Hermana Lee & Beneagas
Sunday December 13, 2009
Today is branch conference that remains that President Grande and Augilar and possibly others will be coming to visit a branch today. I have to speak and they will both speak. The topic that I have chosen for the branch conference theme is unity and service.
I gave my talk on unity indicating that in the scriptures we are commanded to one, we are commanded to help support each other and sustain one another.
I also spoke about service and how we needed to help each other and organize service projects for each other and go from one person's house to another helping to do projects that they could not do themselves.
President Grande and Auguilar both spoke also. Since it was in Spanish I'm not sure what they talked about.
During Sunday school time I gave the last lesson of the temple preparation class. This lesson focuses on returning to the temple and continuing to learn. I asked the class members if they enjoyed the temple trip and if they wanted to return to the temple soon and they said yes can we go back tomorrow! It was great to know that they enjoyed the temple trip.
We had Rubin and the missionaries for lunch today. Elder Walbeck shared his curry that his family had sent him. Janice made a curry sauce and rice and it turned out good. Elder Walbeck was excited to be able have that meal before he left us. He realized he will probably not have a kitchen as good as ours any other time in the mission.
Rubin had painted us a picture of the temple. We had given him a photograph of a sunset and the temple. And he recreated it in his painting. Janice and Ruben were negotiating the price of the painting and before long both of them were crying. Janice was explaining to Ruben that his painting was going to be a remembrance of him to her.
Tonight we find out where Elder Walbeck and Espinola are going to be transferred to. It is a sad day as we wait. The missionaries came home from working and told us that Elder Walbeck as being transferred to Chuy and will remain as Zone leader in the Rocha Zone and Elder Espinola is going to be transferred to Durazno and be a trainer.
They told us that we're going to be receiving two sister missionaries, Hermana Orme and Hermana Smoot. We have met Hermana Orme before and she is great. We have not met Hermana Smoot but the missionaries say she is great.
Monday, December 14th 2009
Today we helped the missionaries prepare for the transfers. Cleaning, washing clothes etc. They leave at 5:05 in the morning.
We went out with the missionaries to visit a family (Richardo and Denise) in the Branch that had not been to Church for over a year. They have a little girl named Victoria. They had another little girl that died about a year ago. It was a real tragedy for the family and they pulled away from everyone including the Church. Richardo was working so we talked with Denise and invited her to a Ward family home evening later that night.
Denise and Victoria and Denise's mother came to the Family Home Evening (FHE). It was great to see them at the Church. The FHE was really a going away party for Elder Walbeck and Espinola. There was about 25 people there and everyone had a great time!
Tuesday, December 15th 2009
This morning the Taxi showed up at about 4:30AM and Elder Walbeck and Espinola loaded up all their luggage and headed to the bus station and Montevideo where they will meet their new companions and then head to their new areas of service. We got up with them and helped them load up their stuff and Janice made them a breakfast sandwich they could eat on the bus. She is going to miss those two Elders.
We spent the rest of the day cleaning and preparing for the Hermana's to arrive.
While we were cleaning the phone rang and it was President Da Silva. He asked if we could come to Montevideo tomorrow and help them prepare for the Mission Conference that is being held on Friday December 18th. We told him that we would be on the 9AM bus and should get into Montevideo about noon.
The Hermana's ended up getting a late bus and did not make it into La Paloma until 7:30PM. We met them at the bus station and helped them load up all their luggage into 2 taxis. Hermana Smoot had 11 bags of stuff. We quickly rode our bike home and met them at the house and helped them move all their stuff into the house. We told them that we had dinner waiting and they asked if we could do it at 9PM because they wanted to go out and make 20 contacts with people. So we told them where the most people would be in town and off they went. What great dedication and energy they have towards spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are a great example to us and everyone.
When they came back we had a great meal and enjoyed getting to know them better. Hermana Smoot is from Centerville Utah and it turns out that her dad was the same age as my cousin Bruce Hegerhorst and my uncle Ronald Hegerhorst was their scout master while they were growing up in Centerville ( I found this out when the Hermana's went back into their rooms and I called their parents to let them know that their daughters had been transferred and they were doing great). It is a small world. Hermana Orme is from Gridley California. Both of them have been out on their missions about 15 months. They are both due to return home in March. They both speak Spanish very well and have been great missionaries. We are looking forward to working with them in the area.
