Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Missionaries Arrive

January 30th we received 7 new missionaries from the CCM.  All seven are from Mexico and they all came with an excitement and eagerness to serve the Lord.  We spend that morning orienting them, while President Haws interviews each one.  Then we put them in the Chapel and explain more about the Areas of the Mission and then it is time!  They meet their first companion. It is always miraculous to see the inspired pairings of missionaries.  The Lord guides the whole process and it is wonderful.
New Missionaries!  Hermanas Villareal, Palmares, Perez and
Elders Dominguez, Monterrosas, Teran and Zamora

The companionships meet!
Hermana Gonzalez with Hermana
Hermana Hernandez with Hermana

Hermana Perez with Hermana Perez
Elder Teran with Elder Davis

Elder Monterrosas with Elder De la Cruz

Elder Velasquez with Elder Zamora

Elder Sauceda with Elder Dominguez

January's Circle of Mission Life

January 30th was our transfer day.  That means that we lost some, we gained some and we moved a lot of missionaries around.  It seems as if the whole ground is shaking this day as the mission realigns itself after the loss of seasoned missionaries, the addition of brand new missionaries and the new companionships that form because of all the necessary change.  Sunday night, January 29th we had our Farewell Dinner and Fireside for ten missionaries.  It was a wonderful evening of memories and stories and testimonies.  Everyone shared the many miracles that they had been a part of on their mission and they shared the great changes that had happened with them and the strong testimonies they had gained from serving the Lord full time.

Farewell to four wonderful Sisters, all going back
to the United States and all have had an
amazing, life changing experience!


The 10 leaving missionaries - Elders Vazquez,
Martinez, Trejo, Lopez, Thaller, Velazquez and the
Hermanas Scholes, Greenwood, Weinmuller
and Garcia

    Monday morning we went to the airport and said goodbye and sent them up the escalator.  We then turned around and went to the glass doors by the baggage claim and received seven new missionaries from the CCM.
Farewell to the Missionaries!
Hermana Garcia, Hermana Greenwood, Hermana
Haws, Hermana Weinmuller and Hermana Scholes
Adios México!!!
The Elders go up the escalator

The Hermanas go up the escalator


It was also a time of goodbye for us to Elder Davis.  He has been the Assistant to the President since we arrived 7 months ago.  He was the Assistant to the President for 8 months.  He was a great help to us as we figured out how to do things here in Mexico and in the Mission.  We appreciate his service and great example in the work of the Lord.  Thank you Elder Davis!  He is now a Trainer, with a brand new missionary in an town called Triunfo, in the Tenosique Zone.  It is very rural and one of the farthest towns from Villahermosa.  He is looking forward to building the Church there.

Farewell Elder Davis, from the Office!

January Zone Conferences

In January we went to all the Zones and President did training with all the missionaries, then we had lunch and they each had an interview with President.  President did training on how to teach, at each Zone he had them practice teaching with each other and with him. Then they would stop at the end of the teaching and evaluate what went well, what did they miss, what could they have done better, what did they incorporate from President's teachings that was good.  It was very effective in helping the missionaries to see and evaluate the teaching methods he had just taught them.  Then for lunch we did a sandwich bar, I brought all the fixings and they each made their own sandwich on a special roll here called a bolillo - just ask your missionary what is a bolillo!  They sell them in the streets from little carts, they sell them in the grocery stores and even at Sam's Club.  The carts ride through the streets calling bolillos, hot fresh bolillos, etc - over and over.  They are really good!
Here are some photos from this month's Zone tour:
The Zone Leaders in the Acayucan Zone,
Elder Moya andElder Piña, enjoy
watching to new missionaries teaching.

President Haws observes while the
Elders Hendricks and Elder Graves
teach two "fishermen" Elder Cardon
and Elder Lagarda

The Acayucan Zone Elders (there are no Sisters
in this Zone) with Hermana Haws! Elders Lagarda,
Lopez, Simmons, Piña, Cardon, Hendricks, Moya,
Peterson, Wilkins and Graves. In front are Elders
Gomez and Smith

In the Minatitlan Zone, Elder Maya is
training a new Elder Dial -
wonderful missionaries!

