Monday, September 29, 2014


One Day Left: 1 Last Summary of the Mission

Dad: It was challenging and hard because of the language, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We were looking for ways to serve outside the temple... Humanitarian, anything! I didn't learn much Spanish, but was able to do all the ordinances in Spanish, and pray in Spanish in the temple. I read Mosiah 4:16-26 and tried to follow that counsel about caring for the beggars and the poor. We prayed for someone to help and every day, someone was put in our pah. We also tried to help the people in the temple as well. We didn't buy many souvenirs, but tried to use what we had to help someone else. There were some hard times, but looking back, I am glad I was able to serve here and loved all of the people we met.

Mom: I have always known that Heavenly Father knows our heart, but that was really reinforced here on our mission. I felt so lost the first two months... Trying to understand anything I could in Spanish and missing my family so much! In June, the bishop extended a call to work in the Young Women's and I felt a definite sense of belonging! We have a wonderful group of Young Women. I taught on Sundays and did activities on Wednesday nights and that has been a blessing to me here. I taught them how to tie a quilt and we made one of them for a lady in the ward who was having a baby. After that, I made several quilts and gave them away. We did some for the maternity hospital and the orphans here. I am not a good at memorizing, but was able to learn all the ordinances pretty quickly in Spanish, with the help of my Heavenly Father... And yes, I do understand what I am saying! I have had many sweet experiences in the temple, and with the people out on the street. I know that angels have been nearby in many situations. I have felt the prayers of family and friends, and I am so grateful for all the people I have met here. They will remain in our hearts forever.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Two Days Left: 2 of the Most Spiritual Experiences

1. On September 5th, Grandpa Barlow's birthday, he would have been 100 years old. We were doing sealings and felt his presence in the sealing room. Dad and I weren't with each other, but when we talked about it afterwards, we both had a conformation that he was there!
2. Having my family sealed together on June 11, 2013 in the Guatemala City Temple. I was impressed that we should do them that day and afterwards I said, "Happy birthday, Dad. I love you."

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Three Days Left: 3 of the Best Foods Tried

1. Fruit soup... Served warm! The fruit and veggies are so plentiful and delicious!
2. Homemade corn tortillas cooed on a grill and eaten warm. They cook them outside and sell them 1Q for 4.
3. Rice pudding... Guatemala style!

Friday, September 26, 2014


Four Days Left: 4 of the Most Influential People

1. President Carlos Amado, he was released in August, but previous to that, he was a member of the first Quorum of 70 and Area President for CA.
2. Abundio Muldando is 90+ years old and was formerly the Mayor of Guatemala City.
3. Otto PĂ©rez Molina, the President of Guatemala. We didn't actually formally "meet" him, but we are good friends with his security team. We would get shout-outs and honks when they were driving him to work in the morning!
4. Our wonderful, extraordinary friends on the streets. Street sweepers, handymen, gardeners, security guards, fruit sellers, shoe shiners, little guy with down syndrome, and the rest! Too many to name them all! We got to say goodbye to all of them.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Five Days Left: 5 of the Coolest Places in Guatemala

1. Rio Dulce, we traveled by small boat all the way up the Caribbean Sea at the end.
2. Tikal because of the truly remarkable ruins of an ancient Mayan City.
3. Antigua was the first capital of Guatemala. It was destroyed by two earthquakes and Spanish ruins.
4. Pacaya is one of the many volcanoes here. We hiked it and the next day, it erupted!
5. Lake Atitlan is a beautiful lake with little villages built all around it named for apostles. We did the zip line at Panihachel near here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Six Days Left: 6 Things We Missed Most About America

1. Family and friends were missed so much!
2. Driving a car, although we did enjoy walking everywhere, too.
3. Clean air... The pollution here is thick!
4. The 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
5. Chuck-a-Rama... Can you guess who thought of that one? ;)
6. And of course, speaking English. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


*Having only a week left, I gave them a different topic each for each day, so we get a countdown and a recap of the mission.*

Seven Days Left: 7 Things You Will Miss Most About Guatemala

1. The sweet, humble, polite, industrious, hark-working, welcoming people
2. The weather! It is almost perfect all the time, even in the rainy season!
3. The volcanoes, one erupted for us today that we got to see!
4. The countryside out of the city. The beautiful flowers, trees, plants, little farms, and things growing everywhere.
5. The colorful native clothing, and the ladies carrying everything on their heads.
6. The beautiful babies, children, abuelitas, and abuelitos!
7. The fireworks! They celebrate everything with them, and they are awesome! Especially at Christmas and New Years!

Monday, September 22, 2014

From Weeks to Days!

With a week and a day left, we are marking off days, instead of weeks!

