Serving in Honduras

On February 27, 2013, our lives changed forever when we accepted the call to preside over the newly created Honduras San Pedro Sula West Mission. Four months later, on June 27th, we arrived to greet the 135 missionaries with whom we would start this great adventure. The mission has grown to 205 missionaries in the first nine months and continues to climb. All of that growth has brought great enthusiasm to the stakes, wards and branches in the mission. We are grateful to serve at such an amazing time in the history of the Church, and in such a beautiful part of the world. The people of Honduras are warm and wonderful, and the climate is even warmer (ok it's hot). We are so very grateful for our missionaries and everyone who supports all of us. Thank you for your love, prayers and support!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our First 2 Weeks

      We arrived in San Pedro Sula on Thursday, June 27th.  It has been like no other two weeks in our lives.  Frantic is the best way to describe it all.  The departing mission president and his wife, President and Sister Veirs, met us at the airport with our assistants, Elder Hebert and Polendo.  As expected, the heat and humidity were high.  We were taken to our new home on the 20th floor of a high rise condominium building.  Our balcony looks out the back of the building onto jungle covered mountains of thick green foliage.  It really is an incredible home away from home. 
       After spending a few hours with the Veirs, we went to see a couple of grocery stores and finished the evening having dinner at a nice restaurant.  We went to bed in our new home and woke up the next morning, realizing that the Veirs were already on an airplane--so we were on our own.  What an overwhelming responsibility!!!
       On Friday, we met with 7 of our 8 zones (about 125 missionaries) for a "Meet the President" meeting.  We shook hands with each missionary and had a little slide show with pictures of our family.  Annette read about 15 minutes of a script in Spanish, and Jamie spoke for another 45 minutes.  On Saturday we tried to get a few household items purchased with the help of Elder and Sister John.  What would we do without them?????  We can't use our GPS because the streets aren't identified.  We visited a ward and a branch on Sunday morning, came home to pack and then left that afternoon with our assistants to drive 3 and 1\2 hours to Santa Rosa de Copan.  We ate dinner with a member family, stayed in a little hotel for the night and had a meeting with the last zone of elders the next morning, before driving back to San Pedro Sula.  Jamie also met with the District Presidency of our mission district while we were up that way.
     Upon our return to San Pedro Sula, Jamie was finally able to access his church e-mail account, only to find that he had nearly 300 e-mails stacking up in the mission inbox and another 80 letters from his missionaries.  He managed to get through all of the e-mail between other things that were happening.
      When we got home from Santa Rosa, Jamie spent long days on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 2-5, interviewing all of the missionaries in the mission.  On Saturday the 6th, he met with his assistants to work through the potential transfers that would be required the following week.  Then, on Sunday the 7th, we went to Church in a wonderful ward in San Pedro Sula.  Dozens of wonderful saints came forward to bear brief, heartfelt testimonies.
     The next day, Monday the 8th, seven new missionaries arrived from the Provo MTC, and another arrived the following morning from Guatemala City.  They needed to be interviewed and the APs helped them get settled.  We can tell that they will all be wonderful.  Annette fixed dinner for them on Tuesday evening, and Jamie held training meetings with them on Tuesday and Wednesday.  After lunch on Wednesday, the new ones were on their way to their first areas, and two elders arrived who were ready to complete their missions and return home.  We had a nice dinner for them on Wednesday evening, and they departed on Thursday morning.  Although the schedules were tight, we had a wonderful, uplifting time bidding a warm welcome to our newest missionaries and a fond farewell to those who returned home.
        We feel grateful beyond our ability to describe for the opportunity to participate in this work, at this extraordinary time in the world's history.  There has never been a more exciting time to be a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are so grateful to be a part of this. 

View from our balcony on the 20th floor

Our Assistants--Elder Polendo and Elder Hebert
Our first dinner with the new missionaries at our home


After church in El Carmen today, a cute little girl came up to Jamie and asked him if he could tell  President Monson "hello" from her.  She was SO excited to hear Jamie speak about how we had Sacrament Meeting with President Monson at the MTC the Sunday before we came to Honduras.  We LOVE these humble and faithful members.