San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just my Thoughts of the Day . . .

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Work of Salvation

We just finished our mission tour of Zone Conferences . . . it was a wonderful opportunity to see each and every single missionary.  Oh how we love these young men and women.  They are strong and valiant missionaries with a desire to serve our Heavenly Father and teach and testify of our Saivor Jesus Christ.  That people the world over might receive the good news the gospel brings.  Our Savior lives, our Heavenly Father loves each one of us.  He desires all to return to live with him.  And he has a plan so that we can do just that.  And enjoy the blessings of eternal families.

Based on inspiration received at our Mission Presidents Training Seminar in Guatemala, that we just returned from . . .

We focused our Zone Conferences on  . . .

"The Work of Salvation"

No more is it the missionary work . . . but for all, you and I, and everyone who has made a covenant through baptism to serve our Savior Jesus Christ . . . it is the work of Salvation.

We began our Zone Conferences with a video that really touches on the heart of 
the work of salvation - 

I'm going to share the thoughts included in this article with photos from our zone conference . . . because it expresses the message we want to share with everyone.  Our missionaries . . . our families back home, our friends, neighbors . . . and especially the those we come intact with everyday in the . . .

Honduras San Pedro Sula East Mission.

Behold, I will Hasten my Work in it's Time.
On December 27, 1832, in Kirtland, Ohio, the Lord provided us with a message of peace, including these words to ponder: “Behold, and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and will raise up elders and send unto them. Behold, I will hasten my work in its time” (D&C 88:72–73).

Following President Thomas S. Monson’s historic announcement in general conference on October 6, 2012, the number of missionary applications has continued to increase. It is a spiritually electrifying time as new missions and missionary training center expansions are announced. This “spirit of the gathering” is all around us and has global impact.  

z conf 2


(La Ceiba Zone)

n Elder Russell M. Nelson’s inspired words, “The full-time missionary force is growing, and these well-prepared young men and women are both eyewitnesses and participants in this gathering of people from the world into the fold of Christ. Much is being done to help them in their preparations to serve as worthy, well-prepared disciples of Jesus Christ.”
In the beginning pages of Preach My Gospel, the First Presidency’s message to missionaries states: “There is no more compelling work than this, nor any which brings greater satisfaction. We challenge you to rise to a new sense of commitment to assist our Father in Heaven in His glorious work.” 



(Olanchito Zone)


(Miramar zone)

z conf 1

These invitations to serve, combined with the direction of the Holy Ghost into the hearts and minds of young men and women throughout the world, have resulted in surges among the entire missionary force, but many families have felt this surge within their own homes.
Elder Kyle Idso, 18, and Sister Kaylene Idso, 19, both entered the Provo Missionary Training Center the same day, January 16, 2013. Sister Idso is the oldest child in the Idso home and has always had a desire to serve a full-time mission. In her own words, “When I heard President Monson make the announcement, I first thought of my brother who was 18 years old and could go immediately. Then when President Monson announced the new sisters’ age, I was excited to know I could also go now.”
Identical twins Sister Linsey Haas and Sister Jocelyn Haas of Mesa, Arizona, are serving in the California San Bernardino and Pennsylvania Philadelphia Missions respectively. Their 19-year-old sister, Tessa, just received her call to serve in the Idaho Boise Mission. By June of this year, all three of the Haas sisters will be serving missions. Senior couples are also feeling a deeper desire to serve, and many have served multiple missions. Elder Gary Batchelor, former president of the Arkansas Little Rock Mission, and his wife, Sister Kay Batchelor, have 30 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Following their experiences in Arkansas, they received a call to serve for two years in the Micronesia Guam Mission. They are now in the Provo MTC with their calling to serve 18 months in the Missouri St. Louis Mission.  
Entrusted with ushering in this last dispensation, the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1842 described this great latter-day work: “The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540).


