Monday, July 22, 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words- July 2013

"Sometimes Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words"

We had a great week- Tuesday &Thursday Interviews with "two" more zones, Friday visit by President De-Hoyos and his wife of the Mexico Area Presidency and a special interview, and a trip to Molango for a baptism and visit to the "Group" and "Branch" that are President Egberts responsibility. 
What a great weekend with those members. Also included on this weeks post is two elders experience and some pictures from a zone activity promised to the missionaries from before we arrived. 

P-Day Soccer Game in the Mezquital Zone- Monday 15 July 2013

“What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle, and giving 110 percent all the time.” – Don Zimmer

The two sisters pictured below are the only sisters serving in this zone-and what a delight they both are to their zone and to this part of the Mexico Pachuca Mission.

This is the "Pachuca Sur Zone". What a wonderful group of missionaries from all around the world. They enjoyed frosting their own sugar cookies.   I thought Elder Beck would call to report he was ill from eating soooo many cookies!! 
The zone leaders Elder Poulsen and Elder Almaraz diligently checked area books and planners...

I am so enjoying each individual missionary and their unique personalities, needs, desires, and dreams. 
Each has a unique story and so many share their love for family, friends, and "special friends" back at home.

 This is the Pachuca Mx Zone-
Elder Shilling checking area books- (Yes, evidence he does work hard!)
This group today was extremely happy and enjoyed talking with each other.
While waiting they read through copies of the Ensign and I had the privilege to 
get to know them each a little more. President Egbert commented on how much better
this zone seemed today.

President De Hoyos and his sweet spouse came to visit us in the mission and answer questions that President had regarding this new transition. They are the kindest and most humble servants of the Lord. They have a son Estaban who was Presidents tutor with language from the MTC for several months before we reported. We see why he is such an outstanding young man- amazing parents!
Thank you President/Hermana De Hoyos

     Our trip to Molango this weekend was exceptional. We felt it was effective/efficient and so great to spend time with Elder McCormick-Elder Hixon. What outstanding young men! 
     The road to Molango is dangerous and zig-zags through the jungles of Mexico. On Saturday we attended the baptism of one of their investigators "Arizbeth". I knew I would have to hike up to the waterfall and pond so I wore my "boots"- good thing I left the stilettos home. By the time the trekking to and fro was done I was sweating like a "toasted cheeser", but it was so much fun! Then the family/branch members had a small BBQ at the base of the trail to celebrate Arizbeth's baptism.
     There is a small "group" that meets in "Zacualtipan"- they have minimal priesthood but those with potential to lead- and then the most faithful sisters. They had a record attendance of #21 members! The Elders worked so hard to get everyone there in attendance. The most special spirit in the most humble setting- makes me teary writing it here in text.  A sweet sister allows them to use an empty room in her home. We carry her kitchen chairs down and then use little kids chairs, stools, and cinder blocks with wood on top as a bench. Then after that meeting we raced off to the "Branch in Molango" 3 hour block. Its a 45 minute trip through the wilds of Molango. So beautiful- they have a "House of Prayer" building they rent for their meetings. Recently remodeled with new tile and chairs. They had a magnificent attendance of #37 without counting us 4. Elder Hixon plays the piano- which brings so much to this branch. The choir performed the opening and closing songs. Then they fed us a delicious meal with members providing the potluck. 
     We then made the trek back home arriving about 8pm to find our assistants busily working on reports until 1030pm. Oh my!!

This is me in the mission office in my little corner of Mexico
where I work on the "English-companionship study" program for the natives, keep track- send letters to the incoming missionaries, and chart medical care- call MD's regarding sick missionaries. 
No, the bottle of 7-Up does not come close to replacing my diet coke habit which has come to a screeching halt here in the mission. To say the least President Egbert is pleased! 
I'm trying not to be bitter...  jk

Elder Shillig (above) and Elder Dove (Below)
President Egbert's Assistants and two of my "sons".
The story below is related to these two Elders.

