Sunday, June 12, 2016

Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

Last week we wrote that we had a lot of real big things that were finished so we expected a little bit slower week this week.  That was a dream.  We started out the week by attending the Corndogfest with the Este Zone.  Sister Wankier put the brakes on my title for this week’s blog of “The Missionaries Are Going To the Dogs.”  Kinda catchy but not real reverent.  Anyway, you can see that the missionaries had a good time.  I only had three.  I guess that is because they tasted real good.  The Zone Leaders, Elder Vallecillos and Elder Mitchell are good corn dog cooks and do a good job uniting their zone.  I couldn’t decide which picture so I put all of them on.

Next we had the visit from the mystery Missionaries.  About two weeks ago I received a call from Sister Norton.  She stated that she and Elder Norton were coming to Montevideo and wondered if we could pick them up.  She was not sure where or when.  After the call we still did not know why.   We did have some limited contact and figured to pick them up at the bus station at Tres Cruzes (three crosses).  As soon as they arrived we had to ask them the three questions, where did you come from, why are you here and where are you going.  On a side note, while we were waiting for them, two other missionaries from our mission showed up.  Seems as though they were on their way to the doctor and needed a ride.   We are going to call that, “listening to the still small voice”.
Anyway, the Norton’s supervise all of the chapel open houses for the South America South area.  This includes, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile.  They came over to give a presentation to the other Uruguay Mission.  They stayed from Monday afternoon until Wednesday morning.  We had a good time with them including dinner both nights.  Tuesday night dinner included the Crocketts.  They do essentially the same thing we do in the other mission.  The Nortons are from Utah Valley and currently live in Spanish Fork.  We discovered that Elder Norton’s Grandpa Norton lived on 5th South and Main in Nephi.  This is a few blocks from where my Grandma and Grandpa Warner lived.  We both remember going to Clark’s Market to buy treats.  His Grandma Francum is from Levan and would have been a little older than Dad.  No doubt that our grandparents knew each other.  I expect we will see each other on Memorial Day each year as we decorate the graves of our families.

On Wednesday we had the trip to inspect four houses, Canelones, Santa Lucia, San Jose and San Ramon.  To make it even more “Saintly”, the Elder in San Jose is Elder Santa Cruz.  It was a saintly day!  These apartments are off the main route and are very picturesque.  The highlight of the day was meeting with the missionaries.  They are so positive and excited.  Their warm smiles and grateful attitudes make us feel very happy.  I think they really like the treats that Sister Wankier takes for them.  No question that the best part of these trips is being able to hear the missionaries tell us about the people that they are teaching and all the good things that happen to them.  Included in our trip was the stop to take the pictures of the bridge.   The teenagers were right on the road where we stopped and were very fun to talk to.  They are taking a dairy production class at the school and were feeding the calves.  I think I have fed no less than a million calves in my day so I could kind of relate with them.
Thursday and Friday were spent helping with the rent and utility payments in the office and supporting the missionaries for the Oro Conference.  The new missionaries are called “Oros” or gold.  They bring them in at the end of the first change to teach them and support them as they get used to being in the mission field.  They are so strong and their companions are some of the best in the mission.  It is so good to spend time with them and watch them grow.  I kid all of the new ones that they could be the one that drives us to the airport when it is our time to go home.

Saturday we were off to Castillos again. Normally we take Saturday as preparation day or “P-Day, to iron, clean the house and go shopping for groceries.  So when we go to Castillos, it changes our schedule and we usually don’t get a P-day.  Usually we head to Castillos knowing that we have something to do but don’t know what it is.  This time we inspected all of the Rocha Zone houses too.  They are mostly clean and provide a good launching pad for the missionaries to share the Gospel with the people.  We had our usual visit and lunch with Hermana Narda which included Noochis.  Noochis is a secret word for really good.  They have them at Olive Garden but I like the ones down here a lot more.  Lunch was really good and Hermana Narda shared some real good experiences that she had recently had with less active members of the branch.  We love listening to the faith promoting experiences that she has.  After that we visited the Branch President and two Sisters that have been having some health problems.  We always feel good as we visit those in need and feel the love that they have for the Gospel and for us.  I have said this many times that it doesn’t take much to be appreciated and you surely feel this when you are able to visit.

Sunday we had a pleasant surprise as the District President came to visit.  President Aguilar is a great leader and did a tremendous job teaching the Priesthood/Relief Society Class on living the Gospel by doing the little things.  I was assigned to teach Sunday School.  Then in Sacrament Meeting Renee and I both had to speak.  So Renee gave her first talk in Spanish.  It was scary but the people in Castillos love her so much that you could feel how much they enjoyed it.  We really do love the people and have such a great time when we visit.  Two pretty neat things happened.  First, Sister Oreales has been sick.  We tried to visit her in the hospital the last time we went but could not find her.  Today she came to Church for the first time in a month.  You could tell that she was recovering from her hospital stay.  She bore her testimony about the power of receiving a Priesthood blessing.  She is a wonderful lady and we pray that she will get well.  Second, we stopped to see the Elder’s quorum president after the meeting.  Juan has not been able to come to church because of the some problems in his neighborhood.  We had a real good visit and you could tell that he was grateful that we stopped by.  We are praying that he can get things working in his neighborhood so that he can come to Church.
I put in a picture of the Proa Sur Hotel.  I did this because it is such a wonderful place to stay.   It has been quite cold in Uruguay and we have a hard time keeping our apartment warm and keeping enough hot water for both showers.  Well at the Proa Sur Hotel, it is warm and there is plenty of hot water.  It is at least as good as Little America.  Couple that with a breakfast that includes all the Dulce de Leche that you can eat and we are truly blessed.  Tonight we are staying in Chuy.   The Brasilian border is just out the front door of the hotel.  This Hotel is not quite as nice as the Proa Sur but is still comfortable.  We are going to visit the Treinte Tres and Melo Zones tomorrow.  It will be a full day.

We love serving and spending time with the missionaries.  We love what we do and feel a great deal of satisfaction in serving.  We love you all and are grateful for what you do.
Love Gordon and Renee


  1. Sorry the pictures are messed up! I'll try to fix tomorrow. LOVE YOU!!

  2. Thanks for the updates! We really do enjoy reading them. Josh liked your "The Missionaries are Going to the Dogs" title.

  3. I can't believe after 15 years the streets still look the same. - Dirk.

  4. I'm glad to see that being in Uraguay hasn't stopped you from wearing the Yankee pajama pants every day. You should try wearing them outside of the apartment. It will be a good conversation starter with strangers. Then you can convert the strangers to the gospel and baseball at the same time. It sounds like a win-win idea to me.


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.