Nolte's South of the Border

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Saying Goodbye

We are saying “good-bye” this week.   We are so glad that we will have good memories to take home.   
Good bye to a  dedicated, hard working PEF Staff.   We have learned the ins and outs of The Perpetual Education Fund—an inspired program.   We have learned knew skills and have done things that are very hard—at least until we do them.  Then they don’t seem as bad.  The staff at the PEF Call center is the greatest. 
Goodbye to our ward family—Benemerito 8th Ward.  They made us feel at home.  We will have memories of teaching Sunday School, friendly chats, and Mary Ann being made to feel included even though she didn’t understand a lot of what was going on, visiting and home teaching, and get-togethers.

Goodbye to a wonderful English Class at Instituto Arbolillo!  One of the high points of our mission.  We love these kids!   Always a highlight of the week.  We will miss the singing, the games, and the talking and the growing close as a class.  We had a lot of fun. 

Goodbye to good friends.  We are glad to have fun memories of adventures in discovering the ins and outs of Mexico City— of long but interesting bus rides, of crammed Metro rides, of getting stuck in traffic on top of a double decker tour bus, of  tranjeros and the mariachi singers in Xochimilco, learning a bit of history at Chapultapec Castle.  It’s been fun to do these things with friends.  They’ve been adventures.

Goodbye to perfect weather.  We have no need for furnaces or air conditioning her in Mexico City.  The weather is a gift every day.

Goodbye to Benemerito and our little apartment.  Here we will always have good memories of Jeff doing the dishes and me, reading aloud a book borrowed from the English Department.  We will have good memories of the daily “Buenos dias” from the security guards, the gardener, the students, and our neighbors. 

Goodbye to Mexican Food.  We love it! 

Goodbye to a great mission assignment.  We’ve been very blessed.  We love the people here.  We know that we’ve grown here.   It’s been great to do it with a great companion!   

Goodbye Mexico! 

We are so blessed.

Note: We are leaving Monday, Nov 8 early in the morning and driving to Tampico. On Wednesday, Nov 10, we will drive to Texas. Nov. 11, Thursday, we will arrive at Anna Min’s in Amarillo. We will go to Gallup on Nov. 13 and will be there for a few days. We look forward to being with family for Thanksgiving at Anna Min’s.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bicentennial In Mexico!

HOLA!  From Mexico !  When last we wrote, we were celebrating Independence Day for the USA.  Now we’ve been celebrating Mexico’s Independence.  Last Friday, we celebrated with Benemerito and the Zarahemla Stake.  Last night we celebrated with the Arbolillo Stake.  In both cases, there was a lot of traditional dancing and music.  And lots of traditional food!  Love the food!   love all the friendly people!

The Tacos Pastoral were the most popular!Dancing at Benemerito

My favorite was the elote:  Corn on the cob brushed generously with mayonaise, rolled in cheese, and dusted with Chilli powder.   MMMMM.......
We loved seeing everyone in their traditional dress.  And we loved the traditional dancing and singing.  Such a great beat!

The work at the Call Center is busy and booming.  We’re so glad to have more and more volunteers and more missionaries—some already here and some more on the way!  There’s much work to do.  We are also involved with a new Pilot Program in PEF and we are involved in visiting and training Stake Presidencies and Stake Education Specialists.  We handle the 3 missions from Mexico City involved in the program, and the Norton’s handle the missions from out of the city.  Sundays and weekends are very busy for us. 
Sister Castillo at the Call Center with the vounteers.
More volunteers!  We need more space!
Here are the Norton's from Provo.  They stayed with us for 5 weeks.
In spite of all the extra workload, we feel blessed to be able to be teaching another Institute English Class. It’s been fun working with these youth again and is always a lift to our day.

Jeff is teaching Sunday School again. He studies and stews over it, but he has been blessed with the spirit there and we’ve had some great lessons.

What a fun English class we have!  Here they are after a relay race of drawing the different body parts on the board!
It seems that we are constantly facing new challenges and hard things to do.  To me, that would be the theme of our mission.  I feel like such a baby.  Well, we have a brand new and a very big challenge—We have lost our big bed!  We had put two twin beds together to make a King-size bed and were very comfortable for the last 5 months.  Well the twin beds were needed for Benemerito students, so now Jeff and I have to make due with a very small queen size bed that feels like a double bed.  Maybe it is a double bed.  All we know is that it is very small, that Jeff’s feet hang over the edge, and that  we’re knocking each other all night.  This too shall pass
.  No picture of the bed, so I thought we'd show some other challenges--Mexico City Traffic.  On this trip to the Immigration Offices to get our visas, we watched a car get slammed while on their busy highway.  -- something I felt we could see everytime we're out in traffic.  They drive very close and aggressively.
Here is Jeff at the Tiangues -- everything is just too low for him!

