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, June 28, 2009

Week of 22nd of June to 28th of June, 2009

22 June 2009…..Monday
I tried to sleep a little longer today but I was awake before the alarm went off and stayed awake. Dick went off to the office. I lay in bed as long as I could. Between sessions at the computer replying to emails, I lay on the couch. The most important things in healing from typhoid fever are:
1) Diet….which is very restricted….the doctor says I will probably lose ten more pounds.
2) Rest… I will be very obedient in both aspects
The most dangerous time of typhoid is not during the infection but up to 2 months after. Eating the wrong foods that cause gas can actually cause the perforation of the intestine which leads to peritonitis. Typhoid causes changes in the intestines that make them vulnerable. At the end of two months they return to normal so the restricted diet is not forever, thank goodness.
Dick came home mid-day and brought some things I can have: skim milk, potatoes, three kinds of squash, carrots, bananas, white bread and Cheerios. He is busy at the office making preparations for returning missionaries tomorrow.
Tonight is the potluck dinner at the Clarke’s patio for Elder and Sister Christensen who have been reassigned to Salt Lake. I have really enjoyed them. He is a soft-spoken, kind man, an apple farmer from Washington who was called to be a member of the Second Quorum of Seventy. His first wife died a few years ago and two years ago he married Marlene. She is a cousin to his first wife and he had never met Marlene until the funeral for his wife. The sisters across the hall asked Dick for a ride but it turned out that only Darlene was going and the two of them couldn’t go together so Jim Tilley came and got them. Sister T is home like me, trying to recover from typhoid. Sister Jones is packing up. She will leave tomorrow morning for her flight home to Lakewood, CA. I will really miss her exuberance and joy. She is an exceptional person.


23 June 2009…..Tuesday
We got mail! Dick brought home a stack of mail from the office yesterday....Spencer’s graduation announcement, pictures from Jill, Father’s Day cards from Jill and Alison, card and Relief Society newsletter from Cyndy. They may have been there awhile. Our mail is put into the PEF box and Reynaldo hadn’t checked it in awhile. My sweet visiting teacher in Juniper Ward, Cei Kratz, sends me a monthly email that informs me what is going on in our ward and always presents a beautiful lesson to me. It is always a welcome contact from home.
This morning I awoke at 4:40 am as I heard Tilleys car start down in the garage. They took Sister Jones to the airport. Thankfully, I finally went back to sleep for awhile. Dick went to the store to get juice, apples and crackers for the returning missionaries and then he left for the Casa de Hu├ęspedes. He can handle the next three days without me and I can stay home and rest. He is only fifteen minutes away if traffic is good.
The doctor told me no housework but I finally gave in and swept my wood floors. That wore me out. I have rested much of the day, though I did start a Shutterfly photo book of the pictures we took at Mother’s funeral and the wonderful time we had visiting with our family. I even went next door to help Jim with his first Shutterfly book.
We have two new senior sister missionaries who live on the first floor. Sister Oreamano arrived yesterday from Costa Rica. Sister Bingham came from St. George and even knows Algene and Dixon Graff, our cousins. Algene and Dick are first cousins. I don’t know how to count what level of cousins Dixon and I are. When we traveled with them to Switzerland I overheard her telling someone else in our group that she descended from a Mayflower passenger who was the first man executed in America for murder. I said “John Billington.” Yes, we are cousins.
I had a surprise. Dick came home tonight about 8 pm. He will go back very early to spend the day with the missionaries again. He would have had to share his room with two of them tonight because the Casa is full of Nicaraguans who traveled 19 hours by bus to attend the temple and will be there till Friday. The temple is so important in the life of the faithful. I am in awe of those who go forward with faith. So, anyway, Dick is here and besides, he said he wanted to check on me. I did talk to him this afternoon on Tilleys phone but our only phone is Dick’s cell phone.
My food intake today was Cheerios, tomato soup, banana, and part of a roll made by Rexene, peach nectar, and stewed tomatoes with eggs like Daddy used to cook for breakfast. I sure miss the butter and the pepper. Tilleys brought over some sorbet and that was a nice finish. The portions are small. The doctor said not to eat any more than I feel like eating. We have part of a box of See’s chocolates in the closet but they aren’t even a temptation. It may be two months before I can have one.


24 June 2009…..Wednesday

Dick was up and gone early. He has a busy day ahead of him. There are 5 missionaries from districts and that means Dick has to arrange for their release by the three mission presidents here in the city.
I try hard to sleep but it isn’t easy and when I do I have the strangest dreams. Having a nap has been impossible the last week. I tried for an hour and a half today but it was fruitless. We had wonderful rain and thunder today. We even had hail. I didn’t think it would hail in Guatemala. Tilleys came in and visited awhile and then Sarah was here. My evening was very quiet. I got some reading done and worked on my photo book. So far it is a pretty boring week if I compare it to the last couple of weeks. I like boring but I am never bored. It is a time to do some things I want to get done. I have had wonderful “get well” emails from family and special friends.


