We will be returning to Renton Washington
May 19th 2011.

Our Homecoming Report in the Soos Creek Ward will be
June 12, 2011

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We are being Transfered to La Poloma

Monday September 27
We were called in the the Presidents office when he came to visit the office this morning! He said he had picked the most beautiful place in the Mission to send us. That is La Poloma which is a small community on the coast about 2 1/2 hours drive from Montevideo. It has a small Branch of about 10-20 active members in the area. He has assigned me to the the new Branch President and has given me 6 months to find and train my replacement. There are 2 missionaries serving in the area. One from the United State and one Latino. They are going to be critical to the success in the area. One will have to be our translater while we am learning more Spanish. They will be helping to get us housing and all the necessary things that occur when you are moving like transferring the Internet and other services into our names. You cannot image how frustrating it is not being able even make a simple telephone call the cancel your water service. We are completely dependent on someone else to help us. This is very hard when you are used to doing things yourself and not having to rely on others.

We have 2-1/2 days to prepare to leave. We will be moving on Thursday October 1st and will be without Internet Service for an undetermined amount of time. We are not sure what type service we will be able to get so we may not be able to Skype or call from La Poloma. When we are back on line I will notify you somehow. Probably by posting a notice here on the Blog. You can send emails but I will not be able to answer them until we are back online. Pray for us that we will be able to make the transistion to the new area and all will be well!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mission Pictures

This the Carrasco Church Building, it is next to the Temple.
This is one of hundreds of lawn mowing services. Most don't use a lawn mower only a weed eater and the grass clipping are left on the lawn.

This is the Mission Office with "Marta" (the van)

This Christina Sosa our Landlady. She speaks pretty good English has been helpful.

This is real common having 3 lanes and 4 cars taking up whatever space they find. Straddling the white lines are very common here and the traffic rules are at best loosely followed suggestions!

This is a bird nest. The nest is made from mud and is very well built. They put them any where like on this electrical splice box and they blend very well into the bark of the trees.

Pictures of the Mission

One of our Office lunches. On the right we have Elder's Parraga (ecuador) Session (Wisconsin), Heaps (Utah) Bennett (Utah) Jacobson (Utah). On the Left we have Elder's Zanutini (Argentina) Hegerhorst (Washington) Van Wagenen (Utah) Baker (Montana). Today is was Elder Zanutini's turn to decide what was for lunch and his choice was tacos.

Janice standing by one of the many little 3 wheel trucks they have here. Janice is 5' 4" tall to give you an idea of how tiny the trucks are!

This is one of hundreds of horse drawn carts you see all over the city. The owners go through the garbage and salvage anything of value and put into the carts. I don't know how they turn the stuff into cash but it a very effective recycling system the city does not have to pay for. The horse and carts are on the city streets along with the cars and trucks. It is amazing there are not more accidents.

Starting on the right we have Elder Powers, Solomon, Jacobson & Sessions. This was taken inside the van during the week of changes in September. Powers was going home, Solomon was transfered out of the office to be a District leader in Durazno, Jacobson was transferred in to take Solomons place as a Financial Secretary and Sessions continued on as a Financial Secretary.

We got locked out of the office and tried to get in thru the 2nd story window with no luck.
Elder Powers being help up by Solomon and Hegerhorst

