We have been so busy that I haven't had a chance to post anything so I'm going to try to catch up. One of our young men from the Belize City branch finally received his visa to go the Dominican Republic to enter the MTC there to begin his mission. He has actually been serving here in Belize for almost 2 months while he waited. He was in the west of the country serving with the missionaries in San Ignacio. We went to the airport with him and his family. The branch president, President Woods, went, too. Elder Mis was very excited to finally be getting on his way to his assigned mission.
Elder Tague, Elder Mis, and Sister Tague at the Belize airport.
President Woods, Elder Mis's little brother, Sister Mis, Elder Mis, Elder Mis's step father, and Elder. Mis's sister.
We have another young man from Dangriga who is also waiting for his visa to leave for his mission. He has been called to the Paraguay Mission but his MTC is in Argentina. He has to get 2 visas, one for each country, and that is taking even longer than expected. He is currently serving with our missionaries in Orange Walk Town.
We have had a fun excursion with the missionaries. We took the Corozal Zone to the Cerros Mayos ruins across the Corozal Bay. We took a boat ride across the bay which was really fun. The site was very interesting. The feeling that Elder Tague and I had there was different from the others that we have experienced. Only one small building has been excavated and part of another larger one. The rest remain large hills and mounds that you walk through. They surround you and you just feel their presence. It felt like if you looked just the right way, you might see one of the ancient inhabitants out of the corner of your eye.
The trail that you take through the ruins is very aptly named "Mosquito Trail". You literally almost breathe mosquitos, there are so many. We were slathered in insect repellent but we had a really good time.
Elder and Sister Tague on the boat
Arriving at the site.
The one excavation that was completed.
The Corozal Zone left to right: Elder Santillan, behind him, Elder Aguilar, behind him, Elder Haynie, seated, Elder Paulson, behind him, Elder Castro, behind him, Sister Call, Sister McCulloch, Sister Wood, Sister Ferreras, Elder Grigg, Sister Hunter, Sister Patterson.
The backside of the tallest mound which is partly excavated on the other side.
A panoramic view of the area
And another panorama.
On Friday, September 19th, we had another important visitor who came for a multi-zone conference. The second counselor in the Area Presidency, Elder Alonso, came to teach us. He is amazing! We met in the west of the country in San Ignacio, Cayo District. It was quite a logistical feat to get all the missionaries from our northern areas out to Cayo on time. Elder Tague and I each drove a car up to Corozal to bring all of the missionaries from Corozal and Orange Walk. Elder Tague drove the mission van which seats 12 and I drove the pickup which seats 5. Four of the sisters rode with me and the remaining four sisters and six elders rode with Elder Tague. We drove up the night before and stayed in a hotel in Corozal so that we could start picking up the missionaries at 4:30 on Friday morning. Then we drove to Orange Walk which is 45 minutes down the road. It is another 3 hours from there to San Ignacio and we needed to be there at 8:30. We made it on time. We had time to eat the breakfast that was provided and then we all assembled for a spiritual feast at the conference.
Elder Alonso has been given a spiritual gift of being able to see the light of Christ or lack of it in people's eyes. Before the meeting began, we were all asked to come up one by one and shake his hand. He looked into every person's eyes carefully as we shook hands with him and introduced ourselves. Afterwards, when we were all seated again, he told us why he asked us to come up and shake his hand. It was humbling.
He spoke of how we represent Jesus Christ and invite people to come unto him. He asked us to truly examine our lives and examples. How do our actions reflect upon Jesus Christ? Do we always remember Him? What place does Jesus have in our lives? We had a lot to ponder after this conference.
The first row from l to r: Elder and Sister Tague, Elder and Sister Mendenhall, Brother Alden, Sister and President Alonso, President Hintze, Sister and Elder Rinderknecht.
Clockwise from top right: Sister Patterson and Sister Hunter; Sister Gramajo receiving here English proficiency certificate from President Hintze; Sister Wood, Sister Ferreras, Sister Smith, Sister Gramajo, Sister Tague in the truck; Sister Montes, Sister Olalere, Sister Smith, and. Sister Call.
After the conference, they brought in lunch for everybody and then we all piled into the cars again and started the long drive back to Orange Walk and Corozal. We arrived at our hotel that night around 8:30, tired but happy. We drove back to Belize City Saturday morning. It was a wonderful couple of days.