San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

They're Already Leaving . . . and . . . Roatan

It's hard to describe the amazing bond you feel with each one of these precious missionaries.  Truly the spirit quickens our experiences together so that almost instantly we feel such a deep respect, love and concern for each one of these precious missionaries.  Sadly . . . . as in all church callings . . . the ones leaving are the most experienced, the best examples, the strongest and the best of all the best of the missionaries.

They have gained valuable insight during their service in regards to dealing with uncertainties in life, new food, new cultures, new language, rejection, barking dogs, working with "golden" investigators, working with reluctant investigators, setting goals, making plans, dealing with gossip - bad weather - disappointment, how to get families to church for the first time, inviting and recognizing the spirit, keeping an eternal perspective.

And then . . .

it's over . . .

in the blink of an eye . . .

And they take all those incredible insights back home with them.

To bless their lives forever more.

But it makes us sad . . .

To see them go.


Well done.

Well done.

Thought I'd change the subject for just a moment . . .

Here's a glimpse of where we spent Sunday meeting and greeting missionaries and members.  I know you want to see it . . .  but we'll try not to rub it in . . .

It's a hard thing to travel to such beautiful places on earth . . .

But someone has to do it - right?

The Branch President and his wife were wonderful hosts, picking us up at the airport
and taking us to our hotel, clear across the island from their home.
They also arranged for a ride to church for us . . .
Then spent the following day assisting us to see a little bit of the island,
visit the apartments of the missionaries
and visit with various members of the church on the island.

A mini miracle . . .
A darling cute sister from the branch  was on our ferry crossing to Roatan.  She
introduced herself, and then invited us to have lunch with them after church
on Sunday!  We spent a lovely lunchtime with them.
The most miraculous part . . .
Neither of us knew when we met how much we would each
come to appreciate the other and experience the blessing of our lives
interacting for just a short time together.
Our Heavenly Father truly watches out for each of us . . .
and sends angels . . .
When we need them.
"for your heavenly Father aknoweth that ye have need of all these things".
--Matthew 6:32







We dropped in unexpectedly on these elders on their P-day.
Must to our surprise - their apartment was spotless.
Well done - elders!!
The view from their apartment.  Not quite the ocean
view of the other set of elders . . . but really a great view.

View from the missionaries apartment - Roatan

These missionaries are outstanding!
What a pleasure to visit their beautiful corner of the world.
We are blessed.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mission Inspiration . . .

Wanted to share some mini miracles . . .

Yes, they do still occur almost daily.

In the life of a missionary it's incredible some of the mini miracles that come to pass as they are out there meeting, teaching and helping others to come to know our Savior Jesus Christ.

 Here's a few experiences we've gathered up this week.

 . . . we planned an activity with two different branches in our area.  The day of the activity was pretty stressful, we planned a movie night in the park and had coordinated to get a big projector screen. We arranged with the mayors office to get everything set up.  But the day of the activity everything seemed to be going wrong, it started raining, the power was out from 2-5 pm, the DVD broke, the power went off again . . . so we all said a silent prayer.  The lights came back on, we found a new DVD, the rain went away - and it was a great activity.  Everything just resolved itself and we got like 25 new references from the activity . . .


. . . We went to visit a family that is always home, because she is older and doesn't get out much.  Well this day, she wasn't home and it was pouring rain.  One of her neighbors allowed us to stand under her door step.  We talked with her and she invite us in, where we share the message of the Plan of Salvation with her, her mom and her daughter.  Turns out she has a son who passed away and this lesson was exactly what she needed to hear  It was a very peaceful lesson.  The Lord works things out so we end up teaching those who need the message most in their lives, we are just his servants . . .

 . . . we had an experience where we were able to help one of our investigators receive a blessing and a greater testimony of the church.  At the end of our lesson we asked if there was a special blessing we could include in our closing prayer.  She said yes and told us about her son who lives in the States whom she hasn't seen for a long time.  We said a prayer and it turns out a short time later she received a call from her son.  She knew it was a blessing from God and he answered her prayer.  She came to church for the first time on Sunday and says she loves it and feels the spirit . . .


