May 23rd through May 29th: What a great week we have had. Monday we drove the Hurst’s and the May’s to Antigua, where we dropped the Hurst’s off to do some site seeing and shopping and we continued up the road to Pastores. We visited Pastores a few weeks ago and Elder May saw a saddle that he thought might be needed back at the ranch in Idaho where they run about a thousand head of cattle. When he talked to his son-in-law, who has 8 boys, he indicated that for sure they could use another saddle. So Elder and Sister May ponied up (pun intended) and bought a new saddle. We had to drive back to Antigua to get money out of an ATM because the place in Pastores did not take credit cards.
|The stirrups are tucked underneath. He paid $400.00 if anyone is wondering.|
On the way back to Guatemala, we stopped and Elder May treated us to that good rotisserie chicken, cooked with wood. We of course had to have some of the potatoes and onions that were cooked in the drippings of the chicken.
|Rotisserie Chicken dinner with trimmings.|
Monday night we had a fun Family Home Evening. One of our temple workers, Sister Guarcax, has a hobby of collecting the typical indigenous clothing from different regions of the country. She brought the outfits and dressed all the women up and then explained what the different colors and designs represented.
|It was quite the fashion show.|
|Sister Guarcax explaining the different designs.|
|Sister Funes, from Nebaj, Quiche|
|Sister Norman, mom, Ceremonial from San Pedro Sacatepequez, Guatemala|
|Sister Fillmore, from Solola, Solola|
|Sister Hurst, from Solola, Solola|
|Sister Madrid, from Solola, Solola|
|Sister May, from Zunil, Quetzeltenango|
|Sister Morris, from San Rafael La Cuesta, Huehuetengango|
|Sister Rosado, from Santa Cruz del Quiche, Quiche.|
|Sister Province, Santa Catalina Palopo, Solola|
|Sister Lowrey, from Santiago Atitlan, Solola|
|Sister Guarcax, the daugther, from Coban, modern.|
|Sister Rosales, from Tamahu, Alta Verapaz|
|Sister Guarcax, her dress from San Sebastian, Retahuleu|
|The mother of sister Guarcax, Tactic, Alta Verapaz|
It was very interesting and then President Rosado told the story about a dream that a woman had that involved traditional clothing. I have included the translated version of the story.
GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S GENEALOGY
The Guatemala City, Guatemala Temple was dedicated in 1984. Since that time, priesthood leaders have encouraged church members to find their ancestors and perform the temple ordinances in their behalf.
A sister from the city decided to obey her leader’s invitation and found that part of her ancestors were from a town named Coban, but there were no records of her great-grandmother in that town and nobody could give her information about her, because they didn’t know where she was from.
She became sad because she couldn’t help her great-grandmother. One night she had a dream. In that dream she was in the temple baptistery and suddenly she saw her great grandmother standing next to the banister (handrail). At that time she knew her only by photos. As she awoke, she was still sad for her great grandmother, but this time she was very impressed because she saw her wearing a yellow typical dress and she knew that wasn’t a dress from Coban.
With that impression in mind, she began to investigate about the color of the typical dresses and finally found that the yellow dress was from San Pedro Sacatepequez in the state of San Marcos, (300 miles away from Coban). She traveled to that town and began to look for that family and to her surprise she found all her great-grandmother’s family.
They were very happy because the only thing they knew about her was that she had disappeared many years ago and they thought she was dead.
At that that time, the Guatemalan army used to kidnap young girls between 14-15 years old. Now they found out that she had been kidnapped and taken to Coban, because there was no way for her to travel a long distance (300 miles) except by horse, which was the only transportation available in those days.
This story was told by Israel Rosado Morfín
Tuesday we went shopping in the morning to make up for not going on Monday and then worked the afternoon shift. Wednesday we went over and did some initiatory and then had presidency meeting. Thursday we worked the morning shift. Friday we worked the afternoon shift and got home about 9:30pm. Saturday we were up early and left at 5:00am to drive to Coban to meet President and Sister Curtiss. About one half hour into our road trip, Chris realized that she had packed everything we would need, except her Sunday clothes. We did not have time to turn around and still get there on time to meet the Curtiss’ and drive to La Tinta for the interviews that President Curtiss had scheduled. I told her she would just have to buy a new outfit. When we got close to Coban, we called and they said that the only real place to shop is Mega Paca (It’s like a huge Deseret Industries, thrift store). She found 2 outfits for $5.00 each. She can shop there anytime. We then traveled with them to La Tinta, a village in the Polochic region, a two hour drive from Coban. The first ½ hour was on paved roads, but the last 1 ½ was on a rutted dirt and gravel road. President Curtis has only 1 month left and has driven that road about a hundred times. His driving made me look like an old woman. You had to hold on and stay stiff or you would be thrown around like a rag doll. It was grueling. We arrived right on time at noon. He had interviews until the adult session started at 2:00pm.
|Coming to conference by bus and by truck.|
|Some of these pickups have more than 20 people in the back.|
Chris and I both spoke. I spoke about coming unto Christ and how coming to the temple helps us be closer to Him. Mom spoke about faith in Jesus Christ. We felt good about our talks. Our talks were translated into Keqchi. It was interesting to have to say a sentence or two and then wait for the translator to finish. President Rosales served his mission in the Polochic and he helped me with a few sentences. So I started my talk speaking in Keqchi. After the meeting, Sister Curtiss and mom went to a hotel about 20 minutes further up the road in Teleman. We stayed for the Priesthood session where I spoke about goals and that our ultimate goal is to return to live with our Father in Heaven and how to achieve that goal. President Curtiss had some more interviews after the meeting.
|The Elders and President and Sister Curtis.|
His counselor gave us a ride to a gas station that had kind of a restaurant attached. We arrived at 8:00pm. Sister Curtiss and mom had been waiting for 3 hours. They became very well acquainted. We had our choice of three different meals, which are served from sun up till sun down. All had beans and an egg. I chose to have chicken wings in addition. We had not eaten all day, so for $3.00 we filled our tummies. The room was not up to Motel 6 standards. No running water, but we had a large bucket of water in the shower that we used to take a sponge bath with.
|The shower was beautifully tiled,|
|The Elders catching a ride back up the mountain.|
|Easily 50 people in and on this truck.|
|The choir. The director is sitting down without traditional dress.|
Sunday we went to the church for an 8:00am session and then there was also a 10:30am session. Mom and I both spoke in both sessions of the conference. Mom got about 15 minutes and I got 20 minutes. It was a lot of fun and I told the story of the great-grandmother and her typical dress that was not from Coban. Mom talked about the sacrifice involved in coming to the temple.
|General Session Saqsuha District.|
|Sister Curtis and Mom|
|One of the young families. Husband, wife and two girls.|
|Don't you love her dress.|
|One of our new friends, she is seventeen.|
|Headed home after conference.|
Once again, President Curtiss had more interviews after the meeting. No rest for a Mission President at a district conference. We again endured the road to Tactic and then on to Coban, arriving about 4:00pm. We said farewell to President and Sister Curtiss at the chapel/mission office where we had left our car. We had not eaten all day except for some crackers in the car, so we headed to Pizza Hut and a nice dinner. After dinner we crashed in our hotel. The Polochic area is the strongest area in the Coban mission. The living conditions for the Elders are primitive. Some areas have no electricity, no running water and mosquitoes that carry away small children. But they all love it and never want to leave. For about a year now they have been teaching Keqchi in the Missionary Training Center, so some missionaries are now called to spend their entire mission speaking Keqchi. It was a wonderful week and we look forward to visiting some of the other 13 districts in our temple district.
|The Polochic valley is beautiful.|