San Salvador El Salvador Temple/ Belize Mayan Temple

San Salvador El Salvador Temple/ Belize Mayan Temple

Monday, August 14, 2017

Another Exciting Week in the Mission

We spent the first part of the week monitoring Tropical Storm Franklin.  Early reports said that the storm was headed for Belize.  We were preparing to evacuate the missionaries out of the areas of Corozal, Orange Walk, and Belize City for their safety, but with the change of the storm's path, the missionaries ended up staying put.  We were grateful to the local members and government officials who were advising us about the situation.   A year ago Belize was effected by Tropical Storm Earl with winds of 80mph and flooding.  And of course, in 1961 there was Hurricane Hattie that killed more than 400 people, left thousands homeless. demolished almost half of Belize City.
When a cruise ship ports off the coast of Belize the locals set up booths to sell their wares.  On Thursday when we dropped off a set of young missionaries to catch the water taxi back to San Pedro island, we wandered through the colorful booths. All the merchants recognized us as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and had kind things to say about our church and our missionary efforts.  The merchant pictured below liked talking to me about our teachings of life after death.  I was happy to testify that death is not the end of our existence, and that we will continue to live as families in the hereafter.  You can read about these teachings by clicking here.
We live about a mile from the beach and we've taken several early morning walks there.  We have seen some interesting sights.  I decided to take some pictures of unusual signs we have seen along the path.    
We asked a woman who was also walking along the path to take our picture at the Belize sign.  We ended up walking and taking with her for a while. We enjoyed learning about her roots in Belize.  She was born in Belize City the year of Hurricane Hattie.  She descried her family's memory of living through the storm.  When she was a young adult she moved to Chicago and has lived there ever since.  She told us she is one of 9 children.  She and her siblings have returned to Belize this week to gather and make decisions on how to care for their aging 91 year old mother.  I told her about my experience working with my siblings as we set up care for my mom before her death last year.   Again, I testified of life after death and that I'd be with my parents again someday.

As you recall a nice fisherman gave us some lobster tails last Saturday.  I am proud to say that I researched on Youtube how to prepare and fix the lobster tails and we enjoyed them for our dinner on Monday.  (notice the third step of applying melted butter, so of course they were good)
Our official assignment is to serve as MLS missionaries or  Member Leader Support missionaries.  Yesterday we were happy to attend the Orange Walk Branch and worship with the church members there.  After church we were able to train the leadership in the different branch auxiliaries.  I met with the Primary and Relief Society leaders.  Elder Magnusson met with the Bishopric, Elder's quorum, and Sunday School leaders.  Elder and Sister Adams met with the Young Men/Young Women leaders.   

During the Primary training meeting, I was able to show Sis. Janet Checkio teaching a primary song from the Friend Magazine, Build An Ark.  She modeled principles of teaching children that everyone one us can use no matter what our assignment is with teaching children (including teaching our own children and grandchildren).    
You can also see the above video by clicking here and going to 9:20
You can find the written music to Build an Ark by Marianne P. Wilcock by clicking here

Below is the Friend Magazine's rendition of the song
You can also see the above video by clicking here.  

During our Relief Society Training we focused on the visiting teaching program.  As we met, we discussed what it means to minister in the Savior’s way as we do our visiting teaching.  I enjoyed focusing on the Savior's example of ministering "one by one".  (see 3 Nephi 11:15)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Our Sabbath Day in the Mission

It's not everyday that one would take an airplane to church, but that's what we did today.  We attended the San Pedro Branch on the Ambergris Caye.  We got up early to catch our 15-minute flight.  Had we taken the hour and a half ferry, we would've been late to church!  
Our first small plane flight!

 We were happy to arrive safe and sound.
 We looked at the beach on the way to the chapel.
 The outside of a resort on the street, not a real Mayan ruin!
As we walked from the airport to church with Elder and Sister Adams, we met a member, also on his way.
After a 15 minute walk, we arrived at the San Pedro Church Building.
The missionaries on San Pedro teach the locals in humble circumstances, surrounded by the large resort community on the island. After church, we were happy to accompany them and join in a couple of lessons.
We were happy to return safely to Belize City and this beautiful sunset.  
On Saturday afternoon, we were in Corozal, the most northern town of Belize, and joined the sister missionaries  in teaching the Gospel message to several families.
Saturday morning, on the way to a branch service project, the branch president (right) introduced us to one of his neighbors, a retired fisherman. Notice the conch shells embedded in concrete on the fence behind us.
The neighbor shared some lobster that he caught with us after Sister Magnusson told him she'd never tried lobster.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

MTC Tour

One month ago today we entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center) to begin our mission.  You can read about our experience in the MTC on a previous post by clicking here.

The expansion of the Provo MTC had just been completed when we arrived.  The Mormon Newsroom recently made this video giving you a tour of MTC including the newly completed buildings.
You can also see the video by clicking here

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Testimony of The Gospel of Jesus Christ

On Tuesday, we drove out to Orange Walk to work with the missionaries serving in that city.  Throughout the day we visited with different members of the church in the area.  As we went to visit with a member dealing with some health issues, we arrived at the same time as her kind neighbors who also came to visit.   We were happy to have a wonderful discussion about Jesus Christ, share our testimonies with each other, and read some scriptures together from the Bible:

Ephesians 2:19-20
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
You can also see the video by clicking here 

We read about how Jesus Christ set up his church before his death with prophets and apostles:

Ephesians 4: ll-15
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

We read the real reason that Jesus Christ continues to have living apostles, and a prophet, today:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

You can also see the video by clicking here

We read and discussed from 2 Thessalonians how an Apostasy from the church Jesus set up was to precede the Second Coming of Christ:

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first...

We testified that Jesus Christ restored His gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, as described in Acts 3:20-21, where Peter foretold the restitution of all things.

20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
You can also see the video by clicking here.

As missionaries we bore this testimony to the neighbors we visited yesterday:

Would God, our Heavenly Father, who loves us dearly, who promised that He would send prophets, and would call apostles, so that we be no more "tossed to and fro", and that we would have an inheritance with Him— would He leave us directionless?  

Would He continue to send His children to earth in these tumultuous times without communication, while at the same time asking us to “seek… first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto” us?

We testify that Jesus Christ continues to lead His church today.  How is this possible?  He had to restore it to the earth, with prophets and with apostles, in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, as Paul said He would.

Jesus Christ stands at the head of His church.  We bear our testimony of this. And, He has called a living prophet and 12 apostles to administer the affaires of His church just as Paul said He would.
President Thomas S. Monson
We thank our Heavenly Father for a prophet to guide us in these latter days, and for re-sending His gospel through the Restoration.  

This restoration began in the year 1820, with the personal visit of Jesus Christ to the earth, just as the Apostle Peter said would happen in Acts 3:21-21

There has been an unbroken line of authority—of prophets—who continue to reveal God’s word.  

We know that the event that initiated this “restitution of all things” did occur. We know it, and the beauty is that all of us can know for ourselves.

We are all Heavenly Father’s children; He loves us all.  His gospel of protection and peace and inheritance is for all His children.