Today - Saturday, October 18, 2014 - The farewells begin...
Despedida Number 1
We started bright an early with a Farewell Breakfast hosted by the Saturday afternoon temple shift.
They served the typical tamales, pupusas with the chopped veggies (like cabbage, carrots, onions, etc.), cooked bananas, and hot chocolate.
These gals always plan well and get up very early to make it happen.
Despedida Number 2
The Despedida Luncheon at the Reyes' home was also wonderful. There were 75 there--mostly temple workers.
We were surprised with a sweet gift from Herbert y Daniela Castillo. They brought a cake that had a beautiful painting of the San Salvador El Salvador Temple on the top.
Our friends here do such nice things.
Here you can see the top more clearly.
We were given an intricately carved wood wall hanging of the temple. It is a great remembrance of our three years' working in the San Salvador El Salvador Temple.Here's a close up of it. We are so surprised by such wonderful gifts from our friends here.
After three hours together we gathered on the front step for a group photo. A lot of the guests had had to leave before we got around to taking this photo.
I'm going to try making the photo larger, and just showing one half of it, so we can see our friends better.
Now I'll try showing the right side.
I think it worked.
I think it worked.
The Reyes are always so generous to plan special gatherings for many. What a great experience to have so many of our temple workers together. We cannot thank the Reyes enough!
We are also grateful to both of them for being temple workers!
In their loving way, they told us that when we are able to come back to El Salvador for a visit, "their home is our home."
I'm holding a gift from Ever & Ana Ruth Morán.
Here's one of the sweet temple workers who rode with us to the despedida and back to the temple grounds.
And this memorable day was topped off by a Despedida hosted by our Campestre Barrio (Ward). Our amazing Relief Society President, Karina Artiga, outdid herself in the planning and preparing this special evening for us, President & Sister Majano and President & Sister Alas.
Darling signs greeted us as we entered...
Here's the other half of the sign...
The cultural hall was beautifully decorated in white.
And the white place settings were lovely.
With name cards at the head table.
We thought this was very clever...the outline of the temple done with white balloons, and the palm trees on each side made from green balloons.
The stake choir sang some hymns, and we almost lost it when they sang: "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again."
Walt told our Bishop Eduardo Figueroa that he fulfilled one of Walt's wishes: "To hear him ♪ play ♫ his viola one more time before we left." And I didn't get it photo of it. I think it was the ♫♪"God Be With You..."♪♫ number where we were in tears.
This was followed by a video of ward members telling us goodbye and some of their remembrances of us.
Then, one of the biggest surprises--a power point slide show of many photos of the Presidency and us over these past three years.
(I think Karina must never sleep to get all the things done she does.)
Then they had each one of the presidency and their wives express their feelings about these three years, along with our testimonies.
Everyone was pretty hungry by the time dinner was served at 9:00. However, sometimes at their wedding receptions, dinner isn't served until midnight. So we were three hours ahead of that!
These two talented gals make a lot of great times and great meals happen--Karina Artiga and Liz Behner.
We went into the kitchen to thank the young women and their Young Women's president who helped serve the food.
We thank all who had a part in this wonderful "Goodbye" given to us by our Campestre Ward. Los Fuenes brought a beautiful cake with a painting of the temple on the top.
And Karina made a darling cake in the shape of the temple. They were almost too pretty to cut and eat.
Presidente y Hna. Petersen - Walter y Eileen
Presidente y Hna. Majano - Rafael y Aida
Presidente y Hna. Alas - Eduardo y Consuelo
This was an exceptionally special
"DAY OF DESPEDIDAS"
October 19 - Sunday
We are with President y Hna. Alfaro of the La Libertad Stake.
We spoke in the two stake conference sessions today.We are thankful for Romel for driving us to and from both of these sessions of stake conference. Here are he and his sweet wife on our last trip back to the temple grounds today.
At 5:00 The Caballeros and Haroldsens, our two full-time temple missionary couples had a delicious turkey dinner as our Despedida in our temple apartment complex. This was our "in-house" despedida (farewell dinner).
This will probably our last photo together...
well, one of the last ones...
We do have two more family home evenings together.
Anyway - left to right:
And now we're going to bed. We hope to share more about this Sunday tomorrow or sometime next week.
The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
That Jesus Christ came to live a perfect life on earth, atoned for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, and was resurrected is true.
That Joseph Smith restored the true Gospel again to earth under the direction of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is true.
That we have a living Prophet today--President Thomas S. Monson--who is the Prophet for the entire earth is true.
That we are thankful for our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, is true.
That the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ is true.
Of these truths we testify, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.