(Progreso Sur Zone)

d conf 1


(Satelite Zone)

How might we be active participants in hastening the work?
Sometimes we complicate the gospel to such an extent that we forget what it’s really about. 
  • It’s about knowing that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us. 
  • It’s about knowing that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. 
  • It’s about making covenants. 
  • It’s about knowing that the gospel was restored on the earth and that we are led by living prophets, seers, and revelators. 

Additionally, it’s about teaching the doctrine to one another that we might be instructed more perfectly in the laws of the gospel (see D&C 88:77–78).


d conf visits 2

Elder M. Russell Ballard, in the April 2003 general conference, said, 
“Remember, we’re not marketing a product. We’re not selling anything. We’re not trying to impress anyone with our numbers or our growth. We are members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, empowered and sent forth by the Lord Himself to find, nourish, and bring safely into His Church those who are seeking to know the truth” (“The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work”).  
With the increasing number of missionaries throughout the world and greater access to missionaries in every unit of the Church, we will need to do things more effectively. 
This will include a more steady engagement by our ward councils into the lives of our young men and young women, as well as a more effective approach to reach out to our less-active brothers and sisters. 


(La Lima Zone)

Spiritual Preparation in the Home
Spiritual preparation in the home is critically important in preparing to share the gospel. The doctrine of Christ and the lesson plans contained in chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel can be taught in a simple way even to young children in our family home evenings.
Young minds in a home setting are so teachable. 
We must be steady in our daily scripturestudy and also must preserve our Monday evenings for family home evening so that the evening does not turn into just another social gathering or athletic event that might compete with our chance to be with our own children in a well-planned and executed family home evening.


Progreso Norte)


(Pineda Zone)

Elder Clayton M. Christensen, a former Area Seventy, tells of many blessings and friendships that come through trying to share the gospel. He reminds us that the Doctrine and Covenants is filled with remarkable promises that God has offered to those who accept His call to share the gospel (see “Seven Lessons on Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, Feb. 2005, 36–41).
Among the promises given:
• You shall have power to declare His word (see D&C 99:2).
• He will go before your face. He will be on your right hand and on your left (see D&C 84:88).
• You shall have blessings greater than the treasures of earth (see D&C 19:37–38).
• You will be given a testimony of the words of the prophets (see D&C 21:9).
• He will bear you up as on eagles’ wings (see D&C 124:18).
We have a gift. We should be willing to share it.

We are blessed to live in a time when the gospel of Jesus Christ is being hastened by our Heavenly Father to all parts of the world.  Not just through personal contact with missionaries, but through example, social media, news media, publicity and every means of technology available to man today.  The opportunity to do family temple work, gathering the records of loved ones from the past has never been easier nor more available to all mankind throughout the world.  
Truly we see the Lord's hand in the work of salvation in all parts of the world. 


d conf visits

Capture the Vision
President Thomas S. Monson

Wishing will not make it so. The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion.

President Henry B. Eyring

Whatever our age, capacity, Church calling, or location, we are as one called to the work
to help Him in His harvest of souls.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

There is a way for everyone … to participate in this great work. We can each find a way to use our own particular talents and interests in support of the great work of filling the world with light and truth.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Up Close . . . and somewhat personal . . .

Ahhhh . . . the missionary life . . .

It's impossible to completely describe the missionary life.  If you've lived it you know what I'm talking about.  One serves a mission far from home and family, surrounded by a world that is almost always completely different than the one they left at home . . .

And then they return after a period of 18 months or two years and report briefly, an ultra "reader's digest" version to the Stake High Council.  And then in a 15-30 minute report to ward members of their experiences in the last 18-24 months.  But there really aren't words to express, or time enough to really share an accurate description of the life of a missionary.

Working alongside of these young, hard working missionaries almost daily has given me an entirely new appreciation for missionary service.



My two sons served missions.  One in the New York New York South Mission and another in the Korea Busan Mission.  I thought that by receiving letters and weekly emails from them that I perhaps understood the missionary life.  I'm realizing now that I understood nothing.  I have far greater respect for their efforts now, after these many years than I did at that time.  Even though at the time I was so pleased as a parent with their willingness to sacrifice and serve our Heavenly Father.  And I know it was a blessing in their life and a blessing for our family during that time.

