the fan

the fan

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Missionaries for February

Well, presiding over a mission located outside of the United States has it's challenges. One of those challenges is obtaining Visas for our missionaries! We should have had eight elders enter the field this month from the United States, but they are all waiting for their Visas, except for Elder Webb, who arrived on the twelfth. Sister Chento also arrived in the mission from Argentina on the eighteenth. We are so happy to have them both here! We hope that the rest of Elder Webb's generation will be arriving soon!

Elder Almeida and Elder Webb

Hermana Chento and Hermana Nunura

Welcome to the Mission!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Such a Fun Day!

A few weeks ago, the Hickens invited us to come with them to visit a place where thousands of Monarch butterflies come each year to hibernate during the winter. We drove up to Mexico City on Sunday night and stayed at the Temple Apartments so we would be ready to go at 7 am on Monday morning. As we headed out to where we were to meet the bus, we had a fun surprise... Ryan and all of his sisters were visiting their mom and dad for the week and would be going on the trip with us. President Hicken was sick and wasn't able to come. We were so excited to see them!

Mexico City is really big! It took us two hours or more just to get out of the city, but then we started traveling through some really beautiful country, full of pine trees and snow covered mountains,

until we arrived at Piedra Herrada, a sanctuary for the Monarch Butterfly.

Normally, the butterflies would be flying around all over the area, but because it was so
cold and we had rain recently, they were all in the trees up the mountain.

Some of us took advantage of the horses that were available to ride and the rest of us hiked up the trail to where we could see the butterflies. Before we left on the horses, while Robert was deciding which horse to ride, the horse that he was going to ride kicked him in the knee. It hurt a lot, but his knee was fine and wasn't bruised or anything. It really took him by surprise.

I got lucky with my guide and horse. All the horses were being led, by rope, by their owners. My guide asked me if I could ride alone, so he wound up the rope and tied it to my horse, then he let me ride on my own. He encouraged my horse ahead of the other horses. It was a fun ride.

When we got to a certain point, we had to get off the horses and walk the rest of the way.

This is President and me with Jose, our lead guide. He was very nice and said that each of the guides will make the hike once a week with their horses.

It was a short walk to a viewing point where we could see the butterflies in the trees. They look like leaves in the tree, but really they are sitting close together in the branches, trying to avoid the cold and rain.

Us and Ryan
If you look really closely, you can see me holding a butterfly

a close up of the butterflies

After seeing the butterflies, we rode the horses back down the mountain and loaded the buses again. We headed into Valle de Bravo for some dinner. As we came over the top of the hill, I could see a big lake ahead of us.

This city was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen!

It is so picturesque and looks like something out of a magazine...
and dinner wasn't too bad either!

The Hickens and the view from the patio where we ate... the view of the lake was beautiful!

As we left on the bus we drove by the lake.

It took us awhile to get back to Mexico City, then Robert and I drove back to Puebla.
It was a great day and it was great to spend it with the Hickens and our other friends.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hello Flat Stanley!

I got a letter from two of my grandchildren this month, Brooklyn and Chase, asking me for my help with a school project. Because we are living in Mexico, they asked if I would decorate a "Flat Stanley" for them to share in their school classes. I was to decorate them in a way that would reflect life here in Mexico. I had a lot of fun figuring out what to do and how to do it. But I was very happy with the results...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another sad weekend

I have not been looking forward to this weekend. It started out well with our monthly Zone Leader Council on Friday, which was fine. We have started serving breakfast because some of the elders get up very early to make it here on time and they don't have time to eat. The meeting was wonderful as usual, with the assistants doing some training and the President sharing some thoughts and direction regarding the little rules in the mission.

The Zone Leaders, Assistants and Office Elders

We try to encourage the missionaries to be Preach My Gospel missionaries and to attain a level of excellence in everything they do.

Elder Wennerholm and Elder Turner singing a hymn during our recess

This was Elder Tate's last ZLC and last weekend with us. On Saturday we attended four baptisms, which was great. He will go home on Monday. This is the part I don't like...

On Sunday, Elder Tate came to the mission home for the departure dinner
and testimony meeting. He was the only missionary in his generation.

Our picture with the departing missionaries...
Elder Rainford, Elder Izaguirre, the new Assistant, Elder Hernandez and Elder Bencomo

On Monday morning, we usually let the office elders take the missionaries to the airport because it is so early in the morning. We decided to take Elder Tate, though.

Saying goodbye at the Puebla Airport

We will really miss Elder Tate. He was a wonderful example for the other missionaries,
a great teacher and a great Assistant. We will miss his cheerful smile and his happy attitude,
but we wish him the best as he returns home

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Cold February

We've been having some very cold weather the last few weeks and more rain than is usual for this time of year. Combine these two things and you get...

It was really coming down in our backyard.