January 22, 2010 Missionary Multi-Zone and Belize City District Conferences and Travel to Cayo District

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It has been awhile since we last posted.  Our internet was down 4 days, then up for about 10 days, then down for another 6 days.  We find this frustrating to say the least, as so much of our missionary responsibilities depend on the internet. 

We just finished with a multi-zone mission conference and district conference, and we have had lots to do.  Elder Pattee spoke twice and Sister Pattee 3 times.  President and Sister Lopez were here from San Salvador, as were Elder and Sister Fenn, supervising missionaries for the San Salvador Temple, which is soon to be completed. 

Sister Lopez handing out goodies to the missionaries at dinner at missionary zone conference.

Cute children sitting on the front row at Belize City District Conference.  Adalee McCoy, age 13, is the one reading a book.  Elder Pattee baptized her last month. 

We had a pretty good turn out at Belize City District Conference.  These pictures were taken just after the Sunday meeting was was over.  Five branches attended.  Three of the branches were some distance away.

More children
On Sunday, after all the conferences were done, the Lopezes, Fenns, Sandbergs, and Pattees all went traveling up to the Cayo District.  It is actually inland, not north of  Belize City, but since it is at a higher elevation, people often say, "up".   We ate a picnic lunch on the way to San Ignacio prepared by Sister Sandberg, and Elder and Sister Pattee.  We arrived just in time for the Fenns to give another temple fireside (the 3rd since arriving in Belize).  It was very inspiring and well attended. 

After the fireside we had dinner with the Cayo District Presidency.  As you can see,  they are all very young.  We watched a DVD about EFY (Especially For Youth), which we will be bringing to Belize for the very first time in December.  Many members here in Belize have never heard of EFY.

Sister Kaye catered our dinner.  She is a very good cook and loves to feed the missionaries.

Elder and Sister Pattee with members of the San Ignacio Branch

We stayed at Martha's Guesthouse.  Monday morning we went to see the progress on the Succotz chapel in Succotz, which is almost done.
Newly remodeled Succotz Chapel
The front part is the old chapel, with the back part being the addition.  It looks really nice and will more than double the space.  It was the only building project going on in the little town that we could see.

This is the temporary chapel being used in Succotz.  You can imagine that the local members will be very glad to move into their newly remodeled one soon. 

Since the Fenns had never been to Belize before, we took them to the Xunantunich ruins, which are just across the river from Succotz. 
This time we made the crossing in the mission van.

This man provides the manpower to hand-crank us across the river.

Did you know that bunches of bananas grow up, not down?  Also notice the huge seed hanging down underneath the bananas.  It will drop down onto the soft ground beneath it and start to grow a new banana palm tree.

L to R:  Lopezes, Sandbegs, Pattees, and Fenns 

We are standing in front of one of the temples at Xunantunich.

Guards with guns are on the premises.  Once some robbers came across the border from Guatemala (only minutes away) and robbed the tourists.  It turned out one of the tour guides was involved and had called on a cell phone to alert the robbers when to come.  They were all later apprehended and punished.  The guards told us this tale as we visited with them. 

Can you see this iguana in the tree?  He was very big.  There was also a smaller green iguana in the same tree.  But it he was too quick for our cameras.

One last meal before we head for the Belize City airport.  Time for the Lopezes and Fenns to return to San Salvador.  We had a wonderful time, but it did seem like we spent a lot of time eating. 

January 10, 2011 - A New Year Begins

Monday, January 10, 2011

Here in Belize the New Year came in with lots of celebrating until the wee hours of the morning.  Loud music and firecrackers were the main events.  But, being missionaries, we were in our apartments long before midnight.

Recently we and the Sandbergs received seminary and institute training by Joaquin Flores, who flew in from San Salvadore.  He especially wanted to make sure we knew how to do all the reports required.  He spoke Spanish with some English.  It was good to have Sandbergs with us to help clear up miscommunications.  They speak both Spanish and English.   

Elder Flores is on the far right.

