Eve, and then we have been invited to President´s house for Christmas Day, so I am pretty grateful for that. It should be really nice. As far as the call goes, I am planning on calling around 7 my time…I will let Dad figure out what it is your time…I don´t really know the exact schedule of the day, but that is the plan…I would be by the phone anyway just in case. I think we all remember what happened on Mother´s Day…Argentines still love Obama as far as I know…but more than anything the World Cup is the topic of conversation already. The brackets for group play were released and Argentina got a great draw, so they are pretty happy. USA plays England first…great…

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all whom I will not be talking to on the phone. We had our mission Christmas party, but I will save that until the end because there are some other matters to cover first. I almost died again this week…ha, not really. But seriously, it was a potentially life threatening situation. We were calling it a day, and walked into the pench only to find on the wall the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life (in the wild) just hanging out (no pun intended). It was only slightly smaller than a tarantula. I am not sure how it got there, especially because I have never seen anything like that in Argentina, despite the South American stereotypes you hear about. We decided it needed to be captured…and thus started a sequence of war councils and videos taken on cameras of us fighting against the eight-legged spawn of darkness that had infiltrated our humble sanctuary. Elder Maxwell first took a broom to it, and I kid you not, the spider straight up attacked the broom! It like grabbed for it and latched on, so we retreated for a bit, because it wouldn’t be a great start to the war if our best weapon fell into enemy hands so quickly. I know I am just joking around right now, but in the moment I was literally frightened. The thing moved like lightning, and could jump! I kept my distance until I was called to the front lines…Elder Maxwell gave me a bucket and I was instructed to “get it”. So we blocked off its best escape route and I ascended a few stairs until I could see its eyes…and then I lunged like I have never lunged before while letting out a loud “BYAH!” They had to amputate a finger because of the amount of is on the way.

So P-day Navideño was really good this year. I thought last year was good because I didn’t know any different, but now looking back, last year wasn’t that great. This year the skits were so good. We as a staff danced to Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano. Each member of the staff had about 15 seconds to freestyle…and well…I figured I would pay tribute to Michael…so I did a small rendition of the Thriller dance during my solo. It didn’t turn out very well though, I didn’t really practice it, and Feliz Navidad doesn’t exactly have the ideal beat to pull something like that off, but it was fun anyway. There were a few more Michael tributes in other zones. A few Moonwalks, which were sweet. So I had a really great time. We bought 90 kilos of meat…that is like…over a pound per person, so there was plenty to eat. As my white elephant gift I gave away some inflatable toy, and I received…dry erase board markers…merry Christmas? Haha well I guess that is the beauty of white elephant gifts. Every meeting that we have with the mission, I am in charge of all the audio and video stuff, so I always have to contact the stake high council member in charge of technology to get the keys for everything. Well I have never touched the stuff in the cultural hall or the stage, and everyone was asking me how they could get music and microphones for their skits so that was kind of stressful, but it all worked out. After a few minutes of seeing what little red buttons did, I figured it out. Time will tell if I did any lasting damage.

So things with Lucio are looking great for this weekend! Even though I am in gross humid sticky weather, we will still be having a “White Christmas” in Ramos Mejía. So that is going to be a great memory from my mission. We taught Lucio Monday night with our Bishop. It went alright. Our Bishop here has never liked us that much because we are office elders. He loves us on the weekends we baptize, but usually just ignores us, or chews us out in Ward Council. So he has really been pushing for this baptism, so we decided to give him the opportunity to participate in the teaching process, but it was kind of awkward. He was like a supervisor. He just sat there and texted on his phone the whole lesson…but after 7 ½ months of working with him it doesn’t really faze me. Elder Palacios was frustrated with him though. Also some more shocking news. At the end of this transfer the Secretaries are changing areas to Haedo 1 (home of Elder Zivic of the 70) because the Bishop there has declared that no more baptisms will take place until the sister missionaries leave. I am not sure he knows that is irreverent, considering he has no authority to halt saving ordinances, nor decide which missionaries are in his ward, but nevertheless we are swapping. The sisters in that ward are doing great, too, so I am not sure why he is so angry. Anyway, side effect of that is that our bishop here in Ramos couldn’t be happier. Haha it is some kind of messed up cycle. I mean, this ward has seen more success than any other six month period in the history of the Buenos Aires West mission (I know because I checked all the way back to the first baptism) but he isn’t happy with us, and it kind of feels like we are getting kicked out…which is childish, I know, but could we just work together? When we do well it is “Good job members, way to participate in the missionary work.” And then when we go a week without having a baptismal date it is, “oh the elders are lazy sitting all day in the office.” But like I said, I am used to it now after five transfers here. Long story short, we will be the last elders to serve in Ramos Mejía for some time. I am happy with my service here, the miracles I have seen, and the impression the people have had on me. I can honestly say that it has been in this area that I truly learned how to love the people of Argentina. I thought I did before, but now I can see the difference. It is a deeper, and more pure…or purer…I am not sure…but it makes me feel warm inside…ha. Ok basta. I feel like this ward is my home.

