Thursday, October 16, 2014

Boca Sur

Travis has been in Chile for more than three weeks now. He is serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Boca Sur which is basically a suburb of Concepción. From what we can discern, it is on the coast near the southern mouth of the Bio Bio River, hence the name Boca Sur or "south mouth". His companion is Elder L. from Texas.
Evidently, Boca Sur is the most dangerous city in his mission. Drugs, trash, and flea-ridden dogs abound. However, he says the church members are very kind and feed them lunch almost every day.
They live in the top floor of the blue apartment building.
They share their apartment with another set of missionaries.
I'll let the rest of the photos speak for themselves.
Elder L. with unrecognizable produce
A Restaurant Meal
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Boca Sur

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mexico City MTC

Travis has been gone for over a month now learning how to be an effective missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is currently in the Mexico City Missionary Training Center or CCM (Centro de Capacitación Misional México) and will be leaving for Chile soon.
These days he goes by Elder Woodfield. This name tag accompanies him wherever he goes as does his companion, Elder B.
(Elder W. and Elder B.)
(Elder B. and Elder W.)
They share a room with another companionship, Elder H. and Elder P.
(Elder H., Elder P., Elder B., and Elder W.--photo courtesy of  Elder B.)
(Travis has the bottom bunk--tight quarters for a 6'5" guy.)
(Travis' closet)
Travis says that they wake up each day at 6:30 am, eat breakfast, have personal study time for an hour, class for 4 hours (which includes Spanish, practicing with investigators, and Book of Mormon study). After lunch and some ping pong, they have more study time, then gym (usually basketball) then online language study followed by more study for a half hour then planning time. Dinner is at 5:30 followed by more class time and a small District devotional at 9:10. Bedtime is at 10:30 pm. This starts all over again the next day. Travis says it feels a lot like the movie Groundhog Day.
(Photo courtesy of Elder B.)
(Photo courtesy of Elder B.)
(Photo courtesy of Elder B.)
Once a week the Elders have a "Preparation Day" (or P-Day in the Mormon Missionary vernacular.) This is when they do their laundry, clean, email home, etc. Most recently they have begun a soccer tournament with other districts. A district is made up of several companionships.
(Travis' District on their very first P-day while visiting the Mexico City Temple)
The Mexico City MTC looks like a pretty amazing place to me, but Elder Woodfield is eager to fly to Chile and get to work. He has had some really rough days this past month, but also moments of incredible growth, understanding and joy. The type of experience he is having can't be duplicated in any other situation. We miss him very much, but we are so happy he has made this choice.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Girls Camp at Heber Valley

Every summer our local Church congregation holds a five-day camp for young women age 12-17. This summer was my 8th year going as an adult leader and I have been blessed to always have at least one of my daughters there with me.
Abby is a true source of entertainment--especially at Girls Camp.
This year we spent the week at Camp Rebekah in the beautiful Heber Valley Camp.
The lake was perfect.
Heber Valley was replete with wildlife. One evening a buck plopped himself down in the brush just a few yards from our large pavilion and stayed there for quite some time.
A doe and her fawn could be seen almost every night.
Our very first morning we awoke to the loud blast of an air horn. A bear had been spotted in camp and everyone was to remain in their cabins until he was far far away. Groggily I sat up in bed and stared out the window by my bunk. Within seconds I saw a brown mass move amongst the blurry forest backdrop. Frantically I grabbed my glasses and there he was! He even stood up on his hind legs for a brief moment before he lumbered off into the trees. Amazingly, one of our camp cooks snapped this photo of him right after he had overturned a trash can. (My cabin is one of two hiding behind the cabin on the left.)
Even though it rained almost every day, Camp was a great success. Many faithful and dedicated women and young women made it happen.