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.
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, February 4th at 9:30 a.m., I sent a detailed email to my 15 presidents of stakes and the district notifying them of the mission creation. At 10:00 a.m., we gathered the entire mission to the stake center next to the Veracruz Temple. We told them ahead of time, two days before, that it was a multi-zone conference, but did not tell them it would involve the entire mission. Because it was such short notice, the zone leaders were sure that Pres. Monson was coming, or Elder Holland, or some other "big name" such as Donny Osmond. (One of them, Elder Judd from Mesa, actually said that--I am almost sure that he was joking.) The assistants did nothing to deny nor verify. What the heck. Let the rumors run wild. One of the zone leaders called and reminded me that we are "buds" and asked me who was coming for real. I said, "Sis. Hansen and I." He responded, "Cool! I get it! It really is Pres. Monson!" The disappointment they must have all felt when only the two of us stepped out of the Toyota Sienna. Sigh . . . . . The attached photo is the only one we will ever have of the entire mission together, I am almost sure--unless, Pres. Monson comes.
Our mission conference was a great spiritual feast. Mom and I decided immediately after the Tuesday morning call with the Area Presidency that we needed to move quickly. In a meeting with the assistants an hour or two later, they agreed that we could do this in two days. I could not imagine giving this news to the missionaries, whom we love, via email or phone calls to the zone leaders. We needed to be face to face with all of them. Part of it was rumor control and to control "freaking out," and the rest was because we really wanted to look them in the eye and talk from the heart and by the Spirit.
So, we gathered at the temple, so to speak, took a picture, and went into the stake center. We sang "Called to Serve" and prayed. There was one announcement about a change in their email service (myldsmail.net). Then, the meeting was mine. The assistants had prepared a brief Powerpoint presentation. After I made some brief introductory comments about the establishment of the Church, we went through it slide by slide. The gasps! The excitement! The "What will happen to me?" in their eyes! Then, we sang "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go." Powerful. Then, I had the privilege of sharing some things I written in the previous email and some more personal which I will not put on the Internet, but they are in the family letter of February 7th. Mom shared her testimony and heartfelt thoughts. After that we opened the meeting to questions for quite a while. It was a very valuable time to process all this very quickly and under the influence of the Spirit.
At the end of the questions and answers, I talked with the missionaries about where we are in the mission, the improvements we have made in the last 7 months (we have raised the success rate by more than 40%) and we talked about where need to go in the next 5 months. We closed with prayer sent them to the cultural hall to eat Little Caesar's Pizza. Fortunately, it was all gone by the time Mom and I made it back there and we had to go out to eat.