Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mexico City Conference 2016 Part 2

This is the second part to the conference post of last week. I discovered some pictures that I didn't really want to leave out, if only for my own memory's sake.

We had a youth service Saturday morning. Abner led the service and did an absolutely fantastic job. A couple of Pastor Isai's young people also led in some activities, one of which was mixing everyone up and having them sit by someone they did not know! I thought that was a good idea - get everyone out of their comfort zone, make them perk up and pay attention!

 A couple young people from each church were asked to testify. One of the ones to testify was my very own little brother, Austin. During pre-service prayer, he came over and told me he was so nervous and didn't know what he was going to say. Of course hearing this made me nervous, too!! I tried to infuse some confidence in him by reminding him what God has done in his life and telling him he'd do great. I should have known it was just his nervousness making him nervous - lol. That kid got up there and blew us all away. He had his whole family bawling - we were so proud! He'd talk...then paaaaause for a lonnng time....he had us on the edge of our seats, for sure. Then he'd pop out with another bit of what God had laid on his heart then pause again. I was dying just watching him - he is Elder Wakefield 100%!!! His mannerisms and the cadence of his speech are his Grampa.

Bro. May then preached to the young people. 

Keilah and Keziah took over all altar calls! Hallelujah! 

Cheyenne was making us giggle in the altar - she has a new style of praying that is just too much! Two steps forward, two steps back - in fast forward. All while scrunching her face up and holding her hands out like she's ready to receive a giant blessing from the Lord! 

 The hosting church put on a wonderful children's service. It was such great inspiration! Even the adults' attention was glued to the front.

 Look at all the these kiddos!

 Lunch between services

Visiting after church...
Grampa was so excited to show me his translation of the song He's God on the Mountain.

We went out Saturday morning for some fresh air and a walk around the neighborhood. 

Abner got this picture - 
The name of a street by the church: Beheaded Saints Street
What in the world! 

 Carmen and Belen with their 'dos
Belen has been growing her hair out for the past couple of years in hopes of being able to have a bun like Nicole's. She finally reached do-able hair length for this conference and was SO happy!

 This lady didn't get the Holy Ghost but she was smiling as if she did! She was making everybody smile.

The day after the conference ended, the girls came over to hang out and to try some of Nicole's cupcakes. 
I think they liked them :D
In the container: Red Velvet, Piña Colada, and Snickers
 Later that night we went to the Brazilian Steakhouse.

On the last day that the Mays were here, we went out to Cholula to see the pyramid. 
The group didn't arrive until about an hour after us so we sat in the sun and worked on our tans while eating ice cream.

Fruit! YUM!
Cholula's police force :)

Going through the tunnel under the pyramid

 The May crew!


Monday, April 25, 2016

MAJOR Sunday School Happenings

We just ended another Sunday school trimester. These past three months, we've been having an attendance competition. The rules of this particular contest were that you could invite the same person over and over again and receive a point. This turned out to be a great idea because we now have SO MANY new kids coming on a regular basis!
Sunday school is on fire at Tabernaculo de Victoria! 
The first place prize was a bike. 
Jerameel won with 72 visitors! 
This is a family of hard workers! Sis. Carmen deserves a bike of her own - she worked like crazy helping her kids invite people to church.
 Sara won second place and brought 62 visitors! 
She is my newest piano student, but didn't own a piano so that's what her prize was!
We did not have the piano bought yet so instead, printed out a picture of it. She received the real deal a week later. Love her mom's reaction! :)
The third place winner was Ailyn - she brought 47 people to church! Belen won fourth place with 40 visitors and Marcos won fifth place with 15. These kids shocked our socks off! One Sunday, we had 25 visitors brought by just one family. Our church was packed out
Through this competition, I broke my record of picking kids up for Sunday school. We have a 7-seater Dodge Grand Caravan. Last month we packed 24 kids and adults in! In Mexico, there is ALWAYS room for juuuust one more!
It is a new trimester and time for a new competition. We decided that since what we are doing now is really working, we don't want to stop! We are doing another visitor drive, but this time, each kid that invites 10 people gets a ticket to Africam Safari. At the end of this competition in July, we will take all of the kids there together!
Yesterday when I was on my run picking up kids, we were almost to the church when out of the corner of my eye I saw some frantic waving going on from the side of the road. I pulled over and there a couple of our new Sunday school kids were! They were practically jumping up and down with excitement, shouting, "WE GOT OUR TEN VISITORS, WE GOT OUR TEN VISITORS!" They hopped in the car and we whipped back around to go pick the new ten kids up. 
This Saturday is Dia de los Niños and we are doing something pretty special with them. Definite blog post coming up about that. 
I was going to wait, but since this is a Sunday school victory report, I will include it.
Last night we had a special service with some visitors from the US. We had a wonderful altar service with many new people seeking God. I was on the piano when I heard somebody start hollering and getting loud. I looked out to see our very own little Ailyn, getting the Holy Ghost!!!! It was incredible and so touching! I don't have any pictures of the actual moment, but afterwards she went around hugging Pastor, Elder Sis. Wakefield and others...
She made Gramma cry :)
(For those that need a refresher, she is the little curly-headed girl that's been coming to Sunday school faithfully for the past couple of years. The one that, for Christmas, asked for "skirts. I'm going to church now." LOL! Her mom is the one that got the Holy Ghost at our conference a few weeks ago. See last blog post.) 
As you can see, good things are happening. I think I said this in a post a few weeks ago, but we really are seeing a harvest of souls through Sunday school. You just never know which child is going to grab onto this, and which family is going to be won! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mexico City Conference 2016

We arrived in Mexico City in the nick of time. There is a certain anxiety to be felt when you're the one scheduled to play that night, and you step off the bus to hear pre-service prayer already starting. There was a mad dash to get the bus unloaded and the sound system and piano set up. I was feeling a bit frazzled as the service started, but soon the Holy Ghost began to move. The pastor of the church in Mexico City, Bro Isai Garcia, led the service and did a wonderful job. It was the first night of the conference and he was not going to let the people off the hook! He led in worship by example and encouraged the people to start off this first night right! We pressed though in prayer and worship and soon things started heating up and the Holy Ghost began to move.
Pastor Herrera, who pastors a Spanish work of Elder Gary Howard, preached the first night.

