We had dinner Monday night for a Temple couple, the Hokansons, that are going home this week. They are from Star Valley. Great people and we had a great time with all of the Senior Missionaries. I hope Ken Wixom sees the picture of me eating rack of lamb and a rib eye steak. It was real good but not in the budget every night.
One of our responsibilities is to make sure the rent and utilities are paid on the 80 or so apartments that we rent. This is a picture of me with the finance clerks in front of the "Obras Sanitorias del Estado (OSE). We had to go down town to pay the bill. It is kind of a complicated process. First we look the bill up on the internet and create a batch of utility payments. They we have to go to the area office on Tuesday or Thursday and pick up a letter of credit. From there we go to Citi Bank down town and pick up the check. After that we take the batch and pay it. We are working on systems to streamline this process.
The biggest part of the week was spent helping with "Zone Temple Conferences". The zones come in one by one and have training and attend the Temple. We help with the meals and other logistics. We will be doing this for the next few weeks as each of the twelve zones comes in. They can only do so many because the Temple only holds 48 and the Mission President interviews each missionary. Guess how tired he is at the end of the day?
We have also been running around treating apartments for BED BUGS! Yikes! We spray the mattresses with a bug spray and wrap them in plastic for 24 hours. If possible we put them in the sun. Pretty big job. We also are busy doing other repairs and things for the missionaries. Several nights we did not get back to our apartment until after 9:00 P. M. That's pretty late for old people.
Friday night we were able to go out with the missionaries. Renee went to two discussions with the sisters. She understood a little and was able to bear her testimony. She really enjoyed it. I went out with the office elders. We had some other things to do so we did not get out as soon. We made a few contacts and tried to find a referral, but were unsuccessful. The Elders reported to me today that they did contact the referral last night and left a Book of Mormon. They are going back Monday night and I invited myself to go. I'm looking forward to it.
No question, the best thing that happened this week happened on Thursday. We received a call from some of the Senior Missionaries that there was a bus from Salta, Argentina doing Temple work at the Temple. They come here because there is a "Hostel" where they can stay very reasonable. We stopped by the Hostel about 6:30 and found a group eating cake. They definitely looked Salteno with their dark complexions. We introduced our selves and were immediately made welcome. I told them when I had been in Salta and asked them about some of the families that were members and that were baptized. They remembered most of them. It was incredible to feel how much they loved us because I had served there. We talked about the members that I knew. One of the members later became the Stake President. They remembered Isaac Garcia and stated that he had been faithful in the Gospel and died a few years ago. They also knew the Lenz family and said that the Son, Marcelo, went to the US.
It was real fun talking to them about the growth of the Church in Salta. When I was there in 1974, they had one chapel and two tiny branches. Now there is two and almost three Stakes and 9 chapels. That is incredible growth. They are very proud of what the Church has done and they should be. It was wonderful to talk to them and bear testimony and feel of their Spirits. It was definitely one of the highlights of my life and worth the trouble to come to Uruguay. I hope things work out so we can go there at the end of our mission.
Well that's it for this week. We love you all very much.
One last picture of the wind surfers by our apartment.