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Guatemala City, Guatemala
We have been called as missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve with the Perpetual Education Fund in the Central America Area. We are living in Guatemala City, Guatemala and we work at the area office. Our assignment is to visit with the Stake PEF Specialists in all seven countries, to train and assist them in this inspired program.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Week of December 10th-Dec.14th, 2008

10 December 2008…..Wednesday
A little after 11 am we were invited into the conference room where there was a beautiful cake with peaches and strawberries on top, plus other snacks and soda. Then Sister Saenz came in. It was a little farewell gathering for her as she has completed her 18 months of missionary service and will be going home to Mixco, a city that borders Guatemala City. She has run the PEF call center for her entire mission and has done a spectacular job. It will be hard to replace her. Rexene bought a fleece comforter for her and then missionaries and employees signed red cut out hearts that Rexene sewed on the comforter. I will miss her.

I made almond crunch and it sure turned out differently than usual. The butter was totally separated making a “drier” taste and not nearly as rich. The sugar tastes like it isn’t as sweet as the sugar in the states. Anyway, it was edible but not up to par.

11 December 2008…..Thursday

I was just about dressed this morning for my day at the office when diarrhea set in. A short time later I was aching all over plus a head ache. Tilleys came over and Dick and Jim gave me a blessing. We stayed home, needless to say. I was feverish. I laid down at 8 am and slept most of the morning. At noon I got up, took two more Tylenol and laid down and slept till 4 pm. Right now it is 8:30 pm and I still feel achy but not nearly as bad as this morning. During the day my ankles, knees, wrists and elbows hurt. My head still aches. Tilleys stopped by this evening to check on me and Marilyn Bawden called. Dean Bawden calls this tourist flu. The worst part of all this was today was a day I looked forward to. This morning there was an Area Christmas Devotional at the Marriott Hotel, followed by a meal. They tell me it was excellent. Late this afternoon the security attaché from the American Embassy was at the office to talk to all Americans about security issues.

12 December 2008…..Friday
I slept well last night. I woke with less aches and pains but weak, and intestinal problems still plagued me throughout the day. Dick rode to work with Tilleys. I worked on my Shutterfly photo album. It’s amazing how well my computer entertains me. The computer says the high here today was 61 degrees and at 4 pm it was 59 degrees…..eternal spring?....I think not. We have a CD of the best known songs from The Messiah and I really enjoy my favorite Christmas music.
Kim Taylor, our mission doctor (ophthalmologist) called to check on me. He wanted to make sure my symptoms weren’t Dengue fever. Actually, my muscle and joint aches were hardly severe enough to be Dengue and part of the aches was probably from lying in bed for so long. I appreciate his concern. Later he made a house call and brought grapes and pineapple. Tilleys came in for awhile to check on me.
Dick came home from the office with a card signed by the First Presidency and a gift from them, a lovely edition of “Jesus the Christ” in Spanish. It is something we will treasure. Maybe someday I will be able to read it with understanding. Maybe not.

13 December 2008…..Saturday
I woke before 6 am, which is pretty common. My sleep patterns have adjusted to our schedule the last 3 months. I felt pretty good. It was 48 degrees at 7 am. The coldest I have seen here on Weatherchannel.com. I did some cleaning and got four loads of laundry done. Then I was feeling weak. We went with Tilleys and Blackburns to buy some Christmas ornaments they had seen, but the little shop had none and said they would have more next week. I was ready to come home, anyway. We stopped at Paiz and the parking lot was full and there was a line of cars waiting to get in. Rexene ran in to get a couple of items and we drove across the street and Dick got me a frosty. We came home and I laid down and slept three hours. I woke with a pounding headache. Guess I’m not going to get through this as quickly as I thought.

14 December 2008…..Sunday
I’m still feeling a little shaky but went to Church today. We went to Amátitlan Stake. We would have had an epic lost adventure, but the stake specialist, Brother Cardona said to call him when we got to Hyper Paiz (Super Walmart) and he would come lead us. We made a wrong turn just before we got there and never saw Hyper Paiz, so we pulled into another parking lot and called. He was there in a matter of a few minutes. The great thing was he brought a friend who drove his vehicle to church and Brother Cardona got in with us. There is no map in the world or directions that could have helped us find the building. We needed him in the car to guide us. There were many turns down narrow streets lined with shops. He is a single 30 year old who is using the Fund. After Sacrament Meeting we met with him and we are very impressed. He is among the best specialists that we have met. His employment is with CES which is an added help in his calling with the Fund.
Sacrament Meeting was most enjoyable, though I understand little. No accompaniment for singing, which has been the norm wherever we attend. We sang “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plain.” They have their own melody for the first couple of bars of the chorus. In fact, we sang that song in another ward a few weeks ago with the same “different” melody. Every chorister has a low voice and starts the songs very low…..imagine, a song too low for me! But, for the first time in 50 years I am singing soprano.
The Bishop was the closing speaker and I could feel his spirit and his humor. I understood when he was speaking of Mary an,, you probably will have to remind him and encourage him. I know that Josh, on the other side of the veil, must surely provide a blessing and influence on his children, too.
Because I was still not feeling to swift we left after Sunday School. Tilleys invited us to come eat but we came in our own apartment, had sausage and eggs and I took a 2 ½ hour nap. Whatever is wrong with me requires sleep and I always feel better after my nap.
Part of our lights are off. While I was typing my journal all the bedroom lights went off, but the computer is still on. The TV, CD player, refrigerator and Christmas tree lights are off. Our house phone, for calling other apartments only, was not working. Dick knocked on Tilley’s door and they had a similar problem. As Dick and Jim headed down to the office I heard a generator come on. It hasn’t made much difference. It is keeping the garage and hall lights on which is very important for safety. I’m glad none of us were on the elevator when this happened. Jim called the other missionaries and everyone has some lights on and some off. At least I can finish my journal but I will have to shower in the dark. I will email my journal when I have internet back up and running.
UPDATE: We were completely in the dark for about 45 minutes. We have one small flashlight but now we know we better get two more. Everything was dark but the computer worked on its own battery and gave off a little light. We sat in front of the screen and watched a slide show of all our pictures from Switzerland four years ago. Now I have light in the bathroom so time to get ready for bed.

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