Saturday, May 26, 2012

The missionaries are wondering: Cali or Medellin Mission

We are getting instructions on the division of our mission.  We have a new financial secretary for the Medellin Mission in training at the office. A redhead from Chile.  A records secretary and a new assistant will be coming in for training the next transfer day, 12 June.  The President's office computer has a picture of a missionary standing in front of a road sign which points to Medellin one way and Cali the other.  He is scratching his head and wondering where he will end up. 

Monday was a holiday here.  It was the second holiday this the month.  We celebrated 1 May,  as the day of the worker and 21st as the observed day of the Ascension of Jesus.  Actually the 18th was the day but observed on Monday. Sound familiar?  In April there were also two holidays for Easter weekend.  Thurs and Fri. The schools took the whole week off but the workers and banks got two days. I think there was only 1 in March.  It was a Monday holiday for Saint Joseph.  The list of official holidays has four holidays in June but the last is observed 2 July  and another is Father´s Day on a Sunday. Leaving us with two days again in June. One is the Monday after Father's Day.  Mother's Day wasn't on the official holiday list but it was observed.  Sister Oliver got a long stem red rose at the store and one at church.

Last Sunday our area 70 from Venezuela spoke to all married couples in the stake in a fireside.  It was a great meeting and was very well attended.  This caused the temple preparation class to move to Monday, the holiday.  The class was pretty well attended for a holiday afternoon, 17 were there.  The class last Sunday had 21.  This week the conflict is stake priesthood but it doesn't start until 5 p.m. We are waiting to hear what the Branch Pres. decides on when to have the class.

We seem to baptize at the end of the month here.  Sister Oliver will be overwhelmed with new records next week.  The missionaries are planning to baptize and confirm 50+ this weekend.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mission Study Desks

We went to get some rocks for book ends from the rockslide across the street.  (Shades of Stansbury Island--but we had to find "square" rocks) The following story about mission study desks and bookcases made us think of bookends and bookcases at home.

Elder Oliver and Elder Torgerson spent most of  Thursday looking for missionary desks.The misionaries each get a study desk with a built in bookcase of one or two shelves at the back.   They are really small and most of the desks we saw on our house inspections were just used to put things on.  They were too small to study at.  We have new houses and we want to get them desks with bookcases.  The office had told the missionaries to find a carpenter to built them a desk.  That would have cost about $180.   We set out to buy desks.   All  wood desks were $200 for a small 3 foot desk.  Wood frame with formica top desks were $150 for the same size.  The La 14 (catorce) or Exito stores sell a "you-put-together" desk for about $75 without bookcase.   The only thing with a bookcase was a computer station which is not as deep as a regular desk and has a pull out drawer for the keyboard.  It did have a shelf and a CD rack at the back.   Elder Oliver wouldn't buy those and that caused the search.    Saturday the search continued.  When I told Sister Prince that in Monterrey we bought resin tables for the elderes use as study desks at COSCO,  she remembered we have a MAKRO.   Today we went to MAKRO.  They actually had two good choices; a table like we used in Monterrey ($50 on sale until Monday) and a good put-it-together desk for $60.  Neither had the required bookcase.  We continued on to HOMECENTER, a Home Depot type store.  There we came up with a plan to buy shelves and brackets for attaching them to the wall, about $10 each.  Both the desk or table and the shelf would be bigger than anything we looked at on Thursday.  Now we have to sell Sister Prince that the shelves don't have to be attached to the desk.

I really like our new bookends.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother´s Day 2012

Living room with a picture and a plant.  Tomorrow will be going to young women´s to talk about temple marriage and teach temple preparation in the afternoon.

A Note to Family

We are preparing for our first temple preparation class tomorrow and I was reminded of the importance of the temple and families in our lives and decided to write a note to my family.   

