Sunday, October 9, 2016

Things Are Cooking Now

October 9, 2016

It’s always nice to have a secret weapon.  Our secret weapon is Renee’s cooking.  We have used it to our advantage several times.  Last Monday we scheduled inspections in one of the zones.  We had heard that one of the houses was a real mess.  No actually we had pictures emailed to us to show us it was a real mess.  We called the zone leaders to let them know we were coming.  We were so grateful that all of the houses were for the most part clean and tidy.  For this the missionaries were rewarded with cookies.  This week, Renee made peanut butter bars with chocolate topping.  I am not as big a fan of peanut butter as some others, but they were real good.  Also, the Latinos are not real familiar with peanut butter so sometimes they don’t look too enthused to eat them.  But after Renee gave them to one of the Latino sisters I asked if she liked it.  She gushed, “It’s the best thing I have ever eaten!”  What made it more special to us is the fact that this sister probably needed a little pick me up, so we kinda killed two birds with one stone.

Tuesday and Wednesday we spent time in the office getting the utilities paid and helping with some of the filing.  One of the desserts that we really like is called pasta flora.  Renee describes it as more of less sugar cookie dough covered with dulce de leche and then criss crossed with more cookie dough.  It was good but not quite what the Uruguayos make.  No problem, we took it to the office and the missionaries gobbled it up.  They appeared not to notice that it was different.  What makes that even better is that Renee will have to make another one.  The job that I have with the office elders to be taste testers.  It is really a pretty good gig.

I don’t remember if I have mentioned that there is a major mold problem Uruguay.  With the humidity and the colder winters it really sets in. We have harped about it a lot and are working to get some of the homes cleaned up.  One that is particularly bad is the sister apartment in San Jose de Carasco.  It is right on the coast and doesn’t have good ventilation.  The walls and ceilings were black from several years of neglect.  Even though it is every missionary’s responsibility we didn’t think that the four sisters that are there right now should have to clean up years of neglect.

So we volunteered to help them cleaned it up on Thursday.  Wednesday night we got a call about 9:00 P. M. from one of the sisters that we know real well.  She asked, “Are you still coming tomorrow?”  I told her we were.  She then said, “You know we don’t have any lunch planned for tomorrow.”  I said, “Are you begging?”  She sheepishly said yes.  I handed the phone to Renee and the wheels started to turn.  They requested an American meal.  Before Renee was through she had whipped up a meal consisting of hamburgers in mushroom gravy with boiled potatoes, mixed vegetables and homemade rolls.  Dessert was lemon pie.  The sisters seemed to eat it just fine.  I included a before and after picture to show you the change in the mold on the walls.  To finish this off we need to paint the apartment with some better paint and then they can keep it up better.

The Sisters running late for the Capilla Abierta

Friday we did more office stuff and got ready for the Capilla Abierta in La Paz.  This is a real strong ward in the Norte Stake.  We had high hopes and were not disappointed.  There were nine investigators that came with a willing heart.  The missionaries did a great job explaining the principals of the Gospel to them.  Elder Guanuna and Manzanares were responsible for dressing in white and explaining Baptism and Receiving the Holy Ghost in front of the font.  They are both gringos.  Elder Guanuna has three and a half months in Uruguay and Elder Manzaneres has three weeks.  They worked real hard to put together a strong presentation and it was a great success.  It is so wonderful to spend time with the missionaries and take advantage of their testimonies.  I really like the group photo in front of Christ.  What a great group.

Today we had another presentation to do a Capilla Abierta in Belloni.  Renee is getting more comfortable with her part of the presentation and we both could feel the Spirit.  Renee has a few slides that shows our family and tells a little bit about us.  I then take over with some slides that explain the Capilla Abierta and everyone’s role.  I had a real hard time today after Renee got through.  I started out by saying that there are three reasons we are here.  First Dulce de Leche and explain that this means we love to learn and take part in all of the customs of Uruguay.  Second, because we want to serve and third because we want to bear testimony.  Today, after seeing all of the pictures of our family I also stated that it is very difficult to leave a wonderful family like ours and that we could only do it because we have a testimony of the truth.

 And that pretty much sums it up.  We are both happy and busy but also missing our home, family and friends.  It is a little harder this time of year as the hunts are starting tomorrow and I really miss doing this with my family.  We do appreciate all of the support from our family.  We face time one of our daughters every Sunday.  What started out as a 20 minute visit has now stretched into more than an hour.  The only way we could do this mission is because we do have a great love for our Savior and want to serve him.  Actually, I have probably shot my share of deer and pheasants and caught my share of fish.  That being said I wouldn’t mind going with my family and share those great experiences a little more. But that time will come again.

We love you all.
Gordon and Renee


  1. Moms cooking was always her secret weapon.

  2. Hi there! I was just introduced to your blog by another Uruguay missionary mom and have SO enjoyed reading it today. Thanks so much for the terrific posts and great pictures. Elder Manzanares belongs to me :) He only had 3 weeks on the mission when you had the Capilla Abierta in La Paz and now he has been out for over 6 months! He loves it there and especially enjoys getting to work with such awesome missionaries including you and Sister Wankier. Thanks so much for your service! - Wendy Manzanares


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.