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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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Week of May 4th - May 10th 2009

4 May 2009…..Monday
My morning began in the Tilley’s apartment. Patty Alvarez came for our Spanish lesson. Today was all about prepositions. We won’t have any lessons for a few weeks because she flies to SLC tomorrow for the wedding of her niece.
I never received the loan report for April 30, or the first days of May. Tomorrow I will have several hundred to enter and it will be a big project. We left for home about 4 pm but it took almost 30 minutes to get our car out of the parking garage because two people had parked in front of us. Generally, visitors park in a lot across the street and the garage is for a few employees and missionaries.
Dick dropped me off and headed off on an errand….he loves to drive around…..I don’t. He came home with his repaired suit pants and some pastries. He took some to Blackburns. Soon after he got home the power went off. It was cloudy but no rain. Darlene Barney came over and cut my hair because it was lighter in our apartment with the southern exposure than her northern exposure. The Tilleys came in and the visiting went on while Darlene shaped up my hair. After she left Rexene brought in four lighted candles, and with the addition of a flash light we sat at our table and played dominoes. It was a wonderful relief when the lights came on. Just about 9 pm Bill brought us some homemade bread. It will taste great for breakfast.
Got a Mother’s Day card today from Jill with a couple of pictures. Five days from Corona to Guatemala City.

5 May 2009…..Tuesday
I finally got the loan report for April 30. I was glad to have it. I don’t have any of the days in May yet so when I get it I will have a lot to catch up. The internet was down all afternoon. I was able to work on my Area History for April and the specialist report because they are documents and I had access to them. Alberts came into our office about 2 pm. They have a lot of frustrations trying to get everything together to proceed with the dental clinic. The church is paying for it but it is being funded through the owner of the orphanage, which it will be part of. It would take years to get permits to do it otherwise. The church will also staff it.
We got home just before the heavens let loose with a thunderstorm and heavy rain. We love it! We had leftovers from our Sunday dinner so we invited Alberts and Blackburns to bring their leftovers and come eat with us. Kim Taylor came to our door when I was cleaning the kitchen and brought ginger snaps that contain pepper. They were still warm and very good.
Today we were very concerned for Darlene Barney. Her son was having biopsies of his kidney and bladder because of suspected cancer cells. The doctors were very pleased with the way everything looked but the results won’t be available for a week or so. Darlene was smiling and relieved. The family was so afraid because of his history of bladder cancer.

6 May 2009…..Wednesday
It was an interesting night. I chewed up a couple of Pepto Bismol before going to bed last night, but in a few hours I was up. It must have been something I ate or maybe it was the results of the flu shot last week. The doctor said we could get flu symptoms in a week or so. Thank goodness for Imodium. I was finally able to get some sleep about 7:30 am and didn’t get up till noon. I was very achy yesterday so I might have known something was coming on.
Dick went to the office. He had plenty there to keep him busy. I lay around all day. Rexene came to our door this morning with large, fresh cinnamon rolls.

7 May 2009…..Thursday
The stomach discomforts are finally gone but I am still a little achy and wiped out. Dick went to the office without me, but came home for lunch. After his day at the office he went to Zurich Chocolateria and got me some cold chocolate milk, then to Taco Bell for chalupas and fries. What a sweetheart! I am feeling much better this evening. The rain is coming down and we love it.

8 May 2009…..Friday

I went to the office today. I’m still frustrated with the lack of loan info for me and Sergio was not there. We had a call from Telma, Elder Clarke’s secretary, asking us to meet with him. So we went upstairs and spent about ten minutes with him. We enjoyed the time sitting across from him and talking about what we are doing and what we hope to accomplish. He and Reynaldo are always saying to us, “and you are staying three years!” Because he talked about my scones I told him I would make them for Monday night when we host Family Home Evening. I guess Dick will have to cook because I will be teaching the lesson.
We got home at 2 pm after stopping at Paiz to get some scone ingredients. Dick went back to the office and took Jim with him and Rexene came in and visited with me for awhile. I got some laundry done and some packing done for our trip tomorrow to Tiquisate with the Baldwins.
We went over to Tilleys and played dominoes with them and Darlene and Kathy.

