Saturday, March 24, 2012

Changing of the Guard

Missions are about change
Some accept their change with a simple
"I'll go where you want me to go"
become very attached to areas, members, and investigators
and it costs emotionally to let go.

Every 6 weeks there are changes...
only occasionally do we have to change the guard
or the assistants of the president

Here are our new assistants
ready to
"do what we want them to do and be what we need them to be"

 Elders Belnap and Almendares

Ready to go to work!

Friday, March 23, 2012

'Til we meet again

"Never say good-bye because saying good-bye means going away,
and going away means forgetting."
~ Peter Pan

There are some people you KNOW you will never forget
so we will not say good-bye
God be with you til we meet again!
Elder Catala...headed home to Argentina
We were at the airport at 6am to see Elder Catala off. 
He has been a great missionary and is ready to move on with his life.

 Elder Jamett...headed home to Chile.
I tried to convince him to stay 2 more years,
but the pull of a mother's heart at home beckons him to leave.
After 7 months as assistant to President Prince,
Elder Jamett's leadership, humility, humor, kindness, organization,
teaching skills, smile, phone calls, and more
will be missed.

We believe in a God of miracles,
We believe we will meet again!!

Elder Jamett baptized one of his investigators
on the way to the airport today
...he remembered his missionary purpose
up to the final moment!

'til we meet again!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the POWER of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth...."
Romans 1:16

We received a POWERFUL group of new missionaries this week.
They bring with them many talents and experiences.
They bring with them POWER...
As representatives of Jesus Christ they have
the POWER to change lives and save souls.

They are ready to go to work and change lives in this area of the Lord's vineyard.

On their first night here they attended a great baptismal service.

Throughout our whole mission there were baptismal services this night....
Through the POWER of the priesthood
72 souls in the Colombia Cali mission entered the waters of baptism
had new beginnings in their lives.

So grateful for the willingness of young men to serve missions
bring the POWER to change to every one that believeth.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March madness...

In the spirit of March madness...Elder Matos over the rim!
We madly raced in the car from Popayan to Manizales.
Sometimes we find ourselves sitting in traffic for almost an hour while they pull a semi back onto the road from where it fell onto a house...sad :(
Sometimes we find our way to where we are going
and other times we ask a taxi to show us the way and we follow.
Sometimes we drive in sunshine and sometimes in rain...
I wish I could have captured the full rainbow that filled the sky as we drove
from Pereira to Armenia.
A sure sign that the evening would be a success...and it was.
Our schedule is madness...I don't see it ending in March!


                 Happy Birthday Elder Matos, Hermana Talquenca, Elder Andrade, and Elder Condori

We had a group of young single adults join us for our conference.
They are all planning on going on missions. 
Marcela (on the far right) has her call to California!




We left early Monday morning, 12 March, for what they call they Eje Cafetero.
It is a beautiful coffee growing area.
I love it more each time we drive through.

We stopped in Calarca to get the Peterson's into their apartment...I think we left them in a bit of culture shock and with a lot of work to do.  They are amazing and ready to work.
We drove straight to Manizales for missionary interviews and an investigator fireside.
The chapel was FULL...the members are really helping to fellowship the investigators.

We drove that night to Pereira.
Tuesday was Zone Conference for the Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia zones.

Happy Birthdays to Elder Chiroque, Hermanas Lasso y Pinto, Elder Zuniga
Elder Dyas, Elder y Hermana Peterson, Hermana Juyumaya, y Elder Asmat

Two interviews and only a few wrong turns to get out of town and we were
on our way back to Armenia to do another investigator fireside.
The fireside was well attended and again we witnessed a lot of good member missionary work.

President Prince did member interviews until after 10:30pm
and we found our way to the hotel and collapsed.

Wednesday was crazy...
Morning interviews with the Armenia Zone
only a slight problem put us an hour behind...we got locked in the parking lot!
We arrived in Pereira an hour late and
worked our way through 9 interviews.

We stopped in Cartago to interview the two Elders there as we headed back to Cali.

One more stop in Palmira to share the news with our friend Israel
that permission was granted for him to be baptized...he has waited faithfully for that news.
It was a happy moment.
Our Elder Jamett first introduced him to the gospel,
was there to deliver the good news,
and Elder Jamett will baptize him before he ends his mission next week.

We made it home safely shortly before 11pm...March madness!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Senior moments

We look forward to all the senior moments we can have
here in the mission

Our mission has been blessed with 3 wonderful senior missionary couples

When you add it all up they have left behind:
More than 29 children
More than 120 grandchildren
Handfuls of great-granchildren
homes, projects, and comfort

They have brought with them:
Years of church experience
Talented hands and willing hearts
Smiles, Desire, Love, and Testimonies

and all of it packed in just a few suitcases.

Wishing everyone could enjoy senior moments like ours!

The Torgersons, Princes, Olivers, and Petersons!

Marching on...

This March group of Elders is ready to
march ahead with their lives

The routine of saying good-bye consists of:
1.  Interview with the president
2.  Lunch at the mission home with all those going home

Elders Castro, Ordonez, Catala, Naranjo, León, Jamett, Duque, Hernandez, Andrade, Trigozo, Moscol

3.  Saying good-bye to converts, beloved members, and investigators
4.  Weighing suitcases and deciding what things to leave behind...out with the old
5.  A pizza party and testimony meeting at the mission home in the evening

6.  A lot of nervousness and not much sleep
7.  Leaving for the airport at 4am to get all checked in
8.  More teary goodbyes and handshakes
9.  Marching through the security gates to a life that has been on hold for 2 years
Elders Trigozo, Naranjo, Ordonez, Moscol, Castro, Duque, and Hernandez

Good luck as you March into your futures...
We are SO lucky to have you in our lives forever!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Assisting...behind the scenes

We have great assistants.
They are where we need them, whenever we need them,
doing whatever we need them to do.

