Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

As we have done so many times in the past we stopped at various apartments of Elders on our way to Duvergé to deliver supplies and mail but this time it was probably for the last time. As we drove I kept saying to myself, that’s interesting, I should take a picture and talk about it in my Mission Journal. I want to remember everything about our trips to Neyba and Duvergé but then I remembered… Oh ya, I did take a picture of that and I did write about it on the blog.

We went to Duvergé and attended Sacrament meeting with the members there first. The Elders had not told anyone that this was our last Sunday and they were very surprised to hear the news. Hna. Johnson was the second to the last speaker. She asked Elder Barrett to come to the front and translate for her. He did a very good job of translating. She got choked up a bit as she bid them all farewell and expressed her love and appreciation to the members of the branch. She concluded with her testimony in Spanish and she did a very good job with that too.

I was the concluding speaker. I spoke about the three purposes of the Saviors life. I took my comments from the General Conference talk by Carlos H. Amado of the Seventy in April conference April 2008, titled “Service, a Divine Quality”. I elaborated on the Savior’s third purpose which was to set the example to all of us in serving our fellow man. Something we all need to learn especially the good people of Duvergé & Neyba as they struggle to grow as a branch and fill positions of responsibility. I also concluded with my testimony and I expressed the love Hna. Johnson and I have for them all.

Next we attended the Sacrament meeting in Neyba and walked in during the final 20 minutes, just in time to be the last two speakers again. We did exactly the same thing in Neyba has we did in Duvergé. The only exception was that Elder Bates translated for Hna. Johnson. It was another tearful farewell for us. The good members of both branches have been a part of our lives for the past 7 months. It is very hard to leave them. We will really miss the members in both branches.

After Sacrament meeting we did the accounting and then had a PEC meeting with Elder Bates, Hno. Francisco Vasquez and Eliu Lebron. We will be leaving the branch in very capable hands. Elder Bates is a little worried though. He told me he called President Almonte yesterday and asked him what was going to happen to the leadership in the Branch. Pres. Almonte told him that next Sunday one of the counselors in the mission Presidency would be attending their Sunday services and be looking for someone to call as the new Branch President. Then he said, “If he doesn’t find anyone, you will be the new Branch President!” After the PEC meeting Elder Bates asked me if he could take the Branch President’s copy of “The General Handbook of Instructions” home with him to study. Yup… Elder Bates is a little worried.

But whoever the Lord chooses for the next Branch President will do a good job. Both branches are strong and growing. Most of the members are active and hard working. And once a man has the mantle of Branch President (or Bishop) placed on him he immediately starts to feel the spirit of the Lord acting in his life, directing the affairs of the Branch and the lives of the members. He also starts to feel the love of the members and feels the impact of their prayers on his behalf. For the last six months it has been an awesome experience for me to be Branch President for just these reasons.

After we left Neyba we went back to Duvergé to pickup Elder Jimenez and Elder Carrasco, the ZL’s, to take them to Tamayo were they will do splits this afternoon. And once again this will be that last time we get to do this. We will really miss our close association with all of the Elder in the Neyba Zone.

Back in Azua we invited the AP’s to eat with us again, like we did last week. We had ham steaks, Mmmm Goood. Yup… another “last time” for Hna. Johnson and I.

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