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, October 26, 2015

October 19th through October 25th

October 19th through October 25th:  Monday we got up
early and drove to Chicago to catch our flight back to Salt Lake City.  We had such a nice trip with Badger and we are so proud of him.  It was wonderful to be in the temple together and do important ordinances for our ancestors.  He was so easy to travel with and we enjoyed our little trip with him.  Tuesday we went to the temple and did initiatory for an hour and then went to the baptistery and did about 15 names each.  I just finished the decendency search on a second line and now I have over 2000 names reserved.  I have to do a lot of checking and adding sources, but I am sure I have enough names to last for our 3 years in Guatemala.  Mom finally got her blood work done so she can get her prescription for her statin.  We both now only have the one cholesterol pill we have to take each day.  We feel lucky to be in good health.  Wednesday I went to get my crown put on and it was the wrong color so they will have to redo it and I will have to go back tomorrow.  Mom went to the doctor with Kirstin to help with the kids.  She found out that she has a little protein in her urine and her blood pressure is getting too high, so they are going to induce her on this Friday.  Yeah, this little guy will get here before we have to leave.  Thursday I had success with the dentist and I am good to go.   We met John and his wife, Jill; Kate, and her husband Bryce; and Charlotte, and her husband Alex, in the Salt Lake temple and did a sealing session with some of the family names I have recently found.  It was too bad James and Kirstin could not make it, but Kirstin was told to take it easy and of course Ginny and Sam are in Pasadena.  But it was nice to be together in the temple and afterward we went for ice cream.  We will certainly miss these types of get-togethers.  After ice cream, mom went to James’ to sleep so she could take care of Rigby and Emme when their parents left for the hospital in the morning.   Friday I came down with a cold and so I stayed home and did genealogy all day long.  Mom tended James’ kids.   The delivery did not go as planned and about midnight they delivered baby Campbell by cesarean section.  Campbell arrived at 8lbs 11ozs and 21 ½ inches long.  He had difficulty breathing so he had to go to the NICU.  They say he will be fine once he gets over his breathing problems.  Kirstin is doing well, but still has the pain and recovery from the incision to deal with.  We are so grateful to have these sweet grand-children in our lives and we appreciate what their mothers go through to bring them to this earth.  
New baby Campbell, our 16th grand-child.
Saturday, I met mom at the hospital and we had a quick visit with Kirstin and James and then headed to Tooele for our last chance to watch one of Badger’s football games.  We went to lunch with Badger and his dad after the game.  We made another trip in to the hospital in the afternoon.  Mom got to go into the NICU and see Campbell.  My cold is keeping me at a safe distance.  
Kirstin and Campbell
Badger getting ready to go into the game.
Sunday we got up and drove into Salt Lake and went to the Primary program in Kate’s ward.  It was so cute and fun to watch her two boys in the sing and say their parts.  Then we drove to Bountiful and went to the Primary program in our ward.  Once again it was fun to see our grandkids perform.  I had just enough time to get the roast on between meetings.  We all gathered at John’s for our last Sunday dinner together.  Kirstin is still in the hospital, so her family did not join us, but we had a great time with the rest of the crew.  We will miss being able to get together for Sunday dinners, but they will soldier on without us and get together once a month.   We are so glad that they will do that and as Kate said, they don’t do it for us, they do it because they like each other.  That is all the better.  
Mom and John finishing the dishes from dinner.
This is the last post from the US.  Next week it will come to you from Guatemala.  We can’t wait to get there and get to work.  We are so blessed and honored with this new assignment.  We are still pinching ourselves and wondering, “why me?”.  Here are all our grandchildren that we are going to miss so much.
Luke, Jake, Evan, Miles and Kimball

Rigby and Emme
New baby Campbell, our 16th grand-child.
Kimball, Stanford and Abby