Week 11 in Montevideo

Sunday September 20th
We went to Church today and Janice was home sick and having a hard time not understanding what was being said in the meetings so she decided that she was going to go home and read the scriptures to try to get fed spiritually. She wanted to be alone and asked me to stay at Church. I reluctantly agreed and she went home after Sacrament meeting. I went to Sunday School and the Young Single Adults were asking where Janice was. I told them that she had disappeared. After Church Gabriela asked if your Uruguay sons and daughters could follow me home to see Janice and make sure she was okay. I said sure and the next thing I knew there were about 20 people in this procession walking to the house. I was really touched by the love and support that these people that we could hardly communicate with were showing to us. We got to the house and I had them wait at the front gate and I went inside to alert Janice that she had visitors. She was overwhelmed with the love and support she was shown. The group sang a hymn and we all cried. We were exhausted with the emotional outpouring and spent the rest of the day resting and realizing that we were loved.
Monday September 21st
We went to the office early to get trained by Elder's Heaps and Bennett on the Statistical reports that need to be done each week. President Da Silva had decided that they were no longer going to come into the office to do this work and it was going to be done by the Office staff. It would typically fall under the responsibilities of the Executive secretaries. Elders Baker & Van Wagenen are the Executive Secretaries at this time. Elder Baker is scheduled to be transferred this week so Elder Van Wagenen was supposed to listen in on our training. He stayed for about 5 minutes and then found other things to do. What he does not know is that President Da Silva is going to reduce the number of Office Elders by two. Instead of having a companionship of Executive secretaries and companionship of Financial secretaries he is going to have one person as the Executive and one as the Financial and we would be supporting or directing them in the office. This change is supposed to take place this week on Wednesday during transfers. We spent the morning being trained and that afternoon we went to the Mission Home for a meeting with President Da Silva and the other secretaries. It was at this time that Elder Van Wagenen was asking who was going to be his companion because Elder Baker is going to be transferred. President went into his office with his Assistants for a while and then came out and had changed his mind about the way the offices were going to be ran. He decided that he would continue with the 2 sets of Secretaries and that we would be getting a new assignment. This is all due to the recommendation that President Bowen had given him to send us out into a struggling Branch. He said he would give us our new assignment later in the week. Well this really puts the mind a whirling about all the different possibilities and where we might be going and oh by the way we don't speak the language!
Tuesday September 22nd
We got 20 new missionaries (Oros, means gold) in this morning from the Missionary Training Center in Argentina. There were 19 young men and 1 young woman (her companion had some complications with her travel arrangements and will be coming later). There were 4 Latino and 16 from the United States. We helped get them to the Hostal were the orientations take place and got all their suitcases into the building. I went with the missionaries for their medical exams for immigration. This was quite an overwhelming experience when we went through for the first time. No one told us was was going to happen and and the next thing we know they are wanting to stick us with a needle and take blood. Janice and I decided that this should not happen with the new missionaries, they should be given an orientation and told what was going to happen so they knew what to expect. I went with them and stayed with them to answer any questions and help them through the process. It was good to visit with them and enjoy their energy and enthusiasm. We got them back and they had lunch and I went back to the offices where Janice had been working hard on reimbursements for the missionaries. At 4:30 we went back the the Hostal for to help with the pictures of the Oros with President and Hermana Da Silva and the other orientation. We helped prepare the evening meal and cleaned up afterward and then went home about 10PM. It was a very long day! We still don't know what our new assignment is!?!?
We had canceled our English class this week due to the long meetings in the evening with the new missionaries.
Wednesday September 23rd
I worked on the statistical reports and Janice was frantically working on the reimbursements because President Da Silva was coming by early afternoon prior to attending the Temple with the “Valientes” (the missionaries returning to their homes). She finished just as he came into the office and she was able to get another batch signed off and sent into Church Headquarters for processing. This will make the missionaries included in this batch happy, they will be getting some more money to pay for bills and eat. We still don't know where we are going!?!?
We played volleyball with the Young Single Adults (YSA) in the evening and had a great time with them and came away with no injuries. It was great!!
Thursday September 24th
The Secretaries took the Valientes to the airport to go home. We met the “King” parents from Twin Falls Idaho. They had flown down to pick up their son as he was released from his mission. We worked on various office tasks trying to get caught up since we were out of the office during the changes quite a bit.
Friday September 25th
I worked on the statistical reports all day. It was a very tedious day! Janice worked on medical bills that needed to be turned into Church Headquarters so they could get reimbursed from the insurance companies of the missionaries who had seen the Doctors. She found approximately 250 thousand pesos worth of bills that need to be submitted. This would be great to get this money back into the missions budget again.
After work we went to the Temple and enjoyed being there helping someone that had gone on before. We have translator headsets so we can listen to the session in English. We turn the English down low and try to understand the Spanish and we are understanding a few more words than we could the first time we went back in July.
We still don't know what out new assignment is going to be!?!
Saturday September 26th
We did laundry and cleaned the house this morning. We cleaned some really grimmy window blinds and then cleaned up quite well with a lot of heavy duty scrubing and detergent. Now we might feel save getting close to the windows. After the cleaning we went for a walk along the Rambla which goes along the beach. It was a beautiful day. We walked to a camping store an purchased a foam sleeping pad for us to put on the cold tile floors in our home and do stretches and exercises. We then walked to a new grocery store Devoto's and bought several sacks of groceries and then rode the bus home. We had just prepared dinner when my cell phone ran and it was President Peterson's (the West Mission's President) wife calling to invite Janice to come to a Relief Society broadcast and enjoy the company of 6 other English speaking women. We jumped on the the bus and got to the Peterson's at about 7:30PM. I got to hang out with President Hopkins (Temple Pres) and Elder's Halloday and Wilson who are Senior Missionaries who serve in the Temple with their wives. Their wives are with Janice at the Peterson's. We all had a great time enjoying each others company. Due to the time differences the broadcast did not get over until after 11PM. We called a taxi from the Wilson's and made it home and were in bed just before midnight. We still don't know what our new assignment is going to be, in fact we are becoming sure we really like the Office and would just as soon stay there!

