lunes, 29 de julio de 2013

Buenos dias.  Harper and Blair thought that I should write on Mondays since it is a little slower around here than Sundays.  Guess missionaries all over the world write on Mondays, so thats good enough for me.  It's been another interesting and amazing week.  First things first, I find myself having to speak for myself all the time, weird, I seem to be able to get my point across.  Mondays are the day when the Facilites Management staff come and keep up the mission home.  The gardeners come, the pool cleaner, and someone to clean the house.  Last week Raquel and her daughter came about 1:30 to clean, today, at 9am someone new showed up, Karina!  They are both really nice and I still feel super awkward about having someone else clean my dirt, but it's not really my house so I roll with it.  Its super funny though cuz noone told me they were changing, and I was so confused...sort of a state of being for me here most days.  So, while Karina is downstairs, I will blog (and FYI, I really like her coming early much better, so things always work out for the best)

So another funny thing about the house...all the keys to every lock on everything outside, the pool pump and heater, the gates to the yard, the natural gas tanks...all got lost somehow.  We have so many keys, but none for those locks, so Hector from FM was coming to install a magnetic board in the house so Jerry can have a duplicate of the one in his office on Tuesday.  We've been waiting on this board since we got here, some problem ordering it or something.  So while he was here he cut off all the locks, brought new ones and gave me the keys.  Well Hector, the pool guy, needed a set for himself.  I had to find someone to copy keys...and success, after asking at the Radio Shack (where I successfully bought a USB port splitter and an ipad mini cover for Jerry, by myself, in spanish, on separate tickets...yeah glad to have a translating app on my phone) and going to 5 different places, I found a place to duplicate the keys, got it done and when Hector showed up this morning, the smile on his face was well worth the effort!  He doesn't speak any English so we had a funny time when he tried to teach me how to turn the pool pump and heater on and off.  We both laughed alot, but figured it out.  So it goes with my attempt to master the Spanish language.

Two great things this week, first, we had a dinner and testimony meeting with the very first missionaries to finish their two years (we have sent one missionary home with a serious medical problem).  They came with the Assistants who we know quite well.  One was from the US, Wisconsin to be exact, the other is a native from Chiapas.  I cooked all day, wanting to make it a great night for them.  Even made homemade ice cream and peanut butter swirl bars for dessert...they were a hit.  But the sweetness of the testimony meeting that followed was the best part.  Both Elder Bentley and Elder Alvarez had musical talent, Elder Bentley played the piano and Elder Alvarez had an amazing voice, they both shared.  Then the four missionaries, and the four Crickmores all bore testimony. When I got up to bear mine, I decided on Spanish.  I've born my testimony several times already in Spanish, but this time I felt like all the words I needed where in my head and coming out as I wanted them too.  I know that it was a miracle for me.  I know because in ordinary conversations I still struggle to put the words together, but when the Lord needed something said, it got said correctly.  It was a great evening and we will miss each missionary as they leave.

I am still spending a lot of days at the home trying to get things fixed or installed, it should change in the next couple of weeks.  But we took another pday on Friday and took the twins and our Assistants and the zone leaders that have been working closely with the assistants (and live together) on finding housing for the many new missionaries that will be coming in the next few months.  We went to Teotihuacan.  It was an amazing experience and my legs are still sore from climbing to the top of both the Sun and Moon pyramids.  You can really visualize the writings in the Book of Mormon when you visit these ancient sites.  I felt the same way when we visited Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Monte Alban.  What amazing people and how great that it is still standing for us to to follow

