Friday, March 24, 2017

January Conference 2017

In January we had our New Year's conference. I think this is the conference that I've ever had the most fun at - for reasons I will explain further on down. It was the best! Missionary Brent Schreckhise and Pastor Harlan Morgan came down to preach for us and we had a wonderful time.
Bro. Schreckhise did such a wonderful job, our people just adored him!!! He made us laugh and cry. We were actually literally truly sad, sad, sad to see him go. We wished he could stay longer and preach many more services for us! He also sang each day before he preached and we so enjoyed that! 

He taught us some Honduran Spanish that our people still use even now. Our favorite is "chancho" - pig! We don't use that word here and it is funny to us!

We were so happy to have Bro. Morgan with us as well! His son was supposed to accompany him, but got sick the day before they were to fly out. 
Bro. Morgan sang "It's My Desire" the first night of the conference and asked me to play for him on the spot. We sing this song in Spanish so that was fine, but we don't sing the verses, which I found out in the middle of the song! ("Oh wow! This song has verses!" *panic*) Also, I thought the verse was the chorus and the chorus was the verse. So when Bro. Morgan gave me the sign for the chorus, I went into the verse. I am sorry if I totally butchered that song. 
Later on I asked him if he played and he replied something about "plunking around between three chords." I never know whether or not to believe our American guests - how to know when someone is being modest?? My mom later told me that Bro. Morgan is really good on the piano. 
Whoops. Kind of embarrassing. :)

One night he preached "The Truth Will Make You Free". Another night, he talked about different stories in the Bible and the reactions of different people to the Word of God. How will you respond?
Another message he preached was "Oh, What a Saviour!" He gave testimonies of miracles and wonders that God has done in his life and the lives of others. He was building our faith! It was awesome! Oh, que Salvador!!

As soon as I see a camera pointed at me in church, I don't know what to do. Pretend to be lost in worship? Squeeze a tear out of the corner of my eye? Since it was my Grampa taking the picture, I decided to just smile - to his chagrin. LOL.
Sis. Gloria getting blessed
Michelle seeking the Holy Ghost
Violeta really getting involved in the altar service and praying for the first time

The ministers - Pastor Isai Garcia from Mexico City, Bro. Juan, Pastor Cortez in Puebla, Missionary Schreckhise from Honduras, Pastor Morgan from Louisiana, Bro. David Garcia, Bro. Valentin, Bro. Mario Garcia, Evangelista Interranchional Abner Garcia, Bro. Baltazar, Elder Wakefield, and Pastor Pablo in Cuautla
During this conference, there was some extra fun going on behind the scenes. I'd been living on my own for a month at this point since Nicole had already moved to Idaho. Nicole and I are opposites - she is more the quiet, go-to-bed-at-9-sharp kind of girl. I love being around people and the idea of having a houseful of girls to cook for and stay up all night chatting with caused me extreme excitement. After having all this alone time, I was ready to completely drown myself in cooking, girl-talk, late nights, and laughter. These girls made my New Year by agreeing to stay at my house for the three days of our conference.

Dinner after church

Montse was looking at the pictures I have on the refrigerator and just oohed and ahhed over the one of Nicole and I in the snow. "You look so cute and snuggly! I just want to pinch your cheeks!" She said we had to do a reenactment so I twisted her hair up into a bun and gave her my glasses.

Aftewards, we made it into a collage and sent it to Nicole. 
Pretty good! :D

I love these sweet young ladies and had such a fun time with them over the days of the conference! We had good church, but also great fellowship before and after each service!

Soledad (from Veracruz) had stayed with a family in our church so she could attend the conference. The day after it ended, we went over for lunch and to see how she was doing. She is so funny! Her back was hurting so I started massaging her shoulders. We got to talking about her hair and why it is purple. She says her hair stylist told her to use a certain shampoo for white hair. I think she's not rinsing it out too well - lol! I've told her this before, and to only use it once a week, but I think she feels like a little mermaid with her special hair color. LOL.

A mermaid-esque do for Sis. Soledad.

