Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve!

Meddy Chreeesmas Bar-lows! That's how the Latins say it... So funny! Here are our Christmas stockings compliments of Breanne and the family, with goodies inside! Aren't they so cute?!


Here are some of the sights and sounds of Guatemala around Christmas. There are little fireworks stands EVERYWHERE! This is a Main Street and they are all the way down... People just stop their cars or walk over and buy them. The other little stands have Christmas decorations made out of straw, hay, wood, etc. and they string little oranges to hang for decorations, too.

The temple has this little nativity scene and there are poinsettias everywhere on the grounds... They grow all over here, we see bushes of them when we walk. Someone goes outside and cleans the display off about every other day, because of the pollution here, to keep it clean and white.


Here's picture of our sacrament Christmas Program that was on Sunday. The lady leading the singing and holding a baby is Elder Bruce R. McConkie's granddaughter! The little girl in the aisle is her other daughter! She was "singing along" and the six year old is shushing her! So funny. Our little ward is so nice. Elder Amado and Elder Ochoa are on the stand, but you can't see them.


Here is our tiny tree with lights and Quetzel birds for decorations tied with bows. That is the national bird here and they are tiny key chains from the Central Marke... Which is like Tijuana on steroids! The little nativity scene is typical Guatemalan and came from the Central Market, also. The cloth is a present from one of my little friends at the temple.

These are the key chains I bought at the Central Market to decorate the little tree. They are hand beaded!


These grow all over here and the temple grounds are loaded with them for Christmas. The engineers brought one to all the temple missionaries for Christmas and they put red ones and white ones all over the grounds at the temple in with the flowers that already grow there.


Here's Dad sitting in the Santa chair at the super market... No Santa to be found! This was on our walk on Christmas Eve day!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Missionaries & Stockings

We had our Christmas potluck at President Burk's today/P-day. These are the temple missionaries, minus all the Latins who went home for Christmas, plus President and Sister Nicholayson who is President of the CCM. and the nurse for the CCM.

We put together 13 socks for the 13 missionaries who are at the CCM over Christmas. Everyone brought something to stuff in their socks. It was a fun project!

Here are the finished stockings that we stuffed for the missionaries at the CCM. They will be there over Christmas. We are giving them out on Christmas Eve when they come to our apartments for dinner and activities. We are also having a fireside at the CCM at 8:00 from Provo! We get a brand new batch of missionaries after Christmas and the CCM will be full again. The remodel is almost done and ready for the new influx... South Americans come this week and North Americans come next week!

Here is Elder Chapman and Elder Burnham, they are the missionaries we had for dinner tonight. We sent this to their parents! They were really nice. Both of them are from Tremonton, Utah. They got their calls the same day and they are going to the same mission... Starts with an "R," but I can't pronounce it!

Friday, December 20, 2013


According to an old Central American Legend, the original poinsettia was a pure white. The natives gathered them on a Great Day of Prayer and offered them on the altars of their God. Then, one year, savage invaders began to ravage the land. Many natives gave their lives in the desperate struggle, which finally drove the invaders out. When the poinsettias bloomed the following year, they were not longer white... But blood red! The natives believed their beloved flower was stained by the blood  of those who died to save their country. They grow like this here in Guatemala!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Pitchers & El Presidente

These are our good friends, the Pitchers, who came here in June and have become our best pals.
They are from Pleasant View, near North Ogden. He was a Stake President there and made his living as a plumber. She is a school teacher, who taught 5th and 1st grades and she is Matt and Kristen Rash's aunt. Her sister lives in Layton, but is leaving on a mission to Canada soon. Paul, is a counselor in one of the branches at the CCM and they used to be on our shift until they changed us to all Spanish speakers shift! They are really fun and really good people. They have 5 kids.


Okay, you're not gonna believe this but I swear on my life, I am not kidding! This morning we left at 7:30 for our walk because we were going further than we have ever gone. We walked by the president's house on the way and waved to all the security guards in suits outside and said, "Buenos dias." We walked the other way and went clear down by a frontage road by the main highway... Sort of like walking on a freeway entrance at home. We were on our way back, when we see motorcycles and a police truck flashing! Then guess what?! The presidential motorcade, three black bulletproof SUV's again. We were like a foot from them so we heartily waved again and we got a honk from all three AGAIN! I am sure it was the guys we saw earlier and they were driving the president to work! Seriously... What are the chances we would see them again?! Two brushes with fame in the same month with our personal friend, Otto Perez Molina!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Last Week of November!

