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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Monday, May 25, 2015

May 18th through May 24th:

 May 18th through May 24th: Monday, we did some shopping 
and had a very lazy day. Mom did have a dinner at 4:00pm for the presidencies of the Relief Society of the stakes here in Oaxaca.  They all met at President Atkinson’s home and had a wonderful dinner.  
The Relief Society Presidencies and Mom at the dinner.
The buses can get pretty full at rush hour.
Thursday we had just one bus come from Tlaxcala.  They were a delight to have in the temple.  Friday we had 2 groups come with a total of 4 buses.  We were busy and the Spirit in the temple was wonderful.  Saturday we had 7 buses come.  We started at 5:00am.  The last sealing session I did ended about 1:30pm.  I got home at 2:00pm made lunch and then we went back as patrons for a special session for the Area Seventy, Elder Miron and all the stake presidents and their wives.  It was a long day and we were ready to go to bed when we got home at 7:30pm.  Sunday we went to church at the Reforma Ward.  Good meetings.  
The Relief Society Sisters, Reforma Ward mom is on the right at the back.
We then had lunch with Elder Miron and the Presidency of the Temple, the full-time temple missionaries and President Madsen and his wife, at their home.  
Waiting for dinner President Madsen's home.
The dinner was catered.  The food was delivered Saturday night and all we had to do was heat it up.  It was delicious and we had a nice time together.
Dinner with Elder Miron, he is on the left. Then Sister and Pres. Atkinson, Elder and Sister Roesberry, Sister and Pres. Pena, at the back Alan Meza, Sister and Pres. Serrano, Sister and Pres. Madsen, in front, me and mom, Sister and Elder Ray and last but not least Sister Zarco.

The clean up.
I got to sweep the floor.
Work continues.

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 11th through May 17th:

 May 11th through May 17th: Before I start the week I need to add something about last Friday.  While President De Hoyos was in the session, a couple came with a few family names to be baptized.  President Atkinson has told us to always try and accommodate people with family names, even if we are not doing baptisms at that moment.  So, President Pena tried to see if we could find enough workers to do their names.  He asked me if I would come and help.  I saw this as the opportunity I needed to get baptized for my uncle, Bill Prigge.  The man baptized his wife and then I baptized him and then he baptized me for my Uncle Bill.  He is the husband of my dad’s sister Doris.  He is the last of the spouses of my Norman aunties to have their work done.  After we got done, we all went to initiatory and did that part of their work.  It was really special to do the work for someone I knew when he was alive.  Monday I wanted to cook, so I made barbequed pulled pork sandwiches and baked beans.  We had everyone over for dinner and then had a family home evening at the Atkinson’s.  
Lucero, Laura and Sandra washing dishes after dinner Monday night.
Bobbett, mom, Cathy and Jan relaxing after dinner Monday night.
President Atkinson was a vice president of Franklin-Covey and he taught us about goal setting and planning.  Tuesday we had presidency meeting and then mom and I went downtown and checked into a bed and breakfast, “La casa de mis recuedos”, the house of my memories.  What a charming and fun house.  President and Sister Atkinson gave Chris a nights stay at this B and B for her birthday and then let us play hooky for a day.  
 The courtyard outside of our room.
The sink was in the entry room.  Notice the mirror and the pounded tin on the door.
We loved this painting of the Pineapple dance.
Another dance themed painting in our bedroom.
We felt a little guilty but, by Wednesday morning we did not want to go back to work.  It was so fun to walk around the city and relax with absolutely nothing we had to do.  Of course, we had to visit mom’s favorite book store and she found a novel about Cortez and the conquest of Mexico.  We had a great break and President Atkinson really knows how to spoil us.  
I take pictures of all the cool entryways I come across as we walk around town.
This is a church we came across and had not visited.  We have been here a year and there are still about 20 churches we have not visited in the city.
Most of the old decorated walls were painted over.
Mom waiting for breakfast Wednesday morning.  This B & B was so charming.
Mom says she wants an orange wall someday in our house.
Our breakfast table.
Egg omelet with squash blossoms on top with a green salsa.
Yum, yum.
The courtyard outside of the dinning room.
The Palace Museum.
This mural tells the story of Mexico.
This mural tells the story of Mexico.
This mural tells the story of Mexico.
Looking out the window looking north from the second story of the Palace Museum.
The church across the street from the museum.
Looking out the window looking south from the second story of the Palace Museum.
There are three courtyards in the middle of this building.
This mural tells the story of the indigenous peoples of Mexico.
This mural tells the story of the indigenous peoples of Mexico.
The courtyard of another church.
The Jacaranda  are starting to bloom.
Selfie as we stopped to rest.
This courtyard was surrounded by shops.
What beauty there is in just one flower.
Wednesday we got home about 1 PM and made lunch and then spent the evening in the temple.  I went on a session and did the endowment for my uncle Bill.  Now all I have to do is seal Doris and Bill together.  I am trying to decide if I want to be the sealer or represent Bill.  Thursday we did not have a group coming so we had another special session for the Relief Society.  The sisters always come through again and we had a full session.  Friday we had just one bus come, but they stayed till the lights were turned out.  Saturday was a different story, 5 buses arrived, 3 early so we started at 5:00am and then two arrived about 7:30am.  They all left about 2:00pm and then we had 10 people from Puebla come for the sealing of a young couple. In the evening, President Atkinson and I did a training session for the Ward Council of one of the wards in the Amapolas stake.  It is fun to be with him and have an opportunity to teach along-side this great servant of the Lord.   Sunday we went to church at El Bosque ward and then in the afternoon we had a coordinators meeting.  
These are the shift coordinators who came to the meeting Sunday.
We talked to all the kids in Utah.  They were together for dinner at James’ home.  It is so nice that they get together once a month.  We wished we could have been with them.  But Facetime is a great blessing.  We also got to talk to Ginny in LA and Sam in Mexico City.  The weeks are flying by and we are having some great experiences that are shaping our lives and changing our nature.  That is the point, is it not?
It looks like there will be at least some of a third floor.

