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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, April 18, 2010

Journal - April 12 - 18

12 April 2010…..Monday
Dick left home at 7 am for the office. I went later with Tilleys, after they delivered huge homemade cinnamon rolls to all of our neighbors. I finally got the letters I need to accompany the PEF Priesthood report to all the stake presidents, bishops and specialists in Central America. I was able to get the reports sent to the 97 stake presidents. Another Call Center has opened in Honduras so I had to send the new director all of the reports for her area of the country. At 2 pm Dick brought me home and Steve (doctor) came with us because Sandy had driven home earlier, her first time to drive here. I have no desire to drive here. I made chocolate-cherry cupcakes for our women’s luncheon tomorrow and a meat loaf for dinner.

Family Home Evening was presented by the doctor (MacArthurs) tonight. It was great. He told us that we all need to be on fish oil, a baby aspirin and a statin. I’ve been doing that regimen for years. I didn’t do too well when we had blood pressure taken. After three times with me he said to come to his office tomorrow (just down the hallway) and we’ll talk about blood pressure medication. Dick’s blood pressure was very good, helped by his daily pill. He talked to us for an hour and a half, much longer than our usual Monday night lessons. Great care from our mission doctor at no cost.

13 April 2010…..Tuesday
I finished emailing to all the specialists today. I went down the hall to the doctor and he took my blood pressure. The first time with a wrist style monitor that we used last night. My pressure was better than last night. Then he used the cuff style monitor on the upper arm. My blood pressure is just fine. That was a relief…..132/75

At 12:30 pm Beatriz brought me and Sandy home. We got our desserts and picked-up Dorothy so she wouldn’t have to walk over to Johnson’s for the luncheon. We all gathered at Jennifer’s for our monthly luncheon and a good two hour visit. Very enjoyable.
All the guys went to Wendy’s.

Rexene and I took our walk at 4 pm. Dick and Jim left from the office to go to their Young Men’s meeting. The time has been changed till 4 pm because Elder Clarke wants all senior missionaries in their apartments before dark. It actually works well for the young men. They are home before dark, too, and the older boys have Seminary at 5 pm. There have been some incidents, not with senior missionaries, that make it important for us to not be out after dark.

We had a lot of rain, lightning and thunder blow through this evening. Rain blew through the kitchen window. The entry way by the elevator was very wet till we closed those windows, too. Our cable was off for quite awhile and also the internet, but at least we didn’t lose our power.

14 April 2010…..Wednesday
Tilleys rode to the office with us this morning. I was able to finish the PEF report by separating the reports for the Guatemala wards and branches and emailing them to the bishops. When I email all the reports I always get some back as undeliverable….due to change of email address, release from calling, or whatever. I get some replies to the attached letter and I always forward those to Claudia as they are in Spanish and she is the writer of the letters that are sent. I like the emails that thank me for the reports. My inbox is full the week I do the reports.

Dick left at noon and brought Taco Bell back to the office for my lunch. We came home before 4 pm and Rexene and I took our walk. We had a few light sprinkles while we walked but no serious rain. We had a good rain later this evening.

15 April 2010…..Thursday
Today is market day in Chichicastenango. Tomkinsons wanted to take their daughter and son-in-law so we went along with Tilleys. It is so nice riding in the office fleet vans. We left at 7 am and were home before 4:30 pm. It was beautiful and clear going but overcast coming home. Blackburns had been in Sololá to do auditing training and came to Chichicastenango to meet us. They pulled into the parking area about sixty seconds after us, at 10 am.

Inside the market place, just feet from San Tomás Church, is the monastery where the “Popul Vuh” was discovered in the early 18th century. (Dustin will love this information). It was written in the 1560’s. The Spanish burned and destroyed almost all of the Mayan writings but somehow this one survived. It is the Mayan Bible, beginning with the creation. There are similarities with the book of Genesis. Dean Bawden was very much fascinated with the book and Dick was given one of the copies he had. On the San Tomás Church steps are Mayan worshipers and their incense plus a mix of tourists. We always try to respect the worship and not be “touristy.”