Here we are buying a pineapple from a little street vendor. He is cutting us a piece of papaya to try, too. He pulls the cart himself, uphill and down!

We call this picture, "backpack buddies" because we both ordered custom made ones from the CCM store and wore them walking to get groceries this week. Brother Pitcher snapped this picture for us!

More flowers... It is seriously like the Garden of Eden here!
This is our Guatemalan cowboy friend who was getting his boots shined... He spoke English to us and told us that he had lived in Massachusetts. He was proud to let us take his picture!
This is the little shoe repair guy who repaired Brother Pitcher's shoes. It is a mobile unit/bike and he lights the charcoal and heats up the glue/resin right on the street. We see him riding all over.

This is Felipe, one of our gardener friends. We had been talking to him and bringing him little treats when we came by. He asked us if we would like to see the house and yard one day... We realized it is vacant and he lives there during the week and cares for it. Wow! It is huge and beautiful... In need of some work, but was probably classy back in the day. He is a master gardener and was so proud to show us all around. He lives somewhere close to Antigua, but stays here during the week. He has a little bed and hotplate in the laundry room. I asked him how he learned gardening and he said Heavenly Father taught him!

This is the big retaining wall and more gardens below the house.  Felipe is showing us all the places he is planting new plants.

Another little pretty spot we pass on our walking routes. Notice the umbrellas? It was the rainy season up until November.

Here is a typical walking day... Dad way out in front, taking pictures of his tired walking companions behind him and Paul flexing his mighty muscles! If you believe that, I'll sell you some swampland in Guatemala! Haha!

This is a little quilt I tied for the little girl who cuts Dad's and my hair. She is having her fourth child, a boy, and won't be back until February. I was wishing I had my little pvc quilting frames because I also taught the young women how to tie one. We did it as a service project for a lady who leads the singing in our ward. They are both due around December 1st. I sewed the edges by hand!

This is the haul I made for my birthday. The Pollo Campero is a chicken place we walked to and brought back a box for Murri's, too. He told us it was good. The sunflowers came from a little street vendor, who cut them down with his machete... They were about 3 feet high!

This is our favorite little friend and gardener. He always drops his rake and comes right out to meet us with his arms wide open. He says we are angels and always gives us a blessing when we leave. We saw him this morning and he called us his hermana and hermano! He has such a sweet countenance.

Here is a better shot of Kellie and Roy's little apartment building. I think there are two of them! I always think of them when I see it, so I made Dad take a picture to send home. They forgot the "S"!!

This was in October at the little mall where we get our groceries. They started playing Christmas music right before Halloween. They were just getting it all set up. Notice the piano man's piano below the giant tree!

This is our friend the dog walker. We see him when we walk at 7:30 am and sometimes bring him a treat. He has a really deep voice like the guy in the Oakridge Boys! Notice the steel gates and barbed wire at the top? They are everywhere! What?! Are they saying this city is not safe?!

This is one of the little "stores" we pass on our long route. There is a little girl that makes the tortillas. They are 4 for Q1. We bought one dozen. Notice her big bowl of dough and the hot ones are in a basket. She was too shy to look at the camera. The little store is run by someone else.

Here's our little "fuller brush man" friend. We got a picture with him this time. He carries all his wares on his back and walks all over to sell them.

According to an old Central American legend, the original poinsettia was a pure white. The natives gathered them on a Great Day of Prayer and offered them on the altars of their God. Then one year savage invaders began to ravage the land. Many natives gave their lives in the disparate struggle, which finally drove the invaders out. When the poinsettias bloomed the following year, it was no longer white, but blood red! The natives believed their beloved flower was stained by the blood of those who died to save their country. They grow like this here in Guatemala!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Some of the City Buzz

Celebrating Mom's birthday!
Construction in the city.


We call this the Three Little Bear's home.

These are some people we have met.

This is a preschool, look at that tiny door! Precious, huh?!

These are some of the markets that are on the streets.

This is a water deliverer. He moves 25 bottles weighing 45 pounds each. Our friend showed us how strong he was!