December 21st through December 27th: It’s been another great week. Monday we loaded up our mini-van with the Hursts, Wilsons, and Prices and drove to Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa to see some Mayan artifacts that are just lying in the middle of a cane field. There was also a small museum that we visited. Brother Ceballos, one of the security guards at the temple, met us there and showed us around. He lives there with his wife and family. It was about a 2 hour drive to the southwest, towards the coast. It was much hotter and more humid there. The museum and the trip into the sugar cane fields were very interesting. One of the big carved stones is believed by some to be a representation of the seven tribes from father Lehi. I don’t know enough about Mayan glyphs to get a feel one way or another. But they were certainly big and interesting. The biggest carved stone is said to weigh about 80 tons. It is no wonder that it is still in the middle of the cane field.
|Our group of adventurers, L to R Elder and Sister Hurst, Brother Ceballos, Mom and me, Elder and Sister Wilson, and Sister and Elder Price.|
|Just outside the museum.|
|Mom really liked this Stella, you can really see the mask that the person has on.|
|Just sitting in the garden of the museum.|
|The sun was pretty strong and shade was at a premium.|
|Sign outside the museum.|
|The museum had a number of pillars. They think they were the entrances into buildings that would have had a wood roof.|
|Some of the pottery in the museum.|
|There was an iguana farm next to the museum.|
|Fuego letting off some steam.|
|This is the 80 ton stone.|
|We decided we all needed to be in the picture.|
|This is a drawing of the stone in the cane field.|
|Another stone in the cane field.|
|One more stone in the cane field.|
|The volcano "Auga" in the background.|
|Outside the chapel in Santa Lucia.|
|We stopped by the chapel and Sister Ceballos showed us the set she had made for their Christmas pageant. It was very impressive.|
It took us three hours to get back because we followed Waze (or Lola, as we like to call her/it) through lots of back roads. Tuesday morning we took a group of senior missionaries to a public hospital to distribute newborn kits. It is really a joy to make these new moms feel special. A mother of one of the senior missionaries had knitted about 80 hats to donate. We got one of the moms to put the hat on her baby and she let us take a picture to send it to the lady that had knitted the hat.
|Some of the new moms we gave new born kits to.|
|One of the new babies. So sweet.|
|She had just had twins.|
|The mom and baby who has on the hat that was knitted by the mother of one of the missionaries in the area office.|
We then took some of the temple missionaries to do their weekly shopping. We were off for the week, except that we will work Saturday for the Rosales. Wednesday I spent most of the morning doing family history. I found over 100 new names by adding census and marriage records to names I had already reserved from before we left. It is rewarding to find brother and sisters of someone and be able to document them and then request to do their temple work. Our stake in Bountiful is a pilot stake for printing your own names instead of taking a request page to the temple to have the names printed. The stakes here in Guatemala should be able to do this sometime in January. I have printed a few but I am going to wait till it is available here before I introduce these new cards to the temple. They are all white with just a box that either says Male, Female or Couple. Everyone in the temple will have to be more careful to make sure that men are doing male names and woman doing female names. Thursday, Fourteen of us went to see Star Wars. We all enjoyed the movie. Our children and grandchildren got together on Christmas Eve and we were able to Facetime with them as they opened presents and read the Nativity from the scriptures. Jill had printed off “faces” for the wise men, shepherds, angels and Mary and Joseph. Each of the 13 grandchildren had a face on a stick that they were supposed to hold up as they reenacted the story and sang a corresponding hymn. We giggled as we watched this well thought out plan dissolve into mayhem as the children ran around flapping their “faces” at each other and ignoring the scriptures and music. This is how memories are made and we thank John B. and Jill for hosting such a wonderful evening. Friday, Christmas day, we only got to talk to Ginny before we had about 35 people over for brunch. I got up early and made cinnamon rolls. We had lots and lots of good food. The ham turned out to be very tender and juicy.
|Brunch is ready.|
|The hams and cinnamon rolls.|
|Mom did get to eat.|
We Skyped with most of the other kids in the afternoon. In the evening we had the Prices, Wilsons and Elder Allred come over and we played games: Mexican Train and 5 Crowns. Saturday we got up at 3:00am and we went to the temple at 4:00am. Usually the temple is really busy on Saturdays. But the 5:00am session only had a few people in it. By mid-morning things picked up and we had a nice day. One of Brother Flake’s sons, Jacob, who had brought us the Sacrament a few weeks ago, came to receive his endowment. He is going to serve in the Ecuador, Guayaquil West mission. It was fun and rewarding to help him on his special day. I told him to get ready for hot and humid. I served in Guayaquil many many years ago. We got done at 2:00pm and went shopping for a few things for Sunday dinner. We invited the Sister missionaries, the Plasketts and 2 high school girls visiting the Plasketts to dinner tomorrow. Sunday we went to church at the chapel right next to the temple. It was nice not to have to speak. We then had are guests over for dinner.
|Our Sunday dinner guests.|
I started reading a book mom gave me for Christmas about Joseph Bates Noble, one of our ancestors. It was a great week filled with fun and interesting events. We are so blessed and feel so grateful for this opportunity to serve. Happy New Year to all.