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Thursday, March 4, 2010
Justin has been called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people in Mexico City, Mexico for the next two years (the Mexico, Mexico City West Mission to be exact). He reports on July 21. He will be preaching in the language of Spanish.
The Mexico City West mission was organized in 2001 and is Mexico’s 19th mission. There are three other missions situated in Mexico City (logically, North, South and East) LDS missionaries have been serving in Mexico for nearly 130 years.
Mexico City is, of course, the capital and largest city in Mexico, with over 21 million people in residence within the metropolitan area. It is the largest metropolitan area in the Americas and the 25th largest economy in the world. The population is spread primarily among 16 boroughs. Urbanization has led to problems with air and water quality, and pollution in general. Air quality has been improving since 1991 through public transportation and other efforts, but it is still estimated that one day in Mexico City is equivalent to smoking 60 cigarettes. Ugh. Thank goodness the Lord protects and blesses His missionaries. Crime rates, while still a concern, have been on the decline.
The weather is generally mild, with an average low of 39 degrees to a high of 79 degrees. The area has two main seasons: the rainy season June to October when winds bring in tropical moisture from the sea and the dry season the rest of time when there is little to no rain.
Football (soccer as known to we Americans) is of course the most popular sport.
And, never fear, if he needs anything, WalMart is present.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has twelve temples in Mexico, including one in Mexico City.
To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is the "House of the Lord." It is a sacred building, and after its dedication only faithful members of the Church may enter. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man. In addition, they participate in religious ceremonies that reach beyond mortality, such as eternal marriage. Temples are not where we hold our weekly church meetings.
Church membership in Mexico increased significantly in the 1960s, reaching 100,000 in the 1970’s, 500,000 in the late 1980’s and is now well over 1 million, or about 1% of the total population.
I’m sure we’ll learn more as time goes on, but this is a good start.
Justin opened his mission call packed in his [smallish] dorm room filled to overflowing with countless well wishers as well as his immediate family on one webcam, his grandparents Huntington on another webcam, and at least five cell phones with direct lines to his Grandparents Peacock, his McGill cousins, his home ward Bishop and other assorted supporters. Pretty awesome support system. They all seemed to enjoy the ceremony of it all.
The video is priceless, I’ve asked him to post it for posterity.
Of course we (his dad and brothers and I) immediately went out for Mexican food to celebrate. I was thinking of having a chicken fajita pita for lunch today to continue the celebration, but that probably doesn’t really count as Mexican food…more like “inspired” by Mexican food.
Bryce is fully prepared to give up his most prized possession to his brother so that Justin can fit in with the locals:
Now he’s ready:
“… In a world so large, the Creator … somehow not only knows you but loves you enough to ensure that your call is where He needs you to go to teach the children of our Heavenly Father.”
Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Called of God”