Saturday, January 28, 2012

Unsolicited Solicited Advice

I have had several people ask me for advice for preparing their children to serve missions. Each person and each mission is different. But here are five pieces of general advice that I share: 1. Review the requirements for serving a mission with your child well in advance of preparing the application to serve. Young men and young women will prepare if they know what they are preparing for. Those who come to the mission unprepared learned the requirements (personal conduct, committment, knowledge) too late in the process to properly prepare. The application process can take on a life of its own that the child often does not know how to, or want to stop. Sooner or later a lack of mental, physical or spiritual preparation will need to be addressed. The consequences can undermine your child's success, personal growth and in extreme cases disqualify him or her from being a missionary.

2. If possible, have your child live away from home for a period before he or she serves a mission. The experience of sharing space, time and resources should not be new to a missionary who will have a companion with him or her for 24 hours, 7 days a week during the mission. You can tell those who have had the prior expereince and those who have not. So can their companions!

3. Teach your child that a mission is about serving others and not others serving them. Service requires acceptance, patience and sacrifice. No matter where your child serves it will be different than "home". Different does not mean worse or means not the same. If your child does not appreciate the people he or she serves for who they are, they will not accept your child for who he or she is trying to make them become.

4. Prepare your child for the fact that a mission can be hard at times. It is called missionary "work" for a reason. People who have learned the virtue of committment, the skill of setting goals and have the experience of working through obstacles and solving problems will find a mission a rewarding experience. (Work and fun are not mutually exclusive) Those who have not had to develope these qualities will struggle until they do develope them.

5. Be supportive of your child's decision to serve a mission. Every child wants the support of his or her parents. Before and during the mission when you communicate with your child be supportive. A negative email or phone call, or one that reminds your child of everything that is going on that he or she is missing may be informative but it is not supportive. Even though events may have already occurred or there is nothing your child could do to change circumstances, he or she will worry about them if you bring them up.

It is a privilege to serve a is a blessing to serve a second mission from the vantage point of the Mission President. I wish I had been as prepared when I served my mission at age 19 as the young men and women who are currently serving. I am sure every Mission President has his own advice to offer and my thoughts may change the longer I am here, but for now, that is my unsolicited, solicited advice!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's River Plate versus Boca Juniors in Resistencia Tonight!!!

Think good versus evil...freedom versus captivity...Yankees versus Red Sox...Celtics versus Lakers...Coke versus is bigger than all of that!

Tonight, the big game is being held in Resistencia! Fans have come from all over the country days in advance to try and get a ticket into the stadium. The crowds inside and outside tend to get a little "rambuncious"...and "rowdy"...

The game starts at 10:00 pm...the missionaries are to be in their apartments no later than 7:00 pm! Missionaries don't deal with rambuncious and rowdy!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Don't Think We Can Make The Home Games This Year...

Or the away games for that matter. Here is the official bio from the BYU Lacrosse Team Home Page: You are here: Home / Team / Roster / Current / Taylor Heyman

Attack Freshman, Open Major Chandler, AZ Heyman will help the BYU attack in 2012. Before BYU: Played for Tyce Thielsen at Hamilton High School. Athletic and Scholastic Honors: High Honor Roll ’08-’11, Member of National Honor Society ’10-’11, Arizona All-Star ’11, AYLL Division One All State Second Team ’11, Team Captain ’11, Team MVP ’11, Team Offensive MVP ’11. Personal: Taylor is an Eagle Scout. He enjoys lacrosse, piano, Ukulele, singing, traveling the world and Improv comedy. Family: Parents: President Raymond and Sister Diane Heyman. Siblings: Curtis, Chris, Jennifer, Allison

Monday, January 23, 2012

Boise, Idaho dubbed into Spanish is...Boise, Idaho!

We woke up in Resistencia and drove to Corrientes to interview missionaries. Then we drove to Bella Vista and interviewed missionaries and a few members. Then we drove to Goya for more interviews in the morning. As we unpacked our bags in our hotel room, I flipped on the TV and saw..."Singles Ward"...with Spanish subtitles. I actually captured this priceless moment on my iPhone's camera...

