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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 6, 2010

Journal - May 31 - June 6




31 May 2010…..Monday
Last night it rained but it was a light rainfall. This morning the skies are cloudy but there is a lot of blue showing. On the way to the office we saw mounds of black volcanic sand, shoveled into piles or placed in plastic bags to be picked up. They are fearful of it being washed into the drain system and clogging up things. I wonder how many tons of it is waiting to be picked up by crews in trucks. There were meetings going on at the office as the Area Presidency will work with stake presidents and district presidents to take care of the needs of the members who have been hardest hit.

After I completed the Belize report for May, Dick brought me home so repairmen could come. The técnico came to repair the washing machine. He was here a couple of weeks ago for the same problem. It washes fine but won’t spin. Now it works fine again. I made clam chowder for tonight.

Tonight was a Farewell Dinner at the Clarke’s patio for the Tomkinsons
and the Blackburns
who will be leaving in the next two weeks. Kathy Anderson had written some great words to an old song, “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” Eight of us sang it. It was a wonderful evening with a big group. The Cranneys and Sandbergs were in the city today, so they came, too. Tonight really made reality hit us. The next farewell will be four weeks from tonight for Tilleys and for US! We will still have 3 ½ weeks left at that point but the area presidency will be in the U.S. for the month of July so they will host the gathering before they go.

1 June 2010…..Tuesday
I got the PEF Priesthood Report this morning! I was amazed. I have never had it this quickly before. Sister Cranney hung out in our office for awhile and we got to know her a little better. Cranneys and Sandbergs left this morning to return to their area of service near Lake Atitlan. This afternoon Dick and Jim took Wayne and Paul with them to Young Men’s meeting so they could teach about their profession, dentistry. It is interesting. We were having rain every day until Agatha invaded us. We haven’t had any rain since. That is a tremendous blessing because just a slight rain could send the heavily soaked hills sliding.

2 June 2010…..Wednesday
A new sound this morning. We heard an airplane take off. That is the first one since Pacaya Volcano put a layer of volcanic sand all over the runways. There was plenty to do at the office today….more than I could get done in a day. I finished my PEF Area History for May and sent it to Reynaldo and then printed a color copy for Virginia to put in the Area History book for the area presidency. I typed exceptions in Spanish for Dick so Elder Clarke can say “yea” or “nay” to each one. The Dunfords in Belize never got the items Dick shipped via pouch mail two weeks ago. So Dick and Reynaldo printed up more PEF information and made more CD’s of PEF in Spanish and English to go out in the next pouch mail to Belize on Friday.

Dick brought me home at 2 pm and he went back to the office. Mario, one of our apartment workers came up and replaced a part in the toilet tank, so it finally stopped running all the time. They have tried three times before and Dick had told them they needed to buy a part to fix it. We had a brief rain today, enough to make puddles in the road.

3 June 2010…..Thursday
This was a different day. Dick left the office at 9:30 am with John Curtiss to do some humanitarian work. They picked up materials removed during remodeling at the Casa de Húespedes and some of the housing for temple missionaries and took two trips in a pickup truck over to a school in the Nimajuyu area. They got back to the office before 4 pm. Meanwhile, back at the office, I got the Priesthood Report divided into stakes and districts. I also found some participant information for Sister Dunford in Belize and sent that to her. At 3 pm Beatriz brought me back to the apartment.

We had Jim, Neil, Bill and Dick in our apartment after everyone got home from work discussing all the important stuff. We hugged Neil and Kathy goodbye. Now that the airport is opened on a limited basis they will be flying back home tomorrow. We have enjoyed having them here for the past week. About 9 pm there was a knock on the door and Wayne came in to watch the Laker game with Dick. We will miss the Tomkinsons when they leave for Arizona. They served half of their mission at a dental school in Honduras and the second half here in Guatemala City, running the new dental clinic.

4 June 2010…..Friday
Lots to do today. I emailed the Priesthood Reports to the Call Center directors in each country, typed up exceptions for Dick, and emailed Priesthood Reports to stake presidents in El Salvador along with special information for the country and a flyer about Elder Clarke holding a meeting for all PEF participants.

About 4 pm we left with Tilleys to go to the movies. Steimles met us at the mall. We had dinner at Pizza Hut and then went to see “Robin Hood.” We really liked the movie.

5 June 2010…..Saturday
I did my usual Saturday activities. Bill Blackburn came to the door and delivered a piece of furniture to our apartment. They leave the mission field on the 15th and we inherited their glider/rocker. I am thrilled to have it. All I need is some good yarn (can’t find that here) and my crochet hook. I will enjoy the chair. Dick went to Paiz and bought a few items. He hasn’t made bread in his bread machine in a very long time, so he made a loaf of cinnamon with raisins and crasins. Otherwise it was a pretty quiet day.

We went up to Hatches apartment this morning for a consultation with our resident real estate expert. He has made his living in Glendora in real estate. Tilleys came over this afternoon and we sat and visited for about an hour. One thing we have discovered living here in the “Mormon dorms,” is we could live the United Order. We are extremely blessed with our living situation and our wonderful friends and neighbors. This evening we played Dominoes with Tilleys and Tomkinsons.

6 June 2010…..Sunday
We were up before the crack of dawn, 4:30 am to be exact. In an hour we were ready and left for a stake bishop’s meeting in El Molino Stake, about 30 minutes away. Dick spoke for thirty minutes. Tilleys volunteered to go with us and that was great to be accompanied and driven by our security missionaries. They give so much service to all of us! We came home for an hour before leaving for Church.

Church brought a variety of feelings for me. Today marks one year since Mother died and we were blessed to have her for 93 years. Brother Piñeda bore his testimony. He is the father of the man killed in the plane crash ten days ago. That certainly was very touching to hear him. The Piñedas had their son for only 30 years and his wife and children had him just a few short years. And then there was toddler, Jorge Guzman. He had a small piece of blue Play-Doh and he was sharing it with me and Dick. Before Primary started Sister Guzman showed me a stack of pictures of her daughter Alejandra who is serving a mission in Honduras. Alejandra is a very sweet young woman and is very happy as a missionary and having a lot of baptisms with her American companion. Then in Primary the children sang, “When You’re Helping You’re Happy.” They decided on their own actions for the song and they chose making tortillas. I have never seen that associated with a Primary song. After Church we took a picture of our branch members.


We both had a nap until the thunder started booming. We had a dinner at the Fillmore’s today.

Wayne and Suzanne leave for Arizona early in the morning. We will miss them so much! They had another grandbaby a week ago and their youngest daughter is getting married next Friday.

In my scripture study this week I have been reading scriptures about prayer. A few of the things I have read had great impact on me, but one thing I have read before was brought back to my memory. In the Bible Dictionary, the definition of prayer says: “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” I love those words. He is willing to give us so much but often he is waiting for us to ask him.

1 comment:

The Struthers Clan said...

Elder & Hermana Graf,
Love your posts always. Love your pictures too. So sorry about the volcano and hope that things get back to normal soon. Thank you always for your inspirational posts and pictures.