Week 10 in Montevideo

Sunday September 13th
It was Stake Conference this Sunday and we walked to the Church and arrived about 15 minutes early and the Chapel was full and about half of the cultural hall was full ( there is a movable wall the opens and the Chapel and Cultural hall become one huge room). This was really odd as I mentioned before all the meetings in the past all started late so to have Stake Conference be so full early was odd. The couples from the Temple had saved us a seat in the Cultural hall so we had decent seats. The same technique was used to be spiritually fed. It saved us. After the meeting we went home and took a well deserved nap after lunch.
Monday September 14th
We arrived early to the office for our Monday morning meeting with the office Elders and Assistants. This week is going to be busy for the Mission Pres. & Hermana and the Assistants. Elder Bowen of the Area Authority is coming to the country and will be meeting with the office staff on Wednesday and then doing Zone Conferences through out the Mission the rest of the week. We need to clean and organize the offices because we will have meetings there on Wednesday.
Tuesday September 15th
We prepared for the meeting with Pres. Bowen on Wednesday.
Wednesday September 16th.
President and Sister Bowen arrived at the office at about 10AM and all the office staff, Assistants and President and Hermana Da Silva met for a meeting. We typically don't get much out of the meetings because they are in Spanish but President Bowen asked if we spoke Spanish and when we indicated we did not his wife volunteered to translate for us. She sat behind us and we were able to participate in the meeting. They made us feel like we were needed and important and they understood the frustrations we have been going through. They told us that they were called to be the mission President in Spain and Sister Bowen and their 4 children did not speak the language and there were times in the first 6 months that she begged her husband the Mission President not to make her go to Church because it was so frustrating for her and the children to not be able to understand what was being said. They went to Church and eventually the were able to speak and understand the language. They were able to talk with us and we could talk with them it was so wonderful to be able to talk and share our concerns and desires to someone that understood and could communicate back with us!! President Bowen indicated that we should be attending all the District and Zone Conferences and there should be a translator for us at all the meetings. We told him that we had not been attending these meeting because it was distracting to the others to have someone translating and we could be more productive working in the office but he insisted that we should be attending these meetings. He also said that he was going to recommend to President Da Silva that we be moved out of the Offices and be assigned to a Branch that was struggling and help to build it up. He asked how I felt about this recommendation and I told him that I was terrified. We don't speak the language and cannot be effective if we cannot communicate with the people. He promised us that if we would do this the LORD would bless us with the language and we would be successful.
Later that afternoon we attended Zone Conference and Elder Jarom Heaps from Tooele Utah translated for us. He did a great job and we were able to participate in the meeting and feel the Spirit. It was great to have our cup full again and to feel like someone cared that we were in the Mission.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday
The President and Hermana Da Silva and their Assistants accompanied President and Sister Bowen around the Mission to Zone Conferences with the Missionaries. We worked in the offices and tried to keep the Mission going.
We went to the area Ferrocaril to look at a missionaries home that was using a lot of electricity to see if we could see anything that might be wrong. There was nothing that I could see that would be causing a high bill. It was great to out of the house and see more of the city. It was close to a part of the city where we had replaced a water heater a few weeks before so there was not a lot of new things to see.
On the way back home we stopped by the Hospital Evangelico to see Rona Lara who had a new baby on Thursday. We went into the hospital and started for the elevators to go to the 3rd floor and a security guard just about tackled us in the hallway. He of course spoke in Spanish and Janice told him that we did not understand Spanish so he kept on talking to us in Spanish. Finally a man that was passing by stopped and explained to us that we needed a special card to get into the Hospital or that we needed to come during visiting hours. Of course we had not idea how to get this special card or when visiting hours were so we decided to do an Elvis imitation and leave the building. It turns out that Rona had gone home earlier so she was not even there.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Week 9 in Montevideo

