We have stated before that one of the most interesting parts of our mission is that we do a lot of different things. Last week was no different. One of the things that we do is help take care of the business side of the mission. There are a lot of details in providing housing, utilities and transportation for 190 people. That does not count the emergencies.
Monday we started off by going to old town Montevideo to sign some papers for our documents. They call the identification card a “cedula”. Nacho, is our legal assistant that helps us get through all the hoops. Our trip started with Nacho being about 20 minutes late. We got through the line just in time for the computer system to go down. Three more system delays and two and a half hours later and we had our “ticket” to get our cedula next week. After we get the cedula I can get a Uruguayan driver’s license. I am looking forward to this as it will be quite the souvenir.
Tuesday we helped with the Zone Leader Conference. Renee helps cook breakfast and lunch then we all help serve 36 missionaries and the others that come. While Renee was doing that I was off buying stuff for missionaries. The mission president requested that we get 4 new bikes for the missionaries in La Capuera and Piriapolis. It took me three trips and over three hours to finally get the bikes purchased. Now, how do we get them to the missionaries over an hour away. I could just see them all scratched up in the trailer. Well, we also had to take some beds that way so we took the pedals off and sandwiched them between the mattresses. It worked great. Our plan was to pack up Wednesday afternoon and head up the coast on Thursday. As we were getting the last stuff together we found out that we needed to go to Canelones to bring a Sister in for some tests on her ankle. So about 6:00 at night we took off for their apartment. We got them in to stay with the sisters about 8:00 P.M.
We finished packing the van and trailer Thursday morning and off we went. First we stopped at Piriopolis. The missionaries were happy to see the new bikes. We gave them the “be careful and don’t hurt yourselves or get the bikes stolen” speech and off we went for La Capuera. One of the bikes was still in the box so we had to put it together. Turns out Elder Oroche is quite the bike guy. He jumped on the bike assembly with a vengeance and soon we had both bikes going strong.
It was getting close to lunch as we headed to Maldonado to take some furnishings to the sisters. When we got there we still needed to purchase a couple of things so Elder Silva and Ontiveros went with us to get them. Word to the wise, “don’t let the missionaries carry the mirror!” So we have seven more years of bad luck.
|Putting beds together with Elder Fonseca|
|Our hotel room in La Paloma|
Saturday was our funnest day. We had a list of people to go see and started down the list. We parked the car and walked from house to house. We were able to meet several members and had a real good visit with them. It was like being real missionaries. As always the best part of the day was having lunch with Hermana Narda. We are going to have a branch activity on Saturday night in two weeks when we go back to Castillos. Hermana Narda is going to show Renee how to make empanadas for the activity. That is so good in so many ways.
At about 4:00 P.M. we picked up Hermana Oreales and she took us to visit three families that are partially active. It was so good to visit them with a member. All of the visits were warm and encouraging. First, we visited a Sister that is a returned missionary. She actually served in Mendoza in several of the areas that I worked in. Next we visited her Grandmother. Lastly, we visited a young family with three girls, age 5, 2 and 9 months. Our night ended about 9:00 P.M. as we got back to the hotel.
Today was a good day at Church. We are seeing more new faces and are seeing some progress. It is exciting to see. Once again, Renee and I were able to teach primary. We taught 5 year old David and 11 year old Cristina about the Creation. We drew pictures and had a video. It was a lot of fun. Renee gave the prayer in Relief Society and I gave the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting. We are glad to be home but grateful for a faith promoting experience.
To end the blog I have to tell about the funniest thing I have seen in Uruguay. Yesterday we were on the main street in Castillos and there is this old guy getting on his motorcycle with a BYU hoodie. We could not believe it. Elder Stewart ran up to him and asked where he got it. He said he bought it at a street fair and that it was from China. Yeh, right. It was brand new and even had the cougar emblem on it. I would like to know how a $100 sweatshirt got from Provo to Castillos.
We are so excited to be able to go out in the street and meet people and bear our testimony of the restoration. We love being part of this wonderful work. Thank you all for what you do.
We love you.
Gordon and Renee
|This is one of our favorite Milanesa stands in Punta del Diablo|