|Butcher shop and Veterinary office next to each other.|
One of the locals said "you better be careful with the "chorizos"
I want to do things a little different this week and share some neat experiences that we have had. First, on Monday night we had family night with the Temple missionaries. Several of them shared their testimonies and they were really good. One I especially liked was from Hermano Reyes. He spoke about how he and his wife joined the church and a couple of years later went inactive. About six years after that, they received a knock at the door and it was the primary president. She wanted to take their daughter to primary. By this time they had three children and he told her it was all or nothing. So she agreed to take all of them even though one was only in nursery. The kids got up early on Sunday and got ready themselves to go because they were so excited. This went along for a while until one Saturday the good sister said she could not take them. Brother and Sister Reyes decided they would take them and leave them at the door. Well, as they arrived there were a few people at the door and they were very friendly and invited them in. After a little coaxing they decided to go to Church. Now after 40 plus years of activity and service as a Bishop, President of the Relief Society, Temple Wedding and a family serving in the Church, the oldest daughter is now the Primary President and this good Sister is the Nursery leader. What a great lesson of faith and service.
Next, on Wednesday night during the testimonies Elder Solano shared a real neat story. He said that one day he and his companion worked all afternoon and evening and were not able to find anyone to teach or talk to even though they tried really hard. That night while he said his prayers he pleaded to know why he wasn’t successful. A feeling came to him that he had done exactly what the Lord wanted that day and that he should feel good about his efforts. This story made me feel real good.
Also during the testimonies Elder Stewart gave a very special Testimony. He has spent the last three months in Castillos where he served as the Branch President. They had the first two baptisms in almost two years while he was there. His hard work has really paid off as several inactive members have started to come back. In his testimony you could feel the love that he has for Castillos and the blessings that he has received through his service. There is no question that the Lord is pleased with his efforts.
|A tree that blew down in Castillos|
Friday, Saturday and Sunday we visited Castillos. We were able to make several good visits on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Some of the people that we visited actually came to Church for the first time in months. But on Saturday afternoon we had a day like Elder Solano where we looked for several people with no luck. It was kind of like Elder Solano’s experience. One of these was named Irma. Her address was “Gonzales Street almost to route 9”. That should be easy to find. At the end of Gonzales we asked someone. They told us to go to a house around the corner. Around the corner we found an old man that reluctantly admitted to being Irma’s dad. He told us she lived on the other end of town and gave us a vague idea of where she lived. I told Renee that if we find her with that address, it would be a miracle. We went to the area where we thought she should live and stopped at the house we guessed would be hers. The lady told us she lived next door. So we went next door and knocked with no luck. As we turned around we decided to ask another guy that was outside. He said that she did live where the last lady said but that she was in the hospital with her son.
So off to the hospital we went. We picked up the Elders on the way in case we needed to give a blessing. At the hospital the nurses told us that no one was there by that name. We decided to show the Elders where she was supposed to live. As we drove to the house, Renee remarked that we just passed a lady that was at the hospital. She was heading in the direction of the house. So we turned the car around and asked her if she knew Irma. She said that was her. We were invited into her house and had a good visit. The Elders have a charla scheduled for next week. Now we know that the blessings come after the trial of our faith.
Today was branch conference in Castillos. There were 24 people in Church. That is a record. This was due to the hard work of Elder Stewart and Castillo. Thank you Elders.
Instead of coming straight home this afternoon from Castillos, we stopped in Maldonado to talk to the Stake President about doing a special Capilla Abierta. The Stake President was very helpful and it was even more fun because we were able to see Elder Rodriguez again. We also were able to meet Elder Bailey and Rios on the way home and go to a Charla with someone that we know. It was real fun visiting with one of our friends. There was a real special spirit of love and friendship. Going to discussions is certainly on the top of our list of wonderful things to do.
It is a priviledge to be able to serve on a mission. We love the chance to teach and to testify. We know more than ever that this is His Gospel and that He lives.
We love you all.
Gordon and Renee