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, February 29, 2016

February 22nd through February 28th

February 22nd through February 28th:   Monday we did the usual things for a P-Day.  We ended with family home evening here at the house for all the missionaries that live here in the temple housing.  Elder Price taught about an ancestor from England who joined the Church and her great desire to do the temple work for her ancestors.  We all think about this a lot because of our assignment here.  Tuesday we had the morning shift and it is always fun because the missionaries from the MTC come on Tuesday morning.  Wednesday we had presidency meeting in the morning and then we stayed and did the afternoon shift.  Thursday we had off and we spent it getting the house ready and shopping for a dinner that we had in the evening.  We invited 5 stake presidents and their wives to dinner.  President Rosales and I hosted them.  President Rosado was on shift.  We had a delightful evening getting to know them.  We explained that we wanted their presidencies and high council members and bishoprics to all be restricted workers.   We have decided if we can get all of the leaders to be limited use ordinance workers when they come with their wards and stake, we won’t have so many problems of not having enough male ordinance workers.  They seemed excited to help. 
Dinner with the stake presidents.
Dinner with the stake presidents.
Friday we had the morning shift.  Saturday we did the afternoon shift and we had 4 full sessions to finish out the day.  The temple was very busy all day except for a couple of hours at lunchtime.  When we finished, we went to dinner with the Province’s and Elder and Sister Bake who have been staying with us.  They served their mission in Peten (up near Tikal) and are spending a few days here in the capitol city before they fly home. 
Saturday night dinner L to R Elder and Sister Province, Mom and me, Elder and Sister Bake.
Sunday we had stake conference in our home stake.  It was presided over by Elder Maravilla from Nicaragua.  It was a nice meeting.  Mom and I both spoke and afterward Elder Allred said that my Spanish was very good when I am speaking.  I replied, “It is easy to speak well with the help of the Spirit.” 
Stake conference, Guatemala Stake
The choir at stake conference.
I spent the rest of the day doing family history.  I found over 100 names and will print the cards to take to the temple next week. We talked to most of the kids and went to bed early.  Time seems to be flying by.  The days are long, but the weeks are short and we love every minute here.

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 15th through February 21st

February 15th through February 21st:  Monday we took the Hurst’s and the Price’s to Antigua.  We all needed to get out of Dodge and go somewhere.  Antigua has lots of things to explore and do.  We first stopped at a macadamia nut farm.  We had a nice tour from an older gentleman from the States.  He told us more than we ever wanted to know about macadamia nuts.  We bought some nuts and facial products made from macadamia nut oil. 

When the Macadamia nuts are ripe, they fall to the ground and they have to be picked up by hand.  They pay local children to pick up nuts and pay them by the bag.
The nuts are dried in the sun.
After the outer fiber is removed, the nuts are dried, sorted and then cracked.
The restroom was interesting. The walls were PVC pipe and plants.  You could see somewhat between the plants.

Next we went to San Antonio Aguas Calientes. This is a small town known for its weaving and textiles. Mom got dressed up in some local color and we all had a good time, especially Sally who won the prize for buying the most clothes for some of her 50+ grand children. 

The church in San Antonio Aguas Calientes.
Mom in local dress.  Don't you think she needs an outfit like this?
This is a shawl that takes a year to weave and then is given by a bride to her mother-in-law on her wedding day.
The design is on both sides of the fabric.  Really beautiful.
The weaving is exquisite.
The shop keeper had two of the best little sellers.
Each outfit depicts a different region or town.
Mom taking a break from shopping.

We drove back to Antigua and had lunch on the roof of an old monastery now run as a hotel and restaurant.  It was truly an amazing building filled with beautiful courtyards. 

One of the courtyards at the restaurant in Antigua.
Great place to eat with a cool breeze and beautiful view in every direction.
Agua, the volcano, looks pretty close.
Just waiting for lunch. L to R Elder and Sister Hurst, Elder and Sister Price and Mom.
All the walls had this beautiful painted stenciling as wainscoting.
Another courtyard.
One more courtyard.
Leaving the restaurant all full and happy.

We then drove back to Guatemala City.  We got back about 4:00pm.  Tuesday we had the afternoon shift.  Wednesday we had presidency meeting in the morning and I did initiatory in the afternoon.  We have a back up of names for men’s initiatory.  If I want to get the work done for all the names I have, I will have to do more myself.  I have the goal to do at least 50 names a week until there is not a back up in initiatory.  I made it this week by doing 54.  Thursday we had the morning shift. We had a group of more than 100 come from Funval, Fundamental Values.  Funval is a program to teach English.  The graduates usually get jobs in a call center and it is considered a good job. The leader of the program is a stake president.  I sat him down in my office and explained that when they come we don’t have enough workers to do everything they want to do and that we would like to call his teachers and staff who are endowed to serve as restricted workers.  He was thrilled and I set him apart on the spot.  He stopped by at the end of their stay and said he had students with tears in their eyes when they saw him dressed as a worker. The Spirit of this work was powerful for him and many of his students.  Friday we had the afternoon shift.  I had gone up to the temple in the morning to get more initiatory done.  Saturday morning we took the Hurst’s and the Price’s to visit the National Museum of Guatemala.  It was a beautiful museum full of Mayan artifacts and history.

This head is about 4 feet tall.
Many of the religious buildings would have had large masks like this one on the front of them.
Mom looking her cutest.
Lots of pottery from tombs and buildings.


 A sample of what the interior of important buildings would have looked like.
This is the biggest pot that I have every seen.
Stone throne from Dos Pilas.
Lots of carved stela.

They would often have a drawing of the carving with explanations of what the different things mean.
There is a huge mural that tells the history of Guatemala.  They included the coming of Mormon missionaries, tall and blond, carrying the old blue paperback copies of the Book of Mormon.  They need name tags don't you think?
The Deer Dance.
Lots of beautiful textiles.


They had many examples of different local clothing.
The courtyard at the museum.
These are carved wood lintels from Mayan buildings.

I did more initiatory in the afternoon.  We went to dinner with the Fillmore’s in the evening.  Mom and I continue to get more and more names ready to print for the temple.  We both average at least 2 hours a day sitting at the computer doing family history.  We love it and find satisfaction in finding lost family members and getting their names ready for the temple.  Sunday we left early for the stake conference of the Amatitlan stake.  We arrived about an hour early and the building was almost completely full.  Elder Ochoa and Elder Ocampo where there to divide the stake.  The new Linda Vista Stake was organized and the new president was the "old" president of the Amatitlan Stake.  He had already served two years as a counselor and seven years as president.  One of his counselors was a man who has been a member for 12 years, nine of them as a bishop.   It was a great historic meeting and we enjoyed the Spirit that was present.  I was called on to bear my testimony and I was thankful for the opportunity to do so. 

When we arrived at Stake Conference at 9:05, the buses were already lined up and the building almost full.
Beautiful building and Mom with some new friends.
Mom down working the crowd.  This is one of the largest chapels I have seen.
From the back of the chapel looking into the cultural hall.
Beautiful flowers.

We came home and had lunch and I then went to the temple and had a training meeting with all of the sealers.  After the meeting the Flakes from the ward came over and prepared and passed the sacrament to us.  It was a good day.