Elder Jamett and Elder Belnap
at the Pasto airport

They inspire and help our office crew to have a great work ethic.
"The Office"
Elder and Sister Torgerson (housing and mission nurse)
Elder Belnap and Elder Jamett (assistants to the President)
Elder Novoa and Elder Ramirez (secretary in training and secretary to the President)
Elder Razuri and Elder Vera (finance secretary and materials secretary)
This crew keeps the mission machine running.

Our assistants preach the gospel, teach and train in meetings, compile and submit statistics,
help with transfers, sleep on hard floors or share mattresses while on divisions,
help get packages delivered, answer phone calls for the President, carry bags for sister Prince,
inspire us, laugh with us, cry with us, and carry us through the weeks.

They are simply amazing
and wearing themselves out in the service of
their Heavenly Father
their brothers and sisters.

We love these great young men!!

Time flies...

Every time we come or go from our apartment we enter the elevator to ascend or descend 15 floors...
There in the elevator is a large mirror.
Some days we wonder if we REALLY look that old and tired
Some days we are SURE we have aged 10 years
We are seeing time fly by so quickly....

We have flown to the north and to the south of our mission for zone conferences.
We have arrived and our suitcase has not.
We have left the house by 4am and arrived home sometimes after 10pm.
We have driven to the zones close by and have felt the hours flying by as we try to
teach, inspire, and motivate these great missionaries.

At this point we have had interviews with 126 missionaries.
While President Prince interviews each missionary, I talk with their companion.
Each one has commited to "stay in the line" of the mission rules.

Not giving into temptation and obeying with exactness is the commitment!
(I keep hoping that soon I will be able to speak on a topic other than obedience!)

One great sister missionary had to fly home for medical reasons.
She valiantly tried to carry on
The spirit was more than willing -
the knee was weak. 
Sister Leguizamon has a contagious laugh and smile.
She has served faithfully and will be missed...we do not have enough sister missionaries!

Sometimes the challenges of life are BIG. 
This past week we had to deliver the news to one of our missionaries that his father had passed away...
( medical problems)
Receiving and delivering that message was hard.
This Elder has only been in the mission field 2 weeks.
This valiant Elder was just finishing up medical treatment.
This marvleous missionary packed a backpack and flew home for his father's burial
and then flew back 4 days later with a determination to make
his mother, his father, and his Heavenly Father proud. 
What a great example for his younger siblings and for all of us.

Birthday cookies are a highlight of zone conference!
 This conference we celebrated those who had birthdays in Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb.
                                                      Calima Zone                                         Villa Colombia Zone
                               Elders Guerrero, Cisternas, J. Jensen, Bussey       Elders Almendares, Escárate, Hansen, Menendez, Paez, Ocon

                                                Palmira and Tulua Zones                                San Fernando Zone
                                       Elders Fuentealba, Chicoma, Tauaese, Salavarria, Mendoza,            Elders Rocha, Valdiviezo and Hermana Torgerson
                                                          Candia, Kennedy, Vasques, Ramos
                                           (not sure why Elder Tauaese got into this picture!)
                                                          Zona Belén                                               Zona Medellín
                                     Elders Mendez, Mendoza, Venable, Jara, Parada                            Elders Gomez, Naranjo, Allauja, Canari
     Elder Parada                                                  Zona Pasto
                                                                                                   Elders Llontop, L. Martinez, Pino, Vilchez, Gonzales, Day
We took our Choco Elders to dinner while we were in Medellín.
These Elders are probably the farthest away and the most isolated of our missionaries...
they live in the jungle - literally.
Elders Borg and Haycock are in Istmina. 
During our 2nd week of "La Semana de Siembra", these Elders found
410 new investigators to teach. 
Elders Holden and Jara are in Quibdo.
They found 60 new investigators to teach.
The people in these cities are humble and receptive. 
We are impressed at the dedication of these Elders and impressed with how they can eat!!

                             Choco Elders - Jara, Borg, Haycock, Holden            Elders Jara, Borg, Haycock

Elders Borg and Haycock - Istmina Elders
Elders Holden and Jara - Quibdo Elders

These Elders fly in and out of Medellín for zone conference.
They happened to miss there flight back...which did not make us happy.
We changed their flights for the following day and upon arriving they learned that the roads between Quibdo and Istmina had been shut down by terrorists.
  Upon hearing that news, I had the distinct impression that they missed that flight for a reason. 
 Our Elders had been kept out of harms way.

We have finished zone conference for 8 zones.
We are teaching and practicing commitments and bringing investigators to baptism.
We are trying to inspire the missionaries to teach the doctrine of Christ,
remember their missionary purpose, and help the investigators overcome obstacles.
Here are our zones....but this time will fly by fast as changes are coming soon.

Zona Villa Colombia
Zona Calima

Zona San Fernando 
Zona Tulua
Zona Palmira
Zona Pasto
 Zona Medellín
     Zona Belén