|Mom's landscape is really coming together.|
|Miles--what do you think Charlotte?|
Wednesday after our shift, we took the Ellington’s downtown to the central market. We walked around and found the Pan American Hotel, named after the airline, which started flying here in the 30’s. We had a piece of pie in the restaurant and wondered what it would have been like to visit Guatemala 70 or 80 years ago. We then went to the central market. Merlene and Mike had not visited the market yet. Merlene found a white blouse and mom found another nativity set.
|Central market shoppers.|
|Merlene is buying a new white blouse.|
Thursday we had many members from the Polochic valley in at the temple. Brother Caal is one of the new bishops in the newly formed Senahu stake and his parents, who are in their 70’s, came to receive their own endowment and be sealed. He was then sealed to his parents along with a sister who had died as a child. His wife represented his deceased sister. I did the sealing in Spanish and then I had Brother Caal read the ordinance in Kekchi so that his mother could understand. She cried through the entire ceremony and I did also. It was a very tender experience and it was such an honor to be able to officiate and extend to this sweet family the blessings of becoming an eternal family. This morning as I have been writing about this family, my heart is full and the spirit is powerful and I am wiping the tears off my cheeks. These are experiences that are hard to put into words. The spiritual impressions are so powerful and profound; words just can’t explain the overwhelming feelings of love that engulf everyone involved in these sacred ordinances. The love our Father in Heaven has for each and every one of his children, the love these sweet people feel for each other and the love they have for the temple were all a part this sealing experience. The people from the Polochic sacrifice so much to be able to come to the temple. They are poor in worldly terms, but they are not poor in Spirit. They are full of testimony and gratitude for their many blessings. Father in Heaven loves them and pours out his Spirit upon them. I am so lucky to be able to be part of these sacred experiences.
|These are some of the young girls who came to do baptisms for the dead from Senahu.|
Friday morning we went to the temple to attend the 7:00 endowment session. There was a big group from Senahu and another one from Chulac (both from the Polochic), so they had to have two sessions at 7:00am, both of them in Kekchi. We had to use headphones and listen in English. Mom has been practicing helping women in Kekchi. Most of the women don’t understand enough Spanish, so we have a great need for people who can help these faithful people with the ordinances in Kekchi. After the morning shift, we took the Fisher’s and the Ellington’s to Cayala, a huge open air mall. We had lunch and walked around.
|Walking around Cayala.|
|More of Cayala.|
|Christmas has come to Cayala.|
Sunday I got up early and worked on a talk for our annual devotional for temple workers. I have been thinking a lot about the scripture that Elder Bednar referenced in his last conference talk. 2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” My talk was about how the temple helps ordinances workers develop Christ like qualities. I spoke about how the Spirit in the temple changes us little by little and smoothes out our rough edges. As we love the patrons that come to the temple and treat them with kindness, we become more and more like our Savior, in whose house we serve. Through this process, we become worthy of the “exceeding great and precious promises” and partakers of the divine nature. As we were leaving for the devotional, I got a phone call informing me that Elder Cordon, from the Area presidency, who was to be our main speaker, was not going to make it to our meeting. He was stuck in Costa Rica and his flight would not get him back here in time for our meeting. I called President and Sister Rosales, who were going to bear their testimonies because this is their last devotional, and asked them to take their time and turn their testimonies into talks. I began thinking how I could add to my talk. We arrived and had our last choir practice.
|Our choir practice before the devotional.|
It took 3 vehicles to get all our missionaries and presidency to the meeting. The meeting was very well attended and all in all it turned out to be a great meeting. Mom and I both got lots of compliments on our talks and we got home feeling very blessed that the Spirit once again had picked up the pieces and put them together in such a way that no one was left wanting.
|L to R President Rosales, me, and President Funes|
|L to R Sister Funes, mom, and Sister Rosales|
|Brother Abadillo and some of our temple employees who served the refreshments.|
|Mom with some of her workers and Sister Fisher and Sister Winkfield.|
|Mom got lots of compliments on her huipil.|
|Mom with Maggie and Marta, two of the secretaries in the temple.|
We got home and Facetimed with our kids in Utah. They were all together for the Norman family Thanksgiving dinner. They had it at James’ new home right by the Mt. Timpanogos temple. We are so grateful that they will get together, even though we are not with them. Family is so important and we feel so blessed that they love each other and will make the effort to do things together.
|It was quite the fancy affair. Wish we could have been there.|
|James, the Master Smoker and Rib Chef, tries his hand at turkey.|
|10 of the 14 grandkids ready for some turkey.|
|All the adults (minus Charlotte, who is taking the picture) and the three oldest grandkids at the big person table.|