Friday, March 25, 2016

Idaho - Apostolic Advance 2016

This past week we went to Idaho for Pastor Collin's meeting, Apostolic Advance. We left on Monday and were there for a week. We had a very nice time!

At the bus station about to leave for the Mexico City airport

The controller dude taking a rest on his sticks - LOL! (Click to zoom!!)
We had a layover in Salt Lake City - look at the beautiful snowy mountains in the background! Mmmm...I love America!
Walking through customs on the US side
Reenacting Nicole's picture - haha!
We took this picture for our people - we can get a liter of fresh squeezed orange juice on almost any corner for about $.70. SEVENTY CENTS USD! And at Jamba juice, it is over FIVE - LOL!
While at the Salt Lake airport, we came across something that provided us MUCH excitement and entertainment for our 2-hour layover. We found my dad's twin! It was so crazy. Nicole and I were flipping out. We sat that watching him for a long time, then took out our phones and started taking pictures and videos of him. He was my dad, even down to his mannerisms. It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen.

This picture is called "Hello, Twin" LOL. When the guy stood up, however and we got a full view of his face, we could see the obvious differences. For one, this guy was a whole head taller :D
We felt like we were in Puebla, walking out on the tarmac to get on the little plane.
The basket waiting in our hotel room - YUM.
We went out for lunch with ever'body - fun times!
The first three services were all about the past 90 years of Bethel Temple Church. The stories that were told and the pictures that were shown were so interesting! The church in Twin Falls has a beautiful Apostolic heritage.
The first night at Applebee's is what I like to call the "marriage retreat for sisters". Me and Nicole laughed and laughed and laughed...and I remembered why I like her so much HAHA! It was nice to forget about the school, Sunday school meetings, work, etc and just get woozie on laughter.
Snake River - where my Grampa Wakefield was baptized!

Nicole went in for a routine eye checkup while we were in Idaho and ended up going in the next day for laser surgery. Very unexpected! She ended up spending a third of her time in the US with her eyes dilated - something that caused us endless amusement. These sunglasses made multiple appearances, and at the most inopportune moments.
Elder Picklesimer

Elder Hyler preaching on Calvary

The sunglasses making their appearance in service...

Youth activity at Culver's

Sis. Erin and Bro. Mitch (as in Robert Mitchell:)

Pastor Ham teaching the Friday morning youth service - the first old fashioned Bible study I've heard in English in a veryyyy long was awesome!!!

Lunch at McAllister's - Erin, me, Nicole
One of the days Nicole and I decided to "discover Twin Falls" on foot. LOL. It was very cold and windy, but we had a good ole time. We went to all the stores in the area - haha! American shopping - something we very much look forward to!
Nicole was all over the baking section...

...and I was excited for TARGET!
We also visited our beloved Chick-Fil-A....YES LORD.
While we were shopping, Johnny took Austin shooting...he had a blast!
Pastor Collins
Elder Tommy Johnson playing his guitar!
After every service the church put on beautiful dinners for the ministers and their families. This was the dessert table on the last night....Oh my worddd.... *hearts in my eyes*
The colorful fleet of Sunday school buses!
Dad and Elder Picklesimer
 The Saturday after the conference ended, the Collins took us up to Sun Valley to see snow! We also stopped at the very unique and beautiful Starbucks up there.

We were asked to sing on Sunday so Saturday on the drive up to Sun Valley Nicole and I were racking our brains for an English song we could sing. We then pseudo-practiced it :)

Sis. Johnson, Sis. Collins, Mom, me and Nicole
Johnny and Austin entertained us with a snowball fight while we sat inside sipping on our hot Starbucks drinks.
Sun Valley Lodge

The ice skating rink behind the lodge...what a view!

A flock of I mean...ELK!
A very tall man in the airport...WOW!
What a wonderful time we had in Idaho. It was relaxing, our souls were fed, and we came back feeling energized and inspired. As Pastor Collins said - I think everyone that was there got blessed in some way or another. Yee-haw! :)

I realize this was suuuuch an extreeemely long post, but today is Friday and the next two weeks are spring break and our annual conference in Mexico City. I will not be posting! I am taking a break. My mom also gave me her old iPad so I downloaded OnSong and am completely buried in and consumed by it. I am literally obsessed by this project. I'm loving it. I feel like it is my baby and once I get all my music transferred over and perfectly organized, we will have a dedication service for it. ONSONG TOUCHES MY VERY SOUL. You may not hear from me for a very long time.... (Nicole says she may post, but.....ok, guys. We know how that goes - HEH HEH.)

Have a wonderful spring break, everyone! Keep us in your prayers - we are SO excited for this conference and are believing that God is going to do GREAT things!


Friday, March 11, 2016

January Conference 2016

At the beginning of this year we had our annual New Year's conference. This was during the time that my family was in the U.S. working on their immigration papers. They ended up being there for an entire month. We were all very disappointed to find out they had to miss the conference! 
When there is a meeting here in Puebla, the two churches usually split the task of feeding the multitudes. This time was no different - Elder Wakefield's church took Saturday's lunch and my church made Sunday's lunch. The week before conference was spent doing school by day and some major grocery shopping trips by evening. One of the days after school I met up with my sweet grandparents at Sam's - we went out for coffee afterwards.

