Sunday, January 29, 2017

Learning from an Apostle

January 29, 2017

The highlight of this week was spending time with Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve.  What a great experience.  Sister Konopnicki and Sister Luker are Sister Training Leaders in Melo.  They needed to come in on Monday for conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday.  That gave us the perfect opportunity to have a little BBQ.  We grilled the burgers on a grill we have and added the jello, potato salad, etc. and we had a party.  It was a lot of fun.  The Sisters are such great examples.

Tuesday we had a special conference.  It started at 2:00 P. M. and included the Zone Leaders and District Leaders of both missions.  It is quite a project to feed 150 missionaries.  Renee and Mary made sloppy joes and fruit for the lunch.  The missionaries ate well and were prepared for the conference.

During the morning, I ran a fan out to the Elders in 18 de Mayo.  In this hot muggy weather a messenger with a fan is very popular.

The conference was held at the Carasco Chapel.  It is a nice chapel but let’s say the air conditioning needs a
little work.  I don’t think I have ever been that hot.  Even with that the conference was extra special.  Elder Stevenson taught us the importance of teaching principals and also teaching the promise.  For example, in the last verse of D&C section 4 it states, “ask and ye shall receive, knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”  What if there was no promise?  It would only be, “ask, knock”.  Quite a bit of difference.  His whole message was one to fill the missionaries full of the Spirit and get them ready to teach.

Tuesday night there was a conference for adults in the other mission.  We took the Temple Missionaries to it.  Again it was very hot but very good.  Elder Stevenson taught how to be missionaries.  He gave several small steps including praying for missionaries by name and praying for people to teach.  All in all a very good day.  So that makes three apostles that have visited our mission in the last twelve months.  We feel pretty special.  It is too bad that all the missionaries could not attend.

Wednesday was Zone Leader Conference.  Renee helped with the cooking and I did some office work and got ready for the rest of the week.  Wednesday also included a worldwide missionary conference from Salt Lake where we were instructed on the things we need to do to be better missionaries.  I am amazed at how good the teachings are.  They are so good to give us what we need.  I am also amazed at how even though things have changed and gotten a lot better than 42 years ago when I was on my first mission, things are still pretty much the same.  In spite of all the advances and changes, the hardest thing to do is find someone to teach.  Then, it is very important that they are taught the Gospel in a simple, powerful way so they can gain a testimony.

Thursday and Friday we spent going up Route 5 to put mosquito nets on beds.  We went to 13 houses and covered a lot of Kilometers.  We got home late on Friday night, tired but grateful to have another leg of the mission complete.  We included quite a few pictures of the missionaries.  Some of them really got into the pose.  There are some great leaders in this group.  My favorite picture is of Elder Avendano.  He really did a great pose.  He is a little older than some of the missionaries and is a great leader.  It is great to spend time with him.

We finished up by milking a few alfajores
On Friday they had a Zone Conference in Durazno so we kind of had to dodge that while we did the nets.  We accomplished it by doing some of the Durazno nets on Thursday night and then early Friday morning.  This gave us a chance to attend Zone Conference.  The Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders presented information from the conferences that they had attended.  They have changed the number of things that need to be reported each week.  There used to be 9 things including lessons, hours, etc.  Now there are only four: 1. new investigators, 2. Investigators in Church, 3. Baptisms and 4.   Confirmations.  Notice how it makes you focus on real important things.  I expect to see some real improvements in the coming weeks and months.  Of course, the zone conference had to include an alfajores milking contest.  I love that part.  On a whim I decided to Google “milking alfajores”.  Guess what?  Our picture comes up. We also get some Elder Rogers and Elder Brumble.  Fools names and fools faces!

So you think we have had a full week?  Well now for the best part.  We had two charlas with our friends, Humberto and Cristina.  Cristina is preparing for baptism on Saturday, February 4th.  Forty-two years ago on February 4th I got on a plane and left Argentina to go home from my first mission.  Kind of a fun coincidence.  Cristina in progressing well.  She is reading the Book of Mormon and bears her testimony of its truthfulness every time we see her.  Last night we had a neat experience.  When we arrived, Cristina was not feeling well.  We said hello to her in bed and then left to talk to Humberto.  The Sisters went into visit for minute and in that quiet setting were able to help her understand several good concepts.  Meanwhile Renee and I read D&C 107 and 121 with Humberto to help him get ready to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  It was the perfect setting.

Humberto and Cristina attended Church today and Humberto was presented to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  It was a great day.  We are scheduled to go over tomorrow night for another charla.  This is a great time.

Saturday we were able to relax after not having a free day for several weeks.  It felt good to do nothing.  We are now rested up and ready for the coming week.  As always we have several things on the list this coming week.

We hope everyone is enjoying the snow and cold.  We are still hot and muggy.  It doesn’t seem as bad as last year and we know that we only have a couple more months until it cools off.  We have received some comments from family, friends and parents lately.  We appreciate your comments.  We really do love serving the missionaries.

We love you all.
Renee and Gordon


  1. We can't believe how busy you two are! The missionaries are sure lucky to have you to count on. :) ~Jaycie Cole

  2. Hi Gordon and Renee-
    I stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago as I was trying to find out more about the Montevideo Uruguay Mission. My daughter Sister Kerri Kessler just arrived there from the Mexico City CCM during the last transfers on Jan. 17. She is serving in Maldonado with Sister Smith from Arizona.
    I served a mission when I was 21 and LOVED the missionary couples that I served with. It's so obvious that you love and serve and care so much for the missionaries in your mission. I'm so glad my girl will have another set of angels looking our for her.
    Thank you!
    Ronda Kessler

  3. We have met your daughter. She has a great companion and is doing a good job. We'll try to include pictures of her when we can.

    We had special interest in you daughter because there is a Kesler family from our hometown in Blackfoot, Idaho. Even though the spelling is a little different we wondered if you might be related.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Thank you for your comment. :)
      We probably are related, my husband's side of the family comes from back east and Indiana. But His grandpa has told us that all Kessler's and Kesler's go back to the same family that migrated here. Some kept the ss and some members dropped it to one s. So somewhere down the family tree we likely hook up. :)
      My parents and 2 of my sisters live in Idaho falls and I went to ricks college so seeing you were from Blackfoot, I felt connected to you right away.
      Thank you for your amazing service and adventures you share each week! And thanks for keeping an eye on my girl. Much love to you both!!


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.