1 March 2010…..Monday
Dick and Jim left home at 6 am to help take Andersons and all their luggage to the airport. Tomorrow Neil will be back at his teaching job at BYU. They plan on coming back in May when a family they are close to will be sealed in the temple. At that time they will take a suitcase home for us.
Dick went to the office and got an early start. He came back for me later and I finished the PEF Area History report for January and February. I print it in color because I always add pictures. Then I took it to Virginia on the 5th floor to put in the binder. Now it will be a waiting game to see when I get the Priesthood Report. Hopefully it will be on my computer tomorrow. That is when my most intense work begins.
Tonight FHE was at Hatches apartment, hosted by the MacArthurs, and taught by Bill Blackburn about filing our taxes as American citizens living in a foreign country. Robert did our taxes for us again this year and our state refund is already in our account.
2 March 2010…..Tuesday
Jacob is now a teenager! That gives us four 13 year olds. One thing we have felt since our office was switched the first of the year is more quiet. We visit with Curtisses but the only people who come into our area are those who want to see us. Our last office was a pathway to four other people so it seemed there was always something going on. Now we can even close the door if we need to.
Tilleys got back from El Salvador about fifteen minutes before Dick and Jim had to leave for the Young Men’s meeting. Bill was already to go with Dick if Jim didn’t get back in time. Dick doesn’t drive at night except when he has no choice. I am very grateful he has recognized that he shouldn’t be driving when it is dark.
3 March 2010.....Wednesday
Today is Jeff’s birthday. Yes, our first born is 48 years old. We went to the dentist (Wayne Tomkinson) today. The dental clinic was financed and built to treat prospective missionaries, missionaries serving here, and orphans. They have top of the line equipment which came from donations and church humanitarian resources.
Of course, we enjoyed our visit time with the Tomkinsons. Our appointment was at 10:30 am. It took about 20 minutes to get there. It was a lot longer coming back with all the traffic on the roads at 1 pm. We stopped at Meykos to see if they have hair spray that I like. They have none. Pais has a few brands but they are all “lacquer” and I don’t want to be plastered. The women here have beautiful hair and they don’t need hairspray to hold it in place. Then we stopped at a bakery that sells empanadas, just up the street from our apartment. We took them home for lunch.
4 March 2010…..Thursday
I got the PEF Priesthood Report today and I kept busy breaking it up into all the individual stakes and districts in Central America. I did take a break at 11 am and 1 pm and climbed the stairs. I went all the way up the stairs above the sixth floor that leads to the locked door to the roof. Then I went down to the second basement of the parking garage. There are 160 stair steps. Going up is always much harder than going down.
At 4 pm we left the office and drove a block and a half to the Chinese restaurant. We met Tilleys, Tomkinsons, Blackburns, MacArthurs and Steimles. I had the “camarones picante.” It is a shrimp dish with wonton noodles in a spicy sauce that is incredibly delicious.
5 March 2010….Friday
Another birthday! Today Kristy is 7! This morning we went with the Tilleys to the temple. There is such peace and comfort in the Lord’s house. The guys went back to the office in the afternoon. I went with Rexene and Suzanne to buy some fabric. Rexene is making a blanket for Nahomy, the receptionist at the office. She is expecting her second baby. A number of streets are closed in the city today because Hilary Clinton is in town.
When we first arrived in the mission field we read from the Book of Mormon together in Spanish, with me translating each verse we read. Later I decided that I needed to read it straight through in Spanish. Today I met my goal….. I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish. My new plan is to study Preach My Gospel by reading all the scripture references in Spanish.
Tonight all of us gathered at Tomkinsons for movie night. Everyone brought snacks to share and we watched “Invictus.” It was a good movie. We took ice cream and afterwards Tomkinsons pulled out root beer, which is very hard to find, and we had root beer floats.
6 March 2010…..Saturday
Our usual Saturday routine…..I cleaned and did laundry…..Dick went to the office and to Pais. At 1 pm we all gathered in the garage to go to the movies at Mira Flores Mall. We rode with Tomkinsons. There is bridge/underpass construction near the Obelisco and the heavy Saturday afternoon traffic was a mess. We saw a real action movie….. “Percy Jackson.” Our grandsons would have loved it. Afterwards some of us went to the Price Smart over at Mira Flores and to Hiper Paiz. I bought a cute little boy outfit for Nahomy’s baby. She goes on maternity leave very soon.
7 March 2010…..Sunday
It was a cool morning. In Primary, little Dan Acevedo had a chair right next to mine. He is fascinated with the tecaldo (keyboard), but unlike most of the children, he doesn’t touch the keys. Many of the children will look me in the eye while I am telling them “no” and just keep pressing keys or moving buttons. He will put his ear on the speaker or lay his head in my lap. Today he was comparing his five year old hand to my hand with prominent veins and dark spots. I told him my manos were antigua (my hands are old). Then he pointed to the music and said “do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do.” My first reaction was that he said them just the way we do in English, but then I realized that when we are saying them in English we are speaking perfect Spanish with their constant vowel sounds.
Today is Fast Sunday and our concern on this day of fasting and prayer is our future. We will be going home in four and a half months and we really don’t know where home is. Do we move back into our home in Lancaster? Do we try to find renters for our home again? Do we try to sell in this market where our home has dropped drastically in value? Do we rent a home in Utah County? Do we build on our property in Utah now or later? I thought senior citizens were past the point of having big decisions to make. The Lord works with us but His answer is not usually a big and immediate response. He just leads us along and one day (days or years) we realize we are right where we should be and He has been guiding us all along.
This evening is Break the Fast dinner at President and Sister Baldwin’s home.
- Elder y Hermana Graff
- 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.