We received yesterday some of the materials I ordered from distribution in Feb.  We ordered a picture of the Savior and a picture of the temple to put on our bare walls.  We got a picture of the Savior´s Second  Coming from the office storeroom which we had framed by a member and  hung it last week.  Now we can get couple more framed.   In Mexico the area Pres. bought beautiful pictures for all of the senior missionaries and we have missed pictures. I guess we should have slipped a couple of Al Round's in the suitcase but  we only brought a picture of the family. The picture of the temple arrived in time to use in tommorrow´s class.   I am reminded that the home is the only place that can compare to the temple as a sacred place.  The pictures help us keep our focus on the Savior.

During zone conference this week.  The mission president gave a spiritual message on the role of the Holy Ghost in teaching truth.   He used a scripture that I hadn´t noted before.  DyC 30:1-2.  He was taught this scripture by Elder Jensen who said that we should put our own names in place of David Whitmer.  We were talking about prayer as one of the keys to receiving the Spirit and to not let minds wander during prayer but to focus on spiritual things.

Sister Oliver is recovering from a fall at zone conference.  She tried to mount the stage like a 21 year old and fell backward.  She has been sore but has continued in the office, meeting her month end deadlines with Salt Lake. She told me I could take this part out, but I didn't.

We were pleased to hear from Hidalgo Branch that Luis is preparing to fill out mission papers.  He is Coco's son.  Hna Coco was excited about going to the temple with the stake.  Hidalgo Branch is part of a Moneterrey stake now.  The stake president came to Hidalgo and took them to the stake center so they could go with the rest of the stake.  What a blessing.

 Happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's reading this.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chapel San Fernando

The Chapel San Fernando branch meets in is one of the oldest in the city.  There are 15.
The taxi drivers know us as the church with the basketball courts.
I´ll get a picture of the basketball court some day. It is also the parking lot. They are all outside.  So are the halls and foyers.
The yellow hibiscus is everywhere in the city, always yellow, always in bloom.  The Colombian flag has the top 1/2 gold and the bottom half is equal sized (1/4 of the flag) of ski blue and red.  The tree behind the flag is the standard South American "pine", the Norfolk Island pine from the south pacific. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Monthly High

In Apr the mission achieved a new monthly high 160 converts (highest total this century!)   Added to the 151 from last month, the mission is ahead of schedule on reaching the 4 month goal of 600.  A flyer is posted in all chapels with the goal.   This Fri we have a Film night where the members will invite their friends to the chapel to watch a film.  We will show Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration.  The missionaries wanted to show 17 Miracles.  Even though it only has spanish subtitles, they love it and have watched it in the office at lunch time several times.  We didn't bring it with us.  They watch Pres. Prince's copy.   They are planning on 170 at the film night.  Tonight we have a planning meeting for the activity on Friday.  We are on the refresments committee.  Sister Oliver is still looking for 58 baptisamal records to enter into the computer by Friday, the deadline for recording April baptisms.

Last night we went to the baptism of Hugo who is 73.  He was so happy!    He has never married and lived with his father.  About 7 months ago his father passed away and Hugo moved in with his sister, Veronica, who is a member.  She has been a member for many years and said how much the gospel has blessed her and her family.  Since this week was transfers which includes the arrival of new missionaries, we had a chorus of 18 elders with Elder Novoa on the piano.  They sang Praise to the Man.  It was very impressive.
[You will have to imagine them at the front of the chapel since I wanted to take a picture but didn't because we were in the chapel.]  Elder Novoa, exec secretary from Chile, is amazing on the piano.  He listens to the Tab choir and then plays what he has heard, including key changes.

We had 14 new missionaries this week, 8 from the US, and the other 6 from México and Guatemala.  All from "home".  Hoy tenemos capacitación de los nuevos y se van a sus areas.  Today we have training of the new missionaries and they leave for their areas.

We bought our first canned goods (2 cans) last shopping trip and after getting them home realized we didn't by a can opener for the imported refried beans.  We thought saving time was a good justification but missed an important detail.  The Colombian cans are pull top but there are no Colombian refried beans.  They import a lot from Mexico.  Our intranet is even with TelMex the same company we had in Mexico.