First mission tour from a GA two zones
Popo last night
Two weeks in recovery
nobody cared when he threw them like baseballs
Paige drove down for the day to cheer us up
Maren, Easton, Jude and Hayley, pre-op leaf show viewing
Heber creeper Halloween ride....freezingSo, I haven't blogged, haven't even really been on our computer for over a month. Yes mobile devices are amazing, so I haven't missed much in the world of instagram and facebook, but I think I should blog about real world experiences. If you know me at all, you probably already figured out that I haven't been on my computer because I wasn't home (yep, Mexico is now home, officially) for a month. Hmm and why was I gone? Aren't you supposed to stay put, once you are on your mission? Well it's sometimes more complicated than that. I have been in Salt Lake City (so technically I never really went home, right?) having my left hip replaced. So in the hip department, I have gone totally high tech, with both hips of the metallic variety. Its a long and boring story as to why it happened now, suffice it to say that prescription pain relief is not as good in Mexico as in the U.S. Also, according to the Area Presidency (the presiding Church leaders in Mexico) neither is the health care, hence flying to Salt Lake City to have the replacement done a the TOSH center. Having already done this fun experience once, I was not all that excited for the repeat performance, away from home, without my husband and without a home to go to. But, God works in mysterious and often miraculous ways and everything worked out fine and I am back in Mexico where I belong. While in Utah, my daughter Hayley was also having a little surgery of her own, we "happened" to have them in the same week. We argued over whose was worse, I still say hers and she still says mine. But once she got out of the hospital three days after, what I think, was fairly serious and invasive surgery, she immediately collected me from the Rehab facility where i spent 5 days following the replacement. Then we proceeded to have some serious "fun" bonding, healing, and living together for two weeks. Hayley had a miraculous recovery, and then proceeded to take care of the very gimpy me. Days never to be forgotten, huh, Hayley? Shout outs to her very kind and generous roommates who could not have been sweeter, Kristina and Grace. I was so blessed to get to know them, Hayley had great taste in roommates, and so many kind and generous friends who visited and brought food and company.
The week before surgery Maren flew up with Easton and Jude and stayed in a hotel with me (they have to do blood work one week before, so after the blood work...just the waiting) and it was so great to see them. Having lived so close since Easton was born, the hardest thing to leave behind was 3 day old Jude in July. It was a "gran bendicion" to be able to see them for a few days, along with Paige, Anthony, Harper and Blair. Someone asked me if Jerry was jealous, I said, "not jealous enough to want a hip replacement. Poor Easton got so sick the first day there (first time to have croup) that we ended up in the ER of Children's Hospital that first day. Hayley and I were having so much fun at doctor's appointments we wanted Maren and Easton to share in the fun...you know I'm seriously kidding. He was such a trooper, not feeling well and still we did some fun things and I was so happy he still remembered me and that Jude liked me too.
I flew home, with a layover in Atlanta three weeks and two days after the operation. Everything went well, I was even able to help the only Elder flying from SLC to Mexico City to enter the MTC there. He was headed to Quito, Ecuador and was really nervous that he was all alone. He was delighted to see 13 other Elders and Sisters in the Atlanta airport heading to the MTC also. It made me feel right at home to help them on the trip. Most of them had never been out of the country and so they were really nervous upon landing about customs and immigration, and having to speak Spanish to do it. I reassured them that the people there would be able to speak English, but it was nice to be able to show them the bathrooms and where to get their luggage, how to go through, and then to find the MTC people outside in the huge group of people...hmm just like being back in the Mission. None of those missionaries are staying in Mexico. It's very interesting that all the North Americans that come to Mexico on their missions still go to Provo, but the native Spanish speakers all come to the CCM (MTC in spanish) in Mexico. We got a missionary in the last couple of months from Spain, from the Mexico City CCM. We also got a sister from Colombia, I told her that one of my good friends from the Spanish Branch in our stake was from Colombia. She is from Florencia and told me to send "mi saludos" to my friend, so Brenda, please tell your mom, thanks! The doctors insisted that I take my hot pink crutches on the plane, mostly to keep people from knocking me over in the airport. So glad I did, because we have and Elder that is now rocking those pink muletas (crutches) like nobody's business right now. I will get a pic of that.
