Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 42 Week of Milagros! November 10, 2014

Stairwell of the bell tower

Now for last week's adventure... We woke up early, got ready, and headed to Center. We walked to the metro station and got there just as Metro rush hour was beginning. You can't imagine how many people are on the metro at 8 in the morning. It is absolutely insane. People are plastered against the metro windows and walls...that's how squeezed in they are. I don't even know how they all fit to be honest! We made sure we went to the women only section and squeezed our way in. I've never been so grateful to be tall in all my life because I was about two heads taller than everyone and didn't have to be face to face with anyone. My comp on the other hand wasn't so fortunate... After a few stops we followed the crowd of thousands to the exit into Zocalo. Imagine being in a dark underground metro station with thousands of Mexicans, walking up a tunnel of stairs, and stepping into a bright, sunny, European scene of Zocalo. You feel like you're walking into a different world!! It's breathtaking. My purpose in going to center was to buy a new pair of shoes (all of mine had holes in them) but we decided to make the most of being in center by visiting a few places.
Bell tower of the main cathedral
We signed up for a tour of the Main Cathedral's bell towers and signed up at noon knowing that they would be ringing every bell. We climbed flights of ancient stairs and just before noon waited for the moment...the clock struck 12:00 and the bells (made in the 1500s) started ringing. It's pretty awesome because you feel like your insides are shaking or something.
Mariachi's everywhere!
We made sure to go and see the angel of independence too. I was able to find a pair of Toms and I love them! Near the angel we found a little area called Garivaldi which is famous for their Mariachi bands. To get the full experience I'm sure you have to go in the night but we were able to find a Mariachi and they played us the song "Cielito Lindo". I LOVE MARIACHI BANDS!!
Comida in Zocalo on the balcony. Pasta!! Real Food!!!
We headed back to Zocalo looking for a place to eat and got attacked by about 10 different men begging us to come to their restaurant. We ended up eating at a restaurant on the balcony of a 5 story building with a perfect view of Zocalo and the main cathedral. It was perfect. Sadly, the day had to end and we headed back home and to a zone meeting. But a great adventure!!!
Angel de Independencia
Wednesday we had a meeting with Hermana Stutznegger and all of the Sister missionaries and it went pretty well. I want to get it into the heads of the sisters here that we have such a huge potential and that we shouldn't settle for good! We can be great!! It's not easy...but SO possible!! We've got to go for the extra mile here!

