Sunday, December 8, 2013

The second week of December 2013 in El Salvador...

Today I am remembering my father - Arnold G. Albertson - on the 101st year from his birth - December 8, 1912.  I am a separate post about him, which will be down from this post.

This week we continued working in the temple--which is the reason for our being here.  We also had two fun dinner invitations plus the Gringa Brunch.

Today, after our 3-hour Church block ended (9:00-Noon), Walt went to Santa Ana (an hour drive) for a Regional Correlation Council scheduled for 2:00-6:00p.m.  I hope he gets back in time for the Christmas Devotional which will be 7:00p.m. our time.

Here we are just coming out of Church today.
Everyone likes to talk with President Petersen.
I served dinner for temple missionaries and two couples who are also working in the temple.  We had Hawaiian Haystacks.
We only had 11 at dinner today.  Steve and Cristine Beaton on the right are here from Canada and work in the temple on Tuesday and Thursdays. The other days they are helping the PEF misisonaries in the Employment Center, which is about to be turned over to the stakes I understand.
I didn't get everyone together because some got out the door before I got the group photo taken.
Everyone helped clear off the table, and then that sweet Hna. Marilee Clark stayed and loaded the dishwasher till it was full, then did the rest of the dishes and pans by hand.  This is all so appreciated!
Hno. John Kerr helped me figure out how to make a PDF file.  I am so thankful for his going the extra mile to do this.
Then he took dinner over to Kari, who wasn't feeling well right after Church.  Her orthopedist here was happy with the progress on her broken arm from the surgery he did on Nov. 28, after she tripped on the uneven sidewalks as they were walking to the temple on Nov. 27.
Just before the Kerrs got a taxi to go back to their apartment, I got a photo of John and DeVar in the Haroldsen's apartment.  Hno. Kerr is our Sunday School teacher in English and taught us a lot about Zion today.  He is an excellent teacher.
Yesterday was a fun day with no shift...we were invited to lunch by Presidente y Hna. Hintze of the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission.  They also invited the 6 stake presidents in their mission boundaries and the Area Seventy and his Executive Secretary, plus the wives.  
We enjoy being with our new friends here in El Salvador.
Here are Presidente Kai y Hna. Diane Hintze from Salt Lake City.
Their mission home is a beautiful apartment on the 22nd floor of a new apartment building about 10 minutes from the Temple.
Here are those who were able to come:
Presidente y Hna. Hintze in front. Back: Presidente y Hna. Alfaro, El Sal San Sal La Libertad Stake; Presidente Petersen; Penelope y Sergio Oliva, Executive Secretary to the Area Seventy; Elder y Hna. Duarte, Area Seventy; Presidente y Hna. Menjivar, El Sal San Sal Cuscatlan Stake. 
The Hintzes gave each guest a precious, small wooden nativity from El Salvador, a little box of Habanero hot sauces from Belice, and a Hershey bar from the U.S.A.  They also gave each couple a container of a variety of foods.

They served turkey with cranberries, mashed potatoes, Waldorf salad, a Jell-o apple salad, seasoned bread, and a rich chocolate cake, followed by the local hot chocolate drink.
It was a happy time of getting to know everyone better among these new friends.
We got home about 4:00, then that evening we were invited for dinner by Dale & Lisa Wegkamp.  We always enjoy being with them, and were delighted that Elder Joseph & Hna. Marilee Clark were also invited.
Lisa served chicken cordon bleu, tiny glazed potatoes, green beans, tossed green salad with poppy seed dressing, and a yummy Oreo-ice cream dessert.  She was planning to serve a hot garlic bread, but we distracted her while she had it under the broiler and it went up in flames.  It made for an added adventure.
Among Lisa's many, many talents is quilting and she had just finished a Christmas table runner and matching place mats.
We have been blessed in meeting many wonderful people during our 4 missions served in four different countries: México, Guatemala, Argentina, and El Salvador.
Saturday, December 7, we remembered Pearl Harbor Day--68 years ago. And we also remembered our granddaughter, Anna's 13th birthday.  Anna is the daughter of David and Julie.  She has 3 brothers.
Friday, December 6, Delena Markland came to cut my hair.  She is a great beautician and we are so thankful for her coming to our home to help keep us from having "bad hair days."
With Delena is Melanie, a darling Young Woman from our Campestre Barrio (Ward), who helps Delena with her twins.
Thursday, December 5....
      TIME OUT Walt just got back from Santa Ana (yea, earlier than I expected he would.  It's only 6:20 and the meeting was scheduled to go till 6:00.  He said they left a little early before the meeting ended.  But he hasn't had lunch nor I'm going to give him a Hawaiian Haystack that we saved for him.)

Back.  We went to the Christmas Devotional.  It really brought in the Christmas Spirit.

