This was “Elder Rasband “ week. He came to the mission on Thursday with Elder Craig C. Christensen and Elder Alan Packer and their wives. But first we had to do a little work. We started off Monday by trading in the mission van. It only had 290,000 kilometers. I was grateful that it lasted as well as it did. The mission provided us with a Nissan Versa. Much smaller but good enough for what we need. We won’t be pulling the trailer anymore and will have to be a little more creative with the moving of missionaries and furniture but it should be good.
One of our first trips with the new car was a trip to “Ciudad Vieja” (Old Town) to renew a contract. It was a fun day and we got some good shots of the Plaza. I love these Plazas. It is kind of interesting that we are sitting in the middle of one of the oldest parts of Montevideo and there is a McDonalds. The ice cream is good there, too. We and the Elders have perfect knowledge of this.
We also got a good look at the Uruguayan Navy as there were about 8 ships anchored by our apartment for a couple of days. It was fun to look at them through the field glasses. I also got a shot of the big moon one night when it was not too cloudy. It looked pretty cool.
The combined mission conference with the other mission was on Thursday. We spent quite a bit of time getting ready as did the area, preparing the building. We were not disappointed. First up were Elder and Sister Packer. Elder Packer is the first counselor in the Area Presidency in Buenos Aires. They gave real good messages to motivate and strengthen our testimonies. Elder Christensen played football at BYU and was real good also. He told about how his father-in-law was one of the first three missionaries to arrive in Uruguay in 1947. He said that the Church went from nothing to about 11 branches when he went home. In about 1966 he returned as the mission president and they created the first stake in Uruguay. This made Sister Christensen’s talk real special. She expressed the love that she had for Uruguay from being here when she was only 10 years old until now. I really enjoyed that part.
That led up to Elder Rasband. It is quite a blessing to hear an Apostle speak to missionaries. His message was very simple, humble and powerful. Our mission calls are inspired. We are here for a special reason. It inspired me and really helped me feel good about our mission. They made a point to shake everyone’s hand. It was really neat. It was impressive to see how powerful he is in the Gospel but yet so humble and grateful.
After the conference we had a mini-conference where we went over some issues like budgeting and keeping the houses clean. Renee and I both spoke. Renee did her talk in Spanish. She is really trying to get better and it is coming slowly. For lunch, I was in charge of ordering 200 subway sandwiches. Ham and cheese if you need to ask. How could it be anything else?
Thursday night there was a special meeting for the Este and Maronas Stake by Elder Rasband. We stopped by Tuesday night to invite our friends Humberto and Cristina to attend. You may recall that Humberto has been a member for 60 years and Cristina is not a member. She makes the best empanadas and really whatever other Uruguayan food you can think of. A few months ago she had a stroke and is on the way to recovery. Cristina was not feeling well Tuesday night, but they both said that they would like to come. And they did! WOW! We had investigators in Church! Nothing can compare to that feeling. They also came to Church today. We are going to visit them tomorrow night. It is exciting!
|When Hermana Vieira arrived she was singing beautifully with a big smile. I walked around the corner and found Snow White. Every time I see her I think of Snow White. She is a beautiful sister in every way.|
Saturday afternoon we took the Capilla Abierta kit to Florida for them to use this week. We had a good visit with Elder and Sister Wall and split a great milanesa sandwich at the plaza. It was a pleasant drive home afterward.
Today in Church we really enjoyed attending with Humberto and Cristina. We are hoping and praying for them to continue to progress. Renee cooked a big roast for Sunday dinner. It was more than we could eat so we invited the Temple missionaries. We had a great time and the food was especially good.
So we had a full busy week, helped the mission progress and had the privilege of hearing an Apostle. All in all it was a pretty good week. We are so grateful for all of you. We love hearing from you. Thanks so much for what you do.
Gordon and Renee