It takes a lot of time to keep 65 houses going. On Monday we traveled to Pan de Azucar to visit with the owner of the house because the roof was leaking. Sometimes the owners (duenos) can be real difficult to work with. This one was real nice and cooperative. She is going to get bids and we will work together to get it done. On Wednesday we had an appointment to meet with another owner to close the 18 de Mayo house. They did not show, so we pretty much wasted the day. We were going to move the rest of the stuff from this house on Friday but it rained so we could not do it. On Thursday we traveled to Treinte Tres to look at another house that the sisters need to move into. This is about three and a half hours away so it took most of the day. We were able to stop on the way home and see some apartments in Minas so we were able to kill two birds with one stone. The missionaries continue to be a joy in our lives. They are so kind and work so hard. We love visiting with each companionship to hear of the great experiences that they are having.
On Wednesday night we invited our friends Humberto and Cristina over for dinner. We had a good time talking about fishing, shooting and vacations. Some things never change, do they? Our friendship continues to grow and we expect to see them next week and get a report on their trip. We always feel a good spirit when we are with them.
As I said we had planned to move some stuff on Friday but it rained so we attended a Zone Conference instead. We learned a lot and were able to spend more time with the missionaries. On Saturday we were scheduled to go to Castillos but it was still raining. We were not excited to go due to the rain but went anyway. After several days of rain we saw quite a bit of flooding. There were several places where the water was touching the tops of the bridges and about to come over the road. In Rocha, the water was flowing out of the man hole covers from the drains in the street. It was really wet.
But, our efforts paid off. In spite of the wet weather we were able to get to Castillos without any problem. Once there we had lunch again with Narda and her family and the Missionaries. We had a real good discussion about the needs of the little branch in Castillos. The spirit was real strong.
After that we visited the Branch President, Pablo, and his wife. They were real excited about the people that have been coming out to Church. He took us to visit his Uncle Javier and his family. They have 6 children of various ages. Javier is an Elder but has been inactive. He has three sons from his first marriage that are members but his current wife and 6 children are not. They received us very warmly. We had a good discussion about the Savior and the importance of living Prophets. It was a wonderful visit. They have already been to Church and promised to come again but could not promise because of the rain. Either way, the Spirit was strong and we have high hopes for this family.
After that we went to visit Wilson and his wife, Maria. Wilson is also an inactive Elder and his wife is very interested in the Church. When the Elders knocked on their door the first time, she welcomed them in by saying, “Thank you so much for coming. I have been praying that you would come.” Is that a good way to start or what? We had a good discussion about their desires to be part of the Church. Maria is trying to stop smoking. It is very hard as we have found out from some of our other friends but she is working at it. Our last visit on Saturday was to Marilu, a real strong member that lives just behind the chapel. She has been ill for about two months. She is doing better but is still having some health issues. We had a real good visit and hope that she can continue to improve. After a real good afternoon of visits we left for our hotel in La Paloma with huge expectations for Sunday services.
Well today came with even more rain as it continued to pour. We were a little anxious about being able to get over some of the bridges. We received a call that they were only going to have Sacrament Meeting due to the weather so we did not need to leave quite so early. We arrived early in hopes of helping if needed. We found out that the bathroom had major issues so the Branch President tried to fix them. In doing so he got pretty dirty. He had to go home to change so he asked me to start the meeting. The missionaries were late as they were bringing another family to church named Hugo and his wife. In spite of the poor weather the missionaries still had three investigators in Church. Hugo and his wife came and Maria came also. It was not as much as we had hoped for but it was still really good. The Spirit was strong and the Relief Society President gave a talk on prayer and the two missionaries spoke on faith and repentance. I gave a talk about Christ to finish things off. In spite of the bumps in the road we continue to have a real good feeling about the Castillos Branch. Elder Bravo and Lang are working real hard to find new people and inactive members to join in the services. We have been going there for about four months now and can see the changes that are happening. It is exciting and we hope that they continue.
As you can see, our mission does have its ups and downs. Through it all we continue to see the growth in the missionaries, the members and people in Uruguay and ourselves. If it was easy then it probably would not be worth a lot. We love the work and the opportunity to serve. We love the Lord and feel it a privilege him. Thank you so much for all of your love and support.
Love, Gordon and Renee