Christmas! To the hills! ……. Dec. 23, 2013

~From Tyler’s mom…. Sorry for posting a few days late. We received this Monday the 23rd, and I didn’t get it onto this blog until Saturday the 30th…. Sorry all.  : /

¡Feliz Navidad a todos

This week, I am writing not from the valley floor, but from the hills of Mexico City.  Transfers last week sent me out to the zone of Ecatepec, which I would describe as the long wing of the mission.  The ward I am now in is named Tulpetlac, and my area covers from the foot of the hill basically to where the houses stop near the top of the hill (I would call this a small mountain, but the locals still call it just a ‘cerro’, or hill in English).  Some of the larger colonias surrounding me include San Carlos and Tulpetlac.
I have adapted to my new area fairly well so far.  Being in the city, the atmosphere or environment does not change much from one side of the mission to the other.  The biggest difference so far here is the ‘logical’ nature of the streets.  That was a sarcastic remark, the street layout is not logical, but it makes for a fun ‘adventure’ now and then.
This last Thursday, we went to the temple for the mission Christmas activity.  After entering the temple for a session, we had a talent show and then we ate Tacos Shakira*! If you look back to the photo that I sent of me with some other elders behind a taco stand, those are the Tacos Shakira.  They are excellent tacos (my stamp of approval), and President Anaya ‘officially’ endorsed them as the only approved ‘street tacos’ in the mission.  Friday was our ward’s Christmas Dinner.  Saturday, we were back at the temple so that my companion could pay a visit to the doctor.  He ate some tacos in a street market Monday and was having some stomach pains as a result… That is why I only eat Tacos Shakira.
Well, Christmas is basically here.  Another year has come and gone.  This week, I have been studying about Christ’s visit to the Americas and the things that he taught.  I was not thinking of this being my ‘Christmas time study’, but I guess it worked out that way.  It has been interesting to read again about the signs in the Americas of Christ’s birth, death, and then his ministry here.  I especially like chapter 19 of 3rd Nephi.  It is wonderful to read how the disciples became white like Christ through their prayers of faith.  This is a great time of year to not only remember Christ, but to also become more like him and take on his likeness.
Pictures
  1. The hill where I now live at night
  2. The valley below at night
  3. The hillside to the north of our house
Until tomorrow, Christmas Eve!
Sincerely,
Elder Tyler Gardner
 DSC00223     DSC00225
DSC00251
Side-note from mom….. After Skyping with my boy on Christmas Eve , we found out that he had received 3 of his Christmas packages that day and had to carry them up the mountain. It took he and his companion about 45 minutes to walk them home to their apartment. I had sent 2 packages (a total of about 21 pounds) and his Aunt Claudia had also sent one, so the poor kid had to cart at least 25 pounds up the mountain…. oops 😉  .
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