Back to Thursday, December 5...
We had several van loads of full-time young missionaries come to do temple sessions.  As we we walking back from our our 5:15a.m to 2:30p.m. shift we saw them load up and head back to their Santa Ana Mission.  These young Elders y Hermanas bring a great spirit to the temple when they come.
Wednesday, December 4...
Heidi turned 17.  Can't believe it's been 17 years since our "HoHo Mexico" when all our family came for Christmas our middle December of the three we were in Merida, Mexico as Mission President and Wife.  Heidi was just a 2-week old baby when they  came.  Heidi's on the far right of the three sisters.  She has 3 sisters and 3 brothers.
Wednesday was our day with no shift, but Walt had the Temple Presidency meeting for 2 hours in the morning, and the first Wesnesday of each month my assistants to the Matron and I also attend.  After we walked down to see the Nativity that is set up each Christmastime on the grounds in front of the temple.
Here's the temple behind us.
Tuesday, December 3...I didn't get any photos on this day.  We had the afternoon shift in the temple from 12:30 noon to 9:30p.m.
The photo below is Walt helping me walk in the thick grass down to the Nativity.
Monday, December 2...We had the Gringa Brunch at Shaulee Curtis's home. We shared family Christmas traditions.  We are thankful for Lisa Wegkamp picking us up.  Everyone brings delicious food to share.
We gathered by her tree for a photo...Lisa Wegkamp, Marilee Clark, Eileen Petersen, Shaulee Curtis, Janis Nielsen.
Then Stephanie Dawson was able to join us...
That evening Walt and I hosted a Christmas Dinner for our temple missionaries and our full-time temple worker couple.
It helped begin this Christmas season...
Front: Sharon Haroldsen, Walt, Eileen, Dora Winter, Kari Kerr, Marilee Clark. Back: Roberto Caballero, Irma Caballero, DeVar Haroldsen, Jerry Winter, John Kerr, Joseph Clark.
 We love and appreciate them so much!
And that was our first week in December in El Salvador.
  We hope you have had a peaceful and restful Sabbath Day.
      We testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
         He is God's only Begotten Son and the Savior of the World.
Don't forget to see the post below about my father.

December 8, 2013 - My Dad's Birthday Remembrance 101 years after his birth...

Today, December 8, is the birthday remembrance for my father: Arnold G. Albertson, born 8Dec1912, passed away 6Feb1982 at age 69, from colon cancer.
  Here he is in 1933 at age 21 in Hagerman, Idaho.  He started dating Verna Beth Huffaker 2 years later and they were married in 1937 when he was 24.
Here they are during World War II when he worked in the Naval Shipyards in Long Beach, California. (The army would not accept him because he had flat feet.) I guess I scanned this photo before I knew how to get the borders right.  This is in 1943, he was 31, my Mom was 23 and I was 4 1/2 years old.
I am thankful for my wonderful Dad - Arnold G. Albertson.
Below we are together in front of the first home he built on to and remodeled for my Mom - in Wendell, Idaho. I was home for a visit from business college in Salt Lake City - Autumn of 1957 - so it was just before I turned 19, my sister would have been 9, my Mom 37, and my Dad almost 45.
In 1912 when he was born: (You can just skip this if you don't love history as I do.)



January 6: New Mexico
February 14: Arizona


  • February 14 – Arizona is admitted as the 48th U.S. state.
  • February 28 - Albert Berry makes the world's first parachute jump from an airplane


April 18: The Carpathia arrives in New York with the RMS Titanic survivors.