So I said that I have been on my own quite a bit.  I think the twins finally feel comfortable that I won't get lost coming and going to the store, so they didn't go with me on Saturday.  I made it there and back, shopped at the Wal Mart and Radio Shack, asked questions, returned a empty water jug for a refund, and didn't get lost.  On Sunday we were planning on going to a 8am ward in the mission (we are going to try and visit every ward)  but nature had other plans.  We had the most extraordinary storm about 2am with thunder so loud and long that it shook all the windows, lightening that looked like it was in our back yard and rain blowing sideways so hard that it blew it around the seals in the windows in our stairwell, which had water running down it.  Needless to say, we were awake for about two hours, the last of which I was mopping up water from tile floors that get really slippery.  So we changed plans, Jerry headed to an appt about two hours away and Church there, and the twins and I got in the minivan and set out for a stake center an hour away that we had never been too.  They were sure we wouldn't find it, and there was a ward closer, but we'd already been there, so Jerry gave some brief directions and we drove to Amecameca in search of the stake center, and trying to be on time.  Well we did ok, until the last turn, and we couldn't find it, we had about 5 mins before sacrament meeting, the girls had given up hope, but I had prayed that morning for help as this would be my first time driving and going to church without Jerry.  As we turned the corner of a street that we hoped would be the right one I looked up to see a mom and two children walking toward us.  The little boy was wearing a white shirt and tie....I looked at the girls and said, "they're Mormon!"  Who else is dressed like that in a small town in the middle of Mexico on a Sunday morning?  So I rolled down the window and said "Perdon, sabe que la Iglesia de Jesu Christo..." I didn't get any further as she saw my name tag and broke into a big smile and proceeded to tell me I was only two blocks away, and directed us to the building.  Now for the not so great part of the story.  We found the Stake center, but only one side of the gate was open and I'm driving a mini van, and I'm late, and the other side has a lock on it.  So I think I can make it with the mirrors pulled in, and I am doing fine until the car in front of me that wants to come out doesn't move and I have to turn.  Yep, you can guess the rest, I put the first dent in the mission car.  It's not too bad, over the wheel well, but I felt really bad.  We did however get to sacrament meeting on time, which was also a miracle.  Harper and Blair made me feel better when they said, "Mom, with the way the traffic is here, it was bound to happen sooner or later, at least you didn't hit someone else!"  I can always count on them to make me feel better.  So after Church we successfully navigated our way home also, made a great dinner and waited to here about Jerry's really interesting day.

Well that's long enough, the gardeners are here and I'm going to see if they know where to take recyclables (I know, I just can't make myself throw away all this plastic!)  We get our first new missionaries next week...very excited and we found out that a young man from the Del Mar Stake is coming to our mission!!!!  Nope not gonna tell, that's his job.

Nos vemos 

domingo, 21 de julio de 2013

Where does the time go?

It's Sunday again, Sunday night to be exact and I can't believe another week has gone by.  Another week filled with interesting and sometimes amusing things.  I guess the most important event was that I drove a car.  I know,  interesting huh?  Well for me it was a big step, and I drove twice, without Jerry.  For all the years that we've travelled in Mexico I never drove except in Cabo, after we'd been there 4 or 5 times, and it's a small town.  I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous,  really nervous.  But when you run out of food and your husband is gone for 14 hours a day...well you get in the car, and lucky for me the twins are here to co-pilot...I'm pretty sure I would have gotten lost just trying to get back to the house.  Weirdest thing about neighborhoods here for me.  The houses don't have numbers.  So, if you were to try to program a GPS (which we have in one of the cars) you pretty much need to know the longitude and latitude to get it right.  Lets just say that we've been lost, a lot, using the GPS that came in the car.  No offense Garmin, but theres a great app from Google Maps for the iphone that puts you to shame.  It even talks to you, just like a GPS, but it's accurate, and if you make a wrong turn it reconfigures immediately, we know, cuz we had it happen.  So, back to driving.  It wasn't far, but there is major road construction between the mission home and the local Wal-mart/Sams Club.  I'm pretty sure without Harper and Blair I wouldn't have gotten there or home the first day.  They have a much better memory than me and evidently pay more attention while driving with their dad.  So we had an easy go of it the first day.  I'm also driving what is the equivalent of a Honda Civic at home, so it feels pretty easy to get behind the wheel.  The second time (out of milk, sound familiar?) I was going to go on my own and at the last minute, Harper decided to save me from myself and go along.  I did better, but the trip would have been just a little longer without her.  (Can I insert here that I'm really gonna miss those two when they go home?)  So I haven't driven all the way into the mission office (about and hour and a half away from the mission home) but I feel like I could now.  

The other big news is that the stuff we shipped from home arrived Monday morning right on time.  Big cheer for the moving company in Mexico, they came on the day and at the time they said they would.  And everything was there in one piece.  We didn't ship a lot, but it was nice to have the rest of our clothes and our family pics, it feels a little more like home.  That kept us pretty busy all day Monday, unpacking all the boxes and putting everything away.  I was really happy to see my cookbooks and that I had stuck a huge box of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix in with my kitchen stuff as I can't find it here and you know that great chicken pasta is just not the same without it.  

