"They say that breaking up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it's true..."
The last week of June found us on the road to bid farewell
to our missionaries that will become part of the Medellín mission.
First we traveled to Pereira where we met with the
Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia Zones.
We reminded everyone that there are no good-byes in the church
only "until we meet again" or "hasta ver" or "hasta pronto"...
The Lord has a way of reuniting people after being apart.
President Prince didn't think he would ever see his converts and friends in
Colombia again...35 years later...here we are.
We spent time renewing our missionary purpose and enjoying each other.
We recognized our top baptizers in the last 3 months...
Elder Cisternas and Hermana Mirabal
They were our Captain Moronis...
"...if all missionaries had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.." ".".. a missionary who was firm in the faith of Christ..."
We also had to say goodbye to one of President Prince's counselors in the mission presidency.
President Lotero is amazing.
He has helped us with the Manizales, Armenia, and Tulua Districts.
He and his family live in Pereira and will therefore pertain to the Medellín Mission.
He is a gifted speaker, adores his wife and family, and has a firm testimony of Jesus Christ.
We share a wonderful friendship with this little family.
We will miss seeing them regularly.
Elder and Sister Peterson
are serving in the Calarca Branch in the Armenia District.
Elder Peterson is serving as a counselor in the Branch Presidency
and even though he speaks very little Spanishthe language of love is changing hearts.
Sister Peterson has a very strong testimony and is starting a
Book of Mormon reading program to help strengthen the testimonies of all the saints there.
We will miss their enthusiasm and love.
Sisters Lasso, Pinto, Mirabal, Peterson, and Charry
...how wonderful it is to have some color in a sea of suits, white shirts, and ties.
Sometimes you just need to have girls around.
It is hard to give up the sister missionaries and their hugs and smiles.
Elder Sierra...you have left footprints on our hearts forever!
I am sure we will see these valiant missionaries again...
they have become our sons and daughters in a very special way.
Until we meet again...Manizales, Pereira, and Aremenia...
We will miss you!
And then off to Medellín
We left bright and early on Thursday, June 28 to fly to Medellín.
We had 8 or 9 large suitcases and 7 missionaries with us -
Elders Almendares, Gomez, Rivadeneira, Novoa, Escárate, Belnap, and Ramirez.
did I mention that it was a VERY early flight!
We went first to unload suitcases at the new mission office...
we were all just a little jealous of the "posh" new office!
Elder Escárate is right at home in his new secretary of finances office!!
We met up with Elder Vera and Elder Saucedo at the corner panederia for breakfast.
After talking to the
Belén and Medellín Zones
and renewing our commitment as missionaries
We had a great lunch and said our "see you laters".
It was TOUGH...
Our Captain Moronis of Medellín
Elders Ramirez, Mendoza, Boutsis, Mas, Vera, Lacey, and Pino
The beauty of the mission...our sister missionaries!
Hermanas Jelves, Cristancho, Richardson, and Juyumaya!
We gifted 8 sister missionaries to the new mission...that was a real sacrifice.
The last office picture all together...with the sisters of Belén (new assistants for the day!!)
Elder Zanuttini (left) and Elder Vera (right) both served as our
secretary of materials in the office.
Elder Zanuttini was there to greet us when we arrived 1 year ago.
Elder Vera stayed to train his replacement before going to Medellín
Incredible missionaries and friends...the tears were real!!
The New Mission President arrived
and we were there to meet them at the airport and to introduce them to their mission.
President and Sister Pitarch
are from Buenos Aires, Argnetina.
They have left 4 children and 11 grandchildren to come to Colombia and serve the Lord.
We could feel their love for the gospel and their Savior as we spent time with them.
Our missionaries are in good hands with their new mission mom!
President and Sister Mantilla -Stake President of the Belén Stake in Medellín-
were extremely helpful in guiding us around the city to arrive at all of our destinations.
They are extremely gracious and kind. We will miss our association with them at the zone conferences
and stake conferences. We had a lovely farewell dinner with the whole stake presidency and their wives!
Quietly we boarded our plane to head back to Cali.
It was July 1st. We have now completed one year here in Colombia.
It has been a cycle of highs and lows - spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
The Lord is sustaining us and our missionaries...it is HIS work...we are HIS hands.
Medellín is a beautiful city. The streets are clean and orderly. The people have a sense of belonging and pride for their city. The climate is like eternal springtime. It has been my city of choice here in Colombia.
Medellín...until we meet again...
may the Lord bless you and all of our missionaries we are leaving behind!
Breaking up is hard to do...but it is growth in the Lord's kingdom!