27 February 2014

Welcome Home!

We have the best neighborhood kids in the world. Shortly after we returned home, I heard some noises out in front of our house. As I peeked out the front window to see what was happening, I saw four little girls decorating our driveway with "Welcome Back" notes, balloons and hearts. It was just what I needed after not feeling well for so long! 

Thank you Emma, Christina, Amelia, and Riley--you are wonderful neighbors!

The whole effect of the message.

20 February 2014

Colorín, Colorado...

At the end of fairy tales and children's stories in English, we always say, "And they lived happily ever after," or sometimes, "Snip, snap, snout. This tale's told out." In Spanish we say, "Colorín, colorado, este cuento se ha acabado." (Bright yellow, bright red, this story's all said).

So this is the end of our story--este cuento se ha acabado. After struggling with an out of control dental infection for six weeks with no relief, lots of pain and "dinero", the dentists in Monterrey declared that oral surgery was necessary. Without extracting the tooth, the infection would not clear up. Due to the length of time that the infection was active, there was a great deal of bone loss. This meant that not only must the tooth be removed, a very large bone graft was needed, requiring six to eight months of systematic dental oversight. Due to this complication and the urgent need to get the infection under control, we decided to return to the USA a little earlier than planned.

The decision to leave was made very suddenly because of the nature of the infection and the timing of the surgery in the USA. We decided at 5:00 p.m. February 3rd and left at 7:00 a.m. February 4th with the Mission President and Temple President's blessing. We were deeply saddened that we couldn't say goodbye to our dear friends in the temple and our ward. The "Norteños" are the most generous people in the world and have become part of our hearts and souls during our 16 months in beautiful Monterrey.

These are some of the things we will always remember about Monterrey:

Fundidora Park

La Fundidora, Chimney #2
The old metal foundry on many acres of land now sits at the east end of downtown Monterrey and is connected to Old Town by the lovely canal, Santa Lucia, that was seen in a previous blog. The foundry is now a museum. From the elevator ride up to the catwalks, down to the bottom of the huge chimneys, it is full of tubes, pipes, gears and amazing stories. It was a city in and of itself--with its own schools, housing and hospitals. It now serves as the largest and most beautiful park in Monterrey.

The Elevator to the Top


The Catwalks

Two Modern Foundry Workers: 

Acres of Playgrounds, Exercise Pods and Bike Paths

Parque Río de la Silla

(The Silla Mountain River Park)

This park was our favorite walk. It was filled with giant Ahuehuete (Sabino) trees, birds, flowers, kids, exercise classes, and lots of surprises. This is where we took our almost daily six-mile walk each day. 

John and Linda in front of giant Ahuehuete tree
Yoga classes
Aerobic Classes
Ball games
One of the many surprises in Parque Rio de la Silla
Silla River in the spring
Silla River in the winter (December)

Downtown Monterrey

Monterrey is a sprawling city embraced on all sides by rugged, fortress-like mountains. The skyline is broken by modern skyscrapers and the many hundreds of parks are softened by graceful palm trees and fountains. 

Nuestros Hermanos

We will remember always these dear brothers and sisters. They hail from every corner of Monterrey and many of the surrounding states. These people taught us, fed us, guarded us, entertained us, and testified to us. They are filled with the "pure love of Christ" in heart and soul. Our lives will never be the same!

What did we learn from our "hermanos"? 

1. Be happy--You will live longer and have a lot more friends.

2. Have lots of parties--You will live longer and have a lot more friends.

3. Serve gladly and generously--You will live longer and have a lot more friends. 

4. Be faithful to your covenants--You will live forever with your best friend, Jesus Christ, 
the Savior of the world. 


Colorín, colorado, este cuento se ha acabado.

30 January 2014

Because my Mother Loves Clouds...

Today is my mother's 91st birthday. She loves clouds, so as a little gift to her, 
here is a selection of some of Monterrey's finest. 

Happy Birthday, Dear Mother!