A Fake Earthquake, New Flavors, And A Miracle

 


We had a fire/earthquake drill at the office this week. Some of the Teca Once missionaries decided that was a good morning to go into the office late so they could miss walking down eleven flights of stairs. We went at our normal time and made the trek. If it had been climbing UP eleven flights of stairs, we probably would have skipped. Each department had to have a person go to a training last week, and those people acted as the staff to carry out the drill. Michelle went from our department, and she looked quite cute in the hard hat and safety vest they provided for her. At the end of the drill, everyone headed back into the building--except for us. We figured the elevators would be tied up for quite a while. We live right across the street, so rather than stand in line waiting for an elevator, we headed home for a midmorning snack.

Michelle (in green) and Marina (the area presidency's secretary) all decked out in their official gear.

The brave guy on the stretcher was carried down eleven flights of stairs as part of the drill! In a side note, the three men in suits standing by the man in the red hard hat are the bishopric of the Spanish ward we sometimes attend.

               I had a little miracle at work this week—though I guess if it’s a miracle, it’s not a little thing. A Catholic University in Guadalajara sponsors a religious film festival each year in July. All religions are welcome to participate. It’s something our department wants to support. I was helping Michelle look for movies made by members of the church in the past two years that we can have in the festival. One we found was Witnesses. Michelle asked me to find out how to contact the film’s director, Mark Goodman. I said okay, but I wasn’t very confident. How do you go about finding contact information for a total stranger? I googled Mark Goodman, and found out there are many Mark Goodmans, one of whom is famous but not the right guy. I narrowed the search to Mark Goodman director and found several articles and posts about the release of the movie Witnesses. I read through them all but didn’t find anything that gave me a hint on how to contact the director. I was trying to think of another line of attack when the thought came into my mind, “Look on Facebook.” The thought had a particular feeling with it which I have come to recognize as the Spirit speaking to me. I went to Facebook and put in Mark Goodman. A whole bunch of Mark Goodmans came up. Rather than wade through them all, I did another search, this time for Mark Goodman Witnesses. Up popped a post made about a year ago by Leslie Porter Scoresby, who has literally been my friend since we were both 4 years old. It said something like, “Tonight we went to the premiere of the movie Witnesses with our dear friend Mark Goodman, who directed the movie.” I almost fell out of my chair. I contacted Leslie who got Mark Goodman’s contact information for me, and it looks like we are going to be able to have Witnesses in the film festival!

   


            We went to the temple with Jerry and Pat Wright one evening this week. Afterwards, they asked if we wanted to head right home or if we were up for walking a few blocks to a taco stand they like. Of course, we were up for tacos! It was one of the busiest and biggest street taco stands I’ve seen. The Church’s self-reliance managers from around the country were all in Mexico City this week for a training seminar. Shortly after we got to the stand, the Manwarings, the Arguetas, (both of those couples are self-reliance missionaries) and some of the managers showed up after just having completed a service project, so it kind of turned into a party. I ordered Suadero tacos, which are my favorite. Ron ordered al pastor, which are his favorite. We’ve had several Mexicans tell us their favorite tacos are lengua. If you speak Spanish, you know lengua means tongue. Lengua was on the menu, so Ron and Pat decided to try them. I had a taste of Ron’s. The flavor is good, but I couldn’t handle the thought of it.
Al pastor on the left and lengua on the right. My advice, stick with the al pastor, or better yet suadero.
     



          Friday evening, we decided to go to the Ángel de la Indepencia and then walk along Reforma. Our Uber driver dropped us off a block from the monument, so we walked the last block. The Angel monument is in the center of a large roundabout. However, they don’t handle roundabouts here the way we do in the U.S. (and I believe the rest of the world.) We were in an Uber one day and went into a roundabout which had a stoplight in it so that one of the roads coming into it could turn the opposite direction from the rest of the traffic. Ron asked the Uber driver why they did that when the whole point of a roundabout is to keep the traffic moving. The Uber driver replied simply, “It’s Mexico.” Anyway, the roundabout the Angel sits in has stop lights at all of the points coming into it, and traffic sometimes goes one way and sometimes the other. There are always tons of people right out on the monument, and we looked for a crosswalk where we were supposed to cross the road to get to it. We couldn’t find one. After observing for a while, we realized that there was a brief lull between the light allowing the traffic to go one way and the light allowing the traffic to go the other. If you wanted to cross to the Angel, you had to take advantage of that lull and really hustle, which we did.


