Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eileen's minor surgery

They have excellent physicians and medical facilities here in San Salvador, so we chose to have Eileen's hysteroscopy done here today.
I'm ready to be discharged after this same-day minor surgery this morning.  I really shouldn't share this photo since I have no makeup on. 
Walt said the findings of the hysteroscopy showed no malignancy. The final biopsy report from the microscope will be ready by Monday or Tuesday.
Here is my Gyn physician, Doctora Ana Cecelia Molina, on my first visit to her July 6.  She is excellent!
  Walt was with me the entire time -- 6:10 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. discharge. The surgery was done about 9:00 a.m., and took about 30 minutes.
My main concern was that when Walt wasn't allowed to be with me in the surgery suite that I wouldn't understand what the anesthesiologist was asking me to do.  Dr. Eduardo Jose Cabrales Simo spoke excellent English. He had received some of his medical training at Emory and Tulane. He even knew about Idaho being famous for potatoes!
    (Wish we'd taken a photo of him...but pre-op we were concerned with other things.  He has nice grey hair and said he's about ready to retire but doesn't know what he will do then.)
  Here is Walt and me this morning just before we got in the temple president's van at six o'clock.
Beautiful flowers are blooming all around the temple grounds now. We do have flowers here year round, but there are more during this rainy season which is from May to November.  Then it will be the dry season November to May.
Just as we drove in, a bus of patrons pulled into the temple complex.  There were already two buses here.  We thank Elder David and Hermana Marilyn Gibbons for doing our shifts this week and last.
We thank everyone for their love, concern, and prayers.  
I thank Walt for his wonderful priesthood blessing yesterday, for Elder Wall's part, and for each of the full-time temple missionary Elders standing in - Elders Gibbons, Kitley, and Thompson.
And I appreciate the love and support from the full-time Sister temple missionaries - Hermanas Gibbons, Kitley, Thompson, and Wall.
We know that each of our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren are also praying for both Walt and me.  
Family photo June 2011
Family Reunion photo - June 2012 at Lagoon

Walt's back and leg are still giving him pain each day.  It started on June 24, when he had been quite pain free at 7 1/2 weeks post-op from his back surgery.
    The pain is relieved when he sits in hard chairs and some semi-soft ones, like his office chair here in the apartment office den. But when he takes just a few steps with his walker, the pain begins in his back, going down to his right hip, groin, and leg to the knee.
    He has completed his 3rd physical therapy session with ultra sound and electrical stimulation to the back and feels that is helping.

Here's a little family that was waiting to talk to him when we returned from driving the temple missionary couples grocery shopping last Monday.  They said they wanted to thank him for the wonderful words he said to them when he performed their sealing in the temple recently.
Yes, everyone here loves the Temple President!  
And I do, too!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Here and there in El Salvador...

Here are some of our activities during July in El Salvador...
First and foremost we see that everything is done correctly and with exactness in the San Salvador El Salvador Temple, the House of the Lord.

The Apostle, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, said: "Temple worship, including vicarious service for the deceased, is the premier expression of our belief in the power and infinite reach of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  Temple worship testifies of our sure knowledge of many aspects of the Atonement: "First, of Christ's Resurrection; second, of the infinite reach of His Atonement; third, that He is the sole source of salvation; fourth, that He has established the conditions for salvation; and fifth, that He will come again."
    --D. Todd Christofferson, "The Redemption of the Dead," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 10.  Elder Christofferson is in The Quorum of Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

July 20th marked one year since we arrived in El Salvador.  We were called to be the President and Matron of this temple on April 19, 2011.  President Petersen and his two counselors, Rafael Majano and Eduardo Alas, interviewed between 400 and 500 members to be called as temple workers.
    The temple Open House was from June 27-July 23 The Cultural Celebration was August 20.  President Henry B. Eyring dedicated the temple on August 21, 2011.  And the temple opened on August 22.

When Walt and I have the morning shift, we open the temple at 5:30 a.m., then work until 2:00p.m.  When we have the afternoon shift we arrive at 12:30 noon and work until 9:30 p.m.  On Saturdays, we open the temple at 4:00a.m.
For instance, if we have the Tuesday morning shift, then the Majanos have the afternoon shift.  Then Wednesday morning the Alas open the temple, and we will have the afternoon shift.   Thursday we would have a day with no shift. However, President Petersen usually goes to the temple even on his day with no shift--but only stays an hour or two.
On Friday we would then have the morning shift, and Saturday the afternoon shift.

On Wednesdays now, the temple presidency meet together from 9:00a.m to 12:00noon or later to discuss and plan for all aspects of the temple.
I meet with them once or twice a month, and sometimes my assistants join us.  I meet with my assistants every other Friday.

We are very appreciative of our temple workers who come each day for a morning or afternoon shift.  We have four Sr. Couple full-time temple missionaries from Idaho and Utah who work each day at the temple.  The other volunteer temple workers do one shift a week and some do two shifts a week.

