Guatemala City Temple

Guatemala City Temple
Here is where we will be working until Nov. 2018

Welcome

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, August 29, 2016

August 22 through August 28th

 August 22 through August 28th: Monday we took the missionaries shopping.  This was Elder and Sister Winkfield’s first shopping trip, having arrived just Saturday.  We leave at 9:00 am, after going for our morning walk and work-out at the MTC gym. We are usually done between 11:00am and noon.  I got up at 4:30am and worked on the blog and got a big pork loin cut up and marinating in our family’s favorite California marinade.   In the evening we had a BBQ to celebrate two birthdays and the arrival of the Winkfields.  
After dinner we had the Winkfields share with us something about themselves.

Sister Winkfield taking her turn telling us about their lives.
Tuesday we had the morning shift. Wednesday morning we had presidency meeting and then we had the afternoon shift.  Thursday after our workout, I went over and did some initiatory.  We then went downtown to check out a museum that I had found online.  It was the museum at the University of San Carlos, which is the oldest university in Guatemala and the fourth university founded in the Americas, behind the Dominican Republic, Lima and Mexico City.  The University grew out of a high school founded in 1562 in Antigua.  But after the earthquakes of 1773, it was moved to its current location in Guatemala City.  The museum was nothing to write home about, but the building was kind of cool.  Sometimes when we have a day off, we try and find something we can take the missionaries to see. I’m not sure this will make the list of “must see”.  
We walked past this building on our way to the museum.  We thought we were back in China.
I stood in the corner of the hall around the courtyard and took a picture in both directions.
Pretty impressive building.
This was a photograph in one of the displays.
These doors are about 10 feet tall.
This is a massive lecture hall with a beautiful wood coffered ceiling.
The courtyard.
This is a government building across the street from the museum.
The door on the building above.
Friday we had the morning shift.  In the evening we went to Santa Catarina Pinula and spoke in the ward there.  It was a family history exposition.  
The family history exposition at Santa Catarina Pinula where we spoke Friday night.
Friday night.
Saturday we had the afternoon shift.  In the morning by the time we do our walk and trip to the gym and have breakfast we only have a couple of hours before we have to be to the temple.  Sunday we invited the Winkfields to go with us to a stake conference.  We got to the building where we thought the conference was to be held and there was no one there.  We tried to call the stake presidency and no one answered.  We drove around trying to find another building.  Finally one of the counselors in the stake presidency called us back and said that they were just finishing the first session of the conference and that the second session was at 11:00am at the first building we had been at.  So we drove back to building and waited for someone with a key to come and unlock the gate to the parking lot.  We both had the opportunity to speak.  
Esperanza stake conference.
The choir for stake conference.
When we got done we were blocked in and had to wait for the cars that were parked like sardines in front of us to move.  
Parking lot after conference.
They really packed them in.
We got home and had some lunch and then went to speak at the final session of a stake youth conference.  This is always fun and very enjoyable.  Mom did her power-point on our adventure on the river and how we need to have our cell phones charged if we want them to work and how we need to have our spirits charged if we want to be able to talk to our Heavenly Father.  She did a great job.  They finished off the evening showing pictures of the activities of the past 3 days.  
Photo of the dance they had for youth conference.
After 30 minutes of  pictures, we were ready to go home to bed.
We got home about 8:00pm.  We talked to John and his family and went to bed, tired from a long day.  It was a very good week and we were busy. This is the best calling in the church and we feel so blessed and honored to be able to serve here in Guatemala.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 15th through August 21st:

