Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I am thankful that Walt can walk with his cane now and does not need to use the walker.  He does exercises each day which are strengthening his back and his right leg.  It was his right leg that became so weak when his back problems started in April that caused several falls when it gave out.
    This is why we went to Utah for him to have back surgery, which was done May 1.
Walt left at 6:20 this morning for a Regional Correlation Council with the Area 70, Elder Duarte. It was for the second half of the 18 stake presidents in El Salvador. The first one was on Sunday, Nov. 2 in Sonsacote.
These are held quarterly.  

President Petersen told the stake presidents that the temple is doing well.  He told them that the ultimate goal of all that they do, first for themselves and then for their people, including temple ordinances, is to be a God and to have eternal increase.

One of the quotes he used is Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-4
"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
"And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood--meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage--;
"And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
"He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase."

President Rafael Majano, his first counselor (on the right in the photo above), did some teaching about recommend activation, the recommend for personal ordinances and the need for more temple workers.

President Eduardo Alas, his second counselor (on the left in the photo above), and his wife, Hna. Consuelo Alas, spoke at the Juayua (kinda pronounced "who-a-you-a" Stake Conference for us, since Walt needed to be at the Regional Correlation Council.

Below is a photo with my two great assistants to the matron: Hna. Maria Aida Majano, on the right, and Hna. Consuelo del Carmen de Alas is on the left.  They are hard workers and are great helpers.  I could not fulfill this calling without them.
We hope you have all had a great Thanksgiving time with your families and friends.
Since Monday is when we can all be together on our Preparation Day (P-Day) when the temple is closed, we have our Thanksgiving dinner then.  We had 21.  Here we all are.  We started to set up on the balcony terrace, but the generator for all the buildings on our temple square block was going all day.  The electricity was off for the day (which is very rare), and the generator was too loud for anyone to have been able to talk to each other and hear anything.

So the Kitley's offered to have the tables set up in their apartment.  Here we are:
The empty seats on the end are where our temple recorder, Jaime López, his wife Gladis, and her sister Eydi sat when they arrived a little late.  Here they are in the photo below:
Hermana Arlene Kitley made headbands in honor of the pilgrims and Indians who held the first Thanksgiving.
She put extra feathers in Walt's headband because she said he is our "chief."
Here are Elder Frank and Hermana Diane Wall.  She got up at 5:00 a.m. and made the pies: pumpkin, apple, and banana cream.  They were delicious -- as was everything else!

And a fun surprise was Hermana Joanne Hall made and brought these fun "Oreo" turkeys, even though she and Elder Richards Hall were not able to come to our actual dinner. What a sweetheart!
And our pilgrim, Indian, and cornucopia decorations reminded us also of the blessings of each Autumn's plentiful harvest and those who helped settle our great homeland.
And I like this plaque I brought back from the Cracker Barrel in Tennessee that says:
"The best things made in the kitchen are memories."

Each day in November on face book I have posted a "Today I am thankful for..."
I'll copy these to our blog the end of November to keep a record of them.
We are thankful for so many things, and we know that you all are, too.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thank you to Janiece Burgess for reminding us that today was the re-dedication of the newly remodeled Boise Temple. I looked up in the Church Almanac to see when it was first dedicated. I remembered it was in May 1984, one year after the Burley Idaho Stake was divided and our Burley Idaho West Stake was formed.
 Our dear Boise Idaho Temple has had 4 "dedications" now:
 Dedication: May 25-30, 1984 by President Gordon B. Hinckley
 Dedication of remodeled facilities by Elder James E. Faust, Feb. 14, 1987.
 Dedication of new baptistry by Elder Faust May 29, 1987.
 Dedication of newly remodeled temple by ________________      Nov. 18, 2012
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 Mormon temples are unique buildings that are not used for normal Sunday worship services. While chapels, where services are held, are open to the public, the temples require special permission to attend, and are for people who have been members of the Church for at least one year and have achieved a high level of obedience to God’s commandments. Only adults may enter the temple except for a limited number of situations. Following are some thoughts and stories from Thomas S. Monson, the Mormon prophet, on these sacred buildings.