Looking up Reforma from the Angel monument
     

The official name of this monument is el Ángel de la Indepencia, but if you just say "the Angel," everyone knows what you mean.

    
We have never seen the Angel when there hasn't been a group from a quinceanera or a wedding there with a photographer

     


         After spending time at the monument, we then walked up Reforma to the Fuente de la Diana Cazadora, the Diana the Huntress Fountain, which sits in the middle of another roundabout. We’ve walked along Reforma on the other side of the Angel, but this was our first time on this section. It was a gorgeous evening—they all are here. People were strolling along, bicycling, and selling trinkets. We then walked back to the street where our Uber driver had dropped us off. For several blocks it is just restaurant after restaurant after restaurant. He had pointed out a seafood place to us, and we decided to eat there. The food was good, and we had a lovely dinner. We were not dressed in missionary attire, but we were wearing our name tags. It is amazing how much attention those name tags get. The owner of the restaurant came out to speak with us and asked if we were from Utah. (We get that frequently.) He had spent some time in the United States and told us all the places he had been. Earlier as we were walking, we were stopped by a man who was from Salt Lake and who was in Mexico on business.


The Diana the Huntress Fountain. I was disappointed that the water was turned off, because it is a really beautiful fountain
   
Ron's back is in half the photos I take because I stop to take a picture, and he keeps walking
    
It's hard to believe these photos are from along one of the busiest avenues in Mexico City

     


    


           Saturday morning for our exercise, we went for a walk with the Wrights. They’ve walked all over and know a lot of places we don’t. We walked for an hour and a half, up and down hills, through a beautiful park, across bridges, and into a very upscale neighborhood. It was great exercise and fun to see some new territory. Of course, I had to stop frequently to take pictures of plants.

    

   

The view from a bridge we crossed. It was fun to be up high enough to see down into the courtyards and gardens which are hidden behing walls when we're on the street.
    


               As we were approaching home, we ran into some other Teca Once missionaries and stopped to talk. Somehow the conversation got on hamburgers, and Ron said we’d found a place in the Pueblito where we liked to go for hamburgers. In fact, we ate lunch there one day this week when we went to the Pueblito so I could get a haircut. Some of the others wanted to try out the restaurant, so that evening we met the Wrights, the Barnetts, and Bob Alsop in the lobby and took them there. In case you’re counting, that means we ate at restaurants four times this week. Between that and the times Jessica Alsop feeds us (she is a great cook and invites us over often) we only ate dinner at home twice this week. I enjoyed that, but I think our budget is going to insist we stay home a little more often.

               Here are a couple more things I thought you’d like:

This fruit is called a lychee. We discovered them when we were in Puebla. They seem to be in season now because we're seeing them in the markets. The red one is what they look like unpeeled. The white one is peeled. They have a pit in the middle of them that you eat around. They are really good!

    

I took this photo while we were waiting for an Uber after getting groceries. This was a two lane road. Then the guy driving the car on the left pulled up and parked right there, so it became a one lane road. That's just kind of how they do things here.

               Today in the English ward (we are kind of part of two different wards) they had the Primary program. A high percentage of the families in the ward are in Mexico because the dads work for the U.S. state department and are currently assigned to the embassy here. When school is out for the summer, the moms and kids go back to the U.S. We’ve heard attendance at church will be really sparse starting in a week or two. Anyway, they’ve found that it works better for them to do the Primary Program just as school is getting out rather than in the fall. It was such a sweet program, as Primary programs always are. Hearing children sing and speak about Jesus Christ and His gospel is precious, and these children did so beautifully. The gospel is true no matter if you’re hearing it taught in Idaho or Mexico or anywhere else in the world.

              



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