October 21, 2011 - This Month Seems to Be Rushing By

Friday, October 21, 2011

  Transfer day is always a busy one. It is sad to see the missionaries go, but always nice to meet the new ones. 

 Three new elders just transfered in from El Salvador--Elders Arana, Finlinsen, and Dussett.

 Sister Clark is our mission nurse. Missionaries often get ingrown toenails here. (In the tropics nails grow espcially fast.)  Good thing for Elder Munoz she was able to perform a successful surgery right after the transfer meeting. Sister Rodas was a willing nurse's aide, and Elder Garcia provided a comforting drink. 

The missionaries always have to lock up their bikes inside the church, or they might be stolen.

We visited with Adilee (at right) and her mother Francine. Mother looks almost as young as daughter. Elder Pattee baptized Adilee and two of her cousins back in December.

We also visited with Rose this week. She is looking forward to soon moving into a house that will be more user friendly for her.  She has rhuemetoid arthritis.  She is a faithful Church member of many years.

We went to Orange Walk on Saturday and Sunday (1 1/2 hours north of Belize City). Elder Mendehall and Elder Fernandis are the fine elders that serve there. After doing an apartment check, we took them to dinner Saturday evening...

And since it was Elder Fernandis's birthday, we stopped for ice cream after.

While in Orange Walk, the elders took us to Samantha's house. We had a wonderful visit with her and little daughter, Evalee. Her fiance was working, but they are all being taught about the Gospel.  Evan was able to attend church with them the next morning. 

Elder Pattee spoke in sacrament meeting and did some temple recommend interviews. Later we did some training with our seminary and institute teachers. 

Orange Walk Branch President Novelo has a lovely family.

The zone leaders brought Bennie to our home for a missionary discussion one evening.

 They had already taught him all the discussions, so they talked about service and the welfare program of the Church. We explained to him how important it is to be willing to serve in the Church. Bennie has been attending church for the past month or so.  He was baptized a few days later, while we were in Orange Walk. We think he will be a wonderful addition to our Belize City Branch. 
Recently our landlady got us a new refrigerator, so we thought some new refrigerator-art was in order. We received some from our grandchildren. Thank you Ella, Jane, and Scott.

October 1-2, 2011 - General Conference Time

Friday, October 7, 2011

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we all look forward to getting our spiritual batteries recharged at General Conference. This was the 181st one held, and it seems like the conferences just keep getting better and better. 

Brother Belgrave and

Brother Arana can be depended upon to never miss a session.   

 Who wouldn't want to listen to a real live prophet? President Thomas S. Monson seems to know just what we need to hear. 
"My beloved brothers and sisters, communication with our Father in Heaven--including our prayers to Him and his inspiration to us--is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life.  The Lord invites us, 'Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall fine me'  As we do so, we will feel His Spirit in our lives, providing us the desire and the courage to stand strong and firm in righteousnesss--to 'stand in holy places, and be not moved.'"

A baby is always fun to hug.

This was this little guy's very first conference.

  Attending conference can bring solace to the soul. Sister Jones's husband passed away recently.

Friends enjoy visiting, and

  children enjoy playing between sessions.

Jennifer is beginning to come to church once again,

and her son is planning to be baptized very soon.

Kiera was baptized a few days ago. She has had a special glow about her ever since, and she said she loved conference. She is grateful for the knowledge that Jesus Christ is her redeemer and that He is at the head of this Church. 

This week we went to the airport to pick up Elder Gillett, who just completed and returned from his mission in the Dominican Republic.

 His family has long looked forward to this day.

Elder Gillett gets reacquainted with his nephew, who was only a baby when he left. 

After taking his family home, we brought Elder Gillett to our house, so that he could be released by President Pattee. Now we can call him by his first name, Isaiah. His testimony and missionary skills will surely help him be a great strength  in his home branch.

The temperatures are finally cooling down just a bit, and the flowers are coming out again. 

Our landlady recently provided us with a new clothesline area. It is nice to have a place just outside our house to hang the clothes. Notice the big black container at the right.   It is for catching rainwater as it comes off the roof.  Most every home here has at least one. Our landlady has several around her property. They make for good water storage. Rainy season is June through October. We've had lots of rain lately.

We attended another Strength of Youth meeting (SOY) in Belmopan this week. Also, leadership training is ongoing here. Elder Pattee often meets with branch presidents individually, and Sister Pattee attended a Relief Society presidency meeting. 

September 30, 2011 - President Cordon, Temple President Mask and Wife Come to Visit Belize

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We always look forward to our mission president, President Cordon coming to to town.  We picked him up at the airport last Friday about 45 minutes after we put David and Kris on their flight to the U.S. (See last week's post.)

He needed to give some things to the zone leaders before heading up to Cayo for district conference, so we met up with them in a parking lot not far from their apartment.

The very next day, Saturday, we borrowed a car (President Cordon had the van) and went to the airport to pick up President and Sister Mask. They are from Arizona, and they are currently serving as temple president and matron of the Gautemala Temple. 

They came to give special  meetings about temples in both Belize and Cayo Districts. The meetings were well attended, with many people having to travel some distance. They both gave wonderful talks that will no doubt inspire many to ready themselves to go to the temple. We enjoyed our time with them very much.

This is the Casteneta family from Corozol, two hours north of Belize City. During a special sacrament meeting for our entire district, held just before the temple meeting, Brother Casteneta was sustained as the second counselor in the Belize City District.  

Brother and Sister Lammy traveled in from San Pedro to attend, which is an hour and 15 minute water taxi ride away. An interesting thing about this couple is that he speaks English, but not Spanish, and she speaks Spanish, but not English.  There are probably times when a few things have to be left unsaid. Maybe that's good for a marriage.

This happy couple is engaged and plan to marry next spring. Joseph is a new convert and attends Belize City Branch. Mary is from Cinderella Branch. 

The Crawfords have been married a long time. They came down from Orange Walk.

Handsome brothers

Sister Celia is primary president in San Pedro. Recently her house burned down. She and her two children were able to get out safely, but everything else was lost in the fire. 

As we mentioned in our last post, George Price, first prime minister of Belize, and known as the Father of Belize independence, passed away. He had a State funeral including military guard and marching band. The procession went in front of our house, and he was buried in a cemetery not far from where we live. 

Citizens lined up along the road 2-3 hours early to pay their respects.  He was much loved, respected, and admired. 

One last photo of Elder and Sister Pattee at the Mayan ruin Cahal Pech, which we visited with David and Kris. 

 They said enjoyed their Caribbean vacation very much.