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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, February 7, 2010

Journal - February 1 - 7

1 February 2010…..Monday
Last night Dick called and talked to Alie. It was her baptism day! This morning Dick left early. I am still weak and can’t get rid of a headache. He left the office shortly after noon and went to the airport to help pick up the Andersons who are returning from a trip to the U.S. They brought Neil’s parents back with them, so they needed two cars for extra people and extra luggage. Dick came home for awhile and then left to go pick-up the Bradys and take them shopping at a couple of stores. Temple missionaries have no car and their only day to shop is on a Monday. He brought Taco Bell home for dinner.

Tonight was our scheduled night to host Family Home Evening, but our neighbors decided on Friday that it would be too much for me, and they were right. I thought I would have been completely well by now. So, Tomkinsons had a get together, Dick went, and I stayed home on the couch. Then he and Jim took Gert home. As I look at Dick’s day….the office early, helping Andersons, then Bradys, and then Gert….my thought is…this is Dick. This has always been Dick. ALWAYS willing to help and be of service. For most people it is a trait to be learned. For Dick, it is inborn. His parents and his sister were people who were always willing to serve. It is from the Graffs that I learned commitment and service, though I have a long way to go to ever catch up with the total willingness of Dick and my in-law family. He is never too tired, never too busy, to be of service to others and especially to the Lord. That is why I love him so much. I saw all of this in him when he was only 23 and we were dating. I chose the right man to be the father of my children.

2 February 2010…..Tuesday
A small, colorful reminder of things to come…..a few blossoms are showing on the huge jacaranda trees out our windows. I wonder how long before the trees will be full of purple. I stayed home again with no let up on the headache and still a little wobbly.

Dick and Jim went to a combined YM/YW meeting that they were in charge of. They took pizza because they knew the kids would be hungry. School has started, and therefore Seminary. It is held at the Carrias home and Doris teaches. They meet every week day at 5 pm. With YM at 6 pm there is no time to go home to eat for the kids.

Yesterday I read of the tragic death of two young missionaries in Romania due to a natural gas leak in their apartment. Rexene’s nephew serves in the same mission and he had been the companion to one of the elders for three months.

3 February 2010…..Wednesday
Another day and still the same headache, but much improved by evening. Dick came home for lunch and brought me a baked potato and a frosty from Wendy’s. Tonight, Blackburns brought some delicious cookies. I am hoping that tomorrow will be a much better day and that I can go to the office.

4 February 2010…..Thursday
It was a better day. I went to the office and everyone was glad to see me. I was able to get all my emails read and cleaned up. Dick brought me home in the early afternoon because I had run out of steam.

5 February 2010…..Friday
I got all ready to go to the office today but, due to an upset stomach, Dick left and I stayed home. I slept for awhile. I lay in bed, wondering if I could get KFI radio from Los Angeles. I got up and googled KFI and, low and behold, there was the dulcet tones of Rush. It is an amazing world with everything at our fingertips on the internet.

Today would have been Mom Graff’s 99th birthday. She died when she was 50, less than two months before Jeff was born. I have missed her immensely over the years. For the 13 months Dick and I dated and the 3 months we were engaged, I spent a lot of time with Mom. Many times Dick would be out back, working on someone’s car. I spent time in the kitchen with Mom, and indeed, most of my cooking style came from her. She welcomed me into the family before we were even engaged because she could see that her son was “smitten.” It took someone else showing great interest (proposal) in me for Dick to see what he might lose. I think the saddest thing about losing her eleven months after our marriage was that none of our children knew her.

6 February 2010…..Saturday
Dick, Jim and Wayne left shortly after 5 am to travel to Retalhuleu and deliver school kits. Actually, the school kits have been delivered but they are there to make the formal presentation and hand them out.

The local paper did a very nice write-up yesterday of a donation on Wednesday. The Church has donated over 150,000 school kits that Curtiss’ oversee and they need help meeting the schedule of all the presentations. The guys got home shortly after 3 pm.

Meanwhile, a little before 3 pm Rexene took our car, along with Suzanne and Adele, and went to La Sabana to teach the Relief Society how to quilt. Only one sister was able to work on a quilt because she was the only one who had enough money to purchase the fabric she would need. I stayed home because I was pretty much wiped out from my cleaning activities this morning. It has been two weeks, and I need to get back my energy.

7 February 2010…..Sunday
It was very overcast this morning as we drove to Church. Just as we got in front of the yellow Catholic Church in La Sabana there were big green barrels in the road, preventing us from going any farther. So we drove back out to the highway and drove further to the military base. We knew that by going through the base we would come out in the upper part of La Sabana. And, we did. Dick has driven through the area so many times to do home teaching that he knew exactly which streets to take. At one point we were blocked again and there was a policeman standing there. He wouldn’t let us through, even though Dick told him we were headed to the church a few blocks away. We turned around, went back to the next street and Dick again knew where to turn and we came out just on the other side of the steep driveway into the little parking lot of the house we meet in. There were barrels there to block also but Sister Acevedo was there and moved them out of our way. She had called us several times while we were traveling to make sure we knew how to get there. The branch knew we were almost there so they waited for us. I grabbed the teclado out of the car and went in and got it set up while Dick parked. Tilleys arrived a few minutes later and Blackburns weren’t far behind. We sang the opening hymn about 9:10 am.

During testimony meeting President Acevedo asked me to play hymn 73…”I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” I have never played it on the teclado before but it went well. Today Rexene bore her testimony and said that they had two grandbabies being blessed today, one in Springville and one in Pennsylvania. My feelings were very tender as I listened to her. Today Doran was blessed in Provo and last week Alie was baptized in Pennsylvania.
When we came home I lay down for two hours. I am really hoping to get past this health episode. We have a busy week ahead of us as we will be gone for two nights with the missionaries returning home to Guatemala and their PEF training.

Update on Porter McGary. He was released from the hospital in Houston last Tuesday and he and his mother flew home to Guatemala. He will go back to school tomorrow. Another miracle!

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