Sunday, October 27, 2013

More Interview Pictures . . .

Here are more pictures from interviews. They are not in any particular order, or from any particular zone. 
This coming week we will finish interviews for the northern part of the mission, so if you have been looking for your missionary, the pictures will be posted by next Monday at the latest. 

Waiting for someone to come with the keys. But we were so glad to have so many to help carry the boxes!
 Evidence of a missionary's resourcefulness. This elder was sent a cake mix for his birthday but he didn't have an oven to cook it in, so he made pancakes with the batter and frosted each layer. I won't go so far as to say it looked appetizing, but I was impressed.
 What this elder --and the rest of his district--were eating for breakfast. Yes, I lectured them and then told them to send me a picture Monday of a good breakfast. So this elder sent me a picture of a bowl of coco puffs. Hmmmm. Hopefully by posting this picture his mother will see it and have a little visit with him.:-)

Sunday, October 20, 2013


The last couple weeks we have been traveling around the mission for interviews. While President Wagner meets with each missionary individually Hermana Wagner (Hija) and I meet with the other members of his/her district to cover items like health, planning and language study. And if there is time we also taught how to lead music.

This round we are also delivering blenders to needy missionaries. But there is a catch. They have to answer a question regarding Preach My Gospel before they can get it!

And here are just some pictures . . . One of these poor missionaries was diagnosed with chicken pox the following day. I imagine we will have a few more cases sometime this week. :-(

Oops, Sorry Elder S! I should have checked for closed eyes!

So those are all my pictures for this week. Next week I will publish some more!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Few Random Pictures

So, you want to know how the missionaries can get on my good side? A clean apartment. And nice little notes don't hurt either.:-)

When our friends were here visiting we went out to the ruins and discovered this tree. I think it looks like a perfect shape for a tree of life. So here they are "partaking" and "inviting" me to join them! What a good husband and what great friends!
We had the wettest September on record, and it included some pretty crazy weather. Here is an intersection near our house that we had to try and cross! Finally we just parked our car and walked home and then went back later to get the car. 
On a positive, the rain has also contributed to some pretty spectacular scenery to enjoy during our many trips around the mission.

Lastly, this picture comes from Honduras. It is of our daughter with her new companion.
I love this!! Her companion is from Esmeraldas, Ecuador, which was my first area in my mission. The Church had only been there for a couple years when I got there and there were just three tiny branches. I was so excited to see a sister missionary coming out of there!! 
The work truly marches on!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another Farewell . . . Senior Couples

We are sad to announce that two of the senior couples are completing their missions and returning home. The Smiths on the left have been serving in the temple. And although they did not work with us directly, we benefited greatly from their service. We also very much enjoyed spending Thanksgiving and Christmas day with them, and sharing family nights. We will miss them very much.

The Crocketts, on the right, have served faithfully in Manzanillo, a district on the coast. They have served tirelessly for two years and will be greatly missed. Sister Crockett did not speak any Spanish when they arrived but has done great learning the language and communicating with the wonderful Saints in her area. Brother Crockett served a mission in Brazil, but did speak some Spanish, however, he has also improved since arriving here. Together they worked in the small branches helping with member support and reactivation. They are leaving behind a huge whole in the district, not only because they personally have done so much and will be missed, but also because we do not have anyone to replace them.

The good both of these couples have done cannot be adequately expressed. We are so grateful for our association with them and wish them a wonderful, and healthy life back at home.

Thank you so much for being a part of our lives! We love you all!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A typical change day in the mission . . .

 I know it is different from other missions, but due to distance, cost of travel and lack of sleeping space, this is what currently works best for us.

Early Monday morning, President Wagner and the assistants take the outgoing missionaries to the airport and then stay there to pick up the new ones coming from the MTC in Mexico City. They are brought to our house where they sign the mission quilt and eat breakfast.

Following breakfast--while still at the house--President Wagner interviews them all, Kathryn meets with them to introduce the English language program, and I meet with them to go over health policies and to see if there are any health issues they might have that I need to be aware of. (Many times they arrive with health issues that were not disclosed before the mission.)

Meanwhile the assistants shuffle everyone between meeting with the three of us. I am not saying we run them ragged, but when you need to hold three "security" pillows . . . :-)

Following all of the above, we are off to the stake center near the temple. Here President Wagner trains the trainers, and the assistants and our senior office couple train the new missionaries.

Then comes the moment we are all waiting for! It is when the trainers and the new missionaries meet their companions!! This is always my favorite. The new missionaries sit on one side of the chapel and the trainers on the other. Then President Wagner announces the companionships and they meet in the middle where they get to spend some time getting to know each other.

I loved this!! One trainer brought matching ties for him and his new companion!

Next comes more training.  President Wagner goes over security training, I go over more health, "Please don't take your new companion out for street tacos" and Kathryn reviews ideas of how to help your companion learn a new language. "Can you find your 'nose'?"

Meanwhile--chaos is going on out in the parking lot. Because missionaries are not allowed to travel alone, all missionaries being transferred come to the church building to pick up their companion. This is a bit chaotic but also a lot of fun for the missionaries.

I loved this as well. Here is when the new missionaries first arrived and this kind elder ran over to meet and welcome them. Thank you Elder O, for your thoughtfulness.

 All companionship exchanges take place within an hour, but during that hour we get to see a lot of the missionaries. Like four of our awesome sisters!
 And five more . . . 

Along with three great elders.

And here are a few who took advantage of the church's close proximity to Dairy Queen. Always eating healthy as you can see.:-)
It is alway fun to see old friends

Before loading up the taxis (and I mean loading up!)
 And heading off to new adventures. (The elder in the front seat just got his first transfer after one year in the mission!)

Then . . . President Wagner jumps in the car and "rushes" through terrible traffic back to the airport to pick up the American missionaries. I am also jumping back into my car and heading home to get dinner ready before they arrive at the house. Following their dinner and some training, they are sent to the office to sleep.

The next morning they meet their trainers. This time, since there were only four missionaries, we met at the office for the training meeting.

I seriously can not brag enough about what a great job the assistants do with everything. (They also arrange for food for the new missionaries and their companions after the first shift of training) And see the assistant on the left? He did about 75% of the training to the Americans in ENGLISH!! I was so proud of him!! Good Job Elder C!!
After this training, two companionships headed to work here in town and the others we took to the bus stop to send them on their way . . . but not until we fed them lunch! :-) Hot dogs anyone?
In addition to our assistants, a HUGE special thanks goes to our office secretaries! On Monday they set everything up perfectly in the cultural hall so everything would be all ready to go when we arrived. Their hard work was essential to the day's success and we appreciate them very much!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

New Missionaries!!

First--a couple weeks ago we welcomed a new elder into the mission. He came from Honduras and had been waiting NINE MONTHS for his visa. Finally he arrived!! He told us his family joined the church when he was 8 and he has been counting down the years since then until he could serve a mission. What a blessing for us he was called to serve here! We didn't get a picture of him with his companion, but here he is with President Wagner at the office the night he arrived.

Then last Monday morning we welcomed 9 more missionaries!! We had one sister from Colombia, 7 elders from Mexico and 1 elder from my old mission--Ecuador! Here is the group all together.
 And here is each one with his or her companion

 Well, except for these four. These four were trainers who had to wait until the next day to meet their new companions.
Because these four arrived from the US later that day.

Finally they are able to meet.

A big welcome to everyone!! So glad to have you all here! We know you will be awesome!