We can’t complain too much. We have a two day holiday! We’re able to get caught up on some cleaning, some blogging, some letter writing, and later on, we’re going to a concert and program here at Benemerito. Tomorrow, we’re going to the Temple.

We send our Love to All.

Here are some other photos: 

Here we are at the Arbolillo Celebration with Fermin, one of our most dedicated volunteers.

One of our traditions -- donuts every shopping day.

A nice little trip to the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City.
Any similarities?

Our Last Trip to the temple with the Norton's, Sister Castillo, Sister Martinez, and there we ran into the Camarillo's.  Looking forward to going tomorrow. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Independence Day

We celebrated Independence Day with other couple missionaries at the 16th Century Monastery "Desierto de los leones"  Here are a few pictures!
Happy Fourth of July!   

We made about 50 deviled eggs!  All the food was wonderful and delicious!

A little hike to a couple of hermitages nearby.

Walking up to the roof!

We had a great day!  Fun to get together with other couple missionaries!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tidbits of June

We've had a SUPER BUSY month.  Here are just a few of the scenes of our June:

Here are some of the wonderful people we work with!  We had just finished our PEF booth at a college fair. 

Seniors are having fun the week of graduation. It ended in a big water fight! It was just outside our window.

Christien is one of the first students that we met here at Benemerito. She did her Young Women’s Personal Progress Service hours by cleaning our apartment and our car and helping me to practice my Spanish.

Here’s our Benemerito 6th Ward Sunday School Class which Elder Nolte did a great job in teaching.

This is our Sunday School President, Kolob, graduating.

Hi Francisco!  We had a great seat at graduation!  We were able to see everyone walk by and we sat near friends.

At the Benemerito Graduation, we were surprised to see Berenice from Tampico. It was so fun and a wonderful tender mercy. We willl always have a place in our heart for our Tampico Family.

We have to come many good friends here in Mexico City--now they are going.  Leslie came to say "Good-bye" as she heads home to Chiapus.  Leslie from the beginning has helped me understand the Relief Society lessons.  Such a sweet girl!

Here’s those who were hanging around after Church our last Sunday before the students graduated and went home and before the ward was combined with the other 7 wards for the summer—Barrio Unico.
Such a typical sight here. I really wanted to get the picture of the man on the bicycle with a big box container on the back with dry-cleaning hanging on a bar overhead and a little boy sitting in the box amongst the hanging clothes.

This was a crazy hailstorm that came up one day. We’ve had some crazy downpours as well. We even had an earthquake during the night. Didn’t feel it though.

The Sun always comes out!

A birthday Surprise! Ariana, a volunteer at the center left these beautiful flowers as a surprise!   I had a wonderful birthday--we gave a presentation to some homebound missionaries then we went to the Temple. 

P.S.  The email test failed.  I discovered that you can email your blogs so I prepared that little email with a picture.  The picture didn't show--just the words.   Here's the picture of the people we work closely with: 

Elder Nolte, Esteban, Sister Nolte, and "Chuy"--they're the best!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Email Test

This is a test to see if emailing this works. 
Here we are at a college fair!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


We've been on our mission for a year now and it's been just over two months that we've been here in Mexico City. It's a time of reflection. I remember Sister Bentley asking me when we'd just been in Tampico for two months, “Have you had your two-month cry?” I had had several of them. There's something about being in a strange place, unable to understand the language, and trying to figure out what your doing, trying to belong, and getting to know people --that part of all this process involves crying. I can attest to it.
Here in Mexico City, I'm going through the same process—maybe not quite so bad—but I'm going through it nevertheless. Especially this week. The only other time that I cried more is when we were faced with leaving our beloved Tampico. Poor Jeff. It's hard for him when I cry—even though he understands and has experienced the same struggles. We both know that this time will pass.

