Cut Hair, Cut Grass, and Cut Flowers


One thing I’ve learned in life is that when you move to a new area, the two hardest people to replace are your doctor and your hairdresser. This week I got the hairdresser taken care of. I needed a haircut. My bangs were hanging in my eyes, which really bugs me. I’d already whacked them off once myself since we got here, so I decided it was time to take the plunge and get a professional haircut. The other missionaries here all go to Juan at a salon in the pueblito. We had dry cleaning to pick-up and needed some produce, so we thought we’d stop in at Juan’s salon and make an appointment. When we did, the receptionist told us he would be back in forty-five minutes and could cut my hair then. I hadn’t really gone there planning to get a haircut that day, but decided it was as good a day as any. We got our produce and then went to a little hole in the wall restaurant next to the salon to wait for Juan to arrive. (All the businesses in the pueblito are literally “holes in the wall.”) The restaurant served crepes, hamburgers, and tortas--kind of an odd combination, but the hamburger and crepes we had were very good.


Several women work at the salon with Juan, but it appears that he is the only one who cuts hair, both men’s and women’s. The women give manicures, pedicures, and dye hair, but only Juan cuts. We tried to communicate with each other, and I think we did fairly well, but I’m glad Ron was there to help out when we got stuck. As for the haircut, I’m happy with it. You can judge from the picture what you think. I always have my bangs cut short, bordering on too short, because they grow so fast. For the first couple of weeks after a haircut, I look like Ramona Quimby.


On our way up to the pueblito, we suddenly smelled the scent of fresh cut grass. There isn’t a lot of lawn in our neighborhood, but in a few places, people have small patches of grass in the strip between the road and the sidewalk. A man was using an old-fashioned hand mower to cut one of those patches, and the smell was like heaven—fresh cut grass in January! One of the topics we usually discuss with Uber drivers is the weather and how lovely the climate is here. One driver called it “primavera eterna,” eternal spring. That describes perfectly what we’ve experienced so far. This week the forecast is for slightly cooler temperatures, which means the high 60s. Up until now, it’s been around 74° every single day.

               Things were back to normal in the office this week. Well, there’s so much variety in our work, that it’s hard to say exactly what normal is, but the rest of our communications team was all in the office this week, so we spent a lot of time there. Michelle has replaced Lucero. She is darling and very sharp. We thought Lucero would be impossible to replace, but Michelle just might manage to do it. The second of the videos I wrote the script for was posted this week. Again, it’s to encourage youth to attend Seminary and study the Old Testament. Gustavo, our director, wanted it to be like a movie trailer. I’ll post the web address below, but here’s the script so you’ll know what it’s saying:

               The best-selling book of all time!

               Over 190 copies sold every minute!

               It’s a story of courage in the face of insurmountable odds…

               …willingness to stand up for the weak and defenseless…

               …and power to defeat the forces of wickedness and evil.

               Don’t miss out! Sign-up for Seminary and join us to learn more about these and other incredible, but true, stories.


        A few weeks ago the Cluffs had us over to learn to make salsa. Cheryl Cluff grew up in Guadalajara, so even though she's not Latina, she knows the authentic stuff. We learned how to make both red and green. I prefer green, so this week I decided to try to make it myself for the first time. I'd taken notes on my phone but they weren't very detailed, so after this first attempt, I told Cheryl I need a second lesson. There were a few things I wasn't sure of, so I just guessed. Even at that, it turned out really well. Cheryl didn't put avocado in the salsa she made, but she said you could. I did, and I really loved it that way. It makes the salsa look creamy, almost like guacamole, but it' not guacamole. That's another thing I want to learn to make, authentic guacamole. 

My fresh salsa was the perfect topping for my tostada

Saturday, we went to Mercado Jamaica with the Wrights and Bob Alsop. From the outside, the mercado doesn’t look like much, but inside it is a massive market specializing in everything that has to do with the floral industry. The main area is cut flowers, booth after booth selling cut flowers at ridiculously low prices. It is the place where all the people who have the flower stands around the city get their flowers. There are also booths selling floral arrangements, floral supplies, gift basket supplies, living plants, pots, and soil—anything you would find at a florist and many things you would find at a nursery. As you might guess, I was in my element. I loved it! Ron got excited about it when he saw the plants. The access to the roof of our apartment building is right outside our door, and Ron is starting a clandestine garden on the top of our building. He bought a little kumquat tree that is loaded with kumquats to add to the strawberry plant and poinsettia he has growing there. He also has a tiny tomato plant he started growing from seed which is currently on our bedroom windowsill, but which will join the others on the roof when it “grows up,” and he just planted a zucchini in a pot. The next thing he wants to look for is a lawn chair so he can relax in his garden. It will have to be a collapsible one because you have to climb up a narrow spiral stairway to get to the roof, but once you get there, the view is awesome, and it is a lovely spot to watch a sunrise or sunset.

When you look at the prices, remember they're in pesos, not dollars, so divide by 20.
These sunflowers were $4 a bunch.


This arrangement was so large it would take more than one person to carry it. The price was $30.



This darling Teddy bear was made from mums   


Ron's garden. The building on the left in the background is where
the church's offices are.


The view from Ron's garden


            We ate lunch at a place across the road from the mercado, which was kind of like a Mexican food court. Different restaurants were located all around a central courtyard. When I say “restaurant,” bear in mind that these were not your American style restaurants. They were booths that had tables set up in front of them. Whenever anyone would come in, the people working in all the restaurants would start yelling for them to come to their place. It was funny because all while we were eating, we could tell whenever anyone walked in just by the commotion that would suddenly start. We didn’t even have to look up; we’d just know “Yep, someone just got here.”

               I’ve had people ask how my Spanish is coming. Slowly. It’s coming slowly, but it is coming. I’ve started trying to participate more in conversations rather than just letting Ron handle things. I have to say, masks and virtual meetings are a great hinderance to me being able to understand when people are speaking. I thought I was doing horribly at understanding Spanish until this week when we spoke with a man at work in person and he wasn’t wearing a mask. In that situation, I was pretty much able to follow the entire conversation even though I didn’t know every word, so that encouraged me. I’ve even tried making a few jokes, and people always laugh when I do. I’m not sure if it’s because my jokes are funny or if it’s because they think it’s funny that this crazy little gringa is trying to make a joke when she can’t even speak the language.

               That’s it for this week. We appreciate all the love and support you keep sending our way. It is always a little humbling when we hear people pray for the missionaries, and realize we are included in that group. We are truly grateful for this amazing opportunity to serve the Lord while getting to know and love Mexico.








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