I think I mentioned 14 hour days, that would be Jerry.  This week held visits with 4 of the stake presidents in the mission,  plus interviews with 3 of the 5 zones of missionaries.  He was leaving before daylight and coming home after dark every day.  With the twins here he didn't want me to be gone all that time, so instead I sent baked goods.  I don't have a lot of talents anymore, but I can still bake.  That leads me to the other awesome news of the week...I know how to use the oven now.  It's not really great and doesn't bake really evenly...but I've also learned that the missionaries will eat almost anything that is homemade.  And I would feel really stupid about the oven, but the Facilities Management guy that's in charge of everything couldn't figure it out either. So Monday I was told they would come to "fix" the oven.  At 5:30 I had given up hope when two employees showed up to tell me that I really just needed to hold the light button down longer to get it to light.  Yep, felt really blonde at that point, but then they proceeded to tell me that the house is wired with a security system and how to use it.  Perhaps that freaked me out just a little, seeing as I have a hard time remembering my own phone number.  After all the instructions he then just handed me a fob like the ones on my car keys and said "or you can just turn it on and off with this when you leave". Whew, one more password I don't have to remember!! But that night I made the first of three recipes of brownies for the missionary interviews.  Some people are given really great talents....I just bake.

I have had my first two missionaries call with medical problems.  After raising 6 kids that have had almost every imaginable disease or problem, I feel pretty confident in this long as I can give the instructions and find out the symptoms in English.  So far one companion or the other has been from the States.  The first one had the flu, that was easy to hit out of the park, and the second had chipped his tooth and wondered what to take for the pain til he could see the dentist.  Two homeruns in a row.  I know there not all gonna be this easy, but it's nice to start out feeling just a little confident.  The best part was calling the missionary with the flu back that night, to see how he was feeling.  He said much better (brat diet, ibuprofen, gatorade, the usual rememdies) and that his fever was down, could he go back out to work tomorrow?  I felt so bad telling him not to go out til his fever was down for 24 hours.  What a great young man, it's such a privilege to work with them.  

I'm going to post a few pics of our first pday.  Now don't freak out when you see that we don't have our tags on.  We were told at the Mission Presidents Seminar that if you have your children with you, you can take a pday with them and be their parents, not missionaries.  Jerry was really due a day off.  Really he has been working almost around the clock.  So we got up early on Friday programmed in that great Google maps App and drove into the middle of Mexico City.  Yep, we did.  Nope, we aren't completely crazy.  We really wanted to see the Museo Antropologia (sp?) that is one of the best in the world.  Over the years we've visited several of the archaeological sites in Mexico, so interesting to see the sites and imagine the people in the Book of Mormon times that would have lived there.  So we made it there, parked, visited the museum and Chapultepec Park across the street.  Chapultepec is sort of like the Central Park of NYC.  In it is Castillo Chapultepec which was built by the one and only king of Spain (who was Austrian by birth and married to a French woman, weird).   On the way home we stopped by Cuernavaca (it really was about ten minutes off the road home) as they have a Costco there, yep, you heard that right.  But my joy turned into disappointment when it didn't have chocolate chips or Cocoa powder.  Wasn't chocolate invented by the Aztecs?  They did have a huge brick of chocolate the size of a coffee table book, a large coffee table book, but I'm not that desperate yet.  It was a great day and there will be some pics to follow.  This week has more visits by the physical facilites people (theres always something) and more missionary interviews, plus our first two missionaries to go home are coming for dinner (that Good Seasons Italian dressing could not have come in a more timely manner).  

