Our original plans for this week were to go to Durazno on Tuesday and fix some things for the missionaries. They ended up coming to Montevideo to attend the Temple so that gave us a free day. We took advantage of it by attending the multi-zone conference with the Este, La Costa and Maronas zones. It was really a treat to hear from the assistants and the Mission President as they taught the missionaries. The Mission President spent quite a bit of time on the importance of obtaining the Spirit and following it. I really enjoyed listening and feeling the Spirit.
The Este Zone Leaders were assigned to provide lunch. They asked us to help. We did so by ordering 58 foot long subway sandwiches. We do this quite often. We are good friends with the folks at the Subway Sandwich shop. They treat us real well. Anyway after lunch the missionaries were off to work.
On Wednesday we took off early for Durazno. We made a quick stop in Florida to talk to them about painting the house of the Zone Leaders. After that we stopped and had a good visit with Elder and Sister Wall. We arrived in Durazno just in time to see the tail end of District Meeting. It was fun to spend time with the missionaries.
Our main purpose for going to Durazno was to fix the stove of the Zone Leaders. All of the stoves in Uruguay run off propane tanks. None of the four burners worked. My first question was whether they had checked the gas. It was fun to see the look on the Zone Leaders faces when I asked that question. Apparently they had not. I guess you could also ask why I didn’t ask them this from Montevideo to save the trip. Another good question, but hey, I’m asking the questions.
So we changed the tank and the stove still did not work. I took some time to clean each of the jets that feeds the individual burners. I asked Elder Oroche and Ruiz what the Spanish word for jets is. They responded, “la cosita de la cosa”. Or in other words, “the thingy of the thingy.” That really helped. I thought how much fun that would be to walk into Standard Plumbing and ask Jason for the “cosita de la cosa”. In reality, Jason would probably know what it was and would have one for me. We did get three of the four burners working with instructions on how to fix the other one. We could not buy the parts as it was during the siesta. Shopping for things like that from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm is really quite fruitless if you are in the rural part of Uruguay. Long live the siesta!
We then hurried home to fix dinner for Mary and Javier. Hopefully you remember that Mary is the Mission cook. She is a trained chef, so Renee was pretty nervous that her meal would pass the test. Well, she solved that problem by serving my favorite Idaho dinner, Tinfoil dinners. I think they turned out great as they ate every morsel. I love Tinfoil dinners. I can’t wait until I get home so I can make one over the fire. Renee topped off the meal with apple crisp. You can’t get any better than that. Mary and Javier are such great people. They are about our age. Javier is a returned missionary and has served as a Bishop and about everything else. Mary has too. Renee and Mary are best friends. We will really miss them when we leave.
Thursday we ran out to Los Ceibos to fix another stove. Maintenance on the stoves and other fixtures in the houses is a constant battle. We also stopped at the store to get the paint etc. for our little painting project in Minas on Friday. We had to hurry because we had been invited to a Charla with Elder Cheney and Montiel. We got back just in time. Our first Charla was with Marcela. She is a real neat lady. The missionaries were so prepared with their message. It went very well. After our discussion, Renee and I helped her move some furniture in her house while the missionaries mowed the lawn. Quite the lawn mower, I must say. It is such a privilege to be able to bear testimony.
After that we went with them on another Charla to visit Jorge and his wife. Jorge is a member and his wife is not. Again, the missionaries had a real good message prepared that touched their hearts. I can’t wait to see how they progress. By the way, Jorge owns a pizzeria. Guess we need to make some more visits. I hope my waistline can stand the “service” we have to do.
On Friday we arrived at the Minas house about 9:00 AM and the four Elders were ready. The first thing we discovered was that the paint we bought did not work. So we drove to the paint store and bought some more. It ended up working great. Elder Leano, Bio, Munoz and Cristobal were such good help. It was a pretty big job but we managed to get it done. It is not perfect but the walls are now clean and white and they look so much better. My favorite part was spending time with the missionaries. I was able to visit with them and get to know them better. They come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have families that have been members for generations. Others are the only members in their families. It is so neat to hear about how they decided to come on a mission. We love listening to them.
After the open house we went to dinner with the Bishop of the Plaza Ward and his wife. Bishop Martinez has become a real good friend as he helps us with housing problems when needed. We had a special time talking about our families and the Gospel. Once again, if we lived in Treinte Y Tres I am sure we would be good friends. I am sure I could teach him how to fish.
What a great week of special experiences. Our testimonies and friendships have been strengthened. We continue to love the opportunity to serve. Thanks for all you do.
Gordon and Renee