Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Eighteen New Missionaries!!

We never have too much time to mourn the missionaries who leave us, because only a few hours later, new ones arrive. This week we said goodbye to 15 and welcomed 18. Seventeen of those were from Mexico and one was from the United States. Four of the 17 were Sisters. All of them seem like they will be great missionaries.

Because the ones from Mexico arrive early in the morning, after feeding them and having interviews we went ahead and did their training so they could leave for their areas. This does make for a long day for them (since they usually have to get up at 4 to get here) but it also allows them to jump right into missionary work. We will have them all come back in four weeks for follow up training as well.

Our one American arrived at night, so we also fed him (along with his new companion) and then after spending the night in the office he received his training the next morning--in English so he could understand it.:-)

Here are some pictures from the day--beginning with a very bad picture of the early group. (The shadows from the palm trees messed it up a bit. I won't be doing that again.)

At the church for training
Getting to know their trainers This is always the most fun part for me. Everyone is so excited to see who their companion will be and the new ones are dying to know where they will be working.

And here are pictures of everyone with their trainers. The blessing of being at the church is we are next to the temple. Our American elder's picture was taken at our house in front of the "tree of life".  I have not specified which are the new ones and which are trainers, but I know their parents will know.:-)

And this picture just made me laugh. This elder is apparently "growing" He actually borrowed a suit (pants and jacket from two different people). It is always good to have friends.:-)

La Despedida!

Once again we bid farewell to another group of missionaries this past week. It was such a sad day! We love every one of these missionaries and are going to miss them very much!! But we wish them the very best as they move on to great things at home.

One missionary, Elder Carbó had to leave a few days early to get back in time for school. So we had a dinner just for him, but invited the assistants as well. Here is a picture of the three of them after the dinner.  Elder Carbó is in the middle.

Then on Sunday night the rest came for dinner. We had 15 missionaries leave this change!!

And a few other pictures from the evening . . .

Don't pay attention to the stalker in the window.:-)

Both of these elders served as assistants to President Wagner

 And here is the signing of the quilt. All of our missionaries sign the quilt--either as they enter the country or for those who arrived before we did, as they leave. Elder Jensen had asked for months and months if he could sign but I made him wait until his last night. So of course when he finally did we had to take a picture!!

Final Transfer
(For the missionaries privacy as well as security, I never put their name and picture together on the blog. Nor do I put the exact location of where in the mission they are working.
But when they go home, I do post their names, pictures and where they are going to)
Elder Eduardo Vergara--Tampico, Mexico
Elder Victor Quilumba--Quito, Ecuador
Elder Cole Duda--Mahomet, Illinois
Elder Lucas Grantham--Santa Rose, California
Elder Brig Jensen--Las Vegas, Nevada
Elder Arispencer Coleman--(Undecided:-)
Elder Thomas Casanova--Merida, Mexico
Elder Israel Hernandez--Puebla, Mexico
Elder Mizraim Sanchez--Mexico, Mexico
Elder Alberto Jacinto--Tabasco, Mexico
Elder Mosiah Silverio--Chilpancingo, Mexico
Elder Gabriel Lopez--(He isn't sure)
Hermana Maria de Jesus Hernandez--Cancun, Mexico
Elder Jorge Alberto Canul--Merida, Mexico
Elder Santos Xavier Carbó--Puerto Rico

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What we do on our week "off" :-)

This past week was a down week--meaning we weren't as busy as other weeks and we weren't traveling. But we still had a lot of things going on. Here are our top 5 that I haven't already written about--in the order they occurred.

1. A p-day trip to the zoo.

The zoo in Guadalajara is a lot of fun. You can buy a complete package and see everything or just buy an entrance pass for the things you want to see and do. We bought for the main zoo and the train and had a really good time.  The zoo sits on the side of this beautiful canyon!! So even if you aren't a fan of the animals you can enjoy the scenery.
 Here is Kathryn with the birds.  I will spare you all the pictures of the animals.:-)

2. A trip to Manzanillo

Manzanillo is about 3 hours away and at the end of a beautiful drive!! The scenery takes my breath away even after a year of seeing it. (It isn't as pretty in the dry season, but in the rainy season it is spectacular.)

On this particular day, however, we had rain all the way there, all during church, and all the way back. It was so much rain, in fact, that the roads out of Manzanillo were all flooded and it took us an hour and a half just to find out way out of the city.

Rain pouring off the side of the church building. 
 One of the roads leading out of town. 

3.  Follow up training for trainers and new missionaries.

On Wednesday we had all the trainers and their companions come back into town for follow-up training. We met at the church and had training by myself, President Wagner, Kathryn and the assistants. Following our training meeting, all those not living in the city (since they could make it to their meal with the ward members) were fed pizza, salad and fruit juice.

Here is most of the group all ready to learn (we had a few who showed up right after the picture was taken).

The training . . .
The food . . .

And the departure . . .

#4. Farewell dinner for Elder Carbó from Puerto Rico

The rest of his generation will leave tomorrow (Monday), but Elder Carbó received his final transfer on Wednesday night so he could get back to school on time. We had a nice dinner at the house with him and the assistants and then sent him on his way. He will definitely be missed. He is a great elder.

Elder Carbó (center) and the assistants.

#5. Office Party and welcoming a new office couple
We have a new senior office couple!! After being used to senior office help, we were quite devastated at the departure of the Calls, but God has been merciful and sent us another couple. They started this past week and so on Saturday the office held a welcome party for them as well as a farewell party for the two elders leaving the office. (One assistant going home and one secretary who received a transfer.)

With the exception of a pot of beans (Sister Kingsford) and chocolate cake from us, everything else was cooked by the elders. I was so impressed!!

Here are the cooks (It was their p-day so hence the attire)

The fly-swatter . . .

The food . . .

With of course LOTS of tortillas!! 

And the setting--under the mango tree!

And while sitting there I looked up and saw this!
Elder Morales had his name written on some of the mangoes!! I guess he wanted to be sure he got his fair share.

It was a good week with fun times, but now we are ready to have transfers tomorrow and head out for zone conferences!! (Which means in the next three weeks I should have pictures of everyone!:-)