On Monday, July 18 we welcomed Elder Venable to the best mission in the world. He flew in at night and managed to get his luggage even with the power outage at the airport! After some training on Tuesday morning by our capable office staff, he is ready to go to work!
On Tuesday, July 19, we welcomed all of our Zone Leaders to the office for Zone Leader Counsel. What a great group of Leaders...future Bishops, Stake Presidents, and Mission Presidents. We took them to Cristo Rey where they sang ¨High On a Mountain Top¨to the city of Cali below. What a wonderful moment!
On Wednesday, July 20 we flew to Medellín. July 20 is also Independence Day for Colombia. We saw a lot of Colombian flags hanging out in front of homes. Jon did interviews for 2 days while Marcie and I went with Zone Leaders to do apartment inspections. Those with clean apartments were awarded the M & M award for ¨Misioneros Maravillosos¨! We did give out a few of them!!
On Friday we held our first zone conference with the Medellín and Belén Zones. We asked our Latin Elders to prepare a short testimony or thought to share in English. We chose names lottery style and had them come to the pulpit. The spirit was REALLY strong as they bore sweet, simple testimony in a language that is foreign to them. I KNOW how hard it is to get up and speak in a foreign language. I am so proud of their efforts and know they will be blessed as they keep learning and studying. Working with members, obedience, leadership and unity were just a few of the topics covered throughout the day. Both zones came out victorious in the friendly competition held in the afternoon...Belén won the pictionary game and Medellín the scripture chase.
Birthdays for May, June and July were celebrated after lunch. Jon spent the evenings out in the field working with the missionaries while Marcie and I took in a little shopping at the mall. We flew back to Cali on Saturday. Saturday is a special day...time to rest and get ready for Sunday!