Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Is it time for the next mission reunion?

You probably know that the LDS Mission Network hosts a nice web site for returned missionaries of the Costa Rica Mission. A lot of you are registered there and have used that to keep in touch with companions and members. You may also remember that at our last reunion in 2003 we had a web site where over 200 of you submitted biographies with photos. Some have emailed me asking, "Where did that web site go and how can I access or update my bio again?"

I've decided for this reunion to turn it into a blog. It is so much easier to maintain and lends itself to interaction with the instant comments on each post. I have all the old material and all your bios. I will be posting them one at a time over the next few months unless you tell me not to. We agreed to meet again in Oct 2008 somewhere in the Salt Lake area. So let's get the ball rolling and get this thing planned right. We want just as many to attend and promise to have a bigger building this time.

What is your favorite memory of the last reunion? Mine is the wonderful DVDs that Loren created for us. Thanks again Loren.


Tom Cavanaugh said...

Hello fellow missionaries. I am not sure what my favorite part of the last reunion is because I never got to talk to people trying to keep things flowing. Maybe I could say that my favorite part was seeing all the good people who helped organize and participate in the organization of it. When we started I believe there were about six of us. Our motto became..."when we organize, they will come". Little by little with those few emails, the connections of each other turned into a successful mission of hundreds who came. It was a great reunion. I am glad that this one will be in October of 2008 because as a former mission president we are having our ten year reunion in April 08....Colleen, my wife and I have five children...Christina the oldest with three children in Moab, Utah married to a seminary and institute teacher and use to be my first assistant when he was a priest. Cameron, married to a former secret service fellow at the White House now both in Utah where her husband is working on a Master's degree in Criminal Justice; Crystal, a senior at BYU Idaho and just returned from her mission in Portugal; Tom Jr. a freshman at BYU, Provo and just returned from his mission in Argentina; and Tim, who is on his mission in Taiwan. My Wife of 27 years is doing great and is stake relief society president. I am doing a second term in a newly called stake presidency. We live in Largo, Florida...Tom Cavanaugh

Tim Malone, MCSE said...

Phil Wing wrote: Man Tim, you are full of energy! Is this one going to be in Salt Lake or San Jose?

Hi Phil,

Good to hear from you. As I wrote to Paul Barlow earlier this year, "I imagine someone will be getting things organized soon for the next reunion - I believe it's scheduled for Oct 08, but NOT in Costa Rica because it's doubtful that anybody but you financial planner types, lawyers and CFOs of Insurance Companies will be able to get down there."

I have a good friend who goes to Costa Rica every year and he didn't even serve a mission there. Every time he comes back he asks if I saw this beach or that city. All I remember are the people and my companions. It would be great to see the attractions of the county. Maybe you can plan the San Jose reunion but I won't be there unless the Lord drops the time and money in my lap.

Seriously I would love to get back to the mission field. I know many have but I'll bet most have not. If you are aware of good deals or somebody who arranges good deals for small to medium sized groups then by all means, share that info and I'll post it. Speaking of posting, do you mind if I post this as a comment on the blog? That way everybody can get to know the Phil Wing that did so much for the last reunion.

- Tim

Gary Crawford said...

Hello to all the missionaries of the best mission in the world.
As a missionary from 78-80 walking down the dusty dirt streets of Central America, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would one day return, as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, to continue to serve these wonderful people who I had grown to love so much. On many occasions as a missionary, I would sit in very humble homes and see the evidence of physical pain, suffering, and hunger. I often wondered how it was that these wonderful spiritual people could possibly have any interest in our message while living in such conditions. But yet more often than not, at least on some level, most accepted and a few embraced our message.
It was in December of 2003, just after our reunion, that I made my first trip to Honduras to use my skills as a surgeon to help alleviate, at least in a small degree, some of the physical suffering that I had seen as a missionary. My wife and I had been looking for 3 years to find just the right project for our family to do humanitarian service - I don't know if it was because of the reunion or if it was just fortuitous timing but it was soon after the reunion that I was asked to join a group headed to Honduras to do the exact thing for which we were looking.
Since then our group has been going to Honduras twice a year to provide medical, dental, and humanitarian services to these people - many of whom are members of the church. In many instances we provided care for those young people preparing to serve missions and latin missionaries. Because of our work with "pre missionaries", we were invited by church leaders to go to Nicaragua in November to specifically do the work for young people who plan to leave on a mission within the next year. I just got back this past week. During our 5 days of clinic we were able to get photos, physical exams, dental treatment, and all papers completed for 167 young Nicaraguans. As you are aware the church is growing exponentially in Nicaragua. Hopefully by helping overcome some of the barriers to serving a s mission, like medical, dental, and even photos for the mission papers (things we would not even give a second thought to here but can be a big barrier to people in Central America), for the first time Nicaragua will send out more missionaies than will be sent in to serve in their country. The church members of Nicaragua are absolutely excited. They look forward to the day that they will have a temple.
The church members in Honduras are literally jumping with joy that they will soon have a temple.
I never thought this would be possible as a 19 year old missionary. It just goes to show how little I know and just how great is the gospel plan.
I feel very fortunate that I have been able, after all these years, to go back and serve these great people.
If you would like to know more, I can be contacted a
Thanks to Tom and Phil and the other organizers. You are awesome. I look forward to seeing everybody in 2008.
Gary Crawford

Raymond Race said...

One of my many memories is when President eager was speaking to us and he still pointed out at us with his finger telling us we can do more for the missionary effort.