Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another Change Week

December 11, 2016
What a great bunch of Missionaries!!
We are back to change week.  They seem to come more frequently now.  Monday is the day that we prepare for all of the changes.  This past Monday was different for us as we needed to take the Capilla Abierta equipment to Melo so they could use it on Wednesday.  Melo is 400 kilometers from home.  Round trip it is 500 miles.  The last leg of the trip from Treinte Y Tres and Melo is 100 kilometers and the road is in terrible shape and under construction.  So we are talking at least ten hours of driving on a two lane highway with a lot of trucks, no passing lanes and plenty of crazy motorcycles and cars.   Add to that, the fact that we always take stuff to drop off on the way and it makes for a real big day.  It is all worth it as we get to spend time with the missionaries.  This time we were able to drop off a couple of fans to the sisters, and deliver some other stuff for some houses.

That got us ready for change week.  We always get new missionaries on Tuesdays.  We used to get them from the Argentina MTC only but they have been remodeling so we get them from two or three others as well.  This makes for a long day at the airport.  It is really enjoyable to meet and talk to the new missionaries.  They have a variety of expressions from fear to lonesome to excited.  I drop Renee off at the mission home at about 7:00 A. M. to start cooking.  They really go all out and the food is exceptional.  The mission cook is named Mary.  She is an excellent cook and an even better friend.  Renee and Mary form a great team.  Tuesday afternoon and evening the missionaries are all interviewed by the mission president and then have some training about the mission.  The last two times I have translated for Sister Eddy.  I really enjoy this even though it is above my pay grade.  Sister Eddy is so kind and thoughtful of the missionaries.

Tuesday night we have a real nice dinner and then a “cultural presentation.”   This involves the office missionaries doing “jeopardy” with some of the facts of Uruguay.  They finish off by “milking Alfajores”.  See a previous post for more info on this.   Then we “spank ‘em and put ‘em to bed”.  Wednesday morning the new missionaries head to get health exams while the trainers show up for breakfast and some training.  Now comes the fun part.  As we meet the new missionaries and also the trainers it is fun to see how they are paired up.  As they put them together you can see what a wonderful match they are.  It is very exciting to see them come back in a month or so and see how they have done.

As the new ones head off to their new areas the “Valientes” or valiant ones show up.  They go to the Temple Wednesday afternoon and then have dinner in the evening.  We had big groups of 18 this time so all of the meals were a chore.  The dinners are always excellent; I would say “Little America” quality.  After the dinner is the testimony meeting.  This is a special time for the missionaries to share their thoughts of their missions.  We are invited to attend and really enjoy this part.

We can't forget Elder Childs that  cut himself shaving
It's hard when you do it once a week
Some of the missionaries leave during the night, but most of them take off in the morning.  This gives them time for breakfast.  Then it’s off to the airport.  They are all excited as they get ready to leave.  Now there are two ways to look at change week.  Probably the best way is to say that it is an exciting time to see the new missionaries come in and the faithful ones go home.  But, another way would be to say  that for change week, you get up extra early every morning and go to bed extra late and then say good bye to a lot of real good friends.  That makes it hard and not as much fun as you might like.  I wish I had room to talk about each of the missionaries going home.  We have a personal relationship with each of them.  With several of them we were able to work side by side with them on projects.  It is very satisfying and also very sad to see them go.

So with Change Week over we had Friday and Saturday to rest up, Right?  No, remember we left the Capilla Abierta stuff in Melo so we had to go get it on Friday.  Another all day affair to cover 500 miles.  Again, we were able to drop off boxes of Books of Mormon and other things to the missionaries so it was a good day.

It started at 4:00 P. M. in the Aeroparque Ward.  We had real good support from the missionaries and members.  There was not much foot traffic so it was hard finding people to attend.  But, in spite of that the missionaries found 6 people to come in.  They were very interested.  Some even had tears in their eyes as they toured the various locations.  I call that a huge success.  I hope you can see from the pictures how happy and excited the missionaries are.  They got even more excited as Renee served them Cinnamon Rolls after.

Saturday is our day to rest.  It started with a call from the Zone Leaders in Este, to tell us that the lock on the front door was broken and they could not get out.  We had to call our handy man, Marcelo Fontes, to get them out.  Meanwhile the “flapper” in our toilet broke so I had him come and fix that also.  You might think that I could change that.  But the toilet tanks in Uruguay are inside the wall and hard to get to so I needed an expert.  Enough of the mundane because we also had a Capilla Abierta to go to.

We finished off the week at Church where Cristina, our investigator, came to Church for the second week in a row.  We have a charla with her, Humberto and the Sister Missionaries tomorrow night.  Woo Hooo!  Also, after sharing the “Light the World” info with our neighborhood store clerk last week, we gave her a “Restoration” pamphlet and a Book of Mormon.  She has already read the pamphlet.  We are hoping and praying for big things this month.

We love the work and the opportunity to serve.  I don’t know if you have noticed but there is a lot of service in a Senior Mission.  It is hard but very rewarding.  We love you all and look forward to hearing from you.

Gordon and Renee

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your service. We are so grateful to have found this blog. Our son, Elder Jensen, has been in Uruguay for 21 months and he was just sent to Castillos. I love seeing all the photos of the area where he will finish up his mission service. Thank you again. Brian and Deanna Jensen


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.