 The Temple as Service,
quote by our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson:
 "Now, my brothers and sisters, we have built temples throughout the world and will continue to do so. To you who are worthy and able to attend the temple, I would admonish you to go often. The temple is a place where we can find peace. There we receive a renewed dedication to the gospel and a strengthened resolve to keep the commandments. What a privilege it is to be able to go to the temple, where we may experience the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord. Great service is given when we perform vicarious ordinances for those who have gone beyond the veil. In many cases we do not know those for whom we perform the work. We expect no thanks, nor do we have the assurance that they will accept that which we offer. However, we serve, and in that process we attain that which comes of no other effort: we literally become saviors on Mount Zion. As our Savior gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for us, so we, in some small measure, do the same when we perform proxy work in the temple for those who have no means of moving forward unless something is done for them by those of us here on the earth."
-- Thomas S. Monson, “Until We Meet Again,” Ensign, May 2009, 112–14

Also today, Sunday, November 18, 2012
Walt and I spoke at the El Salvador Layco Stake Conference about temples.
The photo is Walt with the Stake President, President Francisco Rodríguez.
After I took the photo above, a sweet Sister offered to take a photo of all three of us together.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I know I missed last Sunday -- promise to blog tomorrow after we get back from our talks at the El Salvador Layco Stake Conference.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Christmas countdown banner

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

God Bless America
Our dear friends, Ross & Karen Taylor, just e-mailed this to us.
A forward worth reading
From: Ed Lauritsen []
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 2:50 AM
Subject: A post-election epiphany: The real winner in campaign 2012

It is Election Night 2012, and I'm sitting here at my computer listening to Governor Romney's 
concession speech, trying to come to grips with his defeat---our defeat. And into my mind comes
three interesting thoughts. The first comes with a scripture:    

"Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." (D&C 88:73).

If the Lord's "work" is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39),
and if that process begins by hearing about the Church andseeing its members, then the sooner and 
the faster the greatest number of people can see andhear about the Latter-day Saints---especially about
exemplary Saints like the Romneys---the more the work is hastened. And though the Church has 55,000+ 
missionaries who are quietly and patiently roaming the world knocking on doors, the Lord has brought the
LDS Governor and his LDS family into the very homes ofmillions of people around the U.S. and the world 
via TV, radio, and Internet for more than a year now---people who might never have received or accepted the 
missionaries or LDS neighbors, let alone have learned about the LDS way of life. But now they have listened, 
watched, and learned, and many of them will likely be more curious and receptive to the missionaries in the 
future. And that also goes for many of the Evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholics who locked arms with the 
Latter-Day Saints (thanks to Glenn Beck) during this long presidential campaign. Bottom line: the Romneys 
lost a hard-fought political battle, but they---and the Church---won a decisive, long-awaited cultural and 
spiritual victory in opening the minds and hearts of millions.

Another post-election thought: "Be careful what you pray for."

Had Romney won, it is highly doubtful that he and his team would have been able to rescue the nation's
wounded economy from the purposeful destruction that Obama has intentionally inflicted upon it, Obama
having done so in order to "fundamentally transform" our free enterprise system into a Socialist state. Had
Romney won, the only possible way to have saved the nation and its economy would have been to make
deep cuts in the welfare and entitlement programs---cuts that would have been branded "murderous, 
discriminatory and racist" at every turn by the Liberal mainstream media. And the ever-increasing drumbeat 
of these accusations over the next four years would have given license to thousands---perhaps millions---
of malcontents to take to the streets in "civil unrest" (aka anarchy). As such, Romney's never-ending vilification
in print and in the electronic media would have soon painted him---and his fellow Mormons---as the enemies
of America, with all the resulting antagonism, stress, and persecution of the Church, both at home and abroad. 
As is, over the next four years, right-wing zealots---notChristian Conservatives--- will likely become increasingly 
resistant, confrontational, and possibly violent in response to the creeping Socialism. Thus, "social unrest" may
begin at the other end of the political spectrum, likely precipitating equally violent responses from the pro-Socialist

And this foregoing scenario brings me to the third and final thought tonight, one which also was accompanied by the
written word, this time in the form of a powerful metaphor by Hugh Nibley. I close with it:

“On the last night of a play, the whole cast and stage crew stay in the theater until the small, or not so small, hours of 
the morning striking the old set.  If there is to be a new opening soon, as the economy of the theater requires, it is 
important that the new set should be in place and ready for the opening night; all the while the old set was finishing 
its usefulness and then being taken down, the new set was rising in splendor to be ready for the drama that would 
immediately follow. So it is with this world. It is not our business to tear down the old set---the agencies that do that 
are already hard at work and very efficient---the set is coming down all around us with spectacular effect. Our business
is to see to it that the new set is well on the way for what is to come---and that means a different kind of politics, beyond
the scope of the tragedy that is now playing its closing night. We are preparing for the establishment of Zion.”

