Exhausted But Still Legal

We had to renew our green cards this week. Our new ones are not green—they’re tan—so I guess we can’t call them green cards anymore. Getting it done was an ordeal. When we got our first green cards (which actually were green) the office elders for the Mexico City West mission were able to make an appointment with immigration for us. It still took us two hours to go through the process, and we thought that was bad. We had no idea. The rules have changed in the past year, and we had to make our own appointment. To do this, we arrived at the immigration building at 5:30 in the morning. Even that early, there were about a hundred people ahead of us in line. We waited outside for two hours. The weather here is normally beautiful, but at that point we were in the middle of a two day cold spell, and it was cold that early in the morning. By the time we got in the building, I was chilled to the bone. We then waited inside for another hour. The immigration building has a rule that you can’t use cell phones inside, and it is a rule they enforce. So we had to just sit there for an hour. Finally, a man called us up to the counter, looked through our papers, and gave us an appointment for 10:30. The Davises were with us renewing their cards as well, so we all went out to breakfast to kill two hours. Now you’d think that with an appointment, we would arrive at our appointed time, get right in, and have the job done within an hour or two like we had the time before, but you would be wrong. We spent another four hours in the immigration building, mostly waiting. Waiting in lines, waiting in chairs, waiting at counters, BUT not using our cell phones. In all, we spent nine hours getting our cards renewed. There was a point in the process where the photo and fingerprint system broke down, and they said we might have to come back later. At that point, I was ready to pack my bags and head home to Idaho and just forget renewing the darn thing, but now I’m glad I got it done and I’m still legal.

Having breakfast with the Davises. At this point we had appointments, but no idea of the ordeal which we still had ahead of us!

At least the hot chocolate was happy that morning!

One assignment we had this week was to cover the World Conference of Families, which was held in Mexico City this weekend. We were supposed to cover two presenters in particular, but we had an emergency assignment come up for the time Elder Wilford W. Andersen, General Authority Seventy Emeritus was speaking. Pat Frandsen had been going to go with us to take photos, so her husband went with her, and they recorded the speech for me so I could write the article.  We really appreciated that!  The other presenter we covered was Neal Harmon, the co-founder of VidAngel and Angel Studios.  We were able to meet with him and his wife, Trisha, before his presentation.  They were such delightful people!  We enjoyed visiting with them very much.  It was fun to hear how a bunch of brothers who grew up as Idaho farm boys ended up opening a film studio that is producing award winning shows such as “The Chosen” and “Dry Bar Comedy.”  Then we were able to watch the panel discussion he was in, which included two actors and a director who are all popular in Mexico.  They discussed their efforts and challenges trying to make shows with strong moral values. Neal contributed greatly to the conversation as he told about having to turn to crowdfunding to raise the money to make “The Chosen ” because no Hollywood investors were interested in it. It all went well. When the article gets printed, I’ll put a link in my blog.

Us with Neal and Trisha Harmon

We headed home right after the panel discussion because we had our daughter Lalove and Ron’s two sisters and their husbands waiting for us.  They’re here to visit for a week.  We owe a huge thanks to Bob Alsop, who went to the airport to meet them because we were tied up at the World Conference  of Families!  First thing, we took them out to have some authentic Mexican tacos.  Afterwards, we walked up to the Pueblito where they were having a celebration for San Miguel Arcangel, the patron saint of the little  church they have there.  The celebration has been going on for days, and is the biggest celebration we’ve seen them have there.  We squeezed into the churchyard and watched the Aztec dancers who were performing when we arrived. After them, a group came in wearing funny hats and masks, and threw candy to everyone. Next they lit off a tower of fireworks.  It had things on it that started spinning as the fireworks went off and was quite amazing. After that came the “bulls,” which were people wearing frameworks on their heads that had bulls in them and fireworks all over them.  They lit off the fireworks and ran through the crowd. At that point, with sparks flying everywhere, we decided to leave.  It was a fun fiesta, and a great way to start off a week of fun with our family!


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