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!



Jennifer Connell said...

Thanks for taking the time to share all of this! I think Hanna and I got a glimpse of the stress level of preparing food for 200 something people before camp/conference when we were in Honduras. I'm glad everything turned out okay for you! Even when it doesn''s pretty much always something you can laugh about. Later. lol!! In the moment it's not very fun.

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to more of your posts! :)

LaLa said...

It looks like it all turned out ok and a good time was had! I cant imagine the stress you must have been under. On another note concernig Bro Clay...Have you heard of the flooding of the area in Louisiana where he Pastors now? Burr Ferry and all that area around the Sabine River were flooded very bad. They are using the church as a disaster relief area since so many lost their homes. Anyways, Ive been keeping close tabs on the flooding because we used to live in that area and my brother is friends with Bro Clay. So when I saw him in your post, I wondered if you knew. Be blessed!

Anali Velez said...

You are hilarious Bethany. LOL Now you can make food for all the children you will have one day. HAH.

I want to go back to Puebla!

Marla Flores said...

Holaaaa soy jemina les mando un abrazo enorme :)

The Wakefields: Missionaries to Mexico said...

Jen - Yes, I can laugh about it now. Everything DID end up turning out well. I am thankful for that! It adds a lot a lot of stress though to think that if you mess something up, you're messing it up for THE ENTIRE GROUP. Augh! Anyways :) GLAD THAT'S OVER!

You're welcome to come back and visit us anyyyyytime!

Jemina - pasame tu numero de celular!!!


The Wakefields: Missionaries to Mexico said...

LaLa - I did not know about the flood! That is terrible! Hope everyone is ok and that God uses this to help the church in Burr Ferry reach souls! My parents preached for the Clays in January, soon after they took the church, and really enjoyed their time with them.
Thanks for commenting!


Laura Wyatt said...

I was looking for the Bracken's and I got distracted! I know a couple Spanish words they are pastel, malo, and lemon. I like the awkward pictures, like the picture of the girl sleeping and having her hair done.

-Ben Wyatt from the Marchbank's church!

The Wakefields: Missionaries to Mexico said...

Thanks Bentley for commenting!

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