The purpose of this blog is to highlight the beautiful city of Guadalajara; the faithful members, the valiant missionaries who serve here, as well as the people, culture, and food.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Farewell 9-29-16

That time has rolled around again!  It is time to say goodbye to 12 faithful missionaries.  This time, they are traveling home on Friday, so they can be home and enjoy General Conference with their families.
President interviewed Sister Harris, Sister Mejia, and Sister Capellan, Elder Valdez, Elder Vazquez, and Elder Virgen on Wednesday.
We did a 5:00 pm Temple session.

Thursday, President finished interviewing with Elder Luciano, Elder Patrick, Elder Bradlely, followed by Elder Crofts, Elder Price and Elder Robledo.  They each have told me that they cannot believe the time has come for them to return home.  Some have confessed that they don't want the mission to end, they wish they had longer.  Most say it doesn't seem real, it hasn't hit them yet.  They are a bit dazed thinking of what's ahead.  But I am quick to tell them, that it is time.  They have faithfully completed their full time service; and these 12 missionaries..... have served well.  They have served faithfully, and they are returning home with honor.  I love them.

After their interview with President Clayton,
we took these Elders with us to the Temple.

Right before we went in for our Temple session.

Thursday afternoon - farewell interviews.

waiting for their turn.

Thanking Sister Hernandez for helping 
me with the dinner.

Getting ready for our final testimony meeting.

with the assistants

ahhh.  those final certificates!

Hoorah for these missionaries!

ok, we are a bit crooked :/

President with the Elders

those well worn shoes

bless their hearts.

me with the sisters

With a strike at the airport, and some flights leaving
earlier than others, we all had to go to the airport by taxi
very, very early.  

Elder Robledo changed into his New Mexico 
gold and red socks and new shoes.

One last hug goodbye.

We will surely miss this group.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Our past few Sunday visits

Here we are with the missionaries 
serving in the Union Zone
after our Union Stake Conference.

Along our way home from Santiago.
Beautiful flowers dotted the highway.

The Santiago Branch Conference

President Clayton with President Chavez and his
first counselor.

President Clayton with the Manzanillo District Presidency
President Rios on the right next to President Clayton
and his two counselors on either side.

With Elder Long and Elder Martinez, and Sister
Cordova and Sister Hernandez serving in this Branch.

Last weekend we traveled to Tequila to visit the Tequillan Branch for church on Sunday. It was another glorious day for our drive there, green and beautiful, with the rich blue sky framing everything we saw along our way.  What a morning.

We met our assistants at the north entryway to the city by the grand statue of a farmer, a Agavero, harvesting the tequila plant. (called agave in Espanol).
We drove together to the small house of prayer, where sister Moran, Branch President Alberto Moran's mother was standing in the doorway waiting to greet us. President Moran was sitting in one of the 4 chairs lined up behind the podium, waiting for us. What a sweet man he is. He was born blind, and as we greeted him, we immediately felt of his warmth and genuineness, as he welcomed us to worship with them that Sabbath morning.

There were 9 of us today, President Moran and his mother, Rosa, the high counselor from the Union Stake, brother Carols Aguilar and then only 2 members, Erica who hurried in a bit late, and another man, Jose de Jesus, President and I, and our 2 assistants. The Stake President in the Union Stake has asked President Clayton to put 2 full time missionaries in this area, to build up this Branch; and so President will follow the man with the keys and this next transfer, will send 2 missionaries to this little city.

The meeting went perfectly. We sang the hymns along with the tape recorder playing the music for us. Rosa sat next to the small table by the recorder, and her voice kept us right on tempo.

The door and windows were kept open. All 3 fans were on high and it was quite comfortable. The walls were painted turquoise and pink, and the pattern of the tile on the floor matched colorfully.
After the sacrament, which only took a few minutes with just nine of us, President Moran opened the meeting for the sharing of testimonies.
He began, and then his mother Rosa stood.  As she spoke, a butterfly flew into the room and fluttered around back and forth… like he was bringing a bit of heaven and a warm greeting from our Father in Heaven on this beautiful morning.

Erica got up next and shared how that morning, she had read the scriptures aloud to her non member husband as they ate breakfast. She explained that he had confided to her that as she read, he had learned and felt something... just for him that morning.  He learned that his body was a temple and he felt as he listened to his wife reading those words from the scriptures, that he wanted to stop drinking. That he wanted to be better. Their lovely morning together had made her run late for church, and she tearfully told us that he had even called a taxi for her so she would not have to walk to the church building, and could make it to church on time.

President Clayton stood to close the meeting and told this little group that although they were few in number, that they were part of a grand family.
He said that there are many in the world today, that are partaking of the fiestas and worldly celebrations on this day. But he testified, that those that had come to worship our Father in Heaven, were doing exactly what God had ordained to be done on His holy day, and they would be blessed.
He read from Matthew 18:20 where the Lord himself said, 'for where two or three are gathering together in my name, there am I in the midst of them'.

President Clayton challenged this small group, with conference coming next weekend, to write down questions and concerns, challenges and worries that they may have; and he promised them that as they listened with faith to the messages from our Prophet and Apostles, that they would hear specific answers directed to them, answering and sustaining, soothing and calming them. All, because of their faith and desire to know and understand God’s will for them.
It was a precious morning with this small band of believers.

Here are some pictures we took along our way that Sabbath morning.

The grand statue of the tequila farmer.

One of the many little shops along the way.

Getting that wash on the line, first thing in the morning.

rustic and pretty.

#our favorite picture of the day.

This is something we see all the time 
here in Mexico.

I do love these rock walls so much.

This young man was breaking sugar cane for his horse.

Here are some of these big white butterflies
fluttering around.

We startled these guys.

You can't see very clearly, but this vine had little blue
flowers dotted here and there, it reminded us of
the forget me not's in Alaska.

President standing there, just to give some
 perspective to that huge tree trunk.

President and I with President Moran and his mother Rosa,
Erica in the back, our assistants, Elder Uribe, brother
Jose de Jesus and brother Carols Aguilar
and kneeling, Elder Manriquez.

me with these sweet sisters. 

President Clayton with President Moran