Chalco, Estado de México, MéxicoOn September 9th we marked 10-months in the Misión Chalco. A lot has changed since the last report at six months. Our situation and assignment in the Misión Chalco has completely changed.
We commented previously about our work and testimony with Senior Missionaries here in México. Our feelings have not changed but we encountered continuous obstacles in getting Senior Missionaries called to serve. There were problems with local leaders not processing the recommendations and finally the Área asked us to no longer invite members to serve locally as full-time missionaries working with the Misión. We determined that local full-time Senior Mission service will have to wait until leadership can support them and make the changes in culture to make the work move forward. This effectively defeated all the work and progress we had made in organizing the Mission Office and getting the missionaries into the field.
A little over a month ago, President Crickmore called us into his office and told us of our new assignment as proselyting missionaries. We were relieved of all responsibilities in the Office and assigned to our own proselyting Área. We immediately started looking for a house and to prepare to
move out of Chalco, away from the noise and distractions of the city.
We are assigned to an area based in Ayapango which is located about 20-minutes drive south of
Chalco and a little west of Amecameca, at the foot of the volcanos. It is farm land and we work in five small villages or pueblos.
We have a nice two level home with four bedrooms, a large dining area, 2-1/2 bathrooms and a complete kitchen. We live on a gated street (cerrada) with 12 private homes. About half of the homes are weekend or vacation residences, so things are very quiet. It is located just before the entrance to the pueblo of Ayapango so we are not actually within the pueblo. We are delighted with the change, to be out of the city and in the mountains. We feel at home.
Although we have permission from the Presidente to teach our own investigators, we give referrals to the young missionaries and we work with the members. Our area includes two Wards and a large Branch so we juggle our time and work in the three areas. Our missionary agenda is full and we are booking appointments two weeks ahead.
The Work of Salvation (La Obra de Salvación) is really the work of the members with members, and we are all members. It is described as "A unified effort in conversion, retention and activation" of the members of the Church. We are concentrating on the conversion of the "Active" members which are those who come to Church on Sunday but don't do anything else. They do not serve and do not accept callings. In addition, we meet with the leaders in special Family Home Evenings (Noche de Hogar Familiar) to help them strengthen their testimonies and invite other to come to meetings in their homes. We do not ask for references but they immediately give us names and we support them in their work with the members and non-members they invite. We are having a lot of success and starting to make a change.
The members seem to idolize us and constantly comment on how excited they are to have a Senior Missionary couple serving in their ward or branch. We try to be a good example and support their needs, not ours. We judge this is how Senior Missionary service is intended to be.
We just completed a 3-hour weekly planning session in which we updated our area maps with those we are working with and plans to how to work with them for the next 10-days. Since our time is limited and we have two large piano (teclados) classes, which are organized by the Stakes, we are going to move to teaching in large groups in the chapels or large homes. We need and will respect the actions of the wards and branches to make this happen. We will report in the future how it works.
We are on the "downside" of our assignment here in Misión Chalco. We have requested a short extension of our service until the third week of May. This will allow us a few more weeks in our missionary home and to complete a third round of piano classes.
This is the Work of the Lord and as we work according to His Plan we have success.