August 15th through August 21st: Monday we took all the missionaries shopping, except the Hursts.  They went on a paseo with Bishop De Leon.  We had Family Home Evening at the Missionary Training Center (MTC).  President Morris and his wife hosted all the missionaries that live in temple housing.  They explained the MTC and then we had a tour and finished off the evening with cake and root beer floats.  
Our tour of the MTC.  This is the gym where we work out when we are not on shift in the morning.
Root beer floats and cake.  Can't get much better than that.
Some of the Guatemalans are not so sure if they like root beer. It must be an acquired taste.
Sister Morris dishing up ice cream for the floats.
Tuesday we had the evening shift.  
Wednesday we went over and did a session before presidency meeting and then in the afternoon we spent some time doing family history.  I have about 500 more names to take to the temple.  
This gives you an idea of the extent of our family history work.  Those are the completed cards by month.
Thursday we had the morning shift.  Friday we went to a painting class at Jill Smith’s and then we had the evening shift. 
This is the son and daughter in law and three grand daughters of the Reyna's.  They stopped by for a visit.
Saturday we checked to make sure that the apartment for the Winkfield’s is ready.  Mom did a home study for a couple from the states who are trying to adopt.  The husband works for US Aid.  We did some shopping and then in the evening we picked Elder and Sister Winkfield up from the airport.  It is so good to finally have them here.  We got them settled and went to bed ourselves.  
Eve and Ken Winkfield arriving at the airport.
Sunday we went and spoke at the Alameda stake conference.  We went to their last stake conference in January.  This is the first stake where we have repeated.  
This is one of our temple workers, Narciso Alvarez, who was one of the ushers at the Alameda stake conference.
The choir for stake conference.
Outside after stake conference we had to wait about 30 minutes for all the cars to get out of the parking lot before we could leave.
We came home and fixed some dinner and then we went to speak at the San Carlos Institute of Religion.  Elder Camay, Sister Melgar and I spoke about the essay on the church web site about Joseph Smith’s teachings about the priesthood, temple and women.  We then answered questions from the students.  It was a fun evening.  We got home about 8:00pm and I could not stay awake.  
San Carlos Institute meeting.
We checked in with the kids in Utah who were all together at a family dinner at Kate’s home.  We went to bed at 8:30 and I woke up at 2:30am.  I am doing the blog and family history.  Getting a new missionary couple, the Winkfields, was the highlight of the week.  Sunday was a very nice day and we feel so blessed to be able to have all these opportunities to speak and talk about our Savior and His temple.

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 8th through August 14th

August 8th through August 14th: Monday was a regular P-day with shopping and laundry.  Tuesday mom got invited to a surprise birthday party for Sister Alonzo, the wife of Elder Alonzo who is in the Area Presidency.  There was quite a group of women there.  
Surprise birthday luncheon for Sister Alonzo.  She is the second from the left, sitting down.
Wednesday we had the morning shift and presidency meeting.  Thursday we had the afternoon shift.  Friday we had off and I found about 300 names, all cousins, to take to the temple.  Saturday we had the early shift.  Getting up at three is not the problem, staying awake in the afternoon is.  Sunday we spoke in the Nimajuyu stake conference.  Elder Ocampo, an area seventy, from Honduras was the presiding authority.  It was a very nice conference and we enjoyed the Spirit.
Just before stake conference starts in the Nimajuyu stake.
  

Click above

We hurried home and had a quick dinner of leftover pulled pork.  We left for another meeting for all the adults in the Esperanza stake.  Brother Carranza and Brother Abadillo had programmed my phone so that the GPS would get us there.  It is a little hard to find.  Well “Lola”, the woman in my phone, gave us some interesting directions that led us on an adventure.  We went the long way and ended up going over two mountains and on dirt roads that were rutted and steep.  Luckily for us, the rain had stopped and the roads were not yet mud.  Mom thought we were lost and wanted to turn around, but we pressed on and after about a 30 minute detour through the back country we arrived at our destination.  Nobody could believe we had come that way.  Lola, our GPS gal, wanted to take us home the same way, but we didn’t follow her.  It took us over an hour to get there and about 20 minutes to get home, following the directions from some of the members.  We got home about 5:00pm and talked to most of the kids on Facetime or Skype.  We are so grateful for technology that lets us see our children and grandchildren. We are glad to be back attending stake conferences.  It is so nice to feel the Spirit as we talk about the temple and testify of Christ.  We have stake conferences the next three weekends. It was another great week. 

One of the towns we passed as we drove the back way.
 
This is looking back on Guatemala city.

This was the good part of the steep and rutted dirt road.
President Juarez gave mom this floral arrangment from  the stake conference we attended in the morning.  It is incredible and smells so nice.

These next pictures are of some of the flowers in the arrangement.