Yes, that is an authentic Spanish subtitle of when the future missionary opens his call and finds out he has been called to Boise, Idaho, which translated into Spanish is "Boise, Idaho"! How crazy is this?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just reliving the moment...

The Heyman Family learning via Skype that Ray and Diane had been called to serve in La Gran Mision Argentina Resistencia...

Diane read the letter. Taylor, Curtis and Candace were with us sharing the shock. Chris is exclaiming, "That's my mission"! Jen is getting ready to say through her tears, "That's so awesome". And Alli was saying, "Oh my gosh" a couple of times in a row. Truly a life changing moment captured and to be cherished.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Clorinda Revisited

Diane and I were in Formosa yesterday for 30 missionary interviews and a meeting with one of my counselors. Today we drove 150 kilometros from Formosa to Clorinda for more interviews. Remember Clorinda?

Well, we left our mark there. Here is what remains...

After interviews with missionaries and the District President in Clorinda, we drove 270 kilometros to Ibarreta. Here is what the drive looks like in 102 degree, 100 percent humidity weather...

Note the long straight road on the GPS with nothing around around it? And the road off to the left is route 20..."tierra" means "dirt". The raindrops on the windshield are the evidence of 100 percent humidity...and this is the evidence that there are yacare, or crocodiles, in the area!

Tonight interviews with members and the District President in Ibarreta. Tomorrow interviews with the missionaries in Ibarreta and then the 330 kilometro drive back to Resistencia. We are doing this!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Argentine Favorites

Favorite meal: Ravioles con ricotta y salsa filetto; ensalada mixta; palitos de pan con crema y helado...y agua sin gas! Favorite food: medialunas con dulce de leche. Favorite words: Necochea, Cochabama, semaforo. Favorite vehicles: Hi Lux 4x4 Diesel; Volkswagen Amarok Favorite saying: El que madruga, Dios le ayuda. Favorite superstiton: If you drink milk and eat watermelon you will die. Favorite street to drive: Avenida Sarmiento (Resistencia) on a Sunday evening. Everyone parks their cars and sits in chairs and talks, listens to music and drinks Mate. Favorite place to walk around in the mission: The Costanera in Posadas. They just opened a new stretch of a couple more kilometers. Greatest technological invention in the history of mankind: The GPS. A close second place: The iPad 2. Two people I will look for to say "thank you" to when (if) I get to heaven: (1) The woman whose voice is used by my GPS; and (2) the man who invented air conditioning. Two people I will avoid when (if) I get to heaven: (1) the young man I "nudged" on his motorcycle at an intersection in Resistencia; and (2) the cashier at Carrefour who waited until I unloaded my whole grocery cart on her conveyer belt to tell me that I was in the 10 items or less register and then made me put everything back in my cart and go to the end of the line at another register. (Taylor was there and is my witness) Favorite movie dubbed in Spanish: The Count of Monte Cristo. Coolest bird on the planet in real life: Tucan. Very colorful and defies physics by flying with that humongous beak. Great custom: Air kissing on each cheek to greet let's do lunch-ish! Hardest thing to do: Convert farenheit to celsius in your head. Second hardest thing to do: Wait for the light to turn green when everyone else is running the red light. And last but not least...custom that I can not get used to: Eating dinner at 10:00 pm. Second custom I can not get used to: Siesta!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Resistencia is the Statue Capital of Argentina...

So, it was only a matter of time before this inspired masterpiece emerged from the porcelain artisans...

You have to love Diane, she is always smiling and they captured her "essence"!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Hate The Rubik's Cube...But I Love Working Out Transfers!

That's because you go through a different process to try and assign the right missionaries with the right companions in the right area for the right time. It is a very personal process where you seek to do what is best for the missionaries and the area where they will be serving. Very quickly you realize that unlike the Rubik's Cube, you can't solve transfers by yourself with a quick few twists of the wrists. The process of seeking that help is what is so rewarding. And, it never fails, the answers come. Here is what the transfer board looks like this morning...

A few tips...we have 19 missionaries arriving this week and 10 going home. The blank spots are where the new ones will be assigned after they arrive and I interview them. The missionaries on their sides are the ones who will train the new missionaries. The missionaries who are upside down are being transferred from on area to another. The two cards with no pictures are for "mini missionaries"...local members who will fill in as missionaries for 1-3 months at a time. The one missionary by himself is being trained to work in the office and will replace one of the missionaries here, so he will be assigned as a "triple" for a little while. We have to put some companionships in new areas as we have more missionaries. That means finding places to live, areas where they will be productive, etc. Mission Presidents all over the world go through this process every 6 weeks. It is one of my favorite parts of the Mission. There are some great stories of missionaries being transferred to an area and wondering why only to encounter a person or experience that is unique and significant in their lives. So, tomorrow, the transfer takes place!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Missionary Interviews

Diane and I are in Posadas until Monday. I begin my next round of missionary interviews today. I will travel to Roque Saenz Peña, Reconquista, Formosa, Ibaretta, Clorinda, Goya, Bella Vista, Apostoles, Eldorado, Corrienties and to the south of Resistencia to be with the missionaries. It is amazing how energized I feel after listening to the missionaries and all that they are doing to help the people of Northern Argentina. Each week I receive and respond to an email from each missionary, so I do keep up with them on a regular basis. But being with them and hearing them tell what is going on in person is really inspiring. The missionaries are between the ages of 19-30, come from 12 different countries and speak various languages. Castellano is the common language, with many learning it for the first time. Each has a story...with unique personal, family, economic, educational, professional and even religious circumstances. They all have a few things in common, though. They have accepted a call from the President of the Church to leave their homes, friends, families, educations and jobs, etc. to serve others they do not know. Each is a non paid volunteer. And, they all are committed to doing whatever is asked of them regardless of the conditions. It is rewarding to see them all come together for a common cause. It is inspiring to see them grow personally and make a difference in the lives of others. I always am in awe of them after the interviews. No wonder I look forward to interviewing 200 missionaries in 5 different provinces every 3 months...I wish everyone could have the same opportunity. It is one of the great rewards of being Mission President.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's been more than one week since Christmas and I am still playing with my presents...

I think I am going to get a lot of use out of my Christmas presents over the next few years. After a long day of interviews, phone calls and a trip to Corrientes and back, I unwound by putting my iPod on shuffle...(notice the earplugs)...

Turning on the light and just shooting to the music for a while...

It was a great time! Thank you again, Diane, for actually giving me a basketball hoop and letting me use the little whatever-you-call-it in the back space as a court. And, thank you kids for the iPod loaded with music and audiobooks! And, of course, it wouldn't be authentic if the ball didn't get stuck somewhere!

Don't ask...let's just leave it at it took a crazy bounce!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sometimes it is good to be half way around the world...

Such as when you get an email from your son at college with this picture of his car...

We are glad (i) he is safe and no one was harmed; (ii) Alli and especially Sam are close by to help (that's Sam, our first responder, in the white car in the background); and (iii) we still have AAA and U.S. car insurance. Nice start to 2012!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012

Diane and I toasted 2012 with a glass of Baggio Multifrutal Jugo.

Then we listened to this from midnight to 5:00 am...a few seemed to go off and land in our courtyard...

And an ocassional conversation on the sidewalk below our bedroom window by the likes of these...

All of which made for a very long evening and morning! We are trying to get used to living in the city on a busy road. All night we hear people, motos, bicycles, cars and horse drawn carriages! We are getting somewhat used to it and don't even incorporate the sounds into our dreams anymore! We are looking forward to a great, healthy, happy and successful 2012 and hope the same for our friends and families! There is little wonder why this is called, "La Gran Mision Argentina Resistencia" and "La Mejor Mision del Mundo!". Can't wait to see what these missionaries can accomplish... By the way, the Baggio Durazno Jugo is out of this world. You can pick it up, along with the Multifrutal and Manzana, at your local Carrefour grocery store!