Friday, February 15, 2013

Back Track - From Journal

Aug 1, 2012

Well it has been a month since we have been here in Monterrey Mexico.  It is really a beautiful city set in the middle of majestic mountains.   We live in a nice area with easy shopping within walking distance.   Costco has become my fast friend as I fix meals at times for missionaries.
We have about 190 missionaries.  We will be having about 25 leaving the middle of August and I have come to know them and love them already and will miss them.  These missionaries work very hard in a very hot climate.  As we have been at the zone conferences we have learned from the zone leaders.  The sweet elders amd sisters that are leaving in the next few months have share testimonies and experiences even when I can't understand all of the words the spirit is is strong.    Today in the San Nicolas zone President Swapp asked who were converts and half of them raised their hands.  It is amazing, the strength and faith they all have.  both  Elder Gonzalez and Elder Enriquez, the zone leaders are so strong in e gospel..Elder Enriquez said,  as long as I live I will never have an experience more precious or purposeful than these last two years.  With tears falling gently from his eyes.  My heart could not be more full of love for these young people.
San Nicolas Stake Center

Monterrey LDS Temple early in the morning...very early
We will receive about 25 more, visas permitting.

Monday, October 8, 2012

First 10 Days

First Baptism we attended.

Some missionaries serving in Piedras Negras in July

Elder Riley loved getting his package from home as did those
he shared with.

Sweet Hermana Castillo

Singing for birthdays!
Wow! It has been a while but so very much to learn, not only all the numbers and keys to get into the house and office, where to buy food, how to get around but all about the workings of a mission that was running at top speed.  We met the missionaries, everyone of them in the first 10 days.  I did get pictures of all of them but unfortunately not in groups.  One cute story, the first Monday in the office (p-day of course) we had missionaries drop by which is normal on Mondays if they have visa business, mail needs or doctor appointments.  A couple of missionaries were joking with me and one found a furry spider outside and put it in a cup on Elder Ulloa's desk.  I did not see the humor in it so it was taken out side.  Now I smile but I was so busy with being new it did not seem funny at all at the time.  That following Sunday we attended our first baptism with this same set of missionaries.  We have great missionaries.  A few random pictures of our first introductions to the missionaries.

Mission President's Seminar

We have been in Monterrey Mexico for over three months now and I guess I have already blown my promise to keep everyone in the loop.  The months have flown by and I will get to where they have all gone but first I thought I would share just a little about the Mission President's Seminar the end of June. We entered the MTC on Saturday afternoon and with detailed precision all of the information was disseminated, pictures taken, information collected and introductions made with a little time to wander and meet  many of the presidents attending. Mike and Gwen delivered us to the the MTC from the airport with a quick lunch in between.  Gwen is my sister and as many of you already know Mike, her husband was mission companions with Ed back when they were 19 years old.  Actually they accompanied us to the MTC on our last mission to the Dominican Republic.
Our tutors for the past 6 months join us, Wendy Fernandez and Sergio Palomec.

The Kusch's one-upped us already and look, he looks official.
A phone to the ear is a must for any mission president.

Mission Presidents and Church leaders from the Mexico Area.

Joined by the Christensens who are now presiding over the Mexico Puebla North Mission.

Our friends going to Zimbabwe, Janice and Bryson Cook

Ed and I, President and Sister Daniel Mehr, and President and Sister Candido Fortuna
Knowing there were about 110 -120 new mission presidents and their wives, it was surprising that when we pulled up to the gate, a young man with a bright smile said, "Welcome President and Sister Swapp.  We are so happy to have you here."  We were treated with kindness and respect from that moment on.  Maybe an example to us as to how we should treat each of our missionaries as we greet them at the airport every six weeks.  We had never seen this young man before.  He had memorized every face and name for the event as had many, many of the young workers and volunteers at the seminar.
We had the opportunity to meet many of the General Authorities personally, as well as hear each of them speak to us.  We heard from every apostle and the first presidency including the prophet who spoke to us for over an hour for our sacrament meeting on Sunday.  We also heard from many in the Seventy who are responsible for missionary work.  I could not begin to share my experience, and the accompanying feelings with mere words.  Words could not do it justice.
We made some very good friends while there and ran into friends we had met on our previous mission.
President and Sister Candido Fortuna, from the Dominican Republic were going to Honduras.  President and Sister Daniel Mehr who served with us in the DR are to preside over the West Indies.  Our son Tom's good friend's parents, Bryson and Janice Cook, were headed to Zimbabwe,  and we were able to get to know them much better.  We also met many of the presidents going to Mexico, the Kucshs, the Wagners, the Jordans, the Christensens, among others.  We ran into many who knew people we knew or in Ed's case people he went to high school with.  I too ran into some with Millard County ties.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dearden Reunion

Madeline and Ella at work picking cherries to take home with them.   Greg, Jenn, Ryan all picked a bucket

Ella enjoying the water slide.

Max, Remington and Boston having hotdogs together.

One last look at Midway for 3 years. Wow...........

You have to hold your tongue just right with a smile!!!!! Works every time.

Did great with closed eyes!!!
Looks determined!!
Our last day together as a family for 3 years was in Fillmore at a Dearden Family Reunion.  Mike and Gwen hosted a day of good food, fun activities for the kids and a good visit with all of the family. Many of my pictures of this day have disappeared but it was a day of fun with games all over the yard.  A blow up slide and obstacle course, water on the slide and of course the water balloon fight that in sued were all activities of the day.  Cherry and her kids Tiffany, Bobbie, Todd, Misty and TJ and their families.  Mike, Gwen, and their kids Lee, Brandon, and April and families.  So fun to be together again after so many years.  A pinata topped off the day for the kids.  Thanks for the sweet memories, Uncle Mike and Aunt Gwen.  What were we thinking when we didn't get a picture of everyone together?????

Days of Activities

On Tuesday Wednesday Thursday and Friday we played and played.  Played golf (Ed lost in the Swapp Family Open for the first time)  Tom won.  Played tennis which became a bit frustrating for a number of reasons but fun.  Meanwhile the kids played at the various parks in the community.  We had a cookout at Wasatch State Park after a good hike up a nearby canyon.  The girls spent an afternoon at lunch and then went for a manicure/pedicure over in Park City.  We had a very fun time just the girls.

Some took time in Provo at BYU and seeing friends.  All in all we were busy and had a fun time together.  Friday was a hike to Timp Cave and lunch at the Purple Cow.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Marvelous Monday but Wet

On Monday, we all headed to Seven Peaks Water Park.  Got up early and packed our lunch, I think the adults were every bit as excited about the activity as the kids were.  We couldn't have had a more beautiful day.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Start of a Wild Wonderful Week

Our week started with a trip to the temple, which is the best start ever.  The boys and families were here.  It was so good of Mike and Gwen to drive over for the weekend.  That night we had a surprise birthday party for Madeline.  Sunday Ed and I spoke at church and Madeline and Ella played "Beautiful Savior" on their violin.  After a short visit with friends we headed for Midway.  We packed lunches and stopped on the Colorado River near Glenwood Springs.