Saturday, April 23, 2016

The hand of God

April 23, 2016
We often feel the hand of God in our life.  This calling would be impossible without it.  That truth was reaffirmed last night.

Keith put his phone on the nightstand next to the bed.  Although it was on “vibrate”, it will usually wake me up.  Last night it didn’t.  It is always heart wrenching when you awake and see 32 calls from the same number during the night.  With dread you call and find out what emergency happened while you were sleeping.  Last night the calls were from Revolution.  Revolution is in Los Reyes and some distance away.  Sometimes it takes 2 hours to drive there, totally depending on traffic.

Elder C. is allergic to penicillin.  He knows that.  When he went to the clinic for antibiotics, they were informed of that.  However his reaction came from a different strain of medicine last night.  As soon as he started to experience difficulty breathing, the four Elders called us with no reply.  However, they didn’t stop there, prayers were offered.  Elder C. was alert enough to take Benadryl and call for an ambulance.  It probably saved his life.

How thankful we are this morning for a loving Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ, who could help when we couldn’t.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lost in translation

Elder Munoz is from Mexico.  However, he arrived with an excellent foundation in English which makes talking to him much easier for me!

We brought Elder Munoz to the house last night.  He is the companion of an Elder who is hospitalized.  Even in the hospital, we keep 2 missionaries together.   We don’t like to keep companions of those who are ill and in the hospital for too long because it is boring.  So last night we brought in someone else to replace Munoz and he came to our house to sleep and be ready to start missionary work the next morning.

Elder Munoz arrived hungry.   It was 9:30 at night and we decided to scramble some eggs for him. Keith got them in the pan starting to cook when the phone rang.  Keith ran to get the phone and told Elder Munoz to watch the eggs.

After the phone call Keith went back to the kitchen.  There was Elder Munoz being totally obedient and “watching” the eggs.  They had now formed a solid pie like piece, totally black on the sides and bottom.  

“watch” does not equate to “scramble.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Surprise of the Century!

April 12, 2016
I am getting old – which has never bothered me much.  I don’t mind my gray hair or my skin that sags a little more.  I do mind that my body gets more tired and my “get up and go” seems to have “got up and gone” at times.

Anyway, the monumental 65th birthday came this month.  Since I had already retired and started to collect Social Security, the only fanfare was going to be signing up for Medicare.  Whoopee!
However, my children had a plan that I later found out started clear last fall.  Quietly, and secretly, they planned a trip to Mexico City.  This was going to be one of those trips for “our children” only.  All 19 grandchildren, and spouses, would be left behind to keep “life rolling.”

They arrived on the 30th of March.  The Mecham’s, our neighbors who are serving in the South Mission, were part of the plan.  They picked up all five kids at the airport and brought them to our office.  We were out in the field installing Fire/Carbon Monoxide detectors totally unaware.
Elder Nebeker called us and told us we had a visitor at the office.  Supposedly it was a former missionary coming back to say “Hello”.  The missionary wanted to surprise us so he wouldn’t tell us who it was.  Keith: “Really, we are 90 minutes away, can it wait for later in the day?”  Elder Nebeker said the missionary was on a time schedule – “Can you come now?”  Under my breath I said, “Hope this is worth it…..”

What a shock when we walked into the office and were greeted by our five grown children.  They had already had a great time together meeting in Texas the night before.  They had on purple T shirts with funny sayings.  They had been eating and laughing for a day.  And now they were here.  Keith screamed and I cried.  Mecham’s and Nebeker’s recorded the historical “surprise of the century.”

We spent 4 days laughing, eating, and shopping. It was beyond great.  How I love these children – and those wonderful spouses left home to care for precious grandchildren.  Family is just the best!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Elder Hernandez

April 10, 2016
Elder Hernandez returned to the Dominican Republic the other day.  He had completed a full time mission and returned with honor.  He was closing in on 29 years old, so we wondered about “his story.”  He shared a little before he went home.

As I sat with him in the office where he would spend his last “mission” night in Mexico, he picked up the guitar and started to play.  It was very obvious that he had spent many hours with the instrument, and he immediately brought it to life with rhythm and song.  When Elder Hernandez was 13, he and his divorced mother joined the church. After chancing his life to join the church, he fell back into some old behaviors and moved away from the church teachings.  With the help of a loving mother, and good friends, he slowly felt the pull to return to church when he was in his mid-twenties.  He started preparations for a mission.  Most missionaries come in their late teens, or early twenties.  This was not his course.

Being a musician, he had spent time writing music. As the mission approached, he had a hard choice to make.  A music producer showed great interest in a song he had written.  He was offered a goodly sum of money – enough money that he could purchase his mother a home.  However, along with the money a contract was required.  Accepting it would mean he would go to work for the producer and not go on a mission.

Even now, 2 years later, he did not regret his decision.  And now with a successful mission behind him, Heavenly Father will guide his footsteps to his new path.

US Embassy

April 10, 2016
VISAs for Mexican missionaries who are called to serve in the United States or other foreign countries, often take many months.  The VISAs to these countries do not seem to follow any schedule.  It is hard to predict how long they may take.  Therefore the church has started to send “temporary” Mexico born missionaries to the missions in Mexico.  They serve with us until the VISA has arrived.  Temporary missionaries who will be speaking Spanish in these foreign countries often go to the 3 week Mission Training Center (MTC) located here in Mexico City.  If they will be speaking English, they arrive to us without any training and come straight from home.  Their future training will be in the MTC in the foreign countries they are assigned to, once the VISA has arrived.  Our mission currently has 7 temporary missionaries.

Elder Vargas arrived here 8 weeks ago. He is assigned to the Utah St. George mission and was waiting for his VISA.  He did not go to the Mexico City MTC.  His parents brought him to the mission office, hugged and kissed him, and bid him farewell.  He is wonderful and has loved being here in our mission.  We received notice last week that it was time to take him to the US Embassy to complete his VISA to the United States.

Keith and I were excited to visit the US Embassy.  Having heard of embassies all my life, I pictured how it would be.  In my mind I would find many Americans.  We would share our stories of what had brought us to Mexico.  Warm greetings with officials and laughs would be exchanged.  I didn’t expect punch and cookies, but that would be nice also!

Well….high fences, guards with automatic weapons, and long lines greeted us instead.  At least there was an American flag flowing in the breeze.  Elder Vargas was the only one admitted, not even his companion Elder Call got to enter.  Circling the outside were hundreds of people anxiously waiting for their loved ones inside.  We would occasionally see someone come out from the enclosed edifice.  The only pleasant part was the Yogurt Berry Frappuccino purchased from the Starbucks around the corner.  We bought 8 of them for all the missionaries waiting outside while their companions were escorted behind the walls.

Elder Vargas exited about 90 minutes later.  With a big smile, and pretty good English, he announced he was “going to Utah.”  We were so happy for him, and so sad for us!  We laughed on the way home about the cultural shock he was about to face…Mexico City to St. George, Utah….hummmm