A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to go to Puebla, which is a town about 2 hours from Mexico City. We took the bus and it was not too bad. We stayed for a couple of days and really enjoyed being in a smaller city with lots of old, colonial charm. We visited the town square, called the Zocalo, which has a huge cathedral. It is supposed to be the largest in Mexico. Believe us, it is large and has lots of wood, stone work, and numerous statues covered with gold leaf. It was quite amazing. We ate lunch on the square and went to the area of town that has the local arts and crafts. Puebla is famous for its pottery, originally in blue and white, but I liked the bright colors that they use now. So, naturally, we picked up a few pieces.
We also visited the fort of Loreto. It is where the famous 5 de Mayo battle in Puebla was fought. I guess it was a pretty awful scene with Mexicans in favor of the ruling elected government fighting both the French as well as Mexicans in favor of the monarchy who had solicited the help from France. The ruling government was overthrown and France took over the power, so that was when Maximilian came and the French were in power in Mexico for a few years. This was in the 1860’s time period.
WE also visited the ruins in Cholula. What is left of it is an old pyramid, and the base of the pyramid is larger than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, though it is not as high. There are a series of tunnels that have been excavated running through this pyramid, and we walked through some of them. It was fascinating. Afterwards, we had a great lunch in a restaurant close by.
The most important thing and reward of the trip was visiting three different stake centers with self reliance centers and visiting with the people at those centers. We heard the stories of those who had been helped by the centers and also the stories of how the service missionaries came to serve in them. It was really a testimony that these centers are working and helping people learn to get their lives on the right track to becoming self reliant, temporally as well as spiritually. We also visited with a stake President (very young) and his wife, who has been taking, on-line, the BYU Pathway courses from BYU Idaho. It is helping him reach his professional goals on his way to becoming self-reliant. Here is a side-note: He told about of a reunion of his family last year. His great-great grandmother had joined the church many years ago and they had a reunion of all her posterity, with spouses and children, of course. He showed us a picture of the group. There were 497 people who attended the reunion! Each generation was wearing a different color T-shirt. His generation was in navy blue and he mentioned that 90% of them are returned missionaries. Truly, the ‘stone cut out from the mountain’ is rolling forward here in Mexico, and the church is growing at an unbelievable pace.
We love what we are doing and feel so blessed when we see how peoples’ lives are being blessed, as well. The Lord is ready to help those who exercise enough faith and do their part, and the rewards are innumerable. Thank you all for your support and prayers as we continue to serve.
Here we are with Puebla Regional Self-Reliance Manager, Ranulfo Cervantes, we call him Fito.
The Stake President in Nealtican, with his family. The photo is of his family reunion!
Visiting a Self-Reliance Center in Puebla. The two sitting on the right are service missionaries in the Self-Reliance Center.
Service missionaries in another Self-Reliance Center near Puebla. They are dedicated to serving. The Elder is 82 years old and learning to use the computers. You are never too old to offer service.
A better view of the Stake Self-Reliance Center. The centers offer registration of LDSJobs., mentoring and help in finding schools and jobs.