Friday, August 30, 2013

All finished at the MTC.  Above is  picture of the Schlagers (BS1st Ward), Us and the Winters (KCNorth Ward, Liberty Stake).  We were the group from Missouri, and really enjoyed each other's company.  The Schlagers are going to the Phillipines as MLS and Office Missionaries.  The Winters are going to Texas with President Ames as Office Missionaries.  We FINALLY have visas and airplane tickets to Mexico, and leave on Monday at 7:20 am.  We will arrive in Mexico City around 3 pm.  Finally!  Today was another great day with our wonderful MTC teachers helping us learn to work with Ward Councils and inactive or less active members--always with love and concern.  What a great week this has been.  The role-playing has been exhausting, but we have learned a lot and practiced more.  Tomorrow we are doing laundry (in the MTC laundry room which has to have about 100 washing machines), studying Spanish, then finally (sometime) getting to bed.  Right now we are trying to figure out what to send home and what to take.  We are missing our children and grandchildren--and wish we could admire Walker's missing tooth in person.  We are excited to arrive in Mexico City--and just got an email from Presidente Valadez saying he and his wife would be waiting for us.  The adventure begins. 
I'm posting a picture of ALL this weeks Senior Missionaries so you can see what a great looking bunch of seniors we are!  :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today was a non-MTC day!  We spent the entire day on the Frontrunner--pictured above--which runs from Provo to Ogden.  We rode from Provo to Murray, then hopped on the Trax train, getting off at the Bee Ball Park.  We then had to hike 4 blocks to the Mexican Consulate to be interviews for our visas.  Apparently, Mexico doesn't issue visas without a personal interview.  Hence, it was Tom and I along with 10 energetic young Elders.  It was an adventure!  We didn't return until around 4 pm, making it too late to do anything except go to dinner and crash.  We highly recommend the Frontrunner to anyone in Utah.  It was clean, comfortable, fast, and really quiet.  Riding it was a treat.  Hard to say that about Trax!  The consulate said that they would get our visas finished by Friday.  The Church is sending someone to pick them up.  We have two reports of plans for our flight out--one is Saturday (a little early, we think), and the other is Monday morning (like, around 6 am--which means we are up around 3 am)  Not too happy about that one either.  One way or the other, we WILL be in Mexico City next week!  Hooray! Now I am truly getting nervous about language skills!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm sitting looking out across Utah Valley enjoying a beautiful sunset an looking at flight possibilities to Mexico City.  We checked in this morning and received all kinds of information--including the news that we do not yet have a visa.  However, the travel department has talked with the Mexican consulate and they are going to squeeze us in on Wednesday for an interview and issuance of a visa.  Travel Services said this is GOOD news, because it means we WILL get a visa on Wednesday.  We are therefore looking forward to leaving Provo sometime this weekend.  We had a pretty non-stressful day today--most of it spent in orientation and meeting other senior couples.  There are only 22 couples this week--there will be 72 next week! We are blessed to have made many new friends.  We spent a few hours studying this evening, and are now getting ready to turn in.  We start at 8 am tomorrow for Preach My Gospel training.  We are missing family and friends.  We are also enjoying watching the 3500 young missionaries who mill around everywhere.  They have such enthusiasm that it is catching.  They are also very patient, courteous, and just plain nice people.  We are honored to be here with them.  We enjoyed having a Maschger family Skype this afternoon--as well as a quick chat with Kristi.  And we are really enjoying crossing paths with Michael McCarty, who we see every   day.  I can't tell you how great it is to see someone from home!   Until tomorrow....

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Well, we are here!  Arrived at the MTC Sunday evening in time for a quick meal and Sunday devotional.  LOTS of Elders and Sisters milling around.  We sat with 5 other senior couples during the devotional, so got to meet a few other seniors.  Hopefully there will be lots more arriving tomorrow morning.  We officially check in at 10 am.  Had a great day yesterday shoe shopping with Paddy and sampling all the desserts at Kneaders--thanks to a great waitress who decided to give us extras of everything.  Missing our grandkids and children--and all our friends at home.  Love to all.  We will know more tomorrow!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Spent a great last week in Blue Springs, topped by seeing great friends and family members for our open house on Sunday, August 18.  The Open House was Caryn's idea--we were really absorbed in learning Spanish and packing our house up--but with her urging it was really great.  Friends from the Stake, Ward and work came to join us, eat a little guacamole and taquitos, and talk about old times and upcoming adventures.  We enjoyed having a really full house--followed by a trip to the McCarty's to say goodbye to Michael, who will be entering the MTC on Wednesday, August 21.  Had one last tutoring session on Monday, then proceeded to pack, clean, organize, dust and prepare for our trip to Utah.  We arrived in Utah on Thursday, Aug 22nd, and spent some time with Julie (Tom's sister) and Dave, then on to Paddy's apartment to spend a few last evenings with my sister.  On Friday we woke up to a flat tire on our rental car, so we drove back to the airport and exchanged it, arriving late to the Immersion MTC.  Had a great day of practicing and studying Spanish, followed by a visit with Tom's cousin Brent Ashworth and his wife.  Very interesting time talking about family history and past memories of family members.  Saturday has been a day to repack, gather our thoughts, shop for shoes (Joni) and get prepared.  Tomorrow, on the 25th, we will drive to the MTC and check in a day early.  Still no word on Visas--so we don't know when'/if we will be leaving, but we have exchanged some encouraging e-mails with Presidente Valadez and are looking forward to being in Mexico City and finally being able to pitch in and do the work we need to do.  I'm sitting in my sister's apartment now, looking across the street at the Church Office Building and Temple Square, and am thinking how great it is to be a member of the Lord's Kingdom and part of this work.  What a privilege to have Him trust us enough to send us forth to help others.  Hoping for connectivity at the MTC so I can continue there....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Almost time to go!

Guess it is officially time to start a blog on our Mission to Mexico City.  We received our call in May to the Mexico City South Mission, and have been working (hard!) for the last 3 months on language instruction and packing up.  I can now converse (haltingly) in Spanish, but am doing much better.  We are working on grammar, flashcards, and Predicad mi Evangelio!  We spoke in Sacrament Meeting last week, and are having an Open House this evening to say goodbye to friends and family.  We fly to SLC on Thursday, spend Friday doing another immersion day at the MTC, then officially enter the MTC on Monday the 26th of August.  The Missionary Department has told us there is only one other senior couple in Mexico City South--and they live at home.  We're not sure what that means, except that we will probably have to set up an apartment, and that this is an exciting time in Mexico City!  Yes, we are feeling a little nervous--and Yes, we are feeling excited and are ready to go.  Yes, we will miss our children and grandchildren, but are counting on blessings for all of them.