I guess when we are too busy to share our experiences with our family and friends on the blog we are too busy! The Montoyas, the former senior executive secretaries, left the 19 of December. That was about 6 weeks early. They have been called to be President of the Mexico Chihuahua Mission so they needed to get home to prepare for July. That has left us quite busy.
Never the less, we have found time to enjoy the mission.
The 9 to 11 couples serving in the are office are assigned to the Mexico City West Mission. The mission president and his wife were kind enough to invite us all to the mission home for Thanksgiving Dinner. Very nice. Here is a video of the set up.
Then came Christmas. Michelle and I were invited to participate in the program for turning on the lights at the temple. I sang in a group and she played chimes with a mallet. We have a video of that later.
Poinsettias are used everywhere here. This is a picture at the temple grounds.
The lights were beautiful. Many people drive by slowly.
Like I said, Poinsettias are everywhere. This tree in a store is made of them
The missionaries here exchange Christmas gifts; we made and gave these brownies in a jar. We also gave potato chip bag clips, since they are hard to find here.
The Monday before Christmas Michelle and I had our own Christmas with some small gifts, Swedish rice, we sang some Christmas carols, and since we had no grandchildren to act it out, we watched a church video on the nativity.
We enjoy being here with the other senior missionaries. The Pratts, with their two children visiting, came caroling. Check out how good they are.
Then for Christmas two of Michelle's brothers and their wives came.
Left to right - Michelle, brother John and wife Sandra from the Mormon Colonies, Sharon and Robert Hatch from Los Mochis Mexico. (Robert lives in the same city where the drug lord - El Chapo was recently captured).
We went to the temple with John and Sandra and really enjoyed that. Then Robert and Sharon came and we went down to Acapulco on the Pacific Coast. On the way down we went up to the mountains to see the Monarch Butterflies. We rode horse and went up to 11,000 feet. Hard to breath there.
It was a little cool, but we stopped on the way for carnitas. Yummy!
Robert's wife Sharon is great at planning travel. She got us rooms in a hotel called Las Brisas for a really good price over Christmas. I guess they weren't too busy, because the price for our rooms would double for New Years. The hotel is on a hill side.
Each room is one part of a duplex. To get around you call these jeeps to take you up or down.
Each room had its own small swimming pool.
Every morning they brought us hot chocolate and sweet bread which we could eat on the deck.
And how is this for a view?
This is the view from the restaurant.
And yes we swam - senior mission rules ARE different!
This is to show you how clear the water was.
And the beach.
We went into town to eat and saw these lighted, horse drawn carriages for tourists. We did not ride.
And yes we did go see the cliff divers. Pretty impressive.!
Christmas was a great break for us. I was spending lots of time picking up things as the Montoya's left. Several days I started at 7:00 am and didn't get home until 8:30 pm.
We did enjoy our time together, but then after Christmas we had to go back to work. The offices were closed on Dc 31st, but we had to go in and catch up. We were the ONLY ones working on the 11th floor.
And we noticed that someone had put the baby Jesus in the Nativity at work. Here they have a tradition of not putting the baby in until Christmas, when he is born.
Now for something a little spiritual. First here is a video of Michelle playing the chimes and me singing at a devotional for all the employees.
This is a picture of a self-reliance class. All the sisters were taught to take a plastic bottle and put some money in it each day. (Kind of like our children and baby food jar.)
Recently I was approached by someone who said his father-in-law had been healed from cancer - a tumor by his backbone - by a blessing of one of the apostles 24 years ago. They wanted to know if I could send an update to the apostle telling him the member had been healed, without the expected surgery and has walked well ever since and goes to the gym each day.
I took the letter, translated it to English, and set the letter in Spanish and English and the picture and emailed them to SLC.
In a few days I got a message, from a senior apostle, saying he remembered well the occasion and to please give his love to the member and keep some love for me!
Finally this thought. Someone recently said they had figured life out. They said, "Remember when we used to sit on Dad's lap and pretend to drive! That is like God, we are sitting on his lap and He is letting us think we are driving, but really He is behind us all the time."
Love our family and friends and miss you. Only 4 1/2 months left!
We always love to hear a response from you all.
Elder Gilbert and Sister Michelle