Willa and Xela

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 12th through October 18th

October 12th through October 18th:  What a week.  Words can’t really describe what we experienced.  It was like being in heaven.  Monday we went down to Utah County and met Kirstin, Rigby and Emme at Thanksgiving Point and played with Rigby and Emme at the animal farm.  They love the pony rides.  
Nana and Poppa having fun with Rigby and Emme at Thanksgiving Point.
We then hurried back to the hotel to change and we went over to the Church History Museum and then to a reception at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.  It was so fun to meet and talk to all the new Temple Presidents.  Tuesday. This is part of an email that mom sent to the kids at the end of our first real day of the seminar.
“It is 9:30 pm and we are tired, but I wanted to share with you what an amazing day we have had in our training.  There are 62 new temple presidents in the training and it has been so much fun to meet them and hear about their experiences and where they are going.  We were told to be in our seats in the chapel of the temple by 9:00 am.  As we waited, we watched as different apostles came in and took their seats on the stand.  Elders Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund were first.  Then President Nelson, Oaks and Bednar.  Within 10 minutes all 12 apostles were seated in front of us.  At 9:20, Presidents Eyring, Monson, and Uchtdorf came in.  The meeting was supposed to start at 9:30, but it started at 9:25.  We have learned to be early!!  What an amazing experience to be in the temple with all 15 of the prophets, seers and revelators.
President Uchtdorf spoke first and he recalled when his family was sealed in the Swiss temple when he was a teenager and how special it was for him.  He then reminded us that there are millions of members today who have not yet entered the temple and it is our assignment to influence our temples to receive them with warmth, friendliness, peace and holiness.  He asked us to pay special attention to those that come for the first time---to cultivate harmony with the workers that everyone will have a spiritual experience.  He asked us to testify of the power that is in the temple to change lives.  He also promised us that our families will be blessed for our service.
President Eyring began by telling us that we may think the people working in our temples or who come to the temple are ordinary people, but the Lord loves them and knows their potential.  He said people will not leave the temple confused or disappointed if they feel the Spirit and that we should prepare and pray for inspiration as we minister to them.
Then President Monson addressed us.  He looked very pale and weak as he sat on the stand.  But when he got up to speak, color came into his cheeks and he gave a clear and warm message.  He said a glorious assignment awaits us and that we should be as Ezekiel and have a new heart and a new spirit.  He said that kindness should always await us in the temple.  He then talked about reverence and that the temple is holy to the Lord and should be to us.  Our temple service should reflect our love for the Savior. He closed by saying that as a boy, Jesus taught in the temple---and He teaches there still.
After a break, we heard from Elder Renlund who gave a very tender talk about his grandmother who joined the Church in Finland--one of the early members.  She was widowed while pregnant with her 10th child.  She buried 7 of her children from tuberculosis and in 1936 submitted their names for temple work--the first names to be submitted from Finland.  He said she lived and died as a peasant woman, but through her tragedies she relied on the truth of the resurrection and the promises of Malachi that the Lord will make things right.
Elder Cook gave a brief history of Elijah and temples in this dispensation.  He said that the Nauvoo temple has blessed the Church forever.  He then quoted Elder Nelson from this past conference, that "we need women who know how to access priesthood power." He said that Brigham Young saw thousands of temples dotting the world, so we are in the early stages of this work.  But we should teach the inter-relatedness of temples and family history.

Tuesday on the way to lunch.
The gardens and my wife are beautiful.
Lunch on Tuesday.  
Mom says I am forbidden to take selfies.
We were married in this temple 42 years ago.
In the afternoon session, we heard form Elders Richards, Wilson, Anderson and Packer.  We went to the tabernacle for an organ recital and to have a group picture taken in the choir loft.  Then we all sang Called to Serve.  It was very touching.  Then it was on to dinner. We then had a session at the Family History Library.  
We had a organ recital by Clay Christiansen.

