San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Day in the Life . . .

(I started this weeks ago and never got time to finish it . . . I debated about just scrapping the whole thing, but I think you'll just have to pretend you read this a couple weeks ago :)

(sometimes we leap small islands . . . in a single bound!
(Or how many islands can you visit in one day . . . ?)
(The sisters of Roatan)

A Day in the Life - 

People always wonder what we do everyday . . . and at the end of the day, sometimes we wonder what what we did that day!  Not because we didn't do anything . . . but because usually it is such a whirlwind, we can't remember where or what time we started in the morning . . .

It's a good thing I take so may pictures or we would forget what we did yesterday as we move onto our plans for tomorrow.

(Also - those one liner veeeerrry long sentences as a daily journal entry have saved me!)

But let's look at yesterday for instance - (Remember, I started this weeks ago and I'm just finishing it)

It's 5:30 am!
Time to rise and shine! (Well, not maybe shine just yet, we really don't have to shine until 7:30 . . . so let's hold off on that one for a little while . . .)

Time to prepare for the day . . . if we're going to get any personal study, companionship study, planning, calendaring, hair, makeup, showering done - now is the time.

7:00 am!
At 7:00 am we are out the door with breakfast in hand . . . for Kristin it's a green smoothie.  For Norm it's a bowl of Mini-wheats, yes we are lucky to have both here in Honduras!

Travel 50 minutes across town in rush hour traffic to actually arrive at one of our home bases here in the mission.  The chapel in the city of La Lima, actually the La Paz Stake Center.  We set up for our first meeting of the day . . .

8:00 am!
Sister Training Leader council and training - once a month we meet for an hour with our six Sister Training leaders to review their and our sister missionaries challenges of the month, share experiences, inspiration, advice and council and plan for upcoming events . . . (like zone conference this month!)

(Really excellent Sister Trainer Leaders)

Here it gets a little sticky as we are booked for three calendar items at the same time.  Divide and conquer is the game plan . . . leaving me with the Sister Training Leaders . . .

8:15 am!
Leaving me to continue with the Sister Training Leaders, President Klein (I still feel a little bit funny calling him President Klein in public . . . although I forget frequently . . . have to be better about that . . .) moves on to the -

Zone Secretaries Meeting - President Klein welcomes 2 missionaries from 5 of our 10 zones that are within a reasonable travel distance of this Stake Center (meaning they can come and return in the same day), to a special meeting for training on we can best help our recent converts stay active and in their wards and branches.  We don't want to lose any of our precious missionaries efforts as they slip or slide out the back doors into the already large pools of inactivity.  (Have you noticed???  This is a new role for missionaries in the Latter-days of missionary service . . . we are now "Hasten the Work of Salvation" missionaries!  And assist far beyond the baptism of our members, although we act as support cooperate with ward councils in this area as these "priesthood keys" belong to the bishops in the wards and branches.)

(office elder demonstrating how to fill out the baptism records correctly!!)

One of our office secretaries then takes over the training at this meeting so President Klein can . . .

8:30 am!
Meet with a new young missionary from a local ward who will be working with our Elders for a period of time while waiting to enter the MTC in Guatemala to serve in the mission he has been called to serve in.  Meanwhile, he will be set-apart by President Klein and gain valuable experience here in our mission, serving with a companion and acting as a missionary in every way!

9:00 am!
Boom!  It is now time for Mission Leader Council - and while we have been secluded each of us in our own early meetings . . . we know that our wonderful zone leaders and Assistants to the President, have been arriving from points all over North Eastern Honduras.  Fortunately they have set us all up in the cultural hall for our council meeting of approximately 32 people (meaning chairs and tables set up in a sort of "round table" configuration with a whiteboard and projector, laptop and power all assembled, and a small morning snack for each!).

(zone leaders . . . ooops! Missed one set . . .   :(

(Current Mission Leader Council - February 2014)

Joining the meeting is our Assistants, Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders and a few of our office staff who will be giving presentations during the course of the meeting.

President Klein and Hna. Klein (okay I am now referring to myself in 3rd person - what is with that!!??) arrive in the cultural hall of the Stake Center - and are sooooo happy!  Everything is ready to go and we can begin :) Seriously . . . this really does make us sooooo happy!  We have just a few minutes to greet everyone and shake hands before the meeting begins.

This meeting is a BIG deal . . . did I say BIG deal?!  This meeting, if everything functions as it ideally should, should set the tone for the missionary work for the month throughout all our areas in all of Northeastern Honduras.  From San Pedro Sula to Trujillo, to Olanchito . . . this meeting of missionary leadership should set the tone of the missionary work for all our missionaries for the next four weeks and beyond (and in some instances for the rest of their lives . . .)

All this and it's only 9 o'clock in the morning!  Some of these missionaries had to get up at 2 am and travel on a bus for 7 hours to be here on time.

(One transportation option . . . picture the bus just a little more enclosed.
We counted 30 people in the back of this pickup truck! But no missionaries
thank goodness!!)

10:30 am! (Break time!!)
As always . . . during the break there is some urgent situation to be resolved . . . but this time it was an urgent medical situation . . . so much for break time . . .

