|As promised, the picture of the other Quetzal bird we saw during breakfast last Monday.|
June 12th through June 18th: Monday, at 5:30 am, I took Elder and Sister Hurst to the airport. They have completed with honor their second temple mission and they have already submitted their papers for another mission. We are anxious to see where they will serve next.
|And they are off to see the Wizard. Well, they are on their way home.|
After shopping, I took Mom to the hospital to get her hip checked out. It has really been bothering her. She wanted to know if she was going to need a hip replacement down the road. It turned out that her hips look good, but she has bursitis. She got a cortisone shot and exercises and is doing much better. Then we took the Winkfield’s and the Gordon’s to eat lunch at Panda Express and to see “Wonder Woman”. It was entertaining, but not my favorite. Tuesday we had presidency meeting and then the afternoon shift. It rained really hard most of the late afternoon and evening. We had a number of wards and stakes scheduled. Most had a hard time getting to the temple. It took two groups more than 3 hours to travel what normally takes 20 to 30 minutes when there is no traffic. One group arrived after 8:30 pm. The last session was at 7:00 pm. We had 3 sealers and so we did 3 sealing sessions until 10:00 pm. They were afraid that they would get to the temple and not be able to do anything. We think they all left happy. That made for a very long day, but we were happy to accommodate everyone. Wednesday we had a private paint class. Jill Smith, our teacher, said that until they leave for vacation, she will do a private lesson for us. We jumped at the chance to go. Our goal is that when we finish this assignment we will be able to paint something without her help.
|The painting of Moose is coming along.|
|Mom finished her wet on wet painting.|
For the last couple of Saturdays, I have been helping Brother Zamora practice the sealing ordinance in English. He is going to Texas to seal one of his grandchildren next week. He will do a great job. Sunday we took the Reyna’s and the Price’s to the organization of a new stake. The Guatemala Stake just celebrated its 50 year anniversary. It was the first stake in all of Central America. It was divided and the Don Justo stake was created from 6 wards in the Guatemala stake. Elder Duncan, the area president who presided, and Elder Chavez, an area seventy, invited mom and I to bear our testimonies. It was a very sweet meeting with many heartfelt expressions of love and gratitude for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This meeting started at 8:00 am.
|The new Don Justo stake.|
|The choir was one of the best we have heard here in Guatemala.|
|Ex-president Gonzalez says that now he is released, he will come and take a shift at the temple. Hurray.|
We then took the missionaries home and picked up the other two couples, the Winkfield’s and the Gordon’s and drove them to the reorganization of the Guatemala stake. They took 3 wards from the Villa Nueva stake to have enough wards in the Guatemala stake. We were asked to bear our testimonies again in this meeting.
|The conference was held in a large metal building that sits behind the Montufur chapel.|
|The seats are set up in a semi-circle around the stand.|
|It was a packed house.|
We got home and I had time to get a bite to eat before going over to the temple to meet Bishop Causse, the presiding bishop of the church. He was accompanied by Brother Porter from Salt Lake, Brother Reed, the DTA here in Guatemala, Brother Tenorio, the new DTA who will take Brother Reeds place at the first of July, and Elder Galvez, an area seventy, from Guatemala. I opened up the temple for them to see and get a feel for what might need to be done to improve the temple. The temple is 34 years old and it has not been remodeled. We then did a tour of all the buildings, patron housing, missionary apartments, our house, the Region Operations Center, and the distribution center, that the church owns adjacent to the temple.
|Bishop Causse's visit to the temple.|
I then hurried and joined the training meeting that had started for all of our shift coordinators. We got home about 5:30 pm. We left for our first meeting at 7:15 am. It was a long day but filled with great faith promoting experiences. We Facetimed with all our kids and wished our sons and son-in-laws, happy father’s day. It was another great week and they are flying by so fast. In another two weeks we will have our second closure of the year. We plan to visit the temple in El Salvador. It is only about 5 hours away. I keep telling everyone in my talks that we have the best calling in the church. We are so grateful for this assignment and the blessings that come into our lives because we have this calling. My feelings of gratitude make me think of the hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”. Here is the first verse: