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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, September 6, 2009

Journal - Week of August 31 - September 6

31 August 2009…..Monday

Last night Kathy Anderson came to our door and invited us to have warm peach cobbler with ice cream. It was delicious. We all gathered and spent two hours just talking and it was very enjoyable. The Taylors are in Panama so they left the keys to their car with us as our car will be repaired this week.


This morning Dick left for the office at 7 am to work on an Excel form when he had Reynaldo available to help him. A little later I went with Rexene in Tilley’s car and Jim drove Taylor’s car to the office. We all left an hour later. Dick took our car to the shop. Rexene and I went to the Casa de Huéspedes where the temple missionaries live on the third floor. Jim picked up Dick and they went to the Casa also. We took Elder and Sister Williams and Elder and Sister Brady to do some shopping. They don’t have cars and their only day off beside Sunday is Monday. Williams got in Tilleys car and Bradys went with us. First Bradys wanted to go to Puerta del Sol. While we were there I found marshmallow cream so I bought two. I also found Ranch dressing mix which I haven’t seen since coming here. Then we took them to Price Smart (Costco) where we met up with Tilleys and Williams. When Williams were through they checked out and Jim took them home and then came back to the store. Brady’s filled two baskets to more than heaping. The funny part was watching them and Dick loading it into Taylor’s car. It was piled to the roof in the back of the Corolla station wagon, and the back seat where Sister Brady sat was also stacked high. The car even rode low. I got in Tilleys car with their groceries and ours and we followed Dick over to the Casa to help unload and carry things up to their apartment. As soon as we started unloading two sister missionaries, Americans, came out of the CCM, followed by a handful of young elders. They made short work of carrying things into the elevator for the ride to the third floor.


We came home and unloaded the car and had a bite of lunch. We bought a rotisserie chicken at Price Smart and we had some of it for lunch. We got back to the office and had work to do. I got the loan payments entered. I also completed my contacts with the Belize PEF participants. I had tried all month to contact Hanna with several emails and by phone. All to no avail. So, I emailed one of our participants, Leovany Lopez. He wrote back telling me that Hanna and family were well, that her husband is in the branch presidency and she works in Primary. Since Leovany is the district president and Hanna’s priesthood leader, I could add his email to the PEF website and complete the contacts for the month of August.


We got mail today….a letter from Nathan and a picture of him and one of Tyler.


1 September 2009…..Tuesday

Another month has passed and it is September already. This morning I printed my July and August record of PEF for the Area History and took them to Bonnie on the fifth floor to put in the history book.


In the Call Center for PEF we always have volunteers. At this time of year we also start getting interns from the university and some from high school. There are interns in many of the offices and departments. Today was the birthday of one of the volunteers. All of us in our area of the office gathered in the conference room for a big, delicious chocolate cake about 10:30 am. Renaldo cut the pieces very big. As a result, Dick and I totally skipped the lunch we had brought. I was full all day.


Each time a senior missionary goes home Marilyn Bawden puts together a small book for them. She puts each couple’s picture in the book and then we write a little note below our picture. It is sort of a memory book of all of us here. I will be taking over that responsibility now as the Bawdens are the next couple to leave. I will be doing a 5 x 7 Shutterfly Book. I will be able to do it on the internet and then mail it directly to their home. Today I began some preliminary work on it.


After Dick dropped me off and headed out for his shirts and two baking potatoes, I got a meat loaf going. After living off of that one piece of cake today we were ready for a little meat and potatoes.


2 September 2009…..Wednesday

This morning we had a meeting with the Area Presidency for about 20 minutes. We talked about PEF, about its progress and the things that we see and the job we do. Elder Clarke always has one question for us senior missionaries….”Are you happy?” That usually ends with, “then I’m happy, too.” We also talked about our replacement in July 2010. He wants us to recruit any friends who speak Spanish. One word to Elder Clarke and he can make it all happen. (Anyone wishing to apply…..email us!)


We have 5 new participants in Belize so there is more for me to contact. Today I sent some initial information to them about using the Fund. One of the new interns stopped to talk to us. It is Hermana Melchor, the Primary president in our branch. She is a cutie! I finally got the loan payment info for August 31st so that is entered and finished. Now I can start September’s loan report.


3 September 2009…..Thursday

The office is buzzing with so many young interns there for a month or two. I didn’t receive the Priesthood Report until 3 pm so I will start it tomorrow morning when my brain is fresh. It will keep me busy for a few days. We got mail. It was delivered by the office elders for Central Mission. Our prescriptions were sent there instead of the Area Office. That happened last time we ordered them, too. The padded bag sounded like a rattle. That’s because three of the prescription bottles arrived with the lids completely off and a mixture of a year’s supply of three medications rattling in the package.


We have a new senior missionary couple and they moved into the three bedroom apartment across the hall from us today. They are the Tompkins from Casa Grande, AZ. They have spent a year in Honduras teaching at a dental school. Now they will finish their mission here running the new dental clinic at the orphanage. We have met them on two different occasions. We three couples gathered at Tilleys tonight for dinner. I made Sandi Stratton’s rice cooked in coconut milk and I took watermelon and grapes. We had a good time, all six of us sitting around talking. The second floor will continue to be a neighborly place. The Tompkins are second cousins to the Johnsons.


4 September 2009….Friday

Today is Kristen’s 39th birthday. To me, Labor Day always represents giving birth to our youngest daughter. I was ready for the office today because the biggest job I do is breaking down the monthly Priesthood Report and emailing it to the priesthood leaders in Central America. I couldn’t begin immediately though, because I had to wait for Claudia to send me updated directories for the stake presidents, bishops, and letters that will accompany each mailing. I did finish the basic break down and hopefully I will have the letter by Monday so I can send the reports to each stake president.


Dick brought me home and then went to the body shop to see the status of our car. They haven’t started yet. The “wrong” door was delivered so they have to wait to get the correct door. That brings back memories of the nine years we owned a collision repair shop. Dick and Jim went to the airport to pick up Taylors at 8 pm from their trip south.


I promised Reynaldo that I would bring some fudge on Monday, so I have a job to get done tomorrow.

I will make my Aunt Lu Dean’s fudge recipe.


5 September 2009….Saturday

After I finished cleaning I made the fudge to take to the office on Monday. Since we don’t have our car back Dick couldn’t go out and run errands. That’s ok. The majority of his “errands” are created so he can drive around the city. I want no part of it! He did get to go to the Clarke’s apartment this evening for the BYU football game which, by all accounts, was awesome. I enjoyed my quiet evening.


6 September 2009…..Sunday

It was a good Sabbath Day. Being Fast Sunday, I took the opportunity to bear my testimony. There was a difference today. Instead of saying phrases that I had memorized, I just let it come from the heart, like my prayers. It is a sweet branch and I am so grateful to be attending there and able to contribute with the music.

Without a car, we are very grateful to hop in the back seat of Tilley’s car. Of course, even when we do have a car we often hop in with Tilleys. At 4:30 pm we left for the Baldwin’s house across the street from the temple. They always host our “Break the Fast” dinner. I made Linda’s “Wedding Salad” but I always throw in coconut and marshmallows. Bethany dubbed it “Piña Colada Salad.” I can’t buy Cool Whip here so I whipped up two cartons of cream with the mixer I borrowed from Tilleys. It turned out great. It was a most congenial dinner and we all enjoyed the visit with one other.


Views of the grounds and the interior of the house where we hold our Sunday meetings:









1 comment:

The Struthers Clan said...

Thank you once again for your journal writing and for being such wonderful examples to your family! I have a cousin that lives in Casa Grande. Ask them if they know Don & Bettie Colson. Have a great week!