Monday, June 5, 2017

The Merida Mexico Temple Trip in Just Over 24 Hours

I have told Julie since we got our mission call that I wanted to make
the Temple Trip with the local members.  There is no Temple in
Belize but we were given permission to accompany one of our
Institute teachers that was going to the Merida, Mexico Temple
for the first time.  There were several others from our home
Ward that were also going for the first time so it became a
special excursion for us.

Even though there was a rented bus leaving Belize City at 5:00 pm,
Julie and I decided to meet the members in Corozal near the 
Mexico border.  That way we would have our own car and be able to
stay a couple of nights after getting back so we could attend an
Institute class on Sunday afternoon and a Seminary class in
Corozal at 5:30 am on Monday morning.

The bus arrived only 45 minutes late in Corozal.  After a 15 minute
ride we were at the Belize/Mexico border.  The first stop was to pay
US$ 20 each to leave Belize and get our exit stamp in our passports.

Then after a 5 minute bus ride we had to take everything we brought
with us and start the process of entering Mexico.  Getting all our
passports stamped took about 30 minutes.

Once through immigration we had to wait another 20 minutes for the
officer to show up that needed to check all our bags for security.

It was only then that we realized that the other bus, for the Mexican
portion of the trip, had not understood the meeting time so we 
patiently waited for another hour.

Happily on the bus...

we settled in.

Edith and Stuart Barton  had asked Julie and I to be their escorts
in the Temple.

My watch said 3:45am when we stopped for a break.

Not knowing when we would have a chance to eat again...

we joined in.

A lot of the youth go to do baptisms.

A couple of families even take their little children so they get in
to the custom of "going" to the Temple.

4:42 am Belizean time is 5:42 am in Mexico.

So we only had a 20 minute wait for the Temple to open.

It was nice to have a place to wait out of the drizzling rain.

Our friends needed Temple clothing so we had to walk around the
block to the Distribution Center.

Sister Delma Swift and Brother Marcos of Orange Walk are
veterans at attending the Temple.

Stuart (baptized in 1983) and Edith Barton went for the first time.

Julie and I were so happy to have made the trip.  We were able to
help the Bartons and Sister Tracy Perez through for the first time.
We left Merida at 1:00 pm and made it back to Corozal about
6:30 pm.

Some of the other members still had another 5 hours of bus ride to
get home.  Their enthusiasm for Temple work and their willingness
to spend 24 hours to get there and back is inspiring.  They truly
understand the importance of the work...not only for those that have
passed on, but for the increase of spiritual power in their own lives.

Our members that live in western Belize spend the better part of
4 days to make the trip to the Guatemala City Temple.
That is next on our list!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mayan History at a Stone's Throw

Belize has so many Mayan ruins
that today's civilization is never too far away from them.

In this case, just a mile from the main cross-country highway.

The river crossing is at the highway's edge...

and then less than a mile to this.

The "Castillo" (Castle) is the second highest Mayan structure in Belize.

The panorama from up top was impressive.

You have to love the easy access.

Cahal Pech, another ruin, is actually in the city of San Ignacio
and only 1/4 mile off the main highway. 

Smaller structures but ...

more of them.

People wonder why the steps are so steep, especially
when the Mayans were only about 4 1/2 feet tall.

It is assumed so you will ascend slowly,
almost on hands and knees in humility and reverence.

We loved the serenity.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

"where two or three are gathered together in my name...there I will be in the midst of them" D&C 6:32

The love and power of Christ are present no matter where
the faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints meet.

Their rooms are versatile...

as chapels for Sacrament meetings...

or classrooms.

One end of a room may be the kitchen and classroom...

and the other end the baptistery.

Most of the buildings are probably not much bigger than
our houses in the USA...

but they allow the members too rejoice
in the glory of the Gospel.

The surroundings may be humble...

but the Spirit

can always be felt inside.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the same

no matter where it is taught...

(No standing in the hallways during Sunday
School classes in this building)

or in what ever language.

Glad to be a soldier in His army
and accompanied by my wife in the work.

What a beautiful and humble little church;
and I suspect it was a very sincere place of devotion in its day.

I love these trees.  Perhaps not exactly the Tree of Life...

but I felt like either could somehow be
symbols of Gospel principles.