Sunday, May 31, 2015

This and That for May

We have good neighbors and they probably have parties once a month but they keep the music at a good volume and turn it off by 10 p.m.  These neighbors seem to have family and friends parties with kids and we don't mind at all.
This boy greets us with "vecino!" and we don't know his name and he is a bit hard to understand.  Today he asked us to check if their blue ball was in our yard but we didn't see it.  We actually think that we returned it a few days ago.
We received Tyler's letter of instruction and Flat Stanley on May 5 and he received our letter and photos as well about April 29,  The mail service from the USA to Mexico and from Mexico to USA takes about the same amount of time.  That makes sense but what doesn't make sense is that it took about 4 weeks each way using airmail.
Something was eating our bananas and we thought it was a bird.  We heard some chirping outside the window and were surprised to see something else snacking on our bananas.  Can you see what it was?
We walk to Bancomer each month to deposit our rent into the landlord's account.  We were surprised two months ago because the front of the building was gone but they have now replaced it and are continuing with the remodeling.  Here are the "before" and "after" shots of the bank front.

Hna. Ninel Silva, a young temple ordinance worker, in front of the terraced gardens in front of the temple.  She loves to practice her English with us.
This lovely flower on a prickly vine guards our water pump.
Here is the "little laptop" that Mireya loaned to us.   We can now use the full sized keyboard and a large monitor.  This little guy works well and keeps us from the need to share a computer.

The Continuing Clinic Construction

We walk by this construction job two or three times a day so they are used to us greeting them and taking photos.  What fascinates us about this project is that it hasn't stopped.  We are aware of other construction projects that had started well and then just stopped.  This one just keeps going.

5 May 2015

5 May 2015

15 May 2015
We noticed this big cement pump from afar as we made our way to the temple.
15 May 2015
It was making a delivery of cement to "our" clinic.
15 May 2015

31 May 2015

Speaking of Bananas...

It became apparent that we needed to do something with our banana crop.  So we threw away the bad ones and individually wrapped more than 30 good ones in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer.

Of course, one thing leads to another and with that many frozen bananas, the banana bread season has begun!  We do put frozen bananas in our smoothies as well. 

It isn't like we foresee a lack of bananas--this batch is "on deck" and we think they will ripen before we leave but then--what do we know?!
Then there are the bananas that Dad planted that are getting very tall as are our avocado trees in the pots in front of the bananas.  We just like to plant things and watch them grow.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Claudia Sacramento Died Today

We noticed these two tributes about Claudia on Facebook.

From Hermana Chelsea Crowther (Orem, Utah)
I would like to dedicate this post explaining my love for this incredible woman, Claudia who died today, and that I was able to meet her in Tampico, Mexico.
I am grateful for her example of for faith, endurance, love, respect, kindness, and so much more. She was blessed magnificently with these traits of our loving Heavenly Father to compensate for the health issues she has struggled with throughout her life.
I love her very much! I am so glad that I was given an opportunity to know her and to reaffirm everything that I have taught her. I know that the plan of salvation is real! Until we meet again! I love you!

Ruben (father) and Claudia (daughter) Sacramento 
From Hermana Arely Luque (Riverton, Utah)
It's amazing how Heavenly Father works a year ago Claudia Sacramento became a member of the LDS church, I will never forget her amazing spirit... She had gone deaf but could only communicate by talking and reading.. It was a life changing experience being able to see how she didn't need to hear to be able to feel in her heart that the church was true smile emoticon
She passed away 2 days ago, I remember her expressing her gratitude before I came home she told me "I am so happy knowing that I will be able to hear again and most importantly I will be able to have my family for all eternity" I know she will be reunited with her family again. RIP Claudia  te quiero un buen!!!

Hna. Albuja and Hna. Luque taught Claudia (center) and she accepted their invitation to be baptized. 
The following is what we wrote in our Crockett Chronicles on 24 May 2015.  This is the LONG story.