But I am just now getting a glimpse of how a mission actually changes the life and hearts of young men and women all over the world as they truly come to love the people, love the country, love the gospel, love their Savior and Heavenly Father.  This certainly comes to pass with many missionaries.  Sadly, perhaps not all.  But those who have the desire . . . will experience this mighty change in their hearts and lives.

Those who remember their purpose as missionaries and give up their own will and desires . . . and

“Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end” (Preach My Gospel [2004], 1).



And the challenge for them, is it's impossible to share or describe this life changing experience through words.  (Although, I must admit, some do an amazing job . . . . which I'm sure you'll agree if you follow along on any of the blogs listed in the right sidebar.)

A glimpse into missionary life that really delights me . . .

The power of the Spirit.  What a blessing the power of the Spirit is in the lives of the missionaries everywhere.  They receive promptings telling them what they should do, they receive promptings telling them what they should not do.  The words of Elder Ballard describe this great blessing.

The power of this work is when we get to the point in our relationships with Heavenly Father that we know the voice of the Spirit, and we know it so well that we know exactly what we should do” (Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, devotional address at the Provo Missionary Training Center, June 25, 2002).



The power of Prayer.  Prayer becomes second nature for missionaries . . .  it is vital to every aspect of their work.  They pray individually, they pray as companionships.  They carry a prayer in their hearts as they study, plan, eat, visit, teach, walk and walk and walk.  They understand how the power of prayer is exactly linked with the power of the spirit.  And they need the spirit . . .

“the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach” (D&C 42:14).


The power of daily scripture study.  It is through the power of daily scripture study that missionaries are prepared to live and share the gospel each day of their lives as a missionary.  It is a blessing for their service and to the missionary as an individual, and as a companionship to have this dedicated amount of time for scripture study daily in their lives.  Probably never again will they be able to devote themselves so whole heartedly to a comprehension of the scriptures and how to apply it, and how it blesses their lives everyday.

“I frequently say to missionaries in the field, ‘You make or break your mission every morning of your life. You tell me how those morning hours go from 6:30 a.m. until you are on the street in your mission, whatever time it is; you tell me how those hours go, and I will tell you how your day will go, I will tell you how your month will go, I will tell you how your year will go and how your mission and your life will go’” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, seminar for new mission presidents, June 26, 2011).


The power of Teaching and Testifying.  Missionaries have challenges.  Yes, they do . . . some appear to pass through missionary service without a struggle.  But I think it would be a fair statement to say that they ALL have challenges to overcome here in the mission.  But it is through the power of teaching and testifying to others that they are able to forget self, and move ahead one day at at time.  The cure for homesickness is to teach and to testify.  The balm for worry, sadness, anxiety . . . is to teach and to testify.  Not only do they assist their investigators to come to know the Savior, they strengthen their fortitude as missionaries in the work.




And then the time comes when they go home . . . it's a time of very mixed emotions.  They leave a large portion of their hearts in the mission field, saying goodbye to members, investigators, leaders possibly forever.   They return to the world, and all it's different challenges.

 But those who have the desire . . . will experience this mighty change in their hearts and lives.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Transfer week already!

Welcome to the San Pedro Sula East Mission!!

That's exactly what we said to 31 missionaries who arrived into the mission field here this past week.  With 6 trips to the airport in 4 days . . . we welcomed 31 missionaries and said farewell to 6.  I can't believe these last 6 weeks came and went so fast.

And now they are all teaching and testifying all over the San Pedro Sula East Mission!

President Klein always encourages the senior companions to get their newly arrived companions sharing their testimony in Spanish as soon as possible.  Hopefully within a day or two at the most.

I must say . . . I was awfully proud of some new arrivals!  While we were waiting in the airport for luggage to be found, what did I see but a couple of new missionaries just off the plane, giving away a Book of Mormon to a young family waiting for the arrival of their family member!

Way to go Elders!!