The week of conference was fraught with disaster. Actually, as I write this and remember, I can feel tears trying rise - ha. It was an awesome weekend - I actually don't think I'd go back and change a thing. I learned a lot! I'm debating on whether or not I should go into detail...................
....Oh, why not! For memory's sake!!

So the first contributor to this stressful week was just the fact that I was alone during a very busy time. I don't mean to make myself sound like the hero of this story because it definitely wasn't this way, but I felt like the entire responsibility of making the food was on my shoulders. I felt like the responsibility of everything was on my shoulders. Lol. Ugh. Literally you guys - just remembering this is making me shake. (Anyone else get the shakes when recalling bad memories? LOL)

We had contracted a bus to take everyone across town to the church where the services were being held. It was supposed to come at 5:00 pm.

I am cringing. AUGH.

We waited...and waited...for an hour. I tried calling the driver - his phone was off. Valentin ran down to the neighbor's house that had a large bus to see if they could take us. No one was home... :( We ended up just walking out to the main road and catching a bus. In our heels, pretty hairdos, and church clothes.

Because we were forced to use public transportation, we ended up missing the entire song service and getting there just in time for the offering. 
The buses are crowded in the evenings so we were lucky to even catch a bus that fit us all in it. Standing room only!
Me and Francy - Eventually some seats did open up and some of us got to sit down...
The ones that had seats were given the task of carrying all bags and Bibles of the people in the aisles. Both hands are needed when standing - you gotta hang on for dear life.
We were blessed to have Bro. Antonio Lagunes and his wife, Charity, come down for our conference!

We were also very happy to have Pastor Joe Clay! 

Both of these men did wonderful! Absolutely outstanding! Our people just raaaaved about them both! It was also a huge plus that they both spoke fluent Spanish. No translator necessary! :)

These next pictures are of the services, the altar calls, etc. I've whittled them down as far as I could - some of them are just too precious to not include.
These Garcia kids!! They know how to pray.

The little ones dancing up front
Nicole wasn't there to help with the singing. I had three ladies up there to her one. That speaks a lot to her strong and indestructible voice :) I am grateful these ladies were willing to help. There was no way I could've done it alone.

We were so happy to have the Voans visit us! They are missionaries in Uriangato, Mexico. Bro Voan brought his trumpet - that got me excited! He makes us sound good :)
Isai did awesome, as usual. I really enjoy the services that he leads.
Another talented Garcia :)

Me and Sis Voan sneaking a selfie - ha! This lady cracks me up.
Pastor Clay - looking jolly!
Sweet times of prayer
Altar workers - what we always need more of.

This picture makes me laugh - after praying with this girl and getting all up in her personal space for a good while, her mom hugs me and says "Thanks for praying with her, she's been really sick and home from school for the past week." Ummmmm.....*cough* are...welcome? *run to the bathroom and wash hands*  (I'd previously been boasting about the fact that I hadn't gotten sick this season. I still haven't, by the way - haha.)

Sunday morning we woke up early and a bunch of us ladies met at the church to prepare the food for that day. Things started out nothing less than disastrously. It is a long and humiliating story that I do NOT want to remember, therefore I am omitting it! Anyways, the end result was me, very frazzled and upset, running around trying to find a store open that early, and buying stuff to make a very spontaneous salad for 200. *face palm*
I'd been in contact with my grandparents that morning - I called my Gramma at the onset of the disaster. As soon as I heard her voice I broke out in tears LOL. She reassured me that everything was going to be just fine and not to worry. 
It was a very emotional day - and I laugh as I say that. I called a taxi to come and get me then called Grampa to tell him I was on my way with the food and said I'd call him when I was pulling up so the men could come unload everything. Apparently he'd heard about our crazy morning because he told me, "You're doing a great job, everything is going to be just fine." Immediately tears sprang into my eyes and I said, "Grampa please don't be nice to me right now, I'm feeling a little sensitive." HAHA!
Sunday lunch!
"The Americans"
Tacos Los Angeles with our visitors
Grampa insisted upon organizing us all by height for this picture - ha! Bro Clay, Sam Adams, Bro. Lagunes, Charity, Grampa, me, Gramma
Lovely folks :)
Crazy Americans! ;)
It took me long enough to get this post up!! I think I was subconsciously avoiding it to escape traumatic memories - lol! I am kidding! It was a wonderful week. Absolutely, without a doubt, wonderful! I really enjoyed Charity's company - it is rare that preachers bring their wives and visitors down with them and even more rare that they would be around my same age. The services were awesome, people were filled with the Holy Ghost, and good fellowship was had. I also really enjoyed the day after the conference when we got to hang out with our visitors and eat dinner at the Brasilian Steakhouse here in town. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of this event, but it was a delicious one!

We have another conference coming up during spring break. This one will be held at Pastor Isai's church in Mexico City - we are raring up and getting excited for this! We have rented a large bus to bring over a group of people from the two church here in Puebla. This trip involves us bringing foam cushions, sleeping bags, blankets, and everything necessary for a three-day stay. It is almost like camp, something I dream of our people getting to experience. It is going to be good!


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