Monday, October 31, 2011

Who am I and where am I going?

Some days I have to remind myself who I am and gratefully we have assistants and office staff to tell us where we are going! 
Elders Hernandez and Jamett- our assistants

We had a great experience with Elders Waddell and Davila as they visited to reorganize the stake presidency in the San Fernando Stake of Cali on October 16 - 17.  They inspired the saints to look to the temple, to listen to the prophet, to do the little things in their families that would strengthen and bless, and to continue to be faithful.  Being with them reminded me that I am a daughter of God and the Lord is mindful of me.

Tuesday, October 18...Zone Conference with Zona Calima and Happy Birthday to Marcie  (reminded me that I am a mother who is VERY far away from her children)
Zona Calima
Elders Jensen, L. Martinez, Kennedy, Stutz, Smuin, Mercado, Rivera, J. Martinez, Galindo, Rieple, Rosales, y Gomez

Wednesday, October 19...Zone Conference with Zona Villa Colombia   (reminded me that I am a mission mom with Elders who need encouragement)

Zona Villa Colombia
Elders Cachi, Stucki, Condori, Wright, Sanchez, Bastias, Castillo, Ureta, Zuniga, Almendares, Bautista, y Mas

Thursday, October 20...Zone Conference with Zona Medellín (getting up at 3am reminded me that I am  a person not getting enough sleep!)
Zona Medellín
Elders Pino, Baldiviezo, Loro, Endara, Patino, Duque, Juarez, Baez, Aragon, Gonzales, Chaves, Parada, Fuentes, y Calderón
Hermanas Ardila y Lopez
Friday, October 21...Zone Conference with Zona Belén  (reminded me that I am a teacher and I need to look for those teaching moments)
Zona Belén
Elders Yapura, Benitez, Tumbaco, Camacho, Bolokoski, A. Martinez, Aleluya, Dyas, Venable, Paez, Venegas, Melendez, Gallo, Araya, Toledo, Day, Cabezas, y Cachari.  Hermanas Cristancho y Pinto

Saturday, October 22...Visiting with the saints in Chocó (reminded me that I am really a gringo! And I am a missionary!)

President Prince baptized Jesus and Elder Yapura baptized Betsy in the swimming pool

Sunday, October 23...Branch conference in Istmina (reminded me that I am an instrument in the Lord’s hands and he loves ALL of his children no matter where they live or worship)

Hermanas from Istmina                             President Trochez
Monday, October 24...Walking the streets of Quibdo and flying back to Cali  (reminded me that I am incredibly blessed and need to share those blessings with others)

Wednesday and Thursday, October 26-27...Zone Conference with Pasto Zone (reminded me that I want to live somewhere hot when I grow up...the climate in Cali is much better than in Pasto!)

Zona Pasto
Elders Lewis, Hoddenbach, Chiroque, Farr, Velasquez, Cary, Ordonez, Loayza, Guerrero, Antezana, Cisternas, Vasquez, Strahm, Aspajo, Zuniga, y Garcia

Elders Strahm y Loayza enjoying lunch!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Zone Conferences....round 2!

For this round of zone conferences we decided to visit each zone separately...that is 12 zones! 
This week we visited 4 of the 12 and are wondering if we have it in us to do the last 8! 
Zona Tulua
Elders Moscol, Martinez, Contreras, Shelly, Hansen, Kutterer, Ocon, Ruiz, Chipunavi, León, Calderón, and Vasquez
Hermanas Charry, Rojas, and León

Zona Palmira
Elders Mamani, Llontop, Valeria, Carillo, Ramos, Sorensen, Novoa, Wilde, Martinez, Marcasciano, Fiestas, and Belnap
Hermanas Rendón and Mirabal

Zona San Fernando
Elders Jamett, Alfaro, Bello, Guevara, Haycock, Coria, Walton, Sierra, Miranda, Asmat, Rázuri, Ramirez, Hernandez, Franco y Garrido
Hermanas Lasso y Talquenca with Hermana and Elder Torgerson

Zona Popayan
Elders Saavedra, Canari, (future missionary Alex) Rocha, Barrantes, Hammond, y Zanuttini
Hermanas Careno, Mancilla, Sanchez y Juymaya

 I am really enjoying the personalized time we are having with these missionaries. 

