Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Big Change

Every 6 weeks we have change week where we trade old missionaries for new ones.  Even though we have only been here for six months, this has become quite routine.  Well, last week we had the big change where we changed mission presidents.  This is quite the process.  For the last month or so President and Sister Cook have been saying good bye to all of the missionaries as they went from one conference to another.  It is quite the process to see them take stock in the growth of the mission and the missionaries.  They have done such a good job and have seen countless missionaries grow and develop as they gain stronger testimonies and teach the Gospel.  President Cook has a wonderful knack for being serious with the missionaries and at the same time having fun.  I believe like he does that the Gospel should be fun.  The missionaries are so strong and willing to help the work move along.

The week started with dinner at Garcias, the best steak house in Uruguay on Monday night.  We had dinner with all of the senior couples which includes the Temple couples.  It was a wonderful evening.  We have become real good friends with all of them.

The big day was Wednesday.  We started out by meeting President Eddy and his family at the airport.  They came through the gate about 2:00 P. M.  To welcome them to Uruguay, we took them to lunch at McDonalds in the Airport.  Nothing like authentic Uruguayan food.  After that we helped take their luggage to the mission home where President Eddy and President Cook visited for awhile.  About 6:00 P. M. we took the President and Sister Cook to the airport.  We had plenty of time to visit and enjoy our last visit.  We celebrated with a milkshake at McDonalds.  Wohoo!  It was sad to see them leave and we could tell that they had some real mixed feelings as they were so looking forward to seeing their family but also knowing that they were saying good bye to Uruguay for good.  What great people.

Thursday and Friday were filled with two mission conferences so that the new mission president and his family could meet all of the missionaries.  We had zone conferences with seven zones on Thursday and five zones on Friday.  The conferences started off with the President Eddy and his family greeting each of the missionaries individually.  I was so impressed with how personable they were with all of the missionaries.  We are excited to see what is going to happen as they take the reins.  One of the real neat things about change is even though things are still the same, they sound different coming from someone new.  Sister Eddy spoke at both conferences and introduced the family in Spanish.  It was really neat. Each of the children bore their testimonies which were also really good.  I don’t know if we realize the sacrifice that a family with children makes to go on a mission.  The teenagers are right in the middle of their junior high and high school years and give up the fun times with their friends and everything to come down.  What a neat family.  I’m sure they will be blessed for this sacrifice.  Sister Eddy also gave a real good talk about missionary work that is a good guide to follow for the missionaries.

One of my favorite things about the scriptures is to read and ponder the words of prophets at the end of their lives.  For example, Nephi at the end of second Nephi and Mormon and Moroni at the end of the Book of Mormon.  There is a lot to be learned from someone that has a lifetime of experience. President Eddy was called last August so he has had about ten months to prepare this first talk.  I was very curious to see what he had to say.  I was not disappointed.  His talk was rich with council and teachings to help us all be better missionaries.

He had four main points
1.       We follow.  In other words we are obedient and follow all of the rules exactly.

2.       We learn each day from Preach My Gospel.  He emphasized the last page that summarizes all of the book.

3.       We work hard with love.  I am sure that he is going to spend more time on this as all mission presidents do.

4.       We teach repentance and baptize converts.  This was what Dallin H. Oaks taught at a missionary conference in February.

Lastly he emphasized that we need to use the Book of Mormon.  It is very important that we make sure all of the people we teach have the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  He stated that if we come back for a visit after giving the Book of Mormon and the people have not read it that we need to read it with them and emphasize its importance.  This is really good council.  Now the Mission President is going to go to all of the zones individually to interview all of the missionaries.  It is going to be a full month for him and his family.

On Saturday night we had a Capilla Abierta at our home ward in Malvin.  It was rainy and cold and attendance was not very good.  In spite of that we did have three investigators come and they seemed very interested.  Who knows what will come of it.

Well we are starting on a new chapter in the mission.  We enjoyed the Cooks so much and are now looking forward to some more fun with the Eddy family.  They are so strong and so good, we are really looking forward to getting to know them better.

One more thing.   The Sisters in the apartment next to us had a key to our apartment but have not been able to find it since the last sister left. So if she reads this as she promised she would and knows where the key is, maybe she could let us know.

Thanks so much for the support you give us.  We love all of you so much.  Our testimonies continue to be strengthened as we labor in his vineyard.  We know it is true.

Love Gordon and Renee

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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.