Sunday, December 1, 2013

End of November and Beginning of December 2013

This week we worked in the temple and also spoke at a ward High Priests' Social. Walt performed a sealing and I met with the two Assistants to the Matron.  We continue to keep busy and happy.
Here we are right after our 9:00-Noon Church block.
We did have a Thanksgiving dinner, but it was on Monday, November 25 when the temple is closed and all our temple presidency and temple missionaries and friends can be together.
Yes, our Christmas tree was up...because we will only be here for 3 weeks in December so Walt--relunctantly at first--said we could go ahead and put it up before Thanksgiving this year.
And he even decorated it. He is much better at this than I am.
So the tree was up on Monday, November 18.
For our first Christmas here in 2011, we bought red and gold ornaments for the tree because it was our "Golden Wedding Anniversary Year."
We had not had a real tree skirt for here, but last week found the perfect one in red and gold at PriceSmart (our Costco here).
Notice the table in the corner behind the tree. It became the perfect spot for the new Nativity we also found at PriceSmart to leave in the Temple President's apartment.
Time out...
  This time I got back to add some more. Surprise.
And back to our Thanksgiving celebration. Here are the 24 who were together in our apartment on our temple square.
Front: Roberto y Irma Carallero, Karla Méndez, Gladis López, Sharon Haroldsen, Marilee Clark, Juan José and Rebeka--g-children of Presidente Rafael y Hna. Aida Majano right behind them.
Second row: Presidente Jaime López, our stake president and the temple recorder; Gabriel Méndez, assistant temple recorder, DeVar Haroldsen, John and Kari Kerr, Dale and Lisa Wegkamp, Presidente Eduardo y Hna. Consuelo Alas, Walt, Joseph Clark, and Dora Winter.
     Below are Presidente y Hna. Majano and two of their 7 grandchildren.  Since Hna. Kitley wasn't here to make the Pilgrim and Indian hats this year, Hna. Majano made some as a fun surprise.
Walt did get a photo of me when I got to sit down for a minute.
Walt does a great job roasting the turkey each Thanksgiving.
Then in the late afternoon when 5 of the men from the Service Center who helped take our couches, other furniture and the exercise bike out of the living room to the patio terrace to make room for the extra tables (brought in from the temple missionaries' apartments) came back to bring it all back in, we had a "second Thankskgiving for them.  They thought it was great!
Clockwise from left front: Romel Castro, Russel, Alex, Ricky Bonilla, and Erwin.
Tuesday we had a day with no shift so we catch up on things at our apartment.  Wednesday we opened the temple at 5:15 a.m. and our shift ended at 2:00.  Thursday, Nov. 28, the actual "Thanksgiving Day," we had an afternoon shift in the temple from 12:30 noon to 9:30 p.m.  However, I did make Walt his favorite breakfast: Biscuits and Sausage gravy. (They don't sell sausage in the grocery stores, so we buy plain cooked sausage patties at McDonalds and I break them up into the gravy.  Whatever works, right?!)
We had a fun serendipity when we finished our shift that night. Hna. Haroldsen had made turkey soup out of the turkey carcas we gave her.  She invited the temple missionaries to stop by for a touch of "turkey" late on Thanksgiving evening.  We didn't get there until 9:40 p.m.
Some were too tired to eat that late and just took their bowl of soup to their apartments.  Here are the ones who lasted.
Elder y Hna. Clark, Sister Haroldsen, Elder Haroldsen; Bro. Steve and Sis. Cristine Beaton, from Canada are part-time temple workers.
Friday, even though we had no shift, we went to the temple for my bi-monthly meeting with my Assistants.  Walt also comes to this meeting to help translate between Hna. Majano. Hna. Alas and me.   
   Before we went over to the temple, I saw some Sister missionaries taking photos by the temple, so I ran downstairs and had them come up to get some photos from our terrace patio.  Hna. Groneman is the daughter of Jon and Bonnie Groneman who we were on the 10-day Mediterranean Cruise with "In the Footsteps of Paul the Apostle" in May and June 2010. She and her companion are on the right.  It was cloudy and cool for here--66º.
Later we saw some of the Elders from the Santa Ana/Belice Mission who had also come to do the 10:00 session in the temple. 
We also invited them to come and take photos from our apartment patio terrace.
Friday, Nov. 29 we couldn't believe they had "Black Friday" signs throughout the English.  So this infamous day has spread beyond the U.S.A.  Sergio Oliva drove us Friday evening to the Miravalle Ward where we had been invited to speak about how the temple sealing helps marriages be happier.
 He told us that he thought the "Black Friday" name came from the Friday when the stock market crashed back in Oct 1929.  Does anyone know for sure?
   Here we are after speaking to the High Priests and their wives.
We didn't realize this was Hna. Celina Alberto's ward. She is our coordinator for the Wednesday morning temple shift. She and her husband had to leave for a funeral that evening.  (The funeral and burials often take place the same day someone passes away here because for the majority there is no embalming done.)
Here we are with Sergio y Penelope Oliva, and the Bonillas. 
They served tamales, beans and rice combined, and Chinese chicken.  (Pupusas are wrapped in the paper.) Their hot chocolate is made with water, but it was very delicious.  It had dropped below 70º and everyone was freezing--winter hats and jackets. 
Here are some more of our friends from this ward.
And the final table of the Miravalle High Priests' group and their wives.  Hno. Bonilla told us the cold weather and the funeral had kept some away.  However, it was a very friendly and cozy group and we loved being with them.
November 30th, we had the early morning shift, so opened the temple at 4:00 a.m.   Saturday is always our busiest day, and we love to see the temple filled to overflowing.  We had several first-time endowments and one family had six children sealed to them.

Our shift ended at 11:30 a.m., but a young couple had requested that President Petersen seal them, so we went back in mid-afternoon.  Then later when we were out and about, they were still taking photos, so we got a photo with them.
They are from San Vicente, which is a District, so President and Sister Glazier were at the sealing. He is the Mission President who is over this District and its Branches.
Saturday afternoon we also went to see how Hna. Kari Kerr was doing after the surgery on her broken arm.  She tripped on a big bolt in the sidewalk on Wednesday, and had surgery on it Thursday morning.  Walt had kept in contact during her 1/2 day in the hospital and after she and John got back to their apartment that day and on Friday.
We are relieved that she is not having a lot of pain and is recovering well.  Brother and Sister Kerr have come here for six months from Provo, Utah, and have been called as full-time temple workers from the Los Heroes Stake.
And that brings us up to today with the photo that we started with right after Church.  We had a quiet day together.
   Tomorrow, Monday, December 2, we are having a "Christmas Dinner" for our temple missionaries and the full-time temple workers--so there will be 12 of us.