Sunday, January 22, 2017

Changes in Lego Land

January 22, 2017
Because sooner or later, everyone needs to have a "beer crate lego man" on their blog
Elder Richmond getting read for driving test
This was on the beach in La Paloma.  When you have a bunch of kids and grandkids that love legos like ours, you have to put this in.  Also, the second picture was taken by Sister Eddy as we took Elder Richmond for his “test drive”.  As a veteran Southern California driver, he passed with flying colors.

All ready to go
The main part of this week was changes.  We only had 10 come in a 7 go home so it was not too much work compared to the groups of 20.  We sent home mostly sisters.  When we got here a year ago, these sisters were just starting to lead.  We have had several great experiences with each of these missionaries.  They really excelled in “Capilla Abiertas”.  They all worked so hard to find good people and then teach them the Gospel.  We will miss all of them.

Elder Montiel balancing the books
My change week was a little different than the others have been.  On Tuesday we welcomed the new missionaries to Uruguay like normal.  On Wednesday instead of helping the new missionaries get out to their areas and prepare for the evening meal with the “Valientes”, I had another assignment.  It started at 7:30 A.M. when I dropped Renee off to cook.  I then took off to pick up Sister Antipani and Elder Ontiveros who were out on the coast.  I brought them back to the mission home, dropped them off, changed from the Nissan Versa to the mission van and trailer and then was in the bus station at Tres Cruzes by 9:00 A.M. in time to pick up the other Valientes.  I had them back at the mission home in plenty of time to be ready for their first meeting at 10:00 A.M.

From there I traded back to the Nissan and headed back to Tres Cruzes to pick up a part time missionary to take him to Maldonado.  You might ask why I didn’t just pick him up the first time.  Good question.  I know why, I just can’t explain it.  By the way the Tres Cruzes trip is anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes each way depending on traffic.  I love this trip!  Yeh, like I liked my colonoscopy.  You would think that things would start to settle down.  No they were just getting going.

Elder Ramos had an appendectomy on Saturday and was being transferred to Castillos.  The assistants asked me if I would take him.  Elder Ramos is a great young missionary but after surgery, not in real good shape to go on a four hour bus ride.  So I loaded up the part time missionary and Elder Ramos and headed up the coast.  I took a little detour from the normal route to Castillos and dropped the part time missionary, Luciano, off at his home in Maldonado.  It was fun to see his non-member mother welcome him home after two weeks.  She was so excited and so was he.  I am sure that there was a little missionary work done in their home while he was away.

Elder Ramos and I stopped at a local roadside establishment and had a “milanesa completo” for lunch. This is a milanesa with ham, cheese and a fried egg on top.  It was delicious.  We stopped in Rocha to pick up Elder Ramos’ companion, Elder Jensen, and then off to Castillos.  So Elder Ramos is doing quite well after surgery but he still has a hard time moving, especially stairs.  When he saw the tall, steep stairs that lead to his bedroom in Castillos, his heart sunk.  He tried to go up the stairs but his desire was more than his ability.  They spent the first two nights with their mattresses on the floor downstairs.

The three hour drive got me back to the mission home by six, which was in plenty of time for the dinner at seven.  We had a wonderful evening with the missionaries.  Thursday is flight day.  The flights went off as scheduled except for two late entries.  Elder Hayden spent about an hour on the phone with missionary travel in Salt Lake to get things straightened out.  In the end everyone got on the plane and safely home.  We are really starting to miss the missionaries going home.  They become such a big part of our lives and we worry that we will not seen them again, especially the Latinos.

Friday we had some training in the mission office and then headed to Castillos for the weekend.   Good thing I know the way.  We had a Capilla Abierta scheduled for Saturday night so we spent the rest of Friday and Saturday getting ready for it.  When we pray each morning as we leave the apartment we pray to be lead to those who need help and that we will be able to say things to help them.  This was certainly true with our visits this weekend.

Sister Oreales, helped set up the Relief Society and Primary displays and all the missionaries from the Rocha Zone showed up to invite people to the open house.  We did not have as many come as some other times, but the missionaries worked hard.  They invited hundreds to “come and see”.  We enjoyed our time in Castillos and have grown to love the people.  We are working to see the success that is going to come.

We are in the middle of the tourist season so it is a challenge to get a room.  We ended up staying at “Cabo Santa Maria” which is the high class casino in La Paloma.  We expected first class accommodations.  Well not quite.

First, there was no air conditioning, second we had to leave the window open to get some air and it opened to the main street in La Paloma.  They were making noise until about 2:00 A.M. each night.  My favorite was the kid screaming bloody murder for about ten minutes.  I guess I won’t mention the dirty floor, the shower that sprayed in every direction or the lock that did not work.  We did okay but our review with might not be all roses.  We have stayed in a few less than desirable places and have lived through it.  I guess our expectations are a little high as we have been so pleased with the Proa Sur hotel.  Whenever we stay in a place like this I think of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid going to Bolivia.  It’s about the same.

We ended the week by dropping off something to Elder Johansen in Piriapolis on the way home from Castillos.  I do need a little shot of “Johansen” once in awhile to keep me going.  The love and enthusiasm that surrounds us is amazing.  We are very tired but very grateful to be part of this great effort.  We know it’s true.  We do it because we love Him and want others to feel the joy that we feel.

What better way to end the blog and week than Elder Johansen and Elder Guindo!
We love you all
Gordon and Renee


  1. My wife and I can't thank you enough for all of your posts. We love reading every last word and seeing all of the photos.

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  3. Yea! There is my son, second from the left in the Rocha zone picture! So fun to see all of these amazing pictures!


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.