We have had a very eventful week. One of our responsibilities is to take care of the houses where the missionaries live. We need to open new ones, close old ones and maintain the ones we have. There are about 80 of them so we have plenty to do. Last Monday we traveled to Durazno to close a house. It was located in a small village named Carmen. The Elders moved out about 3 months ago so we were afraid it would be really a mess from mold. The Zoned Leaders, Elder Gomez and Elder Ford volunteered to help us. What angels! We left Montevideo at 6:30 and got to the house at 11:00. It wasn’t as bad as we had feared. More importantly, the Elders are great workhorses. They jumped into action and after two hours we had it cleaned up and ready to move out. It just amazes me how good the missionaries are. They are so kind, helpful and have such great attitudes and smiles. They were smiling all the time they were cleaning up. They truly are the “Army of Helaman”.
After we cleaned up the mess we took the Elders to lunch. They suggested a local grill in the middle of town called “El Gaucho”. We all had a “Bauru”. This is a great big hamburger (12” in diameter) with ham, cheese and various vegetables and sauces. It was great. Renee and I could only eat half of ours but the Elders devoured all of theirs. We had such a good time that we are looking for excuses to go back and visit. We ended up getting home a little after 9:00 P.M. We were tired.
Tuesday and Wednesday we did office work and prepared water and power bills to get paid. That is an interesting process and we are starting to get the hang of it. On Thursday we had to do repairs. We started in Paso Carrasco with a bathroom faucet. I took a new one in case we could not get the old one to work. But, Elder Neal from Malad helped me and we got it done. Come to find out, there was no rubber washer in the tap. I wonder why it didn’t shut off?
While we were doing that we got a call that another bathroom faucet would not turn off. We told them that they would have to wait their turn. Off we went to the next house in “Ferro Carril” to inspect a metal gate that was coming off its hinges. While we were there we put screen on the windows to protect them from mosquitoes. We also bought a new hose for the shower wand. From there we went to the Zone Leaders house to inspect the roof that leaks when it rains. I told them to just pray that it doesn’t rain. They weren’t really sold on that idea. We also put screen on their windows.
Then it was down the road to the house in La Paz where four sisters live to put screen on their window. They already had it on the main window so we put some on the bathroom and also inspected the toilet that doesn’t function as it should. Our next stop was to Santa Lucia where we traded washers and put on mosquito screen. We also had to go to the store and buy a new faucet for the hose that feeds the washer. We have a picture of the Santa Lucia sign. This is a beautiful little pueblo and we hope to go back and visit again.
Now remember the other broken faucet? It was on the other side of the mission so off we went to help. It took about an hour and a half to get there. Once we got there it was an easy fix and I took off the old faucet and put on the new one including new hoses. It was getting to be about 7:00 P.M. by this time so we headed home.
Friday we took some Senior Missionaries to the doctor and took the finance missionaries down town to get the checks to pay the water and light bills. Another fun day with missionaries. Yesterday we had p-day so we cleaned the house, ironed shirts and cut my hair. One of the finance missionaries, Elder Cuessy is headed back out to the field so Renee made lunch for Elder Cuessy, Elder Xavier that will now be the Senior Companion and Elder Peterson who is the new finance missionary. We had meatloaf, baked potatoes, beans, homemade rolls and banana cream pie. I think the Elders liked it. Renee is getting the hang of cooking in Uruguay and that makes her happy. It makes me happy too.
We got a new Temple Mission couple named the Jensens. They got here on Saturday. We had a little get together with them and the other Temple Missionaries last night. It was fun. We are having dinner with the three Temple couples later today and then having ice cream and brownies at the mission home later as the final send off for Elder Cuessy. This mission stuff is a lot of fun but not a great place to be on a diet.
We are really enjoying our mission. Every day we have the opportunity to help some really great missionaries. One really neat thing is that whenever we need help there are a bunch of really good and able young men in white shirts to help. We feel so blessed. The language is starting to come for Renee as she is feeling more comfortable talking. She went to a Relief Society social last night and had a great time. She was able to communicate info about her and her family and felt pretty good afterward. We see the hand of the Lord in the work each day as we associate with all of the missionaries and help them with their work. Our testimonies are strengthened each week as we are able to listen to others successes and challenges. This really is the work of the Lord. It makes us so happy to be a part of it. We love you all and pray for your health and safety. We know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. Testify that the Savior lives and loves us. May the Lord bless you.
Gordon and Renee