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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, January 31, 2010

Journal - January 25 - 31

25 January 2010…..Monday
Today is birthday celebration time. Dennis is 43 and Paul is 45. Now that Lester is about to leave on his mission he is not volunteering at the office. I am now the lucky person that gets to do all that Spanish typing for the PEF exceptions. But, that is good.

This morning we learned that young Porter McGary was going to the states for surgery, for what they believe to be a tear in the aorta. His mother took a commercial flight to Houston very early this morning to be there when he arrives. Wal-Mart, his dad’s employer, chartered a medevac plane to take Porter to Houston. We offer our concerns and prayers for him and his family. Dr. MacArthur said his internal injuries of a “blown apart” kidney and a tear in the aorta would be typical of falling off a 14 story building.

Tonight was Family Home Evening, hosted by Blackburns but at Cazier’s apartment because it is larger than their apartment. We had to act out a verse from the Old Testament. Very interesting but funny. Dick and Dr. Mac took Gert home.

This evening I got an email from Lori. It was great news. Today a temple was announced for Payson, UT. My dream, for many years, was to someday live close to a temple. Here in Guatemala City we are closer to a temple than we have ever been…..less than 15 minutes. I mapped on Google the distance from our piece of dirt in Salem to the temple site. Just about 6 miles.

26 January 2010…..Tuesday
Today is Trevor’s 5th birthday! I stayed home today. I didn’t feel well yesterday and today I suspect I have a sinus infection. I took a Benadryl at 7 am to see if it would help my symptoms. I think I have to take a Benadryl every 10 years just to remind myself NOT to take Benadryl. I slept till noon, got up for awhile, then back to bed for a few more hours. So now I am trying to separate the symptoms from the intense grogginess I get from the antihistamine.

Last night our newest missionary couple arrived. They have moved into Bawden’s old apartment on the fifth floor. They are Elder and Sister Paul Hatch from Glendora, California. He is a former L.A. temple president and mission president. They are assigned to the Guatemala City Central Mission so they won’t be working in the Area Office with the rest of us.

While Dick and Jim were at YM meeting, Rexene went up to the MacArthur’s apartment and picked up some antibiotics for me. A sure sign that I don’t feel well is, not only did I not put on makeup today, I didn’t even get dressed.

There was good news from Texas. Porter McGary did not need surgery. There was no torn aorta and he is healing and sitting up and hopefully will be able to come back to Guatemala next week. Dr. Mac just shutters at the “specialists” here who wanted to do open heart surgery for a tear in the aorta.

27 January 2010…..Wednesday
After all the sleep yesterday, I slept eleven hours last night. I finally put on makeup and did my hair this afternoon and made a salad. At 6 pm we went to Tomkinsons for dinner with all the senior missionaries, the Johnsons, the Martinos, and the Clarkes. Also there was the Bawdens. They have just returned from a trip with Martinos and Clarkes to El Mirador. It is a major archeological find north of Tikal. They flew up by helicopter on Monday, spent one night, and then flew back here on Tuesday. They had a personal guided tour with Richard Hansen who has supervised all the discoveries in El Mirador the last 30 years. They said he really does look like Indiana Jones. Fifty-one cities have been partially unearthed. They had a marvelous experience. The only other way to get to El Mirador is two days by horseback. Bawdens fly out in the morning to return home to Sandy, UT. They took one of our suitcases with them and Kristen will go get it from them in a few days. They are the ones who put the idea in our head of sending some of our things back. They sent ten suitcases home with various people before they left Guatemala. So, many of the things we bought to decorate our apartment are sitting in a suitcase, soon to be in Utah.

28 January 2010…..Thursday
As I was reading in III Nephi this morning I thought, once again, of the law of consecration. Living here in this apartment building that Sister Clarke calls “the Mormon dorm,” is like we having everything in common. Whatever any of us need, someone else has, and freely shares. It is an incredible additional blessing to serving a mission, as many areas of service for senior couples do not include such associations. We feel watched out for and taken care of. Of course, the downside is, I tend to stay up when the Tilleys have to be out late so I can be sure they are safely home before I go to bed. Jim always greets me with, “we’re home Mom.”

Dick went to the office very early and then came back for me at 10:30 am. I typed up all the exceptions that he had worked on, but in an hour, I was ready to come home. By 7 pm I was shaking with chills so I took my temperature….98.6. That is a fever for me as normal for me is 96.8. Fifteen minutes later it had gone up a little. Thirty minutes later I called Dr. Mac. He was on Skype with his brother who just got back from Haiti with the Church team of doctors. He had to perform a lot of amputations. The doctor came down a little later (I waited till O’Reilly was about over so I wouldn’t disturb him). I never would call a doctor that quickly, but he is so convenient and when you live in a third world country you tend to be a little more cautious. He said I probably just had the flu. Hopefully, the sinus problem will be cleared up by the antibiotics I have been on for three days. My temperature has gone up even more so now it is time to just crawl into bed.

29 January 2010…..Friday
I actually slept well last night but I woke up feeling pretty crummy. About 3 pm I got dressed but I lay around all day. Blackburns brought a pan of homemade chicken soup for dinner. Rexene also made chicken soup for us but since we already had a pan full she brought over some hot biscuits. Yes, we are well cared for. Dick brought me a chocolate shake when he came home.

We were planning an all day trip to Quiriqua (ruins) tomorrow but since I am sick the group has postponed it.

30 January 2010…..Saturday
Dick went to McDonald’s and brought breakfast home. It tasted pretty good to me. He then went to the office and spent four hours. I spent the day laying around and reading. Soon after he came home he grabbed his tool box and went upstairs to help Hatches put together a desk, a chair, and a bookcase they had bought. No kidding, it took three hours for Dick, Jim, Wayne, the Doc, and Elder Hatch to put those three items together. Dick has always been Mr. Handy-man, but his vision interferes a lot now. Elder Hatch is 80 but a vibrant 80. But, Wayne and Jim are still in their fifties. The other wives were up there with them so they had plenty of good supervision.

31 January 2010…..Sunday
It feels weird to be home on a Sunday morning. Our little branch had to sing acapella today without me and the teclado there. There was no way I was well enough to be there. Dick went with Tilleys to El Molino Stake. Jim had a security presentation to do because some members have been the victims of extortion. He wanted Dick with him to help with the Spanish questions. Tilleys brought dinner to us.

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