Drums in Our Office


Of all the things I thought I might someday do on a mission, looking for drums to rent was not one of them. A couple of weeks ago we got a message from our BYU contact saying Living Legends needed three drums for their show. They didn’t want to have to take drums on a plane so, they wondered if we and our local directors could find places in each city to rent drums. Soooooo, we went on a quest to find drums.

I looked on the internet and found several places that said they rented musical instruments, but things don’t always translate well. When I went to websites, some of them turned out to be mariachi bands you could hire. However, there were a couple places very close together in the old part of the city. In the U.S. we would have called on the phone to check, but here numbers on the internet are often wrong and people frequently just don’t answer. So we got in an Uber and headed there. The word “zocalo” means public square, but in Mexico City, if you say “the Zocalo,” everyone knows you mean the original public square in the heart of the historic district of the city. It is surrounded by cobble stone streets and cool old buildings The stores in that area are all grouped together by what they sell. For example, there is one street on which all the stores sell women’s formal dresses. Another street has stores carrying anything that has to do with paper. And yet another street is all about music. That’s where we headed.

When we got to where we thought the store should be, the metal doors were pulled down and it was shut. We weren’t one hundred percent sure it was the right place because the buildings in the old area of the city don’t always have address numbers on them. We went into a little music store next to it. The guy there told us we had been at the right place, but it had gone out of business during COVID. Then he thought for a minute and said the guy we wanted to talk to was named Hugo and he might be at a place around the corner. He gave some vague directions and off we went. We’ve heard that the people here don’t like to tell someone “no” or say they can’t help, so if they don’t know, they’ll say something vague. We weren’t sure if that was the case here, but we had to follow up any lead we could. We walked where he told us and then checked in another store. We were again told we wanted Hugo and were given directions that kind of matched the first ones. So we pressed on. We stopped frequently to ask at stores and were often told to look for Hugo but were given different suggestions of where to look for him. We went down little alleys and up old staircases and kept being told Hugo lived in the next building over or that he was down by the park. Finally, we found a woman who was very helpful. She not only knew Hugo but also had his phone number and called him for us. Ron spoke with him and tried to figure out where he was. Finally, Hugo said he’d send his location to us. Later in the office when we looked at what he sent, it was just a pin in a map without an address. When I looked at the 360° street view, I couldn’t see anything that looked like a music store. I said Ron better call him and make sure where he was, but before Ron did that, Hugo called us! He had the drums we needed and arranged to have them delivered to our office on Thursday. Ron did some strategic planning and figured out how to use these drums in four of the cities without having to put them on planes. They were delivered to our hotel in Guadalajara yesterday and should be waiting there for us when we get there tomorrow.

Many of you may have heard the term “Montezuma’s Revenge.” Well, we can say it is real! It hit us this week. We’re not sure where we picked it up, the most likely place is from the tiangis last Saturday where the vendors were all giving us samples of their wares—mostly fruit. You wouldn’t  normally expect to contract it from fruit, so who knows. I had one day I didn’t dare go to the office. A day off this week when we were making the final arrangements for Living Legends was out of the question, so I had Ron bring my office laptop to me and I worked from home. This may be TMI, but I’m telling you this as a public service. Several times since we’ve been here, we’ve heard Pauline Davis (who has lived in multiple Latin countries) say if you get Montezuma’s Revenge, take Cipro and it will knock it out. I worry about taking too many antibiotics, but I was desperate enough to try it. Sure enough, I improved drastically a few hours after taking the first dose and was better after the second. So tuck that little tidbit of information away in case you ever visit Latin America.

We had another adventure. Wednesday at lunch we set out to take the Wrights and Bob Alsop to the food stand that sells shrimp cocktails. (Jessica Alsop doesn’t like shrimp, so she didn’t go.) It shows you how willing I am to dance with danger that I went to a street vendor to eat seafood the day after I’d stayed home. Ron had the name of the stand. He looked it up on his phone and figured out what bus to take to get us close to it. We did that, and then we started walking. We walked and walked and walked. Fortunately, it was in a lovely area. Part of where we walked was on Reforma, west of where the park and museums are. There are lovely old mansions in that neighborhood. I’ve seen them as we’ve driven past but could never get a good photo from a car. Most of them are now businesses or embassy buildings. 

Finally, as we got close to where Ron’s phone was leading us, we realized it was not the right place. There is a restaurant which has a similar name to the name of the street stand, and at some point, Ron accidentally put the restaurant in his phone instead of the stand. Pat and I both put the street stand’s name in our phones and found it—it is such a famous place, that it even shows up on the Apple maps app when you put in its name, even though it is just a street vendor! It was a fifteen-minute walk back the way we had come. So we turned around. About halfway there, we came to a nice restaurant, and we decided to just eat there. We went in and got a table, but when we asked for a menu, we were told that they were in the process of changing from their breakfast service to their lunch service, which would take half an hour, and they would not be able to serve us anything but snacks until the change was done. They eat a lot later here than we do at home. At that point it was about 1:00. Our phones said the shrimp stand was 7 minutes away, and we were hungry enough that we decided to choose a 7 minute walk over a half hour wait. So we started walking again. This time, it was the right place! You know how when you’ve eaten something and you remember it as being really good but when you go back and have it again, you’re a little disappointed? Well, that was NOT the case this time. We all agreed it was worth all the walking to get to the shrimp cocktails. I also loved the crab tostadas. So this adventure eventually led us to the place we set out for.

Our favorite seafood place in Mexico City

For the past couple of months, Ron has been promising people he would get them tickets for the Living Legends show. I wasn’t sure he’d be able to remember who all he promised, but he said he could, so Friday we bought a bunch of tickets. One of the most important ones was my chiropractor’s receptionist, Rox. She has a bubbly, fun personality, and we hit it off with her right away. I could always hear her and Ron laughing while I was getting my adjustments. While Ron was waiting for me, she would teach him slang words, and then he’d teach me. I don’t speak Spanish well, but I know if I want to say something is “cool” I say it’s “padre.” In January Rox started going to school to be a chiropractor, but she still works at the office on Saturdays. Ron arranged for us to meet her at the chiro office when she got off work yesterday so we could take her to dinner and give her tickets to Living Legends. She suggested we go to a restaurant called El Polar. Its logo has a polar bear and an igloo, which seems odd in Mexico, but Rox assured us the food was authentic Guardalajaran style Mexican food. It was a fun restaurant, filled with Mexican families and a mariachi band. We ate Birria, which is meat in a delicious broth. We hear it’s often made from goat, but we think this was pork. It was really good. As we were parting, Ron gave her the tickets. Then he also gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. She seemed happy to get it. She said she has a friend who is a member of the church who took her to the temple visitor’s center. We didn’t know that. It was fun to spend a few hours with her. We hope we will see her at the Living Legends performance in Mexico in a little over a week.

Elder Gong is visiting Mexico. Tonight he and his wife were on a Family Home Evening broadcast which went out to all of Mexico. They both gave their parts in Spanish, which was impressive. Having an apostle and Living Legends here at the same time is putting extra pressure on our team, but we are dividing and conquering. Ron and I will be travelling with Living Legends for the next three weeks. It will be a hectic schedule, but we end with a few days in Cancun—what a mission we are on!

I took this photo on the way up to the pueblito. I thought it was pretty and just wanted to share it.


  1. Still loving your posts Dayle. It looks so beautiful there.

  2. Still loving your posts. It looks so beautiful there. KWeist not sure my first reply sent.


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