Sunday July 12th,
We prepared to get ready of our Church meeting with start at 9:30 AM. Janice was the first to attempt our shower. She got it in and said this isn't to bad and then quickly changed her mind as she came dashing out of the shower. The water had turned cold in a very short period of time and she was very cold, shaking from the cold and unhappy!!! I later inspected the water heater and it was tuned down pretty low so I turned it up and later I was able to take a warm shower although it was a short one than normal.
We went to Church (about 3 blocks from our home) at 9:30 AM with Elder's Solomon and Sessions. The Buceo ward members greeted us warmly and were happy to see new missionaries. The Sacrament meeting was of course in Spanish although the speaker could have given her talk in English. She served a Mission in Ohio a few years ago. Her name is Rona and she is married to a Japanese Diplomat that is currently investigating the Church. The Church building was pretty cold and everyone wore their coats for all the meeting.
We went to the Gospel Essentials class that was taught by Myriam Izaguirre and we attempted to participate by reading some sections in the manual that she asked us to read. It went pretty well although we understood very little.
Hermana Hegerhorst went to Relief Society and I and the Elder's went to Priesthood meeting. Hermana had Rona translate for her and Elder Solomon translated for me. After the meeting the Missionaries had a dinner appointment so they took us home and we rested for a few hours and then the picked us up to go on an appointment with them to Genero and Sandra. Genero recently joined the church and is learning the Gospel. Sandra speaks very good English and was excited to practice on us. It was a fun meeting.
Monday July 13th
The Missionaries came and picked us up at 10:00 AM and we went to the Mission Office. They trained us how to do reimbursements for the Missionaries. This is when the Missionaries us some of their base money to purchase items that should be paid for by the church. They send in receipts and the Finance Elder's send them back the money. It is all done electronically so the money shows up on their credit card. Later that night we went with Elder's Solomon & Sessions to give a lesson to Rona's husband. It was a very spiritual lesson and I think we were able to contribute because it was given in English. He speaks Japanese and English and little Spanish so we were able to understand and contribute.
Tuesday July 14th
We were back at the Mission office at 10:00 doing more reimbursements. The Elders are so patient and helpful in getting us and our house set up we awoke this morning with our propane heater tank empty and the house getting cold. The gas company with deliver full tanks of propane so I had Elder Session order a tank for us. It arrived about an hour and half later and the delivery man came and put it on the heater and started it up again for us. He gave us the change and I gave him a pass along card.
Tonight we met with the 1st Councilor Nestor Martinez, Maria and their 3 children, Paublo 11yrs, Camille 9 yrs and Lucille 6 yrs. They are a wonderful family. Dad & Mom speak English very well. Dad works as an Operations Manager of software company and Mom teaches French at French school the children attend. They made us feel very welcome and comfortable.
Wednesday July 15th
We were back at the Mission office at 10:00 doing more reimbursements. Today after some help from Bro. Martinez Elder Solomon and I went to the Claro office and purchased a wireless USB modem for the computer to allow internet assess. We installed it and tried Skype at the Mission Office and it worked okay. We were excited to have internet access and be able to contact our families and friends. Elder Sessions and I learned how to catch the correct bus to get to and from home & the office. It took us an hour and half for the round trip.
We had an appointment with the Buceo Ward Bishop at 8:00PM. We met with him, he wanted to get to know us and tell us about him. He is a convert of 8 years and is already the Bishop. He is very interested in making the work go forth and was wondering what we could do to help. He is going to give us a Ward list on Sunday and then we could start and visit the members.
Thursday July 16th
We walked about 15 minutes to the bus stop and then waited about 15 minutes for the correct bus then took the 15 minute bus ride and then walked the 15 minutes the rest of the way to the Mission Office. It is about an hour process. When we arrived the Elder's Heap & Bennet that do the Statistical for the Mission were there. They trained me how to proof read some of the records then enter them into the computer systems. It was a very light week, only 5 new baptisms. They have had weeks of 33 new baptisms. They come into the office once a week on Thursdays to do this portion of the work. They would like to teach it to me so they could stay in the Mission Field instead of the office. Janice worked on doing more of the reimbursements.
Friday July 17th.