Last Sunday in Relief Society, Sherryl was quite surprised when the sister missionaries stood to read a text to let us know that if we wanted to say “good bye” to Claudia Sacramento that we needed to go to Alejandra’s home soon. It was just the Monday before that we had been to see Ruben and take him the rice bag.  Claudia was there then and we visited with her as well.  She got out the white writing board and we included her in our visit while Paul was fixing Ruben’s alarm clock.  While we were there, Alejandra came and said she was there to take Claudia to a doctor’s appointment so we wished them well. Claudia was dressed nicely and walked out of their apartment unaided. Afterwards, Ruben shared with us that he was very concerned about Claudia’s health and she wasn't eating well and she now only weighs 30 kilos (66 lbs) down from 37 kilos (81 lbs.) when she was baptized a year ago.  Ruben is a very caring father and provider.  The reason he wanted the alarm clock to work was so he could wake up to make sure that Claudia was taking the medicine she was to have every 4 fours.  Claudia’s health was constantly on 87 year old Ruben’s mind.  In many ways, they have kept each other going since we have known them.  She is concerned about him and fixing him meals and he is concerned about her.  We were aware of Claudia being taken to the doctor a few other times and didn't have any reason to think this visit would be different but it was.  We learned that when Claudia saw the doctor that Monday, he decided to admit her to the hospital so he could run some tests.  Three days later, Alejandra was told that Claudia’s body was shutting down and her organs no longer worked.  There was nothing the doctors could do for Claudia.  Alejandra took Claudia to her own home.

After Relief Society, Sherryl visited with the missionaries and they asked if we were interested in going with them to visit Claudia later in the day.  We said we were.  They first needed to get permission to leave their area from Pte. Jordan and then they had a dinner appointment with Hna. Diaz and then would be ready to go.  We asked the best method to get to Alejandra’s home and they said a taxi would be best so we offered to call a taxi and to pick them up.  As we thought about things and weren't sure who else would be visiting Claudia, we realized that we would feel better if Claudia received a priesthood blessing.  So we reluctantly phoned Hno. Ortega who owns a taxi.  We were reluctant since we knew he wouldn't accept any payment for his services on a Sunday but Paul made the call and said we needed a ride and also needed him to help with a priesthood blessing. Hno. Ortega arrived in his white shirt and tie. We went to pick up the missionaries and since Hna. Diaz had heard we were getting a taxi, she decided to come too. So the four sisters were squished in the back seat while we drove.  We found the street address and learned that Alejandra lived in the house in the back.   We knocked, entered and were told Claudia was up the stairs.  We saw a very different Claudia from the week before.  Claudia, in her nightgown and covered with a sheet was lying peacefully in a coma. A large oxygen tank was close by to help her breathe.  Two sisters from the ward were also visiting Claudia and they said Alejandra wasn't home right then and had just left to take Ruben back to his apartment.  They were thinking about singing a hymn and we chatted until Alejandra and her daughter.  We asked her if it would be ok if we sang and she said it would be fine.  The hymn Hna. Meza chose was “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again.”  Alejandra and her daughter Rebecca are not members of the church and listened respectfully to our hymn.  She thanked us and was very kind.  She told us about their visit to the doctor and how Claudia has now been resting peacefully for the past two days.  Hna. Mesa asked if it would be ok if Paul and Hno. Ortega gave Claudia a blessing.  Alejandra gave her permission and said she was actually concerned and wondered if someone from our church would come to bless Claudia.  We didn't stay much longer and Alejandra said she would contact the sister missionaries to let them know about Claudia’s death.  She said that death was just another part of life and it happens. Hno. Ortega took us home, refused to accept payment for his taxi services and we went about our day waiting to hear from the missionaries any time.  Hna. Albuja from Ecuador and Hna. Luque from Utah had been the missionaries who lovingly and patiently taught Claudia the gospel.  Claudia was deaf but loved to read and the sisters would go out of their way to prepare special lessons for Claudia.  They truly loved her in the church and persuaded her to be baptized. Before she went home from her mission, Hna. Albuja left us her contact information and we wrote to tell her the sad news about Claudia.  She thanked us and asked us to keep in touch.

