Lamanai - November 8, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

We got to see some of the really beautiful parts of our mission this past week with visits to Lamanai (Mayan ruins) and to San Pedro Island.  I will only write about Lamanai on this post.

President Lopez had promised the 6 young elders and 4 young sisters in our district that if they met all their baptism goals, they could have a trip to Lamanai.  So this past Wednesday we got in the van, picked the elders and then drove to first to Orange Walk, which is 2 hours away.  There we picked up the sisters, then backtracked to the Lamanai turnoff. 

Mennonite School

After the turnoff it was 35 miles of bad dirt road fill with potholes.  That stretch of road took over an hour and half  to cover.    But we saw lots of interesting sights along the way.  The Mennonites have a colony called Shipyard here.  We felt almost like we were back in Lancaster, Pennsylvania visiting Ryan and Emily and seeing the Amish.  Their clothing and modes of transportation were very similar. 

We saw lots of horses and buggies and iron-wheeled tractors.

We were glad to finally arrive at Lamanai.  After a picnic lunch, which the elders provided, we took a self-guided tour of the archeological site.  There are many such sites in Belize, but this one is the biggest. 

We were all surprised at how huge and fantastic the ancient ruins were.  The missionaries had fun climbing to the tops. 

Our Lamanite missionaries especially had fun pretending they were Samuel the Lamanite.  They preached "repentance" from the tops of the walls.

We spent 2 hours or so just exploring the various sites.

We saw the ruins of several ancient temples

and even an attempted sacrifice at the altar.

This looked like some kind of stadium or arena.

A Mayan artifact

 This was the Pattees' first experience in such a dense jungle.

Thick vines like these grew everywhere, and of course, some of the elders had to do a little swinging on them.

Our District:  Back row R. to L. : Elders Lorenzo, Pineda, Choc, Sisters McDougal, Stout, and Benitez
Front row R. to L.:  Elders Lunt, Contreras, and Martinez

Lest you think we didn't do any missionary work this week, we also helped Tenica with PEF and did inservice with the seminary and institute in Belize City.  Elder Pattee helped Sister Patnett again with family history.  We also spent 5 hours with John Rivas and Alwayne Cherrington at the Gautemalan embassy getting their work police records certified for their missions.  Saturday and Sunday were spent in San Pedro getting to know the branch leadership and helping as we could. We got home late afternoon Sunday and had a farewell dinner at our house for John Rivas, who is leaving Tuesday for the Guatemala MTC. 

Dinner for John Rivas (pink shirt) including 8 other young men.

Our next post will include our trip to the Island of San Pedro.

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