July 25 marks one year since our Sr. Couple full-time temple missionaries began their mission.  
The Gibbons and Kitleys are here for 18 months and finish their mission January 25, 2013. 
 The Walls have extended their 18-month mission to be here until May 25.  The Thompsons are on a 23-month mission and leave June 25.
The Gibbons served a previous 23-month CES mission in the Tennessee Nashville Mission.  The Walls served an 18-month humanitarian area mission to the South America South Area--Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay when we were there on one of our area medical advisor missions.
Here are the Sr. couple full-time temple missionaries on the day they arrived in El Salvador - August 17, 2011.  Left to right: Walt & Eileen Petersen (We had been here almost a month.) David & Marilyn Gibbons, Frank & Diane Wall, Trent & Arlene Kitley, Lon & Nancy Thompson.  Gabriel Méndez, is the assistant recorder for the temple, and far right is Jaime López, our full-time temple recorder.  
They both live here in San Salvador.
As you can see, temple workers put in many hours serving in the temple.  Since we can't talk about what goes on in the temple, we blog mostly about our dinners and outings together.  We don't talk about what goes on in the temple--not because it is secret, but because it is sacred.

Sundays our 3-hour block for Church is 9:00a.m. to 12:00 Noon.  Our stake center is right next to the temple, so it takes us 2 minutes to walk there from our apartments.

P-day stands for "Preparation day" which is Monday when the temple is closed.  The temple is cleaned thoroughly that day, in addition to being cleaned on a daily basis.

On Mondays President Petersen drives our full-time couple missionaries to do grocery shopping, to the cleaners, etc.  Sometimes we go out to lunch together after grocery shopping.
Then each Monday evening a different couple hosts a family home evening, giving a lesson or playing a game and serving refreshments.

One P-day a month we have set aside for an outing to go to a place of interest in the city or in the country.  On Monday, July 9, we rented a bus to drive us along part of the "Route of the Flowers."
One of the cities along the route was Concepción de Ataco, and another was Ahua....something.

On the way we drove by Lake Coatepeque.
Here's the lake...
One of the cities had these fun paintings on their buildings.  I think it was in Ataco...but not sure.
Of course, part of the fun is shopping for souvenirs...
We got three things: A lavender scarf, a fish wind chime, and a red bracelet.
We had lunch at El Jardin de a beautiful garden setting...
(My camera battery went dead I'll have to get a photo of the restaurant from Diane or someone...)
I tried to get the kids coming out of school. They do a morning session and an afternoon session of school here to accomodate all the kids in the school buildings.
Here is the one group photo we got before our camera died..
After lunch we drove by a place that had some waterfalls. It was a steep 20-minute hike down, then a steeper 40-minute hike back. Two of the couples chose to make the hike. The other three couples waited in the bus.  Elder Gibbons, Elder Kitley, and President Petersen shared airplane stories.

To see the beautiful photos of these water falls go to Hermana Wall's blog "Joy in the Journey" which you can scroll down our right column to find in the friends' section.

I got to read some in my Great and Terrible series by Chris Steward about the last days.  Very compelling.  Helps understand why being prepared with some food and water storage is so vital.

And now you know more than you ever wanted to about what we're doing here in El Salvador this July of 2012.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday in San Salvador...Since our Church time was changed for today only to accomodate another stake using the building,
we had a brunch instead of our pot-luck dinner.
    The Gibbons served their delicious biscuits with strawberries and whipped cream. Here is who brought what:
Walls - Diane & Frank - Quiche
Halls - Joanne & Richards - Banana muffins and Orange juice
Thompsons - Nancy & Lon - Whipped cream
Kitleys - Arlene & Trent - Milk
Petersens - Eileen & Walt - Bacon
Romel, our assistant engineer, and Alex, (forgot his title), came up to the patio terrace to tell us they had the pipe fixed that had broken during the night for our filtered water.  So we invited them to join us.  We didn't have to twist their arm very hard.
I'll add the group photo when Elder Kitley sends it to us.  He set up his tripod this morning to take a photo of everyone by using the timer.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Today we had a potluck 4th of July Sunday Dinner. Sister Kitley made the red, white, and blue streamers for table decorations.  However, when she put hers in her hair, and said the guys could use them for ties...this photo shows what we got.
The Kitleys were today's host and hostess--grilling the cheeseburgers, and all the fixins'.
Here's the dinner...Gibbons-potato salad; Walls-fresh veggies and watermelon; Petersens-baked beans, fruit kabobs and pineapple; Thompsons-4th of July cake.
Walt is still faithfully using his walker per doctor's instructions.
As this fun 4th of July cake reminds us "You're a grand old flag,. You're a high-flying flag...
You're a Grand Old Flag
by George M. Cohan
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

We hope you and yours have had a great 4th of July week and are having a wonderful patriotic month of July 2012.
We're red, white, and bluin' it here in San Salvador.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday, July 1

We have had a great San Salvador Stake Conference - in two sessions:
9:00-11:00 a.m. about a 20 minute drive from our apartment.
2:00-4:00 p.m. about a 45-50 minute drive from our apartment.
Walt with the stake president, President Manuel Ernesto López Cardona.  Pdte. López had Walt counsel with a couple having marriage problems after the session.
    We were driven to the afternoon session by Pdte. Celio Aróvalo, his wife, and two sons-Alejandro, 13; and Diego, 8.
President David and Hermana Beverly Glazier of the El Salvador San Salvador Mission also spoke.
And our friends, Elder Richards y Hermana Joanne Hall, the Perpetual Education Fund missionaries for El Salvador also spoke in the second session.
When we got back to our apartment at 5:30 we showed the Arévalo family the temple president's apartment.  She has just finished years of studying for her law degree.
Hope you all have had a great Sabbath Day, too.