We have done a lot of traveling this week. We traveled to Minas, Piriapolis and Castillos besides several trips around Montevideo. One of our great trials was the fact that the air conditioner stopped working on the mission car. I’m saying that the heat and humidity are something that we Idaho kids are not used to. Without air conditioning we may have to come home. We were unable to get it fixed because all the mechanics were on vacation for Carnaval. On Thursday I noticed that the engine was getting pretty hot also. Then it occurred to me to check the coolant. Well, after two liters we have a cool engine and cool occupants. It looks like we are staying.
We have had some really neat experiences this week. Besides spending each day with some really great missionaries, we have been able to go on discussions. On Friday we accompanied the Sisters to teach two investigators, Kristina, who is a non member of a less active member husband and her niece, Chirra. It was taught at a member’s home with three members, the sisters and us. It was a full house. They taught about the importance of family. It went real well. It was “a little muggy” in the house. After the discussion we took them home and met the inactive husband. He is recovering from an accident where he cut off most of his left thumb and part of his hand with a hand grinder. Seems if it slips and you grab the moving blade with your hand it is really going to hurt. We had a good visit and plan to return to have them teach Renee how to make Empanadas. They are going to teach me how to eat empanadas. This missionary work stuff is really getting fun.
On Saturday we headed to Castillos. We had lunch with Narda Molina and her husband. Narda insists that we have lunch with her when we go to Castillos. She served Nocchis and Chicken. We had cantelope and “Dulce de Leche” for dessert. It was really good. We are going to learn how to make it. Narda is a very strong member and one of the keys to this branch. She can assert herself and lead others. After lunch we visited the Branch President and his family and three other members. We were well received and enjoyed our visits. Another of the strong members on the Branch is Adelis. She is retired and a strong member of the branch. She can also lead the branch.
On Sunday we had better attendance at Church with 18 people. The Elder’s Quorum President even came and taught the Priesthood lesson. I have to work hard to understand him but it is good to learn from him. I volunteered to teach the Sunday School lesson. It was about how Lehi’s son, Joseph, was named after Joseph who was sold into Egypt and how the one that brought forth the Book of Mormon would be named Joseph also as well as his father. The members participated real well and I could understand most of what they were saying.
Just as Sunday School was getting started, two of the sisters got into an argument. I could not understand exactly what they were saying but I could tell it had to do with me. It seems that they were upset that I had visited one and not the other. Come to find out, we did stop by the other sister and she was not home. I think things got patched up but I hate to be in the middle of a fight. On another high note, Renee gave the prayer in Spanish in Sunday School. She did well and the members were very kind to compliment her. She is on her way to learning.
Sacrament meeting went well also. I was asked to speak and gave a talk about Elijah calling down fire from Heaven. It is one of my favorite stories. I am starting to feel more comfortable speaking and talking to others. It is a challenge to understand what is being said. I understand more from some than from others. After a day of listening to Spanish I have to admit that I am exhausted. It takes everything I have to listen. Renee understands more each day but it is also very taxing on her. I would like to translate more for her but I have a hard time doing that and still being able to concentrate well enough to get it myself.
We have had a good week and are ready for another. We appreciate our friends and family and all they mean to us. When we talk to people we like to say that we came to Uruguay because we love the Lord and have a strong testimony that He lives and loves us. We also want them to know that we came because we love the people of Uruguay too. We are so grateful to be part of this work and help people gain and strengthen their testimonies.
We love you all
Gordon and Renee