Our Mission to Belize Comes to an End

Monday, April 2, 2012

We can hardly believe our 18-month mission to Belize is coming to an end. We were glad to pick up Elder and Sister Orr at the airport. It is so nice to have a senior couple to replace us. Sometimes there are not enough senior missionaries to go around. They are needed all over the world.

We had a week to work with Orrs, so they could be oriented to their mission duties. We were happy to see them come, but yet, it was bitter sweet thinking about ending our mission. We will miss the people here so much!
Elder and Sister Orr, our replacements, are standing at the left in between us at the airport parking lot.  It was nice that Elder (taking the photo) and Sister McLaughlin and Elder and Sister Davis could welcome them, too.  This will be the first time that there has been 3 senior couples serving in the country of Belize at the same time.
  Here Elder Pattee and Elder Orr are counseling Joseph, the Young Men's president. 

Sister Orr got right to work, too, helping President Chi with an on-line Perpetual Education Fund application.

Of course we took some time to show Orrs some of the beauties of Belize by visiting Altun Hua, the closest Mayan ruin site to Belize City.  It took us a little less than an hour to drive there.

This was our first visit to Altun Hua, too.

These two ladies work at our favorite little produce market. They only speak Spanish, but they have always been so nice to us. They were especially pleased whenever we would try out our limited Spanish on them.  During our last visit there, they insisted on taking photos. 

President Cordon came to town to give us our exit interview. He took us out to eat at a nice Chinese Restaurant. We could have flown down to El Salvador for the interview, but since he was going to be in country, we all decided it would be nice to do the interview in Belize. Then we could fly directly to the United States.  (We got to spend some time in El Salvador when we first arrived for our mission and also spent 5 days there for the San Salvador Temple dedication.  It is a beautiful country.)

During our last week, we went visiting to the Usher family.  The father was at work.  They live right on the river.
Good friends, Paul and Tenica, came for one last visit.

And Melanie insisted that we come for one last dinner at their beachfront home. Their dog, Trooper, loves to run in the sea. He tries to catch crabs and other sea life. 

This was a good time for Herb and Melanie to meet Elder and Sister Orr. Melanie fixed us a delicious "black" dinner.
The day before we left (Sunday), we attended the Belize City Branch for one last time. The primary children came into Relief Society to sing for Sister Pattee. They sang 3 of her favorite songs--Nephi's Courage, As a Child of God, and I Like to Look at Rainbows

After church the branch held a little get-together for us. The branch presented us with a notebook containing handwritten notes of appreciation. As a special keepsake, the Belize City Branch sisters presented Sister Pattee with a plate that had a photo of most of the sisters (including Sister Pattee). What a lovely and thoughtful gift. We will cherish both of this items.

That evening the Young Adults came over for one last time. Each one talked about what they would like to accomplish and do in the future. Some of them are Perpetual Education Fund particpants. They are each very dear to us, and we wish them well.

We spent the next day flying home.  Both of our flights were pretty much on time. We arrived home to "Welcome Home" signs.  Here we are with our granddaughter, Nicole. She is finishing up her second year at BYU. We were so glad to see her. 

Alexa and Daniel have taken good care of our home for 18 months. They prepared a large banner for us. They had their first baby--a boy--about a week after we got home. He was born the same day as our 14th grandchild (a girl). Two sweet new babies! 

It feels a bit strange to be back home. We miss not being full-time missionaries and enjoyed being representatives for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in Belize during the past 18 months. He has restored his Church once again to earth--The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Heavenly Father places his children all over the world in lots of different cultures with different heritages.  Some cultural traditions are not aligned with Church teachings. But each one of us is a son or daughter of God. If we let that heritage be our guide and apply the principles of the gospel to our lives, we will have much peace and happiness. GOD BLESS THE PEOPLE OF BELIZE!

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