And that was our conference! Good, fun, Holy Ghost-filled days. I'm looking forward to the next one!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Zacatlan de las Manzanas 2016

At the beginning of each school year, we go to Zacatlan for a sort of home school get-together. Homeschooling is not a very popular movement here in Mexico, but it is getting there. We use a curriculum written by a lady here in Mexico. It is a Christian program and all online. It was designed to be done in the home - homeschooling - but not everyone has internet in their homes here and in my church only a handful of parents have even graduated from middle school and are therefore not capable of teaching their own children at home. We are a part of a group of about 900 students throughout the country of Mexico doing this program. The meeting we attend each year in Zacatlan is always super informative and inspiring. We always leave with renewed vision and new ideas.

They have different speakers that speak on different topics. One speaker showed actual pages from the textbooks being used in the public schools starting in preschool and kindergarten! This is scary stuff! I won't translate everything, but you can get an idea of what is being taught in the schools down here. It might be the same way in the US, I am not sure.
Sexual diversity and "you can choose your gender"

In past years we've tried to get as many parents to come as possible, but this coming school year we've decided to make this event mandatory for the parents of our students! It is so eye-opening and if anyone is on the fence about whether or not to get their kid out of the public school system, this meeting will convince them. It really helps parents see that they don't have to do what everyone else in Mexico is doing, and help them see what our goal is for their children, education-wise.

Back when there were two teachers in this school... :(

It's become our tradition to eat lunch at this market during break. It's down the street a few blocks from the homeschool meeting place.

There are tons of tiny little individual kitchens set up and when you walk in ladies start yelling at you to come sit and their table. They yell out what they've made and what is on the menu for that day.

If I remember correctly, I got Pipian rojo with chicken, rice, and haba soup (translated: broad bean? Never heard of it.)
After lunch we went back to the event for the next sessions. I was watching Grampa in the front-view camera of my phone and taking pictures of him. I love the following progression:
Losing the battle
Lost the battle
The mouth is falling open
Realizing the mouth fell open
"This is too much. Gotta leave."

He went to go sleep in the car. Lol!
There were actually parts that did get a little boring. Thankfully, I have my ever faithful Mexican jumping beans to keep me entertained in the lull.

I waited so long to get this post up that in a few months we'll be going to Zacatlan again for the next home-schoolers event! It's crazy, but there are only a couple more months left in this school year. Yeah!! We are truckin' along... :)


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Austin Update

Good news - Austin is home! His doctor had originally said he'd be released on Sunday, but he was doing so well that he was allowed to come home Saturday morning. He hasn't had the cast put on yet - his incisions from the surgery need to heal up first. Thursday he gets his cast. We are anxious for that! Things are very delicate with his poor leg having no real protection.

I went over Friday to see him and hang out there a little while. Austin really enjoyed his hospital meals.

Mom and I also enjoyed the hospital food.

He did a lot of sleeping.

Austin had a few more visitors....
This is Valentin - Austin's PE and Bible teacher, and one of his BFFs. When Austin first broke his leg, he says that his foot had twisted out in at a very unnatural angle. Valentin did some quick thinking and popped the bone back into place. Austin's surgeon says Valentin did the right thing and possibly saved the tendons, nerves, etc in his leg.

Tio Mario and Elissa came by as well!

Before he could leave, they had to check out his incisions and change the bandages on his leg. 

Finally it was time to bring this boy home! He was in good spirits and happy to be out of the hospital. 
(Sorry, his muscles are too big for you guys to see.)
Valentin and Dad unloaded him from the car.

Then they carried him up the stairs!!

Olive was very curious as Austin was brought in the house...

After Austin got settled in his bed, Olive was invited in to check the situation out and greet her buddy.

Austin's x-ray - the final proof that he wasn't faking!

Austin had some visitors in the last couple of days and they brought by what is the classic Mexican get well food. Yogurt, jell-o, and bread that comes already toasted (very interesting, let me tell you).

I'm sure I'll have little updates here and there as Austin recovers and becomes more mobile. Nicole's second wedding/celebration party here in Mexico is in a few weeks and Austin will be on crutches for that. Kinda funny!
Thank you all for your prayers and sweet messages for Austin. He's read them all and will be on here shortly to reply to the comments!


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