Nov. 25, 2013….Stake Conference and Other Things

¡Buenas tardes familia!
Here is this weeks edition of my weekly cronicle, freshly emailed (guess I can’t say hot off the press in this case).  The weeks continue to fly by fast.  We are now already into the third week of this cycle (the planners we have go by six weeks, so we can see what week of the cycle we are in)!
First event that I would like to talk about this week is really nothing of importance.  Rather, it is a little surprise that I found returning home one day.  I left the plate that I used for breakfast on one of my study tables one morning.  After going to our house after lunch that day so that my companion could use the restroom, I discovered my plate full of a team of little scavengers.  Ants.  [See photo #2]  Our local cleanup crew had discovered the crumbs on my plate and had taken full advantage of what I had left behind.  The lesson we can learn here?  Mom’s nagging to wash your dishes every time you use them is actually good life advice, and I invite my brothers to act accordingly.  (This was actually the first – and will be the only – time that I have left my plate out after breakfast)
For me, the situation with the ants was actually more funny than anything.  But this next subject is a little bit more serious.  Mexico City is basically an ancient lake bed densely packed with human inhabitants.  Underneath the city are giant aquifers from which much of the city’s water is being pumped.  As a result, the city is gradually sinking by an average of 2-3cm annually.  The cathedral in the Zocalo is one example of the sinking city.
However, Mexico City also has another, more immediate, problem.  There is a water shortage here in the city, and the problem is continuing to grow as the city grows and as the water supply shrinks.  Because of this shortage, the government has been rationing city water supplies  If you remember, in one of my past emails I talked about how the cistern in our house is filled weekly around Wednesday – Friday when water arrives in the city pipes.  Last week, the water didn’t arrive.  [See photo #1]  The water ration is becoming gradually more and more evident.  Now, we are just fine and have basically two more weeks of water (but we do expect water to arrive this week).  We also have plenty of our purified drinking water.  This, however, is a definite problem for families who do not have a cistern.  Many families have to pump the water directly from the system to fill their roof tanks, and when their is no water, they cannot refill their tanks.  This has made me very grateful for the huge blessing we have in the United States of having plenty of water available just at our faucets.
Well, now let me talk about our stake conference that took place this weekend.  We had the opportunity to attend all three wonderful sessions this week.  Elder Netzacoyatl, an Area Seventy, presided the conference and gave three direct and inspiring talks.  He covered topics such as using the priesthood worthily and properly, choosing to act, how to be better teachers, paying tithing, and many other things.  The thing that I want to comment on most, however, is the things that he said relating to missionary work, the work of salvation.  Elder Netzacoyatl committed the members to participate in the work, specifically committing them to write their testimony in a copy of the Book of Mormon, pray for inspiration as to who to give it to, and hand it out this week.  It is impossible to describe the spirit that was in the conference, but suffice it to say that all of us as missionaries in this stake are starting this week with renewed vigor.  I imagine that in one way or another, the call to hasten the work will reach every stake of Zion, just as it has here.
Well, it is time for me to close this weeks email.  I know that this is the Lord’s work.  We are truly working in his vinyard.
Elder Tyler Gardner
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