May 3, 2011 - Elder Martino and Belize District Conference

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We had a great past several days!  Elder Martino, who is a counselor in our area presidency, came for our Belize district conference.  He brought his wife along, too.  President and Sister Lopez and President and Sister Sandberg were also here. 
Left to right:  Patttees, Sandbergs, Martinos, and Lopezes
During the conference, Elder Pattee was sustained as second counselor to our mission president, President Lopez.  Now, both counselors will be located in Belize.  (Elder Sandberg is now the first counselor.) President Lopez operates out of the mission office in San Salvador, El Salvador.  He no longer needs a counselor there, as recently the last district in our mission in El Salvador was made into a stake.  We wish we could have stakes here in Belize.  But that looks to be quite a ways off.  

Saturday morning our group, plus all the district presidency, and two branch presidencies went visiting at the homes of less-active members.  We all had a good, positive experience.  We hope that some of these people will come back to church. 

Then we had lunch together at the distribution center.  The food was prepared by Senor Coconut's, which is a local restaurant.   Elder and Sister Pattee were blessed to be at a table with just Elder and Sister Martino.  We were able to discuss many mission concerns with them. 

Photos from district conference on Saturday:

Sister Martino and Sister Lopez at sisters' training meeting on Saturday

Sister Martino stressed that we should always use Church approved sources in our teaching.  This way we can be sure we are teaching pure doctrine.  Sister Lopez stressed the importance of listening to the Spirit.

Some of the women at sisters's Training

Photos taken just after the Sunday session of conference in the Belize City Chapel:  

Adalee and Lokesha with Sister Martino (Elder Pattee baptized each of these girls a few months ago.)

Elder Martino taught us well in district conference reminding us that sometimes we need to get rid of old traditions and put new ones in their place.  Traditions of family are especially important.  (Two parent families with children are not common here.)  He also taught that the only way to come out of poverty is to pay an honest and  full tithing. 

District conference was well received.  In fact 2 people that were being taught by the missionaries decided they wanted to be baptized right after the Sunday session.  I still don't know how the missionaries managed to get the font filled so fast.  Elder Martino did the baptizing.  What a great way to end a conference! 

Photos from Lamanai river trip:

The day the Martinos arrived--Friday--we took a river trip to Lamanai to see the Mayan temple ruins.  Elder Pattee arranged the trip for us, and it turned out perfectly--even the weather.

We saw these men hauling logs down the river.  This kind of wood is much sought after and is acutually called "logwood". 

We saw several boats with people fishing.

Three crocodiles were sighted on our river trip.  Elder Pattee saw a good-sized one.  Sister Pattee missed them all.  But she did see several kinds of tropical birds that were very beautiful.  We were unable to catch any of them on camera, except the bird in the photo below. 

This is called a "Jesus Christ" bird.  It is called that because sometimes it appears to be walking on water.  Really it is walking on water lillies. 

Allspice Tree. 
 Allspice isn't just a combination of spices.  It is actually a spice that smells and tastes like both cloves and cinnamon.  Even its leaves smell like cloves and cinnamon.

Jaguar Temple at Lamanai

Elder and Sister Martino in huge tree

This is the only temple we visited on Friday that had other people there.  Some of us made it to the top, including Elder Pattee.  Others of us just watched.

We had a wonderful guide by the name of Elvis.  Here he is showing us a cocoa pod.  This is what chocolate actually comes from.  We all had a taste, but it didn't taste much like chocolate. 

After church on Sunday, all eight of us had dinner at our house, then the zone leaders drove us to the water taxi, so that we could travel to San Pedro.  We had a wonderful experience that I will write about next time.  All for now.

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