So it was a really busy week, I came home last Wednesday, to a house that had no electricity for three days (finally on Thursday evening it was turned back on...) So the first order of business was to throw out all of the spoiled food in a chest freezer and the regular refrigerator. Jerry had been home only to sleep and had used candles, but the first night he had to canvas the neighborhood for some matches, oops, had candles but nothing to light them with...almost prepared Luckily I had a couple of flashlights from home, one that you wind (love those, never run out of batteries) and he used those to find his way to an inhabited home where they kindly gave him a lighter. Friday was spent buying groceries and doing laundry, electricity is a beautiful thing. Saturday morning we left the house about 10am, our first missionary couple was arriving at the airport in the afternoon, we wanted to check their apt before picking them up so we could see what they would need. Then to the aiport, met the Birds from Taylorsville, took them to Walmart for some groceries, then headed to Estaca Solidaridad for their Adult session of Stake Conference. Elder Pino of the First Quorum of the Seventy was there to call a new Stake President. Small Mormon world story, he was the Area President over half of South America (Church Authorities that run the Church in different areas of the world) with Elder Waddell as his second counselor until a few months ago. He also knows President Dyer as he was over the Bogota CCM as part of his area. He said he was glad to know that not all the ex-presidents of the Del Mar Stake are really tall. Ok, guess it was only funny if you were there. We got home about midnight and were back in Stake Conference (an hour and a half away from the mission home) the next morning at 9:30am. The new stake president had called a bishop from one of the wards as his new counselor. Bishop Galicia's wife was in Provo when Jerry and I were doing language training last year, we met to hear about Chalco, one of the tutors knew her daughters (three were in Provo studying at either BYU or UVU) She was so gracious to meet us and tell us about her part of Mexico, she was there to help her daughter who was about to get married. I had met her sister, who was in a different Stake and ward a couple of months ago, but still hadn't seen her until the Saturday night session. It was so fun to see one familiar face!! And then the next day her husband was called into the Stake Presidency. Great family. Then on Wednesday we had our first mission tour by Elder Valenzuela of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is a member of the Area presidency here in Mexico. We had already met him at the Mission Presidents seminar, but it was fun to meet his wife. He was accompanied by our area Seventy, Elder Miron, who we have had the opportunity to work with already. He is an amazing teacher and he and his wife have the greatest senses of humor. He asked them to be the investigators for some missionaries to practice on....they should really break into the theater. The tour lasted until Saturday afternoon. The first night both couples drove down and stayed with us....but said it was too far and didn't come the other two nights. hahah, that long trip with Jerry driving is enough to scare anyone off, he's training to be a Combi driver when we are done here.
So this is long and not very exciting, I will include some pics. Anyone that follows my instagram is finding out that I am just a little obsessed with the Volcano Popocaetl that I can sometimes see from my bedroom window. When I get a clear pic, I take it, some are better than others. But if you don't get to see the ocean when you wake up, checking the local volcano is a close second for good times!
Of course we miss our family and friends, but life is busy and exciting and ever changing here in Mexico, it's almost been 6 months and that's unbelievable. It is a four day weekend here (I don't have any idea why) and the house next door that is a vacation rental and is usually rented is partying like there's no tomorrow. A bunch of guys with a lot of alcohol and really loud music are in residence. I heard them the first night but last night I was too tired (and earplugs help) but Jerry heard them all night. We thought maybe that would mean they would sleep all day, but no such luck. I think they took a short nap from 6am to 10am and then were back at it. We have private security people in this development (think Rancho Santa Fe Security) and this morning I happened to see one across the street. I told Jerry and he walked over and was told they have a noise policy (Hallelujah) and that if they were still partying hearty at 11pm to call and they would shut them down. Hmmm sometimes it really is just like home here!