Sunday, April 12, 2015

Semana Santa and more from Self-Reliance

Greetings! I think it’s time that Craig took a stab at writing the first draft for a blog post, so here I go! Last week was Easter week and that is called “Semana Santa” all over Latin America -- Holy Week. It is a time when the many people are involved in special things related to the last week of the Savior’s life. A lot of the Catholic churches carry out reenactments of His death and crucifixion. We did not see any of these because most often this is done in areas that are more rural in nature than we are here in the west portion of greater Mexico City. And, in addition, Saturday and Sunday were, for us LDS, is our semi-annual General Conference. Bonnie and I pretty much stayed right here in our apartment both days and watched conference over the internet. What made it nice is that I hooked up my laptop to our new TV via an HDMI cable and so we put the TV up on a table and pulled the chairs in front of it. It made for great viewing, and in Saturday, we watched all the World Report and such that is offered in the two hours between the morning and afternoon sessions. I had set up the TV similarly the Saturday before, for all the sister missionaries to be able to come to our apartment and watch the Women’s Session, which they did.


We also were able to view quite a few of the new Bible Videos on the TV screen. If you have not seen any them, we invite you to do so. They are wonderfully done. Everything about them is superb, from the acting to the settings to the costumes, music, and videography. The dialog is all straight from the King James version of the New Testament, not made-up. They have been made to reflect the teaching of the Savior as found in the Bible, and not to represent any religious stance, other than pure Christianity.  I have been viewing these videos since they first started to come out and I truthfully tell you all that they have strengthened by testimony of Jesus Christ and his life. They make me feel as if I am right there, witnessing the events first-hand. Take the time to see them and I believe they will do the same for you. I am putting the link to them here to make it easy for any of you who would like to open and enjoy something truly uplifting.


This past work week was exciting for Bonnie and me. We have spent considerable time this week in activities that support and share some of the many successes of the Self-Reliance Initiative in Mexico.  Let me explain two of them. . While we were in the few days of training about the initiative before we departed for Mexico, we were gently asked by the leaders of the effort to write to them periodically, to tell them how we were doing, including our reflections and feelings about the work. So, shortly after we arrived, and seeing some of the real results that were being reflected in the monthly bulletins (reports) coming to us from the stake Self-Reliance Centers (CAS is the acronym in Spanish) I decided that I would write about some of them and include them once in a while in a nice email to the office in Salt Lake City, as they had requested. I call them “Success Vignettes” because as see them as little glimpses, not full success stories, per se. For me, this has turned out to be a very exciting activity and it has grown to take a fair amount of my time every week, because I have begun to write about more and more of them. Oftentimes I need to get a bit more information in order to flesh out the ‘story’ because the monthly reports are quite short, a total of one page and they have to reflect some data, a picture, and other things beside a ‘success’ of some type for that month.


I think we have also indicated before in this blog that we started a FaceBook page for “Self-Reliance Mexico”, and it has become quite popular, actually. Bonnie primarily handles putting up new postings, but I feed things to her sometimes and also make sure things are in correct Spanish. We also use other things that people send to us and so it has come to now be a real joint effort as we to 2-3 updates every week, with pictures,  and also monitor the ‘likes’ and comments and such by others. The Self-Reliance Manager for the Area is really thrilled with how well the page is doing and being viewed by people around the country. Anyway, these are the two things that we spent a good share of time with this past week. Yu can go see the Mexico Self-Reliance page (it’s all in Spanish, of course, but go, see it, and like it!) at the following:

Saturday afternnon lunch at Sanborns
Craig during recent outing with fellow missionaries.

Unique plant for our apartment
Angry face on plant flowers 

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