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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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 19th through Monday June 24th:

Wednesday, June 19th through Monday June 24th:  It was so nice to see a bus arrive at the temple yesterday. 
Tuesday bus arrival. Group from La Paz.
We generally see buses arriving on Thursday and Friday.  But a bus at the beginning of the week was a welcome site.  I had cooked Chinese on Tuesday and we had so much left over that we invited the Hurst’ and the Harrison’s to lunch for leftover Chinese on Wednesday and on Thursday Brother Eames came down and got a plate of leftovers.  I guess I am trying to get in the practice of cooking for 15 or so, so that when we get home I will be able to cook for the whole family.  It’s fun to sit around after a shift in the temple and learn about everyone’s family and get to know them better.  Friday was a holiday here in Bolivia and the kids were out of school.  We were overflowing in the patron housing building and crazy busy in the temple as well.  Most of the sessions on Friday and Saturday were full or close to full.  We had a group of “Damitas” (Mia Maids), come on Friday morning.  They wanted a talk from someone in the Presidency.  We were off on Friday, so we got the assignment.  They had made arraignments to arrive at 8:00am and we would have a meeting for about an hour and then they would all go to the Baptistery. 
Las Damitas Friday morning meeting.
We also had a group of about 100 youth and YSA (young single adults), arrive from Sucre.  We were trying to accommodate all these groups, but the Damitas didn’t show up till 9:00am and mom and I talked to them till about 10:00am, hoping the previous group would be finished.  The Baptistery was full all day, so we hope that everyone got the opportunity to participate.  They were a cute group and I talked about being agents and not objects and how as we listen to and follow the influence of the Spirit, the influence of the adversary is less in our lives.  Mom gave a fun talk using Sister Ann Dibb’s theme, “I’m a Mormon, I know it, I live it, I love it”.  She had some of the girls come up and answer questions and then she gave them a little prize.  It’s so enjoyable to be able to teach and testify to these groups.  Saturday we were on the morning shift and we were at the temple before 6:00am.  I had 3 new missionaries and mom had a number of new brides.  We had 2 sealings after the last session and one of them had an 8 month old baby that had been crying hysterically in the nursery as she waited for her turn to go up and be sealed.  No one could console her.  Finally, mom suggested that they take off her dress which was very fancy and poofy and Haydee, who is in charge of the laundry, took the baby to the laundry and wrapped her up like a papoose in a warm towel right out of the dryer.  This worked like a charm and she went to sleep and slept until mom brought her to the sealing. We will have to remember that trick.  After the sealing her mom nursed her and she was a pretty happy girl.
On Sunday, Pres. Crayk went to Santa Cruz for another stake conference.  Connie, his wife, wanted to attend the ward where Sister Caballero had moved to.  She used to be one of our shift coordinators, but we haven’t seen here much since her release and we were worried about her.  She now attends the Arocahua ward that meets at 10:00am.  We had invited the Vallenas’ to lunch at 2:00pm and we had another speaking assignment at 4:00pm.  So we decided to attend the sacrament meeting of the Amancayas ward that meets in the same building at 8:00am and then stay for the Arocahua sacrament meeting at 10:00am.  That way we could see sister Caballero and then be home by 11:30am so we could get lunch ready.  One of the missionary couples here at the temple, Elder Perez and his wife, attend the 8:00am ward and we offered to give them a ride to church.  Saturday morning he talked to one of the counselors in his bishopric and explained that Connie and mom and I were coming to their sacrament meeting, so all three of us were invited to speak.  This is always a little nerve wracking, but a wonderful opportunity to teach and bear our testimonies.  Saturday night after all the missionaries were home from the last temple shift, we invited a group to go to Choco Chicken for dinner.  This is a local eatery that serves pretty good deep fried chicken with French fries, fried yucca and fried bananas.  A cholesterol delight!  It is a nice way to unwind from a long day. 
Chicken at Choco's. Saturday night after the last shift.
Sunday morning we were on the way to sacrament meeting at 7:30am.  Sister Crayk gave a great talk about when she was 13 years old and her father lovingly asked her to promise to be chaste and virtuous.  She wanted to keep that promise and so when her boyfriend wanted kiss her she told him no.  She then tied it to her experience on the bike trip from last week where the guide warned them that most accidents happen when people get overly confident and forget to be careful.  She told of sitting on the overhang and not thinking it was dangerous, but then seeing the pictures the next day, taken from across the canyon,  she realized just how steep the cliff was. She related this to that many times we can’t see the danger in our lives because they are too close to us, but our Father in Heaven can see them and that the commandments and the Holy Ghost are there to protect us from the dangers we can’t see.  Mom talked about the ways we can follow Pres. Monson.  I talked about eternal life and what we need to do to obtain it.  We ended right on time and I thought it was a good sacrament meeting.  I was asked to speak in the next sacrament meeting and was the 3rd speaker.  We had a nice chat with sister Caballero and learned her son had been in a car accident and then she had fallen also.  She promised she would be back to the temple soon.  Saturday afternoon I had made everything for burritos, so all I had to do was put the filling in the tortillas and then heat them up and make the Spanish rice.  We also had Sister Monroy to dinner.  Brother and Sister Vallenas will be leaving this next week.  They have completed their mission and will return to their home in Cusco, Peru, but only for about a month.  Their son, who just finished his mission to Lima is here in Cochabamba studying medicine at the university.  So they will be home a month and then return and live here with him.  They will come back and be temple workers a few days a week.  They have been very faithful temple missionaries and we have enjoyed their friendship. 
Los Vallenas.
I then ran to the airport and picked up Pres. Crayk.  He had been a stake conference in Santa Cruz and had seen Brother Cusiconqui. We all served in Ecuador 42 years ago. 
This is Brother Cusiconqui, his wife, 8 year old son and Pres. Crayk.  His first wife died and his oldest son by his first wife is 36 years old.
You do the math.

