I really intended to write more often than this, but life has been a bit hectic. We now have three weeks in the mission, but it seems like a lot more. And that is a good thing. We have done a lot and are now feeling settled in.
Here we are the day we arrived in Guadalajara.
The outgoing mission president and his wife welcomed us warmly at the airport and then took us to the office for dinner and training.
At the office we shared a meal with the office staff of fruit, juice, and sandwiches made with turkey, cheese, apple slices and jalapenos.
After only one night of training, we have been very thankful for these two elders!!
They are the assistants and have done a fabulous job helping us get organized.
The church has also done a great job of helping us get settled in. This is our new house--and it truly is new. They closed on it three days before we arrived and then went a bit crazy getting it furnished in time. We are so grateful to everyone who worked so hard for our benefit.
The house is gorgeous and the view from the upstairs windows isn't bad either!
The really nice thing is that we are right by one of the busiest intersections in the city but insulated enough from it that we don't even hear the traffic.
After a couple days to unpack, we began a mission tour.
We started with the zones in Guadalajara, then headed out of town to visit the additional six zones outside the city.
This proved to be quite an adventure.
Here is a picture of the first town--Santiago Ixcuintla. And seriously there are not any buildings in the entire city that look nicer than these.
However, I totally loved the city once I got used to it. Everyone has a store and they all sit out in front of it all day selling to each other. It was very quaint and picturesque. Unfortunately I didn't get any additional pictures. (Next time)
In Colima we went to dinner with the stake president and his wife. We LOVED them!! They were so very kind and fun to visit with. And I was particularly grateful they both spoke English!
While traveling I saw this bathroom outside a store. I had to laugh a little at it. I guess they really want to be sure no one gets in without paying.
I loved the color of our hotel in another little town. I just had to take a picture of it.
In Tepic we stayed at a hotel that looked out over the town's main square. It was fun to watch all the people there. This church sits across the street from the square.
Driving in Mexico was a bit of a challenge at times, however! We received more rain this one day than Arizona gets in a year!
We returned from our mission tour on Sunday night and on Monday night we picked up our first missionary from the airport. He had been in San Diego for four months waiting for his visa, so we were thrilled to finally have him arrive.
Here he is with his first companion in front of the Guadalajara Temple.
(The new missionary is on the right.)
Early the next morning we began our first zone leader council. Most of the missionaries have to travel all night to arrive so I put out a few muffins, homemade banana bread, juice and milk for those who might be hungry.
Turns out they were ALL hungry.
It didn't take long for the food to disappear. Next time I will plan for more.
I was so thankful for my three kitchen helpers--my two daughters, Kathryn and Michelle, and Sister Sonia, a lady in the stake who helps me out.
(And thank you Michelle Hill for the cute aprons!!)
Sister Sonia is awesome!!
And very artistic, as you can see by how she decorated the fruit.
I don't have any serving plates, so we served the food on a cookie sheet--but look how beautiful she made it look!
I am so grateful for her.
Between eating, the zone leaders received several hours of instruction. I think everyone went back to their towns with plenty of ideas to implement.
And we loved having them in our home.
The rest of the week we have been doing interviews with all of the missionaries. This has been a treat as well, since we have been able to get to know them all better.
So there you have our first three weeks!
Coming up will be more interviews and then we start zone conferences.
We are definitely looking forward to that!