About Us

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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, July 5, 2009

Week of 29th of June to 5 th of July 2009

29 June 2009…..Monday
A new week has begun. Dick went to the office early but came back for me so I can spend a few hours there and attend the PEF Committee meeting scheduled today before Elder Clarke leaves for the month of July. I got hugs from Reynaldo, Claudia and Lester. Reynaldo is from Honduras. He had a radio going in his office, monitoring the situation in Honduras. He said the ouster of the president was the best thing that could happen. He does not like him and his policies and is very happy for the coup. Meanwhile, one of the mission presidents has served his three years and is heading home to Argentina, except he cannot leave the country. He and his wife are at the Marriott. They have room service but cannot get on the elevator. They must wait for some things with the country to be resolved so they can exit Honduras. The Tilleys were all packed, ready to drive to El Salvador for some security training with the missions there. Their plans were cancelled because security personnel here are now monitoring the events in Honduras and if there will be an impact on the 200 U.S. missionaries. Plans and planes are in place if they need to be evacuated. Last week Elder Clarke had instructed that the missionaries stay in their apartments till things are better.
After the meeting Dick brought me home. He went to the cleaners and then Paiz for a little protein (chicken) for me. He loves having places to go and things to do. Always has. Meanwhile, I lay on the couch and watched the evolving weather. Directly out our big window were some clouds, some blue sky and sun. I could hear thunder and I looked east and the sky was very dark and there was a rainbow, first I have seen here. Then the thunder got extremely loud and ferocious and it started to pour, but only for a few minutes. It all passed and was quickly gone. Love it! The refrigerator technician came and fixed our noisy, freezing refrigerator.

30 June 2009…..Tuesday
Today is the last day of June and such an interesting month it has been. The first days of the month were filled with great concern for Mother. Then she died on the 6th. We left for California on the 7th and feel very blessed to have been there at such an important time. We also enjoyed a wonderful visit with our children and grandchildren who were able to be there. But, we were more than ready to return to Guatemala. We came back on the 15th and on the 16th I was diagnosed with Typhoid Fever. I was hospitalized on the 18th and released on the 21st. I was very obedient to the doctor’s orders to rest and so I didn’t go to the office at all until yesterday. Today is Army Day in Guatemala and a holiday so the office is closed. I plan to go to the office the rest of the week but only for part of each day.
True to form, Dick had some things to do today. He went to his dermatologist to get some type of receipt to submit to our insurance in SLC. Our Blue Cross does not cover us here. Then he had to go to the office to make copies of the receipts. As long as he was out enjoying the day he found other needful things, like light bulbs for our recessed lighting.
We spent the rest of the day in the comfort of our apartment, enjoying a wonderful, booming thunderstorm that produced rain for quite awhile. A small loaf of bread appeared on our doorstep, obviously from Rexene.

Tonight Dick baked cookies from a Betty Crocker mix. He can enjoy the whole batch. Thus the month of June 2009 has passed in a brief moment in time.

1 July 2009…..Wednesday
It took me some time to get going this morning. Actually I felt weaker than I have in days and I was nauseous. But at 9 am we left for the office. I sent our monthly email to the 19 Guatemala City stake specialists for their June report. I also completed a short history and attached a picture of us and mailed it to the committee for my 50th high school reunion. Wow! Where have those fifty years gone!
Dick brought me home before 1 pm and I actually was able to fall asleep for about an hour. Our neighbors continue to check on my well being. I am doing better than I was this morning.

2 July 2009…..Thursday

I went to the office for the morning. Came home for the afternoon. Had a 40 minute nap. Such an exciting day!

