Monday, August 29, 2016

Like Floating in the English Channel

August 28, 2016

We have been looking forward to the arrival of another senior couple to help with the Florida District.  We have known for over two months and have been waiting to sign the contract for their apartment for over three weeks.  Meanwhile we have had a bunch of furniture and other things lying around the mission office and other locations waiting to take it up to the apartment.  While we have been waiting it made me think of all the times that we were working to get a big task done as a family and dad would always say, “It makes you appreciate Eisenhower.”  Meaning, D-day was a big project as they had to get thousands of ships and men and cargo all lined up for the Normandy invasion.

Well, we were kinda like that on a little bit smaller scale as we had everything ready to go and were just waiting for the contract.  It finally got signed on Monday.   The Walls arrived on Tuesday.  We did not have time to take anything up until Wednesday as we had several other things on the agenda.  So Wednesday we took the first load up.  We took the van that we drive with a trailer and the mission van filled with furniture.  On Thursday we took up another load and at least had the things that they will need.  We arranged to have the water heater installed and had the water and lights transferred to our account.  On Friday we tried to get them set up with the internet but still need to work on that for them.  We have another trip planned for tomorrow to take the rest of the furniture and hope to get them completely settled this coming week.  They are a great couple and have some great ideas to help the people in Florida.  We look forward to working with them.

It just amazes me how many steps it takes to complete a task and also how long each of the tasks take.  It has definitely taught us patience.  I am not sure I have learned much patience but at least I have been taught it.

Here's a picture of the Eagle and the missionaries.  Notice Renee photo bombing in the corner.
On Monday we took some things up to the missionaries in the La Costa Zone.  They were having a zone activity at “El Aguila” or the eagle.  This is a cool house facing the ocean that is made in the form of an eagle.  Pretty cool and I especially like the picture of the missionaries on the beach.  We love spending time with the missionaries.

Great picture of the La Costa zone on the beach.  Elder Mecham is the big on in the grey sweatshirt.
Friday afternoon we finally finished with our office tasks were able to head for the good stuff, i.e. Castillos.  We met the Elders about 4:00 and went straight out to visit with Juan and Lilian.  They are a retired couple with a lot of experience in the Church.  They are having some problems that are making it difficult to come to Church.  We had a good visit with them and all of us bore our testimonies.  We have become real good friends with them and are sure that they will be able to help the branch.  From there we dropped off the Elders for a charla and went out to see Rosanna.  Rosanna has several grown children that are members that live around her.  We talked to her about the activity that we had planned for Saturday night and then walked over to visit with her daughter and her family.   For some reason we had to talk about fishing.  Tito, the husband, showed us several videos of their son David catching catfish.  It was fun and we became good friends.  We talked to them a little bit about the Church and invited them to the Saturday night activity.  It was fun and we hope that we can get them to take us fishing.

This is our friend, Fortunato
Saturday we woke up to a rain storm.  We refused to let this dampen our spirits.  As we came into town we stopped off to see Fortunato.  What a great guy!  He shared his story with us that included some problems but also a great testimony.  He stated that the branch needed to have some home teachers and that he was willing to help.  We asked him if he wanted to go visit some of the members with us.  He said just a minute.  He soon appeared in a white shirt and tie, prepared to serve.  We visited two widows, Emma and Zulma.  Fortunato was the key to these visits as he helped fix a door at the first house and offered to help fix things at the second house.  What a great example of service.  On the way to taking him back to his house he asked if we could give his house a blessing.  What a great opportunity.  He has a humble home but you could feel the Spirit.  We had a wonderful time with him.

Now it was time for lunch with Hermana Narda aaaaand  CANELONES!!!!!!!  That’s what we had for lunch.  I was so excited.  They are so good.  We had lunch with Narda's son and daughter-in-law.  He is an inactive member and she is not a member.  We talked about where they are with the Church.  I hope that one day they can come to the Gospel.  Renee planned to learn how to make empanadas by helping Narda make some for the branch activity after lunch.  We asked Hermana Narda if she would go with us to visit some of the members of the ward before they started on the empanadas.  She offered to take us to visit the Lopez family.  She disappeared for a few minutes and came out dressed in a Sunday dress, ready to serve.  Can you see a trend here?  Even though these folks live a long way from the center of the Church, they still have a reverence for the Church and respect the opportunity to serve.

Rolling out, filling, and cooking the empanadas with Narda, Renee, and Daniela
We had stopped by to visit the Lopez family several times but they have never been home.  This time they were home.  What a neat visit.  Johnny, the dad, is an artist.  They have a huge picture that he painted on the wall.  It was so beautiful.  They have good testimonies and will be a real good asset to the branch.  They are not quite ready to return.  While we were there a wonderful thing happened.  Narda asked Daniela, the wife, if she would like to help make the empanadas.  She jumped at the chance.  Is that a good idea or what?  Soon, the three of them were at the store buying the supplies to make the empanadas.  I left them to go visit a few other people.  When I returned they were busy as can be, Narda was rolling out the dough, Renee was adding the filling and Daniela was cooking them.  Guess where I fit in?  Well someone has to be in charge of quality control!  They made about 100 empanadas.  Not only did they make plenty for the branch activity but Renee learned how to make empanadas.  Hurray!!  Guess what we are having when we get home?

Now it was time for the branch activity.  Elder Stewart and Hayden had been working on this for about three weeks.  They passed out invitations and had several members lined up to come and help with games and other activities.  Did I mention it was raining?  Did I mention that it was rained really hard?  How would you like to go out on a night when it was raining and blowing and you would have to walk at least 10 blocks to get there and 10 blocks to return?  Well no one else wants to do it either.  All we had for the activity was the missionaries, Hermana Narda and us.  I told the missionaries to not be disappointed.  The Lord knows how hard they worked and they will be blessed for it.  First, they have quite a few empanadas to eat.  We had a good time anyway.  Renee had us do the Olympics, using a wad of paper for a shot-put, a plate for a discus, a straw for a javelin and the standing broad jump.  After this was over we watched “Meet the Mormons”.  We had a good time together and all of us felt the Spirit.

Did I mention that it rained?  Good thing this was not the way home!
Today, in spite of the rain, we had several people at Church that we have not seen before. The numbers are still few but we are seeing and feeling progress.  Renee gave a talk on Temples and I gave a talk on the Book of Mormon.  Priesthood and Sunday School were really good as all of the members had a chance to share their views about the lesson.  We love being missionaries and the opportunity to serve and share our testimonies.  I really enjoyed speaking about the Book of Mormon and the blessings that come from reading it every day.

We love you all,
Gordon and Renee


  1. I believe I will need to stay at the Wankier Fun Ranch for several weeks so I can learn to make all the good food you are learning.

    Love hearing how the Lord blessed us. ��

  2. Sometimes I wonder if the people there really know how blessed they are to have you!!


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.