First things first, sorry for totally spelling Juan Lacaze wrong last week. After five days here, I can now say I officially know how to spell Juan Lacaze!
Okay there is just so much I have to tell you guys about Juan Lacaze...it is so different here than Fray Bentos, but I love it! Not a ton of people live here and it’s super country, but it’s AWESOME! And man oh man have I seen some tender mercies this week or what. My last night in Fray Bentos was amazing. Hermano Maneyro and Familia Flores threw a little goodbye party for me and another elder who was leaving (Elder Gutierrez de Mexico)! We had lasagna, took some pictures, and Familia Flores gave me the sweetest gift and note. So many people in Fray Bentos gave me notes and things and I am just so grateful I have a little something to remember them by!! Okay and then Wednesday, I left for JUAN LACAZE! The bus ride was great and then I finally got to see my new comp, Hermana Paredes!
I forgot to tell you guys all the little connections I have with her...my first change, I lived in a house with Hermana Christensen. After my first change, Hermana Christensen left to train (she trained Hermana Paredes) and open an area in Colonia (Juan Lacaze). I remember being so excited for her, and little did I know, I’d be serving with her companion and in her area just twelve weeks later. When I went to sign my papers in Montevideo two weeks ago, Hermana Christensen and Hermana Paredes were also there! Hermana Christensen and Hermana Gordillo (my companion at the time) both had to use the bathroom, so Hermana Paredes and I just sat and talked for a bit. I remember thinking to myself, "you know what, I think she’s going to be my companion one day," but I had no idea how soon it would actually be! But anyway, Hermana Paredes is awesome. She’s from Trujillo, Peru and is super tranquila. As you know, I have the tendency to get a little stressed at times, so she is just perfect for me because she’s all about staying calm and just enjoying the mission. And guess what??? She taught little kids before her mission, so she is an awesome teacher. She is going to help me with my teaching skills a lot so I am pumped!
Both of us are relatively new in the mission and we’re covering two areas (there were two other Hermanas here before but they left to open an area in Argentina...we have bits of Argentina and Brazil in our mission now), so every day is an adventure. We just walk around with our little map in hand and it’s great!
The people here in Juan Lacaze are very sweet. We have some awesome investigators named Oscar, Alba, and Brenda (we met her my first day here), and we’re just working on finding all the investigators in the other sisters´area.
OKAY AND GUESS WHAT? The world is just so small. First off, I share a branch with Elder Ballif. He and his companion, Elder Ramirez, are awesome so it’ll be fun serving with them. Second off, as you guys know, I met some people Uncle Tom knows! I walked into sacrament and this sixteen-year-old girl came up to me and looked at my plaque. Afterwards, she was like, "No way, do you know a Tom Dixon who served his mission in Uruguay and who plays violin?" And I was like, "YEAH! He’s my uncle!" She gathered up her whole family and we all just started hugging and crying. This family is Familia Villagran and I guess they lived with Uncle Tom and his fam for a year in the states. I am so excited to get to know them more, and it was honestly a huge miracle for me. God is very aware of his children!
Well, that’s all for now! I’m doing well here in Juan Lacaze, and I feel so lucky to be sharing such a sweet message with all the sweet people here in Uruguay. I hope you all have a swell week!