Monday, August 8, 2016

August 1st through August 7th

This is a milestone: 50,000 page views.  Thanks everyone for reading our blog.
  August 1st through August 7th: Monday we did our shopping with all the missionaries and had Family Home Evening at our house in the evening.  
Family Home Evening
Family Home Evening
Tuesday we had the morning shift and then went to dinner with the Reed’s and the Hill’s to celebrate our anniversary.  Tomorrow, August 3rd is our anniversary (Number 43), but we will be on shift in the evening so we decided to celebrate on the 2nd.  Brother Reed is the DTA, Director of Temporal Affairs, for the church in Central America.  He is a church employee and he and his wife have been here about 6 years.  He also serves in the Bishopric of our ward.  They are a great source of information.  Elder Hill and his wife are senior missionaries.  He serves as the Executive Secretary to the Area Presidency and she works in the office that gets all the paperwork for the missionaries called from Central America ready and complete before they are sent to church headquarters in Salt Lake City.  We had a wonderful evening with great conversation and enjoyed spending the evening with these great people.  
Anniversary Dinner with the Reeds on the left and the Hills in the middle.  Our first picture taken with a selfie stick.  Now I want one of my own.  We used Sister Reed's.
Wednesday we had presidency meeting in the morning and then we had the evening shift.  Thursday we decided to take the North American missionaries to visit the Cerrito de Carmen, Carmen’s little hill.  There is an old church on top of a hill in the middle of the city.  On our way there we were stopped in traffic in the middle lane and a big truck went around us on the right and side-swiped us.  I was a little shook up and it took me a minute to figure out what to do.  I first called Brother Rodriguez who is the Area Security Specialist.  I told him what had happened and explained that I had gotten in front of the truck and could make him stop.  He told me to wait till I got to an intersection where there was a policeman.  I stopped at the intersection even though the policeman was waving me through.  I told him the truck behind me had hit us and didn’t stop.  He stopped all the traffic and moved us off the main road onto a side street.  First he took my driver’s license and the license of the truck driver.  I called back Brother Rodriguez and gave the phone to the policeman and he explained to Brother Rodriguez where we were and Brother Rodriguez then told me he would be right there.  The truck had hit the back right corner of the car with his tire as he went around us.  Even though it felt like he had hit us hard, the damage was minimal, but we had to wait for an insurance adjuster to arrive and take pictures.    So after about an hour, we were on the road again.  
Getting the car checked out.
I was kind of glad this had happened so that if I ever had another accident I now knew what to do.  We visited the church which was originally built in 1620.  It was destroyed by different earthquakes and rebuilt a number of times.  
Cerrito del Carmen, Carmen's little hill.
Cerrito del Carmen 
Our little band of merry men, North American temple missionaries, L to R, Elder and Sister Price, Elder and Sister May, Sister and Elder Hurst and mom.
Inside the church.
The alter.
I want this door except that it is only about 5 feet tall.
This is another cool carved door at the church.
Panorama view at the church.
Looking out over part of the city.
Same picture only a panorama view.
We could see a number of catholic churches. 
On the way home we stopped and had lunch at Applebee’s.  They have the best hamburger I have found.  
Lunch at Applebee's after our visit to Cerrito del Carmen.
We should have had the day off at the temple, but we switched with President Funes so we could have Friday off in order to attend the zone conference for North American senior missionaries.  So we had the evening shift again.  Friday we took all the North American missionaries to zone conference.  I was informed by Elder Hill that Elder Alonzo wanted me to talk for a few minutes about the temple.  Two couples that will be leaving soon shared some experiences and their testimonies.  I then spoke and then we listened to Elder Alonzo.  It was a very nice meeting and then they fed us.  
Senior missionary zone conference.
We got back just in time for Elder Hurst to go straight to the temple for his early shift at the recommend desk.  In the afternoon, I had a meeting with a church auditor for him to give me a review of his audit.  While I was doing that, mom went to a session.  Saturday Mom went over to the temple at 9:00am and met with a group of young women from the ward that Sister Guarcax, one of our temple workers, lives in. 
The group of young women, who came with Sister Guarcax, to visit the temple.
I went over early and did some initiatory and then we had the afternoon shift.  Sunday we went to our church and then in the afternoon I cooked a big pot of sweet and sour chicken for our monthly “Break the Fast” dinner with all the North American missionaries at the area office.  It was a nice get together.  It was a wonderful week.  Some days are long and we are tired at the end of the day, but the weeks fly by.  Every day we express our gratitude to our Father in Heaven for this opportunity to serve in the House of the Lord.  We are so blessed and feel the tender mercies of the Lord on a daily basis.