We Seek After
These Things
Recently returned from serving the people of Honduras for 3 years

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful, Thanks and Thanksgiving!

Here in the throes of an accelerated time of missionary work in Honduras . . . our thoughts especially at this time of year turn to feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving.  Even though they don't officially celebrate our North American holiday of Thanksgiving . . . we're so grateful that for all our lives we have had at least one season to especially give thanks and focus on gratitude.

We find we can't pass through our lives each day, mixing and mingling and experiencing the many miracles of this incredible time without thoughts of gratitude passing through our minds on a continual basis.

We have so much to be grateful for . . . we try to express our gratitude to the many who fill our hearts each day with their service . . . and find that no words are adequate to express the gratitude we feel.  Our hearts certainly are filled to over flowing . . .

(while you're reading this little gratitude tour - we thought we'd take you on a tour of our recent visit to Guatemale for our Mission President Conference)

(a visit to Tikal - one of the largest ruin sites of the pre-columbian Mayan people located
in northern Guatemala.  Tikal was the power house of the ancient civilization and
the site dates back to before the 4th century B.C)


tikal 1

We are grateful for so much . . .

Our family - all of them! Those many who support in so many ways so we can be here serving!  Each of our wonderful children, their spouses, our parents and many brothers and sisters who shoulder extra burdens in their life so we can be here serving our Heavenly Father.

Each other - there are two of us here, supporting each other, lifting each other on a daily basis!

Our Assistants - What would we possibily do without their example, their hard work, inspiration and guidance on a daily basis.  We appreciate their unending cheerful countenances even through all the rough spots.

The Desters and the the Johns - our compatriots here in Honduras!  We lean on each other regularly and gain support in each of our different labors.

(We also felt so blessed to attend the temple there in Guatemala City
during our visit.  It's the longest time in our life that we have been unable
to visit the temple - as are all temples . . .  it was a beautiful sight!)

temple 1


Life's Comforts - Hot water, air conditioning, an amazing supermarket amidst the craziness of the culture, the availability of purified water.  All these things make our lives so much more comfortable and our labors less challenging.

The many helping with our up and quickly coming wedding!  - Many are contributing some large tasks and many many are assisting in small ways that are so meaningful to us!  We can't thank you enough for the worries you are taking from our minds . . . and our hearts!

Our friends and neighbors who are both mom and dad, neighbor, friend, counselor to Kelsie & Mike  - those who are always nurturing, caring, and keep a watchful eye for them.  And while were thinking . . . also those who love and support ALL our children in our absence as we know they are many also!


tikal 3
(Tikal is situated in the midst of an incredible jungle - we saw monkeys,
many tropical birds . . . but they were so far away in the tops
of the trees it was difficult to get photos!)

(this particular mayan temple site had a stairway that was created that led to
the top of the temple . . . it was pretty scary once you got up there!  You had
to watch your step - that was for certain!

Also - from this height you could see the other ruin sites peek through the jungle!)


Grandbabies - We are blessed by their laughter, spontaneous phone calls, new skills and language accomplishments.  Thank goodness for FACETIME, Skype, emails, Facebook, Instagram etc.  We manage to keep in contact frequently.

Missionaries who are obedient - are whole mission is blessed as our missionaries act with obedience and faith in their callings.

Our Medical team - both in our area (Guatemala) and in the States - for their frequent advice, concern, diligence and constant availability.  Thank you for helping us keep our missionaries healthy, safe and happy!

(if you look carefully here - you can see the trail/army of leaf cutting
ants, busy hauling away their hard work)



tikal 2
(as you can see, we had a little recreation during the lunch hour . . .)

Our Area Presidency - for providing both physical and spiritual nourishment, love and care to us!

The Mission Presidency Counselors / Secretary - You share our workload and bless the lives of the members in our mission through all your hard work, diligence, many many miles of travel and days and days away from home!

The Members - greet us warmly everywhere we go and make us feel like kings and queens.  We love your warm smiles, handshakes and hugs.

(Welcome to Antigua - a city in the Central highlands of Guatemala, famous for
it's Spanish Baroque type of architecture as well as some pretty amazing
ruins of the colonial churches)

antigua 2



Our Missionaries!!  Each one is special!

