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

Thursday, August 19, 2010

There is a very old Catholic Church in El Paraíso. In the yard is a cross-shaped tree. Hanging from the "arms" are small red ropes. We wondered if at Easter someone is placed there in that very interesting ritual which some Catholic communities throughout the world practice.

This is the front wall inside the little chapel. You see the large crucifix and also a large and traditional rendition of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

A very dusty and very old Bible sat on the table.

There was a pleasant lady inside who was placing flowers in vases which she put on either side of the large crucifix. We spoke for a moment and asked if we were from Spain. We told her we were Americans. She asked if we were Catholics and we said that we are Mormons. "Oh!" she exclaimed! "Mormons aren't allowed in here!" We apologized profusely and told her we would leave. "No," she exclaimed. "It is a rule for your protection." She said that she had heard if we came into a Catholic chapel that our ties would burn up. I kinda wish it would so I could buy a new one, but no such luck. Holding mine up, not yet smoking and not even warm, I smiled and then we all laughed.

This rather aged lady claimed to have been the very first resident of Paraiso. Her grandmother was from Hungary. She has quite gray-green eyes. She came from Oaxaca, pronounced wah-HAH-kah. She did not originally speak Castellano, or Spanish. Her native tongue is Zapateco, or Aztec. Her grandmother did not like brown people. But, her mother married one and so did the lady. The two little girls are her granddaughters.

So, if you are tired of your ties, take them all to a Catholic church and hope for the best.

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