Monday, April 27, 2015

To Mexico City and Back . . . and a few other things

This past week we attended the semi-annual mission presidents' seminar with the Area Presidency in Mexico City.
Our Area Presidency
Elder Paul Pieper 1st counselor
Elder Benjamin De Hoyos, president
Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela, 2nd counselor

The majority of the training we received focused on the area plan.
The Area Plan is:
1. Fast with faith, pay a generous fast offering and a full tithe
2. Everyday help someone to receive the teachings and ordinances of the gospel that will help them return to our Heavenly Father
3. Find names of your own ancestors and provide the ordinances for them in the temple.

  A few years ago, missionaries would have only been responsible for #2, but nowadays missionaries are expected to help in all aspects of the work of salvation, so they are to participate in all three through helping and teaching active, less active and new members.

I love the seminars! They provide a much needed energy boost, give us great ideas and we get to visit with the other mission presidents. Here are a few pictures from our time together:

Our generation! This is the group that will be going home this summer. We have loved serving together these past three years and will very much miss the friendships we have developed. (Notice the one mission president on the phone. The work is never done:-)

This was fun! The Sandbergs are serving as secretaries in the area office. They also served in the temple in Guatemala with my parents many years ago. It was fun to meet up with them in Mexico City.

Cutest couple award goes to . . .Pachuca! 
I love their matching outfits (and not just because purple is my favorite color) They looked super cute the day before as well in yellow and gray matching clothes. 
I thought they looked all ready for a wedding!
Here is a picture of most of the presidents and their wives waiting for the session to begin. There are 34 missions in Mexico so there were 68 of us there, plus the Area Office people and translators. 
I was leading the music so was sitting in a great place to sneak a picture.:-)
We met in the chapel by the temple which was really nice. 
 The view outside my hotel room.
 We were totally spoiled with the food. This is a picture from last year (which is why President Reeves is in it) but it gives you an idea of the wonderful food we ate. Not all of the seminars feed us this well. The son of the man in charge of the food for the church is one of our wonderful missionaries! President Mendoza does an awesome job!
We also got to visit with this couple--parents of another one of our great missionaries!

It all passed much too quickly. Before we knew it we were back in Guadalajara and back to work. We are also super sad we will miss the seminar next year!

In other pictures . . . Here are a few pictures I have taken over the past few weeks that I haven't yet posted. There is no theme to them, just random events!

First--family visitors! My youngest sister, her husband and three of her children came to visit. Their visit was mostly humanitarian as they brought clothes for our missionaries in need as well as some of the future missionaries in the districts. We appreciated them coming to visit us and had a good time with them while they were here.
 Our daughter Kathryn and her "friend" (who is still just a "friend")
But while they were here they were able to attend a small branch with us (notice them in the very back). It was a lot of fun to have them and great to have people to add to our numbers that day.
I just thought these pictures were funny. Here is President Wagner and the assistants taking pictures at our house of the last group to go home  . . . 
 And here is the last group posing for their pictures. I don't know how missionaries who are leaving us can look so happy. We certainly weren't feeling the same way!
And lastly  . . . just a random picture at the temple of some of the newest missionaries and their companions waiting to get a taxi to the bus station.
And that is it for today! 

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