September 14, 2011 - Elder Amado Visits

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We had a special treat last week when Elder Amado of the Seventy came to Belize City with President Cordon.  It has been 22 years since he was here last. He was pleased to see that the Church had grown during that time. He told us that if we come back in 22 years we, too, will be surprised to see the many changes. He predicted there will be wards and at least one stake. 

Elder Pattee and I had the honor of  fixing dinner for our guests. Sister Sandberg helped with some of the last-minute things. We had the American standby of roast beef, mashed potatoes, and gravy. We also had a nice green salad. We seldom eat beef here, so everything tasted delicious to us. 

This was the Pattees first time to meet Elder Amado.  He is a very humble and a pleasure to visit with.  After dinner he regaled us with stories about the General Authorities. It helped us understand even more what top notch people they are. They are truly witnesses for Christ. 

Our visitors came especially to meet with the missionaries. Early the next morning we had a multi-zone conference. President Cordon gave most of the time to Elder Amado. 

A few of our fine missionaries

Elder Amado said that his heroes are the missionaries, and he is very grateful to be able to work with them.  He told us the most important thing in missionary work is to seek and acquire the Spirit. Obedience is a key factor. We can't expect to teach by the Spirit what we haven't learned by the Spirit. 

Jesus Christ volunteered his agency to God to save the world. He told us that our agency increases after joining the Church, because we choose to follow God.

When Elder Amado had finished speaking, he gave the missionaries an opportunity to ask him questions.  Elder Amado and President Cordon always seemed able to turn each question into a valuable teaching moment.  

Getting ready for the conference photo

We only have 30 missionaries here in Belize. This includes us and the Sandbergs.  The other 150 missionaries in our mission serve in San Salvador, where our headquarters are.  

A dear sister in our branch, Sister Gillett, passed away. 

It is a tradition here to gather and make wreaths for the funeral. Sunday evening we made 3 wreaths for her funeral held the next day. 

Wire was first formed into circles and then wrapped with green crepe paper. Then 4 different kinds of flowers were made out of colorful crepe paper and wired to the bases. 

It took Sister Pattee a long time to make her first funeral wreath flower. The other sisters made roses, carnations, and tulips, quickly and beautifully.   

Even Elder Pattee helped out by crimping some of the crepe paper strips to help form some of the flower edges. The next day he also was a speaker at Sister Gillett's service offering words of comfort. Most of those attending were not members of the Church.

Sisters provided food for the family to enjoy after returning from the cemetery. Sister Pattee made her very first batch of rice and beans, which is the national food of Belize.  Thank goodness it turned out.

A couple of other sisters also cooked rice and beans. More sisters fried chicken, and one sister made a huge potato salad.  The Belizean dish of rice and beans is almost always served with potato salad--occasionally with cold slaw.

Rice and beans--the national food of Belize

It is made by soaking, then cooking the beans. Then rice is added to the beans along with along with coconut milk and cooked together until done. Sometimes (but not often) people get tired of rice and beans.  Then they have beans and rice, instead.

September is the month Belize celebrates its Independence from Britain.  It has been 30 years.   Parades and rallies are in abundance. Also, lots of clean-up has been going on around Belize City. Beautiful flags are flying everywhere. 

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