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.