Turkey and Futbol

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Mexico. Still, Thursday felt like a holiday to us, even though we spent a lot of it working. We missed our family, but we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with the other Teca Once missionaries. The Deavers organized it, and it was perfect. If we couldn’t be with family, being gathered around the table with such great people was the next best thing. We had turkey, stuffing, homemade rolls, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, the whole works. We provided the mashed potatoes. We were able to find some actual Russet potatoes at Costco, though they were Norkotahs not Burbanks. Still, they made better mashed potatoes than the usual white potatoes we get here would have. It was a lovely evening, and in true Thanksgiving style, we had enough leftovers that we all ate together again the next evening.

Vicki Deaver and Pat Wright had the table looking so lovely.



If you follow futbol (soccer) you know that the World Cup is going on now. Futbol is Mexico’s number one sport. Stands selling Team Mexico jerseys are all over the place. We came to one on Prado Norte as we were out and about this week, and Ron got himself a jersey. He wore it for Thanksgiving dinner and to watch Mexico’s games. Netza, who is the DTA (Director of Temporal Affairs—kind of the Presiding Bishop for Mexico) told all the Church employees they had to come to work on the day of Mexico’s first game. However, he had the game playing on a big screen in one of the conference rooms and a table full of snacks, so anyone who wanted could still watch the game. I thought that was pretty smart. Instead of losing a full day of work by having employees take the whole day off, they only lost the 90 minutes of work during the game. Ron has really gotten into the World Cup, and it has given him something to talk about with all the Uber drivers and strangers we ride with in elevators.

Game Time!

We are in the middle of three days of big events! Last night was the lighting of the Christmas lights at the temple. The next two nights are the launch events for the Giving Machines. The event at the temple grounds has taken different shapes over the years. Before Covid, thousands of Church members would come for it. There were so many that the community complained about the traffic. During Covid, it was closed to the public, but people could watch it virtually. Last year, people had to have a ticket to come, which kept the crowd down a bit. We had a reception for invited VIPs and a program, which was broadcast. This year, it was by invitation only. Our department sent out 300 invitations. Michelle and Gustavo put together a list of government officials, leaders of other religions, people from humanitarian groups we’ve worked with, etc. They and their families were invited. We also invited area seventies, stake presidents, and key church employees. We had a nice reception where people were welcomed, given a brief tour of the Visitor’s Center, and then taken to an area where we had appetizers and drinks. (Ron was the person who worked with the caterer on this part.) Following this, we moved the crowd to the stake center, where PSD had created an amazing set. The program was spectacular! It began with a number by an orchestra. Then a young girl sang. She was followed by three women who performed a trio of “Oh Holy Night” which was spectacular! Michelle was the MC, and between these numbers, Gustavo and President Montoya each gave brief remarks. President Montoya introduced the little girl who was going to push the button to turn on the lights. She was one of the children I wrote about a few weeks ago who has Cerebral Palsy and who is being given therapy using the exoskeleton, which allows her to stand up and walk. She, with her twin sister holding her hand, took a few steps up to the stand that had the button. It was such a sweet moment. When she pushed the button, the decorations in the hall all lit up and a video came on the large screen showing the lights coming on outside. Following the lighting, came the surprise of the evening—a mariachi band. You don’t normally see mariachi bands at this type of church event, but this was Armando’s idea. He knew of this particular band that is a very high quality one. As he said, “This isn’t Garibaldi.” (Garibaldi is a square in the city where mariachi bands congregate. It’s not that the bands there are bad, they’re just known more for being loud than good.) This mariachi band included a harp as well as the traditional trumpets, guitars, and violins. The men’s suits were a silvery gray, and the women singers wore sequined gowns. Their first song was “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” That was followed by three more Christmas songs, two of which were ones we hadn’t heard before. Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve been in Mexico City on a lovely evening and listened to a mariachi band perform Christmas carols. Following the program, everyone went outside and walked around the grounds just enjoying the lights. A choir made up of missionaries sang as they did so. It was lovely.  I’ll post a link to the program so you can watch it if you want. I’d at least recommend you watch the part with three women singing, the part where the little girl turns on the lights, and of course, the mariachi! 

One of the rooms at the Visitors' Center set up for the reception. The table in the middle was for an ice sculpture.
The ice sculpture
We were sitting way at the back behind the cameras, so it was hard to get a good shot of the show
I had to step to the side and very rudely stand in front of other people to get this shot.


Here's the link to the program:

The Deavers wanted to see the park where we like to walk, so Saturday we took them there. We went along a different path than we normally take and discovered some new fun things. One was a kind of balcony overlooking the ravine. A small river runs through the ravine, and at that point there were some cascades. If the water was clean, it would be a lovely spot to play. A wall on the balcony had metal flowers with peoples’ names on them. I think it was a tribute wall to people who have died. There were dried flowers in some of them, so it looked like people put fresh flowers in them like we’d put them on a grave.

After our walk, we went to the tiangis. Mixed in among the usual produce stands, clothing stands, toy stands, etc. were Christmas stands. We bought a poinsettia to replace the one I bought last year. Ron put that one in a larger pot and kept it alive all year in his rooftop garden. It was spindly, but it was turning red, so a couple of weeks ago he brought it down and put it outside the elevator on our floor. Since then, it has been getting sicker and sicker looking. Saturday, he pulled it out and put in our new one. The next day, Pauline Davis joked that she was amazed at how much our poinsettia had perked up.


We’ve been swamped with work getting ready for the Giving Machines. I’ve been lining up volunteers and have had many tender mercies in doing so. I hope I have time next week to tell you more about it. Right now I’ve got to rush off to get ready for tonight’s Giving Machine launch.




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