Tuesday, January 14, 2014

AND . . . it was a VERY Good Year . . . 2013

Well . . .  We don't really know where that year went . . . it seemed to be over in a flash . . .

(Edited note - we didn't plan on this at the time, but this is actually part 1 of a three part series that is based on Mike and Kelsie's wedding here in Honduras and the reception back in the United States.  You'll find part two - The Ultimate Destination Wedding, and Our Family Story - part 3 if you click the links.)


At this time of year in January of 2013 . . . we were just getting used to the idea that our life was about to change dramatically with our new calling to serve a mission in a Spanish speaking country.  We had just sold our family home of 17 years . . . a huge change in our life . . . we had remodeled one home, remodeled an apartment that we then moved into . . . built a new townhouse in Highland UT, and moved again . . . and before we even got unpacked . . .  received a calling from the Church of Jesus Christ to serve far away from family, friends, our new home . . . for 3 years.

And it has been an amazing year.  We're grown in leaps and bounds in ways that we never thought possible.

And we sure know how to end the year in a flurry . . .

As Kelsie, our youngest and last of our unmarried children became engaged to be married about one week before we left for Honduras.  Much to our surprise and delight, she and Mike decided they would travel to Honduras to be married in the Tegucigalpa Temple.  The newest temple, just dedicated in March of this year.  We weren't sure it could actually be done . . . there were a few unusual complications and arrangements that needed to be made before this could actually come to pass.

As the year progressed, we were so blessed to have everything fall into place for them to travel to Honduras, along with other family members for this wonderful event.  We are so grateful for the many people who offered support and help to not only plan a wedding long distance, but who served, and assisted us in a million different ways, some big, some small, yet each of upmost importance to us . . . so that all could be accomplished, and we could still dedicate ourselves to our 216 missionaries every minute possible  :)

And the time arrived  . . . and they came . . .

And it was WONDERFUL!

The Fun begins . . .

Our family members arrived on TRANSFER day . . . so they got to meet our missionaries right away as we had a dinner planned for our departing missionaries.





We all enjoyed Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu with fruit, veggies, rolls and rice pudding for dessert.

Almost immediately the festivities began . . . and they continued on throughout the holiday season.  What a blessing the family is . . .

We know that the gospel blesses families . . . and we are so grateful we can be family forever!  Just this temporary separation physically while we serve in Central America only confirms the importance of forever families, and the blessings of the temple!


The Sights of Honduras!

We set off immediately to share the bounteous beauty of this country we call home currently.  Our first day we headed to Pico Bonito for the day.  A National Rainforest located on the Northeast coast not quite to La Ceiba.  They have a lovely restaurant and plenty of trails to hike to enjoy the beauty of the area.






(Their restaurant is fabulous by the way, and we had the place all to ourselves.  Ooooh! Delicious!)









After a delicious lunch and enjoying the many kinds of beautiful hummingbirds flying about visiting all the different feeders on the patio . . . Norm, Kristin and Kim set off on a hiking adventure with a native guide front the forest.

Just as we were about to leave a storm moved in and the rain began in torrents.  Not to be deterred from our hike, we grabbed some umbrellas and headed off into the forest in the rain!!






Experiencing SanTiago . . .

During our period of service here in the San Pedro Sula East Mission, we attend a variety of Sunday meetings each week, hardly ever attending in the same branch more than twice as we have missionaries serving in so many different areas, we love to visit as many as possible and meet their investigators.  But we knew we wanted to bring all our family to Sacrament Meeting in Santiago.  A lovely little town not too far outside of San Pedro Sula.

You can probably tell from the photos why this church is one of our favorites to visit!






(Here we are with the Branch President - and his family! A wonderful family!
The branch had just returned from their first temple trip, which they had been preparing for, for quite some time.  The branch president and his wife were newly sealed in the temple!  It was wonderful to hear all their sweet testimonies about their experience there - they invited nearly our whole family to participate and share their temple testimonies also!)





(There is no more beautiful place in the world to hold a Sunday School Class!)





And of course we were happy to introduce everyone to our amazing Elders serving in Santiago!

Elders Royer, Christopherson, Miranda, and Benevides.





On the Way to the Temple - 

Bright and early Monday morning we found ourselves in the car and on the road to Tegucigalpa, after miraculously finding the cell phone of Mike's dad Larry in the pouring rain in the parking lot of a store we stopped at on the way, and picking up our spare tire that was being repaired, and a stop at the local bakery for breakfast items . . . . we were on our way!

The weather was rainy and overcast the whole way . . . but fortunately not too many adventures on the road.  We did stop at this fun market to take a look at their handicraft items.








It was beautiful driving through the mountainous countryside mixed with 
tropical jungle . . . the highway was one of the best roads we have seen here in Honduras!





Finally we arrived at the beautiful Tegucigalpa Temple!




With it's incredible views of the city of Tegucigalpa - capitol city of Honduras.





That night we had a family dinner planned . . .

Kelsie and Mike wanted to experience a traditional family dinner of Honduras for the evening meal before their wedding the next day.  It would be our only opportunity to have everyone enjoy a family dinner together . . .

I think we met their expectations . . .

at Asado - El Gordo - it doesn't look fancy . . . but the food was just what we hoped for!










I think we were a little sad to realize this was our last night with our youngest daughter, our only unmarried child . . . tomorrow . . . all that would change.


(stay tuned for part two . . . beginning with  . . .

The Temple . . . 

2 comments:

Craig and Lori said...

It looks so fun!! Congrats to everyone :)

Sue said...

Loved this post. You are blessed, my friend.

=)