In the Minatitlan Zone, Elder Martinez
is finishing the second half of Elder
Wood's training - great missionaries!

More practicing in the Carmen Zone

President Haws sets up the teaching area, for the
missionaries to come teach a lesson in the
Carmen Zone Conference

In the Carmen Zone, Hermanas Jarquin, Soto and
Perez are in a triple companionship

The Hermana's in the Coatzacoalcos Zone,
Hermana Haws with Hermanas Bustos, Hernandez,
Freire, Mero and Martinez

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Elder Oaks Visit to Villahermosa

January 14-15 Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to Villahermosa Mexico.  He came to meet with the Priesthood leaders in our Coordinating Council of the 9 Stakes in our Mission boundaries.  He met with the Stake Presidents, Mission President and Temple President first, then met with all the Priesthood leadership from the 9 Stakes.  Saturday evening he held a special meeting with all the Young Single Adults (YSA) - Jovenes Adultos Solteros (JSA) in Mexico.
Sunday morning he held a 3 Stake Conference at a Conference building on the Fair Grounds.  It was Villahermosa, Gaviotas and Cardenas Stakes- 2,200 people attended.  It is a rare opportunity to hear from an apostle in person and many people took advantage of the opportunity.
   President and I both spoke at the 3 Stake Conference.  Elder Oaks had all the full-time missionaries in attendance stand up, we all stood up, then he asked all the Ward and Stake missionaries to stand up, a few more stood up, then he asked all the missionaries to stand up - it took a minute for everyone to realize that they should all be standing!  Then he made the point that we should all be working together to help find those that are seeking the truth in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The 3 Stake Conference at the Fair Grounds

The monitor on the stand shows what is being
projected on the screens in the back of the room

Everyone stands as Elder Oaks leaves
President Haws speaking at the Conference
Hermana Haws speaking at the Conference
Two of our lovely Hermana's.  Hermana Scholes
and Hermana Rodriguez with Hermana Haws at
the Conference.

Early January -Departing Missionaries

We had a group of missionaries leave the fourth of January, because of their arrival date to the Mission. So we said goodbye to a wonderful group of five missionaries on January 4th.
Farewell to Elders Jenkins, Gonzales, Cavenee and Terry
and Hermana Garcia!  Villahermosa will miss you.

We had the traditional Farewell dinner
and Fireside, with the traditional closing song -
Para siempre Dios esté con Vos
(God be with you til we meet again)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Haws Kids Visit - Part 2 Palenque

You just can't come to this part of the world and not see the ruins at Palenque.  They are world famous and rightly so, they are spectacular.  President and I have been to Palenque at least 15 times in the 6 months that we have been here and never been to the ruins.  So the kids provided a great reason to go to THE Palenque.  The Mormon Church building in Palenque just doesn't count.  Palenque is a famous archaeological site of ruins from a Maya City that flourished from about 266 BC to 799 AD.  It is only about 2% uncovered.  The jungle literally just swallowed it.  But there is a lot to see and many, many people come from all over the world to see it.  We enjoyed climbing up and down the temples and seeing the hieroglyphic inscriptions.
The temple of the Queen
Seth, Emily, Sam and President Haws

The view of Palenque behind us

The view from the top of the temple

The steps were very steep and
uneven to the top
Emily, Seth and Sam enjoying the sites and sun

The hieroglyphs in the court area

The living quarters

Enjoying a refreshing coco water
straight from the coconut!

Cascades Agua Azul~
Another amazing place about an hour and half south of Palenque are some waterfalls and a river called Agua Azul.  The color of the water was so blue and the beauty of the river and the many waterfalls were gorgeous!

Cascades Agua Azul

We are at the main waterfalls here

We hiked about 3 miles up to the top, where the
river comes out of the mountain