In the Spring of 2009 a group of eight members traveled to Mexico to further the ongoing project of Book of Mormon archaeology. After a successful venture of travel with only minimal issues with a thermostat from Mexico City to Puebla, the crew made it to Tuxtepec on March 28th.
The team then traveled to Jalapa de Diaz to re-establish contacts with Moises and his family. We shared in a moving Sunday worship service and then made our way into town to reacquaint with Catalina's family, the former mayor Alvero's family and with others we have come to know through the years, including the man who stood up to defend our incarcerated group members in 2005; he came to visit with us and requested a Spanish Book of Mormon which we gladly provided.
Later in the week we delivered the clothing that has been collected over the last year, and began making arrangements for visits to the different areas throughout the valley for cave exploration, hiking to known sites and arranging for new areas to visit.
While traveling to Piedra Ancha and Cumorahcita our rented van took a hit from the large rocks in the road and we found ourselves spewing oil onto the gravel. With the loss of the use of that vehicle we were forced to place everyone into the Expedition and travel back to Tuxtepec while arrangements were made for repairs. This provided us opportunity to work a different angle for the trip while we focused on the small town of Ayautla and the prospect of reaching the Mixtec outlook that we were told about three years prior.
Our team did make the effort to reach Cumorahcita again and while there we were able to reaffirm many of the measurements we had taken in prior years, this time with Neil at the top of the hill and confirming his opinion of this being an anciently built area atop the hill.
On our way down the hill we stopped by to see Paula's family to deliver the prayer shawl provided by a supporting congregation, and as we were leaving Piedra Ancha we were waved down by the Mayor Juan who requested that we come and pray for his wife Lupe' who had recently had surgery and was experiencing pain in her recovery. We did stop and provide an anointing prayer for healing, and again the Spirit was there is power. After the prayer we were approached by a young mother and her daughter who, dressed in her new clothes, wanted to personally thank us for bringing the clothing; this too was a moving moment as we were able to see the smiles resulting from the generosity that God provided.
One positive archaeological find occurred on an early visit to Moises' home where the younger girls provided bags of items they had found around the home. This bag contained obsidian, pottery, and stone that gives very strong evidence that Moises' home is sitting atop a Nephite fortification. (Report forthcoming)
On Saturday April 4th the team attempted to visit Ayautla and locate the road to the upper elevation called the Mixtec Outlook, but we were halted by the local authorities who directed us as to the procedure for making such a visit. We concluded that we will have to wait until our next visit before we could accomplish this task, but while in town we were taken to the home of a local who was excited to show us several items of antiquity he had recovered from a nearby cave. Neil identified these items as Mixtec funerary pottery and concluded that it must have been a member of a royal family because of the items found. (See report). This was a huge find that helps to again establish that this area has an ancient history that parallels the Book of Mormon.
We concluded our trip with a visit again to Teotihuacan to touch upon the newest developments. We left Mexico with yet further evidences and with a hope for 2010 that something positive might be gleaned from the visit to the Mixtec Outlook.