9 May 2009…..Saturday

This morning I finished the packing for our overnight trip with Baldwins. We were planning on leaving at 9 am but he had a missionary problem and we didn’t leave till 11 am. That was fine. It gave us some time with the computer and our presentation since we are doing something a little different this time.
We met the Baldwins at the area office and left our car there. Our drive to Tiquisate went very well.
Dick and Sister Baldwin talking to the zone leaders and district leaders

The chapel in Santa Lucia

Dick and a young elder

President Baldwin, Dick and the District President in Tiquisate. He stopped by the church on his way home from a trip to Costa Rica

President Baldwin is a former Air Force pilot and I had heard stories about how fast he drives. The young missionaries will put their arms out the window thinking that will help them “take off.” We headed directly south to the Escuintla area. We stopped in one little area at a large beautiful chapel. Waiting inside were two elders, the reasons why the Baldwins had slept only one hour on Friday night. President did interviews with them and one will be transferred. The mission is getting 20 more missionaries in three weeks and that will bring their total to 200 young people that they parent and look out after. I am so in awe of the role of mission president and wife. They carry a tremendous load that requires boundless energy, especially with the challenges of a third world country. I also understand why almost all mission presidents are in their fifties.
We arrived in Tiquisate shortly after 2 pm. It was HOT and HUMID! It felt good when the air conditioning and fans were fully going in the chapel. We got the computer and projector set up for the 5 pm meeting and everything was working well. At 3 pm was priesthood leadership meeting. The women, about 20 of us with a variety of children, went into an air conditioned office, the only other cool room in the building. There was a Relief Society meeting about food storage and sealing Mylar bags. Then the group split for meetings for leaders of Primary, Young Women and RS. Towards the end of the meeting the rain began to pour and the power went out. The 5 pm meeting got very iffy at that point. They had a generator but they couldn’t get it going because they had no gas for it. They took some bottles to go get gas but the Shell station across the street couldn’t pump gas without electricity. Meantime, President had to interview 5 men for priesthood advancement, so he took one at a time into his car to do so. Still no power, so we took down our computer, projector, and speakers. A little before 6 they started the adult meeting. It was getting darker. We had opening song, prayer, the brethren were approved for priesthood advancement, President spoke less than 10 minutes, we had a closing song and prayer and it was over. We did hand out the PEF literature we brought and we met two of the Fund participants. One is the district president. We carried everything to the car while we could still see where our things were and left. As we left, President remarked, “Why do we hold two hour meetings when we can do it in twenty minutes?” Good question.
Our original plan was to spend the night an hour and a half away on the shores of Atitlan. That is where Baldwin’s stay when they are out in the districts because there is no place nearby that you would want to lay your head down. But, the decision to cancel Sunday’s meeting was made because the governor of the area wants no meetings because of the flu scare. We and his counselor’s and their families headed back to Guatemala City. It rained and poured all the way. Much of the road is bad with construction and there were many trucks on the road. We are so glad we don’t try to go on our own or even try to follow and keep up with Baldwins. We all stopped in Esquintla at Sarita’s for dinner. That was a nice break and the rest of the drive home was finished in less than an hour, mostly city driving.
We couldn’t get our car out of the office garage at the late hour so Baldwins brought us to our apartment. He pulled into our garage and we were able to get unloaded without getting drenched. There was a cute painted magnet hanging on all our doors for Mother’s Day, probably hung there by Carolyn.

10 May 2009…..Sunday
Happy Mother’s Day! Dick bought me a box of Zurich dark chocolates. The problem is they don’t even look good right now. I was ready for Church but really wasn’t feeling well, nauseous and achy, so we stayed home. I slept for three hours this morning. Tilleys took Dick to the office so he could get our car and we spent the day lounging around the apartment.
At 5 pm we went to Tilleys along with President and Sister Baldwin and had an excellent meal. I was feeling a little better by then. I think it was the smell of her home made rolls wafting through the hallway that convinced me to get dressed and go. I borrowed Rexene’s yeast that she brought from Costco eight months ago and mixed up scone dough for FHE here in our apartment tomorrow evening.
It was a good Mother’s Day. It was the first dinner in 34 years that Dick didn’t have to cook for Mother’s Day. It was great seeing and talking to family on Skype and receiving emails from others. What great kids we have! We are so blessed. I got an extra special gift when Bethany and Scott told us that they are expecting a baby in January. We are very happy for them. That will be 31 grandchildren for us.

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