  . . . one of our investigators set for baptism didn't have their personal records of their wedding or even remember when it was.  We helped them by going to the city to look for their records but they couldn't find them anywhere.  We were in a time crunch as they had committed to be baptized that day and didn't want to wait until the next month.  The city gave us the number of a different office to call so we ran back to our house to call.  The office began to look and said they would call us back.  We were so worried they wouldn't be able to find the records in time . . . we fell to the floor in prayer and my companion said one of the most fervent prayers I have ever heard, just asking that they would find the records in time for the baptism, saying "Heavenly Father, we need your help".  Just then the phone rang.  And they found it.  We know God answers prayers, sometimes we wait a long time, other times he can answer our prayers within seconds . . .


Yep . . .

Just mini miracles going on almost every day of the week.

We believe . . .

Yes, we do.

 . . .  for it is by faith that MIRACLES are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men  . . .
Moroni 7:37

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Working with the Best of the Best

We had our first Missionary Leadership Council – these used to be called Zone Leader Council and were held monthly, but have recently been updated by the church to include the presence of the newly organized Sister Training Leaders as well as the mission presidents wife.    

Sister Training Leaders are newly formed leadership roles for the sister missionaries as a larger percentage of missionaries are woman, much more now than ever before.  The STL are responsible for the training and welfare of all the female missionaries – a great responsibility.  They still proselyte but participate in training and evaluating the needs of all our sisters. 


They along with the zone leaders report directly to the mission president.  Interestingly . . . the wives of mission presidents are asked to also play a larger role in looking to the welfare and training of the sister missionaries! 

Anyway . . . it didn't take us long to discover that this group of young missionaries are the best of the best.  


As we met with these outstanding leaders . . . the cream of the crop really . . . our 14 amazing zone leaders, two sister training leaders, two assistants to the president, myself and the president – it’s apparent that these young people will accomplish great things!  

It was such an honor to be in their presence and sense their urgency and desire to share Heavenly Father’s plan with all the communities within our mission boundaries.

IMG_0291IMG_0296 IMG_0305   

We are the new kids on the block and probably did things very unconventionally in regards to what they are used to in the past.  But we were touched as each person had an opportunity to contribute what their thoughts were on the vision for the mission and how we should proceed as we make plans.  It really gave us a foundation to get to know these young people and already we are so saddened as we realize that many of them will be completing their time in Honduras here very shortly. 

IMG_0295 MTL council 1

The meeting ended with a few minutes to visit with friends
and previous companions, a quick bite of Little Caesar's Pizza
for lunch . . .

And they were out the door and back to their areas.

So proud of each of these inspiring missionaries.

mlt council 2

What amazing examples they are to their peers and to ourselves as well.  


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Missionary First Aid Kit

I recently shared on my Facebook page that I was so happy to talk to missionaries who actually had in their possession a decent first aid kit.  One of my responsibilities as mission mom is to help the missionaries with their health care needs.

I'm telling you . . . . if you are home sick with a fever of 103 degrees, it's not much fun to get out of bed and go looking for medication somewhere in a little village.  And guess what??  Your companion can't go look for it and bring it back!

So for starters . . . I would consider sending some basic over the counter medications and first aid supplies with your missionary!  Keep all medications in their original boxes with instructions and dosage intact.

I personally recommend single purpose medications.  Medications that don't treat every symptom of a cold.  That way you just treat the symptoms that you have . . . congestion, fever, sore throat, headache and not all of the above everytime.

For instance:

Basic Pain relievers

Antihistamine for allergies or allergic reaction
       Benedryl (great for an allergic reaction but causes drowsiness)

       Sudafed (it's behind the pharmacy counter, just ask)

Heartburn or upset stomach

       Immodium (see comments section)

Cough medication
       Cough drops
       Robitussen (something with guaifenisin)

Cold / flu medication
       One good strong cold medication for when you do have all the signs and symptoms,
       that offers relief for 12 hours.