We love Mexico, missionaries and all of the little miracles we see every day.  The last miracle of the week is that our house in Cardiff is rented, starting this Friday.  Thanks Andy Ek, for all your hard work, the last piece of the puzzle is now in place.  We're grateful for the Lord's blessings in all the aspects of our lives....nos vemos!!!!

domingo, 14 de julio de 2013

Really?  It´s been a week again? So many more things to write about, it´s gone fast and slow at the same time, is that really a possibility?  Evidently, but I'll will try to give a more condensed version.  First a few things that I´ve learned...starting a new mission from scratch seems to require more hours than humanly possible for the president and his assistants.  So many details of things that have to be done from shopping for office supplies to having a 9 hour meeting with the zone leaders.  And just like his other callings my husband doesn´t seem to require much sleep to function, but here in Mexico, he doesn´t seem to need food either.  I´ve been reminded that no matter how many times you think you have everything on your list at the store, you´ve forgotten something, usually important, but that necessity really is the mother of invention.  I´ve learned that I may be content to not drive for three years because I´m not sure that, 1. I can find my way home, and 2. I have the necessary "offensive" skills necessary to get from point A to point B.   One of the assistants put it best when he said that traffic lights, signs, etc are just suggestions here, not really rules.  Needless to say if you know Jerry, he is in his element on the roads.  Lastly, I´m not going to be a proficient Spanish speaker in two weeks, or three, or maybe months, but I can get along. Which to my family means when we roll the window down for directions ( when lost, as usual) I can ask the questions and understand the answers instead of only saying"con permiso" to flag someone down on the street and then having Jerry take it from there.  Maybe I will drive.....eventually.

This week started with a Monday like most weeks, but was one of firsts in a lot of ways.  The Facilities Mangement people are so incredibly nice, they found a sweet woman named Raquel to come once a week and clean the mission home.  I felt a tad uncomfortable about this situation because lets face it, I´ve never had someone clean my house, preferring to keep my slovenliness to myself.  Besides, I used to tell my kids that´s what they were for, cleaning house was just part of living in it.  But this is not my house and I´m not in charge and I will eventually get over this uncomfortableness, I hope.  Raquel is very sweet and really does a better job than I would, her 16 year old daughter came to help and they were both subjected to my poor Spanish along with the FM men.  Anyone that comes within my path and is willing is my Study Buddy.  The FM guys asked if I wanted to speak Spanish or English and I quickly told them Spanish....lo siento for them.  The twins pretty much tried to hide all day, because besides the house getting cleaned, the gardeners were here, and the FM people were in and out because, we couldn´t figure out the TV (don´t laugh there are four controllers and evidently it wasn´t working right), the oven (which is still not working but I have high hopes for tomorrow),  the desk top computer which we couldn´t seem to get the internet up on  and the printer to merge (which I have to brag I figured out the router for the WI FI, and got the internet up and running at about 1:30am Monday morning).  We were sure the twins were going to be able to figure all of this out...when they couldn´t I felt much better about myself.  Oh, and Jerry wasn´t here having left at 7am to drive the hour and a half to the office not returning until 6 or 7pm.  Thank goodness the twins are here when my Spanish fails completely.  I was really disappointed in the oven problem as I will talk about next.  Tomorrow promises to be just as chaotic, Jerry has interviews with all the missionaries this coming week and will be leaving early every morning. The moving company is supposed to come tomorrow, along with Raquel, the gardeners and the FM folks to finally get the oven started and to install a huge magnetic board for all the missionary photos to go on, just like the one in his office in the city. 