3 transfer 2

NA elders


(These hard workers here - load our buses with 45+ pieces of luggage, fitting
everything into every nook and cranny so that it all is neat and tidy and
takes up every last bit of space we have available . . . 
all for the tip money we are more than happy to provide for them.)

One thing about here in Honduras, the people want to work and will do just 
about anything you would like them to do, as they try to provide for their
homes and families in such a difficult economy.

And . . .
of course . . . the new missionaries would get welcomed with their first torrential
downpour!  Welcome to Honduras!

3 transfers 1

Usually, we try to feed them pretty quickly,
after a long day of travel they all arrive pretty hungry!

3 transfer 3

After a long day of orientation by our office elders, the assistants and 
sister training leaders, and an interview with
President Klein .  . . 

You know you have some fine missionaries here when they all jump
up immediately and start helping put the church back into tip top shape again!


At the end of the day,  before sending them off for their
first night in the Honduras, San Pedro Sula East mission,
they get to have a nice home cooked meal with 
President Klein and myself, our sister training leaders, and assistant.

We're so grateful for Hna. Martinez and her help each transfer
as she prepares yummy food for our missionary welcome dinner.


This week our plans didn't go quite as expected due to a flight breakdown at the Guatemala airport and 14 missionaries from the CCM in Guatemala arriving a day late on a chartered flight (which was a miracle they could arrive so promptly! We were very grateful!)

LA 3rd transfer arrivals
Since these missionaries had to get up at 1:30 am to be at the airport
two days in a row . . .
I would say they are pretty happy to be here!!
3rd Transfer - October 2013 Guatemala CCM

Usually on the day of their arrival our missionaries would arrive from their respective CCM's, spend the day with us, meet the Assistants, our Sister Training leaders,  receive some orientation and training, their first Honduran baleadas,  and an interview with President Klein . . . . This time it was a little crazy with their flight arriving a day late,  just in time to have a quick airport welcome, load the buses with missionaries and luggage and whisk them off to the transfer meeting with the 100 or so, currently serving missionaries who had arrived that morning, from all over the mission to receive their change of location or companion . . . that was getting ready to start.

3 transfer 4
Hehehehee - usually, once transfer meeting has concluded missionaries take their new companions and immediately head off to all their various new areas.  Some of which are far away.  Many Senior companions didn't understand their new companion had just BARELY arrived and still needed an interview with President Klein, needed their missionary funding cards and a little orientation, we had to literally run after them and find them all, retrieving them from taxi's and buses as they were "ready to get to work!"

This transfer we said goodbye to one Assistant who will be opening a new area his last transfer, said goodbye to two sister training leaders, one who will be training in her new area, another leaves to return to home in Utah, and of course . . . welcomed one new Assistant and two sister training leaders.  We are so grateful for the example, dedication, hard work . . . and did I say example of all these experienced leaders.  They truly make a difference in the mission, to missionaries, members, investigators, church leadership in every opportunity they have to serve.  Thank you immensely!



Through the prayers of one very patient missionary here in Honduras, an Hna. who received her mission call to serve in Costa Rica almost a year ago . . . 

And the inspiration for one mission president and one stake president . . .

Miraculously, we have a lovely sister missionary joining us while she continues to wait
for her visa to come through to Costa Rica.

We had some pretty tender moments as we met her family and participated with them
as their beautiful daughter and sister was finally set apart as a missionary!
3 transfer 5
Our sisters are amazingly adept at getting things accomplished at
the last minutes.  Fixing up a professional nametag while they are
waiting for an official one to arrive - is on their list of many talents.

3 transfer 6
Six missionaries going home . . .

The most we have said farewell to at one time since our arrival.
Some have served as assistants to the President and
Sister Training Leaders.

We stand in awe at their wonderful examples and dedicated service here.

It kills me to go to the airport . . . 

I'm not sure I can do it any more :(

"They will understand what they and this work are all about, and they will be up and about their Father’s business. As the sons (and daughters) of Mosiah, they will 
teach ‘with power and authority of God’ (Alma 17:3)”
-- (Elder D. Todd Christofferson

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