Saturday, May 24, 2008

Arrival in Mexico

Very early Wednesday, May 21 we left the MTC for a rainy drive to the Salt Lake International Airport. We rode in a shuttle with 6 young elders and one young sister, all very excited. The driver was a fun young man who had served a mission in Canada. The first thing we did after we lugged all of our bags into the airport was to weigh them again. We knew we would have to pay extra for two of them but when we weighed them on the airport scale, all of them were 2 pounds overweight. Over 50 lbs you have to pay a fee, over 70 lbs you have to pay a double fee. We had 2 suitcases @ 52 lbs and 2 suitcases @ 72 lbs. SO, we started taking things out of the suitcases and putting them in our carry-ons, what a fun job that was. Dad ended up with shoes, and extra books in his backpack, I had our i-pod station in my tote bag. Anyway when we weighed in at the counter the girl said what great packers we were because each of our cases was exactly on (if she only knew!!). The flights were on time and uneventful other than being very full.
We arrived on schedule and made it through customs easily. Elder Garvin, the director of the visitors’ center and his wife were there to meet us. With them were two elders to drive the large van and help with the luggage. The driver was the nephew of Rick and Karen Feinauer, small world. He was a great driver which is no small feat with the traffic in Mexico City.

When we arrived at our apt the elders helped us lug our luggage to our 2 floor apt. The Garvin’s had put fruit, juice etc in our fridge and had us up to their apt for soup and bread. Since arriving all of the couples have come to visit and we have an invitation to Sunday dinner at the doctor’s apt. The Garvin’s took us shopping at WalMart and Sam’s yesterday and we got all stocked up.
Our apartment is nice. We have a small kitchen equipped with microwave, crockpot, and all the needed items (no dishwasher but Dad is good at that). We have a small porch-like room off the kitchen with washer and dryer and a few shelves. We have a dining area attached to our living room, the living room is quite a good size and we have 3 bedrooms, one is set up as an office. The bathroom is nice, beautiful tile, but no tub. Oh well, I didn’t really expect to have a tub. It is pretty sterile looking right now but we will start adding a bit of color and interest to it soon.

Today was our first day at the center. Our duties are mostly administrative; the young sisters do all the tours. They are darling and it will be so much fun working with them. The center is really beautiful and we are very excited. We met with the mission president today, which was really nice. We do not report to him directly, but to Elder Garvin, but it was very nice to get to know him and I am sure we will see him from time to time.

We are very happy to be here and know it will be a wonderful experience. The spirit is so strong in the mission field it is a joy to be serving. I even bore my testimony today in Spanish in front of the young sisters in our morning devotional, now that is a test of faith.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Today we completed a very body wearying but spirit enlightening week at the MTC. We have learned so much and met so many amazing people; it has truly been a wonderful experience.
Last week we were in general training, learning to give discussions, practicing with people from the community playing roles and practicing with each other. It was really quite fun and it is amazing how strong the spirit can testify, even when role playing. Many of the instructors were young, returned missionaries and they were delightful. We also spent one hour in the Referral Center where calls from all around the country come in responding to TV or print ads regarding the church. I received one call from a lady in Massachusetts who wanted the DVD, The Lamb of God, and wanted missionaries to come to her home. She also gave us the name of her friend to have the missionaries call. Neat! Dad took Spanish language calls and spoke with a couple of different people.

On Saturday morning we went to the Provo Temple with others from our group. After doing a session we stayed and did 54 family sealings. In the afternoon we went with another couple for an extended trip to the mall. Sunday we went to Church, a broadcast of the Spoken Word and then RS and Priesthood. We enjoyed the meetings. Sunday evening Pat, Monique and Braxton stopped by on their way back to California. We had a good visit and Pat brought us a fancy internet phone that will make it easy for us to call home.

This week we were in training only with missionaries from our group going to visitors’ centers or Church historic sites. We learned a great deal about some of the sites and that was really interesting. We were able to give two presentations about the Mexico City Visitors’ Center and that was fun. Of course, it was in English and we didn’t know what we were talking about but it was still fun.
We are very glad we will be heading out at 6 a.m. tomorrow. The week has been good but we are anxious to get to Mexico City. We will miss the food (the quality and variety are good, but not having to cook it or wash dishes is wonderful). We will also miss the other missionaries in our group. Their commitment is so great. There is one couple who met in the Denver Temple where they both worked as ordinance workers. They recently married and blended a family of 11 children and 30 grandchildren. There was another couple who has 10 children and were in the MTC at the same time as their youngest son. He will go to Hong Kong for two years and they left yesterday for Uruguay for two years. One sister from Mexico is going as a single sister to Columbia. She has only been a member of the church for 4 years and has a very humble existence, but I have never been around anyone with such a strong spirit. You just feel her testimony all the time. Her companion is a sister from Washington, divorced 8 years ago with 3 children and the ninth grandchild due in a couple of months. She cares for her mother. She felt such a prompting to serve a mission but didn’t know how she could leave. With her bishop’s help and encouragement she received a call to serve in Australia and will travel there next week.

