Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cultural Celebration in Bermejillo, Durango, Mexico

The Bermejillo District of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a growing district that is working hard to become a stake. After months of construction, their chapel in Bermejillo has been expanded and remodeled. The result is a beautiful gathering place for all the members of the church in this area in the state of Durango, about 30 minutes north of Torreon. This chapel serves the members in Bermejillo, Cuauhtemoc, Poanas, Mapimi, and Tlahualilo. An open house was held on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21 with a wonderful cultural celebration on Friday night...

This display was arranged to demonstrate how the church involves children between the ages of 3-12 in the Primary organization.

President David Castenada introduces the program...

The history of Bermejillo was sung by this "caballero"...

Beautiful sisters performed several native Mexican dances...

Some of the brothers too...Que bonita...

The Primary aged children did their part...

A dance from Veracruz...

The Young Men and Young Women were represented...

The Castenada family closed with "Teach me to Walk".

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Visit from Annette

Annette's visit in February

On February 19th, our daughter Annette, came to spend a week with us. We arranged it at a time when she could see Torreon, but also travel with us to our other main cities in the mission, Zacatecas and Durango. Annette graduated from BYU in art history last spring so enjoys all things artistic. She specialized in book restoration and had the opportunity to spend a summer as an intern in the restoration lab at the church offices and worked for two years in the restoration lab at the Lee Library at BYU. She now works in a small lab in Salt Lake City. She was delighted to get away from the cold and snow and soak in the rays in Mexico for a while. It wouldn't be a trip to Torreon without a drive up the see the Cristo. Here is a view of the city as the lights were coming on...also, the Cristo at night.

Having taken a stained glass class while in college, Annette was fascinated by all the stained glass we saw as we walked though our neighborhood. This Catholic church is near our offices and she was amazed to see the detail in this beautiful window.

After visiting with the missionaries in the Zacatecas Zone, we slipped away from interviews for a while and rode the teleferico to the buffa. (that's a chair lift to the highest point in Zacatecas) Annette poses with the city behind (and below) her.

A view from the top!

Zacatecas, Zacatecas is a city of narrow cobblestone streets, beautiful cathedrals, and lots of tourists. It's charming but difficult to make your way through the streets, most of which are one way.

This cathedral is a block from our stake center in Zacatecas. It is currently being renovated. We were also able to walk to the Quinta Real Hotel which is a bull ring which has been turned into a 5 star hotel. It's really something.

At the top of the "buffa" is a cathedral, vendors, and statues of famous Mexican Revolutionary figures-thus Poncho Villa rides.

The fountains at El Parque Guadiana are full of "children" playing in the water. (without water at this time of year)

At the Museo de Cine, Annette is dwarfed by the huge camera. Durango is the site of many western movies and during it's heyday, all the Hollywood stars flocked to Durango, Durango to participate or just see what all the rage was as far as scenery was concerned. John Wayne owned a ranch outside of Durango, La Joya Ranch, which has been the set of many movies.

We visited the Regional Museo de Durango and found this great display of paper mache art by a local artist. This crazy dragon really caught our eye.

President Clark really deserved this fuity ice cream treat that evening because, after all, while the girls were off sightseeing, he was finishing his interviews for this six week period. It's amazing that he could even smile after visiting with all 170 of them! He works hard. (by Glenys)

Annette is very content to sit on the Plaza de Armas in Durango and watch people and enjoy her ice cream. It was a great trip and one we won't soon forget.

Missionaries, missionaries, and more missionaries...

We're hoping that this blog can be a way for parents of our missionaries to catch a glimpse of their sons or daughters. Here are a few shots Sr. Clark took of our fine missionaries waiting for interviews with the President or during zone conferences. Enjoy!
Elders Miranda and Mora-former and present secretaries of the mission--comparing notes at interviews.
It must have been "gold tie" day in Durango!
Elders Hernandez, Maxfield, and Phillips got the memo.

Hermanas Castillo and Salas read their mail while waiting.

Elder Michael and Elder Alanis after Zone Conference in Madero

Our office staff: Elders Lopez, Mora, Sorenson, Hyde, Llano, and Briggs--posing outside the mission home after a preparation day cookout--these missionaries do so much to keep our mission operating smoothly.

Some of the Zacatecas Zone waiting for interviews:
Elders Ramirez, Santoyo, Moreno, Perez, Spencer, Amador, Carlson, Ruiz, and Guerrero

The Madero Zone all wore green ties to interviews. Here they are waiting their turn:
Elders Maguayel, Perez, Betoni, De La Cruz, Torres, Gines, Layland, and Masterson