Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27, 2014

What a great an uplifting week!  We started the week in the office, checking up on necessary details needed to welcome our new Elders and Sisters--all from Mexico and South American countries this time.  We'll miss welcoming Northamericans, but the following transfer (at the end of June).  The Office Elders are pretty much caught up--or ahead--of what we needed to get done, so I mostly worked on Referrals.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were Zone Conferences.  Zone Conferences come along every three months, and involve instruction from the President and his wife, his counselors, and whoever else he calls on.  This time, President Valadez and his wife took an hour each teaching about the importance of being disciples of Christ. based on Matthew 28: 18-20.  Once again, the President (who is one of the best teachers I have EVER had the privilege to listen to) hit a home run.  He picked the scriptural reference apart verse by verse with the missionaries, pointing out that being a missionary means that they are endowed with power, but that to access that power, they need to be strictly obedient.  He noted that the word disciple is rooted in the word discipline--and associated the two.  Then he directed their attention to "id y haced"--go and do--meaning that you have to actually DO something, and that something is finding and teaching.  He also noted that we are to "guardar" the commandments--meaning to not only obey, but to place them securely in our hearts and souls--such that they are a constant directing force in our lives.
Our part was reminding our Latinos that they DO need to be working on English.  We handed out slips of papers with reports on how they were doing on English--and hope to see a few more as a result.  We also talked with them about referrals--which are a bear to assign, since people apparently don't know how to write correct addresses.  They put down incorrect Colonias, Delegaciones and States (I can't tell you often I see D.F. placed in Aguascalientes--a little like saying that Kansas City is in California!  We do the best we can and send them out. Unfortunately none of the missionaries is reporting on what they did with the referrals, so it looks like they are disappearing into a black hole.  We also (we think) discovered that there are problems with the telephone numbers that the referrals are being texted to.  We will work on that one tomorrow in the office.
Saturday we attended the Ermita Stake Conferences.  We took the subway and arrived in time to greet our great missionaries (26 of them) and be invited to sit on the stand (unfortunately in my opinion--I just wanted to listen to President and Sister Valadez, who were talking, and then slip quietly out and go home.  No such luck.  However, it was a great meeting.  One of the Counselors set up a demonstration in which he had people running all over the chapel as an illustration of how missionary work should be done--by the members--which was a hoot.
This morning, we returned to Ermita for the Sunday session.  This time we had to do the speaking.  Each of our talks was VERY short, but I'm happy to report I managed to get through the spanish without major errors--only minor ones.  I'm feeling like a success!  Speaking in front of a stake full of people in a foreign language is NOT easy!
No fun pictures this time around.  Guess we need to get out more--although we are pretty tired from this week's travel by car, taxi, metro and foot.  By the way, the Ermita Stake Center is on a quiet, gated street.  Very charming....

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