The market in Chichi is just about the only place we have been able to find the dressy jackets. I bought two and also some of the beaded Christmas tree balls. The market wasn’t as packed with tourists as last time, so therefore we had an entourage following us, (more than usual) trying to sell us their wares…..small children to elderly women. If we buy from one, they all come flocking, expecting us to buy from them, too. Dick had his shoes shined by a small boy.

We took a picture of us by the Maya Hotel with the cemetery in the distant background. The Guatemala cemeteries are above ground tombs of vivid colors.
We had lunch at the San Tomás hotel where we ate last time.

Last time we ate there I was sick about six hours later. Today I ordered off the menu instead of the buffet like everyone else, and then chewed up two Pepto Bismol tablets for the protection it seems to offer from food poisoning. It was a good day and a good trip. We got some rain this evening.

16 April 2010…..Friday
After doing some things at the office this morning we left for my hair appointment at 11 am. I tried a new place, The U.K. Cutting Club. A number of my friends go there so I decided to give it a try. It is not as convenient as the other places. The upside is, the hairdresser everyone uses speaks English…he is from England. So I met Liam. He is young and has been in Guatemala 8 months. His English wasn’t American but at least it wasn’t Spanish. When he talked it made me think of the Beatle’s accent. My hair is short! We went back to the office and the new style caused a stir there. I have come a long way in the last two years. Kelsey would be proud of me!

Dick brought me home. He went back to the office and took Reynaldo to the airport. We had some rain. Then Rexene, Suzanne and I took a walk. At 5:30 pm the thunder and lightning rolled through again with ample rain. Dick wasn’t home yet as Jim called him and told him to pick up pizza at Pizza Hut for Tomkinsons, Tilleys and us. Suzanne says this isn’t “Victoria Suites” but “Victoria Sweets.” We played a game of dominoes. It was a good evening with good friends.

17 April 2010…..Saturday
While I cleaned and did laundry, Dick went to get a battery for the car door opener (the clicker) and then to the office to work on his talk for tomorrow. I hope my talk is ready. I did an online translation two weeks ago and Dick read through it and made some corrections. I read it out loud to him so he could correct some of my pronunciations. I have gone through it every day this week, reading out loud. I sure hope I am understandable with my American/California/English accent.

The internet was working overtime today…..60 emails back and forth with all eight kids….resulting in Alison booking condos in St. George for our family reunion in August. We are excited at the prospect of having all our family together…four generations!

Tonight Dick and I signed and initialed numerous papers so we can list our house for sale. Anyone want to buy a home in Lancaster? We decided to test the waters and see what happens.

18 April 2010…..Sunday
Today Dick and I spoke in Sacrament Meeting. I spoke for fifteen minutes and read all of my talk except for my closing remarks. A few weeks ago I went on to LDS.org and found a story that was in the “Friend” magazine in December 1993. It was the story of my great-grandfather, Welcome Chapman. I loved sharing the story of this special pioneer with our branch members. President Acevedo, the branch president, said he loved the story and wanted a copy of it. I was very happy to know they could understand my Spanish. I rode home with Tilleys and Dick did some home teaching.

This morning on the way to church we could hear musical tones. We couldn’t figure out what it was for a moment or two. Then we realized it was the teclado (keyboard) in the back of the car. The case was put in upside down when we loaded it and it must have moved against something that turned on the switch. Every time we went over a tumulo (speed bump) or made a turn, it started playing its own little tune. Just like having a radio. Dick has missed having a radio in the car. We have one but it is in a little case in the closet because we don’t want anyone breaking into the car to take it. That was advice from Jorge when we bought the car.

We both had a nap this afternoon. It is getting cloudy outside and looks like we will have a storm pass through.

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