Sunday September 6
We were picked up this morning by the assistants Elder Parraga & Zanutini. The Secretaries Elder Baker & Van Wagenen needed the van so the assistants dropped Elder Sessions and Jacobson off at their investigators home and them stopped by to get us. It was Fast & Testimony meeting today. Alba came as promised and seemed to enjoy and participate in the meetings. The other 2 investigators that were there were 2 young men about 13 years old that stopped Elder Sessions and Jacobson on the street and told them they were bored and asked if they would teach them.
I am understanding a little bit more at Church, it is like listening a radio that is not tuned into the station and all you pick up is an occasional word and then it is back the the background noise. We both keep messing with the radio dials trying to find something to help us get tuned in better but the dial seems to be really stuck some times.
Janice made my favorite for lunch a very close duplicate of “pineapple chicken” from the Modern Restaurant in Walla Walla. It was great.
Monday September 7
Another day at the office......We prepared to teach our English class on Tuesday evening.
Tuesday September 8
Another day at the office....
We taught our English class in the Evening. When everyone finally arrive at class we had, Virginia, Flaviana, Valeria, Paola, Estaban. Bernardo was sick and could not come and Carolina was working. The class went pretty well. We took the Estar & Ser verbs from Spanish and explained what they mean in English. After the class we were invited to play volleyball on Wednesday at 8PM. Janice was talking with Virginia and mentioned that she needed a hair cut and Virginia arranged with a friend of hers to come to the house on Saturday morning and give Janice a haircut.
Wednesday, September 9
Another day at the office....
We played volleyball with the YSA at night it was great fun. There was 8 YSA that showed up. This was the first night they had played so the numbers should grow when the word gets out.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
I have gotten behind in my blog updates so I don't remember all that happened.

Saturday morning at 10AM Vichy and her friend came over and gave Janice a short hair cut. It looks great and it is a lot easier for her to take care of and when we walk to the bus stop it does not get as messed up in the wind. I think she likes it. When we get a package that Christina our daughter sent us we will have the battery charger for our camera and we can take pictures then I will post one of her new hair style.

Saturday we had an adult session of Stake Conference. For those that don't know a Stake is the name of an area which usually consists of about 8 to 10 Wards which are the geographical areas we divide our Church members into. This allows better organization and leadership so we can meet the needs of the members.
We walked to the Adult meeting and in the past the meeting have all started late and we have had to hang around until they got started. We arrived right on time and the meeting had already started and the Chapel was packed and we had to sit in the overflow area. The meeting of course was in Spanish and we understood very little. One of our Young Single Adults sat next to Janice and translated for her some of what was said. We had learned a strategy from one of the Temple missionary couples on how to get spiritually fed from the meetings when you cannot understand the language. They take the General Conference talks and the scriptures and reads them during the meeting time. We tried that and it helped.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Augusts' New Missionaries and Temple Pics

The August "OROS"(means gold). 12 new missionaries from the Missionary Training Center in Argentina. Picture take at the Temple in Montevideo Uruguay

