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.