July 13, 2014
Our first day at church! Keith arrived in Mexico with pneumonia so church was out last week. But this week, we are in the swing of things. Keith had a monthly meeting with one of his six stake presidents. It was in the Villada Stake Center. We arrived at the office at 7AM to pick up the assistants and off we went.
We arrived at a sweet little chapel with 8 rows of benches. They were full. Keith was on the stand and told the assistants to be my body guards – really? There was no pianist, so the chorister would sing the first line so that people could then follow. Since everything was in Spanish, I would listen carefully to see if I could guess the hymn. I did recognize each of them so could make an attempt at staying with the tune. There were times when I thought I was the only one following the tune, but that is irrelevant! They asked Keith to speak and he, being the veteran speaker, handled it with ease.
Stake President Huerte followed him. He asked everyone in the audience who had been a member of the church for less than one year, to stand up. Amazing – almost 20 of the approximate 80 people stood. Now this is a missionary ward!
Afterwards there were many hugs and pictures. There were also four people who wanted blessings from Keith. We were off to the Bishop’s office to give blessings. The bishop had anointing oil there – it was this rather large bottle of anointing oil. I have never seen one this big before. Keith gave blessings to 2 brothers (Hernandez) who told him that they had been accused of a felony. They had already served time but were out on a special program. However, they had another court date coming. Could Keith help with that? Keith blessed them that they would become more righteous, that the court would take proper action, and that their lives would become better. A 21 year old girl named Rebecca said she was in the process of filling out mission papers when the doctor found a tumor. She pointed to her stomach so it was probably a “female” problem. She needed surgery. He blessed her that the surgery would go fine and she would go on a mission. He said he also felt inspired to tell her that there was a girl waiting for her to bring the gospel and that she would know the girl when she saw her. The final blessing was to a 29 year old, divorced young man named Brother Martinez. He was discouraged and couldn’t find a job. Keith blessed him to become more righteous and spend more time in prayer. He encouraged him that his answers would come that way. There was so much oil there that Elder Vizueto (one of the assistants) refilled his little vial for future needs.
After the blessings, my “body guards” dropped me off at Relief Society (the organization for women) I met 4 sisters: Vanessa, Alma, Grismalda, and Guadalupe. Vanessa put me right between her and Alma. Guadalupe is a young mother and an investigator. The teacher gave me something to read and I was supposed to answer. The question was about the importance of Baptism. I do all right reading, but it’s that answering thing! I could only come up with three words: llave, puerta, and celestial. Key to the door of the Celestial. The teacher looked at me and I said I could say no more. After a quizzical look, she moved on, much to my relief!
My “body guards” picked me up from there, and delivered me back to Keith. They were laughing about the “body guard” part – a new role for them! After another hour of pictures, plus seeing 10 of our missionaries serving in that area, we were on the way home.
And a short note about yesterday: We found a little corner taco stand just a 2 minute walk from our home. Before we left, people kept telling us about tacos pastor. This stand had them so we picked up a couple. How do you say: BEST TACO of my LIFE! BBQ’d beef and pineapple on a fresh tortilla, with cilantro and salsa. WOW!!