Prayers - on our behalf . . .  everyone . . . thank you.  They keep us safe and healthy and much blessed.

Our nurse specialist, Hna. Bennett -  - we would be so lost without her service!  Bless her for all her time, energy, knowledge and most of all patience with each missionary who thinks they have an emergency :)

Our Office Elders - we would crawl in a hole and die without you . . . seriously!  :)  But really, they somehow manage to accomplish all the Herculean tasks we lay at their doorstep . . . as they are never-ending and challenging!


jade 1
(Guatemala is also famous for the Jade it exports)

Zone Leaders - District Leaders - Trainers!  All our leadership here in the mission for your examples as you help all missionaries fulfill their purpose to invite, help, teach and share their gospel message.

Modern Technology - makes ALL THIS possible . . . everything from transfers, communications, blogging, photography, teaching, presentations - it's all a great blessing for sharing the gospel message.

Natures Bounty - beautifies of Honduras we see on the road every day

Stake Presidents - support and help with our missionaries! We treasure our relationships with you as we all work for the salvation of "almas".

Grateful for the safety of our missionaries daily!

Isla Florez
(One more stop - Isla Flores . . .)
Isla Flores Guatemala 2 Isla Flores Guatemala 1

And yes . . . we indeed
are blessed.

"And secondly, he doth arequire that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bbless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever . . ." 
-- Mosiah 2:24

Sunday, November 3, 2013

All Hallow's Eve - from here to there . . .

Just a quick glance into Autumn or Fall here in Central America.  Specifially, San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

And . . . actually as we look around . . . it's not much different from

Summer . . .

Just a few differetnt flowers in bloom, maybe a little more rain, or maybe a little less . . .

Here's a few of our recent photos of San Pedro Sula Honduras . . .

IMG_2940 kk
How many lucky horses get to wonder the beach
at will, and talk about a lovely view for a horse . . .

IMG_2987 kk
These were taken during a recent visit in Trujillo.
A small town on the coast, in the very farthest area that we have
missionaries currently in the misson.

IMG_2948 kk
Along the coast lines, you can find many of the Garifuna people.  The Garifuna are believed to have originated here in the mid 1600's as the intermixed and mingled descendants of a wrecked slave trader vessel from Africa.  They have many villages remaining throughout the 
northeastern coastal and island areas of Honduras, and other parts of Central America.

IMG_3008 kk

(Ever time I see this photo . . . I want to sing the Pioneer Children Sang . . . song :)

We didn't think we would be celebrating Halloween this year.  Most of the missionaries and people shared that they didn't really celebrate Halloween here.  And the Christmas decorations started to go up in the shopping areas and grocery stores about the beginning of October.  Every once in a while we saw some fun cookies or baked goods with a Fall / Autumn / Halloween colors or theme.

So we were actually delighted to get a little note on our front door saying trick or treaters would be gathering at a certain home.  Nevertheless we didn't know what to expect.  Fortunately we were prepared in the candy department since we regularly stock candy to share with missionaries, members, neighbors, friends etc.

Suddenly our home was bombarded with a melee of costumed little ones with many of their parents, and our neighbors in tow.  Norm wasted no time in inviting them ALL into the house . . . before you knew it, he was pulling out family photos, explaining our purpose in Honduras for the next three years, and sharing a message of the Temple.  Since many of them are aware of the new LDS Honduras Temple in Tegucigalpa, but don't really know what it is.

  Halloween SPSJust when we were missing all the little trick-or-treaters . . . Look who appeared at our door :)

So that is what Halloween looked like in Honduras for us!

And now . . . 
a little Halloween
from here to there.

From Denver - Colorado
Cory and Sara and our Jonny Cakes!

From Ohio
The Team Donovan

ohio halloween

(obviously didn't like trying on her new costume :)

ohio fall

And a little glimpse of
Kelsie and her future family to be . . .

She looks like she fits right in :)

And to Dustin and Cami - 
Hope you had a wonderful spooky Halloween.
Feel free to share some photos if you have some!

Loves to you all!!
 photo s_03.jpg  photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg  photo s_07.jpg  photo s_10.jpg