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, July 29, 2014

July 23rd through July 28th:

July 23rd through July 28thSorry this is a really long post with all the pictures and videos I have added, but I thought you would get a better sense of what we have been doing by adding them. You have to click on the words that say Video of________. Wednesday, we didn’t do much but go shopping at two different grocery stores to get stocked up for the next 2 weeks of fun in Oaxaca.  Sam and Ginny and the girls are right next door to us in the apartment that the Sorcias were in.  They left the Saturday before Sam and Ginny arrived.  It is nice to have them so close and the girls can come over whenever they want.  We had a pretty lazy day of just hanging out and playing on the playground equipment that is right across the street in a neighbor’s back yard.  They are not around, I think they are out of town with their children, and they left the gate unlocked, so I hope they won’t mind.  Thursday, President Atkinson let us take the car to Monte Alban and Tule.  We left around 9:00am and were some of the first tourists at the site.  We got a guide, a 79 year old Zapotec Indian.  Monte Alban is one of the first cities in Mexico, dating back to around 500BC.   Some Mormon scholars believe that it could have been one of the Mulekite cites.  It was very interesting to listen to some of the theories about the carvings in the stone. 

We are all ready for our walk around Monte Alban.
Our 79 year old Zapotec guide.
The ball court.
Our guide explaining that the building would have had plaster on them and would have been painted.  This was found in one of the tombs.
The smooth section in the middle of this pictures is some of the original stucco that would have been painted.
These are original rocks with carvings the guide thought  represented African facial expressions.
This guy had a beard.  The guide said he must have been European because the Indians did not have beards.
This is a sample of their writing.
Xela resting with dad.
The climb up.
Willa enjoyed the climb up.
Resting after the climb up the stairs.
Looking North.
Looking west.
Looking east. Oaxaca in the valley in the distance.
This building in the fore-ground is an observatory.  They knew the summer and winter solstices.
Mom is happy that she has climbed down from all the stairs.
Who is that fat old man?

We had a picnic lunch in a park just below the entrance and then made our way home for naps, Grandpa included.  We went to Tule in the evening to see the “Tree”, one of the largest and oldest trees in the world.  It is a type of Cyprus tree. 

Sam and Gin at the "Tree"

Can you see the face?
Xela would not join the group, this is in Tule at the park in front of the municipal building.
The church in Tule is right next to the "Tree"

Friday, we again took the car and went to Ocotlan.  It was market day and Ginny found the girls embroidered blouses.  We ate squash blossom tlayudas and grilled chicken from the market. 

Sam and I enjoying lunch in Ocotlan.

We were worn out by the time we got home and everyone had to take their naps.  I could get used to a nap every afternoon.  We played sets and runs in the evening.  Mom won.  Saturday, we hung out at the apartments until late afternoon and then we went downtown.  Sam and Ginny went to a museum of pre-Hispanic artifacts and we watched the girls. 

Xela slept while Sam and Gin walked through the Museum. Mom chased Willa.

Then we went and waited for the parade of the delegations of the Guelaguetza.  This was crazy--with huge crowds on narrow streets, loads of music, and fireworks.

Looking down the street during the parade.

The parade of the dance delegations.
The parade of the dance delegations.
The parade of the dance delegations.

The parade of the dance delegations.

The parade of the dance delegations.

The parade of the dance delegations.

The parade of the dance delegations. These dresses are embroidered, not a print.
The parade of the dance delegations.

We left when the girls gave out and got them to bed and then taught Sam and Ginny how to play another card game, 5 Crowns.  Sunday, we went to church at 8:00am.  Then mom and I had a presidency meeting from 10:00ma to noon.  Sam and Ginny had made dinner while we were at the temple.  The girls played outside in a little wading pool mom had bought so they could take baths in the shower.

Willa can't quite get the hang of stepping over the side of the pool.
Xela playing with the water.
Cuddles after playing in the wading pool.
This is how we do baths when we have no bath tub.

We made caramel popcorn and played more sets and runs.  Ginny easily beat us all.  Monday, I went grocery shopping early and then we were off to the Guelaguetza, a dance performance of the different indigenous groups from around the state of Oaxaca.  The teacher’s union had blocked the road to the stadium with a protest, so we had a 15 minute hike to the stadium.  We got there just before it started and we lasted the whole 4 hours.  Lots of different dances, some told stories and others were just good old fun.  

The girls have on their embroidered shirts.
This stadium is on a hill overlooking Oaxaca.  It was built just for the Guelaguetza.
Some of the dance delegations waiting to perform.
The Guelaguetza.

The Guelaguetza.

The Guelaguetza.

The Guelaguetza.

The Guelaguetza.

We had to walk almost to the center of town after it was over in order to get a taxi, but at least it was downhill.  All in all, we were gone 6 hours.  The girls were troopers.  Xela fell asleep on the way home and Willa was asleep 5 minutes after we got home.  I had a crock pot meal cooking, so we all got fed and spent the rest of the day resting from all the fun we had.  In the evening, Sam and Ginny went out to dinner and we took the girls for one more trip to the grocery store. I was awaken this morning, Tuesday, by a 6.3 earthquake.  That gets your attention when the latches on the dresser are shaking enough to make a loud sound.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Buildings of Puebla

The Buildings of Puebla

Here are some pictures of some of the interesting buildings (facades) in Puebla.  It was so interesting that in a block you could have 5 or 6 different facades on each side of the street and they would enhance each other and make everything so beautiful.  Behind one fa├žade was a parking garage but you could tell that the front of the building was old.  I especially like the use of red clay tiles with talavera tiles mixed in.  I hope you can get a flavor from these pictures how interesting and beautiful the historic downtown of Puebla really is.

This one was a garage but look at the wood door.