Called to Serve Link

Dinner Tuesday night with Egardo Carbajal (on the right) our Area Director.
Wednesday, we heard from Elder Neil L. Anderson, Bishop Davies and Bishop Causse the Presiding Bishop.  Then a panel discussion of 4 women, Sister Samuelson, Matron of the Salt Lake Temple, Sister Wendy Nelson, wife of President Nelson, Sister Neill F. Marriott, Second Counselor in the Young Women’s Presidency, and Sister Richards, wife of Elder Kent Richards.  They were amazing and their messages so inspirational.  
Lunch on Wednesday. 
View of the temple from our dinning room.
In the afternoon session we heard from Sister Bonnie Oscarson, President of the Young Women’s Organization.  She served with her husband as Matron of the Stockholm, Sweden temple and then from Elder Teh and finally from Thomas Coburn and Robert Dunford of the temple department.  Then it was off to dinner and then a session at the Family History Library.  We met with our own personal Family History Consultant and he answered a lot of questions for us.  He has been helping us by email for a couple of weeks.  It was nice to meet him and if you are reading this Von, thanks a million you really changed how we view family history.  With his help and Sister Howell, I have found over a thousand names for temple work. I also discovered I am a descendant of Thomas Cook, who came to America on the Mayflower! Thursday morning we had more training from the temple department staff, but in the afternoon we heard from President Russell M. Nelson.  I was blown away by the apostolic blessing he left upon us.  We then went on a session.  I handed out about 25 endowment cards and mom did the same.  We have plenty to share now.  
Lunch on Thursday with Elder Pino.
We then went to dinner and finished up with a private concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I got really teary eyed when they finished with “God be with you till we meet again.”  Words cannot describe what we felt and learned.  They taught us all week of the importance of treating the patrons with love and respect just like how the Savior would treat them for they are His guests and in His house.  They want us to teach about the two halves of this most important work, family history and then taking the names to do the work.  It was truly like being in Heaven.  We felt uplifted and inspired and in some ways more prepared to go and serve.  
Dinner Thursday night with Elder Cook.
I don't have words to describe this holy house.
Private concert by the MoTab.
"God be with you till we meet again"

I took this picture Thursday afternoon and I just love it.
Friday morning we flew to Nauvoo with our grandson, Badger.  Badger turned 12 in August and we wanted to do something special with him since we have been gone for so many of his growing up years.  When we arrived in Chicago we rented a car and went to the Science and Industry Museum.  What a wonderful museum.  We only had a couple of hours there, but we sure had a great time.  We then drove to Nauvoo.  We arrived about 10:00pm.  
Badger and Mom at the Science and Industry Museum in Chicago.
Mirror Maze so fun.
Badger's favorite place.
The only captured German U-boat on display.  It is really big.
Saturday we got up and we straight to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  We have a lot of names now.  I baptized Badger for 25 times for our cousins and mom 10 times. Then we toured old Nauvoo and visited some of the places where our ancestors lived and walked.  We had a great day.  
Baptisms for the dead Saturday morning.
Badger thinks he can shoe a horse now.
Badger delivering a sermon in the seventy's hall.
I love this temple.  It brings back so many memories from when BDL did the interior millwork.
Mom thinks we could sing and dance on our next mission.
Sunday we went to Stake Conference and then visited the Community of Christ’s buildings.  Then we went to Carthage to see where Joseph and Hyrum were martyred. We had a great trip with Badger and we are so glad he is our grandson.  We love him very much.
At Joseph Smith's first home.
Another sermon upstairs in the red brick store.
Carthage Jail.
Badger is a direct descendant of Joseph Bates Noble.
He is also a direct descendant of Nathaniel Ashby's wife Susan Hammond.
Sunday afternoon and a few last minute pictures.
Joseph and Hyrum's ride to Carthage.

