Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year...

 I am debating on what the true title of this post should be
The Long Journey - we all have one
Sunrise, Sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears!

This has truly been a long journey laden with happiness and tears

Each year I look forward to opening a clean fresh calendar.
I begin by putting in all the birthdays of family and dear friends.
I then put on the commitments we have already made 
from there I dream about the things that will fill those vacant days ahead.

This is what I met when opening my 2014 calendar
there are a few...enough to write talks, shop, and get ready for the other days.

Often we forget that the journey is really where the learning takes place
2013 was a good year
We learned more about ourselves.
We were tutored by Heavenly Father - learning again that HE is in charge.
We made new friendships.
Our faith was strengthened.
We watched lives change.
We laughed and we cried.
We saw our family grow and receive blessings.

We are on the home stretch and can feel the pull of giving our all on the last mile.

 May 2014 be the gift you have been waiting for...
 Happy New Year from our wonderful 
Colombia Cali Mission Office crew!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh, Come All Ye Faithful...

And Come they did...to the Mission Leadership Council!
December 2013

 Front:  Hermanas Sepulveda, Ordoñez, Araneda, Avila, Prince, Aagard, Cruz, Baca
Middle:  Elders Viza, Delgadillo Hutchison, Perez, Suarez, Reyes, Lipe, Rocha, Rojas, Rivadeneira, Avalos, Wilcox, Eliason, Faúndez
Back:  Elders Laws, Pizarro, Montes, Martinez, Camacho, Dahlin, Didericksen, Menendez, Hogan, Edwards, Henao, Silva, Morgan, Aldunate, Dahlin
New Members of the Council
Elders Perez and Didericksen, Hermanas Ordoñez, Avila, Cruz and Baca, and Elder Henao
 The Sisters
Hermanas Sepulveda, Araneda, Avila, Ordoñez, Prince, Cruz, Baca, Aagard
Our Financial Secretary turned Zone Leader
Elder Henao!!!
The team behind the cameras...our office secretaries
Elders Inga, Miranda,Williams, Sanhueza, and Longorio

And they faithfully planned...

And they faithfully ate all we offered...

And the MOST faithful of all...
Thank you Ana and Maria for your Faithful Service!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All I Want for Christmas is...

...5 New Missionaries!
 and they arrived via airplane NOT Santa´s sleigh!
 We welcomed Elders Estrada and Frias 
Hermanas Ortiz, López, and Tontaquimba
with a Welcome Lunch at the Mission Home

and then a trip to Cristo Rey to see their mission field...
...it IS white and ready to harvest!

Elder and Sister Aagard joined us
How grateful we are to have them here in the mission!

On the arrival day there are a lot of things to do:
-visits to the immigration office to register visas
-interviews with President Prince
-attending baptisms at night
just to name a few...and let me remind you that they are exhausted!!

The next day is training and meeting their first companion
Welcome to the best mission in the world!!
Trainers and New missionaries...
 Elders Frias and Welling...
 Elders Ramos and Estrada...
  And the sisters...
 Sisters López and Chub...
  Sisters Tontaquimba and Jochacallo...
 Sisters Romero and Ortiz...

Lunch and getting to know you
then more training and off to work!

Here is hoping that these 5 new missionaries
get all they want for Christmas here in the Mission.
Serving others is the best gift.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Somewhere out there...

Somewhere out there
a faithful couple has been called by a prophet of God
to be a new mission president and companion.

They do not know WHERE they will serve,
but they DESIRE to serve with all their hearts.

They are sharing the news with their family
and preparing 
to spend the last Christmas (for 3 years) with them.

They are anxious and excited.
They feel overwhelmed and underprepared.
They have boxes of CD´s and books to listen to and to study.
They wake up each day wondering if it is real.

We understand.
We are praying for you.
Nothing anyone says or advice they give
will truly prepare you for this experience.

It is a journey NOT just a moment.
There is too much to know...you will just learn.
The Lord is in charge...you are just HIS hands.
The missionaries will love you and challenge you.
The experience will refine you and change you.

The prayers of missionary parents will sustain you.

You ARE good enough.
You ARE just what the Lord needs here.
You ARE going to lose yourself, be exhausted, and wonder if you can really do this for 3 years.

We will ever be connected
because you will love OUR missionaries
they will become YOUR missionaries, too!

Get ready for miracles!

Anyone who im

agines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. Most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey–delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride. 

(President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1984:86)

Hallelujah...It´s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

 Was our feeling as we arrived to the LAST of our Christmas Zone Conferences!!
It´s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
was singing in our hearts as we spent time with our last 3 zones.

The Popayán Zone
Back: Elders Dean, Lamoreaux, Eliason, B. Payne, Menendez, Llerena, and B. Lopez
Middle:  Elders Zambrano, Somoza, Campos, Darley, Whitney and Sisters Avila, Jachacollo, Blanco, and Cantor
Front: Elders Mosqueira, Mancilla, Gallardo, Xochicale, and Princes

The Farallones Zone
Back: Elders Wilcox, Antonio, Jones, Princes, Moran, Caja
Front: Elders Lipe, Peart, Alvarado, S. Walker, V. Rodriguez

The San Fernando Zone
Back: Elders Rogche, Peñafiel, Henostroza, Sister Taica, Princes, Sister Campos, Elders Sanhueza, Camacho, Miranda, Perez
Front: Elders LaBar, Henao, Welling, Ramos, Inga, Cabrera, and Williams

We Spiced up the Holiday with real talent...

 Loved this Missionary version of a Christmas Carol...with Elder Scrooge

We Decorated some High achieving missionaries...

 Sisters Taica and Avila and Elders Antonio, Gallardo, Lipe, Wilcox, Zambrano, Alvarado, and Perez

We treated those who had celebrated birthdays...
in Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec

and we didn´t forget Patricia and Ramón!  We are grateful they came to celebrate with us!

There was plenty of food and visiting...

We sing Hallelujah
and KNOW it´s 
always The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
when we remember:
WHY we are sharing the gospel
WHY we celebrate the good news of Christ´s birth
WHY we are so blessed to spend time with the missionaries!

Merry Christmas to All!!!