Dear family and friends,
We are very grateful for the dedication and love that your missionary has for the Savior to serve a full-time mission and accept their calling to the Guatemala Coban Mission. We are very pleased to inform you that your missionary has arrived to the field and is selflessly serving the wonderful people of Guatemala as a representative of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
The mission is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and privilege that your missionary has chosen to pursue. The innumerable blessings, temporally and spiritually, that come from these many months of service will be poured out upon your missionary, your family, and most of all, the people of Guatemala. As they serve, their testimony and knowledge will grow immensely, and also their love for their family and Christ. We thank you, and the Lord thanks you, for the wonderful support and love you have for your missionary. (by Elder Nicholas Brown, Idaho)
Thank you for helping your sons and daughters to follow encouragement to "catch the wave", it is good to note that waves bring ebb and flow--comings and goings.
In the MTC or CCM, elders and sisters learn to invite others to come unto Christ, to receive the blessings of gospel living by personal change, exercising of faith, commitment to principles of sound living, and perseverance.
They learn to listen, to love and lift people rather than teach lessons.
near a remarkable edifice, a place of love and beauty
where days before building of new temples, patrons traveled up to 18 hours to attend.
Missionaries are chauffered from Guatemala City (city of 1.2 million in south central Guatemala) to Cobán (2nd largest city, population 250,000; 136 miles northwest, in central Guatemala)
(shown directly above, experimental gardens begun by German immigrants)
As the GPS may say: "You have arrived!"
Looking out and beyond the office...
Meet our new president and his wife (from the Midwest US and Guatemala, respectively; they met in the Peace Corps, raised their family in the States and later returned to Guatemala to create water systems and assist in Guatemala City to organize church operations throughout Central America.)
They bid missionaries a fast farewell as some travel up to six hours away to begin life as missionaries in a town from Peten in the North or to Estor, nearly to Lake Isabel on the eastern side of Guatemala.
We celebrate ebb and flow of outgoing and incoming Elders and Sisters from Honduras to Bolivia, from Texas to Logan,
Personal interviews happen initially and then quarterly with each missionary. Each has one on one time individually with President Curtiss, Sister Curtiss. Later, they will also meet with the two assistants, where they are encouraged in their personal growth, desires to serve well, get along with companions. Sister Curtiss gives them a study assignment to prepare and one or two will teach other missionaries during future zone conference.
As we watch them come, the same week we witness deep, hard to release bonds that flow with those who have served, loved, and have to leave.
Handfuls come in and handfuls go home in the space of a couple days. Each has a personal visit with president, time to remember miracles, defining moments, and prepare for future choices.
With smiles and tears...
how sweet it is, to confirm that shared goals and common trials bring long-lasting bonds. "Till we meet...till we meet, till we meet at Jesus' feet!" goes beyond blended voices in Cobán, with arms extending outward to circle wards, stakes and temples afar...to embrace families at home, ready to lift up textbooks and future callings as ward missionaries, visiting teachers, brothers, sisters, and friends.
"Hoorah for Israel!"
And we stay, poised to run the race
to hold our "baton"* do our part, and hope our goings (and comings) will bring the joy and heart stirrings that we felt these past few days.
*See this link for notes of an "eyebrow singe"ing MTC address of 8 October, 2000 to Brazilian missionaries-- about doing well, doing our part in our carrying of the "baton" in preparing, serving, and returning from our missions--inspiring and motivating--message: "You are loved, prayed for, honored--you must rise to your position...stay true, and share your stories in generations to come."