23 November 2012

You Are Now in Mexico

You are now in Mexico. I was talking with a friend in the temple the other day about some Mexican idiosyncrasy I had discovered.  He held up his hand and pointed to each of his five fingers and said, “You are now in Mexico.” I read something this morning while waiting for some bad news from immigration which I will mention later, and which reminded me of being in Mexico. It is a description written by a soldier during WWII invasion of North Africa as the troops were heading toward Tunis. He wasn’t supposed to put anything in his letters that would provide information about his unit’s activities, so this is what he wrote: “After leaving where we were before we left for here, not knowing we were coming here from there, we couldn’t tell whether we had arrived here or not. Nevertheless, we now are here and not there. The weather here is just as it always is at this season. The people here are just like they look.” 

Had an interesting conversation while serving at the recommend desk on Wednesday. A sister, who was there with some youth for baptisms, approached me in a mild state of anguish. She began telling me about her wayward son and asked what I would recommend she do to try and turn him around. Apparently, he is on her nickel, but spends a lot of money on alcohol and drugs. It seemed like an easy solution to me - cut him off, run him off. Only then would he begin to take responsibility for his behavior. But then, I’m not always the most diplomatic. I did discuss the situation with her in less blunt terms, but the end result was “CHO + RHO.” She looked at me with a sort of “ah hah” look and thanked me. Easier said than done.

LInda is almost completely up-to-speed in her assignments and I seem to be getting along fine, as well, so I guess we're gradually "going native." I was officiating last evening with Linda and it seemed all I could think about was our fifth son, Mitch Santiago. He would be 27 now, probably married, established and thinking about life's next challenge. I look forward to meeting him. I am grateful for that hope.

For Thanksgiving, we had cultural adventure at immigration. We had been told our extended visas were ready and could be picked up. All we had to do is appear personally and answer a few questions about our status and personal stuff (height and weight in centimeters and kilos, etc.). Anyway, we appeared, answered the questions (I had a metric converter app on my phone, thank goodness), and, voila, no visas. Turns out the law has been changed recently and the programming change had not been properly input into the computer, therefore, the new visas couldn’t be printed. The people were very nice, however, and told us we should receive a call in the next couple of days and could come back and get them........  So much for being able to travel to San Diego on the closure break from the temple to see Evia's blessing. We’re still hoping. Really, this type of experience happens every day, even in Farmington.

After we finished making friends at the immigration office, we went to the temple to do our shift. When our family was young, we would always go to the temple on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, but this is the first time we have actually been in the temple on Thanksgiving Day. It seemed like the perfect place to be and the perfect thing to be doing. We have much to be grateful for!

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