The pictures that are included may look like all we do is eat, but actually we do get a little work in. Monday was our quarterly visit to inspect houses in the Maldonado Zone. When we called the Zone Leaders to confirm they said they were planning to do an” asado” for us so we had to oblige. After doing the house inspections and changing a lock on one of the houses we were off for the asado. Elder Anderson and Ontiverous did the cooking and the rest of us did the eating. They bought 10 kilos (22 lbs.) of meat. Asado meat is kind of different. It is mostly waste meat from the backbone of a pig or cow. It is delicious. We had a great time with the missionaries. It is great to hear about the people that they are teaching. They are so fired up. I had to include the picture of the four coats hung up on the door. It has been cold so they have had to bundle up. I love all of the hard work that these coats represent. Our trip to Maldonado included a visit to Rocha to drop off some food to the missionaries up there. It was a full day.
We helped the missionaries in the office for part of the week but we did get a chance to get in on some real missionary action. On Wednesday night we were invited to go with Elder Peterson and Rodrigez to teach. We started at Hermana Nilda’s house. She is a relatively new member that fed the missionaries dinner. She has a strong testimony and is so supportive. She served us empanadas and a torta. After our meeting with her we went to visit Oscar. Oscar is from Peru and has some members of his family that are members. The missionaries have been challenging him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. As they talked to him about what he has been reading, he said that he woke up in the middle of the night the other night and decided to do some reading. After reading the Book of Mormon he prayed to Heavenly Father. He stated that he had a real warm feeling inside and feels real good about his decision to join the Church. We reviewed Moroni 10:3-5 with him and he agreed that had received and answer to his prayer that the Book of Mormon is true. What a neat guy.
On Thursday night we went to see Humberto and Cristina again. We had a great visit as they told us about their vacation to the north of Uruguay. Cristina made a special cake or torta where you make a crust and smear dulce de leche all over it and then bake it. It was delicious. We had a chance to visit with Cristina about her belief in God and Jesus Christ. We had another wonderful evening.
Our day was filled with a multi-zone conference on Friday. We had three zones together with about 60 missionaries. President and Sister Cook delivered wonderful messages and the missionaries were inspired. The highlight of the conference was the video. The Assistants asked all of the zones to make a video so they could compile them for President and Sister Cook for their last zone conferences. It will be sad to see them go the end of June. The video was a hit and the feelings that the missionaries have for the Cooks is incredible.
Saturday, we were off to Castillos. This was one of the neatest experiences of our mission. We had trouble deciding when to go. This week end was District Conference in Rocha so originally we decided it would be better to go another week so we could attend to the Branch meetings. But this was the only week we could do it. As last week we had the Capilla Abierta presentation at Las Piedras and next week we have to do the Capilla Abierta. We had our usual lunch visit with Hermana Narda. She told us that she was not going to go to the District Conference. We invited her and hoped that she would come. After that we stopped to visit the Branch President. He had some family issues and was afraid that he was not going to make it either. At that point we wondered what was going on.
Well Sunday came and both Hermana Narda and the Branch President were able to come. The conference started off with a primary choir singing "If I listen With my Heart". What a wonderful experience to see these 15 wonderful little children sing from their heart. At that moment it struck me that I am not in Uruguay just to Preach the Gospel, I am here to help build the Church for these little ones. The Church in Rocha and Castillos needs to grow so that these beautiful little children have the opportunity to grow up with the influence of the Savior in their lives. If you don’t know this song you can click the link above to watch it on you tube. It has a very powerful message.
Next we heard from President Cook. He spoke about the need to forgive and how important it is that we forgive others. This is the last address that he will give to the members in Rocha. What a wonderful message. The other messages were also very powerful and touched everyone. After the meeting, Hermana Narda had tears in her eyes. She felt so good being in Rocha and meeting her friends. It was then that we realized that we came this week so we could help invite the Castillos members to come to this wonderful conference. I remember what Elder Bednar told us a couple of months ago. He said that we should not be sitting waiting for the Spirit to strike us and tell us what to do. If we feel that we should do something, then we should do it.
We continue to love serving as our testimonies are strengthened each day. We love the missionaries and the people of Uruguay. Most of all we love the Lord and know that he is our Savior. What a wonderful blessing to be able to serve Him. We love you all.
Gordon and Renee