We started out the week with apartment inspections in the Norte and Las Piedras Zones. These zones are fairly close so we were able to see about 10 places before it got too late. These are special days for us as we are able to associate with the missionaries and see how they are really doing. For the most part their houses are clean and tidy. They could be better but they certainly can be worse. One of the highlights of the visits was the pictures of the rats that one of the apartments has that they had taken from outside their house. Don’t worry, they have not been inside the houses. I wish I had time to tell you about each of the companionships. They are so enthusiastic and anxious to help us and also the people in Uruguay.
On Tuesday the Mission President asked me to speak to the Zone Leader Conference about finding people to teach. This was really scary because these are the 34 leaders of this mission. Each of these missionaries has a lot of experience in the street and if anyone can talk about finding people to teach it is them. I started my talk with my experience about steelehead fishing. For those that don’t know, you can fish all day and be lucky to catch even one fish. I told them that the reason that you work so hard is because you never know when one day will be “the day”. I compared this to missionary work, that even though we prepare and study and practice we don’t find someone every day. That is because this work is difficult and just like catching a big fish it is also very rewarding. Well I kind of got an idea of how my talk went when I received a text from one of the Zone Leaders the next morning that said, “Goin’ fishing!”
The next day I was called by the Norte Zone to talk at their Zone Conference. I really enjoyed this. After the meeting the Elders all wanted to talk about fishing. It seems that I am not the only one that likes to do this. My favorite part of this meeting was when the Zone Leader, Elder Fernandez, asked Renee to speak about conversion experiences also. She spoke about her friend, Patsy. Her Spanish is still getting there buy she was able to communicate how she felt. The missionaries were very kind.
Now to explain the pictures. The first one of the Montevideo sign is a classic. I don’t think any blog of Uruguay would be complete without it. Elder Xavier leaves on changes this week and we are very sad. We will really miss him. The Montevideo sign is on the way to the bank so it is real easy to stop and take these shots. We have one of the Assistants, Elder Cannon leaving on this change and Elder Xavier, one of the financial secretaries leaving. With this changeover we had lunch with the Elders at the mission home and dinner at out house. Between the hamburgers and chips at the mission home and the sloppy joes and potato salad at our house I am pretty full with beef for awhile. I just can’t explain what neat experiences this is for us. The missionaries are so loving and helpful.
You will notice that there are several missionaries with a sign like a pistol. This is really a sign for a smile. The Uruguayans do this whenever they want to show that they are happy. As you see a lot of signs like this in the pictures, you can tell that it was a happy week.
To finish off the week, we had mother’s day dinner at the mission home. The men cooked the meal. It was delicious. My steak was excellent and all the stuff that went with it just made it better. So now after hamburgers, sloppy joes and steak, I won’t need to have beef for about three years. My contribution was “Pear Pie”. I even helped make it. Not to the point that anyone would trust me to make it but, I did help, a little.
To finish off a great week, the missionaries showed up at our apartment to sing “Mother I Love you” to Renee. When they asked me I told them that they would make her cry. I was right. She really loved it. As they can’t give her a hug, I had to do it for them. Hey, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.
We love you all and hope you have a great week.
Gordon and Renee