Monday, March 21, 2016

February, better late than never

Our internet has not been working very well since Chirstmas, so we are finally able to get this post up.  It is hanging in with a prayer right now, so hopefully it will be fairly good until we leave.
February went by so quickly.  We had a few nice warm days and then the last few days there was rain in the afternoon.  This is a bit earlier than normal but we doubt this indicates the weather will change dramatically. At least not yet. Starting later in March, then in April, we will have more rain but also warmer weather, so humidity, as well.  Right now, the jacaranda trees are starting to bloom.  They have beautiful purple flowers on a leafless tree this time of year.  Those with allergies are feeling the effects, of course, of this time of year as there is considerable pollen with tress in bloom. All throughout the city there are several types of beautiful flowering trees, but our favorite seems to be the truly beautiful and stately Jacarandas. We include a picture of them.

Both of us had colds in February, but we are doing well now and getting back into the groove. We missed a bit of work time, but not too much. Elder Salinas, our leader, asked us to do a couple of special assignments for him -- that is, for the Self-Reliance effort -- before we leave at the end of April. One is to make some special visits to the initial self-reliance meetings conducted at the Stake level, generally. Also talk with a number of different folks involved with these meetings and come back with a set of recommendations as to how they could be more successful. The other is to put together a book of all the meaningful self-reliance success stories we received since our arrival.  It is a lot of work!  But, as we review these stories, it is truly amazing to see how many people’s lives have changed for the better! With a little help, they are helping themselves. It is inspiring.  So, we are busy these last two months of our mission, but that is good!   

Elder Oaks made a visit here in February.  He spoke at a devotional for the church employees, and we were able to attend. That was very nice.  Elder Clayton of the Seventy was traveling with him. He was busy visiting other parts of the country.  It turns out as purely coincidental, but the Pope was visiting Mexico during the same basic time period and both the Pope and Elder Oaks were in many of the same areas, but on different days.  Incidentally, the Pope’s visit to Mexico was really a huge event. His public appearances were broadcast everywhere around the world. Basically, the entire country was really focused on him the days here was here.    
On March 1, we had the second Self-Reliance group graduation in the ward.  There were two groups that graduated.  One for “Starting and Growing my Business” and the other was “My Job Search”.  Six members received their certificates. One sister took both classes and attended all 12 meetings of each class.  She started a little business and also got a very good part time job to help supplement her family income.  Her name is Estella and she is really awesome.  We are so proud of her, and of all the graduates.   There are many success stories that we have heard from other groups throughout the country, as mentioned above, and this is just one more example

Jacaranda Trees

Graduation Group 
Pictures with Elder Oak


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