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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, May 16, 2010

Journal - May 10 - 16

10 May 2010…..Monday

Last night the Tomkinsons mixed up a spray bottle of Prometherin so I could spray for the small sugar ants that have been invading us, in small groups, for the last few weeks. They are in the kitchen and the bathroom. Any crumb, or even empty glass of water, is fair game to them. I have used Raid but that didn’t seem to deter their activity. A little later Paul Hatch was at our door with a gorgeous basket of flowers….roses and Gerbera daisies with a lot of greenery. It looks like a portion of a beautiful garden. Hatches had celebrated their 60th anniversary last week and then at their ward yesterday Dorothy was given the basket of flowers for Mother’s Day. With two bouquets in their apartment already, he brought it to me.

Today is Guatemala’s Mother’s Day. The decree from on high was no women at the office today. Besides five of us senior sisters, there are a number of women employees. I’m just wondering, which guy is the receptionist in the lobby today?

Yesterday we had wind gusts up to 30 mph (sounds like Lancaster, CA) and it blew the strip of screen off our living room window. So, this morning Dick went downstairs and got the ladder and I climbed up and replaced the screen. (I can just see us when I’m 80 and he is 85….I will still be the one climbing the ladder). We had used duct tape before but this time we tucked it into a groove on each side, like we did the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen windows thirteen months ago. Hopefully, it will hold for the next ten weeks. When we vacate the apartment the cleaners will just pull it down anyway. The next tenant will have to go buy a roll of screen and redo it. Reynaldo told me later to just call him when we need help and he will do it for us.

After cleaning the countertops, thoroughly, from the spray of Prometherin last night, I started the dough for scones and made other preparations for Family Home Evening here tonight.

Today I was contemplating the special calls, emails, and cards I got for Mother’s Day. Our grandchildren are totally entertaining and make us laugh. Granddaughter Aimee, (Mark’s oldest) turning 7 this week, sang a special song for me that the Primary had sung in Sacrament Meeting for Mother’s Day….”I Often go Walking.” She has inherited her mother’s voice, thank goodness. A few nights earlier Myrna called and great-granddaughter, 7 year old Kristy, read a book to us that she had made in school. The spanning of the generations is remarkable and we are grateful for our posterity. We are also grateful to be serving our mission in the days of technology in communication.

It was our turn to host Family Home Evening and we invited Paul Hatch to speak to us. He was temple president in the Los Angeles Temple. It was a very special evening. I made scones, the one thing that turns out well here in Guatemala, but it was new food to the four newer couples.

11 May 2010…..Tuesday
Today is Maren’s 28th birthday. More mail at the office. More Mother’s Day cards! I love a busy day at the office. I started dividing the PEF Priesthood Report into stakes and districts. Today was the women’s luncheon at the Clarke’s apartment. Rexene had the car so she drove us.
Dick and Jim took our car to Young Men’s meeting this afternoon at 4 pm.

Our house is in escrow. The offer was made three days after the house was listed on the market. We thought it would take months to sell. We are surprised! But, not really. Beatriz reacted with tears in her eyes when I told her this morning and reminded me that we are missionaries and the Lord is blessing us.

12 May 2010…..Wednesday
Another birthday…..Shaylee is three. A lot of things to work on at the office. We got a room booked for next week when we go to Sololá. ….the travel department has secured our email tickets for traveling home on July 23rd….and I continued work on the Priesthood Report. Dick brought me home at 2 pm and he and Jim went “hunting” for the Milagro Stake Center. We will be doing a fireside there and needed to be sure we could find the building.

Today Rexene brought Ruby into our office. She is the employee who makes beautiful jade jewelry. This time she had purses and jackets. I bought a gorgeous red jacket to wear with my black skirt.

Rexene, Sandy, Suzanne and I went walking today in the light rain. We saw a double rainbow and it was invigorating to be out moving. Rex drove us over to our favorite walking place in the gated embassy area. After we got back I gave the basket of flowers to Adele because they ignite my allergies big time.

13 May 2010…..Thursday
Today is the 42nd anniversary of Josh’s birth but it has been 13 years since he left this earthly sphere at the age of 28. More work on the Priesthood Report today. Dick took me home in the afternoon so he could go back to the office and teach his English class to some of the employees. Rexene, Suzanne and I walked. We had drizzles and I carried an umbrella but we didn’t need it. When we got back Suzanne brought some lasagna over for our dinner.