And so we keep counting our blessings and the many little tender mercies that come our way. Here are the top ten:

1.We've been able to do some more site-seeing with some of the other missionaries (Doctor, Psychologist, Visitor Center missionaries, temple missionaries. Last Saturday, we traveled to a former Carmelite monastery, Desierto de las Leones, and Tula. The Monastery was built in the 16th and 17th Centuries and is big and impressive, with beautiful gardens, a series underground tunnels, and many smaller hermitage cottages surrounding it. It's now part of a national park where people come to picnic, and bike, and hike, etc.

A monk explained what life would have been like here.  It turned out that he was an actor. 

2.We also traveled to Tula and saw some more pyramids that came into prominence after Teotihuacan (the pyramids we visited last time) at about 600 – 800 A.D. We traveled back into Mexico City and ate the most wonderful Chinese Food at a place called Blossom.


3.We've heard from many of our Tampico Students which always brings a lift to our day and our spritits. A very special email came from Mario—he was from our last English Class. He wrote to share with us his happiness and special feelings of his baptism on May 15. He sent pictures and everything. Lupita wrote us at her one year anniversary of baptism. We got the news of Nelly's and Marco's upcoming wedding via facebook. Edgar sent us photos of his and Celia's wedding. Omar, Cindy, Ale, and Karla have written just to see how we are doing and letting us know what's going on in their life.
New friends...

4.Jeff has been called to be a Sunday School teacher—now he spends most of his spare minutes studying the lesson and then studying how to present it all in Spanish. He's doing great. His Spanish is improving immensely. He is speaking all the time now on the telephone at the service center without a panic attack.

5.We are slowly getting to know others and it's making me speak my Spanish. Candy gave me a permanent and cut in our apartment and she is so nice and repeated so I could understand. She likes to talk. She came to Mexico City and Benemerito so she could be around her last child who is attending school here. Fabiola, another new friend and the Institute secretary, is helping me speak Spanish and I'm helping her speak English. The same is with Esteban and “Chuey”, the two bosses, we work with here in the PEF Service Center.

Walking outside Benemerito--to the institute.

6.The other day when Jeff went to have his hair cut with Candy at the little shop at Benemerito, I decided to go to the Library to check out some English novels. The ladies at the Library sent me to Maestro Bucio in another building who is the Coordinator of their English classes. He was very friendly and so happy to accomodate me. He took me to another building and I was able to pick from a room full of books. Jeff and I have been grateful for good books. We've been reading many of them together in the evenings as well as reading the scriptures in English and in Spanish..

7.A special “tender mercy” moment was as I was walking back with Bro. Bucio after picking out the books, and after telling him that Jeff and I were working in the Perpetual Education Fund Service Center, he shared with me with passion and testimony and excitement his experience with PEF. He said that he was on his mission (New York Manhatten Mission) when the announcement was made by Pres. Hinckley. He started to cry. He had been wondering what he was going to do when he returned back to Mexico. Now he knew. He came back, qualified for a PEF loan, attended a university, graduated, has a great job, and last year he paid off his loan. He spoke with excitement and gratitude. That moment made me feel the blessing and importance of this miracle program. I felt happy and joyful and lifted as did the rest of the office when we shared this experience.

Jeff & Arturo, one of the volunteers and a good friend at the Service Center. 

8.Jeff and I are both learning things we never expected to be learning while on this mission-- Excel, Mail Merge, texting, even genealogy and the YW Personal Progress. Probably couldn't be a better class room. Because I have limited Spanish skills, I seem to have a little bit more free time . So I've been learning genealogy from Sister Jarvis. She works on it a lot in the office. I was feeling a little bit guilty about doing my own genealogy here on our mission, but we've watched how Sister Jarvis has been a blessing to many people around here. Everyone from the Area Seventy, to the Institute Director, to young Benemerito Students, to ward members, and to even Jeff and I are learning New.FamilySearch under her direction.

9.Elder Bednar has been in Mexico City this week. This morning we attended a broadcast to Church Employees of a devotional at which he, Elder Gonzalez, and Bishop McMullin spoke. It was so uplifting and just what I needed to hear. Elder Bednar, sharing his experiences at Ricks & BYU-I, told us that having the best people doing their jobs with diligence and consistency will not insure success. What it needed is for the people to go beyond what their job description dictates--”to be anxiously engages in a good cause”.

A little bird that always shows up outside our window in the mornings.

10.We've been blessed so much. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve where we are needed. Everywhere we go, and in the strangest places, people thank us for coming to serve in the PEF Service Center—it seems everyone has heard that we really we had a difficult time as we didn't want to leave Tampico. We know that we are supposed to be here and hopefully we can do some good.