 Mom and I then went to the Rosedal Ward to speak to a group of young single adults.  Mom did a particularly good job. 
Left to right little boy I have no clue, Rudy, Johan, Diana, mom, new baby, me.  We saw them while waiting for our meeting with the YSA to start.
Mom and Diana's baby.
The YSA group from Rosadal.
We were home by 6:00pm and were able to listen to the worldwide training on the Work of Salvation.  Monday we were up at 4:10am.  We had an outing planned with the temple missionaries for P-day.  The bus was suppose to arrive at 5am but arrived on Bolivian time, 5:30am. 
On the road again.
On the road again.
We went to Villa Tunari to visit some national parks.  Our bus ride took us over the mountains to the east and down into the jungle. 
Pit stop on the way to Villa Tunari.
Pit stop on the way to Villa Tunari.
Mom is always taking pictures of little kids.
Clouds as we head down into the jungle.
We visited one park and it was raining so hard, all we did was have them take us to the other side of the river in a basket.  We waited for everyone to get ferried across and then went back.
Some of us decided we would walk across the wood bridge.  The bus did make it.
 The road into the park was an adventure also.
On of the national parks.
Some of us at the river's edge.
Waiting for the basket to take us back.
Mom trying to get lost in the jungle.
Mom at the river.
  Going across the river.

We then went to an orchid garden, but the orchids were not in season and so we saw some other interesting flowers that grow in the jungle. 
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Flowers that grow in the jungle.
Lynn Crayk and his rabbit ears.
We then went to lunch.  I had venison and some kind of wild pig.  Mom stayed with the safe chicken. 
Waiting for lunch.
Venison and Jochi meat.  Jochi is kind of a cross between a wild pig and a rabbit.
Yum Yum.
We then tried to visit a park that had a lot of monkeys.  They are closed on Mondays and they wouldn’t open in the rain.  It rained most of the day.  We tried one more park that raises turtles.  The road was really muddy and we didn’t want to get the bus stuck and we didn’t want to walk a ½ mile in the mud, so we headed back to Cochabamba.  We got home a little after 8pm.  A long day and a long bus ride, but it is always fun to be together and to get to see some of the country. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 10th through June 18th:

Monday June 10th through Tuesday June 18th:  It seems that there were some shenanigans going on during the bike trip down the road of death a couple of weeks ago. 
The road of Death
The road of Death
This resulted in President Crayk being accused of causing his sister-in-law to fall over in the middle of a river and then Elder Johnson falling on top of her.  Thus it was decided that for family home evening we would hold a trial to determine his guilt or innocence.  Everyone had a part.  Elder Harrison who wears a patch over one eye was “Judge, An eye on justice, Whoppner.  I was the defense attorney, Dopy.  The prosecutor was the plaintiffs’ husband, Perry Mason Gutierrez.  This was really a one sided trail to inflict a trumped up charge upon my innocent client.  After great defense motions, which were all overruled, in my closing remarks I pointed out that the defendant had the power to inflict double shifts on anyone that voted guilty.  The jury came to their senses and returned a verdict of 4 for guilty and 4 for innocent.  So my client was released on his own recognizance and we will wait and see if the prosecution wants a retrial.  


She is down for the count.

Elder Johnson piling on.

Diana saves Elder Johnson from getting really wet.

 You decide his guilt or innocence?

Wednesday we had Presidency meeting thus the picture.

Mom and I and Sister and Pres. Diaz.  Presidency meeting.

  Thursday evening, Sister and Pres. Crayk went with us to the recital that Fito had invited us to when he was at lunch last week.  We were all impressed with the quality of the soloists, 3 flautists and 4 violinists.  It will be so exciting when the BYU music students arrive next month.  They will be teaching at the Instituto Sinfonico with Fito.  We are hoping to organize a concert for members and investigators at the end of July. 

Mom working the crowd at the recital.
Sister Crayk, Pres. Crayk and Fito at the recital.
Two of the soloist.

Saturday we officiated one of the early sessions and then at 10:00 am we both spoke to a group of Relief Society sisters from El Alto.  They arrived at the temple early Saturday morning after being on a bus for 8 hours.  They got cleaned up and we had the meeting with them and then they all attended either the first or second session in the afternoon, we were on shift.  First session had 39 sisters and 9 men and the second session had 36 sisters and 5 men.  They then got on a bus leaving about 10:30pm for the bus ride back to La Paz.  They arrived just in time to go to church Sunday morning.  This type of sacrifice is very inspiring and the Spirit was very strong in our meetings. 

1/2 of the group of sisters from El Alto.
The other half.
The four sisters on the second row directly behind mom and I are Aymara.
Some of the sisters from El Alto as they get ready to leave.  It's 9:30 at night and they have an 8 hour ride in order to be home for church the next day.

Sunday, June 16th:  Pres. and Sister Crayk are in La Paz at another stake conference, but left us the car.  Mom received a call on Saturday and was asked to speak to another group of Relief Society sisters in the Petrolero Ward on Sunday evening.  I was not sure where it was so we got up early and left at 7:30am to go to their sacrament meeting.  I drove right to it after using the meeting house locator on the churches web site.  We also went to the Tiquipaya ward sacrament meeting at 2:00pm in the afternoon.  We left right after to attend a good-bye party for Sister Flores who leaves on Tuesday for her mission to Quito, Ecuador.  It was fun to tell her a little about the food and people of Ecuador. We had to excuse ourselves at 4:30pm to make it back to the Petrolero Ward house by 5:00pm. 

The invited guest at the good-bye party for Sister Flores.
Mom, Sister Flores, her dad, and me.

At 6:30pm mom had already spoken and it was a break so she made a graceful exit and we were back home by 7:00pm.  We were both pretty tired from a long day.  Mom and I both spoke in the first sacrament meeting.  I spoke in the second and then mom spoke at the evening meeting, 6 talks in two days, not bad.  Monday we attempted to visit Willie Escobar and his daughter who are still recovering from their bus accident, but alas they had all gone back to La Paz for a treatment and we missed them.  Tuesday we were off so I cooked Chinese again and had the Perez' and the Crayk's to lunch.  Here they are cleaning up and doing the dishes.
Left to right Sister Perez, mom, Connie, and Elder Perez.