I have made a few mistakes in my life. The first big one was when I agreed not to watch TV on Sunday when we first got married. The second is when I agreed to iron all of my shirts in the mission field. But, a deal's a deal so here I am doing the shirts. I may get to where I wear a shirt several days in a row. Ewwwww!
Renee tried her hand at cookies in the super kitchen. She is spending quite a bit of time trying to adjust her recipes for altitude and humidity but I seem to eat them just fine. I could not tell if the missionaries like them or not, their mouths were full.
I don't know if there is a Home Depot in Heaven but there is a SODIMAC in Uruguay. This is their answer for Home Depot. It really is a nice store except everything and every one is in Spanish. How do you say air conditioning tube in Spanish? Ya, me neither.
We helped on two meetings this week. The first one was the monthly meeting of all the Zone Leaders and the Training Sisters. I am amazed at how strong the missionaries are. When one of the assistants to the president is speaking I catch myself wondering if he is the president. I am amazed at their wisdom. The other meeting was training for the missionaries that have been in country for 6 weeks. There are native English and Spanish speakers and some that speak a native language from Peru.
Throughout the training I was getting maybe 60-70% of what was said. I wondered how much everyone in the room actually understood. I think that is the key to help everyone get to a level in Spanish so we all understand. I'm getting there a little at a time, so is Renee. Renee's job is helping cook the meals. She spends a lot of time with two other ladies from Uruguay that don't speak much English. It is interesting but Renee is doing well. The cooks are wonderful. Next week we trade some old missionaries for some new ones. That should be fun, especially now that we have two weeks in the country so we are "experienced".
We were able to get into the mission finances last week and start to learn what we do. It was interesting and something that we both have experience in doing. The office Elders are really good help. They also help old people keep their laptop running. One interesting thing that happened last week is that on Friday all of the mission cell phones went down. It was traced to the fact that the area office did not pay the bill. Many missionaries were calling the office blaming the office. I told the missionaries that they should forward the complaints to me, as they are not getting paid enough to take guff from the other missionaries.
Another one of our jobs is to take care of the apartments. On the second day in country we visited our first apartment. It was a site! I think one of the problems is that the Elder was bragging that their apartment was one of the good ones. That scared me. Since then we have visited several apartments and the are quite clean and tidy. The living conditions are not the best and they really work at it. Saturday we drove to Sarandi Grande, which is about 2 hours north of Monte Video to help some sisters with cockroaches (cuarachas). We bought some Raid and off we went. They did not know we were coming because of the phone problem. We had to stop and ask someone for directions to the apartment. The store owner was very good to help. When we got there, they were excited to see us. We sprayed for bugs, fixed the leaky faucet in the shower, leveled the bed, put screen on one of the doors and put calking around the pipes coming in. They were really appreciative and it made us feel good also. I think keeping the missionaries taken care of will be a very important part of our mission.
On the way home we stopped to eat at Burger King. Uruguay doesn't like to use salt and it tastes like it. I went to our ward today for the first time and we met the Bishop. He is making a list for his ward and we expect to get some of the ones that need a little visit. We are really looking forward to visiting people. We also plan to go to Castillos again this coming weekend to help in the small branch there. It's going to be fun.