Sunday, December 20, 2009
Going, going and gone!
So many farewells this week. It is crazy to think but my 57th year in mortalidad has come and gone....President and the office Elders surprised me with some beautiful flowers for my birthday and in exchange we shared breakfast together. I love the fresh squeezed juices here. On our street Algercias we have a juice man and he makes the best. I particularly like the "green juice" made with napal, (cactus) celery, cilantro and other green things....plus some orange juice to give it alitle sweetner. The next picture is of Elder Grecco from Argentina. He had to leave a bit earlier than the rest of his generation because of his Visa expiration. Elder Grecco converted to the gospel a year before the mission and has served faithfully in leadership positions of the mission. We will miss him and wish for him the best. Our next farewell was of Elder Steimle. We were so sad to see him leave us early but due to medical complications he needed to return home to Alabama to receive proper medical care. His last area of service was in Valle de Santiago and many of the good members called to express their love and concern for Elder Steimle as he returned home. Last are pictures of the Farewell on Friday, December 18th. We were saying goodbye to 10 more. Hermana Cornelio was part of this group. She has been the force behind our Hermanas encouraging and leading in her own special way. I am not sure...but she was probably the recipient of cookie plates (10baptisms a week) for 5-6 weeks during her 18 month service call. Both of the Assistants are gone.....that is different. How do you replace two giants in their own rank.......Elder Schow and Elder Hatton had their own styles and work ethics,but for the most part were together helping the vision to take place in our mission. We have appreciated their determination and desire to make their service here count. Many wonderful new converts will remember their service and teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have enjoyed having them part of the office Elders. I took a cute picture of Elder Hatton. He became soooooooo lost as his responsibilities came to a close. At the farewell dinner we like to serve those who are leaving....but Elder Hatton had to get in there with Elders Salazar and Callen and be apart of the evenings' service. The group picture was taken after everything was finished and we were ready to say goodnight. We try to get to bed early because we have to get up between 3:30 and 4am.....to get everyone to the airport by 5........ But, you know how hard it is to sleep when something big is going to happen in your life...well, imagine....the mission office with 9 missionaries(top row in group picture: Elders Schow, Velasquez, CruzM., Quintana, middle row: Elders Camargo,Hatton,Medina,Gutierrez,Erekson and Hna Cornelio in Front) trying to go to sleep........you're right, it just doesn't happen.