We are so grateful for this opportunity, for the love and support of our wonderful family. We love you all so much and want you to know of our testimony. We both know the things we will be teaching are true and so important. We are thrilled with the opportunity to share the gospel with the Mexican people and know what joy it can bring to their lives. We are packing up and will leave early in the morning. We will update you soon from South of the Border, Down Mexico Way.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Entering the MTC

Sunday was our final day before entering the MTC. It was also Mother’s Day. Patrick and Monique made a last minute trip to see us off and be here with their mothers on Mother’s Day. It was so good to see them and our cute little Braxton. It was also good they came because upon arriving at 1:30 am Sunday morning they discovered that the carpet downstairs was wet. Water had seeped through the foundation into the house. Without their visit we may have left for our
mission with the carpet soaking wet.

Church Sunday was nice. It was fun to have the chance to say goodbye to our friends. After the meetings they had a "linger longer" and served cake in our honor (just kidding. It was for Mother’s Day but it was nice).

At 4:30 Sunday afternoon Pres. Hinckey, our stake president, came to the house to set us apart for our mission. Besides members of our family, Carol and Bill were also with us. Roy joined us for dinner and it was a fun dinner. Pat and Monique left about 7:30 and we completed our last minute packing.

Monday we were up early to say goodbye to Julia and Sadie. Sadie was sad and wouldn’t give us hugs. Julia was sad too and we shed a few tears. Bill and Carol arrived at 9:00 to drive us to the MTC. We somehow got all the luggage and ourselves into the car and made our way to Provo for the venture to begin. Bill and Carol accompanied us to our room. Carol helped me unpack, make the bed etc. We felt like we were in college again and enjoyed some good laughs. It was hard to say goodbye but we will see them once again before we leave.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In the MTC

Yes, it is true. You heard it here. After 6 months of waiting my mom and dad went in yesterday. I spoke to them on the way there, and they were shoved in the car with Carol and suitcases everywhere. Then they called last night and were exhausted but happy! Hopefully soon you will get an update from them!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another Farewell

It was so great on Monday to take an overnight trip with Carol to Logan. The weather was perfect and all the Spring flowers and blossoms were in bloom. Logan is such a beautiful valley and we had such a great time. It was so wonderful and yet poignant to be able to say goodbye to her 92 year old mother. He mother's health has deteriorated so much since I last saw her but she was happy to see me and always makes me feel so loved. We had a great visit. Our trip home on Tuesday was quite exciting as we had a horrible blow out on the freeway. The car started shaking and all of a sudden there was a loud bang and the tire was gone. Thank goodness for Carol's good driving, AAA, and Carol's husband Bill. We made it home safely and added another good memory.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Road to a Mission ~ Part 4

The Farewells

The mental and physical part of preparing for our mission has been going on for some time. The planning, the purchasing, the organizing and the packing have all been very challenging and tiring. The Spanish study for me is ongoing and will be for sometime I am sure. However, the most difficult thing is the emotional part of telling everyone goodbye.

This started with Kathy’s family visiting us at the end of March. It was fun to have them here to celebrate Easter and my birthday with us. We went to the zoo, This is the Place Memorial Park, out for a birthday dinner and had a great time. However when they left and we knew we may not see them for 18 months it was very emotional.
The Church History Museum ~ Josh, Sadie, Sam, Noah, and Gabe...This is the Place Gabe, Noah, Sam, and Josh

Sugar House Park....The whole family

The next visits were with Patrick’s and Heather’s families in California. Patrick made it possible for us to fly down and spend two days with the DelHoyos and two days with them. With Heather we were able to go walking, swimming, and to a beautiful arboretum. Again, when Dad and I left Heather and the kids at Descanso Gardens, it was really hard to say goodbye.
Lunch and swimming

Us with Heather...........Ella, Elder Foley, Christian, Sister Foley, and Hadley at Descanso Gardens

We then went to Pats where we were able to spend some fun time with their family. We all went out to celebrate Ember’s birthday and that was great. Ember is a very cute 8 year old. On Sunday we were able to go to their ward which we always enjoy. Then Monique made a wonderful dinner and it was off to the airport. Again it is so hard to think of not seeing them for so long. Braxton is our youngest grandchild and will certainly change the most while we are gone.

