My erratic blog performance is not because nothing has been happening that is noteworthy. It is just the opposite. We are working hard every day, trying to get things settled and stable before we leave in just a few short weeks. There is too much to write about. There are too many lessons being learned, and being missed, as we careen along. We have been to the west end of the island three times in the past four days, each time for a different purpose. We are finding apartments for elders and sisters. I should say they are finding the apartments and we are going out to write up the contracts and make arrangements for the water and lights to be turned on so the elders and sisters can get moved in. President handed us a list of 15 that need to be moved before we leave. He implied that if it is not done, we will not be leaving. We will get it done!
I have lost a car. If you see a silver 2014 Chevy Cruze, license IFM 244, please let me know. I have both keys, so nobody will be driving it away. It is locked inside some church yard fence. When the cars were parked on January 1, three groups of us went to the various chapels to collect the keys, the reports, and make sure the vehicles were cleaned and parked in a safe place. I can tell where the missing car is not, but I don’t know where it is. I’ll find it, though. When I do, I will exchange it for one of the cars that is reaching high mileage. (That is relative, though. The highest has 14,000 miles, but it has been switched for one that has less than 4000.)
These young missionaries are absolutely adorable, amazing, incredible, inspiring, _________ (put in your own superlative adjective), examples of the best young people on the planet. There are over 80,000 serving right now across the globe in over 400 missions. Not to date myself, but when I went out just less than a century ago there were 70 missions. President McKay had called for 8000, then 12000 missionaries. Our mission was essentially the whole continent of Africa, but mainly South Africa, Rhodesia, and Zambia (closed soon after I got there), manned by 70 missionaries, one senior couple, and stretched the equivalent distance from Los Angeles to Chicago. There were no stakes, no temples, all presided over by one mission president. The work is being hastened, and we are all invited to get on board, called to invite others to come unto Christ.
These young men and young women are walking miles every day, meeting and greeting people on the street, inviting them to hear the message we have all brought with us. In this mission I have met elders and sisters from many of the US States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Haiti, several of the small islands, Puerto Rico, Guyana, and I am sure I am leaving someone out. They come in all sizes, many colors of hair and skin, a variety of styles of Spanish, some quite fluent in English and some painfully self-conscious as they timidly try a few English words, and with various stages of church and life experience. They all have some things in common, however. All are children of a loving Heavenly Father, all have been called and empowered to preach the gospel of repentance, all want to be loved and accepted, all are beautiful, and my love for them is beyond anything I can express. I hope I have been a blessing to this mission. I KNOW this mission has been a blessing to me and to Gaye.
|US, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru|
|US, Costa Rica|
|Mexico, Dominican Republic|
|US, Dominican Republic|
|Iggie is from Puerto Rico|
Check this out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OdUBvB3Ots