On Tuesday we helped with the Zone Leader Conference. The cold weather has brought the mold inside with a vengeance. We did a presentation about how to clean the walls with bleach including the garbage sack raincoat. We tried to make it fun. After the conference we took three trips to Tres Cruzes, the bus station, to get missionaries on the bus back to their areas. Traffic was heavy and it took quite awhile. After we got done with that about 7:30 P. M. we took the Este Zone Leaders to order dinner for their zone conference the next day. We purchased fruit, drinks and chips at the grocery store, Tienda Inglesa, and then left to order the pizza from a pizza place next to the church. Things were going real well until we found out that they do not open until 5:00 P. M. Not much good if you want to eat at noon. So at 9:00 P. M. we were in a fix. We had the Subway phone number so I called and ordered sandwiches from them. That really saved the day.
A neat thing happened during the zone leader conference. We had one sister coming to the conference that has some special diet needs so Renee brought some bread and boiled eggs just in case. She ended up not needing them. Well right after the conference started a young man showed up and asked for some help. He is a member from Brazil and was looking for his mother. He could not find her and needed some help to get home. I called the Bishop of the ward and he agreed to meet with him later in the evening. It was then we realized that we had the food Renee had brought and we gave it to him. He was able to rest in the Church and be comfortable until the Bishop came. So now we know why Renee felt like she needed to bring some other food.
Wednesday was our biggest day. We needed to go to Melo and 33 to sign some contracts. That is a 500 mile round trip. It rained most of the day to make it even better. The landlord we met with in Melo has rented to us for several years and had some questions. The face to face meeting was very helpful and we got everything taken care of. After that we wanted to take the missionaries to lunch. Elder Rodriguez and Escobar said they already had lunch so they passed. We picked up Elder Rollins and Montiel, the Zone Leaders and headed to a Chinese Restaurant. After two phone calls and three trips around the block we found out that they were closed for good. Plan B was to pick up Elder Rodriguez and Escobar and go to a local hangout. We were literally sitting in the family front room having lunch. We ordered a large pop and the guy had to go out to purchase it. That being said, it was delicious. As we were finishing, Elder Escobar told us that he was not that hungry because he has just had lunch. Imagine two meals in less than an hour. Who said missionaries can’t eat.
We have mentioned the Temple Missionaries a few times in the blog. The last time we met with them, Elder Ness gave us a gallon plastic jug full of change that he wanted us to give to the missionaries. We have been passing out 100 pesos to everyone we can think of. On the way home we stopped to get a contract signed in 33. The Zone Leaders, Elder Holmes and Lawson helped us. When we gave them their pesos they went straight to the panaderia to purchase biscochos. They seemed happy.
Thursday was another full day at the office. We helped the missionaries with the finances and several other jobs. It seems we get busier every week. Thursday night, our friend Gabriela came by to help Renee with Spanish. It was fun because she stayed for dinner.
On Friday we helped the missionaries pay the rent. We had to go to several banks and make the payments. This takes quite a bit of time. We also had to go down town to get some checks cashed and make other deposits. We got back about 3:00. After that we loaded up the trailer and helped the missionaries move into the 18 do Mayo house. We got home about 9:00.
Saturday was a much needed day of rest and we got our house clean and made ready for the coming week. In the afternoon we headed out to Las Piedras for another Capilla Abierta. This really went well. The members showed up in full force and the missionaries were really prepared. The weather was good so there were a lot of people on the street. The members and missionaries went out on the street and invited people to come in. In all there were 20 investigators that came in and listened. They received several real good referrals for the coming week. It was really exciting. I was so impressed how strong and willing the missionaries are to go out and invite people to come in a listen to our wonderful message.
The week ended with us doing a presentation for a Capilla Abierta in El Pinar today in their Church. We are planning to do this one on July 23rd. Renee did her presentation again and did real well. This is a real active ward. They have 9 ward missionaries. We are really looking forward to the coming weeks as we get more and more Capilla Abiertas scheduled.
The weather has been interesting. The temperatures are usually in the 50’s. When the sun is shining it is beautiful. But when it is cloudy and rainy it is quite uncomfortable. Because it is good weather most of the time, they do not have central heat in the homes and most of the Churches. Even though it has been nice and sunny today, the Church was quite cold. The members come with real warm clothes and some of the sisters even wear pants. Based on how cold it is in the buildings, I don’t blame them. As we were sitting in the Chapel today it felt like we were in a duck blind in January. It was quite chilly. We were glad to get in the car and warm up on the way home. I guess we need to dress a little warmer in the future.
In the Zone Leader Conference on Tuesday they played a talk by Elder Holland about being converted. He based his talk on the last chapter of Matthew where Peter took the Disciples fishing instead of doing what the Lord had intended. We all have to make that choice. It has been really good for us to be in the mission field and have a chance to dedicate our lives to service. We really do love it here and are grateful that we have the chance to serve. We know that this is the true Church on the earth today and that we are led by living prophets. We appreciate all that you do for us.
We love you,
Gordon and Renee