Sunday, March 19, 2017

Kind of Like Missionaries

March 19, 2017

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.

I am real tired just telling you about our week.  But, we still had the weekend.  We took a little time Saturday morning to clean the house and then were off to Treinte y Tres before noon.  We dropped off an iron and ironing board in Minas on the way up and arrived at the chapel in time to set up for the Chapel Open house.  The open house was held at the Central/Plaza building in the Treinte Tres Stake.  I was so impressed with the preparedness of the members.  They brought several friends to the open house.  One of them even attended all of the meetings today.  Usually the Sisters do the tours, but, last night we only had two sets of Sisters so I was invited to do a couple of tours also.  It is such a blessing to testify of the Savior and the Restoration.  We had a great time with the missionaries and the people of Treinte Y Tres.

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.

We got to bed a little late Saturday night and then were up for Church today.  It amazes me how organized the Church is.  The lessons that we had today were the same as all over the world.  The teachers taught with the Spirit and taught wonderful principals to help us throughout the week.  I love going to Church in Uruguay.  We were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting.  Renee did a good job with her Spanish and always brings a special spirit.  I talked about missionary work, quite a unique idea I know.  After church they had a special meeting for a young sister to open her missionary call.  She is going to Brazil.  It was another great experience.

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


  1. It's good to see that Mom is still the "short" one.
    Love you both!!

  2. What a busy and fruitful week you had! I love hearing of your service each week. Thank you so much for all you do!

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for posting pictures of my sweet daughter Hermana Labrum! I LOVED seeing her beautiful face and learning more about her week.

  4. Sure love seeing pictures of my boy, Elder Cheney!


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.