So the reason for the dissapointment on the oven.  Tuesday was the first Mission Leadership Council and I wanted to do something nice and for me that ususally means food.  Through the week Jerry and I had manged to locate all of the the ingredients to make cinnamon rolls, which I wanted to take for the members of the council, since I was told some get up really early to come from the furthest parts of the mission and usually haven´t eaten.  Shopping is interesting because some stores have some things like flour and sugar and cinnamon, but no baking soda.  I couldn´t find powdered sugar and the brown sugar here is different, not sticky like at home. So I had everything but the powdered sugar and somehow Jerry found it on his way home Monday night.  I figured that after they ate the cookies that were only half cooked they would eat the cinnamon rolls without frosting if worse came to worse, and I had the rolls made when he got home.  Now I make these the night before and bake them in the here comes the oven problem.  Yep, I still don´t have one.  The assistants tell me that there is one at the Stake Center where the conference is being held.  Now, if I had to take these unbaked rolls an hour and a half in the States to then cook I would probably be ok, but I was not certain that they would not go completely flat driving over the hundreds of topes (speed bumps for those who have not been to Mexico) that lay between the mission home and the stake center.  Also for the swerving required to drive on these roads.  But there wasn´t a choice so I really did say a small prayer for those rolls.  We got to the stake center and took off the place mats (I still haven´t found dishtowels) and they looked like they were ruined.  One pan was all sort of squished to one side and all the pans looked like they had fallen.  Well, no turning back now, they were counting on some food, so with the twins helping we got them into the kitchen, to find that the oven didn´t turn on, but I could smell gas.  Hmmm, looked like there was a place to light it, and the burners worked.  Matches would have been handy,  but of course why would I have those?  Don´t worry, mad Girls´Camp skills of making due with what you have ended the problem with a rolled up paper towel lit from the burner, and YES the oven was on.  We slid the first pan in, the flattest hoping that as the oven heated they would raise a little more again, put the others on top of the stove and hoped the same for them.  I went into the meeting and left the twins in charge, they were awesome during this whole long day.  I came to check on the first pan, and what do you know, they looked ok (not counting miracles cuz they come every day in so many ways big and small)  Harper and Blair got them out frosted them and waited for the other pans to bake.  When it was time to eat them, the girls had them cut and waiting for the missionaries, they were still warm, and they looked perfect!  The girls had tasted one so I knew that it wasn´t that they just looked right, they were just perfect.  There were some really happy missionaries that morning and I knew that my prayer was answered.  For what is important to us is important to our Heavenly Father, if it´s a righteous desire, even something as seemingly insignificant as cinnamon rolls.  One elder from Argentina, fighting a cold, who had gotten up at 3 in the morning to be there told me that they were amazing, then ate three.  That meeting was amazing, even though it was really long.  Listening to them sing, teach, and council together was such a blessing, I was glad to be able to help in a small way.

Too much to tell in one week, many more blessings and miracles, but we ended the week going to our first baptisms here in Mexico.  Jerry left early Saturday morning because Friday morning was spent with the Assistants at the house figuring out the first transfers, and though he wouldn´t normally need to be there he wanted to  be at the office for  first one.  So Friday afternoon as we took the elders back to the city, we stopped to eat our first street tacos, then to go to this little pueblito with an open market that day, very cool, especially because one of the assistants, Elder West, had been there as a brand new a great guided tour.  This was what both Jerry and the assistants got for a pday last week, 4 hours in the afternoon.  So Saturday he went in at 7am again and the plan was for me to drive in to meet him, as I now had the other car at the house (the elders drove it down Friday morning). Jerry stayed all day, went to two other baptisms, the twins and I were going to come for the third, where four people were all getting baptized in one ward.  As the time got closer, we were going to leave at 4 (baptism at 7, thought that gave me plenty of time to get lost) I felt increasingly uncomfortable driving the hour and a half with Harper and Blair, knowing I would have to drive back in the dark, something they counselled us not to do if possible during the mission president´s seminar, those of us going to foreign countries.  The girls´and I were ready and Jerry called, my phone had been having trouble getting service, he was almost home, he had decided he had time to drive back for us.  I was really relieved as it looked like it was going to rain earlier last night. Dark, rain, strange roads, topes, not excited for that drive.  Ended up raining like crazy on the way in and out, the baptism started an hour late and I was so grateful that Jerry had felt prompted to come get us, even though it meant so much time on the road for him.  The baptism was amazing, the elders sang the Primary song, Baptism, accompanied by the guitar, a son baptized both of his parents, a husband joined his wife as a member, and another woman who years earlier had had a friend that was a member was baptized because of that friends´example.  Elder West had "forgotten" to tell Jerry that they wanted him to give the talk on the Holy Ghost until minutes before it started.  Can I just say that while my Spanish has miles to go, his is unbelievable in just two weeks.  He´s not home to edit this so I can write it, he was blessed with the gift of tongues by Elder Bednar in his setting apart and it is evident as I listen to him every day that it has come to pass.  While I might have been annoyed in my previous life at a late start to this baptism, not anymore. I got to meet the members of the ward and they were so nice to help me with my Spanish.  Every where I go the members and non members alike here are so kind, helpful, and forgiving of my limited abilities.  They encourage me to keep trying, and I don´t feel frustrated because of their kindness.  Ok, well this is longer than last week, and I haven´t written half of what went on. 

