Common sight on the side of every road
this is half of our home ward building
this is the other half of our ward building
when you get to the parking story, this is the corner I was stuck in
This is the arch we go through on the way to church, built in the colonial era
Well, I skipped a week, its gonna happen and you didn't miss much. Funny how there are really busy weeks in the mission field and then some that are not so busy for the President and me. A week ago Saturday we took Harper and Blair to the Mexico City Airport. First time I'd been back since we got here. Unfortunately Jerry couldn't say the same thing. The traffic is incredible in and around the City and the airport is no exception. The other time Jerry went was only a few days into our mission when he was sending a very sick elder home. He said that it took them a couple of hours to go what should have taken only 45 mins. So we got up and left early not wanting the girls to miss their flight....well secretly I would have been ok with that, but they were anxious to get back to school and get settled, which meant for them a flight to Orange County where their Aunt Teri picked them up and gave them a place to sleep for two nights (and I hear a delicious dinner at Olive Garden, shout out to Teri!) They had one day to pack the rest of the stuff in their car, go visit Maren and family, then that lovely drive to Provo. Suffice it to say they didn't want to miss the flight. Maybe because it was Saturday it wasn't as bad and we were there in plenty of time (they say to be at this airport 3 hours before an international flight here) So we got to get some food and buy a little something for Easton and Jude and send them off. Ok, not gonna lie, I cried, a lot. Harper and Blair are a good time, always up for an adventure and because they were here we for sure took a few P-days and went and saw some cool stuff. After having them home since the end of April, it's hard to give up the company again. But they are so much happier, I mean really, who wants to hang out with their parents all summer and have no friends?
So last week Jerry got caught up with a lot of paperwork, there was a transfer meeting last Tuesday and we got a visa waiter from the CCM. That is kind of a funny story. The new CCM here has way more North Americans than Mexicans in it according to our four new missionaries that we got a couple of weeks ago. So Jerry gets this call, there is a Mexican missionary who is going to I think Colombia, but his visa isn't ready. Which isn't surprising because he was probably only there a couple of weeks, since he's not learning the language. So they call Jerry and ask really nicely if he would be able to accommodate a missionary for a short time. So Jerry pauses, then says, "of course, we're all in the same Church right?" Pretty sure that wasn't the response that they were expecting, but he then told them that he would be happy to have this elder for as long as they needed him to. So there were transfers that day (they leave the Mexico City CCM early Tuesday mornings) and another sick missionary going to the airport, and his flight was at I believe 9:30am, which as I said above, meant he needed to be there at 6:30 am. Well he and his companion came in from their area which is 2 hours from the airport to stay with the assistants for the night and it worked out really smoothly for them to take a taxi, drop the Elder at the airport, then pick up the elder at the CCM (its about another half hour past the airport, well maybe a half hour) And at that hour of the morning, traffic wasn't too awful. Jerry had given the sick elder his exit interview the night before and was waiting for the visa waiter the next morning at the office to send him off with the other transfers. So we're wondering now if there are visa waiters in that CCM if we won't be receiving some of them now and again. Hmm, maybe a missionary or two that we know from home. Right now we know that there is an Elder Toolson and an Elder Mastergeorge there. Soon to be an Elder Weeks.
I guess the lull before the storm is good, in a couple of weeks we say goodbye to 8 more elders and receive 20 new missionaries. We will also have our first round of zone conferences and then there is a country wide conference of all the mission presidents and wives the first of October. We'll take the lull while we can get it. More of a lull for me than Jerry, seems he never really has a lull its either fast or faster for him, I guess in September it's hyper speed.
You might have heard in the news (I posted an article on my wall) about the young adults that were kidnapped from a club in Mexico City the end of May, well they believe they found their bodies buried behind a house in Chalco. Chalco is a densely populated suburb, but also has some rolling hills and farmland on the outskirts...kind of like Riverside used to be. It was in the more rural area that they made this discovery. So sad for those families, and really the police here are very tight lipped about things like this. Knowing that this stuff happens and it's not always in the news, we have been cautious about me and girls out and about too far from home without Jerry all summer. I mean, we don't really blend in now do we? (one of the things we were advised to try and do in our mission presidents seminar) The office elders won't even let me walk down the street to the OXXO which is kind of like an 7-11 (but unfortunately without the Slurpee machine, or any soda machine for that matter). The missionaries don't seem to have problems, but we don't at this time have any North American sister missionaries. But we are getting some in September. While some of our elders have been robbed, (it's one of the reasons they don't want them carrying backpacks anymore because people think they have more stuff than they do with a backpack on) they never really have anything to take. The last companionship that got robbed had a total of 20 pesos on them and the very basic model cell phone that the Church issues, which is not a hot item like an iphone or Droid. They told us that the robber looked really disappointed, and they weren't hurt in any way. Maybe he'll spread the word. Mostly they are left alone and none have been seriously assaulted. I know that God protects these young people as long as they are obedient and cautious, and use common sense. Three things kids that age are not really known for, so one more thing these kids have to learn.
So today I did my first solo trip to Church. The girls and I have gone without Jerry, like being a stake president or bishop, Sunday is one of his busiest days. So this is only the second time I've been to my assigned ward (or Barrio as we call it here) It's a big ward and super friendly and today I was lucky because Elder de Hoyos, who is first counselor in the area Seventy (like a stake presidency but for the whole country of Mexico) was there with his wife whom we've already met. They are here in the summer and she was kind enough to sit with me (her husband was on the stand) and show me where to go to Sunday School and Relief Society. I really do understand almost everything that is said now, but gratefully they didn't ask me any questions in either class, both of which were standing room only. Pretty interesting discussion in gospel doctrine, the teacher is a temple sealer and Elder de Hoyos was in attendance so the class members were asking some pretty deep questions, some of which I didn't understand. But in RS the Young Women came in and conducted and we stood and recited their theme and I felt so at home, even though I can't say it as fast in Spanish as in English. But the biggest news is that I didn't get lost on the way there or back, and didn't dent the other car, which is a miracle. Why is not denting my car at church a miracle? Well the only other time I've driven, I dented the car for one, but for tow I got pinned in this time. When I came out, the other ward was there and someone had parked so close behind me that I didn't think I would get out. I would probably still be there if a nice brother in the ward hadn't seen my predicament and come over and helped me squeeze out of the spot, seriously I couldn't have done it without him (and all I could think was "oh no, now I'm gonna dent our OTHER car, and someone else's too) I think I would have just sat there and waited two hours for the other ward to get out. I was so grateful that someone noticed my distress...and came to the rescue without being asked. It's not just the members that are like this, everywhere we go the people in Mexico are happy to give directions, or opinions, or just help you out. I must look really confused all the time because it happens to me so much.
Well hopefully I will have much more interesting things to write about next week, but I've found that being the wife of a mission president entails lots of waiting and that's ok, sometimes some pretty interesting things happen while you're "waiting" for something else. Thanks to all of you for your prayers for us and our family, and the emails and texts of kindness and support. It really is nice to hear from home, I know why the missionaries are so excited for letters now.