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 5th through October 11th

October 5th through October 11th:  Monday we drove from
St. George to Provo with my brother, Tad and his wife, Tove.  Tove had an eye exam and after her appointment we went to dinner with our brother, Van.  We laughed and talked and it was great to be together.  Van drove down to Provo to go to dinner with us and then he drove us back to our car which had been left at the front runner station in Woods Cross.   Tuesday the movers came and packed up all the things we are sending to Guatemala.  We had much more than we originally thought, because we are shipping a lot of boxes full of baby bodysuits, blankets and caps for a humanitarian project being done by many of the senior sister missionaries in the Area Office.  Donations have been made from different parts of the United States, but it is always a challenge to ship things economically.  It was a tender mercy that we could help get these supplies to Guatemala. In the afternoon, mom went and had a physical so she could get her prescription filled.  
These are our boxes for Guatemala.
Wednesday mom went to breakfast with her friends Merritt and Amanda.  She dropped me off at the Salt Lake temple and I did initiatory for 2 hours and then met mom for a session.  It was so fun to be back in the Salt Lake temple.  We have so many memories of serving there.  In the afternoon mom went to physical therapy for her knee and I spent the afternoon working on genealogy.  Thursday we drove down to James’ home and helped them get ready for winter and the arrival of their new son.  I worked in the yard all day and Chris cleaned the kitchen and the bathrooms.  
We trimmed all the bushes and weeded all the flower beds.
Everything needed a haircut.
Lunch with the James Normans.
On our way home we stopped by and visited Jeanne Bennett, a good friend, from our old ward on the avenues.  She had a gift for Chris and we so enjoyed visiting with her.  Thanks Jeanne for the books.  We then went to John’s home and tended.  Friday morning we had the honor of meeting with Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Richard G. Maynes of the Seventy.  We arrived a little early and were sitting in the lobby of the Administration Building and another couple arrived.  We could hear them talk to the security guard in Spanish, so we introduced ourselves.  They will be the new temple president and matron in the Montevideo temple.   They are from Montevideo and we asked if they knew a Silvia Conde, Mom’s missionary companion from 1972 in Ecuador.  We had lost contact with her.  They knew her well and will take a letter to her from mom.  It will be so fun to reconnect with her.  There are no coincidences in our lives.  We had a very special meeting with Elder Cook.  He spent some time getting to know us a little and then set us apart.  The blessings pronounced upon us are sacred and special and we will treasure them.  I got a hug from an Apostle of our Lord and felt our Saviors love and acceptance.  We feel honored to he asked to serve in this “high and holy calling”.  Those are his words.  We went outside and sat down and wrote down what we could remember he said to us.  We walked around on cloud nine the rest of the day.  
Mom doesn't think I take very good selfies.
After our setting apart.  L to R, Elder Richard J, Maynes, President and Matron of the Guatemala City temple, Elder Quentin L. Cook 
In the afternoon, we met Kate and her children at a ranch in North Salt Lake.  They have an autumn festival.  It was fun to walk around and see everything they have done to celebrate the fall harvest and Halloween.  We had a hay ride and the kids got to pick out a pumpkin.  
Cute couple.
Kimball and Stan lost in the maze
Still in love.
Abby and the boys planing in the corn pit.
A hay ride with straw instead of hay.
Our girl teenage hayride driver.
Abby found her pumpkin.
Stan and Kimball had a hard time deciding.  Too many choices.
In the late afternoon we went to the movies and saw The Martian.  When we got done we filled our popcorn bucket and gave it to Charlotte and Alex and we exchanged cars.  We drove their car with Tilly home and they will come home in our car.  Saturday I worked on Charlotte’s wall.  When she painted the wall that I had repaired, she found that the wall paper  she had pulled off had left a lot of paste on the wall and there was a pattern in the paste.  So I put a skim coat of sheet rock mud over the entire wall.   That should fix the problem.  We then went to Ellie’s baptism.  What a spiritual meeting.  It is so fun to see our grandchildren accepting the covenant of baptism.  We then went to John’s home for some lunch.  It was the best baptismal luncheon I have ever had the pleasure of eating.  
Ellie at her baptism with her parents, John and Jill, and her Nana and Poppa.
Jill with all the delicious food.
Mom spent the afternoon packing for our week at training.  We tended John’s kids until 8:00pm and then drove to the Raddison in Salt Lake and checked into our hotel.  Sunday morning we ate breakfast in the hotel and started meeting all the other temple presidents and matrons.  We went to church at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and sat by the new president and matron for the Cordoba temple. We then went back to the hotel and had dinner.  We sat with the Chipmans, the new president and matron of the Indianapolis temple.  He was mission president in Peru and we enjoyed sharing stories and lunch with them.  We had a nap and then went out to Kate’s home and spent the evening.  I took the opportunity to give her a father’s blessing.  It is hard for us and our kids to be gone for another 3 years.  We want them to know that we love them and that they will be blest while we are on the Lord’s errand.  What a great week and next week will be even better.