25 June 2009…..Thursday
Today was very unproductive though I did have a very good night. I have had a headache, another typhoid symptom, which has kept me laying down much of the day. My headache meds from home say “caffeine” in big letters and that is a no-no for my intestines. So, I just tried to ride it out. I am feeling better now. We had another hail storm today. I love weather and I relish the thunderstorms, but meanwhile, parts of this country have started major mud slides again and that is devastating. That will continue until the rain ends by November 1st.
I did discover something today. I can call Dick’s cell phone from my computer with Skype. That does give us a little more communication when he leaves to run an errand. He just can’t call me. Dick arrived home this afternoon. He had gone to the office after all the returning missionaries were safely on their way. Patty from the Employment Center gave him a get well card for me. I sliced up and cooked a few zucchini, threw 2 potatoes in the microwave, and I had chicken and Dick had steak that Tilleys had cooked on Sunday. Tomorrow I see Dr. Tarot and I have a lot of questions about more things I can and cannot eat. Dick had the audacity to eat some chocolate in front of me. I’m sure it wouldn’t taste that good to me write now even if I could have it.


26 June 2009…..Friday

I woke up with legs, calves and thighs aching. I had a doctor’s appointment at 11:15 this morning and Dr. Tarot said the leg aches and headaches are the typhoid. He said I was the first patient who ever came in with a list of foods to see what I could eat. He liked that. He is taking his family on vacation to the Pacific coast, but he has told several of us that if any of us missionaries have health problems to call on his cell phone. He said he would even drive back (3 hours) to take care of us. He spent 45 minutes with us, answering questions and then checking me. He told us our young missionary was being released from the hospital today. He will be released from his mission as it will be 6 months before he could work and 2 years to fully recover, but he had malaria, dengue fever, and Hepatitis C in addition to typhoid fever. His recovery is a miracle.
After my appointment we went to Paiz so I could pick out some foods I can have: jello, sherbet, marshmallows (something sweet), juices, rice, and bananas. I can have honey and jelly so that will help disguise the lack of butter on toast. I was more than ready to come home and put my feet up. We had to report to Sarah that she can NOT have avocado or lettuce. Basically the diet is no grease, no uncooked vegetables, no citrus, no beans, broccoli, cabbage, etc, or anything that causes gas. Bill Blackburn brought me some cream of wheat leftover from their breakfast. It is very hard to find here as is my favorite Malt-o-Meal. Later they brought Dick a piece of pumpkin dessert.


27 June 2009…..Saturday
My legs were achy this morning and I have had a sciatic type pain angling down the front of my left thigh. When I told Sister Barney she said that Sister Jones had the same complaint. These typhoid effects are interesting. I was feeling much better as the day wore on. The doctor told me yesterday I could use my Fioricet for headache, even though it lists caffeine in big letters and is a no-no on my restricted diet. I finally gave up and took one today and it has helped. Dick washed sheets and other loads of laundry, flipped my mattress, cleaned the shower and generally took care of things that needed to be done. The sisters took our car for a few hours. Tilleys came over and visited and the sisters brought over the treasures they found at Central Market for me to see.
We finally got our May “Liahona” (Ensign/Friend/New Era combo for other countries). Don’t know where it has been but I was delighted to find that they used the same pictures as the “Ensign” and there on page two was the picture of Jessi and her friends
Dick left with the Tilleys and Blackburns to go to our little branch and cook the meat for a dinner tonight. I have rested on the couch most of the day except for folding some laundry and cooking rice for my breakfast and tapioca for dinner.
While I waited for Dick to return I finished reading a book that Sister Barney loaned me. I want my own copy so I will order it from Deseret Book and have it shipped to Kristen to put into my Rubbermaid container at her house. It is entitled Odds Are You’re Going To Be Exalted with a sub title of “evidence that the Plan of Salvation works” by Alonzo L. Gaskill. I highly recommend it!


28 June 2009…..Sunday
I awoke with a headache but my legs are much improved. Dick awoke and started getting ready for Church. I saw him lying on the couch and he wasn’t feeling well. I convinced him to climb back into his already made bed. I took his temperature. It was 36.8 Centigrade. The doctor told me if I were to start running a temperature I was to call him if it reached 37.5. I went on to Google today and found out that 98.6 equals 37 so he is not running a temperature. He slept 3 ½ hours and is feeling better.
We seem to have a lot of “small world” incidences. Jim Tilley often remarks how we seem to know a lot of people in common with others. Well, now I have a real small world incidence for the Tilleys. Our friends, Nan and Chris Hansen, formerly of La Verne, now in South Carolina, emailed today. Last week a new member of their ward spoke in sacrament meeting. His name is Jared Tilley. Today Hansens found out that his parents serve with us in Guatemala. Tilleys got a kick out of that.
I cooked a packet of chicken noodle soup today. It tasted good to both of us. Blackburns came by with some cantaloupe and angel food cake. The cake was just what I needed….sweet, tender, and no fat. Brother Anderson, who is here with his wife from BYU for nine months, brought Dick two chocolate chip cookies. I went across the hall to the hermanas and weighed on their scale. I seem to be hanging in there and haven’t lost any weight in the last few days.