Today was our First Zone Conference it started at 9:00 AM at our Church Building. We were going to walk but it was windy and raining so we called Elder's Solomon & Sessions and they picked us up. There was about 30 Elders & Hermanas at the Zone Conference and President & Hermana Da Silva and their 2 assistants. President & Hemana Da Silva spoke and them some of the Zone leaders gave presentations. We ate lunch and continued until about 3:30 PM. We walked home and rested the rest of the evening. Janice and I are both sick with colds and aches. I tried calling my Mother to wish her a Happy Birthday using Magic Jack but the internet modem kept dropping the calls
Saturday July 18th.
I was able to call my Mother using Magic Jack in the morning when things were not being used as much. She was excited to hear from me although the call was short because we got dropped again. Janice and I spent most of them morning mopping the floors in our house and cleaning things up. At 1:15 President & Hermana Da Silva came to get us to got to the Temple with them. It was great to go to the temple. We had translator headsets so we could understand the session and an English speaker at the Veil. It was great! We met two of the Temple Missionaries, Elder Keith & Sister Teri Wilson from Alpine Utah. They know my parents from Alpine. They were very excited to see us. The other Elders are the Holladay's from Woodcross Utah. Neither of these couples spoke Spanish prior to their calls. They can communicate within the Temple and have memorized all the Temple Ordinances in Spanish. We went back home neither of us feeling really well.
Sunday July 19th
We both awoke not feeling well and decided to stay in bed and rest for the day.
Monday July 20th
We both awoke not feeling well and decided to stay in bed and rest for the day.
Tuesday July 21st
We both awoke not feeling well and decided to stay at hom and rest for the day. Janice is not getting better so we have Elder Solomon call Dr. Peterson in Argentina and he told us to get her some AZITROMICIAN in 500 mg capsules and take one capsule daily for 5 days. Our landlady Cristina was over and she called a pharmacy and they delivered it to the house. Janice stayed in the bedroom and Elder Sessions studied in the living room while Elder Solomon and I took back the Claro USB Modem to the store and got my money back. Cristina has agreed to let us get High Speed Internet via the phone line. That is if Antel will allow it. Cristina had an earlier tenant that put in a phone line without her knowing about it and ran up a 40,000 peso bill and skipped out without paying it. Cristina refused to pay so Antel may not allow us to put in the line until the bill is paid.
Today was very busy in our little house. Pablo, Cristina's son was trying to repair a leak faucet in our bathroom pedestal style sink. He was not have much luck but was persistent about trying to get it repaired. Cristina came over and I plugged my telephone into the wall jack and you could hear a lot of background noise so she called a friend of hers that works for Antel the telephone company to come and investigate the noisy line. He came and said the line was fine and that the cheap phone I bought did not have a good filter on it so it allowed the background noise to come through. Cristina brought a spare phone that she had over and is letting us use it.
We both took some of the antibiotic and went to bed. My mouth and throat are raw with huge canker sores and I can hardly swallow. It really hurts.
Janice had a tiny bit of energy and decided to try and bake a cake mix that we had found at the Disco Store in the neighborhood. She started the oven which is a combination gas and electric oven and everything was working properly. She put in the cake and set the timer. She came back 40 minutes later to discover that the oven had stopped working. The cake had baked about a 1/16” along the sides and the rest was still soupy. Another thing to add to our list of things that do not work properly in our house!!
Wednesday July 22nd
We both awoke not feeling well and decided to stay at home and rest for the day. The Propane tank in the heater was empty again so I had Elder Solomon order us more. Pablo came back over and attempted to repair the sink some more. I hope he got it right this time. Cristina ordered us some more antibiotic since I am taking it also we would not have enough for Janice. The pharmacy delivered it to us is just a few minutes. They will delivery just about anything around here I understand. Just call and here it comes. Both Janice and I are feeling better. There was a strong wind storm today and it made the house feel cold.
Thursday July 23rd
We both awoke this feeling better. We prepared to go into the office. Today we had committed to make lunch for the Office Elders. We are going to make spaghetti, salad and bread. We had purchased all these items with the plan to make them on July 21st but because we were sick we postponed the lunch. While we were preparing lunch we noticed a big puddle of water under the refrigerator. I told Cristina and she immediately had Pablo tearing apart the fridge and freezer to find the problem. He cleaned everything up and decided to move the fridge to a different location because he did not think the water was coming from the fridge.
The meal preparation went well and on time but we had to wait for Pablo to finish up his repairs before we could leave the apartment. They would not lock up after themselves but insisted that we wait until they were done.
