Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First Week on the Job

We survived - with the help of our capable assistants (Elder Gallo, left, and Elder Farr, right) and office elders (represented by Elder Alfaro in the center)! They tell us where to be, who we are, and how to do it. Couldn't do it without them!
We traveled from north to south and several cities in between meeting all of our missionaries. Here we are in MedellĂ­n on day 1 of our bienvenida tour. Day 2 we were in Pereira, day 3 - Cali, day 4 - Palmira, and day 5 - Pasto. All of the missionaries welcomed us with abrazos for President Prince and warm handshakes for Sister Prince.  The Hermanas of our mission are wonderful!  What hardworking, dedicated young men!
 With each group of elders we played a game called El Panorama to develop unity, leadership, and focus on our investigators. Only two of the five groups came off victorious, but all had fun working together.
On Sunday, we drove up to see the Cristo Rey in Cali.  We can see this out of our bedroom window every day.
This perspective of the city is much calmer than down on the streets. The city goes forever; it's beautiful! Just one small piece of our vineyard.

The week was full of miracles:  I fell sick on 2 of the travel days but with the help of a priesthood blessing, we didn't miss one session with the missionaries.  The keys were locked in the running car without an extra set...miraculously we found one back window that opened up and an Elder crawled in and opened it up.  Jon lost his daily planner in an airport as we boarded a plane to fly south to Pasto.  Prayers were answered and they located the planner in the airport and had it waiting for us on our return trip.  We went to church and met the grandmother of one of my volunteers in the MTC during my language training.  She was thrilled and had a picture of her granddaughter with her.  Jon has reunited with members he helped to baptize while serving his mission here in Colombia 35 years ago. 

Cali is full of chaos on the streets and I am terrified at the thought of trying to drive (no I haven't even attempted that yet!) , but the peace of the gospel is found in the chapels and in the warm smiles of the members. 

We had the opportunity to speak to a single adult fireside on our first Sunday here.  Marcie has played the piano at every meeting with the missionaries.  The spirit has filled the room the same way her music fills the air.  We are blessed in spite of our weaknesses.  There is so much to learn...and then learn it all in Spanish!  Exhausted...but enduring to the end!

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