Jennifer Johnson loaned me a book and I love it. It is "Undaunted" by Gerald Lund. It is an historic novel about the “Hole in the Rock” pioneers. Lund is such a master story teller. My favorite book is his novel "Fire of the Covenant" which tells a sweet incident of Grandma Chapman’s uncle as he goes to help rescue the saints stranded on the plains.

14 May 2010…..Friday
Dick went to the office early so I rode with Tilleys at our usual time. Claudia had the letters ready so I could email the Priesthood reports to the Seventy, Stake Presidents and Specialists. Dick brought me home before 2 pm when he headed out to see a specialist who works at the Distribution Center. He never made that visit because he saw two young missionaries with a full basket in front of Price Smart. He circled back around, picked them up, and took them back to the mission office. They had been out in front of the store for 20 minutes and no taxi…..amazing. Taxis don’t crowd the streets like New York City, but they are in abundance here. Meantime, I made two cakes to take to the lunch at La Sabana Branch tomorrow.

Tomkinsons gave us the first disc of “John Adams.” It was excellent. Our country desperately needs to remember, or learn, of the great work that a handful of men accomplished, under the direction of the Lord. They sacrificed their all and we need like minded citizens to do so once again and save our Constitution. Glenn Beck is trying hard to educate us about our Founding Fathers. He has renewed our interest in studying and learning more about those men who sacrificed time, family, money, comfort, prosperity and even their very lives to bring about God’s will for this great country. This country had to be prepared as a place where the gospel of Jesus Christ could be restored.

15 May 2010…..Saturday
While I cleaned, Dick was off to get a haircut and finish his trip to the Distribution Center to visit with a specialist. At 12:45 pm Tilleys got in our car and we went to the La Sabana Branch lunch. Traffic was very heavy going out Reforma and even worse on the road past the open air market. The lunch was to honor the mothers for Mother’s Day, the fathers for Father’s Day, and a farewell for Blackburns, Tilleys and us who will be leaving in the next two months.

They had a marimba band playing outside and a short program inside where tables were set up for our meal. We had barbecued steak that was actually tender and flavorful, rice, black beans, homemade tortillas and horchata to drink.

(These two young men are both 21...Ricardo is 21, a recent convert, and waiting to go on a mission. Christian Abinadi Mena is a newly returned missionary)

Rex, Adele and I each made two cakes. It must have been a dream come true for the kids to eat all the cake they wanted.

I must admit we were a little leery about eating food that we were not too sure of how safely it was prepared. We had passed two of the sisters walking up the road with a big pot between them. I think that was the beans. Anyway, I chewed up two Pepto Bismol, just in case and Dick had two when we got home. We gave Sister Juarez a ride home. She is 80 years old and has been a member of the Church for 59 years. She has good stories to tell.

When we got back Jim went with Dick to the mall. Our latino missionary has extremely frayed collars on his white shirts, so Dick bought him a new shirt. Dick left a little later to go to the office and pick up some information about our PEF mentoring program with the other senior couples. I typed it up and emailed it to the Hatches. We borrowed another disc from Tomkinsons and watched more of “John Adams.”

16 May 2010…..Sunday
And the May birthdays continue…..Today Aimee is 7 and Benjamin is 5! During the Sunday School lesson from the Old Testament, Brother Mena, our teacher, spoke directly to at least three in the class who cannot read. He told them to have their children read the scriptures to them. He said that when he puts his little six year old, Julia, to bed, she asks him to read the scriptures to her before she falls asleep. We are so blessed to live in a day and age where we have the written word of the Lord in scriptures and a living prophet upon the earth.

After Church I came home with Tilleys and Dick did some home teaching. When he was leaving La Sabana he saw Brother Carias and Brother Salazar, walking down the road, and it was starting to sprinkle. He pulled over and told them to get in the car. They were going to do their home teaching, so Dick went with them. They went to Abuellito’s humble home, about 10x10. I don’t even know her name but she is 93 and everyone calls her “little grandmother.” She has been sick. That is why we didn’t see her trudging up the road today. Dick’s trip back home got very treacherous due to heavy rain as he went under the bridge near the stadium and then to 6th Street. Meanwhile, we had a few sprinkles here at the apartment. Right now we are enjoying a good rain.

Dick went over to the office at 3 pm for a video conference between him and Claudia and the Call Center director and some PEF specialists in Nicaragua.

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