Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Taxi to the City

Well, yesterday and today have been an adventure! Yesterday, there was a big RAT in front of our apartment about three feet away when I was outside! It was stalking a little bird and sneaking along like a cat. I stomped and clapped so the bird could get away and it ran into the bushes in front of our apartment! No bueno!

Dad and I headed into the city yesterday. We called a taxi and went with our new best friend Andres. I felt pretty safe... No seatbelts, no English, but a carved cross on the mirror and a little statue of Mary on the dashboard... Can't go wrong with that! It cost 150 quetzals for the taxi.

Today was a substitute taxi driver, because Andres was in Antigua! Really nice guy who speaks a little English and offered to drive us anywhere we need to go during the next 16 months. He is friends with the Southwicks who are leaving next week! We even had him stop at Wendy's and bought him lunch on the way home!

PS. No crosses, religious symbols, Mary, or seatbelts [in the taxi] but these guys are experts at driving in this crazy traffic!

PSS The driver said I was the first person he had seen in Guatemala with red hair! I pointed to the Wendy's sign to show him another redhead! haha! This red hair is really a hit with the natives! We love you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Immigration Office

Yes! That's the name of the cafe... Wonder what they're serving?! No comment on what the Bimbo Cafe is serving...Bahah! We had to go to Immigration Offices to get our picture taken and sign some documents that we couldn't read for our visa. Hope we can get outta here... No visa yet! Notice even at this office, a little "store" set up. Storekeeper was not very friendly though!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day, Missionaries, & Fruit

Here's all the handsome and talented temple missionaries celebrating Father's Day, which was today in Guatemala! Hermano Velasquez on the bottom right is 84 years old and going strong! He is from Honduras.

This is President and Sister Southwick, the first counselor in the temple presidency. They came here on a regular mission and got called to the presidency! They are going home in two weeks, after serving for two years! Donna Harris is on the right.

This is an awesome couple who are only in their 50's, the Viveros' who are leaving in two weeks also. They are coordinators and have helped us so much with Spanish... They speak some English, and we will miss them. She was a Catholic, single mother, and joined the church through a friend. Then, she met him online and they ended up getting married. They may go to Honduras later and serve six months there at the request of the president of that temple. They love working in the temple.

Here's some of the fruit here... Cheap and delicious... Just disinfect it first!

This looks like a crawling creature or a sea anemone, but it's a fruit!

Here's what it looks like inside. You eat the white part and spit out the pit!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Birthday/Father's Day!

Happy Birthday and Father's Day to my partner in crime of 51 years, who turned 70 today! I made a turkey roast, potatoes, carrots, jello fruit salad, and Sister Murri made homemade rolls, so we had an American dinner! Here's his birthday "cake," sorry, no candles! I am really proud of him for coming on this mission, learning Spanish, leaving his family comfort zone, and learning new things every day... Like in school... Which he hated! It has been a big challenge, but sometimes I am proximity of his voice, and when I hear him speaking Spanish, he sounds really good! Hats off to you Dad, for accepting this call and doing your best every day, even though you don't always feel well. I am blessed to have such a funny mission companion! Love you and my family!

Happy Birthday and Father's Day, Gary you are the best. (From Gary) Two mile walk for this.

Birthday serenade in Spanish for the birthday boy! Who is that redhead?!!!

Close up of the birthday boy! He wasn't embarrassed...Bahahah!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Faithful Guatemalans

This is the gas station on the way to the temple and CCM. It gets robbed all the time, we just learned there was a murder there, and on the left side is the busy highway where they pull in. They pump the gas and there are security guards all over there. We have almost been hit several times because they don't slow down when they pull in, and if they hit you, they'd probably honk for you to get out of the way! That's the back of our apartment building on the right. We are about a city block from there.

This is how the members travel to the temple from far away because the public transportation is too dangerous. We talked to a youth leader tonight at the gas station... They came for baptisms and were getting little snacks for the ride home in the bus for two hours! Wards and stakes come on these buses. too from even farther. One group left at 1:00 in the morning and got there about noon for the sessions and were there all afternoon. They drove home afterwards.

This is a group of people lined up to come in the single front door to the temple... Sometimes the line goes around the front and there are always people on the lawns. Sometimes a mom will come to do a session, bring a boy to do baptisms, and a little boy will wait quietly in the lobby for them to finish! Sometimes they come right from work on public transportation... So faithful!

