Sunday, January 8, 2017

Journey of the Mosquitoes

January 8, 2017

I’m the first to say that the titles are getting a little stale.  But, I have written over 50 of these and I can’t seem to remember any good ‘60s rock and roll right now. Monday started with us doing the drive to the Maldonado Zone to put mosquito nets on all of the beds.  This was an all day affair.  I need to say a little bit about missionary schedules.  Mondays are preparation days or P-days.  They use this to clean the apartment (like that ever happens) do wash, write home and relax.  They are on the street by 6:00 P. M.  Tuesdays are usually district meetings and Friday is planning so they stay in their apartments in the morning to plan the week ahead.  So if we don’t want to interrupt their missionary work, we need to go on Monday or Friday.  Monday can be good unless they are on the move as they were this past week.  We ended up running in several directions to pick them up and take them to their house.  We also purchased a new bed for Elder Fonseca in San Carlos.  These are great days as we spend it with missionaries and they share the great experiences that they have had with us.  They are so strong.

Elder Caudle's uncle just moved into our Stake in
Blackfoot.  We hope he likes this picture!
Tuesday we found out that Elder Caudle’s Uncle Timmy just moved into the Wapello 2nd Ward so we took a picture and sent it to our son-in-law, Trent, who is the high councilor in that ward.  I hope he gets a chance to show it to Timmy.

Tuesday was also “Big Rainstorm Day”.  It rained and blew really hard.  There were a lot of trees limbs on the ground.  Limbs were broken that were more than a foot in diameter.  It was a real “frog strangler”.  They still didn’t have it cleaned up when we left on Friday.

Tuesday we spent the day doing office work.  On Wednesday we got ready to move the Elders in La Capuera by signing contracts and buying furniture and furnishings. This included going to old town Montevideo to by a table and chairs.  It is always fun to go to old town.  Thursday we got an early start for La Capuera with the Office Secretaries driving the mission van with a trailer full of furniture.  We met Elder Escobar and Orellana in La Capuera with the four Sisters from Pan de Azucar. I have to say that the simple lunch we had which included ham and cheese sandwiches, black bean salsa and chips and lemon bars was the best part of the day.  Getting the stuff moved was quite simple.  The problem we had is that the old apartment was fully furnished and we had to inventory the stuff and clean all of it up.  We also needed to get ready to meet with the owner to settle up.  This took most of the day and a couple of trips to Maldonado to purchase stuff but we finally got it done.  It is very stressful to try to plan all the things we need to do to get a move accomplished.

We had a real bonus after the move.   A couple of the sisters had planned to visit someone that they have been teaching but had lost contact for a couple of weeks.  They were very concerned.  The people live quite a ways away and so we drove them to the appointment.  As we got closer we could feel the anxiety of the Sisters.  They were very concerned that they were prepared to help this family.  They asked us to stop and say a pray to help them.  The prayer was simple but very strong.  As they left the car you could feel the strength in their desire to teach the Gospel to this wonderful family.  All the way home we prayed for them and hoped for the best.  We sent a text asking how it went.  They replied that it had gone very well.  I could say this about most of the missionaries but for these two in particular, if I had a family member or friend that needed the Gospel I would hope the Lord would send them.
Oro Conference Lunch
Friday was Oro Conference when the new missionaries that have been out for about a month come back in for training with their companions.  It is real neat to see their growth and see how they have become companionships.  It will be even better to see them in about six months when they are training.  With that in mind I wanted to say something about the trainers.  I remember when they were new and looking around all wide eyed and now they are leaders.  I love rubbing shoulders with them and hearing the stories that they have in the street.  In a few months we will be welcoming them as zone leaders.  What a great time we have.

The Chuy Elders are always glad to see us!
Saturday morning we took off for Castillos.  As part of our trip we went all the way to Chuy to do Mosquito nets.  Chuy is one of the most remote places in the mission.  So, when someone comes to see them, they are excited.   This time was no exception.  They made a cake and had cold drinks for us.  I think I could install the nets in about ten minutes but we are not leaving a party like that.  There are three Latinos and one North American Elder in the group.  I was so impressed at how much they love each other and feel united.  They have some real good stories of people that are listening to the discussions and preparing for Baptism.  We talked a little bit about how important it is to be prepared when we go out so that we can teach the ones that the Lord has prepared.  Again, four great soldiers in the “Army”.

