Monday, March 24, 2014

Meet Our Friends

We can buy all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables from the little street vendors here. Lately, a little old truck has been coming on our street each Wednesday. It is a little mom and her two sons, and we see them as we leave our morning shift at the temple around 1:00-2:00 pm. One boy drives the truck and the other is the PR guy. He smiles and waves us over, and the mom oversees the whole business. We told the other missionaries about them and others have been buying them, too. Here are the tings we got this week. They cut them open so you can taste the samples. This whole thing was about Q50, or about $6.00 in American money!


I have neglected the blog lately, so I thought it might be fun to tell you a little about the people we work with here. We had these two single sisters over for lunch today and it was really fun. Sister Guzman, on the left, came on her mission in January, during the break. Julie got to meet her and she is a lovely, gracious person! She is originally from Chile, but moved to Australia where she lived for many years with her husband. She has no children, but has raised a niece and nephew... They were her sister's children, who died in a sad drowning accident in Australia. She also cared for her husband who died from a rare distrophy disease a few years ago at 62. She worked in the temple there and speaks fluent English and Spanish, so she has adapted beautifully! Sister Paniagua, on the right, was born in Quetzeltenango, so she is a native Guatemalan... It's a homecoming for her and she is very proud of her heritage. She raised four sons on her own, after her husband left when she was pregnant with the forth! She lived in California and worked in L.A. Temple, but has lived in Woods Cross, Utah for the last 25 years and worked at Dick's Market in Centerville for that long. Her boys all live in Centerville, Bountiful, and Woods Cross. She has been here for two weeks and in enjoying seeing people she knew from Guatemala before the temple. She is going great and has a funny personality.


I want to tell a little bit about the couples we worked with the first eight months of our mission. These couples are called as ordinance workers for two years, but it is not an official mission. A rich benefactor created a fund to help them be able to serve a "mission" in the temple here. The fund helps them with housing, but the requirement is they have to share their living quarters with another couple. They are responsible for food and other expenses themselves, so they have tight budgets! These are the Lopez' from Honduras and they were so kind, loving, and helpful to us. They speak no English, but we were able to communicate with each other and consider them good friends.  They finished in November and went back to Honduras to be with their family... We miss them!


These are the Zamora's, who are from Chimaltenango (sp?) which is about three hours away by bus. They are such humble and wonderfully calm people. They finished in December and went back to their family home. (One of their sons lives in Spanish Fork). They have been coming back to volunteer on the Saturday morning shift since their release... Which means a standing room only bus ride early Saturday mornings. We were able to communicate with them and she helped me so much with the correct pronunciation of Spanish words!  Last week they told us that they have accepted a call to work in the Quetzaltenango temple, beginning April 1st, so we won't see them again and we will miss them!


These are the Cuellar's, who lived in the same apartment building as us when we first came, with the Velasquez's. They are from Honduras, but in October, they had to take emergency leave and go to Nicaragua so he could get an operation because he had social security there. He was pretty sick and didn't know if he could return, but he recovered, and in February, they came back ready to go! He was a widower with children and thought he would be alone for the rest of his life, but he met her (she was divorced with children) and they married. She is about 15 years younger, but they are so sweet together and such good workers. They are glad to be back and we are glad to have them back. They don't speak English, but we communicate fine and we love them! They live in the apartment where the Lopez' lived with the Padilla's.


They lived downstairs in our apartment building when we first came. They got released in December, and we haven't seen them, because I think they needed a little rest. On Saturday, they were back to volunteer again and it is so good to have them back! They live in Guatemala City, but she is from Honduras, and we thought they might go back and work in the Honduras temple because she wanted "equal time!" He is a sealer and they are both such wonderful people. She calls me, "Mi Barlow," like I am her own personal one. She is about Samantha's size and he is a little taller!


These are the Galvez', who were here on a mission when we first came. They are native Guatemalans, and in June he was called to be a counselor in the temple presidency here. They went home (they lived In Kentucky working for UPS) for a short time for training and came back to replace President Southwick, who was released. He has been bishop, Stake President, Mission President, counselor in temple presidency and now... It was just announced in the church news that he will be the new president of the Quetzaltenango Temple! So they will be leaving us soon. ): They are very easy going, kind people who will be missed tremendously, but of course the Zamora's are excited because they will be going there!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dinner With the Pitchers

These are our friends, the Pitchers, from Pleasant View, Utah. I have mentioned them before, but I wanted to tell you a little about them and their new calling here! This is us eating Hawaiian Haystacks for Sunday dinner a couple of weeks ago in our apartment. We usually pool our resources and invite each other on Sundays, so that has been a fun respite for the week. We used to walk every day with them until the changed us to all the Spanish speakers shift... One of these things is not like the other! He has been a bishop, a stake president's counselor, and a stake president in Utah. They have five children, four of whom came down during the January break and we traveled with them... It was so fun, especially their red-headed, 15 year old grandson, Jace, who was so funny! She was a teacher in the Weber County School District and Sally O. did her student teaching with Elaine after WSC. Paul served a mission 4 something years ago in Guatemala, so he was so excited to come back. Elaine didn't speak Spanish, so like us... It was challenging for her. About two months ago, Paul was called to be the Executive Secretary to the area presidency: Elder Amado, Elder Ochoa, and Elder Duncan, so they work in the area offices now and will probably have to move from temple housing to a place called Victoria Suites, where all the area office people live. (We call it Victoria's Secret haha!) It is downtown, and pretty far from us. Elaine is still able to work a Tuesday morning shift at the temple. Paul is also a counselor in one of the two branches at the CCM, so they attend church there. That will probably not change, so they will be nearby on Sunday's. We thing they were sent here exclusively for us haha! They have been wonderful friends, they get our sense of humor, and have been a great blessing in our lives here since they came in June. They have given us a sense of family when we are so far from ours. They are wonderful, kind, funny, caring people, and we love them a lot!

Look at this little beauty I scored today for 20. "Bad Venison!" ;) We're living on a prayer! Bahahaha. I am going to wear it to Family Home Evening tonight. Boo yeah!