So anyway, that is about all that happened this week. Talk to you on Friday!

Elder Gilmore

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree in the Mission Home

Office Elders and Assistants with President and Hermana Benton

Ok, we might be biased, but doesn't Sean look great?

Ramos Mejia- Week #77


So, I am not really sure what Oo-de-lally means, or if It is even a greeting, but I figure Robin Hood has never let me down before, and we all know how much I dread thinking of things to put at the start of my emails home. But, as always, I will start with the questions you sent to me. First Mom, to answer your and Donny Osmond’s question, my personal opinion is that although Mary knew her Son was the Savior of mankind, I don’t think she knew specifically that He would one day walk on water. (That was a joke everyone, my mother wasn’t really wondering that…Donny…I am not sure. I don’t know him personally.) Also, Mom, what in the world does palputations mean? That went right over my head…but yes I can feel them? Great letters this week by the way! I was feeling kind of English today Mom, until I looked down and realized I was wearing my Ireland shirt you sent me that says “This be me lucky shirt.” So alas, the Brits are foiled once again, and the Emerald Isle prevails. Dad: BEAUTIFUL usage of “Faa” haha did they say that in Spain, too? When I first got here I thought everyone was on the verge of saying bad English words. Also, I am excited to call home as well, but you have given me our home phone number in the past couple emails. I have written it down, so there will be no need to send it again ha. I haven’t gone to pick up the package yet, and yes I share the chips with people. I don’t have any recipes written down, but I have learned to do some basic Argentine cuisine.

So going back and re-reading that first paragraph I realized that it is completely random and that every sentence is about something completely different. That is because I skim over your email, and whenever there is a question mark, I come back to this and put the answer. Then, I repeat the process, and the first paragraph of every email is formed. Anyway, this week was a little hectic again. We did NOT get out as much as I wanted to, but what can you do? We tried to teach Lucio 4 times, and 4 times we were denied by some outer force. The first time we were going to teach with our Bishop, but his grandfather, the stake Patriarch, passed away, so obviously we weren’t about to call him up and ask him to come with us, but then when we called Lucio he said that he heard what happened and didn’t think we were coming over so he planned something else. Sorry for that run-on sentence…Every other time we called him as well he was busy. He did come to church though, so now he has come like 8 times. Basically the only thing we need to do is teach him. We still have to cover a lot, too, so we are going to follow the Spirit, and decide whether we just teach everything this week and go on with the baptism, or if we spread out the teaching and postpone the baptism for another week. I feel uneasy postponing baptisms…nothing good ever comes of it, but I don’t want to rush things before he is ready.

So my time here in the office is winding down. I have three weeks left, and well, as much as I have loved it, I hope they fly. I have learned sooooo much here in the office, have seen miracles, and received countless blessings, but it is time to move on. I came in here at the end of May! Over seven months! It kind of feels like waking up and going to a job now. I am excited to get back out full time with the people. This transfer has been a little tougher than past ones here, but I am definitely seeing more growth. It seems like we have gotten a little lax in small things, and I am trying to fight it. It is definitely interesting being the office elder that has been here the longest, because I have seen the evolution of the Staff. A lot of things have changed in the mission and office since the days of Elder Sir William Pollock and Elder Woodmansee (my first transfer in the office), some for the better and some not for the better, but that just comes with the rotation of different people I guess. So, I am looking forward to Christmas, and New Years, and then my new assignment.

Well, yesterday we went over to President Benton’s house and met his youngest son Adam, who is visiting from New York for Christmas. He served in Italy, but has picked up Spanish really well. His friend Eric from Houston, and Adrian…or Adriana…I don’t remember, from New York too. They were all really cool. Adrian…a….taught in the MTC for a while. She served in Argentina as well. Eric served in El Salvador. So it was a nice day. We ate and shared some of our favourite Christmas experiences. I used to think that eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve was unique…but it really isn’t…I meet so many other people who do it. The Benton Family does it as well. President Benton shared with us three ideas he thinks will help anyone have a special Christmas. First he started with a quote from Hermana Benton. I guess one time she said, “You can never get enough of things you don’t need.” So basically during the Christmas season you can never buy someone enough of what they don’t need. We don’t need material things to make Christmas special. Second he talked about how the best Christmas we can have is when we are serving others. Third he encouraged us to establish traditions in our future families, so that they will be memorable. So Dad, your idea of the pickle ornament tradition is great! Anyway, we are heading out to buy some essential items for our P-day Navideño Skit. Yes the staff is participating, and lets just say we have come up with one of those ideas that is either going to be a hit, or shame and disgrace my descendants for generations to come. Either way, I will have a video taken. I wont give it away now, but I will say that José Feliciano has become an honorary member of the staff for the time being. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Alright, thanks for all your prayers and support. Until next week.