Janice & I with President & Hermana Da Silva at the Temple in Montevideo Uruguay

Sunset Picture of the Temple in Montevideo

Week 8 in Montevideo

Sunday August 30
Sunday we drove to church, Elder's Sessions & Jacobson walked with some new investigators and gave us the van to drive. It was a nice day and we would have preferred to walk to the Church but they needed the car close after the meetings. At Church we understood a little bit more and the people were very nice to us. In Sunday school the lesson was about the Saints being driven from Nauvoo and the Mississippi river freezing over. I tried to explain to the class members about the extreme cold and the hardships the early saints endured and that we have it very easy now. I don't think they could understand the cold because it never even snows here. If if did freeze there would be a major problem with the water system since a lot of the pipes are exposed above ground. They would freeze and pipes all over would burst and it would be a mess. They don't have mountains here so trying to explain about crossing over mountains did not have the impact if they had a reference point to refer to. We had a joint priesthood and relief society meeting where they discussed the assignment to clean the building. The cleaning in the past was done by paid cleaners.
In the Evening we went with the Missionaries to visit with Alba. She did not attend Church as she had committed to because she was angry with the Missionaries for being late the night before to a meeting. They had called her and told her they were going to be late but she was still upset. We tried to calm her down but she wanted to feel bad and no one was going to take that away from her. She even threatened to not investigate the Gospel further. It was like dealing with a 60 plus year old 2 year old. I hope she gets over it because the Gospel is too important to loose because someone was late.
Monday August 31
The President and Hermana Da Silva came to the office to sign papers and meet with the Assistants. There was no lunch with the President and the Elders were sad about that. Janice worked on cleaning up the offices washed the drapes in the rear office. They were very dirty and look much better now that they are clean. She organized the Presidents office so it does not look like a storage room. She wants to clean the other drapes but they are harder to get at and people are working in that area most of the time. I worked on up dating our mission roster by assigning house numbers and organizing it so it would be easier to read. The computers were still down and so I told the Elders to go to there areas and work if they could not work at the office. Elder Baker and Van Wagenen went out to a couple of lessons. It is great that they are able to get out.
Tuesday, September 1
Well did you enjoy August?? It had some ups and downs for us. We are learning more Spanish although it is coming slowly because we don't have a lot of opportunities to speak and to study but we learn each time we do out we read signs and try to understand what people are saying and it is getting a bit easier each time. It would be great if it came all at once.
We had them normal day at the office and they computers came back online. We were able to get things done.
In the evening Janice baked a cake and I baked some sugar cookies. It was fun to do the whole process myself. They turned out very good except a couple of the bigger ones did not cook all the way through. That just makes them moister and I am very okay with that.
Wednesday, September 2
I finished the Mission Roster and it looks like it will be a bit easier to read. The missionaries shrink it down to 50 percent and the old style the 8's & 6's were very hard to be sure which one it was. The 3's could be a problem also. The Mission President and the Assistants are starting “interviews” this week. They visit with all the missionaries and the President has a personal interview with each of them. They are very busy and put in some very long days.
We prepared for Thursday's lunch in the evening. Janice worked on this meal almost exclusively, I guess she has had enough of me in her kitchen. I hope not it was kind of fun helping and hopefully I was making it a bit easier for her.
Thursday, September 3
We got to the office and I worked on the Photo Roster of the Missionaries and Janice worked on the final touches of an awesome chicken alfredo fettuccine with salad. The dessert was a trifle with caramelo pudding, chocolate cake and whipped cream. It was great and Elder Baker was all but licking the bowl to get every drop out of it. The Elders loved the meal and Janice was happy with how it turned out. We taught English class to 3 students, Carolina, Paola, Bernardo. We taught them the alphabet and had them practice the correct pronunciation. They have a hard time with “d's, i's, t's, b's & v's. The rest of the alphabet they do really well with. After the class we discussed moving the time to Tuesday nights at 7PM to see if we could get more students. It was agreed so next week class is on Tuesday.
Friday, September 4