12:00 noon!
We pause for lunch . . . we love the Martinez family who helps us from time to time with lunch for our missionary meetings.  (I love to cook for missionaries, but the combination of early meetings and travel left no time for food preparation today!)   We are joined for lunch by a newly called Ward Mission Leader who we are scheduled to meet with for some training after this meeting ends.

1:00 pm!
Mission Leader Council adjourns for another month, we take photos and express our deep love, gratitude and appreciation for the examples of these fine missionaries.  They are such a blessing to the zones they have responsibility over.  It's a blessing in their lives as well as they develop tremendous leadership skills that will assist them in their life forever once they return to their home countries.

We have a small training meeting scheduled with two zone leaders and the newly called Ward Mission Leader.  A fairly new convert to the Church, he is excited about his new calling and is excited to read and study "Preach my Gospel".  Bless his heart!  (Looking back, I would have been sooooo overwhelmed!  But it's the Latter-days of missionary work, and times are much different now . . . no time to be overwhelmed . . . as a new member of the church here in Central America)

2:00 pm!
The other zone leaders are still finishing their mission business, copying handouts, replenishing their zone supplies of Book of Mormons, pamphlets, gathering the newly arrived packages and mail for the missionaries in their zones which our office staff transported to the meeting for them.  Then they are off to return to their areas.  We save some of them a bus ride by driving them back to their areas which are nearby.  They love the opportunity to enjoy the air conditioning in our vehicle, even if it's only for a few minutes.  Beats standing out in the sun at the bus stop!

3:00 pm!
We drop in on a small going away party for a missionary who is leaving today to return home to her country.  We are sooooo sad to see her go . . . she has been such a valuable missionary and provided great service here!  Her district leaders and members of her district have prepared a fine send off complete with balloons, posters and treats. Off to the airport we go . . .

3:30 pm!
Time to get to the airport . . . checking in at the airport here is no small process.  After waiting in three different lines, you are finally ready to go through airport security.  When they say be here 2 hours early for international flights . . . they aren't kidding!  (We found that out the hard way as we had a missionary actually miss their flight once because everything takes two hours!)

5:00 pm!
Said our "goodbye's"  and now we are on the road to FINALLY return to the mission office, where we hope to return emails, resolve the ever present challenges occurring in some part of the mission, make calls to the missionary department before they close in one hour.  Follow up on sick missionaries, sad missionaries, obedience challenged missionaries . . .

(Office staff meeting)

7:00 pm!
In the parking lot ready for the 20 minute drive to our house . . . sometimes we wished we had the same missionary schedule . . . two hours every morning for personal study, 30 minutes for exercise, breakfast then out the door at ten.  Lunch at noon with more time for companionship study or language study.  Dinner and home by 9:00 pm . . . . we are by no means trying to downplay their long days . . . miles of walking in the hot sun, or the snow, rain and cold of our more northern counterparts . . . and for our missionaries here in Honduras . . . the ever present safety issues . . . of which we are eternally grateful for at the end of each day when we know our missionaries are safe and sound at home in their casitas, with their cold and sometimes running water, and frequent loss of power . . .

We don't envy them at all really . . . . we admire them always, for their courage and strength and dedication.  But we do sometimes times wish for a little exercise time, more personal and language study time . . .

7:30 pm!
President Klein in his home office returning messages, arranging for an emergent transfer, making inspired phone calls . . . of course . . . you can't call any missionaries yet . . . because they don't get home until 9:00 pm!  Between the two of us, we manage to make up a dinner of leftovers, and have a few minutes to reflect on the day, what we would do different, already planning our next Mission Leader Council OR zone conference OR office staff meeting OR upcoming transfer . . . OR . . .

9:00 pm!
This is when we begin to hear from the missionaries . . .  happy stuff, sad stuff, scary stuff, really awful stuff . . . we see and hear it all.  It's sometimes the best part or the worst part of the day . . . depending on those phone calls.  We are grateful they call . . . if they feel the need.  Laundry and dishes are beckoning, papers are piling up . . . but I always treasure the few minutes I have to put out scraps for the neighborhood cat, birdseed for the wild birds . . . I squeeze in a few more pages of the "official" mission history which was due last week . . . this is where those daily one-liner journal entries are saving us!  (We really do more journaling on an occasional basis, but not as good as we should do . . .)

10:30 pm!
Ready or not we really just have to hit the sack . . . we're done . . . the day is over.  Five-thirty am comes really quickly . . . and then we start again . . .

 . . . and tomorrow is a baking day . . . on tap . . . 240 missionary valentine treats . . .

And President Klein has a 6 hours of travel on the roads with holes you can literally lose a small car in . . . for a one hour meeting . . .

Of course not everyday looks just like this one . . . some are far more busy and crazy . . .
Some are less :)

(always on the lookout for the lost sheet :)

(Edited note - hahahah!  Should actually say "sheep" in the comment above, but since we wash about 60 sheets a month for our newly arriving and departing missionaries temporary stays in San Pedro, I'll just leave it as "sheet".)

We'll see you on the flip side . . .

