June 23, 2011 - Where Did the Time Go?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Three years can seem like a long time or a short time.  It all depends if you are looking at the front or back end.  For our mission President and his family, their time of service is all but over.  Our multi-zone conference this past week was the last time the Lopez family will be coming to Belize.  Next week President Lopez turns everything over to President Cordon, our new mission president. 

Time for going away gifts and goodbye wishes. We will miss President and Sister Lopez and their quality leadership.  We will also miss their fine family.  Oldest son, Alexandro (absent from the photo), is now serving as a missionary in American Fork, Utah.  And daughter, Crystal (next to President Lopez), will be going to BYU this fall.

Sister Kay from Cayo baked a special cake for the day.  She and the Cayo missionaries brought it on the bus from San Ignacio to Belize City.  This is at least a 3-hour ride.  It is amazing they were able to get it to its destination in one piece. 

The 2-layer cake was decorated with frosted cookies with all the missionaries names.  Also, notice the blue and red map of Belize on the top and the two flags representing El Salvador and Belize.

Ymmmm!  Our names have never tasted better.   

Lunch time.  Sister Kay, the cake baker, is seated at the right. 

Pablo (youngest child) is holding a carved wooden map of Belize, a gift from the senior couples.  President Lopez is holding a machete with all the missionaries names written on it.  (That's not blood.  It's red ink.)

President Lopez and his Belizian Army (These young warriors go out and save souls.)

The machete is representative of a phrase President Lopez often used with his missionaries when he felt they could do better.  It probably wouldn't translate with the same meaning into English.  But the missionaries heard it often and decided to give him a machete to remember them by.  President Lopez also has about 150 missionaries in his El Salvador army.    

Everyone wanted one more photo.

The Belize City Zone sang the primary song "When I Am Baptized" for Sister Lopez.  It is one of her favorites songs.  They sang it in English, then, in Spanish. 

Standing under the "Welcome to Belize" sign one last time.
"Vaya Con Dios, Los Lopez".  Thank you for your service.  You are much loved! 

*     *     *     *     *

The zone leaders, Elder Molina and Elder Holbrook, came to our home and fixed us some Mexican food this week.  It was delicious.  It was a taste of home.  Mexican food is not readily available here.  Thanks Elders.

Brother Neil with Plantains (not ripe, yet).  These are not bananas.
Plantains look a lot like bananas, but they taste quite differently.  They are often peeled, sliced lengthwise, fried, and served with meals like we would serve a vegetable.  They taste best when they are fully ripe--not just yellow--but turning black.   
We visited Brother and Sister Neil at their home.  They showed us many of the trees in their yard, coconut, mango, soursop, banana, and plantain. 

Elder Pattee did lots and lots of temple recommend interviews this week, and Sister Pattee had lots of PEF work to do.  

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