Our format for this zone conference is: 
7:30am   arrive and set up  (remember that this often involves leaving home at 5:30am!!)
8:00am   President Prince interview with the zone leaders
     During this time I am having a lot of fun play 20 questions with the missionaries who are waiting.  We dive into the scriptures and learn how to use "inspired questions".  Learning can be fun and it is always fun when I win...but sometimes I just have to let them win!  (anyone who knows me will know that is NOT true!!...they are great scriptorians!)
9:00am  Start our zone conference.  This conference is focused on the messenger (or missionary) and what we need to do to have the type of impact that Moroni had on Joseph Smith when he visited him.  President Prince digs right into the scriptures and we learn the importance of giving to the Lord ALL our heart and mind through the examples of Adam, Abraham, and our Savior.  It is a beautiful time of instruction and reflexion.
10:30am  Zone Leader time to talk about the Attributes of Christ their zone needs to work on.  This has been a wonderful time to see the zone focus on their own particular needs.  Our zone leaders are marvelous and it is great to see them teach and fulfill their stewardships.  We have seen zones become more united right in front of our eyes as the day progresses.
11:15am  Mini discussions focused on a scripture that the missionaries have found about the Savior and what it means to them.
11:30am  Testimonies of those who will go home from the mission before the next zone conference and those who have arrived in the mission since the last zone conference.
12:00 - 1:00pm   LUNCH, zone pictures, and celebrating the birthdays of the last 3 months in that zone.
      A note about is different everywhere we go.  In one zone a couple who is trying to earn money so they can get married SO they can get baptized, provided the lunch for us.  It was delicious, they were ever so grateful and we are excited for them to get married and baptized!!   In another zone we ordered dominoes is nice to have that once in awhile!!

1:00 - 4:00pm   Rotations...we have 3 rotations: 
1 - The tools of the up your area book with the assistants  
2 - English program and the cleanliness (personal and home) of the messenger with Hna Prince              (they especially like eating banana bread in this session!)
3 - Interview with the President
4:00 - 5:00pm  Zone Game time  (fútbol (soccer), volleyball, or basketball)  depending on the weather and the availability.  The rain has kept us in the cultural hall some days and hasn't stopped our warriors from playing fútball on others.  I have never seen such skill in handling a soccer ball. 

We end with a rousing cheer of "who is the best zone?"
 a closing prayer and then send everyone home to clean up and go out and preach the gospel. 
They are marvelous missionaries and are becoming brighter messengers
to share the restored gospel here in Colombia!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Time to eat again? It must be cambio week!

I was asked this week if I ever thought that I would be eating this much on my mission.  The answer is clearly "NO!"  But I still stand in awe at how much the missionaries can eat and still remain hungry!
This week we had a welcome lunch for the new arrivals (and of course the office crew is not to be denied a chance to eat!)  We had breakfast and lunch to fix for the day of training...this involved not only the new missionaries and office crew, but the trainers as well.  Somehow we managed to cook another lunch on Thursday for the missionaries who are leaving for home and of course our office missionaries and a few more who "just happened" to be in the office at lunch time!  The lunches in Colombia are the main meal of the day and they are BIG.  When dinner time rolls around, I can't even begin to think about cooking again....but of course there is always someone who thinks it is time to eat again!

Today we said goodbye to 3 wonderful missionaries.
Elder Tache, Elder Marquez, and Hermana Munoz will be missed.
Well done, thou good and faithful servants!!

Bags are packed.  Tickets in hand.  Farewell you mighty soldiers!!

New arrivals

We had the first missionary couple in many years arrive in the Cali Colombia mission on Friday, September 30.  Elder and Sister Torgerson arrived from Idaho in the United States.  She will be helping us as a mission nurse and her husband is eager to get to work on President Prince's list of things to do.  We worked hard to get their apartment ready for them.  They are trying hard to understand and speak spanish as well as adapt to the culture of Colombia.

On Monday, October 3 the newest arrival joined us at 1:35am!  Our daughter Jennie and her husband, John, welcomed a new son into their family.  Matthan Lee Airmet weighed in at 8 lbs 2 oz and is
21 1/2 inches long.  With all that black hair we think he makes a cute little Colombiano!

Oh!  How I want to kiss those cheeks!!

On Tuesday, October 4 we received 9 new missionaries.  We were happy to have 2 sisters arrive with these 7 Elders.  What great missionaries.  After 2 days of training, they are off to work with their new companions.  Welcome to the best mission in the world Elders Valeria, Mas, Novoa, Sorensen, Gomez, Bello, and Mercado.  And Hermanas Lasso and Mirabal.