Thursday, March 3, 2011

Change is in the air...

Change is in the air...
and we are not just talking about the cold front that actually froze all of the plants, fruit, and flowers outside and also the missionaries in their cement houses. We are talking about the constant changes in the mission. The months of January and February seemed like a dream. In this dream, we seemed to drive to the airport many times, to take missionaries, to pick up missionaries, to return to the airport to pick up lost luggage, etc. We are so grateful for a nice small airport where everyone knows us by now and the workers are always very gracious and helpful. Our regular change day was held on February 14th but we made many more trips before and after.

Companions Elder Pacheco and Ray say goodbye the day before Elder Ray flies to Oregon to be with his family again.

Members from the Bosque Ward in Gomez Palacio bring Elder Ray to the mission home. On the far right is former Elder Ali Rios who now lives in Gomez and is the ward mission leader and teaches institute.
Elder Lamb poses with Elder Polo (from Peru) Elder Lamb returns to California the next day.

Hermana Baquerizo (from Equador) says her goodbyes to her companion and trainer, Hermana Escorcia who returns to Cuernavaca.

Hermanas from the Nazas Ward bring Hermana Escorcia to the mission home. The sister on the right is from the Sarabia Ward and will serve as companion for the night to Hermana Baquerizo.
All of the North Americans from this generation pose for one last photo together. Back: Elders Lamb, Cameron Nelson, Conner Nelson, and Bouchard. Front: Elders Ray, Checketts, Roderick and Glauser.
One of our extra trips to the airport was to take Elder Barcena who developed a herniated disc in the mission and returned home to the care of his family in Mexico City.

Cena de despedida--13 enero 2011
L to R: Hermana Escorcia, Elders Glauser, Miliar, Ray, Checketts, Cameron Nelson, Bouchard, Conner Nelson, Lamb, and Perez Zaragoza.

B: Glauser, Bouchard, Conner Nelson, Cameron Nelson, Lamb.
F: Miliar, Perez Zaragoza, Checketts, Ray, and Hna. Escorcia
These fine missionaries were in the vans on their way to the airport by 5:30 a.m. the next morning to begin their transition into civilian life.
Bright and early, our new missionaries from the CCM in Mexico arrived. Here are Elders Hernandez Mora, Sanchez, Hernandez Olvera, and Soriana with Hermanas Gutierrez and Maqueda in front. Welcome to Torreon.
Elder Orlando Garcia left before the rest of his group in February so that he could meet a school committment. Before he left, he took the final test of the Companionship Language Study program. A certification from this program states that he has completed a certain level of competency in English and is ussued by BYU.

Elder Austin Smith, our financial secretary for some time, returned home due to health problems. We wish him all the best. He has been a great asset to our mission.
Elder McKeon Day joined us on time from St. Louis, Missouri by way of the Provo MTC. He was the first of our February North Americans to arrive.

Elders Thompson, Oehler, and Dastrup are excited to be in the country and are ready to work.
They were only a few days behind Elder Day.

Friday, February 25th was the date for these 5 to arrive. Elder Wahl is making a return appearance after returning home to have knee surgery at the first of November. Next to him on the back row is Elder Wagner from Utah. In front are Elder Ragland from Maryland, Elder Neser from California and Elder Larsen from Utah. This completes the generation of February arrivals.
We already know of 2 new missionaries arriving from Peru on March 4, one North American scheduled for March 7th and our regular transfer day is March 28 when we SHOULD receive 17!!! We are not optimistic that this will go smoothly. We will live through this, somehow.

New missionaries for a new year...2011

With the start of the year 2011, our prayers were answered and we began to receive more missionaries from North America. The visas have been procured in many locations other than Salt Lake City and church travel is being creative in arranging travel to get us our missionaries! We feel so blessed to receive such wonderfully trained missionaries. Those from the north already are speaking really good Spanish and are hitting the ground running.
Elder Bean is from Oklahoma and Elder Ellgen is from Colorado. They travelled together to join us in the Mision Mexico Torreon.
On January 3rd, we were blessed to receive 9 missionaries from the CCM in Mexico City. Two missed their plane because of baggage issues and they joined us shortly after the end of our change meeting. Above on the back...Elders Olvera, Teran, Cruz, and Macedo. On the front with President Clark and I are Elder Ruiz, Elder Perez, and Sr. Cuba. (she is from Peru)
Elder Calderon

Hermana Baquerizo is from Equador

Within the week, we received the 4 North Americans scheduled to be here in January. This is a sign that our prayers are being answered. Elder Dunman from Arizona, Elder Abbott & Elder Tarabilda, both from California, and Elder Hyer from Utah.
They are now hard at work finding, teaching, and baptizing here in Mexico

January 2011 transfers

January 2011
Hermanas Ortega, Garcia, and Palma say goodbye to Hermana Velazquez.
Elders Perez and Stratton baptized this family from area Centro. They brought a cake to Elder Perez on his last night in the mission.

Elders Lunt and Polo say goodbye to their companion, Elder Hernandez.

The whole group. L to R. Shimata, Ramos, Heffernan, Hernandez Lepe, Hna. Velazquez, Watson, Hernandez Vergara, Perez, Galvan, Hernandez Sanchez

Elder Ponce joined President Clark and I in the mission home about a week before the rest of his
group as he returned home early for a school committment.