On Sunday, we went to church. The layout of their building is very different, and I've seen a lot of different layouts. The chapel, gym, kitchen, and primary rooms are all together, but then all the other classrooms are in another part of the building that can only be accessed by going outside. There is literally a kind of courtyard type thing with concrete benches where people can wait in between classes. Also, the outdoor basketball/soccer court doubles as a parking lot. It was all rather . . . interesting.
The cool part was after church when we went to lunch. We ate with the patriarch of the Roma stake, and he and his wife are super awesome people. It's even more awesome because he's famous. Those who have studied Preach My Gospel may have noticed a conversion story about a taxi driver in Monterrey that got baptized. Guess who that is. Yup. Patriarch Cabrera! His story is on pages 157-158 or in the August 2001 Ensign (pages 60-61) if you want to read it. Since Elder Liddle was leaving, he brought his Preach My Gospel and had him sign it next to his story. I would have done the same except I didn't have mine on me. I guess I know what to do next time we eat with them. Anyway, he asked us if we talked to the taxi driver who took us to his house, and we were proud to say yes.
Left to Right: Elder Liddle (outgoing Materials Secretary), me (incoming Mat Sec), Elder Harmon (Assistant to the President), Sister Baker (Records Secretary), Elder Baker (Financial Secretary), Elder Tlatchi (outgoing Assistant), Elder Enciso (incoming Assistant), and Elder Lopez (Executive Secretary). We are like one big happy family.
My trio: Me, Elder Liddle, and Elder Lopez:
The only other real major happening this week was that the new missionaries arrived today. We found out last night that Elder Garcia is going to train someone, so one of the two elders that just came will go to Nuevo Laredo in my old ward! We won't find out which one until tomorrow when all the trainers come, so you won't find out until next week. :)
I also found out that Nuevo Laredo is super awesome. During this transfer, Nuevo Laredo completely destroyed the baptismal goal that we had: we had a goal of 20 baptisms this transfer, and we ended up getting 27! Way to go, Nuevo Laredo! They were the only zone in the mission to have reached the goal. I'm so proud of them! Also, the mission reached the really high goal that we set: 104 of 103 baptisms! Everyone in the offices was super happy and animated last night. It was great. I'm super proud of my zone!
Bragging moment over. I couldn't help myself.
So the last thing is that we have played host to the five new missionaries. Here they are writing letters home:
During this time, they started breaking out into spontaneous hymn-singing. These new missionaries and everyone in the office has some experience singing, so it sounded pretty good. We got some harmonizing and everything. This was the spontaneous rendition of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" with the Spanish words to "Joseph Smith's First Prayer". It wasn't until the last verse that I had the thought to grab my camera and attempt to capture it. (Sorry if you have trouble accessing the video. Because of it's size, it could only be included as a Google Drive link).
I also, I have a photo of Sierra de la Silla. This is the view I get every day from the office.
Anyway, things are going pretty great. We just sent the newbiews to the house to rest. They will meet their trainers tomorrow. Hopefully things will be a little less crazy once they are all taken care of.
Thanks for everything, including the emails and prayers. Continue being awesome!!
Lots of love from an air-conditioned office in Monterrey,
Elder Jakob Schramm