Monday, August 22, 2016

Esfuerza al maximo

We have a phrase from Preach My Gospel that we use in our Mission- it is in the section that describes what it means to be A Successful Missionary.  It says that to be successful you need to "work with your maximum effort", but the phrase sounds so much better in Spanish, it says "esfuerza al maximo".  President Haws has embellished the phrase with physical outward manifestations of effort.  At Zone Conferences and Mission Leadership Council and generally anytime we get together with the missionaries the phrase comes up and usually includes visuals.  Some of our missionaries have even taken to the street to express their enthusiasm with "esfuerza al maximo"!!  See below!
Hermana Sump and Hermana Perez
Elder Lagarda and Elder Davidson
Elder Gale and Elder Knoblich

Hermana Tellez and Hermana Garcia
Hermana Mero and Hermana Cruz

Elder Haws visits Mexico

   Our youngest son, Elder Seth Haws, completed his mission on August 9th.  He served in the Idaho Nampa Mission.  On August 9th he got on a plane in Boise, Idaho and flew to Villahermosa Mexico, where his two extremely happy parents were - to greet him.  We had a most joyous reunion, we are so proud of him for his wonderful service to the Lord.  He loved his mission and the people in Idaho and Oregon where he served and he had many wonderful companions, which are now life-long friends.  It was an interesting thing to have a son return to your own mission, I must observe that I really do understand better what he has been doing for the past 2 years and his dad and I understood the mission jargon, requirements, schedules and terminology better than we ever would have without our own mission experience.  It was interesting for Seth to step inside another mission and see how things are similar and different.  The obvious differences were  Villahermosa - 90-100 degrees with 86% humidity most days,  Idaho - 40 to 80 degrees with 10% humidity; Villahermosa- no missionaries drive cars, ConVee's, taxi or Pochi only,  Idaho - all missionaries drive cars.  The list goes on, but you get the idea- pretty different.

We had a fabulous time visiting with Seth and catching up on life and planning and getting him ready for his next phase of life - BYU Provo.  He starts there this week, August 25th, Orientation begins.  Our daughter Emily was able to come down for a few days also and help get Seth back to California.  She was also here to help with his re-entry to pop culture and the 20's something life style, his dad and I really couldn't do that one.  Emily is fluent in Spanish and it was great to have her here with us and then to help Seth complete his journey back home through Mexico City.  They had a cancelled flight, so they had to change flights and airlines, then a delayed flight out of Mexico City.  Emily saved them with her Spanish and traveling skills.  They are now safely back in California and Seth is leaving for BYU on Wednesday. Emily has returned to Law School.

We took Seth with us to Coatzacoalcos, where
President did interviews.  It is on the
Gulf of Mexico, one of the edges of our
Mission.  We got to be mom & dad for a day.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sites from the Roads

We travel a lot!  Every week we are in multiple cities in our Mission.  Villahermosa is basically in the middle and then we go to the west to Acayucan and to the northwest to Coatzacoalcos, on the Gulf of Mexico with a huge shoreline and a huge port.  Then to the northeast to Ciudad del Carmen, which is on an island and is a huge port city, all the ships go out to the Gulf of Mexico. Then out to the east to Tenosique and the south to Palenque and way down south to Benemerito, which is on the border with Guatemala.  We see many interesting and wonderful things in our travels. I wanted to post just a few of the sites we have seen.   Here you go. . . .
This road was blocked by the Teacher's
Strike, no cars going through,so
the people decided to walk it.
Yes you can, in Mexico

This friendly guy is at the Farmacia,
welcoming all to come on in!

So young boys with put a rope across the road,
on the back roads, and make you pay to pass.
We haven't paid yet, but apparently some
people do pay, because they keep doing it.

Mission Leadership Council

We had our second Mission Leadership Council with all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training leaders from the Mission.  They all come from all corners of the Mission into Villahermosa and we meet at the Stake Center next to the Mission Office.  They receive training on the principles that President Haws feels are important for the Mission, to help the missionaries and  for them to help the investigators they are teaching.  It is a wonderful uplifting day.  We had quite a few changes in the Zone Leaders and a few changes in the Sister Training Leaders.  Also, we are getting a firmer grip on everything mission, our first Mission Leadership Council was just 7 days after we started, so this one felt better for all of us.

We have wonderful missionaries and our Leaders are great examples to all the missionaries.

Villahermosa Mission Leaders

Sister Training Leaders with Hermana Haws
Hermana Garcia, Hermana Wilson, Hermana Cruz, Hermana
Soto, Hermana Scholes, Hermana Warren

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Palenque Zone Interviews

   We did Zone Interviews in Palenque!  Most people are excited to go to Palenque for the fantastic ruins that are there, we have been to Palenque 3 times and have not gone near them!  We are excited to go to Palenque to see our Missionaries!  Our missionaries tell us the ruins are spectacular and I am sure that we will see them before we leave, this trip we did get a chance to walk around the city of Palenque and that was great!  The purpose of this trip was to check in with the missionaries - they are all doing well and finding people to teach!  I mentioned that we bring in food at each Zone Interview - this time it was Burger King.  Elder Walker and Elder Beal helped me to go and pick it up.  It was wonderful to get to know them better and they were kind and helpful.

President Haws summarizes the
Zone goals after lunch.

Hermana's Santos, Guzman,Haws, Scholes and Soto!

Palenque Zone Leaders, Elder Vizcaino
and Elder Walker, with
President & Hna Haws
Elder Lopez is showing that we
work hard in this mission!

Acayucan Youth Conference

Acayucan Zone Missionaries
July 22nd our mission had the opportunity to help with a Stake Youth Conference in Acayucan Stake.  They had activities for 4 days and we just helped with one day of missionary activities.
  President Haws started the day with a wonderful talk about being a misisonary and going on a mission.  He pulled many youth out of the group to come and help him demonstrate how to talk to people and Invite them to Come Unto Christ.  After the 2 hour opening session, the youth were divided into 9 groups and went with the missionaries from the Acayucan Zone and did mini classes about contacting people and inviting  people they meet to learn more about Christ.  There were 20 missionaries to teach and lead the youth.  Then they all- 85 youth and the missionaries- went out into the streets surrounding the church building and did contacting and talking to people.  They were very excited because they came back with a total of 217 people to contact for the missionaries!!  It was a spirit filled day and the youth learned to love missionary work!
Hermana Briseno & Hermana Gonzales, Hermana
and President Haws with the youth.