Every month our ward takes a trip to the temple in Merida which is 4 hours away. However the trip takes ALL night long. It seems to work best this way since most people can barely afford the bus ticket so they save money by taking a late bus and sleeping on the bus during the drive. Also this way they only miss one full day of work. The dedication of these members blows my mind. It takes a strong testimony to take this trip once a year let alone monthly.
We boarded the ferry to Playa Del Carmen at 8 pm and arrived in Playa around 8:45, took a taxi tot he stake center for a youth fireside, which lasted for 2 hours. We boarded the buses at 11:00pm with all the other members in our stake attending the temple. There we couples going to be sealed and parents with small children on their laps. Every seat was full. Bus conditions were definitely not ideal for sleeping, but one or two hours was better than none. We arrived at the temple at 4:30 am. The courtyard was packed as we all trickled off the buses. Adam and I walked straight to the doors to find that they were opening an hour early just for our stake. The first session started at 5 am. When Adam and I walked out of the temple at 9:00 many members were still waiting to go in. Around 10 am the youth headed over to the zoo and Adam and I headed out to find a vehicle.
Many people told us to go to Merida to buy a car. A few people we barely even knew offered to drive us from Cozumel to Merida to help us find a car. I couldn’t believe what a sacrifice that would have been for them to drive us all the way there just to be helpful and kind. A cute little family in our ward drove to the temple with their family so they could drive us around Merida and then home if we didn’t find anything… no pressure lol. Seriously though these people are so willing to serve. It’s inspiring! We drove around Merida for a while, but were told that we will for sure find something at the tiangis. (a place where all the cars for sale in Merida meet in one huge lot and all the buyers come looking.) Tiangis are once a week so we had to wait til the next morning when they opened. We quickly found a van we liked, it seats 7 Americans or 20 Mexicans. We are loving it!
On the trip home we had an amazing lunch at Hacienda Teya and enjoyed a first time car ferry trip to Cozumel. Who knew finding a car in Mexico would be such an adventure.