Sunday, December 4, 2016

Light the World

December 4, 2016

So, we finally got to the blog this week after the First Presidency Devotion.  Just so happens that it is 11:15 P. M. here in Uruguay so we are going to try to keep it short.  We started out Monday with a full day working at the office and inspecting houses in the La Costa Zone.  We were impressed how clean the houses were.  We really appreciate their efforts.  Monday night we went to dinner with the Temple Missionaries as Elder and Sister Ness go home this week.  They came to Uruguay two years ago not knowing any Spanish and have served faithfully in the Temple.  Their conversion story and faithfulness is a real strength to us.  We are going to miss them.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were spent doing office stuff.  We are keeping really busy.  Thursday afternoon we participated in the service project for the “Light the World” initiative that the Church is having for Christmas.  You can see more about it on  It is essentially 25 things you can do over 25 days to be examples of what the Savior did and taught.  Our project was to pick up trash along the roadway in the Elders area.  We pickup up over 10 large bags of trash and made it look a little better.  You may notice that I am not in any of the pictures.  This is kind of a dangerous area.  It is probably not a good idea to take anything valuable into this area let alone an i-pad.  So I was pretty protective of it.  Also, notice that Elder Nielsen doesn’t have a shirt.  He is a big guy and it turns out that they don’t make shirts in Uruguay in “three man tent” size.  He is a good sport and fun to be around.
I think I'm allergic to something in Uruguay

One interesting part of the project.  As we were picking things up Elder Montiel commented that I have a real good wife.  He said he can tell because I am nice and fat.  WHAT?  Are you telling me that the t-shirt makes me look fat?  Maybe it is all the alfajores and dulce de leche.  I guess that means I am on a diet.

Friday, we had to go to La Capuera to look for a new house for the Elders.  Renee made some cookies for them.  As they jumped in the car, Renee invited them to have a cookie.  As they looked at the full tub of cookies they asked, “How many of these should we leave for you guys?”  Well we did get a few but not many.  We know Elder Oroche and Escobar real well.  It was fun to spend the day with them.  On the way home we stopped in Piriapolis on the coast for lunch.  It was a pretty day and we had a good lunch.  Piriapolis is a big tourist draw and fun to visit.

Then we started with the Capilla Abiertas.  We did one Saturday evening in Libia.  The Libia Chapel is in quite a secluded spot so there was not much traffic.  In spite of that, the missionaries were able to go out into the street and invite some real special people to come in to listen to the message.  There are about a dozen people that they can go back and teach.  I was so impressed by their efforts.
Saturday at Noon we fed the missionaries that are leaving the office.  Elder Ford is completing his mission as an assistant and Elder Nielsen is finishing his term as a secretary.  He is also going home a little early as he has fought a bad knee for several months and needs to go home and get it fixed.  We will really miss these two missionaries.  They are great examples and make our mission so much better.  Their replacements had not yet arrived so we will have to talk about them in other blogs.

Sunday was another Capilla Abierta in Salinas.  I love the pictures we took with the timer on the i-pad.  It shows how hard it is to get a good picture.  It also shows how fun the missionaries are.  We really had fun with these missionaries.  It is especially fun to see them have fun with the pictures they took themselves.  Once again it was pretty quiet on the street and the missionaries went out into the street and found several real good people to talk to.  As we shared the “Light the World” message you could feel the Spirit.

Now for the good stuff.  We have some friends that are a part member family.  We have visited them quite a bit and the wife told us today that she wants to get baptized.  That is great news.  We will follow up and hope to provide a real good story in the coming weeks.

Also, as part of the “Light the World” initiative, we have been passing out cards where we shop and others that we have met.  The reception has been real good.  It has given us a chance to share messages of the Savior.  We gave a card to one of the ladies that works in the corner store by us and she was happy to receive it.  The next time we talked to her she commented on how much she enjoyed the video.  She said, “You are Mormons aren’t you?”  I told her yes and explained that we are called Mormons because of the Book of Mormon.  As we explained a little more about it she asked if she could buy a copy.  We were excited to tell her that we knew where she could get a real good deal on one.  Today we stopped by and gave her a Book of Mormon and the Restoration pamphlet.  She seemed excited to get them.  We are looking forward to seeing her this week and see if she read it.
This missionary stuff is really quite fun.  We are looking forward to sharing the cards with others and hope that we can have some other good experiences.  We love the work and the chance to be part of sharing the Gospel in this part of the world.  We are so grateful for the Christmas season and hope all of you have enjoying the time with your family.  We love all of you and appreciate the support you give us.

We love you all.
Gordon and Renee


  1. My son, Elder Cole told us about your blog in his email this week. It has been a fun blog to read; and it's been fun to see parts of the country that he will be serving in. Please give him a hug or high-five, whatever is appropriate, for me if you come across him again. Thank you for taking such good care of those missionaries - it means so much to this worrying mother. Take care, Jaycie Cole

  2. Thanks for the kind words. Your son is in good hands with Elder Ward. Actually, Elder Ward lives in my daughter's ward and his mother teaches piano to my granddaughters. Small world. Thanks for sending your son. We'll take good care of him.

  3. You two are hard workers! What a great blessing to serve with all these amazing missionaries and what a blessing it is for them to have you!


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.