Sunday, June 22, 2014

The works continues!

Part of our responsibilities in the mission are to inspect the missionaries apartments. We finished the Valsequillo and Mayorazgo Zones a week ago and this past week we completed the Cholula Zone. Some of the places are disasters and we have to recommend to the President that they be moved to new places; i.e., showers full of mold, water heaters that don't work, vermin. But the good thing is that MOST of the places are in pretty good order. Below are a few pictures are of the great Elders that we have been able to work with the past few weeks and a few pictures of the types of architecture and wild life in the areas.

These are the Zone Leaders and other missionaries from the Mayorazgo and Cholula Zones. We have to cram them in the back of our car when they come to show us the way to the different apartments.

Waiting for Elders to come to inspect their apartment (above)

Mama turkey, with babies

The truck is carrying drinking water.
The motorcycle following it has a father and daughter with his tools he uses for his work sticking up behind them.

Note the traffic and the yellow bus turning left from the right lane.
The next picture shows what the cars did as he continued to turn left in front of traffic! No one honked!!
They just went around the back side of the bus!!

Thus, you can see that we take seriously the scripture which says, "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."  (D&C 84:88) Driving is a very stressful event for Tom especially!!

Changes coming

President and Sister Reeves are coming to the end of their mission. We went to the mission home one day to help prepare a dinner. We had heard that workers have come and "stripped" the home, getting things ready for the new mission president. It was a shock to them to walk in and find furniture gone and painting being done without having said anything to them. I thought you'd find it astounding to see the changes. When we visited Robert and Janet in September, the first picture you see was the beautiful dining room, looking toward the living room. The next picture is the kitchen with the cabinet doors removed, and the next picture is what happened to the dining room table (out on the patio, covered with plastic because this is the rainy season)!

We were invited to dinner because the Reeves had invited an investigator to come to dinner, who they had met at Costco, and had been fellowshipping for a year, and wanted us to meet him so we could continue to fellowship him after they are gone. Below you can see the dining room with small tables placed together, covered with a table cloth and some folding chairs and the kitchen chairs!!

 Last Saturday night the Valsequillo Stake President invited us to a dinner at the stake center in honor of President and Sister Reeves. The stake president is 20 years younger than President Reeves!! The picture below is the members of the stake presidency, those who had served as counselors to President Reeves over the years, and leaders in the stake and their spouses. We were invited because I'm the hermana mayor (oldest sister) of President Reeves!!!

Last week we went to Atlixco with President Reeves and his wife and, while there, we bought some beautiful flowers. When we moved into our apartment, we had a very ugly flower bed. We planted our flowers and will post their progress. Hope you like what we've done. We need to get a gardner with a machete to get rid of the palm tree spike!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bien Venidos

About two weeks into our mission, we received our car and our apartment was mostly finished!
We were excited to finally be able to accomplish the assignments we were given by the President!
The first day in our apartment, we discovered that we had no gas to warm water for a shower or to be able to cook on the stove! So, back to the mission home we went. You can see the President's reaction when we rang the doorbell!
After a few days, the problem was solved and we were able to move back to our apartment. 
People have been asking to see what our apartment looks like, so here are some pictures from the beginning 'til now. We didn't have a mirror and one day we found it behind the door to the den! Wonder why it's there?

 Our bedroom and the furniture are very nice and adequate. We sleep comfortably at night. We even have shades that block the sun that beats down in the afternoon, which helps keep the apartment cool!

The living room includes the dining room table and chairs, which is very nice. Our couches are leather and the rug looks like a Persian rug, but it only cost $52 at a neighborhood store!!
 The kitchen is very small. Washing dishes is quite a task. We have VERY LITTLE cupboard space, as well. We are expecting a built in cupboard to be delivered (which just happened, as we speak!).

The den is rather small and only room for one person, so the living room is also used for study.

View from the living room toward the bathroom and bedrooms and den. The other bedroom houses our ironing board, vacuum, and storage!

 The garage is pretty secure for our mission car--a Nissan Versa.

Here are two views showing the approach to our home and coming through the garage doors. Pretty secure place!

The laundry room is outside -- the middle of our apartment!! When it rains, the appliances get wet!
Another experience we have daily that we have to get used to is traffic, at least we drive on the side of the road we're used to!!  However, the traffic is hectic and very stressful, with large and small buses, taxis, trucks, passenger cars, vendors and everyone in a hurry!! We know that the angels are watching over us because we've had some narrow misses on the roads. In some cases, signs are missing that direct the traffic (everyone else except us seems to know when the traffic is one-way or two-way). We've gotten lost, too, several times. Luckily, we have map books with which we can usually find our way home (or call President Reeves for help)!

 Traffic bumps, called topes, are frequently used throughout the city to control traffic speeds.
Last week we traveled with President and Sister Reeves and the Assistants through parts of the mission to learn how to find the ward and stake centers, to help the new mission president, who comes in three weeks.

 It's the rainy season and so we have lots of thunderstorms and the saying "when it rains, it pours" is a very true statement here. There is a lot of flooding and the dirt streets are a mess, but the rain keeps it green and lush here. Temperatures are very mild. It does get quite warm sometimes, but it's lovely!

Monday, June 9, 2014


We arrived at the Puebla Airport on May 3, 2014
President Robert Reeves (he is my youngest brother) and his wife, Janet, met us at the airport. We will be staying with them in the mission home until our apartment is finished. It needs a lot of fixing up, but looks like it will be nice. 
We accompanied the president and his wife to District interviews throughout the mission. The picture below is in Nealtican, near the volcano Popocateptl, which spews ash once in a while. There was a small earthquake while we were there.
 The Assistants, with the President, his wife, and us, met the new missionaries arriving from the Mexico MTC. The missionaries from the Provo MTC arrived another day. Their orientation was in English, thankfully, so I could learn more!! The other is a picture of the new missionaries, with their companions and the President and his wife.

The MTC (Missionary Training Center) 
We entered the Missionary Training Center on April 28 where we received training to serve as a missionary—we were taught skills and tasks to teach the lessons from “The Plan of Salvation” and “The Restoration.”  One of our “investigators” was a great surprise! We actually knew him—Noel Rentz from Rialto, California, who now lives in Provo with his wife. We were in the MTC for 5 days.
Tom was called as the District Leader over our little group who practiced together and were taught under the superb direction of returned missionaries.

Marilyn had two tutors from the MTC who called her on Skype twice a week to help her learn Spanish—Elders Zamorra and Groom.