Austin is becoming a good altar worker. It is touching to see him pray with his friends.
The obligatory shot of the Garcia family praying together
The mornings were quite busy for Nicole and I... :) We were calling it the Apostolic beauty salon. Everyone wanted their hair done! 
Get in line!
I had the most fun doing little Stephanie's hair - it is finally long enough to do two little french braids down the side. She still hadn't woken up that morning so we worked on her while she snoozed.

Itzel and Andrea got their hair did! :)

 After about three hours of doing hair, the hairspray fumes started getting to me and I knew if I didn't eat something, there was a chance I'd be running off the platform mid-song service. Thankfully, there was a little tamale stand set up next to the church!

Sunday morning we had a service for the ladies. Sis. Wakefield did such a great job leading it! This service and the youth service were incredible.

Sis. Elvira, Nicole and Mom did the music
Sis. Herrera speaks fluent Spanish so she testified and sang for us. You could just see the hearts forming in the ladies eyes as she gave her testimony. After she spoke, she sang the song "Perfume a Tus Pies" and just clinched the deal! Everyone loves this song :)
Each of the minister's wives gave a short testimony. This was one of my favorite parts! These are good, godly ladies and I am thankful to have them as examples for our people.
Sis. Elvira impressed us again with her feminine drumming skillZ! She is awesome!
Sis. May taught the ladies class. We all enjoyed it so much and God really moved.

Bro. Herrera preached a very moving message about getting the Word of God down in our hearts. That message is the one that stood out most to me. Because of this message, we are starting back up our Bible quizzing program, but this time we are getting the other churches involved. We are excited about this!

El Obispo! (The Bishop)
Bro. May preached the last night
I am an object lesson girl...the object lesson doesn't even have to do anything with the lesson, but I will remember it for the rest of my life! In this case, however, the object definitely went along with the message. Glo sticks!
If you want your life to shine, it has to be broken first!
If you look back about 3 years when we began doing Sunday school big-time, we blogged about Ailyn for the first time. She came to our very first Sunday school class back then and has only missed two Sundays since! We were so happy that Ailyn and her mom and sister were able to come to the conference. The most exciting thing happened and I was so thrilled to be there to witness it - the moment Ailyn's mom, Blanca, was filled with the Holy Ghost!

A little boy praying - so sweet.
Keilah and Nicole
After the evening service on Sunday, we all piled back on the bus and returned home to Puebla. The May girls were able to ride back with us and we had a fun time chatting with them. They are sweet girls.

We really appreciate the Herreras and the Mays for coming down and being with us for this conference. They were such a blessing. Bro. May holds a special place in our hearts. He has been here a few times and each visit turns out to be monumental for us and the people. Juan and Marisol came to church for the first time when Bro. May was down here preaching for us about seven years ago. Bro. Juan testifies now that it was the first service he'd ever been in that seemed to match up with how they had church in the book of Acts. His wife, Marisol, thought we were all out of our minds! I remember Juan coming down to the altar and sobbing his eyes out. Marisol was beside him, knelt at the altar with a very stoic expression on her face. She really did not know what to do with all the craziness going on around her! Bro. May also was with us in service the night God called Abner to preach. These are life-changing moments! We now have one more reason to be thankful for his ministry - Blanca receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Bro. Herrera was right there helping pray her through. We are thankful for these good men of God and their families!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pre Conference - Visitors!

I don't usually blog on Tuesdays but I got all inspired last night reading comments!! These bursts of inspiration must be taken advantage of, no matter the day. (If no one has ever noticed, I try to blog Mondays and Wednesdays and occasionally on Friday, if it's been a busy week.)

Friday morning before the first service, we met our visitors for breakfast. Los Almuerzos has the best breakfast in the entire city!

We were so happy that the whole May family was able to come to Puebla! We had a good time with the girls. Bro. Herrera also brought his wife - all of us ladies were very happy to have company to visit with! We certainly enjoyed the days they were here.
The ladies' side of the table
The men's side of the table

It was so funny - the inevitable and extremely vexatious topic of the current state of the US and her presidential candidates got brought up. When a certain controversial candidate's name was brought up, Dad's arm slyly went around Austin's shoulders. His message was clear - "Zip it." 
A decent illustration of the quip, "Lord keep your arm around your shoulder and your hand over my mouth."
After breakfast we went to the Estrella de Puebla - the little round circle in this picture...

...Or not so little.

Before getting on the ferris wheel, Bro. May started acting like he was going to run through the water fountains. Sis. May was adamantly against this! She tried to hold him back...

...but was unsuccessful, much to the amusement of onlookers!

We went to get on the ferris wheel, only to be told one could not ride while wet.
The above picture brings to mind the bottom picture... :)

After drying off in the sun for a few minutes, we were able to get on the Estrella de Puebla!
Bro. May, Austin, me and Dad
Keilah, Keziah, Nicole and Sis. May
Our city
I will post about the start of the conference next time!


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