Here in the Honduras, San Pedro Sula East Mission.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Two . . . by two . . . by two

As missionaries they go . . .

two by two . . .

Teaching, serving, sharing - to bring a knowledge that can actually change your life.  Bringing peace, love and joy to you and your family through the restored gospel.

As a missionary you go out to teach people . . . but when you arrive . . .

You find you are actually learning from them as well.

They come from different countries and speak different languages, but they all come together to let others know that they really are children of a God who loves them, and desires to bless them.

That's who they are,
That's what they do.
Those Mormon Missionaries,
you'll find them on a street corner near you.
If you're looking for answers . . .
They can help you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Transfers and Tips for Terrific Missionaries

The Missionary Adventure - 

Everyday is an adventure here in the mission field . . . while each mission around the world has it's own unique fingerprint and blessings and challenges . . . there can be no doubt that here in Honduras each day is a blessing and an adventure.  You never know what is going to happen . . .

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that we, and the missionaries lead a challenging life full of the up days and the down days . . . the "high five" experiences and the really "I don't think I can do this any more" experiences . . .

My heart goes out daily to the many missionaries who are struggling with real life challenges . . . sad things . . . health problems . . . . under the best of circumstances here in Honduras . . . the missionary life is a challenge.   But they keep getting up every day . . .

And for EVERY SINGLE DAY that they get up, are obedient to the many missionary rules, hit the streets of Honduras, and share their valiant testimonies with another person . . . we are extremely grateful and so proud of their efforts.

(We say goodbye to 6 wonderful missionaries as they head for home
and their final transfer)

The Challenges are Real - 

I really don't feel like there is one missionary in the bunch who doesn't have a desire to serve our Heavenly Father.  And no doubt . . . some are a little further advanced when it comes to figuring out what the life of a missionary is all about . . . but what do you expect . . . they are 18-25 years old, with a larger and larger number of them in the 18-20 age bracket.  They still have MANY life's lessons yet to learn.  But they are learning . . .

But one things for sure . . . the majority of these missionaries find great joy and fulfillment in being the instrument that brings another to a knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Many have come to realize . . .
that serving a mission . . .
is not a sacrifice . . . but a privilege.  

Hints and Tips to a Successful Mission - 

That said . . . here are 11 hints and tips to a successful mission!
Penned by LDS writer Jason F. Wright, Deseret News.

(Enjoy the photos from our most recent RAINY transfer day)

Be obedient — period

1. Be obedient — period. Following mission rules brings blessings you cannot fathom until you are immersed in obedience. Learn the rules and follow them.

Don't judge

2. Don’t judge. At times, you will feel tempted to judge other missionaries and their efforts. Remember, your skills and natural abilities may be different than those you serve with. Their best effort doesn’t need to be good enough for you; it needs to be good enough for the Lord.

(It's a rainy day outside but the missionaries still gather with excitement.  They
always have many questions for our office elders.  They keep them running
every minute!)

Be obedient every minute of every day

3. Be obedient every minute of every day. You are unlikely to meet returned missionaries who were obedient but still regret their missions. But you will certainly encounter others who were never consistently obedient and never found the promised success and happiness. Being obedient doesn't mean you won't have difficult days, but it does mean more much success and happiness than otherwise.

Serve your companions

4. Serve your companions. Iron their shirts, make their beds and shine their shoes. If you’re blessed to be assigned a more challenging personality or someone who’s struggling, serve them even more.

Be obedient — even in the small things

5. Be obedient — even in the small things. Obedience is the only frequency that the Spirit operates in. Be sure you’re dialed in every time you walk out your front door to share the gospel.

(After transfer meeting they all head back to their areas in a
combination of buses and taxis - even in the pouring rain!)

Give praise

6. Give praise. Tell your companions, especially the challenging ones, that you think they're great missionaries and, eventually, they will be. At some point you will inevitably be assigned the companion with the “reputation.” Let them know you’ve only heard terrific things about them and offer a clean slate. When your mission is complete, be the one who says every single companion he had was amazing.

Be obedient

7. Be obedient. You will make mistakes and grow better each day at effectively teaching the gospel. But while you can't be perfect in all things, you can be perfectly obedient.


8. Love. Love those you teach with all your heart, even the ones who ultimately reject the message. You will plant seeds that may not be harvested for months or years by others who will come after. But you'll harvest some that were planted by missionaries now home, married and gray.

Exercise faith

9. Exercise faith that obedience leads to greater success. If you have faith in this principle, you will see it unfold in miraculous ways.

Love each and every day

10. Love each and every day. Young missionaries only get this opportunity to serve 24/7. Leave nothing behind and don't regret a single day.

Be yourself

11. Be yourself! Smile! Laugh! Have fun! Sometimes elders and sisters think that obedience and the black name tag means you’re required to shelf your personality and become ultra serious. The Lord doesn’t want us to be different people — he wants us to be better versions of ourselves.

(President Klein and I with a few missionaries who still needed their final interview at the office)

At the bus stop . . .
Ready to hit the streets of the Honduras San Pedro Sula East Mission.

Way to go Elders y Hermanas -

Love you all!!

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