3 July 2009…..Friday
Today is Alison’s 40th birthday!! Our kids keep getting older and so do we. I was at the office today till after 2 pm but more than ready to come home. PEF had a volunteer to send the Priesthood Report to the stake presidents and district presidents each month. However, the volunteer is no longer able to do it so I get to do it. Claudia showed me how to take the report that is 283 pages and isolate each individual stake and district and save them as separate reports. That took me two hours but Claudia and Reynaldo were surprised how quickly I had done it. Monday she will show me how to send the individual reports to each of the 90 stake presidents and the 60 district presidents. After that I will take each of the 150 reports and break them down to participants by each ward and branch and then send it to each bishop and branch president. That will take me many more hours.
Yesterday I made a list of food I can and cannot have for one of the Church employees who had typhoid fever before I got it. She has several children and the prospect of not being able to eat beans is daunting to her as that is a mainstay in the Guatemalan diet.

4 July 2009…..Saturday
American Independence Day! There has never been a day when I haven’t felt the blessings of democracy and liberty. I appreciate those blessings more than ever. We must do all within our power to preserve our God-inspired Constitution and keep the American people free from tyranny from without and within.
With the events of the last four weeks I haven’t been able to do a good cleaning, so today that happened. I even had enough energy to get through it. Our door was open this morning so we had all kinds of visiting going on in our living room. I continued to work because I knew I would run out of steam sooner than later. Tilleys were here, Sister Thibault, and Sisters Bingham and Oreamano. (I know that is spelled wrong but someday I will get it right). Taylors came by….just people popping in and out asking questions, etc. Taylors brought me their scale so I can monitor my weight more closely.
At 2 pm we went up on the roof for a 4th of July barbecue.

The Andersons (the BYU professor) found a small charcoal barbecue so we all went in together to purchase it. The guys barbecued chicken, hamburgers and hotdogs. There was a ton of food. I could eat the chicken, watermelon and I had a piece of cherry pie that I ate only the filling and left the crust for Dick. It was beautiful on the roof today….warm, not hot, a little breezy and no rain. We have had a lot of rain the last few weeks so this was perfect.

At 3:30 pm Dick and Jim left for Patzicia Stake where Dick is speaking at a stake function about the need for education. This is the only all indigenous stake in Central America. Bless his heart, Jim volunteered the other day to go with him so I wouldn’t have to go. It is an hour fifteen minute drive. Dick drove going and Jim drove home when it was dark. Tilleys are our guardian angels.
We had fireworks! At 7 pm Sisters Thibault and Barney were at my door, beckoning and tempting me with sparklers. They got Rexene and the four of us went to the roof with 6 sparklers between us. We lit them, waved them around, and celebrated the birth of our country. Ten minutes later we were all back in our apartments. Dick and Jim arrived home a little after 8 pm.

5 July 2009…..Sunday
We were out the door by 7:30 this morning, heading for Don Justo Ward in Guatemala Stake. They have a new PEF specialist who needed to be trained. The stake specialists are also the stake employment specialists, two callings that work hand in hand. It has been awhile since we have had a new specialist to train. The stake center is about 30 minutes away on the road to El Salvador. It is a beautiful, large building on large grounds. The Church does not scrimp on the beauty of the buildings built in this country. Of course, like most, it is gated behind an iron fence.
Some things were interesting to me. A taxi pulled in just in front of us and a lone boy of about twelve got out. The benches were actually padded and a beautiful aqua hue. There was prelude music by a pianist and there were hymnbooks passed out to those who needed them (everywhere else we have been the people always bring their own and so do we). The large chapel was quite full and it looked like a ward at home….lots of babies and not anyone in indigenous dress. There was a baby about six months old in front of us and he had “Ava” cheeks, the kind you just want to kiss. Elder Fallabella, of the Area Presidency, is a member of the ward. He helped bless his baby granddaughter and I got tears as I thought of our next grandchild coming in January.
After Sunday School we met with Brother Leiva, the PEF specialist. He had his nine month old daughter with him, “la última¨ he said, meaning ¨the last.¨ He has a child 25 and is a grandfather. He has four children with his first wife and four with his last. The baby was adorable but would not come to me, just buried her face in her daddy’s chest.
Jim brought pie over and I will eat just the fruit filling. Blackburns were grinding wheat for bread and they did some cracked wheat and brought it down for us. I love to cook cracked wheat for breakfast. Love our neighbors!

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