Ciudad Juarez, Mexico Temple
February 8, 2020
Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
We were going back to Mexico and we were so excited! After having lived in Mexico for five months we often reminisced about it and missed it often, especially the food. We woke up in the morning and drove near the border, parking in a parking garage and then we walked to the border. We paid $0.50 a piece to cross the bridge and that was it. So easy. We expected to show our passports or something but that was it. We were in Mexico and it was instantly different. We went from clean and rich to poor and dirty. It was quite the change.
We took a $2 Uber to the Temple and were dropped off at the Temple eight minutes later. We were so glad to be there and it only took about ten minutes from when we parked our car. We were amazed and excited. It was a little brisk in the morning but the sun was already warming it up. Apparently it had snowed earlier in the week which was extreme and rare for the area.
We then took a few photos as always. Afterwards we met with Joel Soto, a friend of mine from my mission. How that happened was quite awesome. I knew he lived somewhere in Chihuahua, but I had no idea where. But before we left for our trip I messaged him and asked how close he was to the Ciudad Juarez Temple. He lived in Chihuahua City, which was about 5 hours away, and the Temple he was assigned to was the Colonia Juarez Temple, but by some chance he and his wife were going to the Ciudad Juarez Temple to do baptisms with the youth in their ward and on the same day we were there! We talked for a while before we went in and did a session.
The members there were all so friendly and kind! Everyone was, although we didn’t speak Spanish. Everyone shook our hands and said hello and helped us out. We then did a session which was in Spanish. No one spoke English really which was odd since a lot of members from El Paso and the surrounding area in the U.S. were assigned to that Temple.
In the endowment room there was a mural that had images of the ocean and jungle. This was unlike most Temple murals which depict scenery that surrounded the area, because Ciudad Juárez is nothing but desert with the Rio Grande running to the north of it (which is more like the Rio Pequeno now). It was still beautiful though and we enjoyed the Temple. The Temple is just a small Temple but it was still memorable. The chandelier in the Celestial Room was brilliant with vine-like crystals on the top.
After the Temple we said goodbye to my missionary friend then headed back to the border by just walking. We found a little taco shop that was just what we wanted. We got tacos al pastor and they were delicious! We then walked to the border, passing a lot of shops that had souvenirs. Ivy bought a cute little skirt, and then we got a fruit cup with mango, pineapple and coconut in it. That is a must in Mexico just as tacos are.
We then crossed the border and drove back towards Tucson. We took a detour and drove along the border and saw the fence that the government is building to separate the two countries. It’s a massive fence but the detour wasn’t worth it, for it seemed to add about two hours on a long, straight road.
We stayed the night in Benson, a small town about an hour from Tucson. There we went to church in the Butterfield Ward and they were extremely friendly and welcoming, one of the most welcoming wards we had been to! We even had some children draw us pictures welcoming us to the ward. We then drove to Tucson, dropped off our car, boarded our flight, flew home and got home by 4:30, ending our fun little trip!