Wednesday, December 16th 2009
We were on the 9:05 AM bus heading to Montevideo to help the Da Silva's prepare for the Mission Conference. We felt bad to leave the Hermana's alone and not be able to help them in their new area the first few days, but we had spent some time going over maps and explaining where the members lived. It is tough here since none of the houses have numbers and most of the streets are unmarked. It makes finding people tough.
We arrive in Montevideo and did a bit of shopping and then took a taxi to the Mission Home and arrived just as the Da Silvas were arriving back home. They indicated that they were just heading to the store and asked if we could come with them. We quickly put our suitcases into the garage and got into the van and went right back the store we had just came from. While we were there Hermana Da Silva asked Janice to make the meals for the next 2 nights for 6 people. Janice was in charge of the menu and making the meal at a moments notice. She pulled herself together and we tried to remember the ingredients from recipes so we could buy everything that we needed. We decided on making Chicken Teriyaki and Chicken Alfredo. We arrived back at the Mission home and ate lunch and then the work started! Hermana Da Silva had been baking since last Friday. She was in the process of making 6 cookies (2 chocolate chip (chips from USA) 2 Snickerdoodles and 2 oatmeal raisin) each for 188 missionaries. That is over 1100 cookies!! I got to put the cookie dough on the pans and take the cookies off the pans as they came out of the oven. Janice started preparing the dinner for the evening. Doctor and Hermana Peterson, the Da Silva's and us would be at dinner each night. There were a few cookies that did not make it to the pan and a couple that did not make it far from the oven. Well, I had to test them to make sure they were going to be acceptable to give to the missionaries!!
Thursday, December 17th 2009
We spent the morning packaging the cookies in plastic sacks with a red ribbon and a Santa attached to the ribbon. 188 packages of cookies and then 188 packages of candy also.
When we were done there was a couple of hours before dinner so we went to visit Keith and Teri Wilson, Temple missionaries in the Montevideo Temple. They have become great friends. It was great to visit with them and enjoy some laughs with them.
We made Chicken Alfredo for dinner and it turned out great. They all liked it so much they volunteered me to make breakfast in the morning. After dinner we visited with the Petersen's for a couple of hours and then helped the Da Silva's finish up a few letters they had written to missionaries that do not receive any support from home.
Friday, December 18th 2009
I got up early and made breakfast from leftovers and 5 eggs. It turned out great and everyone enjoyed it. Then we all went to the Malvin church building for the Mission Conference. It was great to see all the missionaries we have met since we have been here in Uruguay.
The conference was great. President Da Silva spoke about the real reason why we give gifts at Christmas time. That is because the best gift of all was given to us, that is the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to this earth to live and die and take upon himself the sins of this world that we all might come back and live with him and our Heavenly Father. What a wonderful gift this is to all of us that repent and live the commandments of God. We will all get to live with our families and Them again. We then broke for lunch. It was a catered lunch and was good. It was nice to talk to the Hermanas at our table. I told hermana Brittany Lee that if she gave me her families phone number I would call them for her and if she gave me their email address I would email the pictures of the Conference to them. She did so I did.
President Da Silva then gave everyone letters that their family, Stake President, Bishop or President Da Silva had written them. There was then a quiet time for everyone to read their letters. It was touching to watch the missionaries read their letters through tears and sniffles. The missionaries were very grateful to receive this letters and it touched them deeply.
Each Zone then gave a musical number and the conference ended. Everyone headed back to their areas. We went to the bus station and waited for the 6PM bus back to La Paloma.
Saturday, December 19th 2009
Tonight is our Branch Christmas party. There was about 15 people that came and those that did enjoyed the time together. It started raining during the party and most of the people that came were on motorcycles, bicycles or walking. Most of them including us got wet on the way home. While at the party President Picarrdo told me that he had a nephew that repairs bicycles and he was going to talk him on Monday to see he would be willing to take the missionaries bikes and repair them. The bikes are in bad shape and desperately need repairs.