Sunday, August 4, 2013

Out Among The People

So much of our time is either spent in meetings and training missionaries, or preparing to meet and train the missionaries, so when we have a little break, like we did this past week, we like to take advantage of it, and get out and be with the people.

This past week, President Wagner took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and went to work with the elders. One night he worked in Vallarta with the zone leaders there, another night with the zone leaders in Union, then a night with the assistants, and then the zone leaders in Independencia.

On the first two nights they drove around in the car. On the third night he got to experience the city bus system and on the fourth night he walked, and walked, and walked—across fields, down through ravines and even hopped rocks across a river of raw sewage. And they walked very quickly. (So he was just a little bit sore the next morning.:-) But it was a great experience for him. Also on two of those nights Kathryn worked with the sister missionaries in the area and really enjoyed that as well. 

Here are the elders he "walked, and walked, and walked" with.

Also this week we had the missionaries who work in our ward over for lunch! We aren't home very often, so we can't do this very much (and if we are home we are usually feeding the mission council, or those coming or going) but every few months we try to make time for them to come. It was fun visiting with them and they gave us a sweet message after the meal.

I decided they get Mexican food all the time so we went with pure American food at this meal. We had sloppy Joe's, potato chips and oatmeal fudge bars for dessert. But also being the mission mom and worrying about their health, we made sure they got a healthy serving of vegetables. :-) (Thank you Kathryn for yet another beautiful salad!)

Saturday night we attended a baptismal service for four people! It was so much fun to be there with the missionaries and the great members of that ward. There was one 10-year old boy, an older boy, and two adult women joining the Church that night. Both of the women had attended church for over a year before being baptized. And they all bore sweet and strong testimonies. Here are a few pictures from the service.  I didn't get any of the people being baptized, but I did get all the missionaries who were there.:-)  And here is one of everyone congratulating the new members after the service.

 Two great sister missionaries!!
 These are the two senior companions
 And these are the two junior companions. The one on the left is just finishing his training and is doing a great job. The one on the right is from Nicaragua. He is also doing great.
 These two were visiting from another ward. The elder on the right is also in training and the elder on the left got to give an impromptu speech on the Holy Ghost--and did a super great job with it!
 Here the zone leaders are catching up with President Wagner. (Probably making sure he can still walk after their fast paced trek a couple nights before.:-)

Sunday morning we headed out to a small town in one of our districts to attend church in their branch. We want to visit all of the branches over the course of the year, and we had never been to this branch before, so we were excited to go.

These great elders greeted us at the door.

And this elder (the third in the current trio) was at the piano playing prelude (Those 8 years of piano lessons have paid off!)

The people in this branch were super friendly. And what surprised us was how many men were there! Usually small branches only have a few men, but this branch had many. I heard after the service that several of those men have just recently come back to church. What a blessing to have them!!

We didn't see any youth at the meeting but there were some absolutely darling primary children! I think if I were in this ward I would want to be in primary and just hug the kids all day. Here is a picture of the primary class with their teacher.
And a couple close ups. We met these two little cuties in the bathroom. They were washing the dirt off the roots of the flowers they had just picked.
And then there were these two little guys. One is four and the other is five. It is their job to hand out all the hymn books before church and gather them up again afterward. Kathryn was holding her small green hymn book and one of the boys did a double take to make sure she wasn't stealing one from the church.  These boys also invite all of their little friends over to their house on Monday nights for family night. Their mom was telling me that last week they had about 13 kids over. The father hadn't come  home yet, so the five year old started conducting the meeting. I think we are looking at some future church leaders here.:-)
Here President Wagner is with the branch president.
On our way out of town I took a few quick pictures:

This dog was across the street from the church, up on the roof where he could keep a close eye on all that was happening.

This man stands at the entrance to the town to welcome everyone who comes (or threaten them, I am not sure which).
I love the colors of all the houses.

And finally, the beautiful greenery that surrounds this small town. 
It has been a fun week. And now we look forward to what this coming week will bring!

1 comment:

  1. That salad looks incredible! I may have to try to duplicate it :) We have our first transfers starting TODAY . . . hope we're ready, we receive 34 with our first go-round . . . I think we should have been broken in just a little bit easier :D ~~xoxo~~