Monday July 27th
Normally there is a meeting with the Office Elders, Presidents Assistant's and President Da Silva at noon. Today the President & Sister Da Silva and the assistants are traveling to the various areas meeting the missionaries and inspecting their housing. Usually with the meeting is a luncheon cooked by Sister Da Silva and Mari a local Sister that has been helping the Mission Presidents for years. She is a great cook and has learned how to make some American dishes. The Elder really enjoy something from home. Today with them traveling we had to eat without them and we did not have the meeting. It was really tough duty but we gladly stepped up and put away the groceries. Later that afternoon Janice and I worked on stuff around the office. She worked on reimbursements and I started to clean out the garage area where the mail is sorted and we store all the literature for the mission. It was in need!!
Tuesday July 28th
Janice worked on reimbursements and I worked on cleaning out the garage area some more. On Monday some of the facilities maintenance people stopped by and fixed the toilet so it would flush and they came back this morning and fixed the windows so they would close. That will make the Mission Office much warmer than it was.
Wednesday July 29th
We continued cleaning and working on reimbursements. It is getting much more organized and clean.
Thursday July 30th
We continued cleaning and working on reimbursements. I also got to wire up an oven for the Mission Office. We took the old one that was hardwired into the wall and put a receptacle in the wall so the new oven could plug in. The Missionaries were excited because know they had a oven and stove that all the burners worked and the oven.
Friday July 31st
Elder Solomon and I went to Paso Carrasco to deliver a stove to Elder Heaps & Bennett that live and work in that area. The area has mainly dirt roads and old buildings. It is a poorer part of town. Elder Heaps and Bennett are really resourceful Missionaries they have a fireplace that they use to heat the home with and they were cooking on the fire when we arrived. They were making of all things doughnuts. They had a pot in the fire with oil and they were cooking the doughnuts in the oil. They had made a glaze and a lemon sauce to cover the doughnuts and doughnut holes in. They told us we could have some and they tasted great. I was really impressed with what they had done with so little. They where really excited and grateful to get a real stove and oven. They had been cooking on what amounts to about a 10” diameter propane tank with a burner attached to the top. They had just ran out of propane so they work making do with the fire. We went and bought them a new large propane tank and connected it to the stove and everything worked after I wired up the stove with a plug. They were really excited to have their new stove.
We went back to the Mission Office where Hermana Hegerhorst was preparing to make biscuits and gravy for Elder Solomon & Sessions. The turned out we considering we do not have sausage and some of the other ingredients you typically find in the recipe. The food here is quite bland with very little spices. We have one store in the area that has a small amount to spices that we would typically find in the States and they are really expensive, but worth it in my opinion. Later that afternoon I replaced and repaired door knobs that were missing or broken. We are slowly getting the Mission Office cleaned up repaired and organized. Later that evening we went with Elders Solomon & Sessions to visit Gladys Castellazzi and Genaro & Sandra Paulos. They were great visits and we invited them to prepare to attend the temple. Both seem very excited about it.
Saturday August 1st.
Today is P-Day and we cleaned the house, did 3 loads of laundry and them walked to the Montevideo Shopping Center. It was a clear brisk day and the wind was not blowing. It was great to walk and see new territory! I am guessing it is about 1.5 mile walk and we gaulked and everything we could from the Buceo Cemetery to street markets it was great. The shopping center is a two story very large shopping mall with everything from home improvement stores, clothes, jewelry and electronics and of course a food court. We walked around just to see what was there and then went to Tienda Inglesa (English Store) and shopped for food. We then took a taxi back home. It cost 2548.50 pesos ($110) for the food and 58 pesos ($2.5) for the taxi ride. Hermana Hegerhorst's right knee decided it did not like walking and really greatful for the taxi ride home. Once she stopped walking all the time the knee started to feel fine. We made dinner of pasta Alfredo and salad with bread from the local bakery. Hermana Hegerhorst texted Cristina our landlady to see if she is going to church with us and she emailed us back and said she is planning on going but will let us know tomorrow.
Sunday August 2nd
We got the text message from Cristina (our Landlady) at about 8:30 AM telling us that she was still tired and she wanted to spend the morning with her son Pablo. So we will see if she comes next week.
We went to church and after Fast & Testimony meeting we were ask by the Bishop's 1st Councilor to come with him to the Bishop's office he needed to talk with us. He speaks English very well and so he was given the assignment to extend the assignment to us to be the Young Single Adult (YSA) representatives. This would mean meeting with them and planning activities helping them to grow in the Gospel. There are 39 YSA on the Ward list and about 10 that are active. We will need to verify that others are still at the addresses on the list and encourage them to come to some of the activities we will be planning. The 1st Councilor claims that the YSA can speak English so we should be able to communicate with them. We accepted the assignment and should be set apart next Sunday.
We were invited to a dinner for married couples on Friday August 8th. They start their activities really late here. It starts at 8:30 PM. That should be interesting to go to and try to communicate with the Ward members. We are studying and the language is coming slowly but we are learning and this will force us to open our mouths and speak. That will force us to practice what we are learning. It can only make us better.
Monday, August 3rd,
We got up early and went to the Church Offices and met with the person that is in charge of the computer systems in the Church offices in Uruguay. He gave us some good advise on how to get the internet hooked up at our house. Unfortunately it depends on out Landlady Cristina giving her approval to put DSL in our house. She had a bad experience with a prior renter that put in a phone line without her know and left owing 40,000 pesos on a phone bill. Cristina refused to pay in so the utility may require that that past bill is paid before they will put in the DSL line.
We meet with President & Hermana Da Silva at the weekly meeting with office staff. They just returned from a 3 week tour of the Missionaries housing and said their were some that were in pretty bad shape. They may use us to help get them into shape or move the missionaries to other housing.
We worked on a procedure to streamline the reimbursements process and insure that they do not get lost between the missionaries and office.
Tuesday, August 4th
We went to the our first District Meeting this morning. It was great to see the young men put together a meeting that everyone seemed to enjoy being at. They taught how to invite people to come to Church. I told them about the program the Seattle Mission has to invite people to come to tour the church building prior to attending a meeting. This gives them a chance to see what goes on inside of the building without the pressure of having a lot of other people around.
We then went back to the office and worked on reimbursements and I called Provo and got them to reconfigure our network to allow printing from all the computers to all the printers in the office and they are going to send someone by to look at the UPS's to find out why the keep beeping. They will also look at the network wiring and hopefully get it wired up so it is not such a fragile mess of cables. It is very possible that next Wednesday August 12th our main Financial Secretary ( Elder Solomon) will be transferred to another assignment. If so we will definitely miss his experience and patience in training us.
Tonight we made waffles and they were great!! Maple syrup in a rare item down here and it is very expensive when you can find it. We found some and it tasted great on the waffles.