Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blanca Navidad

Blanca Navidad
A goal for the mission was to have a Blanca Navidad, or in other words, for every companionship to baptize on December 26th. We were able to attend many wonderful baptisms that Sunday. Here are a few photos of the happy missionaries, the happy new members and their happy families.
There was great family and ward support for the 5 new converts in the Torreon Jardin Stake as shown above.
Here are the 5 new members and the missionary or member who baptized them, including, Elders Ramos, Navarette, Polo, and Miranda.

Elders Smith, Martinez Vasquez and Brother Jasso are shown here with their two honored guests, dressed in white and ready to be baptized.

Sr. Teresa and her husband are shown here with Elders Navarette and Bickmore. These missionaries will always be special to her.

Elder Miranda had his first experience using his priesthood authority to baptize this young lady in Sunday's special baptismal service. Elder Heffernan, his companion will return to his home in Hawaii next week, knowing that he has trained his companion well.

This beautiful young lady followed Jesus' example by being baptized by immersion by Elder Lopez Juarez. Elder Scothorne is his companion.

Elder Franco and Elder Barfuss baptized these two special young people in the combined baptismal service in Torreon Reforma Stake. They serve in the California area.

Here is the group from Torreon Reforma together. The district of Elder Franco helped 4 new converts in all. (shown here, Elder Franco, Elder Martinez Vasquez, Elder Barfuss and Brother Jasso.

"Tied" to our friends in Las Vegas

Elder Robb is one of the Assistants to President Clark. He is shown here with his companion, Elder Gutierrez. The Young Women of the home stake of Elder Robb in Las Vegas collected ties as a service project this fall. They sent some of them to the 17 missions in which their stake currently has missionaries serving--all over the world. We were blessed to receive 70 some new and gently used ties. We decided there were people here in the boundaries of our mission who could really use a tie. Our missionaries were challenged to give a tie to an investigator or new member and then take a photo of the gifts to send back to the Young Women in Las Vegas. Here are some of the photos...
Hermanas Velazquez and Garcia found a good home for one of the ties.

Elders Edwards and Curiel are serving in El Orito in the Zacatecas Zone. They gave their tie to this future missionary.

Elder Miranda shares his tie with this gentleman in Torreon Jardin

Elder Harman found a home for his tie in his area of Aeropuerto/Independencia in Torreon Reforma

This young man is holding his new tie and his mission call. He is "Called to Serve".

Elder Franco from California area gives his tie to this gentleman.

Elder Castellanos found just the right youth to receive this tie.

Elder Young and Elder Romero pose with their tie recipient.

Recent convert "Jorge" receives his tie from Elder Lara and Elder Roderick.

Elder Lamb poses with a family from Central, Gomez Palacio

Another future missionary is happy to show off his tie. This service project has brought smiles to people in Las Vegas and in Mexico.

Merry Christmas in Mexico

Feliz Navidad de Mision Mexico TorreonPresident Clark and I enjoyed our 5 Zone Conferences and special Christmas Dinners during the month of December. Here we are taking a minute to enjoy the moment.
Elder Checketts of the Fresnillo Zone is pretty excited to receive his Christmas stocking and his CD with photos of all of the missionaries.
A special musical number in Durango was absolutely beautiful. Here Elders Alexander, Toone, Glauser, and Lambert sing the English part in perfect harmony.

Elder Avila in Durango

Elder Gonzalez in Durango
Elder Glauser in Durango
Elder Gallego in Gomez Palacio
Hermanas Velazquez and Garcia pose with Elder Hernandez L.

Elders Shimata, Maxfield, Fuentes, Guardia, and Martinez share a special number.

Elder Jason Rasmussen from Madero Zone

Elder Bonfil, Zone Leader in Madero

Elder Archundia, one of our news missionaries is serving in Madero.

Elder Anderson from San Pedro

The Madero Zone enjoyed their party. The sisters made the hats for their entire zone.
It was a really festive time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

November 2010 Change

November 2010 changes!
Elder Rodriguez Cordova has his bags packed--excited to return to his family.

Ten missionarys enjoy their last meal together the Sunday before they depart early Monday morning. There is only time for yogurt and granola bars the next morning as we leave the mission home at 5:30 a.m. to get everyone checked in at the airport on time.
Elder Miranda and Elder Smith served together in Mezquital area of Durango so they became fast friends. Elder Smith is serving in the offices as financial secretary so he stopped in briefly to say goodby to his former companion.

Elder Falk will return to Utah with Elder Heffernan going back to Hawaii in January. Elder Castro will stay a while and hold down the fort.

Elder Marquez enjoys a visit from two families he worked with in Torreon.

The generation together for the last time...B: Elders Rodriguez C., Miranda, Pacheco, Guerrero, Morales C., Espronceda, Galeana. F: Elders Mera, Falk, Kent, and Marquez

At the airport!

Our assistants, Elder Gutierrez and Elder Robb, with President Clark and I in front of the Christmas tree.

Blessings from the CCM in Mexico City...B: Elders Hernandez, Gonzalez, Garcia, y Achundia. F: Elders Sosa, Rivas, Rodriguez, and Cortes. (Elder Lopez got separated from the group in the airport and had to catch a later flight.)

Elders Maxfield, Rasmussen and Barfuss--arrive on time from Salt Lake, California, and Michigan. (They have been in the MTC in Provo for 6 weeks)

Elder Nathaniel Hansen is greeted with a sombrero and serape at the airport. He hails from Kansas and is the first to arrive from our October group of 10. Better late than never.
Elder Spencer Jensen becomes #2 to arrive from the October group. Now, we are still waiting for 8 more. (posted Dec. 20)

October Change--2010

October 2010 Change
It was a warm fall day in Torreon when we enjoyed the company of these 14 missionaries who have served diligently for 2 years, or 18 months in the case of Hermana Lopez. We enjoyed a nice meal and a testimony meeting together. It is amazing to hear the testimonies of these young people and to actually be able to see their spiritual growth and maturity as expressed from the heart. Missionaries change the lives of others but, just as importantly, they personally change because of their experiences.

Cena de despidida!
Elder Grover makes sure his photo is in the right location on the map with all the missionaries serving in Torreon from the US.

Elder Moreno and Elder Robb pose for some last shots. They have served together as assistants and now Elder Moreno is preparing to return to real life in Tijuana.

A beautiful trio of sister missionaries--Hermanas Mamani, Lopez, and Garcia. Hermana Lopez returned to Mexico City the next day.
Three Amigos! Elders Clonts, Mair, and Naumu all purchased a beautiful Mexican sombrero to take home as a reminder of their time in Mexico.

Adios amigos!
Back: Elders Betoni, Van Orden, Allen, Michael, Williams, Clonts and Mair.
Front: Elders Grover, Larsen, Naumu, Layland, Moreno, Turley, and Hermana Lopez

A gift from the United States--Elder Ryan Lambert joins us. He is the last to get his visa approved from the generation of September! He had been serving in one of the Provo missions while waiting. Welcome to Torreon!

Elder Garcia Pineda and Elder Miranda look right home as they pose for their group photo on their first day in the mission. We are grateful they have joined us in this blessed service.