December 8, 2015
A new area – which will double the geographic size of our mission – and no new missionaries - this sounds like a challenge!
As of January 4th, we add the stake of Ixtapaluca to our mission. This was cleared by the First Presidency two weeks ago. This is how it came down:
Cuernavaca mission has 10 stakes and 140+ missionaries
Chalco mission has 6 stakes and 150+ missionaries
Mexico City South mission has 6 stakes and 170+ missionaries
Our mission, Mexico City Southeast, has 6 stakes and 160+ missionaries
All four missions share one common boundary with one of the other three missions. Chalco, Mexico City South, and our mission are geographically smaller than the current Cuernavaca mission which reaches all the way to Acapulco. It seemed only fair to share the load.
Cuernavaca mission is giving 3 stakes (zones) to the Chalco mission. Chalco mission will then give one zone each to the South, and to the Southeast mission. We all end up with 7 stakes (zones).
What does this mean for us? Our new stake, Ixtapaluca, currently has 40 missionaries serving within its boundaries. The stake has 8 wards. We have decided to start with 32 missionaries serving in the area, which means that we have to close 16 apartments in our current mission to fill Ixtapaluca. Let’s see, 32 beds, 16 refrigerators, 48 tables, 32 chairs, etc. etc. etc….Sounds like we need to have a good old fashioned garage sale! Anyone have a truck they would like to loan us?
It is hard to explain how excited our missionaries are. Everyone wants to go there. There is one big plus also – Ixtapaluca has safe areas for our Sister missionaries. They are an hour further away, but they have “expanded their horizons!” We are about to “white wash” a stake! (White wash means put in new missionaries that have not yet made relationships with the members. It is always a little tricky and a little more work.)
So while our missionaries are asking Santa to put them into the new area, “Santa” is shaking his head hoping we can pull off this Christmas miracle by January 4th!