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!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Mission is Constantly Changing

Every 6 weeks, some missionaries are transferred to new areas with new companions.  It is always a lot of work. Even though not all missionaries are changed, it causes quite a domino effect.  President Dester spends many hours with his assistants making plans for those who need a change and seeking inspiration as to which missionaries need to serve together.  He also has to identify what missionaries can be "trainers". Trainers have one of the most important jobs in the mission--to help brand new missionaries learn how to be missionaries, to study, adapt to the new culture, get to know the area and learn how to be more disciplined.  When we were growing up, our mothers always used to tell us "a change is as good as a rest".  I am afraid that isn't really true of mission transfers.  Transfer week usually involves picking up missionaries at the airport on Tuesday. Usually, one set of missionaries come from the MTC in Mexico.  All the English speakers now come from that training center.  A larger group of missionaries come from the Guatemalan MTC.  Those missionaries already speak Spanish.  Sometimes, we still get missionaries from the Provo MTC.  They are the ones who are typically bilingual and do not need language training.

We love receiving new missionaries!!!  They are excited but nervous.  Our assistants and secretaries do an amazing job of putting them at ease and helping them to feel more relaxed about their new adventure.  The incoming missionaries have training at our closest Stake Center, eat lunch (usually something easy--like pizza), have an interview with President Dester and then are taken by bus to our apartment for a dinner. They are SOOO tired and I have finally learned that because of all the stress, excitement and changes, they usually don't feel like eating a lot.

The Elders stay that night in the house with our assistants and secretaries (we have a lot of bunk beds set up) and the few sisters who arrive, stay at our apartment or with the Sister Training Leaders.  The next morning, they are all picked up by bus and taken to eat their first Honduran breakfast--baleadas.  You will have to look that up or ask your missionary how they are made and if it becomes one of their favorite foods while here on the mission.  I often see women making them to sell in the front of their homes.  I always worry about where our missionaries get their food.  I know they often eat off the street--even though I tell them NOT to.

After breakfast, all the new missionaries, the trainers and any other missionaries who the President feels a need to change, meet at the Stake Center and we have a special transfer meeting.  Every missionary I have ever talked to about their first experience in the mission, remembers the first two days as though it was just yesterday.  It is as clear as a bell in their memories. Everyone is curious about who the new missionaries are. The new ones uncomfortably sit on the stand, waiting for the time when the President announces the changes.  When their names are read along with their new trainer´s name, their first companion usually jumps out of their seat and comes up enthusiastically to greet the elder or sister who they have a responsibility to teach.  It is SUCH an important job and the impression made that first 12 weeks will affect them for the rest of the mission.

                                                                    New Missionaries from Guatemala



                                                                            Three New Elders
                                                                         From the Mexico MTC

                                                                  Only Two New Sisters


         We ALWAYS have a lot of luggage!!!

        Their First Dinner in our Apartment in Honduras

                                                                  They ALL Look Happy!!!!!!!


  1. That was fun to read! I especially like the picture of all the luggage!!

  2. Sister Dester,
    This post made my heart smile. Thank you for all that you do for the mission! What a crew you had to feed and they all look so happy and well cared for! We pray for you, President Dester, and all of your missionaries. Thank you so much for your service! Love, Sister Lund