Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Magnificent Seven

August 7, 2016

We could have called this “Cheaper by the Two Dozen” but I kinda like this title.  This week was change week.  It was a probably one of the hardest weeks we have had because of the schedule.  Monday we ended up running missionaries to and from Doctor appointments.  This got pretty tiring.  The changes started Tuesday morning at 12:35 A.M. when eleven missionaries arrived from the Mexico MTC.  They were all from the USA and looked like a real good group even though it was the middle of the night. I have often said that the Holy Ghost is not awake at that time of the night but they did seem in good spirits.  We took them back to the Hostel and put them to bed.  Renee stayed home so she could get some rest as she was going to be cooking all day.   I got to bed at 2:30 A.M. and then up at 7:30 A. M. to take Renee over to the mission home to cook.  I also did another missionary doctor visit before the 11:45 A. M. flight from Argentina with the other 12 missionaries.

Missionaries from Argentine MTC
 They were supposed to touch down at 11:45 A.M. and come through the gate at about 12:15 P.M.  Well about 11:25 A.M. they came waltzing through the gate.  I was the only one there.  I grouped them up and waited for the President and the Assistants.  This is another strong group with missionaries from several different countries in South America and even two from Spain.  We finally got our little band of 24 new missionaries together, got them fed and into their training.

Renee helped to prepare six large meals for the missionaries.  It is a big job.  She loves it and does a really good job.   I took several pictures from the first meal.  I think there are a few of their mothers that may be following the blog so the pictures are for you.  By the way, comments to the blog mean more treats for your children.  This is a large group.  I am very impressed with them.  I can see most of them as leaders in the mission.  On Tuesday night they had a little cultural presentation that is really just a fun game about things in Uruguay.  At the end each team had to send up a spokesman.  As I looked at the two young missionaries, I thought that some day they will be companions as zoned leaders.  That’s good because most of the zone leaders go home in the next couple of changes.  Oh yeh, Tuesday ended with another trip to take missionaries home from the Doctor.  We pretty much had our share of the doctor visits.

We got home about 9:00 P.M. which was good because we had to be at the mission home at 7:30 A.M. the next morning.  Wednesday morning starts with feeding breakfast to all of the trainers at 8:30 A.M. while the new missionaries go to the medical exam for their documents.  The new missionaries arrive from the doctor are fed and paired up with their companions and sent to their areas.  This is just in time for the missionaries that are going home to arrive at the mission home.  This is a great group.

Last picture at the Mission Home
There were 13 going home.  We have come to know all of them really well and can tell some pretty good faith building stories about them.  For example, Elder Delgado served in Castillos and helped a lot in finding people to invite to Church.  Elder Martinez finished his mission as assistant and helped us and the new mission president get going.  I decided to focus on 7 of them for a few reasons.  First, it makes a good title for the blog.  Second, all of them were Zone leaders when we arrived and played a very important part in our first seven months in the mission.  And third, I was able to spend some time with them Wednesday afternoon and they really built up my spirits.  I came into the Chapel at the Church next to the Temple.  They were waiting for the time to go to the Temple session. Instead of goofing off, they were singing hymns.  I was able to hear them sing several. They started out with “Each Life That Touches Ours For Good”.  That’s a good way to start if you want to have tears in your eyes.  They also sang “High On a Mountain Top” and “If You Listen With Your Heart”.  I could not sing because I have this little problem with tear flow under these circumstances.

Magnificent Seven Singing
I want to say a little bit about each one of these Elders.  Elder Rollins was one of our cheerleaders.  He served in several zones and always supported us and helped us.  Elder Worwood was probably the most grateful of all of your missionaries.  He always thanked us and supported us.  Elder Carroll spent his last three changes in Rio Bronco where he helped increase branch attendance from 20 to over 40.  He also had several baptisms. Elder Olivier and Bauer were zone leaders in Rocha when we had to close a difficult house.  What wonderful support they were.  Elder Cannon served as assistant and was really a strong help to us.  Probably one of our closest missionaries was Elder Brumble.  He was part of the legendary companionship of Elder Brumble and Elder Vallecillos know as Brumblecillos.  What a great leader!  One time Brumblecillos boarded a bus and asked the bus driver if they could give a message.  The bus driver lowered the music and Elder Brumble taught the truth about Christ while Elder Vallecillos passed out pamphlets.  Another time, he stopped several cars on a main road and passed out invitations to a chapel open house.  What great missionaries!  We already miss them a lot!  We better see them when we get home or there is going to be trouble.  Also, if they comment on this blog, they can win two free nights at the Wankier fun ranch when we get home.

Wednesday night we helped with the dinner for the missionaries going home.  Sister Eddy insisted that we come in for the meal and also attend the final testimony meeting.  What a wonderful Spirit.  It is so good to see these great leaders as they receive “Well done thou good and faithful servant” from the mission president.  I am sure they have also felt this from the Spirit of the Lord.

 We finished the change by saying goodbye to them at the airport.  There is a very unusual part of this change.  President Eddy’s daughter Jessica left with the missionaries so she can go to BYU.  As she was giving her mother a hug before she left, President Eddy came up and grabbed them both, lifted them off the ground and gave them a big hug.  What a great blessing to see this wonderful expression of love.  It is not too hard to tell which one is Jessica in the last picture.

Guess which one is Jessica
So to rest up on Friday we drove about 3 hours to Colonia to help the Crocketts move to Montevideo.  They have our job in the other mission and asked to help.  This gave us a chance to go into the other mission and see what it was like.  From Colonia you can see Argentina.  It rained all the time we were there so we did not get a chance to see it.  We hope to get another chance to go over and see it.

What a faith promoting week.  We started out with a very large group of new missionaries that are young and willing to learn.  We finished off the week by sending the finished product home.  You just can’t describe the growth that these young people see in the time they are in  the mission field.  Their faith is strengthened, they learn leadership and more importantly the come to know for sure that Jesus Christ is our Savior and died for all of us.  Each day in the mission field we come to know more surely that we have living Prophet on the earth.  The truths of the Book of Mormon are life changing.  The teachings are timeless.

Once again, we are grateful for all of you and especially grateful that we can be part of this wonder work.  We love you.
Gordon and Renee.


  1. It is so much fun to read your Missionary Blog! Thank you for all you do and thank you for loving our Elder Holmes. Tell Elder Holmes his mom says Hi : )

  2. We are so excited to find your blog! Our son is one of your new missionaries. Thank you for helping them.
    Love, Elder Mecham's family in Utah

  3. If I comment, can I come to the Wankier fun ranch too?

  4. I want to come to the fun ranch too!

  5. Our family loves reading your blog and we really loved seeing a picture of our Elder Ford! Thank you for taking such great care of our missionaries!!! Love, Elder Ford's family in Utah.

  6. I want tickets to the fun ranch, can we get 6?


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.