Friday, April 8, 2016

Marching through March

March was quite eventful.  Were able to take a trip to Tampico, where Craig served his mission there nearly 50 years ago. Craig had a list of people who he had baptized and with the help of Brother Abraham Martinez he was able to locate and speak with 2 of the people he baptized.  While we were in Tampico we called one of the ladies he had baptized and we were able to visit with her and her family.  She is now 75 years old and most of her family is active in the church.  In fact, we attended a party for her grandson who was leaving on a mission to Oaxaca Mexico.  What a fun experience and to see that the seeds of testimony that were planted so many years ago have borne fruit was very rewarding for us both.

Also this past month we were able to travel and visit one of what are known as the ‘magical’ cities of Mexico, San Miguel de Allende.  We went with the Stevens, another missionary couple, and we traveled there by bus.  I was on Sister Stevens bucket list to take a bus.  She usually drives, because they are one couple who has a car.  What a fun place to visit!  It is a very colorful city.  The buildings are painted a wide variety of colors, mostly in earth tones.  The city is charming and small enough to walk around.  We walked from our hotel to the town square (Zocalo) in the center of the city.  The afternoon we arrived, after checking into our really quaint hotel, we took our first walk, snapping pictures all along the way -- well, as least Craig was!  At the Zocalo there were hundreds of people dressed in native Indian (Aztec-like) costumes dancing in the streets. And, they were dancing in groups to really LOUD drums! There were men, women, youth and children.  We were looking for a place to eat and found a wonderful restaurant and had a great meal.  We were hungry after the bus trip which took about 4 hours.  When we left the restaurant there were many more groups dancing in the street. The drums were loud and each group had their own drums.  It was quite a site to see this typical dress and ceremonials that were going on.  We walked around for a while and then found the “churros and chocolate” place that was recommended. We bought some churros and took them back to the hotel and ordered hot chocolate. That was one thing that had been recommended for us to have in San Miguel. Churros are a sort of Mexican sweet cake but deep fried, sugared, and they are in long, thin sections. The next day we went again to the center of town and walked around for a while. Photography was again the order of the day and we took lots of pictures.  We also took a bus tour of the city, and saw many parts of the city we wouldn’t have if we had only walked around. It seems like weddings are very popular in San Miguel. We ate lunch and when we came out of the restaurant there was a wedding coming out of the church on the square. They had mariachis and the bride and groom were in from. There were also these bigger than life puppets of a bride and groom, the mariachis and those of the wedding party marching around the square. It was just really fun to watch, and interesting. They were having a great time, I dare say that the free flowing tequila probably aided their merriment.  What a fun place to go and visit and we don’t wonder why it is a magical city.  Oh, there are also a lot of foreigners in the town.

Easter week is big time in Mexico, and a lot of people leave Mexico City and go to the beaches.  So it is quiet in Mexico City.  We only had to work two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, of Easter Week. On Monday, we did a little artesian shopping at the bazaar and had tacos with our friends the Piepers. Then on Thursday we went to the Ruins of Tula.  On the way we visited a small LDS church in the town of Conejos (that means ‘rabbits’ in Spanish).  The building was built by the members there about 50 years ago. They used local stone, and the walls on the inside of the building and outside were made of the same stone. It is really a lovely building. In Tula are ruins not too far outside the city and we had a nice visit there.  We have been there before, but the two missionary couples that we went with had not.  Just outside the town of Tula is another small town called San Marcos. It is the town where two LDS Mexicans were executed (shot) during the Mexican Revolution because they wouldn’t deny their faith and hand over their weapons (which they didn’t have). There is a movie, available on U-Tube, about the martyrdom of these two men. Their posterity has greatly benefited the church in Mexico and Elder Montoya of the Seventy is a great grand-son of one of the martyrs. We visited the Monroy store (not owned by the family anymore), and weren’t sure of the site of the shooting. I hope the church adds this to their historical sites someday. We also went to the LDS chapel in town. It is a fun little church built in the 1950s, and in a very unusual style. It was open, so we were able to walk around inside and see the building, which was a real treat for us all.

We have been super busy putting together a book of success stories for Elder Salinas, who we work for.  It has been a huge project and we still have to get the printing done and a few other things together.  We are also busy training the couple who will take over our duties. So our time here is winding down!  We are indeed short-timers, but with a lot left to do.

Thank you all for your support and prayers during our mission service.
Tampico Temple 
 Craig and lady he baptized 49 years ago with her posterity
 Craig with Sister Nemoria Altamira
 Purpose for going to Tampico to attend this "Mi Camino" meeting.  It was help in Panuco

 Pictures in San Miguel de Allende

 Chapel in Conejos (means Rabbits) This church was built by members with local stone 50 years ago.

Inside and outside is built of stone
 Look close and see if you see 2 Conejos (rabbits)  Clever isn't it.  This is above the door that leads into the chapel.
 Tula (our second time there)
 Lunch below is the picture of Craig's escamole taco lunch.  He thought it was chicken but it was really ant larve.  (Don't tell him!) Yum!