I´ll just end with my testimony that this is God´s work and I´m grateful to have a part in it.  To see lives change, both the missionaries and those that they teach.  That His work is going forward in huge ways in this part of the vineyard.  That God loves all his children here on earth and wants them to come back to him through following His Son.  Thanks to all that email me and next week I will be able to post some pics when our own computer gets here.  Me encanta Mexico y toda la gente que viven aqui.  Nos vemos


domingo, 7 de julio de 2013

Begin at the Beginning

Well this is the official beginning....Bienvenidos  a Mexico  This was our welcoming committee at the airport in Mexico City.  From left to right Elder Milner, Jerry's assistant that came from one Mexico City mission standing next to his old president, Presidente Valadez and Sister Valadez, then me (obvi), Presidente Crickmore, Presidente Morales and Sister Morales from the other mission that sent missionaries, and the assistant that came from that mission, Elder West.  Was that confusing?  Welcome to my life!  What a week.  I can't believe how much can happen in one week, in a brand new mission with 120 or so missionaries, a really dazed and confused mission president and his wife, and two amazing assistants that I don't believe ever sleep. So here we go, if you get  bored, go ahead and shut this down and go play on facebook. 

We said goodbye to the familia Valadez at the the airport, climbed into a minivan with Presidente and Hermana Morales, and Elders Milner and West.  Let me just say at this point that anything that you have ever heard about Mexico City traffic, if its bad, is completely true.  And, Presidente Morales and Presidente Crickmore fit right in with all of the other drivers....tan locos.  We first stopped at the brand new mission office in Chalco, met the other office elders, the staff that has been working non-stop (built the office from the ground up, furnished and ready to go in 3 months, yep, not kidding).  Then off to dinner with the other Facility Management employees that have supervised everything from finding the home, building the office and filling both with everything we need.  Great dinner just down the hill from the new mission home, which is an hour away from the office.  We had no idea how we got there, I practiced my barely passable Spanish on poor hermana Morales the whole time.  The assistents helped when I didn't know how to say something, the beginning of so much help in the past week.  

We got to the house ( in the dark) and luckily the assistants spent the night or we would never find our way back to the office and Chalco.  We managed to get lost without them every other day (and most nights) even with the GPS.  The next morning (from now on Jerry will be referred to as Pte Crickmore)  The assistants and Pte Crickmore took off for the first day at the much to do.  I stayed at the new house to unpack and wait...and wait...and wait...for someone to come fix the pipe that was leaking under the kitchen sink.   I couldn't figure out how to turn the water off, believe me I tried (no worries the shut off valve is on the roof...why did I not think of that?) So, I used a large bowl (not just a leak, it was spraying water) and every towel in the house.  Which led me to learn how to use the washing machine (its all in spanish) and dryer (also all in spanish)  Just when I thought the pipe might burst, the great fm guy showed up.  Whew.  Pte. Crickmore didn't return until about 9pm that night.  Just the first of five 14 hour days for el presidente. 

On Wednesday, we got up early, to meet the first three zones of missionaries...we needed gas, we stopped and the credit card was declined...and here is the first miracle.  We didn't have any mexican currency, not even thinking to change our cash at the airport, and a young couple pull up, proceed to exchange enough US dollars for pesos so we can pay for our gas, and we get on the road (hmm the assistants felt bad that they forgot to tell us that Pemex doesn't take the Church's credit card cuz it's from the states.)  Also, we are not driving on the same road as the night before...we took the scenic route, by mistake, and are  not sure we are ever going to find the office again...we did, second miracle.  Then we met the missionaries.  Amazing young men and women, great meeting, full of the Spirit, I spoke without notes, in Spanish, was understandable evidently and didn't die of nervousness.  What miracle are we on now?  I'm not counting anymore there are too many.  After the meeting we get to meet and greet with all the missionaries...shout out to my MTC tutors, I could actually articulate most of the things in my head en espanol.  I was so grateful for the  blessing by Elder Christensen of the Seventy when he set me apart, he included the gift of tongues and I most definitely love that gift and use it every day.  Then on to  a members house for lunch with 6 elders...her house is being remodeled, while she's there.  It was a great lunch, such a sweet sister, but really noisy with a jackhammer going the entire time.  I'm already half deaf, so I'm sure when I kept saying que? the sister thought I was completely deaf.  Then back to the office for more work, finally leaving and hoping to find our house in the dark...some wrong turns, but eventually we did.

