Actually, it is not for 1000 days. It is just that 3 years times 365 days plus June 27 through June 30, 2008 equals 1098 days, and that is way too cumbersome to convert into a blog headline. Futhermore, our release date will not be determined until May or June of 2011. Therefore, 1000 Days sounded just about right, more or less. Having noted all that, we are humbled and thrilled (Pres. Uchtdorf would refer to the feeling as "joyfully overwhelmed") about having this marvelous opportunity to serve in La Mision Mexico Veracruz.

Con amor,
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen

Friday, November 13, 2009

Elder Eloy Solano Sosa. Some months ago the elders in Ciudad Isla called me and begged me to come meet him. They told me that he was a great guy who joined the Church with his wife a little over a year. She developed a fatal heart disease. I don't understand if it was fatal because their was no local treatment, no money for the treatment, or if it was hopeless. That aside, Eloy and his wife decided to be sealed in the Veracruz Temple and did that. Two weeks later she passed away. Eloy really wanted to serve a mission. Two problems. He was already 25 and he had been married. But, we went out and met him. What a great guy! So, I determined to plead for an exception to policy through the First Presidency. After time we got the word and he was approved to serve.

Elder Sosa was called to Uruguay, Montevideo. He had no money. But, he had a little pineapple machete. So, he went to work in the pineapple fields of Isla. He harvested pineapple for 14 hours a day, six days a week, to earn 120 pesos a day so that he could get ready to serve his mission. When it was time for him to fly to South America, his branch president loaded Elder Solano and his whole non-member family into the back of his little pickup and drove 3 hours with them into the mission office so that I could set apart the missionary. It was really something special to meet with them and set him apart.

You can see that they are far from wealthy. But, they are humble and the missionaries continue to work with them. They are trying to help the younger couple get married so they can be baptized.

One of the assistants, Elder Barrio, knows Eloy because he started his mission in Isla. He also knows the financial situation. He gave Eloy his own digital camera. Now he has none, but he knew that Eloy would never be able to buy a camera. "Besides," Elder Barrio told me, "I am going home soon and I already have lots of pictures." Mom learned of this and hurriedly contributed her new and unused USB memory chip so that Eloy can backup his photos. We have tried to help Eloy a little bit financially, but he is not very good at receiving.

He gave me a significant keepsake. He brought me his machete which he used to harvest pineapple and finance his mission preparations. It is hanging in the office in between my picture of Joseph Smith translating from the plates and the Lehi Stone which Dad gave me a few years ago.


Linda Doll said...

OK - that is definitely one of your best stories yet! (Sniff, sniff) Hurray for Mission Presidents who see the need for exceptions, a Church which bends when appropriate, exceptional missionary spirits housed in humble bodies, and giving missionaries and (M/P wives) who fill needs without being asked. Some great lessons in that story.

Sarah said...

Aww, I miss Eloy. I remember when elder Eduardo and I took his mission calling to Isla. It was a great experience. -JB