Lunch with Narda and the Branch President
Our Castillos visit included lunch with Hermana Narda as always.  Milanesas and salad really hit the spot.  What a blessing to have her support.  Elder Jensen and Castillo are working hard.  They had four investigators in Church today.  They participated in the meetings and seemed to enjoy it.  Renee and I gave our presentation on the Capilla Abierta as we are going to do one in a couple of weeks.  The members were excited and the ones that weren’t members were too as they can invite their friends to see what they are learning.  I am excited to come back in a couple of weeks to see some successes.

As we got ready to go see people in Castillos, we prayed that the Lord would direct us to visit the ones that needed to be visited.  We certainly felt that he did.  We had several good visits where the Spirit of the Lord was strong and our testimonies were strengthened.  Sometimes we struggle to see where we have sown in the Lord’s work but we need to remember that our job is to do it and let the Lord judge the results.

A couple of “fun” things happened this weekend.  First, this is probably the busiest holiday weekend of the year so we had trouble finding a place to stay.  We ended up finding a place on the internet called Posada Luna in Rocha.  We drove by on the way up to check it out and it didn’t even have a sign.  It was only a couple of blocks from where the Elders live so we asked them to stop by.  They did and there was some confusion about our reservation.  It ended up being okay and the room was good.  So how do you like the stairs?  They were really quite fun, only a little scary for two old people with bags.  We made it up and down okay and had a good stay.

A few weeks ago we were invited to come to La Paloma to visit our Mission Doctor, Doctor Bregante, at their vacation home in La Paloma.  As we were planning to put mosquito nets in Rocha tomorrow, this made it perfect.  It was a little tricky making the schedules mess but they were very accommodating.  No they were more than very accommodating as the changed their schedule and then fed us the most delicious meal you could imagine.  Doctor Bregante’s husband, Alejandro, cooked rib eye steaks on the grill and we had salad and great dessert made from “Maracuya”.  It was so good.  Alejandro did such a wonderful job on the steaks.  He started a fire with pine cones.  Then he cut the fat off the steaks and used it to grease the cast iron grill.  Then he seared the steaks the way we liked them.  As he was preparing the meat I thought, “You may be doing a little too much meat there pardner.”  But I ate about twice what I usually do because it was so good.

That’s one thing we can learn from the Uruguayos and Argentinos.  In the states we eat a steak along with several kinds of salads and vegetables.  Here, they eat steak and then eat a little more.  It is so good.  They also had this salsa called “mojito” that was especially good.  So I am writing this in a very full and contented state.

Lighthouse in the fog
We love the countryside.  We love the customs.  And we love the food.  But, most of all, we love the people.  They are so wonderful.  We have made so many lifelong friends.  I believe that we knew some of them before we even came to this earth.  They are so special to us.  So much for a week when we didn’t have much to talk about.  We love you all.

Gordon and Renee


  1. Love the stairs, I think you should remodel some of your stairs back home to look just like that.😬 Love the photos of Uruguay, it looks amazing!

  2. We really appreciate the examples you set and love reading your blog. We love you and pray for you often.

  3. Thanks for your pictures and stories of Elder Jensen. We get so little details from his letters :-)

  4. You thought I forgot about you guys�� Haha I'm so happy to read about all your adventures, and I seriously miss you two a ton. The real world is nice... I guess.. if your into that kinda thing.... But honestly I can't wait to be a missionary again and do what you two are doing!! First things first gotta choose my companion;) lol
    Keep up the good work! MILK SOME ALFAJORES FOR ME!!!����!

  5. I'm so glad to see your blog and a picture of Elder Newman from his time in Chuy. He loved it there and he truly loved the missionaries he lived and served with there.


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.