Claudia was on the back of our minds for the next few days and we wondered about her and prayed for her and for Ruben.  It was on Thursday evening when we got home from the temple after 9 p.m. that Paul checked his phone and saw that the missionaries had texted us to say that Claudia had died that morning.  We wrote to Hna. Albuja to let her know that Claudia had passed away.  The missionaries didn’t answer their phone.  Paul phoned the Saldivars to find out what they had heard and they heard she had died but didn’t know any details of the services but would get back in touch with us.  On Friday morning we made more phone calls from the foyer of the temple to find out details from the Saldivars and the sister missionaries.  What we learned was a surprise and rather upsetting.  Clauda had died Thursday morning and by Thursday afternoon, her body had been cremated and taken to the Social Security Funeral Home that is about 20 miles from the temple and not in a place where there is much public transportation.  The services for Claudia had been on Thursday evening and through the night and we had missed it all.  We were told that Ruben had not attended the services at the funeral home since it was so far away and at night.  We felt at a loss.  We tried to piece things together as we walked to the grocery store on our way home.  What could we do?  Who was comforting Ruben?  We picked up a few items and were in the checkout stand when we received the Lord’s tender mercy.  Hno. Rojas is in our ward’s bishopric.  He walked into the store, saw us and came directly to us.  He greeted us and then said that he, Bishop Reyes, Pte. Esparza from the stake presidency had all spent last evening with Ruben in his apartment.  They had prayed together, sang hymns and talked of family and things of eternity.  Hno. Rojas shook our hands again and went to do his shopping not knowing that he had just deeply touched our hearts and comforted us with his message.   

We went home, then decided to visit Ruben and had two things ready to take to him.  We called Ruben and he said we were welcome to come.   The door was opened to Ruben’s apartment by a large young man and Ruben introduced us to his grandson, Jorge, who is Alejandra’s son.  Ruben is ever the gentleman.  He greeted us and told us how nice it was for the Bishop and Pte. Esparza and the others to come spend some time with him the night before.   He had been receiving visitors during the day and he loves to have company.  We asked who was going to fix his food now and he said Alejandra will bring him some food every day for lunch.  We routinely take photos of the missionaries serving in our ward that we get to know.  We had found and printed a photo of Hna. Albuja and Hna. Luque for Ruben and he was happy to see them. He had an empty photo frame and we trimmed the photo and Jorge put it in the frame.  Ruben set it on the table next to him. We had brought rice pudding that Sherryl had made for Ruben and Jorge put it in the fridge, then kissed his grandpa and left.  We asked Ruben if he wanted us to sing and he did.  There was only one hymn book so we crowded together to sing “As I Read the Holy Scriptures.”  We had to return to the temple and asked if we could have a prayer together and Ruben said he wanted to say it.  His prayers are tender and he says he doesn’t know how to pray, he just talks to his Father.  He told his Father that he missed Claudia but he was happy she wasn’t suffering.  Then he said he was closing his prayer because he was feeling very emotional. 

It is still hard to wrap our minds around all that has happened this week.  We were happy to see the two tributes to Claudia (located above) on Facebook. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Celebrating the Tampico Temple Dedication

The Tampico Temple was dedicated on May 20, 2000 by President Thomas S. Monson.  We met together as temple ordinance workers on May 18, 2015 in the temple to participate together in a temple session.  We had 35 sisters and 15 men attend the session and only ordinance workers were invited.  Pte. Saldivar was asked to officiate in honor of his being the first Tampico Temple president. Afterwards, we went to the adjacent stake center's cultural hall to eat and visit.  Spouses were invited to the dinner and there was seating for 80 people but not all of the chairs were occupied--which means we didn't count how many were there.

Pedro Gonzales entertained us with a temple version of the "maƱanitas" and we all sang with him plus he told stories and played the guitar.
We sat at this table and chatted with:  Hno. and Hna. Martinez; Hermana Reynoso
Hermanas Galvan, Truncoso; Arnano; Silva
We were among the first to leave at around 2 p.m. and could see others were going to stay for more entertainment.

Temple Grounds Tour

It is really quite pleasant to walk into the temple grounds each day and to see the flowering and colorful shrubs.    Looking at the temple from the south.

We've entered the temple gates.
The stairs lead to the front door on the west side of the temple
Front garden but looking south.
In front of the temple continuing north.

Turning right and looking east at the northwest corner.
Looking back to the south from the northwest corner.
At the northeast corner looking south.
 This is the back or east side of the temple
Gardens in the northeast corner of the temple lot.
More gardens and flowers on the east or back side.
Looking south from the northeast section.
Looking south and nearer to the east side of the temple.
 This is the south side looking west.
Expanded view of south side looking west.
Looking back east from the southwest corner of the temple.
 Walking out the front door of the temple looking west.
So we have made a picture tour of our walk around the temple.