|And again at Zone Leader Conference|
I can imagine that one might think that Birthdays are quite bland in the mission field. Nay not so! Renee’s birthday was last Monday. To celebrate we went out to dinner last Saturday night. We enjoyed some good food at a local restaurant. On Sunday, Renee decided to make a birthday cake. You might wonder why I didn’t do it, well it’s because she does have standards. She made a German chocolate cake to celebrate. We had some old bananas so she made a banana cake too. On Monday for our staff meeting, the Mission President brought lemon muffins. Monday night was family night with the temple missionaries and they made a big cake for Renee and another sister. And just to be sure, Mary made a cake for her on Tuesday to celebrate with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. With the muffins, that’s five cakes. Thank goodness we had help from the missionaries. Needless to say it was a happy birthday.
Wednesday was new District Leader training. Again, Renee, helped cook and I tried to stay out of trouble. We both succeeded more or less. Again, a new batch of district leaders to help the mission. Thursday was a multi zone conference for the Este, Maroñas and Las Piedras Zones. Renee and I were able to attend. President Eddy taught how you need to have the needs of your investigators drive your personal and companionship study. It was great council and we used it as we prepared for Castillos.
I put in a picture of the new mall in Las Piedras. There are actually horse drawn carts outside this ultra modern mall. It is quite a sight. We also found out that Sister Balbino had a birthday the same day as the Zone Conference so we invited them for dinner after they finished Thursday night. Renee did grilled tuna fish and cheese sandwiches and we finished off one of her cakes. I love that kind of food.
I rained most of the day on Friday and Saturday so we were not too excited about going to Castillos. We have a saying in the mission that, “all of the great miracles happen while it is raining.” Well you might be able to fool the young missionaries with that one but I’m not sold. That is until we got there. In spite of the rain we were able to see quite a few people. And like we said in the preceding paragraphs, we prepared messages to fit their needs. It was really neat. I can’t remember when we had more charlas that had a good message. I guess we’ll pray for rain more. Not really, I am just fine preaching in the sunshine.
On Saturday afternoon we had the branch party. Renee and I were in charge of the lesson. We tried to come up with a video or something but really struggled. Renee suggested that we play hangman for the activity. We then decided that maybe we could make that the lesson. We had a lot of young people there and they were very active participants. After each word, we discussed the meaning. The words included Holy Ghost, Book of Mormon, heart, baptism, golden plates and Jesus Christ. It ended up being a real fun activity that taught some important principals of the Gospel. I guess we might catch on to this missionary thing yet.
Today was a regional conference that included all of Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. There were over 100 stakes and 40 districts represented. The meeting originated from Salt Lake City and we saw it over the internet. The speakers included Elder Gavarratt from Minas Uruguay. We all thought that was pretty neat. Elder Rasband presided and gave a great talk about reaching the one. He even referred to a family here in Montevideo. What a wonderful conference.
We arrived home safe, mostly dry and tired. Ready to rest up for another week of missionary work. It is starting to warm up in spite of the stormy weather. Most days are really beautiful. We appreciate all of the love and support we get from home. It is indeed a privilege to wear the Saviors name on our missionary badges. We know it is true.
We love you all.
Gordon and Renee