Dear Family and Friends,
As our time is winding down here in Mexico it seems we are more and more blessed, every time we sit down to write home we cant hardly count the blessings. We certainly hope this note finds all well with you. The majority of this last month was spent working in the Visitor’s Center during the open house at the Mexico City Temple. We were kind of like Walmart greeters and people herders. It was truly an amazing experience to spend 6 hrs. per day at the center helping, again we had the blessing of working with great people and meeting thousands of people. During the three weeks of the open house, 40,000 people went through the center and 100,000 people went through the temple. Monday was always a slow day and from there it just got busier and busier toward the weeks end, the largest day at the center was on a Saturday (Aug. 29) where we had around 6,300 people go through!
Couples we worked at the center with Pocock’s, Smiths, Angulos, Cisneros, Rojas, Anthony’s, Zapatas, Yates. This picture was taken in front of a famous monument in the Parke Alameda the night we went to the cultural event.
During the time spent in service at the center we carried on our normal business and life went on. We were saddened by the death of Flint’s dad Ossian Packer, but glad for his relief and his new opportunities. Since our last blog we had two family birthdays: Jace and Theresa. We also celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary on the 3rd of September. Our anniversary day we had our monthly meeting with the Area Presidency in the morning and then worked at the visitors center in the afternoon and evening but we were able to sneak in a gourmet anniversary lunch. We were downtown so we stopped in at Costco and had lunch, a slice of Pizza and yogurt with strawberries on it. I bought Janie her very own piece! —who said we don’t know how to keep romance alive, oh well, best we could do at the time.
On the morning of August 31 we took some of the Elders to a famous taco joint, at least famous to the missionaries, we normally don’t eat on the street but they assured us that this food was safe so we partook and everything was jus fine, actually very good. We also had a birthday party at our place for a good friend Flor Varela on the 7th of September, we had lasagna, everyone loved it, the Varela and Toledo families and our FHE group were all there and we had a great evening. On the 8th of September Elder and Sister Rojas who are the Directors of the Visitors Center wanted to treat everyone who helped with the open house to a very traditional Mexican Dinner. Sister Rojas and Sister Angulo went to great effort to prepare a beautiful traditional meal and it was delicious. The main course was Chile en Nogada, it’s a very colorful dish and represents the colors of the Mexican flag red, green and white. This meal is only served for a couple months around the 16th of September which is Mexican Independence Day. To top off the main meal they served us delicious flan, one of my favorites, she is going to teach us how to make good flan, so be ready.
I guess you can see we don’t work all the time, when we’re not working we’re eating. Last night we attended the cultural event associated with the rededication of the temple. The event was held in the big theater down town and it was spectacular, it went through the history of the church in Mexico and the reason for temples, it was a production of story, song and dance. It was very well done and what Janie didn’t understand in Spanish I tried to translate for her. Brother Rojas rented a bus to take the Visitor Center Missionaries and the couples who helped so we didn’t have to fight the traffic, we had a great evening. Today we had the opportunity to attend the rededication of the Mexico City Temple, it was broadcast to all the Stake Centers here in the city and there were three dedicatory services. We were given seats inside the temple so again very blessed, President Erying and Elder Holland were here for the dedication, many rooms inside the temple were filled so as many as possible could be there and participate in the dedication via video, we had seats in the same room with the Apostles so again extremely blest.
The following link is a church news story on the dedication of the Mexico City Temple: Dedication of the Mexico City Temple: “Stay the course”
FSY for 2015 is finished and we have started plans for 2016 in scheduling trainings and making adjustments in the program according to the desires of the Area Presidency, we had a meeting with Elder Pieper this last week and as per his request have sent him our suggestions and recommendations. One of the first things we need to get done is find replacements for us and the Smith’s as we will both be going home in the next two months, we have made some recommendations and now we will wait for decisions from the Area Presidency.
One of the greatest things that has happened to us while here in Mexico is to use the great technology we have and watch two of our Grandchildren open their mission calls via face time. The first was in 2014 when Jace opened his call to go to England and then again just Friday night when we watched our little Jessica open her call to serve in the Tucson, Arizona mission starting Feb. 3, 2016. We are so very proud of our family and their decisions to serve others, we work around these young missionaries on our own mission and see the influence for good that they are and all the many things they do for others as they teach the gospel and a great way of life. In the process they are blessed and become strong, forward looking, commitment-filled people, so it’s a pleasure to see our kids make these life decisions and take these steps.
This link is a video of Jessica opening up her mission call: Jessica’s Mission Call
Well, Sunday is about over, Janie fed a couple missionaries today (Elders Shilig and Villegas) they just left so we’d better finish this letter and let you get on with life. Please always remember that we love you all very much and are proud to be part of this great family. We pray for you all daily.
Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa and Friends