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The Mexico City South Mission covers the southern end of Mexico City and back north into the city itself. The Church is actively growing in the city. Though the locals are oftentimes rooted in their Catholic traditions, they are very welcoming and willing to speak with missionaries who want to discuss Jesus Christ. For the most part, missionaries are welcomed into Mexico City homes, are fed very generously, and treated very hospitably before departing.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent its first missionaries into Mexico in 1875 to teach the gospel. The first missionaries sent to Mexico were Daniel W. Jones and his son Wiley, Anthony W. Ivins, James Z. Stewart and Helaman Pratt- they recorded no baptisms during their service. The first baptisms did not occur until 1877 when five were conducted. The land and mission was rededicated on April 6, 1881 from the rim of the volcano Popocatepetl by Elder Moses Thatcher of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
In March 1977, President Spencer W. Kimball announced the building of the Mexico City Temple. It was later dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley, a counselor in the First Presidency at that time, on December 2, 1983. To show respect for the culture and history of Mexico, its design was a modern version of ancient Mayan architecture.
Mexican cuisine is based on the staples of corn, beans, and chili peppers, often combined with meat, cheese, and other herbs and spices. Traditionally, the main meal is eaten during the afternoon. A soup is served first, followed by a meat dish with sauce and salsa, along with tortillas and beans. Street vendors are also quite popular, selling tacos, quesadillas, tortas, roasted chicken, and other dishes. Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are another popular street vendor food. Popular foods in the south of Mexico City are corn tortillas, cheese and pork along with tropical fruits and tamales.
Inside the city limits of Mexico City, most missionaries travel primarily on foot. Another transportation option is to travel on a “microbus” (a tiny affordable bus that will stop at any point you ask). Traveling on a “conbi” (a Volkswagen bus) will take you a further distance, but for a steeper price. There are also major bus routes similar to the U.S. Outside the city, busses are not available forms of transportation; instead, bikes and conbis are more widely used.
Mexico City has one major airport, the Mexico City International Airport. It is the busiest and most heavily-trafficked in Latin America.
In the Mexico City South Mission, it is important to always have a name badge on because locals know and are able to recognize missionaries very well and understand that they are there to help. Like most large urban areas, it is important to be with someone at all times. A missionary might feel unsafe without their name badge or mission companion with them. Robbery and assaults can be common in places such as lower socioeconomic neighborhoods, but curfews have been established in different areas to keep missionaries safe and out of high-risk areas at the wrong times of the day. As long as curfews are strictly followed, missionaries should be safe while serving in the area.
Both Spanish and indigenous influences can be seen in art, architecture, and music. Mariachi performing groups (bands using singers, guitars, trumpets, and other instruments) regularly perform at festivals and restaurants, and many folk dances and traditional music are still practiced. Rock, pop, and other music styles such as norteña and ranchera are popular today.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Mexico, though baseball is also popular. Depending on where you are in the city, during soccer games you may be able to hear the cheers and excitement of the game coming from the arenas. Lucha libre wrestling and bullfighting are also popular events.
“Quinceaneras” are large family celebrations that may turn into a street event. When a female turns the age of 15, her family throws her a celebration where she is welcomed into womanhood.
Residents of Mexico City are very family-oriented people who live with their entire families inside one home. One home may include grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, and all children and cousins inside a one, two or three-bedroom space.
Catholic Saint parades occur often in Mexico City. On Sundays, there is a reenactment of the crucifixion in honor of the Savior. Residents believe that is is a huge honor to be able to participate in the reenactment and will volunteer to carry the cross and be nailed to the cross in honor of our Savior.
“Cuate?” (Hey, what’s going on man?)
“Chido!” (How cool!)
“Que padre!” (How cool!)
“Vaya con dios!” (Goodbye/Go with God, God be with you.)
It is important to bring a good pair of supportive shoes due to the amount of time spent walking inside of the city. It is also important to invest in quality shoes that are water resistant for the rainy season.
A two-strap backpack serves the perfect duty as great support while walking. This will also allow you to carry the rest of your essentials along with scriptures and copies of the Book of Mormon.
A light jacket such as a windbreaker will be of great use in the colder, rainy season that lasts for a few months. A waterproof jacket will also help to repel the water and simultaneously keep you cool.
Suit coats are worn to church, but hardly ever worn during proselyting because of the mild temperatures and the amount of walking.
It is best to acquire short-sleeve shirts because of the warmer temperatures and the amount of walking.
A small umbrella fits nicely into a two-strap backpack and is great to have on-hand during the rainy season.
Hand sanitizer is also a mission essential to be used constantly. You never know when you can make it to a sink to wash up. Many homes have animals including dogs, cats, and even chickens that are free to roam the property.
Sunscreen is also important to keep on hand to apply and reapply in the dry season and hot sun.
Av. Progreso 106, 3° Piso
Barrio Santa Catarina, Coyoacán
04010 México , Distrito Federal
What did you eat the most of?
Tacos al pastor (Missionary favorite)
What is the craziest thing you ate?
Anything from a street vendor.
**Did you serve in the Mexico Mexico City South Mission? If so we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org**