It is hard to believe that we are approaching 5 months on our mission. In mid June we have permission to go to a family reunion in Minnesota . When we return we will be near 7 months!
We try to exercise every day. There are 2 tread mills here at the hotel, but they are often busy. So we went out and bought an exercise bike. We wanted a good one, big enough for me. It is QUIET.
I have set a goal to lose 10 pounds before the reunion. (Any family members want to join me in a goal?)
We also try to read scriptures everyday, together and individually. By reading when I exercise I have read the Pearl of Great Price, from Genesis to Exodus, and Joshua to Job in the Old Testament and the New Testament now in Romans. We read the Book of Mormon together. Can't do this calling without physical and spiritual strength. I pray that my intellect will be clear and active; I'm not as sharp as I used to be, or I thought I was. I think I know why General Authorities Seventies are released at age 70.
So many interesting things happen on a day to day bases. Monday mornings we start the day with a devotional at 7:30 for the employees in the area office. There is a song, prayer, and spiritual message. I love the picture out of the window of the room where we meet. Some mornings it is very clear.
This coming week it is the Area Presidency's turn to do the devotional, and I am doing the agenda. Michelle will play the piano, and I will pray and our Area President will give the message.
They asked Michelle to get some birthday cakes for those with birthdays. We had 2 birthdays last week. This is for Sister Montoya in red, the executive secretary that works with us. The sister on the left if Daisy. She is the secretary of the Area President and is excellent in both English and Spanish.
Sometimes on our busy days we don't even have time to go home to eat although we can get there in 5 minutes. Sometimes Michelle brings us a sandwich from home or buys something close by and we eat in the office. Here we are eating in the conference room. Note the computers. We spend most of our days on the computer.
A long time ago in this area there was a small community far from Mexico City called Tecamachalco. Now the city has grown up all around this little pueblo which still exists. We enjoy walking up to it. This past week we did. I took a picture of the small Catholic Church they have in the main square.
They have a large mural there, Murals and paintings are a big deal in the Latin Culture. They also have a large cross there they used for Easter.
They usually put a black cloth on the cross on Good Friday and a white one on East Morning. Good Friday is a big deal, many businesses closed and schools closed for 2 weeks.
In the Pueblo this man rides a bike up and down streets or parks in the center; then he turns it around and pedals to sharpen knives. You can see the knife in his hand and the grindstone that he spins.
We buy drinking water. 5 gallons cost $30 Pesos about $2.10 US.
It is hard to lift 5 gallons so instead of a water dispenser where you tip it upside down we use a hand pump.
There are quite a few rich people in this area and many have dogs in their apartments. So some people's jobs are to walk the dogs. It is amazing how many dogs 1 handler tries to walk! And sometimes the dogs are very large.
In our apartment we have a table with a large glass center. The other day it developed a crack along the edge and then a couple of days later it broke. We told the hotel people and immediately they came up and replaced the glass. It must happen often because the repair man had the handles to take the old part away and they had a spare part which he brought to replace it.
Michelle continues with here 2 Spanish / English classes every week. She teaches the wives of the senior missionaries and some of the employees in the Church Office building on Thursday and on Wednesday night she teaches in the chapel.
Some of the senior missionaries help. There is lots of interest in the ward in learning English. Her class members age from about 12 to 60. People really like what she is doing.
Michelle loves the flowers. The bugambillia come in all colors.
This purple bugambillia is climbing up a jacaranda tree.
And we love the bread stores.
One of my favorite things is the chance to watch via the internet the weekly meeting of the Seventy from Salt Lake City. The meeting is under the direction of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy and which ever of the Seventy are in Salt Lake City come. It is recorded and the Seventy away from Salt Lake City can watch it.
They do everything from having the Presiding Bishopric talk about buildings and temporal affairs to the history the Church in Japan to the life of Paul.
The last meeting I observed what was a spiritual thought to me. One of the brethren told about being called to be a stake president in Mesa for one of the oldest stakes. After he was called to be stake president he and his wife we sent into the High Council room to think about counselors. When they got in the High Council room he noticed the pictures on the wall of all the previous stake presidents going back to the very early days of the church. As he looked at those great men he felt inadequate and said to his wife, "I don't think I can do this." She just said to him that he better go back and talk to the general authority that had called him, which he did. He said to the general authority, "I don't think I can do this." The Seventy then told us he expected the general authority to say something like you can because you will have counselors and bishops. But instead the General Authority just paused and said nothing. Then the authority said ,"Well I suppose you can't." And paused again while the newly called stake president truly expected the authority to choose someone else. But then the authority said, "But the Lord can do it. You just pray and work hard and you will be OK."
Then the Seventy speaking to us expressed the spiritual thought. "I suppose there is one thing worse than a person who thinks he can't do the call he has received, and that may be the person who thinks he can" (by himself).
Elder and Sister Sandberg.