Year of Mercy Begins (by Calena)

“I the Lord your God, teach you what is best for you.” Isaiah 48:17

Happy Year of Mercy! Here is what the Holy Father had to say last Easter on Divine Mercy Sunday (Blaise’s first Sunday Mass outside the womb):

“This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy (cf. Jn 20:21-23)” –Pope Francis

As the Lord just worked it out, we were blessed to spend the day with my mom (Nana) and Brian as they had scheduled their visit to Phoenix before we knew we would be there.

Blaise carrying the paper towels for me as makeshift baby wipes, but then Nana gave us real baby wipes.

We started the morning hiking Pinnacle Peak Mountain to the very end and back (4 miles total).

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Blaise slept through the whole hike on Jacob’s back. We then went out to lunch for burritos and tacos. They took us to a hidden new park with turf for Blaise to crawl around in. We met some kids that were actually visiting their grandpa, but they live in Omaha and are homeschooled. Blaise made friends with 18-month-old boy, James, who has one tooth. They both got so excited when they saw each other.

Blaise has learned how to clap!
Blaise eating and standing on Brian’s shoes.
Blaise and Brian hanging out at the park.
So long to the hat.. it never stays on for long anyway.

We watched the movie “Home” in the afternoon with Rihanna as the main cartoon character. The earth is invaded with aliens named Boov who are trying to run away from a more dangerous alien so they try to live on the earth. We were happy we didn’t watch this movie in spanish or with spanish subtitles. The Boov’s do not speak with proper grammar at all!

Blaise napping on Nana during the movie.

Then Brian grilled up some delicious chicken and we had dinner then headed back to Jessie’s home.

Blaise and Nana.
The incredible sunset outside Brian’s home.

On the great feast day of La Virgen de Guadalupe, we celebrated with the local Hispanic community. We went to Mass with them.

Our beautiful Lady of Guadalupe speaking to St. Juan Diego. The apparition that brought about 9 million conversions in only 8 years of the native of Mexico in 1539.
Praying/meeting people before Mass.

Then we watched the traditional Aztec dance with drums and colorful costumes and peacock feather headdresses.

The Aztec dance.

We went to the parish hall to watch singing, talked with a young woman named Marisol and her mother, and ate tamales.

The dancers for Our Lady’s celebration.
Here we are eating tamales and rolls and cookies.

We had a great blessing of visiting the home of Saul and Eva with children Yitzel, Lalo (Edgar), and Oscar. They welcomed us in for conversation, prayer, music, and food. Lalo has a genetic condition that started two years ago when he was seven years old. Before then he was a normal young boy, but very quickly he began to lose his eyesight. He now can’t talk, walk, smile, laugh, sit up, eat solid food. Yet how gently his mother cares for him all day long as she is at home.

The family of Lalo.

Jacob prayed over him and with the family. He also played music for them for a long time. Lalo noramlly falls to sleep listening to music off of a computer, but this time he got live music! Jacob was able to send him to a deep sleep by strumming and sitting on the edge of his bed.

They served us homemade tacos and we tried to manage a conversation in Spanish. I tried to take note of how Eva made the homemade tortillas. Our friends Andres, Luis, and Thania came by also since Yitzel is in the youth group that they lead, which is how we met her in the first place. Thank you Jesus for seeing you in Lalo. Also how much like Mother Teresa this family models as they care for their son in his complete helplessness.

On Sunday we went to Mass with Jessie and Steph, who had been visiting her from Wisconsin also. We took her to the airport then rested in the afternoon. Jessie hosted our new friends for a last get together before we left Phoenix. The guys in the band wanted to watch the soccer match between the Tigres and the Pumas. It was the Mexican League championship game! Alviera and Maria came over also to hang out. Blaise actually went to bed early, which was a little disappointing for his friends Andres, Marcos, and Pepe. Jacob was all into the Pumas winning and having a big comeback. They did by sending it into overtime. In overtime both teams scored, so it went into a shootout. Very intense! Much to the happiness of Jorge, The Tigres won in a shootout. Click here to see a recap of the game.

Watching the game.

Jesus thank you for this time in Phoenix to “teach [us] what is best for [us].” We are continuing to see where He wants us to serve full time. I had the grace to not worry about the future of where we are supposed to be. I may not know right now why we were in Phoenix, but I trust God was teaching us there. Jessie has been such a gracious host to us. We have learned from her and developed a solid friendship with her. Our time in Phoenix consisted of prayer, hosted, served, discussed, shared our testimony, and played music. We have also grown in finding our identity as a young family looking to renew and grow the Church!

Amen. -Calena

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