Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Finishing Up May

Here is a picture of us at the Artisans Market. It is outside over by the airport and has a lot of native arts and crafts. Dad saw his hat and wanted me to buy it, but I didn't! We went with the Murri's on P-day last week, and I did buy some cute notebooks for the Young Women to write in for each other. Three of our young women will be leaving this week for the states and other destinations.

This is Brother and Sister Roberts, former temple missionaries! They are now in the presidency of the temple. She took a bad fall in April and had to have surgery on her ankle. She is hamming it up for us, but it actually was quite a serious fall and surgery, where they had to pin her ankle back together. She has been on a little scooter for about three weeks, and is now able to put a little weight on it. She is a trooper! She is actually the second sister missionary to take a bad fall and have surgery here. The hazards of sending seniors on a mission, I guess. They are from Idaho Falls and are really good people. Both are secondary teachers at the same high school.

This is a little lady named Maria, who is in our ward. We discovered her house is on one of our walking routes and went to visit her the other day. We have never met him, but this is her husband Enrique, from Spain, they have a daughter, too. She has Cerebral Palsy, and paints beautiful oil paintings... With her feet! The painting she is holding is of Lake Atitlan and the one on the right is a self portrait of her. She shows her art in a gallery here, but had a few at home to show to us. The Murri's bought the one of Lake Atitlan for Q1800 and the Thompson's bought the one on the ground for the same price. She was educated in Europe and is very interesting to talk to. He is a chiropractor and massage therapist.

This is my little friend, Sandra, who brought her two little charges to meet me! I think she tends them after school. They were adorable and polite. The brother is nine, and the little sister is five. Luckily I had gallettas (cookies) to give them!

Brother Pitcher snapped this picture while driving on the highway in Guatemala City. He called it "pre-nugget" delivery!!

This was at our Primary and Stake activity at the temple and our ward house, which is next to the temple. There are a few kids singing from our primary. There are about five more kids, a mix of natives and Americans.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Our Friends

Here's the latest picture of the Guatemala City temple missionaries with two new couples. The Eberhards from Blanding, Utah and the Wilson's from Alamo, Nevada, who just arrived last week.

These are our friends, the Svensons, from Bar Head, Canada. They went home in April and were pretty vital to the organization of our temple for 18 months. He served as an assistant recorder and she was in charge of the roperias (clothing). They were on straight night shift beginning at 2:00pm and they stayed until the temple closed, which could be 10:00-11:00pm. She did all the sewing and alterations in their apartment and created some beautiful little baby and toddler dresses out of the hemming scraps. He is a science and math teacher and she worked as a teacher's assistant. We hike the active volcano, Pacaya, with them in April. They are really good people.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stories From Guatemala

Here is what I did on the Saturday before Easter. Chris asked me if I was going to hide them for Dad! They would be so easy to find them in our tiny apartment!

Since they don't boil and color eggs here, I just used food coloring and vinegar. They turned out okay, but where are my grandkids when I need them?!


This is the temple presidency before the Harris' left. Left to right: Randy and Donna Harris, William and Patricia Burk, Jose and Enoe Galvez.

This is our new temple presidency. President and Sister Galvez, 1st counselor President and Sister Burk, our new counselor President and Sister Roberts.

This is the precious little fruit truck that stops out in front of our apartment. We told all the other missionaries about it because it is a little mother and her two sons. Sister Tanner and President Burk came out to buy some today.

These are our wonderful secretaries at the temple office. Left to right: Brenda, Evelyn, President and Sister Burk, Martha, and Maggie. I think they got to go out to lunch of Secretaries Day. They are wonderful and help with everything, including making me speak Spanish to them so I will learn it. They are my best cheerleaders and give me thumbs up when I do it right! Dad brings them treats all the time, so he is very popular with them!

This is the first missionary who was sent out from Guatemala. She plungers at the temple and loves to tell her story. I think she told me she was in her 80's and speaks English and Spanish. They sent her out when she was 17! She told me they interviewed her and asked her age, so she just went out! She is a character and has had a very interesting life!

Here is a beautiful neon green lady bug. This is one of the few cute and not mean bugs here! She landed on my shirt while we were walking.

This is what I do to keep my hands busy here.. I am donating them to the hospital, because the indigenous mothers who deliver there, come with nothing for their babies. Sister Roberts helped me with them when she was laid up from a surgery for a bad fall she took in March! I started with 10 and will go from there.

Here's my last ones, ready to tie!


We had an exciting adventure last week when we went to a school program at the University of San Marroquin campus in the heart of the city. This is the Juan Bautista Gutierrez auditorium and the man on the right is Lynn Justice who came out to greet us. He and his wife are the founders of the Equity American School here in Guatemala, where many of the young women go to school. We had no idea where it was, but called our trusty taxi driver, Andres, and he got us there. We got dropped off, so we had no idea where the auditorium was. We said a little prayer that we could find it, and asked a girl, "Donde es Juan Bautista Gutierrez Auditoria?" She pointed us in the right direction and we found it! What a wonderful night and the young women seemed thrilled that I was there. They all came into the audience afterwards! The Justices come to the temple, so we know them and she is an amazing educator and principal. I wanted to apply for a job there! Look up the school online and it will tell you all about Lynn and Bonita Justice and their amazing school. They have eight children and he flies his own plane everywhere. She started it because she was not satisfied with the schools in Guatemala. They have lived in California for 26 years.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sunday Dinners

I need to update the blog, so I will start with my friend, Sandra Rodas, who works part time cleaning the temple. She was needing some extra work because she has a daughter on a mission in Nicaragua and asked the missionaries if they needed any help. I told Dad that we needed to help her, so she comes to our apartment one day a week, along with some of the other missionaries and cleans! While talking with her, I found out that she now has a son on a mission, too... So I am glad that we were impressed to her her out. She does a wonderful job and I love her a lot.