Elder Sean Gilmore

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Day at the Hard Rock Cafe- Buenos Aires

Sean and the office gang went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Buenos Aires today.

Sean with Paul at the Hard Rock Cafe

Stained Glass Window of the Beatles at the Hard Rock Cafe

Sean went on a recent trip to the post office to pick up packages. Looks like the Christmas packages from home are arriving for the missionaries

Ramos Mejia- Week #76

It is surprisingly cooler than normal here in Buenos Aires!

Happy Pearl Harbor Day!

First…I would just like to say that Mother’s email was not only shocking, but disturbing as well. And I quote, “The move to the new house is off until February, but we will send pics of the outside at least.” What…in the world…are you talking about? Are we moving again? Why have I not heard anything more about this!?! I am completely in the dark on this one people. ¡Hay que decirme lo que está pasando en la casa! ¿Papá por que no me dijiste nada? ¿Mamá, donde está la confianza? ¡SOY TU HIJO! Oh sorry, when I get in a flurry like that I just start ranting in Spanish. Just call me Ricky Ricardo. These past two weeks have just been full of things that you have forgotten to tell me. But seriously, if you were looking for a good subject line for your email, you should have just taken the classic line from Usher: “Confessions Part II”…ok I am done.

So President has informed us that we should suggest to our families that they prepare their list of questions for “the call” -my battery is low, just so you know, I’m going to a place near by, gotta go- that was a little backstreet boy flashback by the way. So yeah, it would be best if you prepared a list of questions and topics so that we use our time well. Also, not to be trunky, but we made it through the longest time period of the mission without talking. May to December will have been the longest we will have gone without talking. So I just thought I would share that little piece of information with you. This week was good. We got out a lot more, and found some new people. We also set a baptismal date with Lucio for the 19th of December. He is really one of the most interesting investigators I have had. It seems like he has absolutely no interest in our message, but he always accepts it. It is like he doesn’t care about the doctrine, but he likes to participate in the church. He loves coming. It is weird. I challenged him to be baptized and he just looked at me and said, “Ok”…oh…ok yeah…um so you know it is a covenant with God and you have to keep His commandments right? “Ok”…um…ok great…so we are going to be helping you progress more in the gospel and helping you learn all that God requires of you. “Ok”…fantastic…

Elder Palacios and I were talking about it, and realized we aren’t sure what he wants. I am not sure he wants to know which church is true, but I thought I had him with eternal families…nope…he said whatever happens after this life happens. So we asked if he WANTED to live with them forever. He said he “supposes” it would be ok. Haha, talk about being apathetic. But, he is good friends with our bishop, who is baptism crazy by the way, and what Obispo wants, Obispo gets. Elder Sabey and I affectionately called him the Dragon. So Obispo is really pushing for us to get him in the water. We have an appointment with him on Thursday with Bishop, so that should be good, and we can talk with Bishop about what he thinks on the subject. We also had zone conference this week. It was pretty good. We were given copies of President Benson’s talk “Beware of Pride”, which I loved. Elder Bednar mentioned a little bit about pride in our lives as well, and he related it to missionary work. He said that when you say things like, “We taught the most in the zone”, or “We baptized more than anyone this transfer”, we are standing “eyeball to eyeball with the natural man, who is an enemy to God.” We have been having a lot of success in the mission lately, so I think it was inspired of President to warn us about getting prideful.

Ok I am not really sure what else to say this week. Not much happened. Elder Zivic of the Seventy was in our ward again this week to participate in a baby blessing, so that was cool. Any time I have heard him speak in the ward he has really stressed the principle of fast offerings. So donate a generous fast offering. That is the General Authority counsel of the week. Other than the stuff said at the Christmas Devotional, which we didn’t see because it started at 10:00 at night here. They are going to be re-broadcasting it next week at a better time. Also, P-day activity of the day today was a celebration of Pearl Harbor Day…eating lunch at Hard Rock Café…which is probably the most American thing we can do here in Argentina. I bought a shirt, took a picture of the stain-glassed window of the Beatles they had, and saw an autographed pair of Mick Jagger’s (sp?) pants…quality American experience.

