Well, three weeks have passed since we left home to begin our mission as temple missionaries in the Hermosillo Sonora Mexico Temple. We had a great 3-day visit with Michelle and Stephen's family prior to beginning our 3-day training at the Salt Lake City Temple. We started a "little" project in their family room, taking out a wall, rewiring, and sheetrocking! Fun!
Our training in SLC began on June 10th. That was an awesome experience! We were able to spend one evening with Jay and Kathleen (now both retired) Bagley before leaving SLC. The SLC Temple is now the MTC for temple missionaries.
We then spent a night with M&S again before heading to south of the border. Stephen was selected as the new Fire Chief for Santaquin. It is part-time while he continues to work full-time in Murray. He also teaches at UVU. Busy man! Michelle is still doing massage in her home.
June 14th we headed south. We spent the night in Henderson, Nevada. Thought about Aunt Ronella. The next night was spent in Green Valley, south of Tucson. June 16th we crossed the border at Nogales, AZ. So long USA. Pres Pinon had told us to just stay left as we came to the checkpoints, so we did. They have a light system to let you go through or to be stopped. At the first checkpoint was green for us, but red for the car behind us. Next checkpoint was green light for us and red for the second car behind us. We breezed right through. The roads were not bad, but not great, but we made it safely.
Sonora is a "free zone", meaning there is pretty free travel back and forth across the border as long as you have your papers. We are very thankful we didn't have to have our car gone through! It was packed!!
The trip to Hermosillo after the border was a little longer than Pres Pinon expected, because I kept the speed limit. He says NO ONE keeps the speed limit. I think it was just inbred into me. Translating into kilometers is interesting, but not as much as Pesos! The exchange is almost 13 pesos to $1. Seeing things cost $128 instead of $1 takes some getting used to.
The biggest challenge after not having any food for the first Sunday (rice and couscous), was not having cell phone or internet service for over a week! Nearly drove Fred berserk! They don't have calling cards like we have in the states. We were sooooooooo delighted to get our internet hooked up so we can Skype. We signed up for unlimited calls to the US land and cell phones for only $60/year. That is an incredible deal and blessing. We are able to share the internet cost with another missionary couple which is very nice. There are now 3 temple missionary couples. The temple presidency won't have to work themselves quite so hard now.
I love being here. Our apartment is great. Huge living room and bedroom with a walk-in closet, laundry room, and kitchen. It's connected to the President's home. The carport is wrought iron gated secure. we can see the Angel Moroni our our kitchen window. It's a 5-minute walk to the Temple. The ward building is 3 minutes away! The mission office is in the same block. We are surrounded by million dollar homes. Daily highs are about 110 so far, but we have wonderful air conditioning units in our apt.
Costco is about 10 minutes away; Walmart, 5 minutes. Didn't really like WM in Sunnyside, even less here. There are several different chain stores similar to Target and Fred Meyer that are much nicer. It's amazing what you don't know you'll miss until you can't get it!
Hermosillo is a nice city. The Ford plant here is going full force turning out the Fusion. Biggest problem is not have their own source of water. It is aquaducted 150 miles from the south from Obbregon. They don't want to share. Native American thing. We shall see.
We have put a few miles on the car just trying to learn the lay of the land. No one knows how to draw a straight line. The same road can change its name 2 or 3 times. Reminds me of Toppenish. We are beginning to get it figured out. Our goal is to know where all 7 chapels are here (14 wards, 2 stakes) and visit each of them. The speaker in the ward we visited on Sunday was baptized with his wife in Torreon when Pres Pinon was mission president! Very interesting story - from cotton picker to college professor!
More stories on another day. Love to all. Don't forget us!