A Test and an Announcement

The Teca Once missionaries get together once a month for Family Home Evening. This month the Arguetas hosted. They are such delightful people, and we always enjoy it when we get to be with them. Some of the senior missionaries were out of town on assignments or tied up with other things, but those of us who were there had a fun time. We, the Arguetas, the Deavers, and the Gόmez Canedos are in the picture. Janise Everett came too, but she left before the photo was taken. In the United States, if we say “We’re having refreshments,” we mean cookies and punch, but in Mexico, “refreshments” means they are going to feed you. The Arguetas made Molletas, which I had never eaten before. To make them, you slice a bolillo (a Mexican roll) in half, spread refried black beans on each half, and top them with cheese. Then you bake them to the desired crispiness. To finish them, you put pico de gallo (what we call fresh salsa in the U.S.) on top of them. They were great! So if you want an authentic Mexican recipe, now you have one.

A couple of months ago I wrote about Maribel. She is helping me with Spanish, and I am helping her with English. She already speaks English well, so she just needs a little help with some pronunciation and the confidence to speak more. I, on the other hand, need a lot of help. Over the past couple of months, she’s been helping me learn numbers and the names of fruits and veggies. For my lesson on Thursday, she took us to a grocery store after work. As we walked in, I told her I felt like a little kid who was going to have a big test. There was a child sized shopping cart right by us when I said that, and she pointed to it and said maybe I should use that cart. That was funny. In the store we went through the produce section, and I had to say the name and price of each item there. The “test” was hard, but I handled it. Maribel said I got a hundred percent, but I did have to have a little help on a few things, so I think it was more like 90 percent, but I’ll take that.

Those of you who have been to the Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concerts know that they always have special guest entertainers as part of those shows. They are doing the same thing for their concerts here in Mexico. Yesterday they announced who those guest entertainers will be. There are three of them. One of them is Adassa, who was the voice for Dolores Madrigal in Encanto. My grandkids made sure I watched Encanto when we went home to visit, so that’s exciting for them and me. The second one is Mariano Osorio. According to Apple Music, he is the host of the longest-running radio talk show in Mexico, a multi-platinum recording artist, and a best-selling author. He came to the Area office this week when the script was being polished, and Gustavo brought him in to meet us. That was cool! The third guest is Alex Melecio, who was born in Mexico but now lives in the U.S. He is a Latin singer, who sings in both Spanish and English. According to his bio, he was a finalist on “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento, one of the most popular television shows among Hispanics in the U.S.” The announcement of these guests has ramped up the anticipation for the concerts. We are down to less than three weeks until the Choir arrives!

For our Saturday morning walk, instead of walking through the high-end neighborhood where there are multi-million dollar homes, old Spanish mansions, and embassies, Ron and I decided to walk to a little community down the hill from us that is more of an “average” neighborhood. Ron had some shoes that needed repaired, and he took them to a shoe repairman there. We decided to go see if they were ready. However, in that we were disappointed because he wasn’t even open yet when we got there. That really didn’t surprise us because we knew we were going pretty early and figured there was a good chance that would be the case. Still, it was fun to walk through that neighborhood and watch as it was waking up for the day. Some of the shops were just starting to open and street vendors who sell breakfast were getting going. Like all neighborhoods, it had its own park. With the rainy season getting underway, things have greened up. We just have to remember to carry umbrellas. That’s harder than it sounds because the mornings are always so lovely that we forget there is a very likely chance it will start raining later in the afternoon.

I love all the plants on balconies and rooftops!



This is the stand where we buy flowers. I'm usually too close to it to get a good shot of the entire thing, but on our walk I was able to get one from across the street and zoom in.

With the limited number of Saturdays we have left, I’m trying to get to places we haven’t visited yet and places we want to revisit. Saturday we, the Everetts, and the Deavers went to the historic center of the city and the zocalo. The Everetts hadn’t been there yet, so it was all new to them. We rode a bus most of the way and walked past Bellas Artes on our way to the artisan market where I got the dress posted about a month ago. Janise Everett liked that dress and wanted to see if she could find one too. Fortunately, the market is right across the street from the Ideal Bakery, so the men shopped there while the women looked at dresses. From there we walked to the Gran Hotel. I love walking through the historic area and looking at all the beautiful old buildings. The Gran Hotel is in one of them. It is famous for the ceiling in the lobby, which is made of Tiffany glass and has been in two James Bonds movies. That was what we went there to see. It was amazing! We then had lunch at a restaurant we went to with the Wrights and the Cluffs not long after we got here. We ate on an upstairs balcony, which gave us a spectacular view.

Ron, the Deavers, and the Everetts in front of Bellas Artes.



All the old buildings in the historic district are now stores, restaurants, and hotels. this is not your typical Hampton Inn and Suites.
This is the entrance to the Gran Hotel.
This is the entrance from the other side of the door. Note the gorgeous chandelier and the doorman dressed in red.
The ceiling in the lobby of the Gran Hotel.
The Gran Hotel has the old cage style elevators. Here we are standing in front of one of them.
The view of the gardens at the back of the cathedral from the restaurant where we ate.
The Palacio Nacional is the brown building with the green awnings just right of center in this photo.

As we were walking through the Zocalo, we ran into some BYU students who were just finishing up a weeklong trip to Mexico City. We had fun visiting with them. They told us they had just been to see the Diego Rivera murals in the Palacio Nacional (which is the equivalent of our capital building in Washington D.C.), and that they had loved them. We were glad to hear that because we were planning to go see them after we had lunch. Sadly, we found out you have to go with a tour to see the murals, and all the tours were booked for the day. (We might go back next Saturday to do that.) Neither the Deavers nor the Everetts had been inside the Catedral Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México, which is one of the largest cathedrals in Latin America (some sites say it is the largest) and which sits along one side of the zocalo. So instead of going into the Palacio Nacional, we went to the cathedral. We noticed that there was a metro (subway) entrance by the cathedral, so Ron checked his Moovit App and saw that we could ride the metro to Cuatros Caminos, and we knew how to get on a bus home from there, so that is how we went home. Here we are with just a few weeks left and we’re finally becoming adept at getting around the city on public transportation.

Me in front of the cathedral. We had just watched a young woman strike a dramatic pose for a photo here, so Tom Deaver told me I had to pose like that too. I don't think I was quite as successful as she was.



Vicki Deaver and Janise Everett on the metro

I’ll end with a few photos from our wanderings this week.    


The skyline in the Santa Fe neighborhood. 

 I took this photo from a bus. This street worker is sweeping the sidewalk with a cool, stick broom. We see these everywhere. In all the nice sections of the city, they are very concientious about keeping the sidewalks swept and clean.

I took this from a bridge just a few steps from the front door of Teca Once. It's normally just a small stream, but during the rainy season last year, water was clear up into the trees. They have been working on it for several weeks to drastically widen the channel in anticipation of this year's rainy season.

All the trees you see in the photos I take around the city might surprise you. The number of trees here surprised me when we first got here. The trees provide shelter for birds, and we hear birds singing all the time. I took this video on one of our morning walks just so I could let you hear the birds--not how I expected Mexico City to sound.



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