Sunday, June 26, 2016

Change Week Again

Change week started with a bang as we were invited to an “Asada” by our zone, the Este Zone on Monday.  They asked me if I would help cook.  Let’s see fire, smoke, cooking, that sounds like a scout trip so I’m in.  The picture of the Asada or barbecue was taken at the asada stand at the Malvin Church.  These little houses are everywhere and are really handy because the fire is up so you don’t have to lean over to tend it.  While I was building the fire I sure wished I had my good pocket knife and hatchet.  There was plenty of meat and it turned out real well.  The missionaries had fun and so did we.
We have stated before that motorcycles are everywhere.  They cut in and out and I believe that they want to be killed.  Well, the law makes them wear florescent orange so we have seen a lot of vests etc.  Since it started to get cold we started to see heavy coats also.  All of my “redneck” friends can already see where this is going because a coat like this would be real good to hunt deer and elk.  I have asked several people where I could buy one but so far we have not been able to find one.  As we stated in other blogs, we have had workers in the office doing some remodeling.  We have become good friends and I hope they come to the Capilla Abierta on Saturday.  The other day I asked them where I could buy one and Alvaro told me he had one for me.  I understood this to mean that he sold them.  Well, it turns out he brought me one that he had used and gave it to me.  It fits and is just what I want.  I tried to pay him for it but he would hear none of it.  Guess what is going home in my suitcase instead of white shirts and slacks?

Tuesday is the day the new missionaries come in.  Typically they arrive from Buenos Aires about 10:30 A.M.  This time we had missionaries coming from the MTCs from Buenos Aires, Sao Pablo, Bogata and Mexico City.  The first ones were scheduled to arrive at 11:30 A.M.  Sister Wankier and I got to the airport about 11:00 A.M.  As we walked up to the front door, two Elders were standing outside looking around. They took us to the rest of the group. Their flight got in early and they were already out looking for us.  As we were the first ones there we pulled them off to the side and took them all for lunch at McDonalds.  Over the next two hours, the other three flights came in and we were able to gather them all up and take them to the mission home.

Things went pretty smooth after that.  On Wednesday Sister Wankier helped cook breakfast for the new missionaries and their trainers.  In the afternoon she helped cook dinner for 22 missionaries going home.  It was quite a big project with so many missionaries.  Thursday was flight day.  We had missionaries leaving from about midnight until the middle of the day. There was a fog that caused delays in the flights.  It turns out the early morning flights were about three hours late and the middle of the day flights were about four hours late.  One of the sisters heading to Paraguay had to wait and go home on Friday because her flight was canceled.

Changes are getting harder and harder to do as we get to know the missionaries.  This change we saw several real good missionaries go home.  Sister Ramos spent several months in our zone so we got to know her real well.  One of the highlights of our mission is her and the other Sister missionaries singing to us on the way to the airport.  I have it recorded but we are not able to send it so you can see it.  Hopefully we can figure out how to download it so we can share.  Another Elder that we got to know real well was Elder Torres from Ecuador.  It was sad to see them both leave.  We hope we can see them when we get home.

Thursday night we stopped by to see Humberto and Cristina to invite them to the Capilla Abierta.  To “celebrate” our visit, Cristina popped out some Canelones.  Wow, are they good.  I wonder why we don’t stop by there every night.  Humberto is going to help us set up the Capilla Abierta in the Malvin Ward and Cristina is going to make some treats.  We are looking forward to this for next week.
Friday we spent the day working in the office and then went to the ward dance at night.  There wasn’t much dancing but there was a lot of visiting and eating.  That’s my kind of dance.  They did have a couple in the ward do a folk dance that was real neat.  The highlight of the night for us was when the missionaries sang some songs.  After they sang a couple of songs, Elder Peterson played a couple of pieces on the piano.  He is a tremendous pianist.  Just off the cuff he played two really special songs that were incredibly difficult.  It makes us feel so good to see the missionaries do so well.

Saturday was a much needed rest day.  Today we traveled to the Obelisco Ward in the Las Piedras Stake to do the presentation for the Capilla Abierta to be held on July 9th.  Sister Wankier did a good job on her presentation and the ward members seemed real enthusiastic.  We had an enjoyable day with them.  As I stated, this was change week.  This next week is “the Change” as we get a new mission president.  It should be quite a week.

Change weeks highlight what missionary work is all about as we see the new ones show up, kinda scared and wondering what to do and contrast this with the missionaries that have been here for 18 months to two years and see how much they have learned and grown.  It is an amazing thing to watch the growth in their testimonies and also see our testimonies strengthened.  We continue to be grateful for this experience and we both enjoyed bearing our testimonies today of the truthfulness of Christ’s mission on this earth and the blessing that we have in our lives because of Him.  We love you all.

Gordon and Renee


  1. Now all your hunting buddies are going to be asking for fluorescent orange coats to match yours. :)

  2. You will look like hunting firemen;)

  3. Glad to see I'm not the only one who has a comment on the coat. My advice: Don't wear it while riding a moped. People will think you're a member of the Best Buy Geek Squad. :)


Please keep comments positive! Gordon and Renee are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This blog is meant to be a fun way for them to communicate with their friends and neighbors back home.