Nibley, Hugh. Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless:Classic Essays of Hugh W. Nibley, Provo, Utah: Brigham Young 
University Religious Studies Center, 1978, p. 302  

We voted absentee.  We believe that the Lord is in charge.
Someday we will understand the whys and wherefores.
   The United States of America is the Promised Land.
Nate Petersen shared a quote from President Harold B. Lee, Prophet and President of the Church in 1972 and 1973, and many years an Apostle before that.
    I'll share it tomorrow.
            We did feel the 7.4 earthquake that happened on the coast of Guatemala today.  We were in the temple president's office in the weekly planning meeting with the presidency and temple matron (directora) and my assistants (we three Hermanas meet with them once a month).  The room moved back and forth for a minute.  I thought the beautiful stained glass window was going to come out, but it didn't.
         ...and life goes on.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Goodbye October...
      Hello November...the "thankfulness month"
Our week...
     Sunday, November 4
This afternoon we were invited to speak at the Los Alpes Ward in the San Salvador Stake, which is in the suburb San Marcos.
It only took Hno. Alvarenga 15 minutes to drive us from the temple to there.
It was for the endowed members of the ward. I spoke for about 7 minutes, starting by sharing my story about going to the temple for the first time. I was very nervous because I didn't know anything about temples and my parents were also going for the first time, so there had been no temple activity while I was growing up.
Even though there is a lot to learn in the temple -- it is the Lord's University -- I didn't know I just had to remember two things -- one of them being to record how I felt on this very special day.

I told them since that day - June 14, 1961 - 51 years ago, I have been able to go to many different temples hundreds of times, and each time I learn something new.

We don't share the ordinances from the temple because they are sacred.
However, it is okay to quote what the Prophets, Apostles, and General Authorities have
had printed in books or talks about the temple and temple work.
I quoted most of my favorite quotes about the temple:
             "We should give more attention to preparation to go to the temple."
                                                                                 -- Elder John A. Widstoe
ENDOWMENT: "a gift.” “A Celestial Course of Instruction.” Brigham Young said:
“Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of  the Lord which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to
            enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who
            stand as sentinels being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and
tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation…”                  
                        "The temple endowment relates the story of man's eternal journey;
            sets the conditions upon which progress in the eternal worlds depends;
            requires covenants or agreements of those participating to accept and use
            the laws of progress; gives tests by which our willingness and fitness for
            righteousness may be known, and finally points out the ultimate destiny of
            those who love truth and live by it."                  -- Elder John A. Widstoe
            President Harold B. Lee adds this dimension to our understanding of the endowment:  "The temple ceremonies are designed by a wise Heavenly Father who has revealed them to us in these last days as a guide and protection throughout our lives that you and I might not fail of an exaltation in the Celestial kingdom where God and Christ dwell."  --Through Temple Doors, John K. Edmunds, p. 141--Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living
                                                             (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978),  p. 141;  The 

Walt's talk was marvelous! I can't share many of the specific words, --because I still don't understand much Spanish--but the members were spellbound and I could see the light in their eyes of being taught by a true follower of the Savior.
     He often has me come stand beside him when he begins and tells them that I am his "eternal sweetheart," and how much he loves and appreciates me.
      Our driver told us on the way back that he heard several couples saying they "want a marriage just like President and Sister Petersen."
Several wanted their photo with us.
And, yes, many still come in the backs of pickups.  He was sitting in the truck bed, until he saw me asking them to stop a second for me to take a photo.  He then hopped up onto the side.

Here is Brother José Alvarenga, who drove us to and from this fireside.  We invite our drivers to come see the temple president's apartment and give them a treat.

I will have to post the rest of our week later...
  We (the 4 Sr. Couple Temple Missionaries, Walt and I) are going on our monthly outing tomorrow - Monday, on our P-day, when the temple is closed.  We've chosen to go back to San Sebastian where we went several months ago.  We were going to San Miguel, but changed our plan.  It will be another adventure to post about.
     Have a great week.  Goodnight.