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!