I  told Dad, "We'll probably get shot for taking their picture!" They were not happy!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Catching Up

The missionaries from the CCM come to the temple on Tuesday and Wednesday each week. We love to visit with them and while we were waiting in the lobby on the 11th, we were talking to a group. One boy had bright red hair and we were joking that we must be related (the red hair has been a big hit with the locals)! He asked where we were from and we said, "Layton." He said, "Do you know the Johansen's?" We said, "Maude and Bro Jo?" He said they were his grandparents, and we told him they used to be our neighbors in our ward! He is a really nice kid with a cute personality and was going home on Thursday this week! Small world, huh?
We had two activities this week. One was a game day on P-Day at President Southwick's house. We brought treats and the hermanas played games. WOW! These Latin sisters are competitive and funny... They want to win in the noisiest way possible! We played a Latin bingo game, with pictures and Spanish words. It was great vocabulary practice for me. Then, we played a gato (cat) game (Annie will love this) where you crawled around like a cat and tried to make a person laugh while they pet your head and say, oh poor kitty three times, in Spanish of course! It was hilarious and the older Latin temple missionaries were the funniest! Then, the Relief Society had a baby shower for a recent convert in our ward. I worked in the morning, so I could go... In fact I walked there in the dark by myself! No fear! They played games. These Latins are all about game playing. One game was you measure off so may squares of toilet paper and the guest of honor puts it around her tummy. Whoever gets the closest measurement wins and someone got it exact! We played a couple of other word games, and then everyone wrote baby advice on cute shapes of paper. Mine was short... Sing Primary songs to the baby! I thought about Jenny the whole time because she was due the same time as Jenny and was having a boy! She got a lot of helpful and nice things.

I met a missionary there from San Antonio, Texas and she was going home Thursday, too. In fact she was in Elder Johansen's mission and was flying home on the same plane. Her name was Sister Sanchez and she was in our ward at the beginning of our mission, before we came. She had a new little baby sister born while she was gone! They served a tamale made from chicken & potatoes on a banana leaf... Delish! They also had cupcakes and punch. They grind up fruit and their own punch here. I forgot my camera and wished I had gotten some pictures.
We will not be the new kids on the block anymore. A new couple is coming tonight from North Ogden. Their name is Pitcher and they are from Sally's and Sue's stake. He went to Guatemala on his mission, but I don't think his wife speaks Spanish. All the missionaries brought something to their apartment. When we got here, there was milk, bread, eggs, and a cake for Brother Murri... It was his birthday. I took cherry cobbler, eggs, and soap over to them. We are doing better in Spanish... By that, I mean dad has lost the "deer in the headlights" look!
On P-Day while we were shopping for groceries, President Harris was running in the parking lot and fell hard on the cement! Got a big bump on his head, skinned both knees and elbows, broke his glasses, and hit his wrist! He was driving and holding ice on his head the whole way home. Tuesday was his day off, so he rested and Donna said he refused to go to the doctor.  He has been working though and doing somewhat better. He even broke his glasses, but they were able to fix them at Walmart. I know he had a concussion and bad headache!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Birthday Present of a Lifetime

Today, June 11th is Grandpa Woolsey's birthday. He would be 107 if he were still here! When I woke up at 4:30 am (we are on the early shift this week) I was thinking of him. When I got to the temple, I had the distinct impression that we should do the work for him that we couldn't do in the Bountiful Temple the day our family did other family sellamentos. After our shift, we went home to get the paperwork, which I have been carrying with me since we left on our mission, hoping to get it done somehow. We went back to the temple, explained to a secretary in Spanish-English and gestures what I wanted, she understood and finished it up! We waited in the lobby until they could do it... On a beautiful, sunny day (it had rained for three days solid, but cleared up that day and rained the day after) my father and mother had their three children sealed to them in the Guatemala Temple! Another miracle to write in my book.... Be patient and it will come! Happy, happy birthday, Dad. I love you and everything will be okay!

Monday, June 3, 2013


Bought a fancy piece of jewelry today! 8 quetzals!

They shoot fireworks all the time for whatever reason. They shot them tonight on our 51st anniversary, so I took picture out the window. It was nice of Guatemalans to honor us, and they don't even know us.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Snacks and Naps

Here's a normal supper/snack for us. I cook the black beans in the crockpot... A real native meal! We eat our main meal at the CCM around 1:30. Lately, we have been splitting one meal... Dad eats the meal, and I eat the soup. Our BFF Carlos, the chef, makes a big pot of soup every day, so I am in soup heaven here! We eat the fresh fruit and take the dessert to the guards in our building... Shhhhh, we're not supposed the take food out of the lunchroom! I actually think that rule is for the young missionaries, so they won't take food to their rooms.


Sister Murri took this picture Saturday morning in front of our apartment. That's why they have so many hammocks at the Central Market for sale!