Sunday, January 15, 2017

Big Hat, No Cattle

January 15, 2017

In Blackfoot, this term refers to someone who walks around with a big cowboy hat and shiny boots and thinks they are a cowboy but aren’t. The missionaries don’t have any cows but they are sure hard workers.  We took these pictures as we visited the various zones to install mosquito nets.  I hope you can see the brightness in their eyes as they have the chance to share the Gospel.  It is a tough job, but one that brings joy to their lives.  We did the Las Piedras Zone on Friday.  It was very humid and even tried to rain.  Elder Ward and Cole met us at their house as they were hurrying back from picking up lunch.  As they arrived they were soaked in sweat.  Elder Ward’s face looked like you had just thrown a cup of water on him.  I can’t get that image out of my head as it is such an example of how hard they work.  We hope you like the pictures.  Some mothers will note that if you respond to the blog you child gets in the blog more.  Funny how that works.

We spent Monday and Friday putting nets up and now have most of the zones completed.  We need to find some materials to do the other four zones.  We did the Rocha Zone on the way home from Castillos on Monday.  They have an electrical problem in their house.  I hope it is fixed now.
The biggest project we completed this week was closing the house in La Capuera.  We moved last week but had still not given it back to the owner.  Owners or Duenos can be very particular and often take advantage of us.  This was an unusual house.  Most of the houses come unfurnished including no water heater, stove, fridge, nothing.  Well this one came fully furnished including a TV.  Now if you think that after two years, all of the stuff is still going to be there and in pristine condition, you over estimate life and certainly missionaries.  First, with the humidity, chairs etc. just fall apart.  Second, all of the plates etc. are made of glass.  Guess how many survive a fall to the tile floor?  So we knew we were short on some of the stuff that we would have to pay for.  The big problem was the TV set.  Renee and I kind of remembered that there was one, but we weren’t sure.  The current missionaries certainly couldn’t remember one.  I was not really looking forward to telling the owner, “Oh yea, we lost the TV.”

So, on Monday, as we were putting nets in the Rocha house we mentioned this to Elder Paulson who lived in the house last spring.  He said, “Yea, the TV was there but my companion just sat and watched it for three straight days.  I was going to put my foot through it but instead I gave it to a new member named Elizabeth.”  Well that answers that.  Only problem now is that Elizabeth moved to the neighboring ward and he could not remember her last name.  That put us on the hunt.  We called the current missionaries and after some work found the number for Elizabeth.  We called her up and she was more than willing to help us.  We drove to Piriapolis on the way home from Rocha and picked up the TV.  The only problem we had was that Elizabeth lives on a very busy street with no parking.  We stopped in the middle of traffic and put on the flashers.  As she gave it back she wanted to tell her life story.  The only problem was the twenty cars behind us honking.  So that visit was a little short.  We think the fact that we were able to find the TV and get it back was a miracle.  At least we are calling it that.  We were able to return the keys and settle up with the owner on Wednesday.  That made it a good week.

Dinner at Mary's.  You can't even imagine how good the food was!!!
So much more than friendship!
Thursday night was one of our best in the Mission.  Mary; pronounced “mari” is the mission cook.  Renee has spent many many hours helping her cook for the missionaries, like in December for the Christmas conferences when they served breakfast and lunch for over 100 for two straight days.  Mary is certainly one of the best parts of our mission.  So our invitation to dinner at her house on Thursday night was one we looked forward to.  They have a very neat and tidy home.  I was really impressed.  We arrived at 7:00 P.M. and started out with a relaxing visit on the patio.  So, if you think it is good to eat at the mission meals with Mary as the cook, you need to eat at her home to see her at her very best.  We had Canelones!  Woohoo!  I can’t even describe how good they were.  Included, was salad and some finger sandwiches to get started.  We topped it off with Lemon Pie.  I’m still dreaming about it.  I asked what time dinner was on Friday.  Hey, it was worth a chance.

We cooked six hamburgers and four hotdogs  Look at what's left.
And they still had room for pie.

This coming week is change week so we had Elder Caudle and Montiel over for lunch on Saturday.  They wanted hamburgers and chili dogs.  They each ate two hamburgers and a chili dog besides the potato salad and jello.  Renee is really getting the missionaries hooked on jello, especially the latinos.  Elder Caudle leaves the office next week.  We are going to miss him.  He is quite artistic and has made several drawings for us that we cherish.

I hesitate mentioning this next part because I don’t want you to think that I am making fun of Uruguay.  Anyone that has ever stood in line at customer service at Wal-Mart or any other store at home knows that this kind of stuff happens everywhere.  So with that, I need to buy drugs.  I take an antihistamine for some allergy that makes me itch.  We don’t know what it is but we do know what makes it stop.  I’ve been taking this for over twenty years.  Most of the drugs in Uruguay you can buy without a prescription.  Renee buys her meds anytime and anywhere.  But I need a prescription.  This is real easy to get because of the helpfulness of our mission Doctor, Dr. Bregante.  Due to the humidity, all of the pills come individually wrapped in tinfoil.  I started out last spring with a prescription for 90 pills.   When I went to the pharmacy, the first thing they did was go to the book and look up the drug.  They didn’t know what it was.  Then they told me I couldn’t buy the drugs because they only come in boxes of 20.  So, we changed the prescription to 4 individual ones of 20.  We usually have to go back a couple of times because they do not have them in stock.  One of our favorite episodes was going to buy the drugs and being told the prescription had expired.  We went to another pharmacy around the corner and they sold them to us, no questions asked.  So now we had a good pharmacy. This made us very happy.

Well, the last time, we stopped by our favorite pharmacy; they told us that they had changed ownership and that after looking in the book, that they don’t carry these pills any more.  We went to three other pharmacies and they told us that they don’t make this drug anymore.  This was after looking it up in the “book.”  We finally found one that told us that we had the name wrong on the prescription and that they only come in boxes of 25.  So, Dr. Bregante is going to give me a prescription with every name we can come up with for 100 pills because with boxes of 20 or 25 we are still okay.  This makes life more interesting.  For my family, it makes me wish I had gone to the “Voodoo Doctor” before I came to Uruguay so that I could get rid of the allergy.  But that is a whole other story.

Lastly, we had a charla with Humberto and Cristina on Friday night and have set a baptism date for February 4th.  That’s the day I left Argentina forty-two years ago.  We are excited for her.  We have another charla tomorrow night and hope to keep things moving.

We love you all and appreciate what you do.  Remember why we are here and thank Him for all we have.

Gordon and Renee

This jet was at the airport at Maldonado.  Everyone must have one of these.


  1. We love following your blog. It's nice to see different parts of Uruguay and your commentary is good haha. You are busy missionaries taking care of the elders and sisters, and again, our family appreciates it! Thank you for the pics - they make my day. :)
    Jaycie Cole

  2. I just have to say I'm so thankful they can wear hats down there or Elder Cole would be burnt to a crisp everyday. :)

  3. It's good to hear that Elder Ward's sweat glands are still working overtime! Thank you for keeping the bugs off our missionaries. That is a big job to outfit everyone in the mission. We appreciate your hard work!


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.