We had a bad night, Janice has been plagued with insect bits or hives and she did not sleep well. She got up in the middle of the night and took a shower to try to alleviate the pain and itching. Later in the night she got up and turned on the bathroom light with a big bang and and light bulb went out and it tripped the circuit breaker so the other light would not work. We had to get up at 5:30 to make it to the office so we could leave at 7AM to go to Maldonado to get our Uruguay drivers licenses. I had just gotten out of the shower and walked into the kitchen when I heard a load pop and a hissing sound like running water. I ran to the bathroom and discovered the hot water line coming from the hot water tank had burst. The tank which in located on the wall at the end of the shower area had the shower curtain drawn so most of the water was contained in the shower area and was going down the drain. The rest was quickly making its was across the bathroom towards the living room. We quickly put down some towels to slow it down and I started to look for the water shut of for the house. There was no valve at the water heater. I went outside with a flashlight and found a valve which I turned off but the water just kept on running. I looked all over outside and at the street but I could not find the valve. I called out landlady but she did not answer her phone so I went back outside and looked around some more. I finally found the valve buried under some grass and stickers. I got the water turned off but paid the price with the stickers. We had called the Elders and told them that we were having problems and we would be late or to please have them come and pick us up. The finally agreed to come and pick us up. They forgot the tools we would need later that day so they had to go back and pick them up. Elder Van Wagenen was not a happy with being delayed. They finally picked us up and we drove the 1:45 minutes to the Maldonado and got our drivers licenses. There is a lady in Maldenado that helps the missionaries get their licenses. There is a medical exam, eye exam and then get your picture taken and that was about it.
We then went to El Grille and had a huge melenista sandwich. It was at least 12” square and was piled high with melenista meat, fried eggs, ham, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and sauces. It was great! We split it in two and it was way more that we should have eaten but it was great. We then stopped by some of Elder Van Wagenen's old haunts. He served in this area and knows his way around so he gets to take all the new office Elder's to get their licenses. We stopped at a couple little stores and picked up some things that he could not find in Montevideo. We purchased and new bed spread / blanket for our bed and huge bag of corn flakes cereal. In Montevideo they only have these really small bags. We then drove to Piriapolis to deliver a new refrigerator to 2 Sister Missionaries. One of them had accidentally punctured the freon tube while trying to defrost their refrigerator. They also had a problem with their electrical lights. They turned on the lights and there was a flash and a bang and they were in the dark. While the others were replacing the fridge I tried to repair the light fixture. It is very hard doing things with a leatherman instead of real tools. I finally found the problem and got it repaired and fortunately the fuse had not blown. They have the oddest fuses here and I would have no idea where to buy one and how to test to see if it was blown. The Sister Missionaries were really grateful to have a new fridge and lights that worked when we left.
The ride to and from Maldonado would have been a pretty drive if it had not been a rainy day. We could not see very far and the glimpses of the ocean and beaches were quick.
We finally made it home although Elder Jacobson took a detour that would have taken us away from the city but fortunately we all woke up and Elder Van Wagenen was able to get us on the correct street back to the city.
At home later that evening I replaced the hoses to the water heater and we had hot water again, It is a wonderful thing!
Saturday September 5
We both slept in! Janice really needed the extra rest from not sleeping well the night before and I did not mind it either. I was up at 8AM and Janice by 9AM. We had a great breakfast of waffles then cleaned the house and did laundry. We went to the Pharmacy and purchased some Calomine cream and some antihistamine tablets. We thought we did great not speaking the language but still getting our needs across. We also stopped and a little hardware store and purchases a new light bulb for our bathroom fixture. It is a very odd lamp 230volts 50 watts in a MR16 style of lamp. We were really grateful to find one so we bought 2. We stopped by the grocery store on the way home and picked up a few things and then went by the street market to pick up some other vegetables but they were all but closed down. We were able to get a few things before they packed them away.
Tonight we are attended a baptism in the Malvin Ward which the Assistants (Elders Parraga & Zanutini ) work. Alba was suppose to attend but called and said she was too tired but that she would definitely be at Church tomorrow. I was asked to be a witness at the baptism. The Bishop of the Malvin Ward performed the baptism. There was a nice strong Spirit at the meeting and the woman who was baptized was very happy.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week 7 in Montevideo

