Monday, May 27, 2013

A Trip to the Salon

I am venturing out into the city today for a haircut/color for my payaso (clown) hair! Dad's gone grocery shopping. Wish me luck!

One trip to the salon later...

Well, I just got back. I picked a reddish/blonde color and told her I didn't want it too dark (I think). I ended up with a bright red, near to what Wendy used to have. Oh well, nothing to do but laugh!!! Hopefully it will wear off in three weeks. The hair cut lady isn't there until Tuesday I told her, "Wow, that is really bright." /: Now I'm really the temple payaso! Bahahah!


The Rainy Season

They say May starts the rainy season in Guatemala, and we have had several days of it. Yesterday was the real start of the rain. It started Saturday night and rained steady all day yesterday (Sunday). Luckily, we saw some heavy duty golf umbrellas at PriceSmart a couple of weeks ago and bought one. The natives have been telling us that these wimpy little umbrellas would never do and would be broken in no time... The wind blows, too. It is still raining today (Monday) and thick fog rolls in all over the hills, like in a movie.

We saw an interesting sight yesterday early in the morning... Little crowds of people walking up and down the road with plastic bags, picking something up. We thought maybe it was seeds that got washed down from the trees. When we went to church, we saw all these bugs that looked like GIANT ants, some with wings, all over the streets. Yep, they were picking them up... Guess what for? They cook them and eat them! We asked the security guard in our building what they call them? He said, "Po Po de Mayo." They are like June bugs in the United States, but here they come out in May. We asked some of the natives at church if they eat them, and they said they don't like the taste! Interesting!

We had a big temple training yesterday. The temple presidency, plus the missionaries, helped put it on. We had about 100 people who want to volunteer come from all over to be trained! I was in the front hallway greeting people as they came, and it was a touching sight... It was pouring rain and they still came! One lady, who I knew, was soaking wet. She showed me her coat afterwards, and it was soaked. She must have walked part of the way. I am going to give her my umbrella the next time I see her. It was so pretty to see all these beautiful dark haired and gray haired, brown skinned people all dressed in white, some of whom had walked or ridden dangerous buses to get there! The training went from 2:00-5:00pm, so we got home around 6:00pm.

On Sunday we combined what we have with the Murri's for a meal. We had rice and a cake mix. They had chicken and homemade coleslaw, so we put it together and it turned out great. We like sharing an apartment with the Murri's, they are so fun and agreeable. He has a story for everything and they have a good sense of humor, so we laugh all the time. They work an opposite shift, but it is still fun to come home and talk about the funny things that happened at "work." Dad took a picture of the bugs for your enjoyment, but after church they weren't in big groups like before. We even had them crawling around in Relief Society during the lesson because the doors and windows are wide open for ventilation! It was like, "Hey, no big deal, just giant bugs crawling around on the floor!!!" Definitely, good times, people!!!

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Look closely... Here's the bugs! They are about 1" long! Many got picked up while we were at church.





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This is part of our Bishop's family. They are getting transferre​d to Mozambique in three weeks.


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These are our darling greeters at church. M​om, son, and the dad, who just took a little lady in a wheelchair in!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Central Market

Central Market sign.



Did I say no refrigeration? Let's have protein tonight. If it is displayed properly, no fridge needed, right?



Their clothing is very colorful. Maybe they could make me a suit for church. Nobody in the High Priests would forget me.


Paintings with carvings on wood.



Hammocks for every day of the week.



Material for dresses. Would I look good in this?



Shoes and sandals, every woman's delight.



New swing for the house?



Hey, do you think this mask would make me look better? Isn't it Halloween yet?



...But Mom, I want to play the trumpet in the Junior High Band. Gary, you will play the clarinet or the xylophone. Those are your only choices.



You have to keep your hat on for Trek. Hey, are you old enough to go?



Walk with this on your head and you will develop better posture. Thanks, kids.



Eat your fruit and veggies kids so you will grow up to be big and tall. They must not be eating their fruits and veggies because there are lots of small, short people.



