Don and Virginia Cazier Family Forum

My Photo
Location: Weston, Florida, United States

Obtained a bachelor's degree in political science, a master's in ancient scripture, and a doctorate in educational psychology from BYU. Served with the LDS Church Educational System in Hayward and Palo Alto, California; Athens, Georgia; and Miami, Florida. Served as bishop in Newark, California, and Athens, Georgia, and as stake president of the Sugar Hill Georgia Stake. Served as president of the Mexico City North Mission 1996-99. After retiring from CES in 2004 have served four other missions with my wife: As CES area director in Central America 2004-2006; in Panama 2007-2009; again in Guatemala 2009-2011, this time as executive secretary to the Central America Area Presidency; and finally as a counselor in the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple presidency, 2013-2014. After returning home, we served in the presidency of the Fort Lauderdale Temple from 2014-2017 and continue to serve as sealer and ordinance worker, respectively. Feel free to email us at, and please check out our new website at

Saturday, January 09, 2010

First full week--with the emphasis on full!

We've had a good first week on our mission. Virginia has kept busy reviewing missionary applications from Central America, entering information online, making phone calls to get needed information, and making reports. She is grateful to have had the help of several volunteer sisters who have been working with the program for some time and who have been able not only to help with the work but help teach Virginia some of the finer points that there wasn't time to teach her when we came down the first week of December for an initial orientation.

Don has been kept busy making agendas, typing up minutes, and participating in a number of meetings, including an area presidency meeting and a weekend area council meeting, attended not only by the area presidency but by the eight area Seventies from throughout Central America, by the area Director of Temporal Affairs (DTA), and others from the area office who attended to help with logistics. He has also made and sent out a number of reports, helped track and process recommendations for new bishops, boundary reorganizations, and applications to the First Presidency for sealing approval or restoration of blessings, all of which need to be approved by the area presidency before they go to the First Presidency in Salt Lake City.

We've also enjoyed attending our first Sunday in the Santa Fe Branch, which we'll be attending regularly during our mission. Likely we'll be given significant though probably not presiding assignments in the branch organization in the near future.

We've also enjoyed getting better acquainted with the area presidency and with other missionary couples and English-speaking couples in town. With us, there are a total of six missionary couples living in our rather small apartment meeting, plus a BYU professor on sabbatical, with his wife.

We've normally been up by 5:00 or 5:30 and have been getting in to the office by 7:00 a.m. Usually we've been there until 5:00 or 6:00. It won't always be that demanding, but there was much to do this first week--especially since the positions had been vacant for a couple of weeks.

In the "small world" department we would mention such discoveries as:
  • Finding that the new brother-in-law of Pedro Abularach (my successor as CES Area Director and one of the area Seventies) is a man we used to home teach back in Weston.
  • Finding that the new area medical advisors (doctor and wife), Elder and Sister Macarthur, are parents of one of the missionaries we had in Mexico City.
  • Finding that the Guatemala MTC president and his wife were CES people we had known when we were in Georgia and they had the Miami assignment we would later have.
  • Finding that my contact in the Confidential Records office in Salt Lake City (dealing with such issues as sealing approvals, restoration of blessings, etc.) is another former CES colleague from the US Southeast area.
  • Finding that one of the other senior missionary brethren (an Elder Blackburn) was on his mission in Argentina at the same time as Virginia.
  • Realizing that I already knew five of the eight area Seventies from previous missions we have served in Central America.
  • Realizing that I have previously met seven of the twelve mission presidents in Central America and know four of them well, including three who were CES men (including one I had the privilege of hiring), plus President Madrigal, to whom I was a counselor in Panama.
The following photos are from our area council meeting, which was held at the Finca Filadelfia, which in addition to having a picturesque hotel has been an operating coffee plantation for 130 years. Their coffee is world-famous, and is sold to Starbucks. They also have an interesting canopy ride through the trees up on the mountains above the plantation. While most of the area council meeting was dedicated to serious business, it wasn't usually as appropriate to take pictures during the meetings, so the following photos are from break times and some recreation time we took part of Saturday afternoon to enjoy the canopy ride.

The Finca Filadelphia, sit of our Area Council meeting

The area presidency (L to R, Elder James B. Martino, 2nd counselor; Elder Enrique R. Falabella, 1st counselor; and Elder Don R. Clarke, area president.)

Elder Falabella and others during a brief break

Group of area Seventies during break time

Canopy ride on Saturday afternoon. We went on about 6 stretches such as this--one of them about 220 meters long, and all well above the ground.

Elder Clarke getting ready for his turn on the canopy ride

Area presidency and area seventies at a canopy ride platform

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Exploring in Guatemala

On January 2 we went with 8 other missionary couples to see an archaeological site and related museum at a site called Bilbao near Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, an hour and a half southwest of Guatemala City. President Clate Mask (temple president) shared some interesting possible interpretations of Stela 21 which could have significance for the Book of Mormon. The sculpture appears to show the origin of the 7 Mayan tribes, according to their legend. The Book of Mormon on multiple occasions refers to seven original lineages--the Lamanites, Lemuelites, Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, and Ishmaelites. It is possible that glyphs on the sculpture even identify Lehi and Zoram by name.

In the small museum in Santa Lucia President Mask shows us a replica of Stela 21 (behind him) and talks about its possible significance.

Weapons in the museum

An iguana farm near the museum where iguanas are being raised for food.

About ten minutes drive from the museum, in a sugar cane field, is the original Stela 21. Virginia is in the foreground heading toward it.

Close up shot of Stela 21

Don and Virginia at Stela 21

We had a nice lunch at a resort hotel on the way back to Guatemala City, in the shadow of the volcano Pacaya, which was smoking a bit.

At the restaurant parking lot, with Pacaya in the background

Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities

We enjoyed Thanksgiving with the Boixes and the Adibs at our place and had a great Christmas reunion with ten of our kids and their kids at the John Tanner State Park in Georgia. Photos follow:

Dimitri, Regina, Cyrus, and Anya in Thanksgiving attire

Brynn Boix

Boix and Adib kids in front of Grandma and Grandpa Cazier's house


Sean and Cyrus

The strangulation of Brynn

Thanksgiving creativity

Adibs enjoying looking at Christmas lights

Boixes and Adibs

Dimitri, Brynn, Anya, Alexa

Christmas train ride

Boixes and Adibs


Don & Virginia and Brynn

Brynn and Dimitri

Larnie, Regina, and AnnaSophia

Preparing for nativity play at group shelter at John Tanner State Park


Don and Virginia

Lane and Taylor

Mackenzie and Abby

Various grandkids at lodge

More of the same

And more

Mealtime in the group shelter

Craft time

In the group shelter

Rick, Virginia, and Danny

Taylor and Lane

Virginia and Danny

Preparing for "Little Lady Make Believe" number

Virginia and her baby

Debbi and Greg

Don and Virginia

Pondering bear puzzle

Group photo 1

Group photo 2

Group photo 3

Virginia's birthday cookie!