Friday was awesome. We started the day by visiting our investigators which is my favorite thing on earth. We at lunch and then headed to the church to start filling up the font. As we were walking I called the bishop to see if someone would meet me with the keys and the baptismal clothes and to open the closet to turn on the water. He paused and told me that he had given the keys to his secretary and that he had left to Veracruz for the weekend and that he didn't know what to tell me. Frustrating. I called the other ward and they too had traveled to Veracruz to go to the temple. That's when I started to panic. How in the world was I supposed to fill up the font?! We got there, opened up the church and God had answered my prayers...for the fist time ever the closet was unlocked...I could finally breathe. I called some Elders and they were able to bring me clothes. We set up chairs, set out programs we had made, played hymns and waited for everyone to arrive. Everyone showed up, we got Gerardo and Pedro (the man who was going to baptize him) changed, took pictures, and right as we were about to start, the ward mission leader showed up and said we weren't going anywhere until Pedro showed him a current temple recommend. (I had already checked that part.) So we had to wait an entire hour for Pedro to drive home and grab his temple recommend. He showed it and we were finally able to start. I wasn't very happy...but prayed for patience with that man. The baptism was by far the best baptism I've had yet. My comp gave a musical number (A Poor Wayfaring Man), we had a few messages, he got baptized, I shared a message while we waited, he came back (everyone had tears in their eyes the spirit was so strong), he shared his thoughts, and we ended with mole sandwiches that Hna. Lopez had made. I have never felt so happy about a baptism yet. The bishop and ward mission leader weren't happy about it being on a week day and told us that no one would show up. I took that as a challenge and a TON of people ended up being there including 4 investigators. Yes!!!!
Bautismo de Gerardo
Friday night after the baptism we headed to Yina's house and got to work chipping away the paint on her walls. I love service projects!! While we worked she made Atoli de chocolate and we were able to sneak out and buy bread for everyone to go with the atoli. What a great day.
Scraping paint service project
Saturday we left the house at about 8:30 AM and headed to Irma's house to pick them up and go to get them married. We took the metro to go to Los Reyes. We arrived and entered a government building, went up some stairs, and found the section called Matrimionios (decorated with bride and groom Barbie and Ken...not at all tacky). They sat down and filled out paperwork in front of a very serious type-writing lady. We needed 4 witnesses so we went out into the streets on the search for 4 willing strangers. We had a lot of luck and the first family we asked accpeted and came with us. We began talking to them and turns out they were members! What are the odds?! So they each signed the 20 sum odd papers and added their fingerprints. They were so happy. We entered the judge's room and he continued by interrogating them to make sure they knew what they were getting themselves into and that they were doing it for the right reasons and officially married them as husband and wife. Right before they kissed the judges phone went off with some hipster Mexican was just like a movie!
Wedding of Irma and Ramón
We headed back to the Metro and as we were waiting Ramon commented on how excited he was to be able to get married in a year in the temple. That completely caught me of guard! We haven't even talked about baptism with him! I told him he had to get baptized and he said, "Well of course! When can I and what do I have to do?!" I told him he could get baptized with his wife and he said, "absolutely!" Irma was SO happy and gave him the biggest most excited hug ever. I've never quite put a baptismal date like that but it was awesome! Miracles!! Later in the day I ran into Gerardo (the guy who had just gotten baptized) and he stopped me and said, "You want to know something? There may be a storm sometimes but the calm always comes daughter wants to get baptized. What does she have to do?" I couldn't believe it. I thought there was no way we'd ever see that girl get baptized! More miracles!

We headed to ward council yesterday morning and the ward mission leader finally said the words I've been waiting so long to hear "Our future leaders of the ward aren't going to come from the members with a lot of time...they're going to come from the converts of Hermana Ingram." He continued by telling us thank you for our work and how he has really seen a difference in the ward. I couldn't help but shed a few tears. After all the hard times with that man, all the prayers I've said, all of the!! All of our investigators showed up to church yesterday which always for some reason makes me tear up. Gerardo got confirmed. And, after church we met up with our investigators and some members to go to the temple. We got there at 4:00 and everyone showed up but Irma and Ramón. I called Irma and she told me that they weren't coming anymore that they had gotten into a fight and that Ramón didn't want anything to do with the church anymore. What!!?? I talked Irma into coming without her husband and sat there confused. I got the impression that I should call again and talk to Ramón and he answered and I was able to talk him into coming too. Irma got to the church first and started crying. I felt really bad for her. Ramón showed up and you could tell he was sad too. It kind of freaked me out. Satan works so hard!!! Anyways, I went with Irma and Ramón with the relief society president and my comp went with the others. We all got there in one piece and we took a tour of the visitor's center (all 6 of the investigators that came LOVED it) and afterwards we let them all do their own thing. They couldn't get enough of it. After few hours we gathered everyone up and headed back to the big Christ. They all looked happy as ever. As we were leaving Ramón stopped me with his arm around Irma and said, "The peace is back. Don't worry Hermana Ingram, we are going to prepare ourselves to get married in that building," as he pointed to the temple. YES!!! What a great day!
Temple trip with investigators
The mission is amazing. You literally see miracles! Hard work and obedience ALWAYS pays off!! I love you all! I can definitely feel your thoughts and prayers!!

Hermana Ingram
Skulls from Dia de los Muertos

Latino Americano building

Angel de Independencia

Bell tower bell

Bella Artes

Left over dis de los muertos in Centro
Mariachi man

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