It looks like years supply sale at Central Market. Beans and rice anyone?


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I heard this quote at Family Home Evening tonight and was so impressed with it because I realized this is what we are here to do on our mission in Guatemala! Little hands to hold and ties to tie!

"There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. Ours is the privilege to be not spectators, but participants on the stage of priesthood service."  
-President Thomas S. Monson

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Temple Work

Yesterday, in the temple, bus loads of people came. They were the Cakchiquel Tribe, they call them Ke'kchi for short. They are short people from an extreme north area called Pete's. They don't all speak Spanish, they have their own language, but some have learned Spanish. They are a very poor people in material wealth, but rich in love of Heavenly Father and the Savior. One man in his 50's couldn't tie a tie, so I put it around my neck and tied it for him them put it on him. He gave me a big hug. He was four feet tall. He wrote the name on his hand so he wouldn't forget. It was a very busy day in the temple, but very rewarding. I saw an older man, probably passed 60, in a wheel chair take out his endowments for the first time. I think his son helped him through. They were people that were not conquered by the Spanish.
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This picture is of Elder Amado. He will be our new Area President starting in July. He replaces Elder Martino who will be given another assignment. His First Counselor will be Elder Duncan, who was raised in West Point, Utah. He is Keith Duncan's brother. I didn't get a picture of his wife, she was still in Relief Society. Mom said she comes each week, but we didn't know it was his wife. He was born in 1944, the same year as Mom. He is 69 and might be retired next year as a General Authority (that's what he told me). He was the first Guatemalan to become a General Authority. His family joined the church when he was nine. The thing that attracted him to the church as a boy was Boy Scouts.


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We are going to the Central Market tomorrow. It should be interesting. It was a tall building, but in a big earthquake, it collapsed. Now they only use three floors below ground which remained in good shape. They told us to be careful of pick pockets. Don't put our wallets in our pockets, and to hold our bag or purse in front of us next to our body. They said if you carry a bag by your side, they cut the bag and pull things out and you can't tell. They can do this because of the big crowds. Wish us luck.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

ONE MONTH DOWN

Today marks our one month anniversary in Guatemala. We are still alive and the head hunters have not found us yet!

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Mom wanted to go to Nauvoo on a mission, well, I took her.


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The Ajpop Family: Mom, Dad and this little princess, were endowed and then sealed today at the temple. It doesn't get much sweeter than this. I worked in the nursery this morning and got to play with the little girl in the first picture. She was about Eleanor's size, but she told me she was four and her name was Kimberly. She was really smart, and we put about four puzzles together. I just talked and sang to her in English... She just spoke Spanish, but it seemed to work. We help them dress in white, and I got to take her to the sealing room... She was so sweet and good the whole time. When I took her in, she stepped right up and put her hand on her parent's hands... She knew exactly what to do. There wasn't a dry eye in the room, including mine! She gave me a big hug when she left the nursery to go with her parents. What a treasured experience.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Din-Din

Just another boring dinner with nothing good to eat. Oh well, the sacrifices of a senior missionary couple.





There's Mom with her small slice, she isn't feeling well! Especially after I bit her hand. Mom took a slice and I about bit her hand trying to get it back. Oh well, I can share one slice. She wanted me to give the guard a slice, then I had to put my foot down. I threw him a Snickers bar. He seemed satisfied.



Mom: This is my new favorite drink here. A lot of the natives at the temple drink it and it is cheap, healthy, and delish! It has little chunks of "fruit" and cactus meat in it. It only has five calories and no sugar. It's not really sweet, either. You know I usually like weird stuff. :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

P-Day BBQ

Guard tower at Costco.



I think everybody can come to Guatemala. There is a mattress for all at the local Walmart parking lot. Come one, come all.



Yes, we bring our groceries right into the kitchen in a cart! Hey, we're on the 5th floor!



Fun and games. Playing some Jacks.



