Thursday, November 17, 2011

Comings and Goings...miracle week!

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.

Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts.

And we are never, ever the same.”

The missionaries come into our lives as they gather their new suitcases and exit the airport with shiny new name tags, new suits, and high hopes. 
We are there to greet them and welcome them to the best mission in the world. 
They are full of optimism, faith, and a lot of questions.
After two days of interviews, greetings, training, and eating, they go off with their first  companion, to their first area to preach the gospel, live with a companion, meet the members, etc....this is when the real learning begins.

Welcome Elders
Pezantez, Borg, Amado, Murillo, Heredia, Hidalgo, Matos, Duque y Mendez

Welcome Elder Chugg
Visa problems make our comings and goings even more interesting! 
Elder Chugg arrived 2 days after our group this week as he waited in the Provo MTC for his Visa to arrive.  We were grateful to have him arrive safely Thursday morning. 

As the new missionaries are coming to our mission, there is a lot going on in the background.  We have missionaries coming and going from one extreme of the mission to the other.  The assistants and office elders are up at 2:30 am to wake up other missionaries and get them to the terminal on the correct buses.  We have missionaries accepting new areas, new companions, and new leadership responsibilities.  They are coming to learn that they are going to have to rely on the spirit to lead them.

It is a Miracle when each of 12 zones checks in that all have arrived at the appropriate destination and everyone that was supposed to come came and was supposed to go went...
Miracle week...all done on very little sleep...with a lot of incredible missionaries!

The missionaries go out of our lives as they go through the security gates at the airport with worn shoes, tattered suits, and two years of experience that makes them stand a little taller.
Their footprints are all over our hearts.  They may leave the mission, but will never go far from our thoughts...
Goodbye Elders and Sister
Tumbaco, Rosales, Martinez, Florez, Gallo, Fuentes, Farr, Aragon, Ayola, Contreras, Valderrama, Velasquez, y Hermana León
This week we said goodbye to our first assistants, Elders Farr and Gallo,...they will always hold a special place in our hearts...without them we would not have survived the first few weeks here in Colombia. 

We watched these missionaries go....we have come to love each one of them...the mission will go on and they will go on with their lives...but ours will never, ever be the same!
Hasta ver!

Friday, November 11, 2011


This week we finished zone conferences.  Each week I learned more and more.  The missionaries consumed a lot of banana bread, sang a lot of happy birthday, cleaned up their area books, worked on English, had an interview with President Prince, played hard and learned more about sacrifice, the atonement, and what it really means to be a representative of Jesus Christ from the inside out!
Our final 3 zones....

Zona Armenia
Elders Ayola, Mendoza, Jensen, Barón, Trigozo
Andrade, Solorzano, Allauja, Naranjo, Ramirez
Hermanas Banzer y Bautista  and Elders Gimenez y Valderrama

Zona Pereira
Elders Vilchez, Flores, Florez, McKay, Tauaese, Almeida, Peek, Chirinos
Elders Tellez y Catala and Hermanas Leguizamon y Valencia

Zona Manizales
Elders Castro, Holden, Quinonez, A. Martinez, Lacey, Jara, Vera
Rivas, Diaz, y Utreras

And President Prince celebrated his birthday on the last day of zone conferences...his is a real survivor!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rest for the weary...

No phone calls...our phones didn't work in Peru!
Soft beds & warm showers...the accomodations were great!
The sound of the ocean...soothing the troubled soul!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner...the food was abundant and the ceviche was incredible!
Walks by the beach every morning...our bodies were grateful for the exercise!
A day of sightseeing...we were amazed at the beauties of this world and our gifts from Heavenly Father!
Support, encouragement, and feasting on the good word...our spirits were lifted as we listened to our Area Presidency and shared with the other mission presidents and wives.

OKAY....MAYBE, we can do this for another 4 months!

After 4 months on the job, we were called off to an Area training in Peru with our area presidency...Elder Pino, Elder Uceda, and Elder Waddell.  Our itinerary arrived and we packed our bags and headed off to Peru leaving the counselors of the mission presidency and our trusty office crew in charge!
We flew to Bogota on October 30 arriving late at night, spent the night in a hotel and then at 4am went to the Bogota airport for our flight.  We were joined by 5 other couples...the other Colombian mission presidents, Area medical advisor, and the MTC president.  We had plenty of time to get acquainted as our 6am flight was delayed due to fog and we didn't leave until almost 11am!

We were picked up at the Lima airport and bused to the Area offices.  There we joined the other mission presidents, area presidency and boarded new buses for our 4 hour ride to Paracas. 

This is the 1st Halloween in as long as I can remember that I haven't carved a pumpkin, decorated my house, or passed out candy.  It was a bit strange.  As I enter the holidays this year, I am trying to decide how to make them special.  I LOVE the holidays....I just have NO time to fuss over them....I need to work on this problem...IF I find some extra time!

We spent 2 days listening to our area presidency counsel and teach us.  So many things that I can do better.  Our 3rd day was spent enjoying the sights in Paracas...Isla Ballestas, National Reserve, and a Catamaran ride in the bay.

Friday, Nov 4 we traveled back to Cali arriving at 1am in the we go again!