December 12, 2010 A Busy Missionary Week

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Monday Elder Pattee went to check out a place to have EFY (especially for youth) in our area next year for all of Belize.  He took Paul Woods, a member, with him to find Camp Oakley. 

 The road was muddy and rough, and the facilities left a lot to be desired. 

These little cabanyas each had room for 4 people.

There were 10 cabanyas, but only 8 could be used.  There were two little lakes, one canoe, and lots of mosquitoes. The decision was made to look elsewhere. 

On Tuesday, we took a day off.  Even though we have preparation day on Monday, there is usually missionary work to do.  So we met Elder and Sister Sandberg, the only other senior missionary couple in the country, down where they serve in the Cayo District.  It very pretty there with rolling hills.  Things seemed so much greener and cleaner than where we serve. 

We crossed the Cahal River on a small cable ferry. (Cable pulled manually.)

We visited the pretty little town of San Ignacio where the Sandbergs live in a bright green house.  Their electricity and water were off (a common occurrence for them), so we went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch.   The food was good, but not much like Mexican food in the U.S.A. 

Since it is December, we saw several large poinsettia plants growing in the wild. These were growing in pots at the restaurant.  
The highlight of the day was going to the archeological site call Xunantunich (Sunantunich).  But to get there we had to ford another river—the Mopan—on another little ferry, very much like the one we had used that morning.   It was only half a mile from the ferry to the site.  I was surprised at how beautiful the site was.  

The largest temple pyramid was taller than the tallest at Lamanai. 

All four of us climbed to the very top.  Elder Pattee and I wished we hadn’t when it was time to climb back down.  Some of those stone steps were pretty steep.  OASHA would have been apalled at the lack of handrails.  We were glad to make it down safely. 

 The view at the top of the tallest temple was a stunning panorama of more ruins and beautiful green hills covered in vegetation.  We heard howler monkeys, but we did not see them.  I was surprised by their noises.  They sounded like tigers or lions growling.  I think they should have been called “growler” monkeys.  We also saw a good-sized iguana.

The rest of the week was spend working.  Brother Joaquin Flores flew in from El Salvador and gave training to Sandbergs and us regarding responsibilities for seminary, institute, and the Perpetual Education Fund.  Brother Flores didn't speak English real well.  When Sandbergs were with us, we did okay, because they could interpret the training for us.  But on Saturday they went back to Cayo.  We had a few challenges communicating that day.   We learned a lot.  If only we can remember it. 

We visited this Friday night seminary class with Brother Flores.  He is over all the PEF and S and I for El Salvador and Belize. 

  Christmas dinner for district leaders on Saturday.

Belize City Branch relief society activity - Making nativities.

I was impressed with how the sisters that participated made do with what they had.  They cut pictures out of their old issues of The Liahona magazines for Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child.  Some of the sisters used action-type figures for the shepherds and wisemen.  They dressed them in robes and headcoverings made from fabric scraps.
This Christmas parade passed by the chapel on Saturday while we were working on the nativities.

Of course Santa was in the parade, too.  And it was a nice warm evening, which seemed kind of strange to me. 

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