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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.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Week of March 2rd to Mar. 8th 2009

2 March 2009…..Monday
It’s the beginning of another month so I worked on contacting my Belize students and I emailed the 19 stake specialists in the city. I started my February report. Dick is still working on exception letters. At noon we left to do some shopping. We haven’t been to Price Smart since December 30, so it was time to stock up. Tilleys went, too, but we took both cars. We both had too much to buy to stack in the back of one Corolla. We came home and after putting things in the refrigerator and freezer we went back to the office. I was glad to finally find Ghiradelli chocolate chips at Price Smart again.
At Paiz the 12 oz. package is 47Q …..about $6. At Price Smart the 36 oz. package is 66Q…..a little over $8.
Dean was in the office part of the day. He said Marilyn was doing better, still hooked up to an antibiotic IV, but very bored. She has her laptop but there is no internet at the hospital. The food may be high here but her hospital room is $80 a day. It is large and very nice with a couch and chairs and small kitchenette and they are very pleased with her medical care. The first doctor to see her knew what the problem was. In the last 12 months he alone has treated 495 cases of typhoid fever.
Tonight there was no Family Home Evening. Tilleys invited us over because they were going to do their security power point for Blackburns. We watched it again, had goodies and a good visit. Today was Jacob’s 12th birthday. He is very excited to be ordained a deacon next week.
Guatemala City is an array of colors, especially the color purple. All along Las Americas and the other side streets we travel, the tall trees have burst into purple blossoms. I added a picture to my album of the view out our bedroom window. It has been very windy and I fear the blossoms won’t be able to cling to the trees for very long. Saturday it was 83 degrees. Today stayed in the sixties.

3 March 2009…..Tuesday
Today marks the day I first went through child birth. Jeff is 47 years old!
This morning when I turned on the computer it was 48 degrees. I haven’t had my little heater on for a few weeks but I had it on this morning. I stayed home today. I awoke with a migraine and the rash on my neck has even given me problems sleeping. Actually, a rashy neck has been a stress side affect for me since 1980. However, I started having problems with my neck and sometimes my face, since I ran out of Mary Kay sun block in December. I have been using Neutrogena that my dermatologist had recommended. I even thin it down with moisturizing cream, but still I have a burning/stinging on my face at times. My neck got bad again when we were in El Salvador. I looked like I had blistered from the sun, but my time in sunlight was very brief, just walking from the car into the Church and back out again. I think it was an allergic reaction to sunlight. Anyway, the very red neck had diminished by the next day but is still rashy and itchy. Yesterday I didn’t use sun block but I wasn’t in the sun. We park in underground garages at home, at the office, and even at Price Smart. It’s a good thing I get some Vitamin D into me.

4 March 2009…..Wednesday

My neck is still itchy. We stopped at the pharmacy on the way home from the office and bought cortisone cream and Benadryl capsules to see if I can get this under control.
Dick was especially busy today, working on the exceptions for PEF and then I submitted them to SLC in time for their 2 pm committee meeting. We put more materials together in folders for our meeting on Sunday. The February PEF Priesthood Report was available and so I was able to get the needed information off of that for my report.
Dean had a meeting for a welfare presentation at 6 pm in Patzicia. Since Marilyn is in the hospital, Dick went with him. It is over an hour away and with the afternoon traffic in this city they needed to be on the road before 4 pm. Dick walked in the door at 9 pm.

5 March 2009…..Thursday
We took Sister Barney to the Central Mission office this morning. Traffic was better today.
I typed up an email to go to the specialists about Sunday’s meeting. Dick talked to Hanna and also to Joane’s husband in Belize and they both agreed to start paying, even a partial payment. Both of the women dropped out of school and have never made a payment. It will be a big break through if I see that they have actually made some kind of a payment when I go to the PEF administration website next week.
We came home at lunch time and I stayed home. Dick went back to the office. I ended up taking a hour and a half nap. It is amazing. I sleep 8 hours most nights but still I am always tired. Dick says that is what a mission is all about, that he was always tired even as a young missionary in Argentina. What better way to wear ourselves out than in the service of the Lord!
Blackburns, Tilleys and us went out to dinner to a new place, Casa de Sanchez. It is a good steak restaurant. Today is Kristy’s 6th birthday. Myrna, being a photographer, does a great blog with pictures of the girls.

6 March 2009 2009…..Friday
My heart is broken. When I turned on the computer this morning I found an email from Maren with the news that Chad Porter had been killed in a head-on collision in Utah. His parents are our wonderful friends, Dee and Kris Porter. We know firsthand the tragedy of a young father being taken from his wife and young children. They have the added grief of losing a child.
I worked on a new assignment…..tracking the daily payments that the bank sends electronically. My heart certainly wasn’t in my work today. By the time we got home this afternoon I had a knot in my stomach. I chewed up some Pepto Bismol and lay down.
The bright spot today was Marilyn being released from the hospital. She looks very good. They have neo-natal clinics going on in El Salvador and Nicaragua next week so they fly out early in the morning. They were very impressed with the hospital, the doctor and the care she had. Typhoid Fever is very serious and the greatest risk comes six weeks to two months later because of what happens to the intestines. She has to avoid fat and anything that causes gas.

7 March 2009…..Saturday
About 9 pm last night I was really not feeling well. I finally used Imodium and went to bed at midnight. This morning I tried to pull myself together but ended up lying down again. I seldom go a day without make up, but this was one of them. I slept off and on much of the day. I feel very weak and have no appetite. We were planning on going to Central Market with Blackburns but there was no way I could do that. Dick went next door to Tilleys for fish tacos at dinner time. Dr. Taylor came to the door to borrow an egg and see if I needed anything.
This afternoon Dick called Richard and Debbie Krelle in Hacienda Heights, CA. We have wondered how Art Krelle is doing. We had sent him a Shutterfly card six months ago, telling him that we were in Guatemala as missionaries. It was returned. That worried me. Dick talked to Debbie and found out that Art is 97 and has moved to another senior living home, closer to them. He needs more help than she is able to give. He still goes to Church every Sunday. He is very special to us and he has been very kind to our little grandchildren as he spent every FHE with us after Katie died. We have a new address so we will send another card.

8 March 2009…..Sunday
I tried to get ready for Church but ended up back on the bed with no energy. I slept most of the morning. I did pull myself together in the afternoon. We had a 4:00 pm meeting with the stake and district leaders from the Guatemala City Central Mission area.
We only had 8 in our group and we had hoped for 15. Every other meeting we have done has had someone to represent each stake and district. This had one very promising result. Central Mission’s President Baldwin was in our meeting and he said he learned far more than he ever knew. He is responsible for eight districts and he wants us to travel and do a Saturday night meeting at District conferences for prospective students, parents and leaders. That is a great opening for us. We had the president of one district with us and they have no participants at all. There is a lot of work to be done in the outlying areas with no stakes.
I need to get over whatever has slowed me down. We will be gone from Tuesday morning till Thursday morning with the returning missionaries at the Casa de Húespedes and the Employment Center.

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