Next day, lost again, but this time on the right road...Pte Crickmore thinks something's wrong with the GPS....I'm pretty sure its right and I just can't figure it out.  Meet the rest of the missionaries, one young 18 year old elder out just 8 days....I feel his pain trying to speak Spanish every day sometimes my head feels like its gonna explotar.  Yep thats a real word in Spanish.  Then we go shopping for office supplies with Elder West...and for a few things that the house didn't have, like an iron and ironing board, and Diet Coke, just the necessities.   We actually made it home this night without getting to lost...but man were we tired.  But we got home a little earlier and I attempted to make chocolate chip cookies, after a trip to Walmart for a few more supplies, only to find out that our oven doesnt work...right.  Evidently its both electric and gas, electric just to pre heat, but the gas wouldn't come, some really funky cookies, that I cooked with just the pre heat element.  Yep seriously ghetto.   I almost threw them all away, but couldn't bring myself to waste those expensive chocolate chips!   

So Friday morning early to the office, oops, lost again, late for a meeting with the Assistants, they are so patient it's incredible.  And, the office elders and the assistants ate every one of those funky cookies and thought they were great.  ha, wait till they get a decent one.  So, we are on the road early, hoping to get home before dark, when Jerry gets the call that one of our elders, who has been sick, really sick, off and on for a year is headed to the hospital in Amecameca...on our way home.  That morning the volcano had left about an inch of ash in this town, and it was raining, and we had no idea where the hospital was.  We stopped to ask directions, and the guy babbled something that neither of us understood, so we keep driving further in and lo and behold, the Zone leaders are standing on the corner.  We tell them what we are doing, they hop in the mini van (yep Pte is rockin the honda minivan, hahah) and take us straight to the hospital where we arrive at the same time as the sick elder and his comp.  Pte manages to talk all of us into the hospital (the rule is only one person can accompany the patient) and an LDS doc finds us, lets us into a room to give a blessing, then takes this Elder off to the room, leaving us to wait for two hours, so we walk out with the other three elders, its raining and ashy and we haven't eaten since breakfast and it's 6pm.  Standing in the street wondering what to do, and this man comes out of this restaurant heading straight for our little group.  With a big smile he asks if Pte is the new mission prez, we say yes, he tells us he works at the temple and his wife's family owns the restaurant, would we like to come in and eat?  We have great meal, lots of laughing and talking to the whole extended family that works at the restaurant.  They have a darling baby which they let us both hold (missing baby Jude) and then refuse to let us pay and send us home with leftovers.  Miracle number?  Not over yet for the day.  We get home and later that night Elder Alarcon, the zone leader, calls and says they won't release the sick elder, even though they're done with him because they don't have enough pesos.  Pte calls the doc who says let me talk to the hospital, and he is closer than us, will go pay if he needs to.  In the mean time, the family with the restaurant goes over and gets the bill reduced to almost nothing and pays it so they can leave....did I mention miracles?  Yep every day almost every minute.

Ok, harper and blair are telling me no one will want to read this, thats ok, I'm gonna call this a journal.  Saturday, Jerry goes out teaching with a companionship, then picks up the twins at the airport, using his excellent defensive driving skills while I stay home and do laundry, and ironing and other little things that haven't gotten done all week.  He calls freaking out from the airport cuz the twins' plane has landed (miracle also cuz most flights into Mexico City have been cancelled because of the Volcanic cloud)  I tell him they are probably last off the plane and just before he has a coronary, he yells into the phone "I see them!!!!" and hangs up on me.  The twins reported he was jumping up and down....hahha, he kept telling them that he was going to make them find their way to the house from the airport...haha NOT.  So fun to have them here!!!!!!    

So today, went to Church in a little ward a half an hour from our house, but in our mission.  I bore my testimony, and was so thankful for all of my friends in the Encinitas 2 branch for all of their love and support for the last 6 months.  I wasn't nervous, but felt so comfortable because of their help at home.  Great day, Great week, Great life.  Sharing the gospel and working with the missionaries every day is so amazing, we both feel so incredibly blessed, and did I mention all the miracles?