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 4th through May 10th

 May 4th through May 10thMonday, after mom went to

 physical therapy, we drove up into the mountains north of 

Oaxaca with the Penas, Rays and the Roesberrys.  

We drove to a restaurant that serves trout.   We knew 

of the restaurant from a previous visit about a year 

ago with the Allreds.  We had a great meal and sat 

around the table and talked for over 2 hours.  
Arriving at the restaurant, Buena Vista (Good View).
The fish tanks are right outside the back of the restaurant.
One of the fish tanks.
I used the timer on the camera to get this shot.
Ross did the honors this time and took the picture.
It is hard to see but in the valley between those two hills is Oaxaca.
Looking up the canyon from the restaurant.  It looks like rain.
We about had the place to ourselves, but it was a lot of fun and the trout was delicious. 
There was nothing left of mom's trout.
We of course celebrated mom's birthday again.  Brownie Bites from Sam's Club.
We decided we would all meet at 5:00pm and go to the movies.  We saw the new Avenger’s movie.  
After the movie we met some friends.
Tuesday and Wednesday nothing special happened.  Thursday one bus came from Cuautla, President Ziga’s stake.  They always bring a ton of family names.  Of the 1400 ordinances we did on Thursday, over 800 of them were their family names.  They stayed over for Friday and Saturday.  Friday, Elder De Hoyos and his wife, a son and daughter-in-law and a granddaughter came to do some family names.  They wanted to do all of the ordinances in one day.  Elder De Hoyos is the Area President.  I got their names printed and his granddaughter and a young man from his stake did the baptism.  Elder De Hoyos and his son were the witnesses and did the confirmations.  Then they took all the names to initiatory and the two men did the men names and the two women did the women names.  We then got the help of his stake and all of his family cards got on the session. At the end of the session, President Atkinson asked me to do the sealings.  What an honor to spend an hour with just President De Hoyos, his wife, his son, his daughter-in-law and two young men serving as the witnesses.  I have to say it was one of the most spiritual sealing sessions I have ever been in.   Mom also joined us for the sealings.  It was the highlight of the week for me.  I can get somewhat emotional doing sealings no matter who it is, but Friday it was especially tender and I needed many, many tissues.  I don’t think I will ever have that kind of an experience again, where I get to officiate for the sealings of family names of a general authority of the church.  It was indeed a great honor for me. During lunch one of the sisters, who is a worker in the temple, knocked on the door of our apartment.  She had some roses for Sister Atkinson, but they were not home.  She had been downtown getting the roses and someone reached up and pulled her earrings off.  They tore one of her earlobes and mom decided she needed stitches. I ran over to the temple and sent the secretary, Laure Perez, to our house in her car so she could drive Chris and this sister to the hospital.  It is so sad that this kind of thing happens.  She needed 16 stitches and will need some plastic surgery on Monday.  Friday evening we played some cards with the Rays and the Roesberrys.  Saturday we said goodbye to the group from Cuautla and with no groups for the afternoon the temple closed about 2:00pm.  We got together at our apartment and set up the projector for a movie night.  We rented “Captain Phillps”.  We made popcorn and moved all the furniture so we all had soft seats.  Sunday we had a lazy morning and went to church at the Fortin Ward and then had leftovers (great mother’s day meal), but mom did not need to cook.  We got to talk to all of our kids and wish our daughters and daughter-in-laws happy mother’s day.  It was a great week.  They seem to be going by really fast.  We count ourselves lucky and blessed to be able to serve and although it is a sacrifice to be away from family, we receive many blessings and have spiritual experiences that we would not have if we were not serving.  
They are starting to plaster the outside walls.  I checked very carefully and the scaffolding is OSHA approved.