Monday, August 24th
We went to the office and then to the meeting / lunch with President and Hermana Da Silva. President announced that he would not be having the meetings in this format any longer. He wants to meet with the Assistants and then will come to the office to sign any other papers that the Executive Secretaries or Financial Secretaries need him to sign. The Elders will really miss the meals that they looked forward to each week. The Da Silva's had a great cook, Mari that came in to help with the meal.
Tuesday, August 25
Another day at the office........
Wednesday, August 26
We prepared for our first English class which will be Thursday evening at 7:00PM. We don't know how many to expect so I made 12 copies of everything and hope I will have enough. We are going to teach them an overview of the language and then introduce the alphabet to them and see how many know English and if so how much do they know.
We prepared the meal for the Elders for the Thursday lunch. The menu request this week by Elder Sessions was “Hawaiian Haystacks”. For those of you who have never had them they go something like this.
First layer is typically a layer of crunchy Chinese noodles. ( the layer can be put in any order baseb on the preference of the builder).
Second Layer is a layer of white rice.
Third is a cream chicken sauce.
Then it is a free for all with topping like green onions, diced tomatoes, diced pineapple, mushrooms, olives, grated coconut.
There is lots of cutting, slicing and preparing for a group of 10 hungry missionaries.
Thursday, August 27
We finished the preparation for lunch and then took a taxi to the office. We are getting pretty good at calling our own now and don't have to rely on anyone to get around now. Well the buses except for a couple are still a bit of a mystery. There are several different bus companies down here and none of their websites provide a map and a schedule of where the buses are going and when they will be there. One give street names but it is very difficult to follow the routes on a map. We spent several hours with and map and the website and finally gave up trying to figure it out.
Lunch was a great success and desert a delicious apple cobble with a dulce de leche and whipped cream topping was very well received by the missionaries.
After lunch Elder Baker and I went to what is called Ciudad Viejo or Old City. It is the old part of the downtown district and it is an adventure in driving and navigation. We also looked for a Panasonic repair store without any luck but we did find a nice day pack that will help transport stuff to and from the office on the bus or walking.
We went by the Church on the way home to make sure we had the supplies we would need for the English class later that evening. We went to the class at 6:30 PM and prepared the classroom. At 7:00 we had 2 students ( Virginia & Bernardo) arrive, 15 minutes later we had 1 (Flaviana) more arrive and 5 minutes later Carolina arrive from work. We had a great time getting to know each other and learning what they knew about English. The 3 young ladies were pretty proficient and Bernardo is starting from the beginning. There is a weekly soccer game that takes place at 8:00PM and we had 3 of the soccer players drop in and participate some. Bruno, Gonzo & Julius. We will see if they come back next week and if we get any other new student from the ward members or if they will bring any new friends.
The class went pretty well for the first time.
Friday, August 28
An other day at the office.....
Saturday, August 29
We walked to a Panasonic store that I seen the sign of while riding the bus. It was a mile or so walk and on the way back we walked through a street market. We had seen it before but never had the time to explore it. The fringe vendors haul miscellaneous stuff most of it junk and lay it out on the ground or on blanket on the street. We found a vegetable steamer tray and bought it for 20 pesos. The more we walked into the market the more sophisticated the vendors and their displays got. They were selling packaged groceries, clothes, hardware and then there were many vegetable vendors and meats and cheese vendors. We spent a couple of hours wandering the market and came home with some super glue, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, squash, garlic and the desire to check it out again in the future.
Later in the afternoon we had and wonderful opportunity to support 4 of our Office Elders in the baptisms the were conducting. The first was a 14 year old young lady that was baptized by Elder Bennett. He and Elder Heaps make a great companionship and it was great to support them. There were many of the young ladies friends and family in attendance and the Spirit was very strong. After the baptism we went by the Mission Office to drop off the car we had borrowed. We had about 1 hour before the next baptism so I called the Wilson's that work in the Temple to see if they were home. They were and invited us over for a quick meal and visit prior to the baptism service. It was great to visit with them they are really great people and very kind to us.
The next baptism was an 8 year old young man that was really excited to be baptized and covenant with Jesus Christ that he would keep the commandments and always remember him. Elder Van Wagenen baptized him while Elder Baker and I acted as witnesses to insure that the prayer was said properly and the person was fully submerged into the water. Everything went well and the Spirit was very strong. We got to visit with some young people (the Dacoli's) that were friends with Bernardo who attended our English class Thursday night. They spoke very good English and it was great to visit with them. As we were waiting at the bus stop a car stopped on the street and rolled down the wind and asked if we were going home in English. It turned out to be a member of the Buceo Ward and he invited us into the car and took us home. It was great to get a ride because we were just about to try to find a cab because the buses slow down or stop their schedule about the time we started waiting for a bus. We got to discuss some missionary ideas with Brother Gonzalo Risso and hopefully helped him know how to invite his friends to know more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.