Welcome To My Neighborhood

We got new computers in the office this week. We said we liked our old ones, but they basically told us “too bad, so sad—you’re getting new ones.” Pretty much the issue is they like to keep the equipment up to date, but we're old and don't like change. As part of the process, we had to go to the technology department. They had a large picture window there which looked out over our apartment building. I took photos through the glass and decided to start this week’s blog with a little tour of our neighborhood.

               First of all, despite the fact that we say we are living in Mexico City, we really aren’t. A few years ago, Mexico City was made a state, so it doesn’t have a mayor, it has a governor. It’s state name is Ciudad de Mexico (CDMX.) We live in the state of Mexico (which is right next to CDMX) in the municipality of Naucalpan, in the neighborhood of Tecamachalco. I am quite proud of the fact that I can tell you that, because when we arrived four months ago, I could not have.


              Next to and wrapping around our building is the Big Bola casino. Our bedroom window is strategically located to allow us to hear the activity going on in front of the casino, most of which usually takes place at 4:00 in the morning. We assume that’s when the casino closes. People leaving a casino at 4:00 a.m. have no qualms about revving their engines, honking their horns, or laughing really loudly. We have found that having a fan running in our room for white noise helps a lot. We usually take Ubers when we need a car, but for short trips we’ve occasionally taken taxis. When we take Ubers, our address goes to the driver through the App, and he has it on GPS on his phone. With taxis, we have to give them the address. I’ve been amazed at how many know exactly where to go when we just tell them Teca Once. One of the drivers explained that it’s because they get a lot of business at Big Bola.

Anyway, what I was going to tell you is that right next to Big Bola’s parking lot is a ravine, and that ravine is the border between the state of CDMX and the state of Mexico. We are literally steps away from it.

I took this photo from the tech department's window, and zoomed it in on the rooftop of Teca Once.
This is where Ron's little garden is. You can see his kumquat tree and poinsettia bush in pots there.

This is the same photo not zoomed in. Besides seeing my reflection in the window, you can see our rooftop in the center of the picture. To the right you can see the bridge crossing the ravine which separates the states of Mexico and CDMX. All the buildings in the background are in Mexico City.

This is the entrance to Teca Once, our front door

This is the view from the entrance to Teca Once.
The large building is where the church's area offices are

This intersection is a few blocks from our apartment in Tecamachalco. The buses are at one
of the bus stops we use. The other bus stop is over the bridge into CDMX and up a hill.

This is a bakery a few blocks from our apartment. The photo of me at the beginning of this post is
me carrying home our purchases from here.

Inside the bakery
When we first got here, I found most Mexican desserts a little disappointing. They aren't as
sweet as what we are used to in the United States. However, my palate is adjusting!

This is the road which leads up to the pueblito. To give you a feel for where it is,
the building on the left is where the church's area offices are.

This guy makes his living helping cars park and selling goodies at a stand in front of our office building.

Two shops in the pueblito. On the left at Tortas Colima, Ron likes to get crepes and limeade.
On the left is the salon where I got my hair cut.


Tuesday was February 2, Día de la Candelaria or Candlemass. It is forty days after Christmas, and honors Mary’s forty days of purification and the baby Jesus being presented in the temple. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you about getting the baby in the Rosca de Reyes? Well, Candlemass is the day of reckoning for anyone who found a baby. They are supposed to supply tamales for everyone else. One of the managers on our floor at the office brought tamales for everyone in our wing of the church offices. They were the best tamales I’ve ever had. They were wrapped in banana leaves instead of corn husks, which was interesting, but what made them so good was the perfect ratio of masa to filling. Plus it was a really good filling. At Teca Once, besides me, the Cluffs also found a baby in their slice of Rosca de Reyes, so we were the ones who had to treat everyone else. However, we didn’t make or even buy tamales for the other missionaries. Instead, we bought pizza. (On a side note, Jessica Alsop had me over to help make tamales a week ago, so I actually could have made them, it just would have taken way more time than I had.) Ron and I coordinated on the pizza with the Cluffs. They had seen a pizza place in the pueblito, and we wanted to try it. The day before, Ron and I were in the pueblito and stopped by the pizza place to check out their menu. To our surprise, the only meat they offered on their pizzas was fake bacon bits. When we discussed this with the Cluffs, we realized that the owner of the store is Jewish, (there is a very large Jewish population in our neighborhood) and in Kosher cooking, dairy and meat are never served together. So instead of getting all our pizzas in the pueblito, the Cluffs got two there, and Ron and I walked up the street and around the corner to Dominos. Yes, we have Dominos Pizza here. In fact, there are very few U.S. chain stores or fast-food restaurants that we haven’t seen here.

Friday when we got to the office building, we discovered that the elevators were acting up and had just been shut down. (We found out later that people were stuck on them between floors.) Our office is on the penthouse level, which sounds glamorous but isn’t when you have to walk up the stairs to get there. Here the level our office is on is called the 11th floor, but they don’t count floors here the same way we do in the U.S. What we would call the first floor (ground level) they call PB. Above that in our office building is a garage level which they call E1. So we had to climb up two levels before we even got to the first floor. With that in mind, the level our office is on would be considered the 13th floor in the U.S. As I was climbing, I was thankful for two things. First, I was thankful I wore comfortable shoes that day. Secondly, I was thankful for all the walking up hills we’ve been doing since we got here. I am in much better shape for climbing thirteen flights of stairs now than I was four months ago.

Saturday we went to the tianguis. Technically, the word tianguis means “street market” so there are a lot of them around Mexico. However, whenever any of the Teca Once missionaries say they are going to the tianguis, we all know which one they mean. We have walked to it in the past. However, last week after Ron recovered but I was still sick, he decided to go exploring on the city buses and see where they went. He discovered one which goes right to the tianguis, so we took it. Most of the stands in this market have produce, but there are others which have just about anything you can think of—meat, housewares, clothing, toiletries, toys, whatever. This tianguis is not a tourist spot—some are. Most of the people who shop there are Mexican. The produce there is amazing! Ron said that now that he knows how to get there on the bus, he’ll be shopping there a lot more often.
One of the many produce stands. The green things on the table are nopales--cactus

This is the "food court" at the tianguis
Here is a sampling of what the stands were selling: flowers...  

...succulent plants...




...even furniture!

A few weeks ago I told you about the funny crosswalk lights here. Since I learned how to post video on my blog, I decided to go back through the Marco Polos I’ve sent to my kids and see if there are any that I could share here. I found this one of the crosswalk lights.


Many of you know our daughter, Madilyn. This week she found out she has developed preeclampsia. The cure for this is to deliver the baby, but she is only thirty-one weeks along. Her symptoms and the affects on her are mild at this point, so they are keeping a close eye on her and are hoping to be able to get her a few more weeks along. This Sunday all the Teca Once missionaries fasted for her and for one of the other missionary couple’s son and his wife who are undergoing fertility treatments. It is wonderful to be serving among people who are so faithful and who we can turn to for faith and prayers. We would also appreciate prayers any of you would be willing to offer on her behalf. We’ve already received approval to go to Idaho for a visit when her baby arrives. One of the perks of being senior missionaries is that we can do that kind of thing. We thought we would be heading there the beginning of April, but now it might be well before then. We’re glad we hadn’t already purchased our airline tickets.


  1. Lifting up your family and the family of the other missionaries! 🙏❤

  2. Continued prayers for you and all of your family. ❤ Thank you for sharing your journey with us!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Eating Shrimp and Self-Isolating

The MTC--Amazing Place, Amazing People

Because of My Children