April 12, 2011 - From Belize to Chetumal, Mexico

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This past Wednesday we met Moses Santoya at the airport to give him his passport and visa, as he was leaving on his mission.  He will eventually be going to Canada, but until his long awaited Canadian visa arrives, he will go to the Guatemala MTC to learn more Spanish.  Everyone just assumes people here know Spanish, but English is the official language.  Moses knows some Spanish, but needs to be more fluent, as his mission in Canada is Spanish-speaking. 

We were very happy to meet his parents for the first time (they are not members), and to see Moses' friend, Carlos.  Carlos says he is interested in the Church.  We know he has met with the missionaries before, so we will try to get them together again.  

On Thursday we needed to make a trip to Corozal to attend institute.  We also needed to check missionary apartments in both Corozal and Orange Walk.  Since Corozal is only 20 minutes from the southern border of Mexico, we decided to venture across.

After showing passports, filling out paperwork, and paying money to the Belizean government, we hired a taxi.  Our driver was very helpful. 

He agreed to take us to Walmart (just opened recently) and wait for us.  It turned out to be quite a distance away, so we were glad he knew where he was going.

We were a little disappointed in the selection of goods, at the Chetamal Walmart, but in many ways it was like in the U.S.A.  It was geared, obviously, to Mexican tastes.  We were able to find a few of the things were needed.  The biggest surprise was Chetumal itself.  Very modern, clean, and well cared for.  Much like at home--quite different from Belize. 

We saw this grove of papya trees on our way to Mexico.

When we returned we did an apartment check for the elders in Corozal--Elder Heaps and Elder Tsaj.  Then we took them to dinner at Patty's Bistro. 
Elder Heaps and Elder Tsaj
 (A small Mayan ruin is in the background.  We hadn't realized there was a Mayan ruin in Corozal.)

We had just time enough to get to the Corozal chapel where Elder Pattee met with President Casteneda (branch president) and Sister Pattee attended institute.  The teacher, Sister Casteneda (branch president's daughter) did a wonderful job of teaching about putting God first in our lives.  A short training was given after the class. 

We stayed at Tony's Resort Inn.  Even though things are getting dry and dusty now, the bouganvilla seems to be especially pretty.

Tony's Inn is right on the Caribbean.  The water is aqua blue, but our camera didn't pick the color up well. 

Friday morning we headed for Orange Walk to do an apartment check for Elder Money and Elder Guiterrez.  We found out they will be moving right away.  Too many coachroaches for one thing.  

"Fresh coconuts, anyone?"

President Gomez (Orange Walk branch President) offered to let them rent from his family.  We all went to look at the apartment.  This is the backyard.  (The house behind them is not the apartment we were looking at.  It is just a house next door.) We all decided it would be a good move, but the elders will stay in the old apartment until the end of the month.   (A couple of days later, while the elders were sleeping, someone came into their apartment and stole a wallet, camera, and other valuables.  Consequently, the elders moved out to the new apartment the very next day.) 

As we left to drive back to Belize City, we saw lines of trucks loaded with sugar cane waiting to unload at the nearby sugar factory.  Orange Walk raises lots of sugar cane.

Priesthood Power.  Some of the young men from Cinderella and Belize City Branches.

We spent much time working on PEF and S&I this week.  And we are still trying to find the password to get us into the testing module of the Companionship Lanuguage Study program.  It got lost in the shuffle of missionaries coming and going.  Some of our Latino elders are ready to test their English skills.  They have been learning English while they have been on their missions.  If they can earn a certifcate, it will give them an edge in finding a job when they return home from their missions.  This is another program sponsered by the Church that has great potential to benefit  missionaries. 

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