For P-Day today, we had a cook-out for all of the temple missionaries. This area, where we had the cook out, is where we will have our apartment when they are done remodeling . We will have a grass area all behind a fence. It's very nice back there. Plus, we won't have to take elevator up and down all the time.



Our salad Mom prepared just like home.



Picture of the fried a plantain dessert... So good!




This is all of the sisters at lunch on P-Day.



This is the temple presidency. The brother and sister on the left will be going home first of July. They will be replaced by Jose Galvez and his wife.



This is Alberto and Yolanda Velasquez. They have a cute story of how they met. They had both worked in the temple for a few years, and both of their spouses had passed away. She rode the bus to the temple, he got on one day, sat by her and said, "I'm a worthy priesthood holder with a temple recommend. We should get married." So they did! Now they are temple missionaries, living on the first floor of our building. He is 84 and I don't know how old she is, but they are precious! She is about the size of Amy Roloff. She sings, dances, and plays basketball. She always says, "Que linda," when she sees me and gives me a kiss on the cheek!



We finally got a picture of the couple on their mission. ;)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I Often Go Walking
1. I often go walking in meadows of clover,
And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.
I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over;
Dear mother, all flowers remind me of you.

2. O mother, I give you my love with each flower
To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through;
For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,
I learn how to love them, dear mother, from you.
 
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Happy Mother's Day to the greatest example any of us could have ever asked for! We will never be able to thank you for all that you have done for each one of us. You are amazing. We hope you had a wonderful day, because you deserve it. We love you lots and miss you every day.

Love, All 28 of Us <3

I bought Mom some beautiful flowers for Mother's Day. I spent big bucks for this, as you can see.

Friday, May 10, 2013

They Work Out

Stopped in the pharmacy today and took a picture.



Guard shack at the back of CCA. They are in this most of the day, so if there's any trouble, they will be safe. You know, every man for himself. Those outside exercising... Just run for your life!



This is mom after I dragged her over to exercise. She's already worn out.
 



This is mom showing her displeasure with working out. (Or picture taking!) ;)




This is the rim I bent doing a 360 slam dunk. I didn't put the picture in, that's just bragging.



This is me on recumbent bike putting in many miles.

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I'm pretty sure this number is two hours and thirty nine minutes, not two minutes and thirty nine seconds. Which is amazing because we worked out less than an hour. Well, I am bad with numbers.



 
This is mom pretending she's working out. You can plainly see that is not the case.

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This is Dad working out. Making his body strong and healthy.



This is Mom lifting her cup of water. She gets so thirsty watching me lift weights.



Oh, I forgot this picture of me running. Mom is somewhere pouring water on herself to convince you that she is also working out. I think the pictures speak for themselves. One picture is worth a thousand words. You can plainly see this work out makes me laugh with joy. That is not a fake run, it's a joyful run. Pass these to Alicia, these must be posted to show the real truth of moms lack of effort and my going the extra mile. ;)

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Noooooo! Look what they are doing to the fence around CCM court today... Green material threaded through the chain link, just like on the opposite side/shopping center. We won't be able to be entertained by the missionaries anymore... So sad! I might have to tackle the two guys doing it!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just Another Day in Guatemala

I have to tell a humorous story... Yesterday, in the temple, I was back studying in a small space they have and I would close my eyes and try to say the words in Spanish. Of course, you can guess what happens, I doze off. I don't know how long I was snoozing before a member of presidency came to get me to do something for him, but my legs had fallen asleep and when I jumped up I couldn't walk. I was stumbling around, half asleep, trying to get going. Seriously I was like handicapped trying to follow him for thirty yards. I thought I was going to get fired on the spot for napping on the job. I wanted to tell him about the button on my back side that closes my eye lids, but he wouldn't understand.

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We had lunch at Costco.



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This is the place where Mom got her bag, they just sell through the fence to people walking by.




Distribution Center where garments cost under a dollar. Temple dresses on sale for $4.



Mom out in front of the Distribution Center. It is across from the temple.



Nice security guard at missionary training gate. All of the guards are so friendly.