Swimming the kids.....Watching Jordan's YW Auction

The temple
The next farewell was our official “farewell”. This was held on April 20th. We found out just before that time that the bishopric was going to be changed that day and we would be sharing the meeting with them. We have truly loved our bishopric and have worked closely with them in our callings so we were fine with sharing our time. The meeting was packed and although we knew it was everyone’s curiosity about the new bishopric, we could flatter ourselves and say how many people came to hear us talk. Julia and Sadie were the only representatives from our children and grandchildren but two of Randy and Janet’s boys were there, Mike and Jeff. Mike’s darling family was there and Carol and Bill and Monique’s parents. Our bishop Kevin Cahoon gave a very touching testimony as did his darling wife Jeri. The new bishop is Jesse Fox who has been a counselor to Kevin and will make such a wonderful bishop. He also bore a sweet testimony.

Larry and I both spoke on service. I spoke more on serving through callings in the church and Larry spoke of ways seniors can serve. After the meeting all the family and Carol and Bill joined us and we had a fun lunch at the house. It was a good meeting but again it is hard to look out at all the people that have been so involved in our lives for so many years and think of not seeing them for so long. For Larry it was very special because his first missionary farewell 47 years ago was from the same pulpit.
Sister and Elder Foley................The kid table~ Sam, Harvey, and Sadie

Jeff Jones (Nephew) with Carol and Bill (best friends), Kate, Oliver, Helena, and Mike Jones (nephew and family)

Roy (brother-in-law) ......The Spread
Sunday the 27th of April we left Salt Lake in the truck and began a drive to Missouri to leave our truck and say good-bye to the Sean Foley family. We arrived Monday afternoon and that night after a wonderful dinner we went to Sage’s soccer game with all of the family. Tuesday the kids stayed out of school and Sean stayed home from work and we went to the zoo. That is all of us but Ryan. Ryan had a science fair he had to go to in St. Josephs so we had to go without him. He was missed. The Kansas City Zoo is laid out by regions of the world. We saw a lot of interesting animals. It was a great day and we really got our walking in. That night we went to dinner and Ryan was able to be with us then. We said goodbye to the kids that night, except Sage who we saw in the morning for some more good hugs. After the kids went to school we went with Vivian into Sean’s office at the Federal Reserve Bank. It is a brand new facility. He took us on an interesting tour and we had lunch with him there. Then it was good-bye to Sean and Vivian took us to the airport where we had our farewell with her.

Emily, Brock, Branden, Sean, Vivian......Branden, Brock, and Sean.......Sage

Emily.........Elder and Sister Foley

Next we flew to Portland. Shannon picked us up at the airport and took us home to a great dinner she and Kenya had prepared. It was really good to see them and even Chase was glad to see Grandma and Grandpa. The next day Kenya went to school and Shannon had to work so Kathy drove in to get us and we snuck in an extra visit with the Duffins. We had a restful afternoon and quiet dinner. The next day the kids were not in school and we went to the outlet mall then on a long hike (walk) at Champoeg Park. It was so fun. Gabe chose not to come because of his allergies, and Josh didn’t love all the walking, but the rest of us had a great time. After we went home and rested, Shannon and Kenya came and picked us up and we went back to their house and out to dinner. The next day Kathy and the family came to Shannon’s and we all went to a street market in downtown Portland and then to the Japanese gardens. It was a beautiful day and the time we spent together was so great. It again was not easy to say goodbye but we know what we are doing is what we are suppose to be doing and it will benefit our whole family.
Josh, Sam, and Noah....Noah and Grandma...... Sam and Grandpa

Josh and Grandma........Kenya and Shannon

We are nearing the date now. We enter the MTC on May 12th. We still have some hard farewells ahead of us. It will be hard to say goodbye to Julia and Sadie. They are the only ones left in Utah and we see them so often. It will be an adjustment on both sides for us to be gone. It will also be hard to say goodbye to Roy. He has been such a part of our family and since Diane’s death and Randy and Janet leaving, we have been his family. We will miss him. And speaking of Randy and Janet, we will really miss them. They have been on their mission since January of 2007. We will leave in May for our mission and they will return from theirs in June. It will be such a long time before we will see them.

It will also be very hard for me to say goodbye to Carol. She has been my closest friend for over 40 years. She was with me when I married and as my family has grown. She was even with me in the delivery room when Shannon was born. I was with her in the ER when her heart stopped beating. With our husbands we have had wonderful trips including trips to England and to France. I talk to her everyday and it will be very hard to say goodbye for so long. Tomorrow I will go with her to Logan and say goodbye to her mother. We will stay overnight and enjoy our last long talk. Then next Monday she and Bill will be the ones to deliver us to the MTC.