The meal at the Mission Office went very well and the Elders, Baker, Van Wagenen, Heaps, Bennett, Sessions & Solomon really seemed to enjoy the meal. They suggested that we do it regularly. Janice suggested she make a meal once a week and ask each of the Elders what they would like and rotate the meal according to the request she receives.
We worked on reimbursements and other tasks that the Office Elders needed help doing. Elders Solomon & Sessions took us home about 5:30PM and we worked on reimbursements until 9:00PM and then retired for the night.
Friday July 24th.
Pioneer Day in Utah and it feels like we are Pioneering a bit lately.
Today we awoke to 4' diameter puddle in the kitchen were the fridge used to be. The fridge apparently was not the leaking culprit. It turns out that it is either coming up through the floor or though the wall. Pablo and Cristina came and looked at it and called a bricklayer to come and look at the situation. The repairman that was supposed to come and look at the oven did not show up and the water dispenser company that was supposed to show up at 9:30 AM did not show either. Pablo and I took apart the receptacle that the oven plugged into and it was melted and one of the wires had burnt all the way through which caused the circuit to open and the oven to go off. That repairman is supposed to fix it tomorrow also.
Elder's Sessions and Baker came a got us about 12:30 and we had to drive all the repair and looker people out of the house so we could leave with the Elders. They were going to take us to Cuidad Viejo or Old City which is the main downtown portion of Montevideo. There is a CITI bank there that the Church uses and the Main Post Office that was holding some of the missionaries packages. We also had to go to a place that made the name tags for the Missionaries. The old city had very narrow and run down streets and sidewalks. The traffic was loud and stinky. The wind was cold and all in all it was not a real pleasant experience until we entered into an area that was full of stores that sold tools and then I started to feel better about things.
We came back home and the Elders dropped us off at Disco Supermarket and we shopped for food. We walked the 4 blocks home with our groceries. Later that afternoon and evening we worked on reimbursements.
Saturday July 25th
Today is P-Day and we cleaned the house and went shopping. Shopping is still a new adventure with all the labels in Spanish and us no know what they have in the store. We spend a lot of time just looking a labels and getting to know where things are at in the store. We found a new store this morning, it is kind of a hardware store. It has lots of the terracotta flower pots and cans and cans of paint all stacked on top of each other. It could take days if someone decided that they wanted the can on the bottom of one of the piles. They had plumbing, housewares and tons of other things all piled into this little store of treasures. We found a laundry basket that we could use.
In the afternoon the Electrician can by to fix the oven that was broken. He replaced the receptacle in just a few minutes so Cristina had him replace our door bell that had stopped working. He tried to repair another door bell but did not have the correct parts. Cristina is going to but the parts and I will replace them.
Janice decided to cook the cake mix that she had started on Tuesday when to the oven died. It tastes great just does not look and feel like a cake. It is very moist and dense. I like it. I guess it lost most of the leavening agent sitting in the fridge for 5 days. We topped it of with a product they love down here called Dulce de Leche or Sweet of Milk. It looks and tastes very similar to caramel and it is a very tasty cake.
I invited Cristina to go to Church with us tomorrow and she accepted with the understanding that she is not a religious person and is not interested in becoming one. I told her that was fine she could just come to church and if hse liked it great if not that was fine also. The Missionaries had started giving her the discussions and she had told them that she was not interested in continuing them. She said she likes us and would like to go to our Church with us. Church starts at 9:30 AM and we had talked the Missionaries into picking Cristina and us up a few minutes early....
We were getting ready for Church and about 8:30 AM we got a text message on our telephone, it could be either the Missionaries, Cristina or another wrong number. Your right it was Cristina telling us that she had over slept and was not going to be ready for Church but that she would like to go next week.
We went to Church and had a great surprise, the chapel was warm. The past weeks it has been freezing. Not to be out done the classrooms were cold for Sunday School and Priesthood meeting. The Bishopric had told the Missionaries that they wanted us to share our testimony and little about ourselves in Sacrament meeting but instead they just had us stand and they introduced us to the members. I was okay with that, this language barrier is very tough to get through. We continue to study the language each day and we are learning but it sure takes time.
After Church we came home and made some lunch and studied Spanish. Later in the evening the Missionaries stopped by to share some of the “special” birthday cake and some ice cream. They are great young men.