So this story starts with President's and my planned trip to Molango where I was under the assumption that the assistants were coming with us for the weekend. The day before we were to leave it became apparent that President Egbert and I were on a totally different page. I had the assistants coming with us, and they were going to stay with the Elders in Molango. Elder Shillig and Elder Dove were very excited about going to Molango. On Friday when we are driving President Egbert tells the Elders that he doesn’t mind if they come but that he needs to justify in his head how their coming would be the most efficient and effective in progressing the work of the Lord in our mission; he spoke as though he had reservation or impression that they had better things to do here in Pachuca. I’m sitting in the passenger seat devastated that he’s even making them have to plead their case. I have it all in my head just like this, “they are going to support this branch, the group, the Elders in Molango and they will attend the baptism, and do splits or family visits with them and all is well…”
Then this is what happens…. the Elders in the back seat say NOTHING!  Total Silence…then they end up telling the President they will stay and the only reason they have is that they can start on reports before our scheduled arrival back home. What?! I know how bad they wanted to go and they out of love and respect for President say nothing…. so needless to say I was very disappointed- …now fast forward to Sunday night when we arrive home and this is the story the Elders have to tell of their experience this weekend...
On Sunday the 14th we attended our Ward council where we discussed members that were inactive. This particular family’s name came up and we talked about them. All in the council stated that they hadn’t been to church for years and they probably would never come- so it was really not worth pursuing. However the Elders made note and later called this sister to ask if they could come visit. She hesitantly agreed that the following week would be better because her husband was working. The Elders being persistent finally talked her into letting them stop by Saturday- just to introduce themselves on the front porch as she was going to be home alone. On Saturday it started to rain hard, so they went to their house and put on boots, got an umbrella and headed on their way. It was raining so hard that the sister felt bad and her two children ages 15 and 10 were home, so she invited them in out of the rain. They talked for a minute with the sister and two children and then had a prayer. With-in minutes the sound of car in the driveway became apparent. The husband had arrived home totally unexpectedly! When he saw the missionaries he was surprisingly excited and sat down to listen.  They testified of the reality and divinity of God and His hand in their lives and asked if they could come back and have a family home evening with them. The father told the Elders they had been sealed in the temple, but inactive for three years and that the youngest daughter was not baptized. The father shared that five weeks previous his work had changed his schedule to allow him to have Sundays off and then he said that two weeks ago he had the strongest impression that they needed to have family home evening- the first in many years.  
The Elders invited them to the chapel on Sunday for church services and they ended the emotional and spiritually charged lesson. Several times during the encounter the father had tears in his eyes. He said that in his 17 years of membership had never felt the Spirit so strong as in that lesson; it had touched his heart. On Sunday the family came to church dressed in their Sunday best, greeted by the Elders. The entire ward surrounded and welcomed this family into the ward- The bishop interviewed the brother on Sunday and a planned baptismal date of August 4th is when this father will baptize his 10 yr old daughter  after the Elders teach her the discussions.
This experience illustrates that “God is Leading the Work” – and those that follow the inspiration of the spirit can be led to the most unlikely of circumstance. The Elders commented that when the conversation in the van took place about going to Molango- that they looked at each other and for no apparent reason at that point both nodded that they should stay. Hence the reason they didn’t plead their case.
So “Note to Self”- do not question the Presidents judgment – rather have faith that there is a reason when it may not seem justified or obvious. Had the Elders gone to Molango… this family may never have been found? Had they not been persistent in calling, had the rain not down poured and the merciful sister let them in, and had the husband not come home unexpectedly- the touching conversation and lesson would not have been...the Lord's hand totally involved in this weekends happenings. I know our missionaries all over our mission are having similar experiences because they are being obedient, working hard and following the spirit. For this I am so grateful.

Zone Activity In Mezquital June 2013


  1. Wow! Your story or rather the AP's story of being left home for a reason is awesome. Thank you for sharing that...its going into my Sunday lesson somewhere. :)

  2. How amazing!! If we all only knew the amount of Gods hand in our daily lives! Such amazing stories and pictures!!!

  3. I love this! This gospel is amazing. I love reading these stories! We love you!

  4. Wow! I just found this site and I'm so excited! Not only are there pictures of my son that I hadn't seen before, but your comments and anecdotes are so touching and inspirational! Thanks for keeping us informed in such a personal way! Sister J.Barber

  5. Prayers are answered every day if we but look for them. Great that you are listening to the spirit and letting the spirit direct the work. We cannot do this work alone. Hola Presidente!!! posible yo voy para visitar nuestro campo en Colombia en Abril.