Monday, September 5, 2016

Reaping the Harvest

September 4, 2016
Captain America towel with Elders Vallecillos and Johnson
We have had several projects that we have been working on and last week was the time we needed to finish them.  It included moving more furniture up to Florida for the Wall family, moving Elders from a house in Maldonado to San Carlos and completing a contract on a house in 33.  We started Monday by taking some couches up to Florida for the Wall family.  This was a pretty slick trip up Route 5.  We got there in time for the awards ceremony that the missionaries had for their  P-day activity where the competed in the Olympics.  It included tacos for lunch.  They gave me a Captain America towel for being an American.  It is quite the requerdo.  We decided to take Elder Peterson and Lane home to San Ramon on our way home.  It was a little out of the way but not too much trouble.  That is, until we were about 3 miles from San Ramon and found out the bridge was covered with water and had to take a 60 kilometer detour.  We always wanted to go through the pueblo of Tala.  We got home about 6:00 P. M. which was just in time to have dinner with the Sisters.  Sister Sierra Young went home a couple of months ago and returned to visit.  It was good to have dinner with her and the other Sisters.
Having dinner with Sister young and the other Sisters
Tuesday we spent most of the day in the office catching up.  It was good to review the “to do” list and make plans.  Wednesday we were on the road again.  We took off in the morning for Maldonado which is about 150 kilometers up the coast to pick up Elder Lang and Brasil to move them to San Carlos.  They were all ready to go so it really worked out well.  We had the fridge, washer and water heater in the car with the trailer.  When we got to the apartment, the Dueno was there to meet us and sign the papers.  Then we moved in the stuff in the car and went over to the Sisters' apartment to pick up the beds, tables and other stuff.  All in all it was pretty smooth.  What we had accomplished so far should have been a pretty good day.  But no!

On the way home we stopped off at Pan de Azucar and picked up a wardrobe to take over to the Wall family in Florida.  Instead of going up the normal routes we had to cross the country.  These roads are a little sketchy at times.  It wasn’t too eventful as we cut across the country.  We were able to go through Tala again and stop to see Elder Peterson and Lane one more time in San Ramon.  We dropped off the furniture and made it home about 10:00 P. M.

It was good to get a good night’s rest as we were at it again on Thursday to go the 33 to sign a contract.  This was pretty fun as we were able to take Elder Holmes back to 33.  It was fun to visit with him and he got the rare privilege to go with as we dropped a bed off to the Elders in Lescano.  This would normally be uneventful except for the fact that the river was running over the road for about a half mile.  We followed a truck through and could tell that it was only about six inches deep and there was not much current.  Please forgive us Brother and Sister Holmes.  We are not trying to drown your son.  I was really happy when we got back across the flooded road.  The contract signing went without hitch and we were on the road in pretty good time.

We still had the Oro Conference on Friday.  We call the new missionaries Oros which means gold.  They have a conference for them about a month after they come to the mission to give them a few pointers and see how they are doing.  Based on how much they ate, I would say they are doing well.  We fixed a lot of food and they ate everything.  You can tell by the pictures that they are doing well.  They all had bright eyes and happy smiles.  I was able to talk to most of them and could tell that they are excited to be here.  It also looked like they get along well with their companions.  I have received a few letters from parents and tried to get a picture of them in the blog.  It is exciting to see them grow from newbies into leaders.  I can’t wait to see their progress.

After the conference we were dead tired but still needed to do the utility bills for the first of the month.  We went to the office and completed this by about 7:00 P. M.  From there we went to bed.  What a big week.  It made me tired again just telling about it.

Now for P-day.  We had probably the most interesting P-day of our mission on Saturday.  On Wednesday I received a call that one of our friends from Blackfoot, Paul Thompson, was at the Temple.  What a surprise!  Paul operates a real good potato farm in Blackfoot.  I have worked with him and his five other brothers for about 27 years.  It was good to see him.  He was here with his son, Kyle who is an opthomalogist.   Kyle had been invited to come to Uruguay on a Humanitarian mission for the Church to help with some medical procedures.  They arrived on Tuesday and spent the week in Montevideo attending conferences, doing operations and other medical stuff.  They were accompanied by Elder and Sister Huling from the area office in Buenos Aires.  Come to find out, the Hulings are from Virginia and were in the same Spanish Branch as my old missionary companion and his wife, Nick and Patria Mazanis.  Small world.  We faced timed Nick and Patria and showed them our guests.

They had been able to do most of the tourist sites during the week so we took them on a tour of “missionary Montevideo”.  This started with going to Pronto Pollo to buy milanesa rellenos.  This is a chicken cordon bleu sandwich on a bed of French fries.  This is great missionary food and has absolutely nothing to do with eating healthy.  I really enjoyed mine and based on the fact that not one bit of food was left, I think they did too.  After that we took them to a local panaderia to purchase alfajores and other stuff that is not good for you.  About this time we may have been having a little trouble with blood sugar, but hey, we had a doctor with us.

From there we drove them down to the “Montevideo” sign on the beach.  I think that it states in the Doctrine and Covenants somewhere that you have to have your picture taken at the sign or you can’t go home.  From there we did a little shopping and ended up at an ice cream shop.  A pretty good day!  Paul and Kyle didn’t fly out until 1:30 A. M. Ugh! So they all came over to our house to visit until it was time to go.  It was so good to see them and talk about how things are in the farming community.  Good friends, and they even took a few alfajores home for the family.

A little bit about Kyle’s visit to Uruguay.  Kyle was invited by the LDS Church to come to Uruguay on a Humanitarian Mission to help with health care and specifically retinal eye surgeries.  He was involved all week in seminars, conferences and actual operations.  Also, the Church has donated equipment to the hospital where he went to help Uruguay.  The medical community is very appreciative of not only the equipment but the hands on help from Kyle.  He has had several real good experiences with the medical staff and was able to give out a Book of Mormon to one of the doctors and discuss our beliefs.  I was very excited to hear about his experiences.  There are a lot of ways to share the Gospel.  Some do it by knocking on doors, others do it by fixing faucets and doorknobs and others do eye operations.  Somehow we need to give everyone the chance.

Thanks for the great support from home.  We love all of you.  We are too busy to be homesick but at this time of year we do think about the fair, fall hunts and other good family times.

Love Gordon and Renee


  1. The alfajores arrived! We all loved them. Thanks a bunch!

  2. The alfajores were a hit. Except for #3, he wasn't a fan, but I took one for the team and ate his. 😋

  3. Thank you for the picture of Elder Ward in there!

  4. Thank you for the photo with Elder Holmes....Just love reading about your experiences and all that is going on in the Mission. Thanks for taking care of our missionary : )

  5. that is nuts how deep the water was!


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.