This is a picture of Elaine Pitcher in their new apartment. Booooo! Yes, the Pitchers had to move from the temple housing to a big apartment building downtown called Victoria's Suite (Victoria's Secret :)). They are now about 20-30 minutes away by car, and no, we can't walk there! Brother Pitcher is serving as the Executive Secretary to the Area Presidency and they are no longer temple missionaries, but Sister Pitcher still comes on Tuesday mornings to help out at the temple. We went to their new apartment for a Sunday dinner and a walk a few weeks ago. We miss them a lot!

Dad and Brother Pitcher visiting on the day we went over for dinner.

Beautiful table setting for a fancy dinner!


This is a farewell and welcome dinner at President Burk's house for arriving and departing missionaries! The Harris' and the Svenson's are going home and Sister Tanner and Sister Caballero have arrive from Orem, Utah. The Pitcher's will also be leaving the temple housing so they can be closer to the area offices, where they both serve now.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Our Hike to Pacaya

This is the hiking crew the day we climbed Mt. Everest... Oh wait, it was really the active volcano, Pacaya, which is about an hour and a half from our apartment. This is about 7:00am in front of the temple, with the Distribution Center behind us. Our old apartment building is in the background on the right! Left to right: Brother Karanza (the assistant temple recorder), The Svenson's, and us, looking all fresh and ready to go!

These two adorable girls helped us get our walking sticks. They were five and seven.

This is us at the bottom, paying our admission fee and getting our walking sticks! What?? We paid for this experience!

These are some awesome caballeros at the base of the volcano. This is their business and they follow the hikers offering rides on the horses for Q100 ($13.00). I love horseback riding, so I rode a little way. It was awesome and my little cowboy friend talked to me all the way!

Here's Annie Oakley! I was wishing I had a cowboy hat and boots. The horse was so sweet and gentle!

This is actually warm, hard lava rock. There was a sign that said in Spanish, "Enter at your own risk." What?! I thought this was perfectly safe!

Here we are after the long hike up, crossing the lava field "at our own risk" to get to the tiny store off to the right. The downhill here was hard because it was like walking through silt and slippery. We ended up on our butts several times! It doesn't look steep, but it is!

This is the view from above the warm lava rocks. Yes, that is a little store that sells lava rock souvenirs, etc. It is portable and the guys told us that they can move it quickly in case of an eruption! Yes, it has been moved several times. The two guys who work there are part of a non-profit organization and the money goes to help education of survivors of the last big eruption which destroyed villages below Pacaya. Our little maid told us that her extended family lives there.

Yes, these are the hot coals where we're standing! You can see puffs of steam coming up. This is our guide toasting the treats! They were toasted to perfection!

Here are the delicious toasted marshmallows!

Dad enjoying the toasted marshmallow!

Beautiful view of the volcano... Yes, those are puffs of smoke. It actually erupted two days earlier after our climb. The church has an evacuation plan for the villages at the base and around Pacaya. There are about 3,000 or so people living there.

Here's Brother Svenson with some lava rock. Some of it was too hot to hold for very long. I picked up some small bits for the grandkids.

Before going across the warm lava rock! Our two guides are out in front. The one in red is 15 and they stayed with us all day.

This is a good view of the trail... This part was hard because it is fine soot/ash and is slippery! There are no level parts to rest, just straight incline and the air is smoggy. I had a hard time catching my breath sometimes, but we made it!

These are our guides on the motorcycle, leading us down the mountain when we finished the hike... Four hours later!

Yes, these are my disgusting shoes, socks, feet, and legs after we spent five hours hiking up Pacaya, which is one of several volcanoes here in Guatemala. And yes, the volcano is still active!

This is me soaking my feet after the climb. The bugs here bite right through the sock and are pretty mean!

This is a great shot of Guatemala City, with the temple right in the center, from up on the hill.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

This is our little primary singing a song in English and Spanish. This happened right before the bishop called me out of the audience to bear my testimony!! Happy Mother's Day to me! Bishop McComber is the second on from the last on the stand. He works as a medical officer and will be leaving with his family in June for Ecuador for another assignment. He and his family are wonderful people. I work with their teenage son and daughter in Young Men and Young Women. We will miss them! The lady in the yellow sweater, Sister Mijangos, came up to the stand to interpret for me.

This was Mother's Day dinner at our apartment. The single sisters are, Christina Caballero, Ema Cordon (President Galvez' sister), and Donna Tanner, who is 79 and serving her seventh mission! She says it is cheaper for her to live on a mission, so she just keeps going! She worked as a nurse at American Fork Training School for many years, but did not know our little Marilyn! She and Sister Caballeros are from Orem, came the same day, but didn't know each other.