Mormon Mission World

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Zone Conference

Dear Readers

One more, busy week in Bulgaria!  This week included Zone Conference.  As we watched the day unfold, we were amazed to see how smoothly the transition had been made from one president to the next.  Although everyone loved the Roths and were devoted to them, I could see how they were connecting with President Wilstead.  One of the missionaries referred to President Roth’s departure as that of Elijah when he was taken up in a chariot of fire.  President Roth disappeared from their view at the airport as he ascended the escalator, no chariot of fire, but it was a shiny conveyance.  President Wilstead was compared to Elisha who took on the mantle of Elijah.

When the topic “not tearing down, but improving” was introduced they were excited about building more on the foundation that was established by President Roth and lifting the mission to the next level. 

Another theme was “obedience and hard work bring blessings.”  From this we were reminded that we had been set apart as missionaries. This indicates to be made different – different than you were as well as different than those around you.  In the case of missionaries this means to be dedicated to something - to a holy something or purpose.  As usual the event was very uplifting. Those missionaries who will soon be returning home expressed regret that they will not be here to take part in the future of the mission.  When a young man is sad to return home for fear of missing something, you know that hearts have been touched.

Watching as they taught one another, facilitating discussions, leading districts and zones, you can’t help by realize what an incredible opportunity this is for them.  They will return home not only more mature, more knowledgeable, and more motivated; they will be prepared to be the leaders and teachers of the future. It can be said of them as of Peter and John in Acts 5:40-42
40 …they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
 41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

We are so blessed to be part of this work and get to associate with so many fine young men and women. They truly are the leaders of the church a few short years from now.

Love Elder and Sister Segeberg

Monday, July 16, 2012

Someone turned up the heat!

Forecast for Today
“ Today's High was 102°F at 5:00pm when conditions were fair. ”

Although we knew the summers were quite warm here, this year is warmer than usual.  A young lady who I spoke with at church today said that the temp is usually between 25°C - 32°C (which is 80°F - 90°F.)  Since July began the temps have been between 35°C - 40°C (95° to 104°.)  To make it more uncomfortable the humidity is about 90%.  So for those who are roasting in the US, we feel your pain!  I am even more thankful for air conditioning than usual – not just to cool the air but to dry it out some.
Our new Mission President and his wife has traveled all over the country of Bulgaria and Turkey in two weeks since he arrived.  Even before he arrived his travel and meeting schedule appeared quite jam-packed all month long.  After arriving he stepped it up a notch – just like the weather.  Once he got here he set a goal of meeting with each missionary (all 60 of them) in a two week time period.  He did not want to wait several weeks to get acquainted with for those who are far away from Sofia.  After these interviews and meetings he has a better feel for the missionaries and ways he can help them be successful in their efforts to find those seeking the truth..We are excited to be able to help, and in some way, be involved with the spread of the gospel in Bulgaria. We are glad that we have plenty of time left to help this effort.
This week we saw the final group of missionaries who are serving in the Ukraine come for visa work.  Up until now they have had to leave the country to renew their visas.  A new law makes it possible for them to stay in the Ukraine and complete the renewal process.  We will miss the bright, shiny faces was the come for a few days to experience another culture.  But it is great that they will no longer have this interruption in the work they are doing in their own mission.
We have been busy in the mission office this week trying to keep up with the Mission President as well as keep all the office tasks running smoothly.  Zone Conference will be held this coming week and we are excited to participate.
Now that we have settled into our life here things are much more stable.  There is no more flitting around Eastern Europe!  Also the extremely hot weather has kept us from touring around and exploring our area any more. Wimps that we are!  However, we are greatly enjoying the opportunity to serve in this area.  We miss our family, but Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has stated to grandparents serving on missions, “Those little darlings will be just fine, and I promise you will do things for them in the service of the Lord that, worlds without end, you could never do if you stayed home to hover over them. What greater gift could grandparents give their posterity than to say by deed as well as word, “In this family we serve missions!” We are comforted by this blessing and strive to work diligently while we are in the Lord’s service.
Love Elder & Sister Segeberg

Monday, July 2, 2012

Changing Of The Guard

This has been a bitter/sweet week! It was exceptionally busy. Since we had only recently returned from our exile to the Baltics, many things had piled up in our absence.  However those things had to take a backseat to more urgent matters.  Our beloved Mission President and his wife had only one week before they left for home. We have watched them work nonstop since we arrived in March.  They certainly were sprinting to the finish line, not coasting.  Whenever we thought we could get to our pile of responsibilities, one or the other (sometimes both) would find a new detail that needed to be completed before they left. 

 Keeping busy all week definitely kept us from having idle time to feel sad about their departure. However, in one of our meetings, with emotion in his voice, President Roth said that when they came on their mission three years ago it was so very hard to leave home.  But now that the time has passed it is even harder to leave the mission.  While they were here they enjoyed working together. They love the missionaries and feel for them as for their own children.  Also they have developed a great love for the country of Bulgaria and the people here.

Since they have been so busy, they have not had much time to plan for their future.  As they left they only seemed to feel the loss, not any anticipation.  However, I am sure that after they boarded their plane for the flight home they had time to get excited about what is to come.  They have children and grandchildren who are eager to welcome them home as well as dear friends.  Once the reins were turned over to another I am sure they were able to begin to planning an after mission future.

On Friday our new president arrived, jet lagged but somehow bright-eyed and eager.  President Wilstead and his lovely wife arrived to a welcome party in front of the building with a Bulgarian flag and wide smiles. With only a few hours of orientation they were handed the reins as the Roths hopped into the van and were whisked to the airport.  They looked a little shell shocked as the thought hit them that they were in charge and they didn’t even know where to find food nor did they have any local currency.  We spent the day with them showing them the best places to shop and helping them locate needed supplies. Many times we heard them exclaim, “Holy Cow! This is sooo different!” as they realized ‘we are not in Kansas anymore!’ But it was a fun and productive way to get to know them.
We are excited for the future of our mission as a new leader continues to build on the accomplishments of those who came before. The baton was passed without any incident.   

 Unfortunately, due to privacy and security issues we are unable to post pictures of the changing of the guard.  We wish the best for our departed president and are happy to be able to support the new president as he acclimates himself to his new responsibilities as well as new surroundings.

Captain Pasha

On the river looking at old town

In the park looking at the canal

While in Latvia we were able to take a ride on a boat around the canal which goes through Old Town and out into the River Daugava.  It was a very interesting and peaceful adventure.  We are including those pictures this week, even though we are no longer there.  Have a great week!