This last month or so we have had opportunity to travel all over the Mission, an area that takes us about 6 hours in a car to drive from one end of the mission to the other, doing interviews with each of the 240 missionaries.
It give us a wonderful opportunity to see the missionaries in their areas, meet some of their investigators, attend some of the baptisms our missionaries are involved in that live far away from the mission home and office, as well as meet with church leadership in the areas.
(missionaries in Telamar)
(Elder Webb teaching an English class)
(A view of the lovely Tela)
(Some of the elders of Masica - this is where I want to go to church every week!)
(A lovely family invited us for dinner after Sunday meetings)
From one big event to the next . . .
No sooner did we complete this round of travels, it was time for all our zone conferences to start! We have 10 zones in the mission and we gather them together in groups of 2-4 zones for zone conferences every quarter. Our focus was on the additional emphasis given for Mission Presidents at the seminar in July with new instructions for missionaries to provide extra care, attention, lessons and spiritual nourishment for those who have recently been baptized for up to one year.
In the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley, "There is absolutely no point in doing missionary work unless we hold on to the fruits of that effort. The two must be inseparable . . . Every convert is a great and serious responsibility" ("Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep," Ensign, May 1999, 108).
The goal is to get them ready for the temple! It gives us more and continued responsibility to work very closely with the members of the church in doing missionary work and is truly the work that "Hastens the Work of Salvation".
Welcome to 19 new missionaries!
In between all that we took time out to welcome 19 new missionaries to the San Pedro Sula East Mission. Sadly this month we said goodbye to one of our Assistants, a Sister Training Leader, a temporary missionary serving helping us in the mission, and a few who had to return home and recuperate for health reasons. Sad for us . . . but we are happy for their families who welcomed them home!
(greeting the new arrivals from our August transfer!)
(loading everyone into buses - it's hot on the rooftop in a full suit!!)
(several missionaries were on hand to greet them and make them feel welcome!)
(Each missionary gets to attend quite a few orientation classes)
(We are always said to say goodbye to missionaries!)
(missionaries arriving for our transfer meeting)
You can see from the photos . . .
The missionaries are always in action!
The missionaries are busy and in action at all times. Here are a few examples of the success they are experiencing here in the mission. Really, it's the miracles that occur as they exercise faith to find, teach and testify of our Heavenly Father who loves us and desires that all his children have an opportunity to hear of his gospel plan.
We were contacting this week and decided to visit a home that the missionaries in the area previously had told us were interested in having missionaries return. At their door we called "buenas", "BUENAS!" . . . but no one answered. Disappointed we turned to leave but stopped to visit with someone working in front of the house, and as we visited a young man rode up on his bicycle saying to us, "when is there going to be a baptism in the church?' Confused we weren't sure what to think . . . he then explained that last year the missionaries had been teaching him and he hadn't had an opportunity to be baptized, he had been looking all over for the missionaries so he could continue the lessons and get baptized! In "Preach my Gospel" is says . . . "the Lord is preparing people to receive you and the restored gospel. He will lead you to them or He will lead them to you." This week he led them to us!
Another similar experience . . .
We were walking to visit some families who had joined the church recently when we heard someone calling, "Hermanas!" So we turned back to see who was calling, it was a young woman about 20 years old who inquired of us where our church was located. She said she wanted to attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but hadn't been able to find it in this town. We began to teach her lessons and offered an invitation for baptism which she accepted. She is also attending church with us!
One of our Latin senior companions shared with us that his new North American companion who had only two weeks here in the mission and was still learning the language already has met with much success finding those who are prepared to hear the gospel message. The new elder, in his basic Spanish has been quick to open his mouth and testify to all they have encountered. This week, they already encountered one person while street contacting, and after hearing a message from the new elder desired to find out more about the church! They are both very excited to be working together!
(August - our two assistants. The missionary on the right in his last transfer and
headed for home. He was
an amazing Assistant to the President, we'll miss him a lot!)
(can you tell, we really enjoy Wendy's!!)
"This week we have been doing a lot of contacting and have found 10 new people who are interested in hearing our message. I remember the promise you made that if we found 10 new people each week, we would see many miracles and it really is true! One person in particular, we challenged to baptism in the second lesson and he accepted, he then shared the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard . . . he thanked our Heavenly Father for sending him the Hermanas who could help him change his life, and help him prepare to be baptized."
An example of working with ALL the members . . .
This week an 11 year old girl accompanied us to her favorite pulperia with a "Plan of Salvation" pamphlet ready to give to her friend, an older woman who owned the pulperia. We walked up to the front and without any prompting from us, Maria said, "Hi! I am here to present my friends, the missionaries and I want to give you a little book about Jesus Christ. The missionaries can tell you more about it. Who says the primary doesn't make great missionaries too!!
You too can be a missionary!
I love the words of Elder L. Tom Perry -