Sunday, April 23, 2017
A Flash From The Past
When I started my first mission to Argentina forty-four years ago, my companion was Nick Mazanis. We ended up not only spending the Mission Home and Language Training mission together but also our first three districts, Cordoba, Tucuman and Jujuy together. To top things off we served as Zone Leaders at the end of our missions. He is my closest companion to say the least. They started a mission in Salt Lake City the same time we did. As missionaries, they found a man named Roberto from Uruguay. They started to teach him but he had to return to Uruguay for a time. Nick gave me his name and address and we sent some missionaries to visit. Elder Rodriguez and Elder Guerra were the Zone Leaders in the Maldonado Zone and taught him while he was here. On his return to Salt Lake, he was married last week and baptized yesterday. I have included a picture of Elder Rodriguez and Elder Guerra when they found out. They were real excited. That’s what I call team missionary work.
The past week was fairly typical of our assignment. On Monday we helped a little with the Zone Leader Conference. Renee helped with the cooking, while I was busy in the office. On Tuesday we spent time catching up in the office. This is important work but not really the stuff that gets into the blog. To make things more exciting I included a picture of us with the Temple Missionaries in the Peruvian Restaurant. Peruvian food is a little different than Uruguayan food. It is very delicious.
On Thursday we had to work on some water problems in three of the houses. They had problems with toilets and also broken pipes in the walls. Good thing we have some people that can help us. The highlight of Thursday was going to the charla with Papa Jorge and Veronica with Elder Cheney and Elder Fix. They had a good message and it was a good lesson. At the end of the lesson, Renee asked Veronica if she believed the Gospel was true and if she felt the Book of Mormon was also true. She said yes. It was kind of an “ah ha moment”. Veronica is making progress and we hope she continues to move forward.
Friday we were off to Castillos for the weekend. We had to do some work on the water problems and also had to stop off in San Carlos to fix a bed and drop some other stuff off to the Rocha Elders. I probably should have taken some pictures of the missionaries but we just ran out of time.
The weekend was filled with visits. We were lucky to have Oreales and Rosanna go with us to visit some of the members. It is so much better when members go with us. We were able to talk to several different families. It was good to share our testimonies and hear from them. I wish I could tell you more about how they are doing. It is sufficient to say that everyone has challenges and the good people of Castillos are working to meet these challenges.
Today was an exciting time in Castillos. Twenty-four people came to Church. It was one of the best Sundays we have seen. We have come to love them so much. They are working hard to come and participate and help the Church grow. Elder Xavier is serving as the Branch President. He was serving in the office when we arrived and helped to train us. It is so good to work with him and the other missionaries. It is amazing how much we have grown to love the people in Castillos. We are truly a family. We pray for them continually that they will continue to progress.
To end the week we made a detour on the way home and picked up some propane tanks from La Capuera and delivered them to Los Ceibos. This added a couple of hours to our trip but it did get a few things off our list of things to do. We are now home and hoping to get a good night’s sleep to do it again next week.
We continue to be grateful for this opportunity. We love the missionaries so much and love to serve with them.
Gordon and Renee