I have a couple of new photos of Justin and Joslyn's wedding I want to put on our blog.  I still cannot edit, so I will add them here with the hope that when I can edit, I'll be able to move them into a previous post. 

Our family at the wedding in Mesa Temple, which can be seen behind us.

Happy occasion!

Missionary work goes on in Belize.  We work with 5 different branches here.  There are great people in each one of them.  We attend the various Sunday meetings as often as we can, as well as presidencies meetings.

Some of the Belize City Branch relief society sisters.

Our newest baptized member, Adalee, got bitten by a dog on her leg.  After a new-member missionary lesson, we brought her to our house for a visit and some TLC.

We took a trip up to Orange Walk and Corozal this past weekend.  We stayed overnight in Corozal.  Both of the branches up that way are struggling.  Church attendance is not what it should be.  They have wonderful young sister missionaries that help and support them in every way.   We did leadership training with some of the leaders, including institute and seminary teachers. 

We treated Sisters Maroquinn and McDougal to a delicious lunch at a really good Mayan restaurant.  That evening we took Sisters Stout and Argueta to dinner at a place called Patty's Bistro.  We had a couple of really good visits in homes of members that evening.  One was in the home of a less-active man that would like to be sealed to his desceased wife.

Then the sister missionaries gave a lesson to Sister Orlinda's nephew, who will be baptized this coming week.  It has been about 2 months since Sister Orlinda's 17-year-old son died in a tragic hit-and-run accident.  The sisters in Corozal Branch have really rallied around her. 

The sign on this church in Corozal says "Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"  People think they are part of our church.  Sometimes it is difficult to persuade them otherwise.

Between November and July is sugarcane harvest in Belize.  The sugar factory is in Orange Walk, so the highways were busy with big trucks piled high with it. 

Lots of sugarcane falls off the trucks as they travel down the road.  It kind of unsightly, but none of the loads are covered, so some of the sugarcane is bound to fall out. 

 We are not sure exactly how this little bus stop shelter could possibly be a post office, but that is what the sign on it says.  It is near a little town called Sand Hill. 

This blog may seem kind of disjointed, but then that is how our week here has been, too. 

Last Days of December 2010

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Presently we are unable to edit our blog.  Hope this is temporary.  There were a few photos we had wanted to add to our last blog about Justin and Joslyn's wedding reception.  Since this is not possible, we will add them to today's blog.
Another photo of Sister Pattee with her Arizona cousins, Suzanne (L) and Shirlene (R).

We also very much enjoyed seeing at the wedding reception
Wayne and Becky Wilson, a favorite Arizona nephew and niece.

And we enjoyed catching up on "old times" with Don and Saundra Swallow, Idaho transplants to Arizona.  Don and Elder Pattee both worked many years for Procter and Gamble.

We returned to Belize still basking in the afterglow of the great experience of seeing all our children and their spouses together in the Mesa Temple for Justin and Joslyn's wedding.  Also of seeing many of our grandchildren and getting to meet Joslyn's wonderful family.   

But we had to hit the ground running, as we had many Christmas activities and much missionary work to do.  We began by having both the Woods and the Forbes families join us for a Christmas home evening, but I forgot to take photos. 

But the next day I remembered to capture some memories when the young elders and sisters came to our home to play the "White Elephant" game and relax a bit from their hard work. 

This old favorite was an unfamiliar (and learning experience) for our Latino missionaries.  It is always a privilege to associate with these fine young people.  We concluded by watching the short video "The Nativity".   

The next day we hosted a young women's activity, which included games and some of their favorite foods--nachos and hamburgers.

The 4 elders from Belize City ate Christmas dinner with us, as did Adalee and her brother, Latrell. 

Elder Lorenzo (L) and Elder Choc (R) taught Adalee, and she asked Elder Pattee to baptize her the day after Christmas.  Adalee has a special spirit, and we hope the gospel will help her meet many of her difficult challenges. 

Though the trees and grass are green and the temperatures warm, we ended up having a "White Christmas" after all.