July 4, 2011 - Independence Day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

 Happy Independence Day! 

Today was just a normal Monday in Belize--no USA Independence Day celebrations here. We wished  we at least had a flag to hang out to catch the breeze.
We celebrated by going swimming and stopping by a produce stand to buy a delicious watermelon, which is something that always reminds us of the 4th of July. Often living in another country helps us more fully realize and appreciate the wonderful blessings we enjoy in the United States of America.

L. to R.:  Sabrina (12), Carol (16), Oscar (almost 18), Sister Cordon, and President Cordon.

This past week our brand new mission president, Polosky Cordon, his wife, and 3 of their children, came to Belize for the very first time to meet their Belizian missionaries. They are from Guatemala. The entire family speaks English well, which is very nice for us. 

 This is the white board used during our missionary training. Some of the missionaries prepared a "Welcome 2 Belize" sign for our important visitors. Our training meeting was mostly in Spanish.

We are happy to have sister missionaries. They are really helping the work along. (At the right are President and Sister Cordon's 2 daughters.)

 As always, lunchtime is pretty important. 

We are having rice and beans with a choice of fish, chicken, or beef.  The rice and beans are cooked with coconut milk--a favorite Belizean dish. 

Which one is the mission president?  Since President Cordon is slim, young looking, and wears the same kind of clothing as his missionaries, sometimes we have to take a second look to be sure. (He is the one at the far left.)
Arriving at the distribution center for a dinner and meeting with Belize District and Branch leaders

Those in  attendance

President Cordon will be serving in the same area of El Salvador that he did when he was a young missionary.  Being  familar already with many of the people and places should give him a real headstart. 

Some of the Belize City Branch seminary students with leaders, Brother and Sister Munoz 
A week ago these students spoke in sacrament meeting and received certificates of attendance.  The meeting was well attended, and the members loved hearing from their youth.  This photo was taken after the meeting.  

Meeting for Hurricane Awareness and Safety

We are now in hurricane season once again in Belize.  The season runs from June through October.  We were surprised to learn that sometimes smaller storms cause more loss of life and property than larger ones.  All storms need to be taken seriously.  Damage is caused by high winds and also surge from the sea.  Surge can be as high as 20 feet.  That would be some wall of water! 

Surge was 5 feet in many places with Hurricane Richard, which we experienced last October. Lots of places were flooded--especially downtown.

Yesterday, Elder and Sister Pattee attended Cinderella Branch (Spanish speaking) sacrament meeting. We bore our testimonies in Spanish. "Quiero compartir mi testimonio." 

Sister Pattee is helping sisters from Belize City and Cinderella Branch organize a summer school for children ages 3-12. Children from less-active families are especially welcome. It will begin next week. 

We did lots of PEF and leadership training this week. We also had another SOY (Strength of Youth--EFY) planning meeting. 

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