27 July 2013

Monterrey on Vacation

All the schools and universities in Monterrey close for the month of July and vacations begin in earnest. It has had an odd effect on our work in the temple: some sessions are overly full and others are almost non-existent. We have been very short on workers and so even though John and I were working the night shift all week, we had to also go in during the morning to help out both Wednesday and Thursday. 

Wednesday we helped with the 7:00 a.m. missionary session-- it was early, but only took a couple of hours. It is always a treat to be with the missionaries who love the temple and get a great boost from the experience they share there together with each other and their mission president. 

Thursday we arrived at the temple about 9:15 a.m. to work a special session and found the place teeming with people. We never have baptisms or sealings in the morning, but a bus had arrived from Torreon with participants for everything possible to do in the temple! The 9:00 session was packed and the laundry was going at full speed trying to keep up.

The special session at 10:30 that day was for the future daughter-in-law of the Flores' -- some people we have been working with in the temple. The bride and groom's families filled the session room. It was wonderful to see the two complete families join as one to participate in the temple experience together, especially where the young bride was there for the first time.  The Flores' have two sons living at home, one of whom was the groom and the other plans to marry next spring. The boys come to the temple often, either with their parents or alone. Both served exceptional missions, are upbeat and enthusiastic about life and about their spiritual development. It was very touching to be part of that intimate family gathering. It was doubly sweet for us, because as we returned to work our regular shift in the afternoon, we were able to help with the preparations for the actual sealing. The large sealing room can seat about 24 people--there were over 50 in attendance. Wow, was it tight!

Friday before our afternoon shift, John decided to try out the brick BBQ in the back of the house. We had a stack of hamburgers in the fridge and so we invited our neighbors down the street to come and have burgers with us. The coals were authentic mesquite wood and so took quite a while to get going. The grill rack was a bit too high, so it took a while for the hamburgers to cook. It was extremely hot, dripping with humidity,  and very, very smoky--so good old Juanito had to have a second shower before going to work. 

Saturday afternoon we were down to the last session of the day. We had one man and one woman who wanted to go on that session, but needed at least four of each. A decision was made by the Temple President to run the session, and suddenly eight workers became participants on the session. The fellow who officiated did so for the first time alone and did a great job, though he was petrified. It was a very sweet, spiritual experience serving together in that way. 

Several weeks ago John found a great uncle (his grandfather's brother) whose temple work had never been done. We were surprised that he was the only one in his family whose work had not been done, so John set to work immediately to get the baptism and confirmation for John Speedie Hoggan, born 16 June 1884 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. The card was printed and sent into the baptistry--but it never came out. We watched for it for over a week, thinking that maybe the shift coordinator had it in his pocket; but when it never appeared, we decided to print it again. Low and behold, when the second card printed out, the baptism and confirmation showed up as done--so it was obviously worked on and submitted to the office before it went missing.  So, John took the new card and began to work on it again. The surprise "worker session" on Saturday night made it possible for him to finish the work for this uncle. The funny thing was, the first card showed up that same day--who knows where it had been?! 

Sunday there was a baptism after church. We diligently cancelled the  piano classes we are teaching so that everyone could support in the baptism--but it didn't start until about 45 minutes after the meetings ended, so we really could have had piano classes and supported the baptism. Oh, well--doing more than one thing at a time in Mexico is almost impossible. 

Monday was preparation day. We cleaned the house to get ready for Family Home Evening with the Senior Missionaries. We are the only ones with air con in our living room, so others prepare the lesson and then we all meet at our house. I can't even imagine why we are so blessed as to have air con, but we give thanks for it constantly. We had a great lesson on our pioneer heritage and everyone shared stories. Linda shared the story of Emily Amelia Stone (http://tuttlegonebefore.blogspot.mx) and John told about Jacob Huffman, who helped settle Coalville. 

Tuesday we worked at temple in the morning and then that evening, drove up to the North Institute in Anahuac (about 30 minutes away) to speak in a class on Leadership Principles. It was a great group of young people and it is obvious that many of them are already taking on serious leadership roles in their wards. The beautiful woman behind John and I, works at the temple with us on Saturdays and is the teacher of the class, Veronica Moreno. 

Muchísimas gracias a cada uno de los que asistieron a la clase de Principios de Liderazgo; gracias por su deseo de aprender, eso es gratificante. También agradecemos a los Hnos. Hoffman, escucharlos fue una gran experiencia!!! Que gran ejemplo!!! Esa es la actitud!!! Aprendimos cómo los líderes de la Iglesia y de la familia deben dirigir con "ánimo, optimismo y resolución".

"y no podéis sobrellevar ahora todas las cosas; no obstante, sed de buen ánimo, porque yo os guiaré. De vosotros son el reino y sus bendiciones, y las riquezas de la eternidad son vuestras".
D. y C. 78:18


  1. Your ability to speak the language proficiently makes you invaluable, especially with your faith and knowledge. We often wish we could teach more but we do what we can. It looks like no grass is growing under you. Blessings and love as you carry on.

  2. Busy, busy, busy. This is no surprise. You are setting a wonderful example for MJ and I as we think about our upcoming mission. Though it is still years away, we will not forget what you have done to pave the way for us.

    Much Love,