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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This is El Paraíso, Paradise. It is quite remote, almost primitive. There is no grocery store, but a couple of abarrote stores where you can buy the essentials--Coke and chips. There is not a real town square, very rare for Mexico. There is no pharmacy, but there is a veterinarian and vet supply shop. Good enough. It is jungly and a dengue fever zone--all of southern Mexico is a dengue fever zone. The branch is very small with an attendance of 15-18 each week. There is no cell phone service for miles. There is no internet cafe for the missionaries to write home each week. They will live in a small cement house behind a bigger cement house. Neither have a toilet or shower. There is a community setup kind of in between the buildings, but it is private and clean. The picture shows zone leaders Elder Reyes and Moyar walking along a path to find the Relief Society President.

The Paraiso Branch has been in business for a long time and was once strong enough that the Church approved a building to be constructed. The members began on that project about 22 years ago. The town priest stirred up the locals against the Church. They told the members to stop building. The members continued. The opposition forces rallied and came to the property armed with clubs and threatened to kill the branch president. They stopped, but appealed to a higher authority. After a short time, the mission president, I think, came to town with a letter signed by the governor declaring the building project to be legal, reminding the pueblo of religious freedom, and demanding that they leave the Mormons at peace. The town thumbed their nose at all of that and continued with their threats. The building project stopped and was never revitalized.

There is a small metal building on the property where they meet, but the formal chapel has yet to be constructed.

Eight or nine years ago some missionaries came to town. One was named Petersen. The sisters we spoke with didn't recall the name of the Mexican missionary. The missonaries had lists of membership records. They began to work with the branch and found that about fifteen young people, who thought they were members and were all very active, were not baptized and confirmed according to the records of the Church. So, one day, they were all baptized together in the nearby baptismal font--the river. Some time after that the missionaries left. Now, years later, on April 6th, Elder Taylor from Weed, CA and Elder Rodriguez Salinas will go and reopen the area. This will be quite an adventure.

No comments: