November 17th through November 23rd: Monday the Rays and mom and I went with the Penas to Arrazola, a small town southwest of Oaxaca. On the way we stopped by the grand opening of a health club. Lucero, the daughter of Laura and Luis Perez, opened this club that mostly teaches people about nutrition and sells Herbal Life. This is the family’s second club. Her dad is an architect, which means he also oversees the construction of the buildings he designs, and manages the school they own. The new club is in one of the buildings he is just finishing.
|Lucero at her new Club.|
Arrazola is another town that is mainly known for making alebrijes, the carved wooden animals that are then painted bright colors. Mom found a few new animals for her collection. She also bought 4 painted birds that kind of look like turkeys to help decorate the table for Thanksgiving.
|The mad shoppers at one of many alebrijes stores.|
|Which of my grandkids wants this one?|
|There really are some strange animals running around this town.|
When we finished shopping, we decided to eat at a restaurant we had eaten at when we visited San Bartolo de Coyotepec, the town that makes black pottery, barro negro. In fact, the name of the restaurant is Restaurante Barro Negro, black mud restaurant. I wanted pork ribs. We had eaten a sample of their meats the time before and I thought the pork ribs were delicious. This time they did not live up to my memory, OK, but not great. Then we had to do some more shopping. Mom found a nativity in barro negro. You will have to wait till Christmas to see a picture.
|Just waiting for lunch/ dinner. It was about 3 in the afternoon.|
|The park across the street from the restaurant Barro Negro.|
As we were leaving the store, one of the workers said they was a protest demonstration going on and the road was blocked going back to Oaxaca. So we had to make a detour of about a half an hour to go around the demonstration. These road blocks are very common and are mostly just a big inconvenience. Tuesday and Wednesday were nothing special except that mom had a post put in one of the teeth she had the root canals done on. They didn’t think there was enough of the tooth left to hold the crown she now needs. On Thursday we had a big group arrive and one of the older women in the group arrived with a temple recommend that had been mislabeled by her bishop and she thought it was valid until the end of November, but in fact it was only good until the end of October. She was going to have to wait all day for the others in the group to finish their visit to the temple. After everyone was in the temple, I saw her sitting on one of the concrete planters. I went outside and she was crying. I invited her to come in and sit in the waiting room. She was so sad. I told her it was not her fault and that she would be blessed as if she had been able to enter the temple. I told her the Lord knew the desires of her heart and that he would bless her for her efforts to come to the temple. I’m not sure that my words were much of a consolation, but at least she didn’t have to sit on a concrete planter all day. Friday and Saturday we started at 5:00 am in order to get in an extra session and accommodate everyone that was scheduled. We had 3 great days again and this month is going to be another record. I’m estimating that we will be somewhere around 24 to 25 thousand ordinances for the month. Salt Lake says that our numbers are the same as some of the large temples. The saints here love to come to the temple. It is so rewarding to see their joy and they always leave with smiling faces and a real glow about them. Sunday, we spoke in the Violetes ward. This is the second time we have spoken there and we really feel at home in this ward. Mom did an exceptional job and the women really love her. Mom had a secretaries meeting in the afternoon. They set a date in December to have dinner with us and I get to cook for all of them. Fun for John.