       1% Hydrocortisone cream

Athlete's Foot (Missionaries are really prone to getting this, especially in warm climates)
       Anti-fungal powder for everyday use if in a tropical climate

Prescription medications as needed

First aid supplies:
       Band aids (a variety)
       Hand sanitizer
       Cold pack
       Sterile gauze pads
       Moleskins (for blisters)
       Basic sewing kit
       Thermometer (a must have!!)
       Antiseptic wipes
       Freezer baggies - quart size - to make additional hot/cold packs
       Booklet or brochure with basic first aid information
       At least a couple pairs of medical latex gloves
       Roller gauze
       2 sizes of Ace wrap


BE SURE - that your missionary knows if he/she has allergies to any medications or substances.
Remind your missionaries to always read and follow the label instructions.


Just a glimpse of our Mission Tour

       It's been a whirlwind tour since we arrived in Honduras.  Particularly this first 10 days trying to get oriented to life in Honduras, the big city of San Pedro Sula, a new home, new foods and cultures safety issues.  One thing we know for sure . . . the missionary work is amazing!  The gospel is true, and the lives and hearts of the members of the church here in Honduras are so blessed by the light of the gospel in their lives.

We know that the doctrine of the church is the same in all places . . . but if you haven't had opportunity to travel outside of the United States (or even Utah!!) you may not know that the circumstances of the Church are not the same in all parts of the world.



       It was a great blessing in our lives to visit a small organized group of Latter-day Saints who struggle to hold onto the church in their little town, far removed from any larger branch or ward.  Transportation here is impossible for many people.  They don't have access to a car, or money even for a bus or taxi to attend church meetings if they are located far from their home.  A priesthood leader of a ward or branch travels to them as frequently as possible to preside and administer the sacrament.  They have such strong testimonies and want their children to learn gospel principles and be raised in a home where gospel principles are practiced.  They long for an opportunity to have the organization of the church, it's principles and practices, doctrine and teachings to be part of their lives, homes, families and community.




These struggling members hope they can get their few youth out on missions and have them return to provide leadership in their areas upon their return.  The daily struggles for life and to earn a living places many distractions in the way of continued strength through priesthood leadership in this humble country.  The strong Latter-day Saints here have such valiant testimonies and their whole lives revolve around constantly trying to provide increased strength and growth in the area in which they live.

The experiences that really lift our hearts is when we have opportunity to be in the homes of the members.  Throughout the mission and especially outside the cities most live in the humblest of circumstances.  Yet, they delight to have us come for a visit.  They are very honored if we will have dinner in their home.  I'm astounded at the lengths they go to to prepare a good, safe meal for us!  They will never join you for the meal (probably because they are using every single plate, cup or utensil they have in the home to feed you!) but will sit and visit with you while you eat.  This lovely family prepared a meal for 8 of us!  Our four sister missionaries serving in their little town in Santa Rita, Honduras, our two AP's and ourselves.

santa rita 1


Lunch with the sisters

It's easy to see why the young children love the sister missionaries!
What a wonderful example they are!



These two elders have taken great care of us!
Elder Moreno and Elder Mackay - great leaders and examples . . .
examples for us as well as we come to know and love the missionaries and people
of Honduras.
One last shot . . .

An illustration of the hard work and dedication of the missionaries here in the San Pedro Sula East mission.  These two elders are  . . .

Walkin' the walk,
and talkin' the talk

hitting the dirt roads that frequent the streets of the San Pedro Sula East mission in the hot heat of the day, day after day . . . we couldn't be prouder of them and their dedication to serving the Lord.

Bless their hearts and their poor little feet - who both take a beating every day in their service.
  Walking the walk

Friday, July 5, 2013

And Finally . . . What we Came here to do!

