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, September 28, 2015

September 21st through September 27th

September 21st through September 27th:  Monday our 
certified statewide criminal background checks arrived from the attorney general’s office and we took them into the church’s travel department for our visas.  Even though we will enter Guatemala as visitors we will need these when we apply for our resident visas once we arrive.  The travel department sends these on to the Guatemalan consulate in Denver and they will send them to Guatemala so that when we arrive they have what they need.  The church has done this once or twice and knows how to get things done.  We organized 6 large boxes of our stuff that are staying here and we somehow crammed them into our storage rental.  Tuesday we spent the morning at the Genealogy library scanning family photos and trying to find family names for ordinance work.  The temple department has suggested that we do the ordinances for an ancestor, from baptism to sealing, while we are in training at the Salt Lake Temple.  I also got the tooth implant I had done before Mexico checked.  It looks good and so now I need a permanent crown.  
Proof I was there.
Wednesday, mom had breakfast with Merritt and Amanda, two good friends and colleagues that she shared offices with when she was a practicing therapist.  Then we went back to the Genealogy Library and scanned more pictures.  
Tilly comes to visit Poppa.
Thursday we drove to Payson and went to the temple with Mike and Merlene Ellington, our good friends from Mt. Pleasant.  After the session we went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant and caught up on things.  We then went to James’ home and went with them to the Mount Timpanogos temple and did sealings for some family names. Then we went to dinner with them.  Their sweet family is sure going to be missed.  Kirstin is expecting their third baby the first part of November and we hope that baby Campbell arrives before we leave.  
Mike and Merlene Ellington with us at the Payson Temple.
Lunch with the Ellingtons.
Friday we spent at the Genealogy Library again.  We have been assigned a family history consultant to help us with our family history during our training in Oct. and we have been talking to him and asking questions and he has given us an assignment. So we spent the morning doing our assignment.  I found 2 children of an ancestor by looking at the hints and attaching records. They showed up in the 1860 census and were not in family search.  So I added them and requested to do their temple work.  It was quite rewarding to find someone who needed their work done.  
Mom doing her homework.
We then went to lunch in the employee’s cafeteria at the church office building.  We finished up scanning what at the time I thought was the last of our pictures.  We have since found a few more.  We then went to Kimball’s seventh birthday party. It was at a trampoline park and boy did the kids have a good time.  
Luke and the birthday boy, Kimball.
Resting from the tramps.
They were all winners.
Kimball's birthday cake.
Cousins being silly.
Saturday we got up early and went to the wedding of Veronica and Alex.  Veronica was a teenager in the Tianjin Branch when I served as branch president when we lived in China.  Alex is a young man from Hong Kong that she met in the Asian ward at BYU.  The marriage was performed in Mandarin.  It was so fun to be with them on such a happy day and so fun to see her family.  We then went to a reception for them and we saw Crystal, the young lady who joined the church in Tianjin.  I had the privilege of confirming her.  She is at BYU and still friends with Veronica.  
Alex and Veronica
Aaron, Veronica's little brother and Craig Larson.  Craig was with us in China.
Jennifer and her daughter, the bride, Veronica.
The Li family and Alex.
The wedding party.
The Tianjin Branch members and Alex.
L to R Aaron, Sister and Brother Li, Mom and me, Carol and Craig Larson.
The Reception.
We hurried home so as not to be late for Miles’ baptism.  Our grandchildren are growing up so fast.  It was a really sweet baptism and we are so happy we were here for this special event.  I then went over to John’s home and tended three of his kids while he went to a soccer game and Jill went to the women’s session of conference.  Mom and Charlotte went out to Kate’s stake center and attended with her.  
Miles, ready to go to his baptism with his cousin Moose.
Miles asked his big brother Evan to give the talk on the Holy Ghost.  He did such a good job.
Miles after his baptism with his parents Alex and Charlotte with Nana and Poppa.
Sunday after church we went to a reunion of the Tianjin Branch.  It was at Kirt Saville’s home in Mapleton.  So many memories and emotions are connected to our time in Tianjin and it was so fun to see old friends.  What a fun week we had and we feel so blessed to have had such rewarding experiences in our life. 
The Tianjin Branch Reunion.
Veronica and Alex with Veronica's parents.

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 14th through September 20th

September 14th through September 20thMonday we
took Ginny and Sam and their girls to lunch and then they treated us to a trip to Tracy Aviary.  Kate joined us with Stan and Abby.  
Sam playing with Willa and Xela a the Aviary.
Resting at the Aviary.
Feeding the ducks and pigeons.
Bird watching.
Pink Flamingos.
Cousin Fun.
Black neck Goose
Willa in not quite as big as a Condor.
Andean Condor
Ugly Bird
Tuesday morning early I took Sam and Ginny and their 2 sweet girls to the airport.  They have promised to visit us during our stay in Guatemala.  We spent 3 days, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Family History Library scanning pictures.  They have scanners that you can stack pictures on and they will scan them and then enhance them and then you can save them to a flash drive or an external hard drive.  It is so much faster than using a flatbed scanner.  We scanned thousands of our family photos.  We were going to take them all to Guatemala so that we could work on them.  But now we can work on them off the hard drive we loaded them onto.  Many of them we will be adding to family search.  
I must be about 5 years old.  Wearing my dad's WWII hat.
How did I ever convince her to marry me.  She is so beautiful.
Mom cut my hair on Friday.  I got what I paid for, for this haircut.  Mom forgot to put on the guard.
Someone got into the Nutela.
Friday we did a lot of shopping.  I got 2 pair of white shoes, white ties, a new white suit and 12 white shirts.  Chris got a new white skirt.  Saturday we got up early and went to the temple.  Chris then worked on salads for this afternoon and tomorrow.  I went into SLC and went to breakfast with my brother Van.  In the afternoon we had a family picnic.  We invited all of the Norman extended family to get together before we leave for 3 years.  We had cousins come from Idaho and my sister-in-law from Washington flew down.  Gar, my oldest brother passed away a few years ago and it has been a long time since we have been together.  Alice, my sister, did not make it because she is suffering and down with a bad case of the shingles.  But many of her kids and grandkids came.  My other two brother, of course, came and many of their kids and grandkids.  
Saturday afternoon picnic.
Saturday afternoon picnic.
Saturday afternoon picnic.
Tilda helping herself to the salsa.
Sunday we spoke in a ward that shares the building with our ward.  We had been asked by the high councilman to accompany him.  We then gave our homecoming and farewell talks in our home ward.  About 40 friends and family came and supported us.  We felt good about our talks and felt like the Spirit was present.  We received many kind thanks for the messages we shared.  Mom spoke of the blessings of technology in hastening the work of salvation on both sides of the veil and that the temple is an invitation to each of us to deepen our relationship with Heavenly Father and our savior, Jesus Christ.  I spoke about how we need the dead in order to have the opportunity to be in the House of the Lord on a regular basis, so that the Spirit can work on us and transform us into a person prepared to live with Father in Heaven.  In the afternoon we had an open house at my brother Van’s condo in Salt Lake for just the Norman family.  Most of the family came on Saturday, so there were only a few who we hadn’t seen yet.  It was so nice to see many of my nieces and nephews and their children and of course my brothers and their wives.  It was a great weekend and it was filled with emotions and the tender mercies of the Spirit. 
Sunday game of CEO.
Danielle and her daughter Ada.  Van's only great granddaughter.
More CEO
Jacob and Micheal.  My brother Van's grandsons who are at BYU and just finished their missions.  One went of Russia and the other to Colombia, Mom, Me and Charlotte.
Maude, Van's wife, my niece, Tad's daughter Liz and Van my brother.