Sunday, June 29, 2008

Greenest Greenies in the Field

On June 25th, 2008, our family entered into a chapel near the MTC, listened to a short program, and said goodbye to Elder Layton for the next two years. There were many emotions going through all of our heads and hearts, but the two that dominated were seemingly diametrically opposed to one another. We were excited for Elder Layton to embark on this journey, but we were also very sad to let him go.

On the other hand, Elder Layton seemed to be all smiles. While his sister and littlest brother hung on and on, he seemed to have only one thing on his get on with it all. Soon enough, he was walking to his left and we to our right out opposite doors. As we left the building, we were able to catch one final glimpse of Elder Layton along with the other new missionaries boarding the bus that would take them to the Provo MTC. So, this call to serve has officially begun.

The name tag looks good, doesn't it? Okay, so, he's got a dork dot. But you're only this green once.

The family just to the rear and over his right shoulder was bringing their son to the MTC to begin his mission the same day and going to the same mission as Elder Layton.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lima: Thousands of Manhole Covers Stolen!

My Dad wanted me to post something on the blog so here it goes ;)....

One of the most important things a missionary can do is to love and serve the people in his/her mission. When safety issues arise for those people you can be sure that missionaries are the first to worry. Check out this news article from Peru:

"There has been a significant increase in the theft of manhole covers in Lima", reported SEDAPAL, one of Peru's largest water companies. The water company has expressed its concern over the thousands of thefts not only because they will have to replace them but because the open manholes are extremely dangerous to citizens living near them. According to reports issued by SEDAPAL, 2,224 manhole covers were taken in 2006, while 2,597 were stolen the following year. "

"The most alarming rate is in 2008, when 1,530 covers were taken in the first five months of the year. The Lima-based water company affirmed that if theft continued at this rate, over 3,000 manhole covers will have been stolen by the end of the year. The majority of the iron covers where stolen in Lima's northern most districts such as Carabayllo, Comas, Independencia, Los Olivos, Puente Piedra, San Martín de Porres and Ventanilla. "

"For example, the manhole covers from the first to the sixth block of Micaela Bastidas Avenue in Comas were stolen in one day last week between 4 and 5 in the morning. According to SEDAPAL, thieves take them because they are made of iron and can be sold on the black market. The company has reported that it is replacing stolen covers with ones made of concrete or fiberglass." (Ruez, Israel J, Living in Peru, June 2008)

I'll look more into this matter after I'm in Peru of course...

So about the mission. I'm hoping to work harder than I've ever worked in my life. It's also going to be the greatest blessing I've had so far in my life. I still have so much to learn about the restored gospel, but I think that this will be the direction I need. It's very hard for me to pick up everything and leave. I'll miss my family and friends so much... and my girlfriend Andrea because of how close we are.

On a lighter note, I'm hoping to be spiritual, tan, and Peruvian when I get back! There will be ups and downs but I'm striving and praying to have an energy that will carry me through. I'm looking forward to teaching, serving, and loving the people. If anything, I'll try to save them from the manholes.

I'll be back in two years

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Time Draws Near

Last Sunday, June 15th, 2008, Sean spoke in Sacrament Meeting. He spoke on "Faith of Our Fathers", since it was Father's Day. Also speaking were Sean's sister, Briana and his good friend, Nate Rau. The primary sang a couple of Father's Day songs between the speakers.

Speaking of Nate, he left last Tuesday for Provo to begin his mission to Rosario, Argentina. When Sean enters the MTC, he will be one of several very good friends of Sean who have recently or will soon begin missionary service. We're grateful for the friendship and examples of Jesse Mckibben (Mexico), Logan Grow (Argentina), Jacob Simpson (Brazil), Nate Rau (Argentina) and Brian Briggs (Brazil). In addition, he has been good friends with Gabe West, who is will be serving a mission in his own way and time from his wheelchair. We're also very grateful for involved priesthood leaders (in particular a great Bishop and Stake President), teachers, seminary instructors, ward members and friends who all have had powerful influences on Sean and all of these boys.

Day after tomorrow, we leave with Sean for Provo. We'll do a few things (a museum, visit temple square, etc.) before dropping him off. Unfortunately, we're not going to have the MTC experience because there is a new mission president conference going on that day. So we will drop Sean off at a nearby chapel instead.

Regarding the Ohio Prophecy...Chris received his call. He's going to San Diego, California. In calculating the directions, I failed to add in the phenolic phactor, which of course, would redirectionalize the result to the tune of about 90 degrees to the counterclockwise position. So, it makes perfect sense. Serving in Southern California, Chris will not likely come home a Michigan fan but could come home a PAC 10 fan, so things are looking up.

We're all so excited for Chris, and know that he will be a great missionary. He's been prepared by parents who have strong testimonies and love the Lord.