“All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” Winston Churchill
Monday, August 9, 2010
Mark & I drove over 1,200 miles through the heart of Mexico and did not see one killing or kidnapping. We did meet a lot of incredible people and see a beautiful part of the country.
I picked him up in St. David, AZ where he was working. It was raining cats & dogs. We drove through Tombstone. You know they have billboards there with actual photos of Wyatt Earp, who looks remarkably like Kurt Russell. Bisbee is really pretty with a lot of tall, old buildings. Douglas still has the Gadsen Hotel downtown. We ate at a quaint little place in Aqua Prieta served by a young man who graduated from North High in Phoenix. He said to give our regards to Sheriff Joe.
We followed some double trailer semis through the mountains in the dark through Janos where we turned South. We reached Nuevo Casas Grandes late at night and stayed in the luxurious Paquime Hotel. Next morning we drove out to Colonia Juarez, one of the mormon colonies. As we drove into town, there was a banner hung over the highway which announced, "Welcome Home Elder Ordaz". The scene might remind some people of driving up from South End into Afton, WY. Col. Juarez is a beautiful farming community nestled between hills. There are apple and peach orchards all around and a beautiful Temple on the hill. The architecture would remind you more of Northern Arizona than most of Mexico.
We attended the wedding of one of Elder Brimley's companion's converts, who married a local girl from Nvo. C G. Elder Martinez is a handsome and funny man with a really interesting church history. Mark says he is one of the best missionaries he knows. That night we drove on down to Chihuahua, Chihuahua via Lebaron, the "other" mormon colony. We spent quite a bit of time finding a motel for under $400 pesos a night, but finally found one that did not rent by the hour.
Sat. AM we drove to Saucillo where we met Nora and her family. They showed off the new pig pen they were working on and served us homemade salsa and candy coated cacahuates (peanuts). The countryside there reminded me of Central California. It was a lush agricultural area growing chiles, chiles, chiles, corn, and peanuts. We had a lot of fun with their family and saw the two houses that the dad is building by himself. We then headed back north through Delicias were we visited with several families from the Delicias branch. We just missed the famous Elder Hawkins, aka, John Sena. One of the girls, Hna. Valverde, admitted to us that when Elder Brimley left he had driven all the girls in the branch loco. He gave her the abarozo and told her to hold it over their heads that she was the only one to get a hug.
We drove back up through Chihuahua to Nvo. Casas Grande where we had a Mex Burger. It wasn't as good as he remembered it. Back in Col. Juarez we ran into John Whetton in whose house the missionaries had stayed. He invited us to spend the night (inside in the guest bedroom this time). We had a wonderful evening with John and his 4 boys. John told us that Little Johnny takes after him. John must have had a lot of energy. He also told us about his romance with Jen. That is quite a story.
Sunday morning we went to church at both of the Colonia Juarez wards. What a great tradition of service comes from there. We met a lot of wonderful people in both wards. A few of them even knew that Elder Brimley had gone home from his mission a few months ago, although some wondered why he had a grey-haired companion.
We finished off our trip with a terrific home-cooked meal in the home of Familia Ordaz who were kind enough to include us in their homecoming celebration for Elder Roberto Ordaz. Mark & I drove on home that night.
I cant' begin to tell all the people that we saw and visited with and all the places we saw, but we had a great trip. I've posted pictures on facebook.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I just read the good news. The murder rate in Mexico is down. So me and Mark have nothing to worry about (just don't read the article too closely). We'll tell you all about it when we get back.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Mark & I are going to Mexico this weekend. He will be working in St. David, AZ, so I will pick him up there and head through Tombstone to Douglas & Agua Prieta. We will travel to Colonia Juarez, through Lebaron to Chihuahua, Chihuahua and down to Delicias & Saucillo. Then back to Colonia Juarez for peaches and church.