Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Day of Despedidas = 3 Farewell Meals

 Sunday I added the other two Despedidas for Saturday, and a photo from our speaking at two sessions of the LaLibertad Stake Conference today - October 19.
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.

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.
Despedida Number 3 
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 
for us.

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.

We pray you have had a peaceful and restful Sabbath Day.
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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Today in El Salvador...

October 15 - Wednesday
The packers came today.
They packed 59 boxes that totaled 1,500 lbs.

Gabriel--far left--came to make sure all went well.  The supervisor on the right did a great job and htese other five worked very efficiently, fast, and carefully packed our items.
They liked their chocolate treat at the was about split between who chose Snickers and who chose M&Ms. 
They were, no doubt, relieved to have all  59 boxes loaded into the truck.
Walt thought they brought a mighty big truck. They probably only used about 1/4 or maybe 1/3 of it.    The movers are coming back Monday to get a couple-three more boxes.  It's a good thing. After they left I found clothes hanging behind the laundry door and behind the bathroom door and behind our bedroom door.

And there goes some of our most precious possessions of our earthly things...
Of course, the most precious things in our life are our children and grandchildren.  But we don't own them, they are on loan to us from Heavenly Father.  However, we will still claim them for this life and for all eternity!
At the gate leaving the temple grounds.
Just as I was warming up the last bit of funeral potatoes (left from the Monday Gringa Brunch), Hna. Majano brought two pupusas apiece for us, saying:
"You must be very tired tonight."
What a kind friend and neighbor. 
(They live in the apartment right next to our.)
I told Walt we'd try a selfie.  He did the growl with the hands curved.  I didn't aim low enough to show his whole hands.
And now it's 9:03 and we're going to bed to get up at 4:15 a.m. for our morning/early afternoon shift at the temple.
So I guess we really are leaving here...I think we're down to 2 weeks and 2 days.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

(This is the only "earthquake font" that would copy.  I can't delete the other letters.)

Yes, we felt the 7.3 earthquake from Nicaragua Monday night, October 13, 2014.
It’s the strongest, longest one during our three years in Central America.
The yellow country in the map is El Salvador.  
The upside triangle country below us is Nicaragua.
                                          {A couple of hours later: They're saying that the epicenter was now at the southern tip of El Salvador on the Pacific Coastline.  It was 7.4, and lasted 23 seconds.  It seemed much longer sitting through it.}                              

Googled “Earthquake Center”
Monday, 13 Oct 2014
9:51 p.m. 7.3 Earthquake 67Km WSW of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua.
This is the only one we felt.
Exactly 10 minutes later:
10:01 p.m. 5.0 Earthquake 90Km WSW of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua.
Tuesday, 14 Oct 2014
4:23 a.m. 4.4 Earthquake 94KM WSW of Masachapa, Nicaragua
6:27 a.m. 4.6 Earthquake 81Km WSW of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua
Everyone came out into the hallway after the minute or so
of our furniture shaking and the floors rolling.  
President López called from his home to tell us to leave the building because of after shocks,
but Majanos said to just have

shoes, a sweater, flash light and other things 
ready to leave the building if we felt more.  
We shook longer than the earthquake lasted. Scary!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Today in El Salvador...

October 13 - Monday
Today was our Gringa Brunch.  It is the last one that will be in the temple president's apartment, since we move out of this apartment next Monday, Oct. 20.
We are in a time when many of the Gringa Sisters have moved from El Salvador--some from finishing their temple or other missions, some having their husbands finish their Embassy time here and being transferred elsewhere, some having their husbands retire from the jobs that brought them here.
LeWe welcomed Amy who has recently come here with her husband (Embassy) and three children for a two-year assignment.ft to right: Delena, Sharon, Eileen, Stephanie, Amy.
As always, we talked and laughed and ate.  Everyone always brings delicious food. 
Today as Stephanie and Amy came in they said:
"We brought something nice and naughty--nice fresh fruit and naughty donuts."  (Fruit was pineapple, grapes, and strawberries.)
Delena brought something nutritious and yummy: homemade wholewheat bread and homemade strawberry jam.
Sharon brought homemade Poppycock--popped corn with nuts mixed in a carmel-like sauce. She shared the Googled recipe with us.
I was nostalgic and cooked funeral potatoes, which is what I served at the first Gringa Brunch I hosted in the temple president's apartment on August 29, 2011 about a month after we arrived, and a week after the Temple Dedication.  (I also served ham then, but didn't have any to cook today.)
   I did add some carrot 'n celery strips with a Ranch dip (thanks, Sharon for mixing it up for me), and the Jell-o 'n Whipped Cream left from yesterday. Oh, and I also put on some Tostados with salsa.
I tossed some candy corn on the table as part of the Autumn centerpiece.
Then we got a photo outside. 
After the brunch, we dashed over to Price Smart for a few items, then back for a nap and computer work before going to family home evening at the Caballeros.
Elder Caballero had an interesting lesson taken from many different scriptures.
You may be able to see the candle burning on the table with a glass of water by it.
The scriptures were about water and about fire.
Water = Baptism by immersion in water;