Greetings to our Great Family and Wonderful Friends,
Its time for another update from Mexico, much has happened the last couple of weeks but I will focus on just a few events. Hope everyone that reads this note is in good health and happy. We have certainly been blest here in Mexico.
We started our visa re-nual process on the 6th of April and just finished it today the 19th of May. We made 3 trips to the immigration office (about an hour drive each way), lots of waiting each time but we got the job done. We are now legal for another year, in the process I was also able to renew my Mexico drivers license so we are ready. Also in this last period of time we have had our Area Mtg, an Area family home evening and a special meeting with Elder Pieper to discuss situations with the youth programs in Mexico. Interesting note, Elder Pieper’s mother was a Bowen from the Salem area so he knows and is related to a lot of people we know. It was fun to learn of his genealogy.
Saturday the 9th of May we spent at the Anthropological museum with the Anthony’s, there are many museums and attractions to see in Mexico City, we’ll only be able to see a fraction of them while we’re here. On the 10th after church we went to Visitors center to a musical Mothers Day presentation presented by the young Sister Missionaries, it was really good, they sang some of the songs in English and some in Spanish.
The main thing we wanted to tell about is the visit we had from Lisa and Jessica for a few days. Flint was going to come with them but his dad isn’t doing well with his fight with cancer so he stayed a little closer to home, we would have loved to have seen him but understand completely why he didn’t come. Lisa and Jessica arrived the afternoon of May 14, we devoted the next 3 days to seeing as much as possible and eating as much authentic Mexican food as possible. On Friday we went to the ruins at Teotihuacan and eat very good food in a cave in a restaurant called La Gruta. We ordered three different plates between the 4 of us, chicken mole, barbecued lamb cooked in a banana leaf and arachera beef with lots of corn tortillas. All three plates were delicious and in a very neat atmosphere in the grotto. On the way back to Mexico City we stopped at a market in Chicocuac, it felt like a scary place and we were glad to leave, wouldn’t recommend it as a tourist stop.
On Saturday the 17th we went to the Zocalo which is the center of government in Mexico like Washington DC is for the U. S. There are many attractions there, huge churches, museums and lots and lots of people. There is a large center area and this was the week they had the festival of the Neighbor Countries, there were booths set up from many nations with items from the country and food of the country. It was very interesting, we ate food from Belize and Great Britton (in honor of Elder Jace in England) and we rubbed shoulders with thousands of people as they were doing the same thing we were. Then we drove to a little restaurant near the Area office that is the favorite of many for good, cheap Mexican food. We ate tacos al Pastor and an Alambre, every one enjoyed to food. By the time we drove back home we were beat.
Sunday we spent time at the Mexico City Temple visitors center, went to church and then went to the Missionary Training Center were President Call of the Center Presidency gave us a neat private tour. It’s a very special place and you can feel it as you tour the grounds and buildings.
Sunday evening we had some of our favorite people over to get acquainted with Lisa and Jessica and to have a little birthday party. The Varela and Toledo families and the couples from our building that we have our family home evenings with came to our apartment and we had a great visit. I think Lisa and Jessica could certainly feel the goodness and love of these great little Mexican families that we have become close to.
Well thats about it, Lisa and Jessica left on Monday afternoon they are now safely home and we had a wonderful time with them. We all saw new things and learned a lot. We are so very thankful for our great family, we had opportunity to visit with all of them Monday evening as they called to wish the old guy happy birthday. We are blessed to be here and experience the things we are doing, it will be forever in our memory. We are also anxious to return home and be with our family and friends. May Heavenly Fathers most choice blessings be with you!!!!
Love, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Friends
P.S. From Lisa
First of all, a cool picture:
We loved seeing Mexico City, but more importantly we loved being able to meet the people who my parents have come to love this last year. The missionary couples they work with (Smith’s, Anthony’s, Zapata’s) and the families of the ward they attend (Varela’s – Julio, Flor, Lehi, Isabella and Barbarita, and the Toledo’s – Nestor and Jessica) They’re sweet people who put everything into their families, neighbors and the gospel. I’m just going to copy part of my letter to Jace:
It’s interesting to be in a place where you cannot communicate because you don’t understand the language! Sacrament Meeting in Mexico City made me wish so badly that I’d been a better student in high school Spanish class! I like to take notebook and jot down things that stick out to me or touch my heart at church meetings. This day I had my notebook in my purse but I was unable to write anything I heard. I was, however still able to understand what I felt. These were some of my thoughts… 1- I knew very well when each speaker bore their testimonies and I could feel that spirit being shared. 2 – I watched the faces of a few investigators that were visiting with missionaries as they listened. I saw their faces soften, relax and accept what they were hearing, true gospel principles of Faith and Hope (I did pick up on those two words!), in the course of the hour. 3- I felt so good to be there. This group of people are few in number but they are loving, kind and helpful. I felt a lot of love for them. Maybe you need the Gift of Tongues to figure out what in the world I’m saying here?!
I’m sure you’ve studied about the Gift of Tongues along with Chapter 7 in Preach my Gospel? I guess I had a confirming lesson that this gift doesn’t only apply to foreign languages, but normal everyday people as well. It says, “When you feel you are struggling to express yourself as clearly as you would like, remember that the spirit is able to speak to the hearts of all God’s children… There is one language… that is common to each (of God’s children) – the language of the Spirit. It is not learned from textbooks, nor is it acquired through reading and memorization. The language of the spirit comes to him who seeks with all his heart to know God and keep his commandments. Proficiency in this language permits one to break barriers, overcome obstacles, and touch the human heart.” Cool, right?! I feel like I was blessed this weekend to understand the hearts of these people just a bit.