When we knew Sean’s flight left Mexico City yesterday and he didn't hear from him, we assumed we would not get a phone call, but last night at about 10:30 my cell phone rang and I heard the voice of Elder McAlister!
Sean was in the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima Peru. We got to talk with him for over an hour. Cherilyn and I spoke with Sean for about 20 minutes, and then tried to wake up Sabrina to talk with her big brother, but Sabrina really never was coherent.
We then conferenced in Brooke and Todd on my phone, and tried to have Jessica and Derek on another phone held close to my cell phone (yeah…that doesn't work to well). After about 45 minutes, I asked Brooke and Todd to drop off so I could call Jessica and Derek on my phone, so they could really hear and talk with him. With my great phone technical skills I hung up on everyone, without being able to say goodbye. We were sad because he said right before I lost him that they were about to board, but luckily he did call back and we conferenced in Jessica and Derek and spoke for another 25 minutes before he had to get on the plane.
Below are a few things we talked about that were interesting, in no particular order:
· Leaving his MTC District was really hard; they had become very close friends.
· He is really excited to get to be going to Chile
· He was in the MTC during Mexico's Independence Day (from Spain) on September 16. He said it is the biggest holiday in Mexico, bigger than Christmas. There are parades, fireworks, music and all kind of activities missionaries should not be involved in. They got to stay up late to watch, on TV, the President of Mexico in the National Palace recite the "Cry of Dolores":
Long live the heroes that gave us the Fatherland (and liberty)!
Long live Hidalgo!
Long live Morelos!
Long live Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez!
Long live Allende!
Long live Galena and the Bravos!
Long live Aldama and Matamoros!
Long live National Independence!
Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico!
Then they had to go indoors to their rooms immediately because they said people shot guns up in the air, and bullets do come back down somewhere. He said it was crazy.
· When he got to go out and have some authentic Mexican tacos, when going to have his fractured wrist checked, he said they were the best food he had the whole time. The taco had cactus on them, and he thought that was weird, but tasty.
· He liked the weather there, although he said it rained almost every day sometime between 5pm – 9pm each day, and there was some flooding in the MTC, but not in his casa.
· Sean and his companion ended making four trips to the hospital while in the MTC; once for Sean’s wrist, and three times for Elder Barnes who had some stomach problems. He went outside the MTC more than anyone else he know of, and enjoyed the breaks.
· His wrist is feeling good, and only wore his brace for a few days because it bothered him.
· He bore his testimony in Spanish twice for his sisters so they could hear his language skills. I thought he did a great job, and has obviously learned a lot.
· He would have liked to receive for actual letters and/or a package, he felt left out when other received mail. We only communicated via email, so we will have to do better on that. But he does have a package from us waiting in the mission home in Chile.
· On Wednesday night before he left, Sean and his district were invited of President and Sister Pratts (MTC President) house for brownies and ice cream. They had them over because they had become fond of their district and wanted to say goodbye.
· Sean has heard from many of his friends who were in the MTC in Provo, and most of them are now out in the mission field and doing great.
· Sean left his alarm clock back in the MTC because he put it on a different shelf, as they have so many tremors in the area that it fell off the shelf he was using. He never mentioned the tremors in any of his emails…kind of scary.
Well those are a few things we talked about, and he said he would be sending an email to us once he got to Chile, which he should be there now. I’ll post more if he has some new information to share.