Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Week of Changes-

A Week of Changes

Some changes brought tears- 

while some changes brought looks of anticipation and smiles...

Departing Missionaries August 17th 2013

"Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end.

 They simply mean I'll miss you... until we meet again."

We sadly said goodbye to ten magnificent missionaries.
Many served as Zone Leaders and Trainers and so we felt a large leadership gap ...
but it created an opportunity for others to "step up to the responsibility".
After Zone Leader training ended at 1:00 pm on Friday the 16th these departing missionaries arrived at our home for fun and food. We had a lunch BBQ and President and Sister Valenzuela joined in before they left for meetings. President Egbert met with each Elder for an exit interview. While those interviews were happening the rest played Ping Pong, fun games, the piano and enjoyed each others company. Ping pong brings out the aggressive side of many... (Elder Dove!) At  6:30 pm we had a spaghetti dinner/ ice-cream sundaes and then a special mtg with remarks from President Egbert.
Talented Elder Pintor accompanied us on the piano.
The closing song was "God Be With You Til we Meet Again." Ugh!! Not a dry eye and lots of emotion through that 45 minutes. Some of these Elders were ready to go home, but many of them wanted to serve longer. I have a whole new perspective of how for many the fear of going back home is significant. Life in the mission for many feels so sure, safe, and has a certainty about it. I can only imagine how excited their families must have been in anticipation of their arrival back home.

We celebrated on Friday night and then awoke at 4:30 am Saturday morning to send them off on the van/bus to Mexico City, with a muffin and juice in hand, where they boarded flights for home. President then met up with Elder Valenzuela Saturday afternoon for additional meetings in Tecamac with the Stake President, Bishops, Missionaries, Ward Mission Leaders and High Counselors over missionary work.
Sunday we had Stake Conference in the Pachuca Centro Stake. What a special spirit I felt there. I spoke for just a minute and bore my testimony- President helped translate for me. Tahlia, our daughter still visiting, sat with some of our Elders who kindly translated several of the talks to her.
 She reminded me, "Mom you have to BREATH when you get up there!" 
Ahhh.. Anxiety a #12 on a scale of 0-10. President Egbert gave a marvelous 10 minute talk. His stories touch peoples souls. I didn't understand much in Spanish but witnessed teary eyes in the congregation and felt the reverent spirit the entire meeting.
Then Monday morning we had 5 native missionaries (3 Elders and 2 Sisters) from Mexico arrive via bus from the Mexico City MTC. We fed them breakfast and President interviewed each one to get to know them and receive inspiration on which new missionary should go with which trainer.

We then headed to the mission offices where we had HUGE CAMBIOS 
(changes/transfers) for the whole mission.
 We didn't do much on the last changes as we had just arrived and didn't want to stir the pot too much- so we made up for it this time! 
From what we can tell almost a week later - most all are adjusting well. 
Here are a few faces of the change....
 Tahlia (our daughter above) met up with Elder Segura. They went to 4th grade together!
I think he's grown immensely taller since then... but she is still just as bossy without the pigtails....

Tahlia Mae our daughter so enjoyed her week here visiting the mission and was so much help.
She asked her Dad if she could put "Mission Service-Eight Days" on her resume.
I don't even think he thought that was too funny!

Elder Shillig one of our assistants was made a trainer for his last cycle. Exceptional trainers are so valuable for these new missionaries and Elder Shillig was needed in this assignment. We will so miss seeing him daily. Elder Poulsen was called to be Presidents new assistant in his last cycle of the mission.
 He is from Ely, Nevada and has been serving as an outstanding zone leader.
Everyone grabbed their suitcases and headed back to their areas with their new companions. We jumped into our mini van with both assistants and zipped to Mexico City Airport to pick up 5 North American missionaries coming in at 4:00 pm from the Provo MTC.
Look how handsome Presidents two assistants are as they pose for a picture in the airport parking garage.
Yes, President parked in that space meant for a Geo, and no I couldn't even get out the right side without contorting my body to fit in a 1 inch space...... 

On Tuesday morning we gathered the ten new missionaries that arrived Monday and the ten trainers assigned and had new missionary "orientation" and "training for the trainers". Our assistants and secretaries did an exceptional job.  By 1:30 pm everyone from this group was headed out to their new areas.....

Look how busy our Elders have been.....

This little boy on the upper left corner played the prelude for a baptism... so so cute... and the little girl in the upper middle picture is the one that was referred to in an early blog about the assistants staying home from Molango and finding this family. The others are of Elders coming in for "mail" and "supplies" on P-Day.

There is something about service projects and physically working together that lifts ones spirit...

Pachuca Sur Zone - Monday Activity Day
Watched the movie "17 Miracles" and had lunch all together.
One activity that they did was dynamic- it involved having to take a coin out of a plate of water, not getting themselves wet and using a knife, a glass, a lime, matches and a Book of Mormon to assist. It is fun because of everyone's thought process. Answer: a post-it-note was in the Book of Mormon explaining how to do it.  So first you cut the lime in half, then place six matches into the lime standing up, then put the lime on the plate on the opposite side of the coin. Next you light the matches- and place the glass over the burning matches covering the lime. The flame sucks the oxygen out of the glass and pulls the water into the glass, leaving the coin out of the water on the plate, where you retrieve the coin with the knife- AWESOME! Thus- the lesson- "revelation" is found in the Book of Mormon. All the answers are there and that's usually the last place we go if we have a question.

A companion-ship from this zone above has a spouse of a less-active brother who has a baptismal date set for September 13th and is working so hard. When ever they see her she is studying the Book of Mormon and looking things up on the church website. They have had two family home evenings with her last week with two families, and this week had three arranged with three different families. Their thought process is that before she is baptized they want her to have a family home evening with every member of the ward council or at least every auxiliary. This motivation comes from their love for her and their desire for the ward members to get to know her personally and to love her as they do- thus they will surround and support her as the newest member of the ward.


  1. Love reading your posts! My son will turn 18 next June, making your photos & stories a reality for where my son will be in 10 short months. But I'm sure he'll have a mission mom just as caring as you are which makes my anxiety go from that #12 that u had down to a #3...won't be a 0 til he comes home. For the record I totally think Tahlia can put that on a resume. How fun would it be to have a group of us from W3 come down & provide service. A flu shot shoot out maybe?! Take care Salli!

  2. We just found your blog!!! Huge smiles all around as we saw a picture of our boy, Elder Segura, with your daughter. Thanks so much for posting those and putting this blog together!
    Teresa and Ezra Segura