Just a glimpse of the work in progress with the missionaries
here in Honduras, San Pedro Sula East Mission!

Our first zone meeting so we could meet the missionaries
and they could meet us!  We introduced ourselves and shared our testimonies
and a little information about our family, children, grandchildren and "perro".
At our first meeting the sisters prepared a lovely welcome poster for us
and welcomed us with a beautiful hymn they had prepared!
The two sisters on the left front row are our Sister Training Leaders.  They are
our first here in this newly created role to represent and assist with all
the sisters missionaries.  They will participate in the 
Mission Leadership Council
along with Presidente and myself, plus the the Asistentes and
the Zone leaders.  The Council meets monthly to plan and organize
missionary training.
All I can say is they are awesome!  I'm so impressed!

This humble wonderful women fed us today when we were starving! Our first and I'm certain the best Honduran meal - gracias Hermana :)

This lovely sister welcomed us into her humble home after a 
few days of being on the road without regular (or any) mealtimes.
We were starving!  She nourished us both physically and spiritually.
She has sent 5 missionaries from her family out to serve!

Nuestros Asistantes! And one of the most beautiful chapels I've seen. In Tocoa, Honduras

It was an unexpected sight to see such a beautiful chapel in the
middle of Tocoa, Honduras.  
These are our two right hand Elderes - nuestros Asistentes!
We would be lost without their assistance and guidance.  
(And driving lessons :)
Kinda scary to take driving lessons from 21 year old young men :)

Mission tour
We had the great opportunity to visit another humble home
of some beautiful members of the church in Sonaguerra. A tiny little town!
Their 18 year old son leaves tomorrow to serve a mission
in Columbia.  Presidente was able to visit with the family before he set him apart to
serve as a missionary for the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It was so inspiring to see the way the little branch rallied around the family
and many aunts, uncles and cousins arrived for the occasion even though
most of them aren't members of the church.  Some great opportunities there for
missionary work!



This was our 9th stop in 7 days!
Our last and final district meeting in Satelite.  It is the area closest to where
we live in San Pedro Sula.  Still it is 30 minutes away from either the
mission home or office.  
We are in a little bit of a predicament as our mission home and office are 
located outside of our mission boundaries.  Usually missionaries are not allowed to 
travel outside of the mission boundaries for any reason.  (Actually the Presidente also - except for rare
exceptions).  So we have a challenge to figure out meeting locations and how
to accomplish all our training and arriving and departing of 
new missionaries!


This is a small cell phone shot - the missionaries here welcomed us
with lei's.  It's not a tradition here but our one Elder from Hawaii sent
for them from his family in Hawaii!  We felt very warmly welcomed by
a beautiful rousing song they greeted us with in the hallway as we came into
the building.

honduras collage
We wondered why we needed to have a four wheel drive
vehicle here (since frequently that is what the drug dealers drive apparently and are stopped
by the military police from time to time)
but soon discovered it's not at all to unusual to drive across rivers after roads have been
washed out by the heavy rains.

Honduras 2

Many of our missionaries serve in coastal cities with great
seaside vistas.  What you can't see are the armed guards that patrol the 
beaches to keep them safe for visitors in the more populated areas.

honduras collage 3

We had dinner one evening with two branch presidents.  It was very 
eye opening to visit with them and discoverer the incredible challenges they
experience every day as they serve here in Honduras, mostly in the rural areas.
It's not unusual to have 80 members attending Sacrament meeting on Sunday
and to have 1200 members on their membership records that they
have stewardship over.  
The young branch president on the left with his wife is 22 years old and has the challenge of
counseling his members about the important of marriage and family commitments.

honduras 4
There are so many beautiful sights as you look around you everywhere you go.
I love the worn shoes of the Elders that represent many miles walked,
many puddles, lakes and rivers crossed, many long walks to appointments and
home again at the end of a long day.
They are valiant servants.
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