Guatemala City Temple

Guatemala City Temple
Here is where we will be working until Nov. 2018


Dear Readers,

We hope as you read this blog of our mission to the Guatemala City Temple in Guatemala you will feel the joy and happiness we are experiencing by being in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We hope you can experience some of what we feel.

John and Christine

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 19th through December 25th

December 19th through December 25th:  Friday both Chris and I had the day off.  We went to the temple and then took Bryce and Kate to Lunch.  Bryce was sick when we took all the kids to dinner a week or two ago, so we wanted to see them and get caught up.  On the way home, we went to a Chinese Market in Salt Lake to get supplies for our Christmas Eve Chinese Dinner.  Guess who gets to be the cook?  We then painted all of Charlotte’s kitchen chairs a very nice soft orange color.  Saturday I got up early and painted a second coat on the chairs.  Then it was 8 hours of Home Depot.  After work we painted a polyurethane finish on the chairs.  Now we are ready to use not only the kitchen, but also her newly painted table and chairs. 

Sunday night stopped at Forest Nunley's decorated house.

Monday I had the early shift, so in the afternoon I got started on food prep for dinner on Tuesday and we finished our Home Teaching on both ends of a Family Home Evening with John’s family at Temple Square.

Family Home Evening with John's family at Temple Square.

This is where we got married over 40 years ago.

Badger left early with me and was my companion for our last visit.  Thanks Badger for going with me.  Tuesday, Christmas Eve, again I started work at 5:00am but it was slow, so I got to leave at 10:30am.

Santa made a surprise visit to Charlotte's house on Christmas Eve afternoon.   Now that's what I call a Home Teaching visit.
Even Mom sat on his knee and yes she has been a very good girl.

I went home and started cooking.  6 hours later I had 6 Chinese dishes ready for consumption.  We fed 22 with kids.  But I had enough food for 50. Chris tried to warn me, but evidently I only know how to cook in quantity.  We will take the leftovers to St. George. 

Spicy Dried Fried Green Beans.
Kung Pao Chicken.
Sweet and Sour Chicken.
Dan Dan Noodles.
Christmas Eve Chinese Dinner.
Christmas Eve Chinese Dinner.

All our kids are meeting there on the 26th for 4 days together in 2 condos.  After dinner we had the Norman version of the Christmas Story acted out by grandkids.  So cute.

Badger as the Narrator
The Norman version of the Christmas story.  Elle and Miles as Mary and Joseph.  Rigby as the innkeeper.
  Add Jake with the star, Stan and Luke as shepherds.  Please note the broomsticks--they insisted on staffs.  Moose is entering as one of the Wisemen.  Thank you Jill for directing.
  Evan and Kimball bring their gifts as Wisemen.  

The Christmas Story.
Then family prayer and to bed.  Mom of course stayed up very late cleaning the kitchen and making a gift for all the grandkids that explains what we will be doing in St. George. 

Family Prayer before everyone heads home and then to bed.   John B. took a reverent picture.

Christmas found us up at 5:30am and at John’s house for opening presents.  His kids had been up since 4 am waiting for us. 

6:00 am at John's home.

Then back to Charlotte’s to watch her kids open presents.  We got home at 7:00am and her kids were still asleep so mom went back to bed. 

8:00 am at Charlotte's home.
Alex had fun putting Miles' plane together.

We then went to Kate’s.  Her kids had already opened their presents, but we got to spend some time with them and see their haul. 

11:00 am at Kate's home.  Abbie got a DOG.
Stan got a switch and go dino.
Kimball loves Star Wars legos.

Then to James’ house to see what Santa brought his kids. 

1:30 pm at James' home. Rigby loves his train.
Kirstin and Rigby
Emme was mostly puzzled by the whole day and couldn't understand why she couldn't play with big brother's trains.

Afterwards, we took his family to see the movie, Frozen.  It was fun, but mom spent her time tending Emme in the lobby.  We had dinner at James’ house and then headed home to bed.  Long day but very fun and rewarding.

Rigby at the movies.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 12th through December 18th

December 12th through December 18th:  Not much to report this week.  I worked a couple more days on the Veteran’s home correcting woodwork and tile work that other people had done.  Thursday: Mom attended the dance demonstration of Ellie, our oldest granddaughter.

Ellie is the third one from the left.

In the evening, we met all our children and grandchildren at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City and walked around a live nativity. The actors were dressed like shepherds and led us through the trees in the park to different scenes of the Christmas story where the wise men or Mary and Joseph were represented and they sang songs. They even had live sheep and a camel. It was very dramatic when an angel suddenly appeared in the dark with a light on her and she began to sing to the shepherds. Kimball (age 4) asked, “Is it a real angel?”  It was really fun, but REALLY cold.  Mom had hot chocolate for everyone afterwards. 

Most of us with our Shepard escorts.
The 3 wise men on their journey to find the Christ child.

Saturday:  Mom attended the funeral of her uncle on her father’s side.  She enjoyed visiting with all her cousins.  That evening two girls from our Sunday School class were in a dance performance.  We went to support them and took two other girls from the class with us. 

The dance performance.

