Actually, it is not for 1000 days. It is just that 3 years times 365 days plus June 27 through June 30, 2008 equals 1098 days, and that is way too cumbersome to convert into a blog headline. Futhermore, our release date will not be determined until May or June of 2011. Therefore, 1000 Days sounded just about right, more or less. Having noted all that, we are humbled and thrilled (Pres. Uchtdorf would refer to the feeling as "joyfully overwhelmed") about having this marvelous opportunity to serve in La Mision Mexico Veracruz.

Con amor,
Pdte. y Hna. Pete and JoElla Hansen

Friday, June 18, 2010

Here, we were several miles and many kilometers due south of nowhere. It is in an area where we are not allowed to proselyte because it is too distant from any church center. The tiny town is called Loma Bonita. We were exploring on our preparation day with the office elders. We were in uniform, but they were in civvies with permission, regulation name tag attached to the T-shirt.

As we drove through Loma Bonita on the mostly dirt road we saw these boys walking along. One was carrying what I thought was a large iguana, probably for dinner. Turns out it was a different variety of lizard. It was a crocodile, quite alive.

I slammed on the brakes and jumped out yelling "¡A ver! ¡A ver!" "Let's see! Let's see!" I asked to hold the beast. This was another "first" for me--holding a live croc! It was actually over 3 feet long. It had teeth, too. Zoom in a little and you can see a few of them hanging out the front of its mouth. (Clay is saying, "Stop by the office. I can fix that smile.") So, I was pleased that the kids had its mouth bound shut.

The owner is holding the clothesline cord which is attached to the reptile´s leathery neck. I guess that makes it easier to take the croc for a walk. I asked where they got it and they pointed over there to a small lake. Look closely and you will see that some of them have wet hair and damp clothes. Yup. They had taken the crocodile for a swim. Of course they had! You don't play fetch with one of these guys. Their teeth would ruin the ball!

The owner then told me that it actually belonged to his grandpa who would be glad to sell it to me for only 900 pesos. $67.50 American is probably a heckuva deal for a year-old crocodile, but our bathtub isn't all that big. That, and we got a memo from the Area Presidency just this week reminding us that pets are not approved for mission presidents. Exceptions are granted, but only by the First Presidency. After a brief evaluation, Mom and I decided not to bother el prophet with this one. Honest, that memo really came by email earlier in the week.)

After the photo shoot, I reached into the van and found a 10 peso piece to give to each of the little boys. My favorite muchacho is the second from the left of me, the one with the Bette Davis eyes and the Arnold Schwarznegger chest (still developing). He stood with that coin in his hand and just stared at it, mouth hanging wide open. Then, he looked up and me with those big eyes and said quietly, "I never expected this, but I am very grateful."

They all walked toward the little town store, presumbly each to buy a Coke. Coke takes me to the next story and picture.

1 comment:

Clay & Amy Hansen said...

It's amazing how much a few pennies mean to some people.