Can you guess what we are doing? :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Last Field Trip with the Pitchers

Here are some pictures from our very last field trip with the Pitchers to a place called Auto Safari. We drove through and looked at all kinds of wild animals very close up and in their natural habitat. It was really fun and beautiful! All the little towns were getting ready to celebrate Guatemalan Independence Day by decorating their little trucks with balloons and streamers. They even had their little families all dressed up. I have said this a million times, but I want you guys to know that the Pitchers saved our lives and our souls here on the mission. We love them so much!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Last Break the Fast

Here we are giving our final remarks at break the fast, last week. We have met many senior couples who are doing all kinds of different jobs on their missions. There was one new couple, and five who will be going home around the time that we leave. Pitchers leave will leave on November 1st, as they have a replacement executive secretary coming in October to take their place.

I did mention there ought to be marathon medals for 1/2, 3/4, and a full "marathon," AKA senior missions! They are not for sissies, but of course, we are not sissies... Okay... Maybe one of us is! ;)


I wanted to say a little about this amazing family we met here in Guatemala, the McComber family. They were assigned to Guatemala two to three years. He was made the bishop of our ward in May last year. He know he would be bishop for only one year, and he set some wonderful goals to accomplish during that time. They have a married son, a daughter on a mission in Russia, a son attending BYU, and three of their kids are here with them. Yes, they are as happy as the look in this picture! He called me to work in the Young Womens and has been one of the highlights of my mission here, and I worked with their daughter Katie Rae and their son Parker in Young Mens. The youngest, "Peach," (everyone calls her that, her real name is Kirstin) is in the 4th grade, but is an adult in a kid's body! Sister McComber is one of the kindest people I have ever met, and thus, so is her family!

Our youth took a trip to the Xela (Shay-la) which is in Quetzeltenango, about six to seven hours away and it was a highlight for them. Every young person who went bore their testimony when they came home. They also have come once a month to the temple to do baptisms for the dead... Researching many of their own ancestors... Some kids had over 1,400 names! We have had several faith promoting activities, thanks to Bishop McComber. One of them was the walk of faith, which Julie helped us with when she was here. We also did an activity where we pretended to be a missionary living on a tiny budget. They had to shop, cook, and serve a meal on the amount of money assigned. Rachael and Blake helped us with that activity and it was fun! The kids played cello, piano, violin, and electronic sax. They played several musical programs for the ward, including a recital, Sister McComber led the singing. They left in July to come to Orem, California, and then to D.C. for Training... Then, they moved the whole family to Ecuador! They all have learned Spanish. I really admire them, they are loved and missed. They have a home in Orem, so we will possible be able to see them again when they come home for the summer!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Our Last Stake Conference

This was our ward choir singing at our Stake Conference last Sunday. We saw a lot of the temple workers and some patrons there. It was filled clear to the back!

This is a picture we took of people coming out of Stake Conference... We loved that so many people were in attendance!

This is how they transport many of the members and investigators to our Stake Conference... And this isn't even all of the buses! They use reconditioned school buses from the U.S. and I always look for a Davis School bus, but I haven't seen one yet. We talked to several investigators and the missionaries had little information packets in zip-lock bags for them.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Our Last Weeks

The are the Burbidges, who we happened to run into in Antigua. She was called to be the nurse at the CCM and he says he just came along for the mission ride! They are from Utah. He doesn't speak Spanish, and is not a nurse, but he just tries to help out where he can! They have an office at the CCM and she tries to take care of all the medical needs there.

This is typical housing out of the city... Sort of like "The Projects" would be in the U.S. There are hillsides of little cities like this everywhere when you leave Guatemala City.

This is one of the many salespeople here in Antigua. There is a baby in the little bag on her back!

Dad was tired of me getting all of the attention for my red hair! This is at a Guatemalan Wendy's!

We saw this on our walk the other day. If we bought it and drove it home, Debbie Garton and I could drive twinning cars!

This is our last group picture with the temple missionaries! One new couple on the bottom right, the Gardners, are here. There will be two other couples coming in October, but we will be gone by then.

This is President and Sister Burk, the Murri's, and us at a typical Guatemalan restaurant. There was even a marimba band! The dinner was to thank us for our service.

Friday, August 15, 2014


We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog for an important announcement... We have been given our release date!! We will be home to our friends and family on SEPTEMBER 30th!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

More Visiting

We took a detour from the tour bus in Antigua and struck out on our own while the bus load went for lunch. We had heard about a place called "Earthlogde," from a ward member, so here we are hiking to find it (high above the city of Antigua). Blake is in his fashionable scarf and his new friend, who loaned him the bike! We walked through this little city looking for our destination. The boy and two of his brothers worked at Earthlodge, so we know we were on the right track.

We finally found Earthlodge! Hiking down to our destination!

Here it is! Earthlodge! It was a charming little out-of-the-way place. It has a little restaurant, cabins, yoga, an avocado field, and was a little hippy-ish place. The food was really good and we probably would have stayed if we could! There were hammocks all over and it was beautiful and relaxing!

