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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 13, 2010

Journal - June 7 - 13

7 June 2010…..Monday
Dick went to the office early to get the exceptions emailed to Salt Lake for the approval meeting. I rode with Tilleys. They took the Tomkinsons to the airport early this morning and it is strange that the door to apartment 201 has not been open today, though I did hear the apartment guys in there working. It needs to be ready for the next dentist who arrives in a week.

I kept busy at the office till 4 pm. Dick left at noon to get an estimate on the car so we can have the scrapes and scratches repaired so we can sell it when we leave. There is not a car here that doesn’t need a little repair work. It is all the tight fitting parking areas with support pillars everywhere. The other cars are all church cars so the church pays for repairs. We bought our car when we came so we will pay for our repairs. Dick brought Taco Bell back to the office for our lunch. After we came home the “doc” followed Dick to the collision repair shop so Dick could leave the car for the work to be done.

This evening we had a short meeting in our apartment with Tilleys and MacArthurs about the PEF mentoring program we are doing. We all attend the same stake so each couple has one PEF student to “mentor.”

8 June 2010….Tuesday
Today Cady is 3 years old. She is our youngest granddaughter. Dick rode to the office today with Jim. Today Rexene, Adele, and I hosted the monthly “Ladies Day Out.” We did it the easy way. We all met at the Airport Market. We had lunch first at the restaurant

and then some of us shopped at the market. It is a much better organized, safer, cleaner market than the others. It is near the airport so it caters to the traveler. I bought another beautifully made pillow cover. Rexene drove the four of us coming from the apartment. The guys always go out to lunch whenever the women go to lunch.

We have had some nice rain today, off and on. It rained so hard on Sunday that it washed down more of the volcanic sand from ledges of the surrounding buildings. Tilleys came in and visited for quite awhile tonight. Jim and Dick went to the airport at 8 pm to pick up the Alberts. They were here in 2009 on a six month mission to build the dental clinic and went home in September. They are back to check out some humanitarian projects of their own.

9 June 2010…..Wednesday
We rode to the office with Jim. I got the letters for the priesthood leaders from Claudia today so I was able to attach them to the emails and send the reports to the members of the Seventy in Central America and all of the stake presidents. Alberts came into the office to talk with John. We all got in Curtiss’ car and went to the hotel to get Alberts suitcases because they will be staying in apartment 301 for a couple of weeks. John brought Alberts and me back to Victoria Suites and then Dick and John went to the Bishop’s Storehouse to fill orders for a few families in Curtiss’ branch.

10 June 2010…..Thursday

We rode with Jim again this morning. I emailed reports to all the specialists in Central America today and typed up a new schedule of dates with returning missionaries. We came home with Jim and made a stop at the cleaners and Paiz. I stayed home. Dick took the MacArthur’s car and went back to the office for the 4 pm English class he teaches but none of the men were available today.

Dick bought sweet potatoes a few days ago and I baked them today. They were ugly as could be on the outside with a very thin skin. I had them in the oven at 450 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes. They still weren’t done (must be the elevation). So I scooped them out into a dish and put them in the microwave for several minutes. They were not the orange color that I love but a very pale yellow. I have never seen this variety before. The taste was okay but not what I would call a sweet potato. I wanted it to taste like our Thanksgiving yams.

11 June 2010…..Friday
This morning Tilleys dropped us off at the office. I updated the information on some of our Belize participants and on the specialist directory. I still can’t do the Priesthood Reports for the bishops in Guatemala, as the bishop’s directory is being updated and I have to wait for it to be done. I went upstairs twice and helped Blackburns for awhile as they prepared materials for their 8 hour training tomorrow for auditing with representatives from all of the missions in Central America. They go home on Tuesday so they are super busy at the apartment with packing and at the office. Jim and Dick brought me home and then went to Office Depot to buy some calculators that the Blackburns will give to the men involved in the training tomorrow. Before coming back to the apartments, Jim dropped Dick off at the collision repair shop to pick up our car. Dick is so happy to have the car back. We have had to rely on others for our transportation since Monday.

The apartment building being built outside our picture windows has provided a lot of entertainment for us the last few months. Now the structure is five stories high. They have poured the cement for the fifth floor and will have all the pillars poured in a few days. I no longer have a view of the Jacaranda trees or the tall pine tree. I can’t even see the planes as they take off. I am just grateful for the view I have had all the time we have been here.

12 June 2010…..Saturday
Today was a big cleaning day. We moved the furniture around in the living room/dining room and I worked on the wood floors. Dick went to Convergence to straighten out the mess again with them. Fifteen months ago some of us paid a year in advance and they gave us three months free for our internet/cable TV. They have tried to bill all of us at various times. Hopefully, this will be our last time to have to clear up the situation. They continued to bill three others who have already returned to the states and now have a “warrant” out for them if they ever return to Guatemala. It is sort of funny. How many times do we have to tell a company that we are moving back to the states and don’t need their service any longer?

This afternoon I went through our closet, removing things we are not taking home with us and putting them in boxes to take to our branch…..clothing, books, toiletries, etc. Dick and Jim went to the temple where they worked in the baptistery. Our stake is having a stake day at the temple at 6 p.m. Buses will pick up the stake members and take them. Our branch has a total of four cars so a bus is very necessary. They met the bus down by the Catholic Church in La Sabana. This day is for ALL branch members. Those endowed will do a session. The youth and others will do baptisms for the dead. Others can go to a room behind the temple for a meeting and even children may attend that meeting. Babysitting will be provided. It is different than a stake day at the Los Angeles Temple.

13 June 2010…..Sunday
We woke up to overcast skies and it has rained off and on all day. Our branch grew by one this week. A baby boy was born to our sweet indigenous family. They have faithfully attended since before we came here, but are not members because he doesn’t have a divorce from his first wife since he has no idea where she is. After Church Dick and Jim went home teaching and Rexene brought me home. Then the guys went to stake priesthood meeting and after they got home we went to dinner at the Tilleys, along with the Blackburns.

After church Doris Carrias had a gift bag for Rexene, Adele, and me. She gave each of us a table runner. Mine is bright yellow with an assortment of other beautiful colors. It is lovely and very representative of Guatemala. I will always think of her when I see it.

We have a very busy week ahead of us. We are expecting 10 returning missionaries that we will be with from Tuesday to Thursday. Tomorrow night the dental missionary couple arrives and next Saturday night our replacements will arrive. It is so wonderful to see those who are willing to leave their families behind and come to Guatemala and give their invaluable service.

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