Love, Elder Gilmore

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ramos Mejia- Week #75

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Thanksgiving was great at President Benton’s house. They made all the traditional food, which was good, but what just made it 100% the best moment of my day was the pumpkin pie. I haven’t eaten pumpkin pie in so long! It was a great day, and just barely beat last year’s thanksgiving with my mystery meat microwave dinner…which I ate again this year anyway, just a few days before thanksgiving. It actually is not that bad…but Hermana Benton definitely outdid it. The Benton’s oldest son, Aaron, was there as well with his wife and three kids. It was funny to be around American kids again. It was kind of strange and awkward at first, because I have gotten used to talking to little kids in Spanish, so it was a bit of a process to get back into English little kid mode. Their middle child, Luke, likes Star Wars, so I talked to him a little about that. I asked him who his favorite character was, and he said after some thought, “All of them are my favorite!” Fair enough. They were really nice people to spend Thanksgiving with. I can also now see there was a reason I have stayed in the offices. Thursday, after months of fighting and heartbreak, I finally won the mission home ping pong tournament. Elder Sabey and I always were upset by somebody in a late round, but this time Elder Palacios and I kept cool and took home the title. I guess I can rest easy now.

As for your questions, Mom, I don’t think that it is necessary to make stockings for everyone. It was nice, but everyone gets packages from their families, and it just makes my packages gigantic. However, I will note that I am the only one here that is against it and Elder Fox still has his stocking, but would gladly accept a new one. So the office staff now is Fox, Aceituno, Maxwell, Gamboa, Palacios, Gilmore. The mission tie project is on hold for right now. I have a least a demo tie that I am going to keep, but President is “thinking about it” for now. The guy we were working with didn’t give us very many options to choose from, so I think President feels like we might be settling for something that isn’t exactly what we want. Also, you bought a Wii and Flat Screen LCD HD VHL DVD SNL TNT TV? I couldn’t remember exactly all the acronyms you mentioned in your email, so I tried to over-compensate. Also I got the Thanksgiving photos and I have to say YOU TWO LOOK SO SKINNY!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!! I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!! You are actually doing it! I had my doubts I am sorry to admit, but you two are doing great. It really shows in your faces. Anyway, Dad, I always could drive, it just happened to be that every cool story was when Elder Sabey was behind the wheel. And for the record, Elder Sabey and I were Co-Companions, because we had the same time in the mission. Except for when one of us didn’t want to make a decision, then we would name the other senior companion.

So it has kind of been a slow week after having been visited by an Apostle. Carmen and Luis were confirmed! They are officially members. They weren’t confirmed last week because it was Stake Conference. What a blessing it has been to see their progress, and participate with their family in its spiritual journey. They are a miracle. We also had another investigator in church today. His name is Lucio, and he lives in the same house as Carmen and Luis. He is Carmen's uncle, and has come 4 or 5 times now. He is a little bit set in his ways, but the Lord has truly softened his heart. The first time we met him, he didn't say a word to us. To put it lightly, he was pretty cold, but now he is friendly with us, and we have started to teach him. He talked with our bishop today and said he would like to be baptized! So we are going to be heading over there with Bishop Canga this week to talk more. We are excited about that.

Other than that, Elder Palacios and I are working hard here in the office. I feel a little stressed because I really want to get out and work in the street, and find some more people to be baptized, especially with our bishop "cracking the whip" ha but at the same time, I can see that Elder Palacios is a little overwhelmed. So we are trying to find a balance, but as Elder Bednar mentioned, it is all about spinning the plate that is closest to falling. I really want to have a great transfer though, and find some more people to at least leave the area with something to work with if we don’t end up having more baptisms. I have noticed however, that the Lord truly does bless us for being in the offices. He just kind of puts people right in our path, so that we don’t spend what little time we have looking for them. For example, a couple of days ago, a sister missionary called me and told me that they have been teaching a woman who has expressed desires to be baptized, and has gone to church in their area, but just moved to Ramos Mejía…oh…I guess we can go by…We haven’t met her yet, so I don’t know how close she is to baptism, but the point is that we would have never found here with how little time we get out to work, so the Lord brought her to us. In reality, all missionary work is like that. Even when you are out all day in the street working, what are the chances of you meeting someone who will let you teach them, then make the changes in their life you tell them to make, and then get baptized. I would say very little, but that is why the Spirit is so important in the work. Moral of the story: It doesn’t matter if you are in the offices or not, the Lord is putting the people right in your path, because you wouldn’t be able to find them on your own.

I guess that is all for this week. I was in Capitál for 3 hours today waiting to pick up 15 packages. The best part is that there are still 35 more, but we didn’t have time to get all of them. The holiday season has hit the mail world in full force! Oh well, it is pretty fun getting to drive around downtown so I don’t mind. Thanks for the pictures again. Happy December!

Elder Gilmore