This is a common sight in little villages here. This lady is making her way home with the firewood for the day!

This is seen a lot on the highway. A little family heading for their destination/work. Actually, there is usually more people in the back of the truck! There was a baby under the blanket, too.

This was the Ego Ning of our tour at Tikal where we got cauge in a down pour. In less than five minutes, we were soaking wet and walking in water! Yes, we stayed that way for the remainder of the day and the plane ride home. :/ Not flattering, but fun!

This is the town "Laundromat," where women come and wash their clothes. We were on our way to find Earthlodge!

Trying out the "tuk tuk" for transportation. They said it was pretty fun!

Of all the available hats, this is the one dad wanted to buy! This is at one of the little villages at Lake Atitlan with Rach and Blake.

This is a GIANT old tree in Tikal, which I think is the national tree. It's called the Ceiba, it is over 400 years old!

Love the translation here?! We tried not to seat on the monuments!

If you look closely, you can see Rach and Steph at the top of this Mayan Temple.

This was a religious ceremony being performed by this little family around the fire at Tikal.

Here we are under a little grass hut shelter, waiting for the rain to let up. Notice the running water on the ground at the top left corner of the picture? Yes, we were wading around in that!

This is one of the many beautiful Spanish cathedrals in Antigua, when we all took a little day trip with Sister Viveros as our tour guide.

Totally photo-bombed by Blake above Antigua... Still smiling even after he took a bad fall and majorly scraped his leg on that monument in the background!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Catching Up

I have neglected the blog lately and need to get caught up! I will go back to July and try to catch up on our activities here. At the end of June, we had a Guatemalan holiday, Monday, July 30th. I think it was a little like Labor Day in the U.S. The Pitchers had the day off because the area office was closed and invited us to go on a little excursion with them. They have a car now, so we readily agreed! The was the week before Rachael, Blake, and Stephanie came and we already made our travel arrangements for them, so we were free on this P-Day, too! Paul served a mission in Guatemala and El Salvador during 1967-1969, when it was all one mission. He wanted to go back to some of the places he had served. They have already taken a little trip back to El Salvador to meet people from his mission, so off we went! We also traveled with them on Thursday, July 3rd and these pictures included the following cities; San Pedro Yepocapa, Chimaltenango, Patzicia, and an outdoor market in Chichicastenango. We were also going to visit some ruins Tecpan/Iximche, but realized when we got there, that we already had been there with the group on our third day in Guatemala!

This is a little businessman we saw along the way selling hammocks, which are very popular here. I sent on home in Julie's suitcase and hope someone has put it for everyone!

We saw two adorable little sets of twins on our trip with the Pitchers! Aren't they cute in their little look alike outfits?! The family was happy to pose for a picture when we asked them. They are four years old.

This is a "Living Wall." One of the creative things they do with the plants here. It is in front of a business on the wall.

This was a little lookout point along the way, isn't this a good shot of the Pitchers?? Look at the beautiful scene behind them!


The highlight of July was the visit from Rach and her friend Blake who came July 8th. Dad took them on a little day trip while I waited for Steph, who came on the 10th. The Pitchers were good enough to pick up Rach and Blake for us. Our trusty friend/taxi driver, Andres, helped me pick up Steph while they went to Rio Dulce and Lake Atitlan for the day. Steph and I went to the outdoor market by the airport and walked around the zoo on the day she got here. We also went to St. Martin for yogurt and walked around Guatemala City.

This is the day the temple opened after the closure, and we were able to go together for a session. It was so fun to introduce our kids to everyone who was there!

I think I used to be taller... Shrinking, old age, and all that!

These are the sister missionaries from our ward. I invited them for a Sunday lunch, so the kids could meet them. Sister Brown, in the middle, is a Navajo Indian from Page, Arizona. We knew here from the MTC when she first go here and was assigned to our ward. She has been here for 7 1/2 months, so we know her well! She reminds me so much of our Stella, who was with us on the Indian Placement Program at home... Really happy, outgoing, and friendly! Everyone lovers her and she is a people magnet! Her grandparents were placement students in Brigham City and joined the church, giving her family a legacy of church members. She is a fantastic missionary, as are her companions! We have had two Young Women investigators get baptized in the last few months, one was just last week! She got transferred the week after we had this dinner. The other girls are Sister Garcia and Sister Recivas, and they are still in our ward.

Here is a shot above the city of Antigua, which used to be the capitol of Guatemala, until the big earthquake. Then they moved it to Guatemala City, but people eventually came back to Antigua and there are some great Spanish Ruins there.

This is Sister Viveros, who is a former temple missionary. She now volunteers one night a week at the temple and does a little travel business on the side. She took a little bus load of people to Antigua.