Sunday: We met with the stake president a few days ago to finalize our mission papers and he didn’t have our medical papers.  So after church, I talked to the Bishop and he assured me that he had delivered the papers that night and that the stake clerk had sent them to church headquarters. Now we wait to see if we end up in Oaxaca, Mexico or some other place that the Lord needs us.  After church we drove out to see Pres. and Connie Crayk and pick up the two suitcases he shipped in his container for us. They look great.  It was fun to see them and hear about their last 2 months of adventures in Bolivia.  We then went to Charlotte’s house where all our children and grandchildren that live in Utah came to dinner.  They get together once a month for Sunday dinner and it is so fun to have them all so close.  Sorry, Ginny, Sam, Xela and Willa-- we love you too and miss you so much.  We had breakfast for dinner.  Right in the middle of dinner Merritt and Tom, one of Chris’ dearest friends and her husband arrived with a huge plate of cinnamon rolls.  So yummy.  Mom had said she wished she had made cinnamon rolls.  

Tom, Mom and Merritt and her cinnamon rolls that my kids devoured in seconds.

After dinner we watched old family videos of Christmas from when they were kids themselves.  Great memories and lots of laughs.  Monday: I went to work at 5:00am and mom had a substituting job.  Tuesday:  After work, we went to a Christmas concert at Evan’s school.  He is in the school choir.  He had a small solo part and did not tell anyone.  His mom was really surprised and when she saw him in the front , she sent his little brother Miles, with her I-phone  to get a picture of him.  I am still working on punch list items on the kitchen and front room.  Yesterday I painted the kitchen table and a corner cabinet.  We tended Charlotte’s kid in the evening and decorated ginger bread men.

Papa, Luke, and Evan and the gingerbread men.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 5th through December 11th:

December 5th through December 11th:  Thursday:  I just spent the day doing punch list items, we are so close. Friday:  After work we got the appliances installed I had to run and get a new range cord, but other than that, things went pretty smoothly. Saturday: Charlotte spent the day moving into her new kitchen and I spent the day at Home Depot.  Mom got to go to lunch with some of her old coworkers. 

We are moved in.
Approximately 60 days ago.
Approximately 59 days ago.

We are moved in.
With food in the pantry.

Sunday:  I had to work but I was able to go to Sacrament meeting and take the sacrament and teach our class, but then I had to spend the rest of the day at work.  Monday:  I started work at 5:00am and worked till 2:00pm and mom was substituting.  We went to the Christmas concert at John and Jill’s kid’s elementary school in the evening. 

Ellie is the girl to the left of the boy with his hand in front of her.
Jake is playing peek-a-boo with me.
Moose is leaning in front of the boy with long hair on the back row.
Badger is playing the Ukulele.

Tuesday:  I painted the walls and ceiling of the front room and entry.  My Christmas present came today, a new Nikon Coolpix camera.  Don’t tell Santa I peeked. 

My Christmas Present from Santa came early.

Wednesday:  I installed new blinds in the kitchen and touched up the paint in the front room and entry and of course went to work. 

New Blinds.

At work, the store manager asked if I had ever installed doors or cabinets.  When she heard my answer, I was sent to the home of a World War II veteran.  Home Depot is remolding his house to make it more wheel chair accessible. I will be going back today.   Mom taught 8th grade science.  She says she is learning about lots of new things.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

November 28th through December 4th 2013:

November 28th through December 4th 2013:  On Thanksgiving, we took Badger and Moose to see Ender’s Game.  We all liked it a lot.  We cooked a turkey and had all the trimmings.  It was really nice to be with family on Thanksgiving.  Sorry no picture of eating turkey.  I watched some football on TV while Jill and Chris hit the stores for an early start to Black Friday.  Jill got the really great deals she was hoping for.  We got away on Friday about 10:00am because I had to be back for work.  Saturday, we got up early and went to the temple.  Afterward I got the rest of the floor grouted and Chris painted the pantry doors.  We went to lunch and then went to see Catching Fire, the Hunger Games.  Another pretty good movie.  Then I went to work.  Sunday we were alone for church.  Charlotte’s family was on their way home from Thanksgiving in Denver with Alex’s family.  We had tuna fish sandwiches for dinner.  I can’t wait to have a working kitchen.  Monday, I got transferred to a different department at work so I don’t have to work every night.  In fact I don’t have to work this week until Wednesday. As a result, I worked on the kitchen until 8:00pm.  Mom had a teaching job and then went to help out at Kirstin’s house.  I got all the doors and drawer fronts hinged and hung and hardware installed, finished painting the pantry doors, and finished painting all the moldings. 

Almost done!
Almost done!
Almost done!
The hardware for the drawers.
The hardware for the doors and the molding on the doors that I added at top and bottom.

Tuesday, mom had another teaching job and I worked on the kitchen.  I finished all the electrical, changing out plugs and switches to white from the old ivory color, hanging the pantry doors and installing the hardware, and made of a punch list.

The new pantry doors.

For any of you who have not been through a construction project, a punch list is a list of everything that needs to be fixed, a nick here or touchup the paint there or like install the microwave.  We had dinner with Charlotte’s family and then I showered and got cleaned up for our interview with the Bishop.  That’s right, we got our papers submitted and our interview with the Bishop is now completed and we are waiting to meet with the Stake Pres.  Hurray.  Wednesday, I started work at 5:00am and got off at 2:00pm, but that left me enough time to seal the backsplash and floors.  Alex stayed up last night and scrubbed the tiles and it looks great. 

I think the tile looks great.

I also got the carpet reinstalled in our bedroom from the flood we had the night we got back from Thanksgiving.   It turns out that the father of one of my home teaching families has a carpet company, so I was able to borrow a knee kicker and some hand tools to reinstall the carpet.  I fell asleep about 8:30pm and that’s why at 5:00am I am blogging.