Every few months, usually 2-3 weeks after changes, we have the opportunity to do some Leadership Training for our Zone Leaders, District Leaders and the new Trainers. It's always a great time to learn something new and practice teaching skills.
We started out this week by celebrating the birthday of Elder Lovato on Monday. I wasn't able to get a picture of it, but the tradition here is to push the birthday person's face in the cake as they take a first bite from the cake. Elder Morga gladly helped him out with that.
Beginning on Tuesday we had Zone Conferences each day. It's always great to see all the missionaries!
We also say good bye to Hermana De Zarco, who was serving as a Senior Sister in the Employment Center. We will miss her and wish her well as she returns to her home and family.
It was wonderful to have family and friends come to visit, but now it's back to life in the Mission! The same day that Mel and Linda headed back to Utah, we welcomed four new missionaries to Puebla in the morning and three from the United States in the evening.
We took them all back to the Mission home where we had breakfast, they were interviewed and then we did some training and orienting to the Mission. Later in the day they went out with other Missionaries to experience Puebla for a day before they met their trainers.
All the new Missionaries and their trainers Tuesday morning. The Americans get in really late so they sleep at the Mission home, then they meet their new companions at the change meeting on Tuesday.
Hermana Molina went home very early Tuesday morning... we will miss her so much!
We had a great week with Mel and Linda here. On Tuesday, the first, we tried to watch the Rose Parade and just relaxed most of the day. We also took a trip into the Center to just see what was there. I've never been there before when it was so empty! But a lot of the shops were closed, too, so that didn't help.
On Wednesday, we traveled to Teotihuacan, a little north of Puebla, to some ruins that Mel and Linda have visited before. WOW! They were amazing and as I walked through them, I had thoughts that this is where Moroni, Alma and others in the Book of Mormon must have walked and lived. There is so much history here and it is easy to see that this could have been a Book of Mormon site. Enjoy the pictures...
on top of the Pyramid of the Moon
looking towards the Pyramid of the Sun
looking straight down the main roadway or walkway. You can see that there are smaller
pyramids that line the entire roadway all the way to the Pyramid of the Sun and beyond.
looking towards the Pyramid of the Moon from the first level of the Pyramid of the Sun
at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, it was very cold and windy!
Of course, I had to take a picture of this beautiful Vermilion Flycatcher...
We were able to walk around inside of one of the smaller pyramids...
At the end of the roadway we went left and there was another group of pyramids that were
originally laid out in this manner. We thought it was interesting that there is a group of
12 pyramids around three sides with a main pyramid at the top center and then another
3 pyramids at the very top of the whole group. Remind you of anything?
Thursday was a lot of fun. We spent the day in Atlixco with President and Sister Lopez.
Two of our missionaries, Elder Dougherty and Elder Inesta, were at the house when we got there.
We had some snacks and played ping pong with their family. The Lopez family is very accomplished in ping pong!
Afterwards we went to see the flower and plant shops. Atlixco is very well known for all the nurseries and their beautiful flowers. This is one of our favorite places to go for flowers here.
These Impatience were super cheap, like most of the flowers here in Atlixco...
7.50 pesos translates to about 75 cents in dollars...
they sell these everywhere here
We walked up to the Church on the hill and could see all over Atlixco and Cabrera.
As we were driving through Atlixco, we saw Elder Lopez' brother (standing next to me).
He has several brothers who all live in Atlixco and live very close to him.
Then we went to a place called Huaquechula and visited an old monastery that was so beautiful.
We had dinner at a place called The Bougainvilla. It was great food and they had a Bonsai Tree collection that was amazing. Just about anything you can imagine was in a Bonsai here. After dinner we drove downtown and parked, then walked along the "Illuminada " in Atlixco. There were lights everywhere and a special walkway in a park up in the trees that we went on. It was a little scary, but fun and it was built by one of President Lopez' brothers. This is one of the streets...
this is a little monkey that someone had with them...
On Friday we had our usual Zone Leader Council meeting. Mel and Linda both spoke and I gave a presentation on Unity among the Missionaries. I shared a video titled "Battle at Kruger" that Mel and Linda had showed us earlier in the week. I think the Missionaries enjoyed it.
On Saturday, Robert and President Christensen had a meeting in Mexico City, so we all went along and Mel and Linda and I and Sister Christensen went for a tour of the city with one of the Bishops in the Hicken's mission. He also works as a taxi driver, so he knows the city very well and was a wonderful guide.
This is a hotel in the city, but I don't remember which one. The ceiling of the lobby was beautiful and the bathrooms weren't too bad either. They had two large cages in the lobby with birds in them, too.
this is one of the walkways that we walked down in the center of the city,
near the government buildings
there were all these different tile pictures along the walkway
and the tile is Talavera, which is made in Puebla
One of the big Cathedrals in the City Center
This is one of the main government buildings. The door in the middle, under the awning, is where the President comes out every September 16 to ring a bell that commemorates their Independence Day
This is inside and along this wall there are huge murals painted representing all the different cultures and some of the history of Mexico. These paintings were supposed to go all around the entire square, but the artist died before he could complete them. In the front, near the stairs, there is a much bigger mural depicting the history of Mexico and in this painting is a white Man visiting the people of Mexico.
the center courtyard of the government building
this is inside the large Cathedral in the center plaza
All of Mexico City is built on top of an old lake and there are parts of the city that have shifted significantly over the years. This is a pendulum inside the Cathedral that shows how much the building has moved. Much of the city is slowly sinking and this is one of the places where you can see it.
This beautiful building is the main Post Office... a lot different than in the States!
This is the ceiling inside the Art Museum. The Art Museum is perhaps one of the most
beautiful buildings I have ever seen. When we walked inside, it was even more beautiful.
On Sunday we attended church in one of the Valsequillo Wards and took a lot of pictures afterwards...
Hermana Marin, one of the senior sisters working as a missionary in the Employment Center and one of my very good friends. She returns home in June and we will miss her greatly!
Our very good friends, President and Sister Romero of the Cholula Stake
Elder Montero, one of our missionaries who went home shortly after we
arrived in Puebla, and his wife and Linda
Linda and President and Sister Lopez. President Lopez knows English very well and helped Linda as
a translator when she needed him. She actually did quite well to speak in Spanish at all of the meetings.
Mel and Linda returned home on Monday morning and we welcomed 7 new Missionaries into the Mission. It was so great to have Mel and Linda come to visit and we had so much fun with them here. We also got to hear Linda speak several times and learn from both Mel and Linda as they met all the people who are so special to us. We love them and appreciate their wonderful example.