Sunday, April 28, 2013

Seven days in El Salvador...

This week....
Sunday, April 28...We spoke at the Santa Ana Molino Stake Conference.  It was only an hour drive this morning because the new road has been finished.
President López assigned Donaldo Palacios y Liliana Menjívar to be our guides.  Our shared 15-minutes was about temples and the importance of covenants made, plus the crowing ordinance of being sealed for eternity as a family.
As we were driving out of the church parking lot, I exclaimed: "Please stop! I haven't taken one photo. We need a photo."  So Walt kindly stopped, we got out and got several photos.  It only delayed us 4 minutes.
Here is a family also just leaving the stake center. We love the El Salvadorians!
And these precious children were by the corner of the Church, so I got their photo from the van window.
When we got back, we joined our temple missionaries for Sunday dinner.  We had left watermelon and fresh pineapple for our part of the pot luck.
Elder y Hna. Clark hosted today with a Mexican dish called: 
"Jalupos"....kinda like tacos, only better!  Nancy Thompson brought a delicious "Pear Salad" and shared the recipe at our request. I'll put it at the end of this post.

 Diane Wall furnished a yummy dessert--yellow cake with chocolate pudding in it, chocolate frosting, topped with whipped cream and a cherry.  We haven't gotten the recipe yet.  Glaziers also brought some fruit. They were at the Apopa Stake Conference and we were at the S.Ana Molino one.
      I was enjoying all the conversation so much that I forgot to get a group photo before everyone left.
Oh, and we met the new PEF missionary couple.  Elder y Hna. Utt, pronounced u with a short sound, but here they will use the long "U" sound.  They are from Salt Lake and have only been home from their first mission to the Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mission for 3 months.
   They just had about 20 minutes to stop by with the Halls--coming also from the Apopa Stake Conference--before they had to be at the church to set up for a training meeting.

Here is a photo of Walt with our 3 Elder Temple Missionaries. They are always so willing to help President Petersen out with anything he asks them to do, or even when he doesn't ask.  L-R: Frank Wall, Walt, Lon Thompson, Joe Clark.
Saturday, April 27
We were invited to the civil wedding and then the temple sealing of Hector Santos (our coordinator for the Saturday morning shift in the temple; son of a counselor in our stake presidency) and Celeste Diaz who is from Guatemala.
Here are Elder y Hna. Hall greeting them.
The beautiful wedding cake was decorated by one of our temple workers - Hna. Rosy Estrada.  
They served a luncheon to the 130 guests of a taco and a chicken empanada.
Then we joined them at the temple for the crowning ordinance --  the sealing of husband and wife for time and for all eternity.
Friday, April 26, Walt translated at the semi-monthly meeting with the Directora and my two Assistants, then we did the afternoon shift
Thursday, April 25 we watched a glorious sunset from our patio.
April 25 we also wished our son-in-law, Jerry Brewer, a happy birthday.  He lives in Rochester, Minnesota.

Wednesday, April 24 we wished a son, a son-in-law, and a grandson a Happy Birthday:
Gary Petersen - Saratoga Springs, Utah
John PetersOn - Saratoga Springs, Utah.
and Kimble Petersen, Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Kimble is second from the left.
He received his Eagle Scout a few days before he turned 14 on April 24.

These three men and our grandson are a great part of our family. We love each of them very, very much!

And on Wednesday, which was a day with no shift, we did a 4:00 temple session. On the way back to our apartment, Sergio Olivia stopped Walt to tell him about the bus full of temple patrons just leaving who were from the ward he had grown up in.  Sergio manages the cafeteria on the first floor of our temple apartment complex.
Tuesday, April 23, we had the afternoon/evening shift.
That morning we had the Gringa Brunch here at our apartment. It was a farewell to Joanne Hall (PEF missionary with her husband Richards, leaving April 29) and Diane Wall (leaving May 18).  
L-R: Front row: Delena Markland with Dallin, Eileen, Sheralie Broadbent with two of her four children, Lucy and James.
Back row: Nancy Thompson, Lisa Wegkamp, Diane Wall, Joanne Hall, and Marilee Clark.
Most of the time it is pot luck and each Hermana always brings something yummy. Sometimes we gather at a restaurante.
Last week we also had a Gringa Brunch farewell on Tuesday, April 16, for Melissa Ruble who left on April 17.
It was at the Sushitto Sushi place. (My first sushi...and I only had the vegetarian one - no raw fish for me.)
Left to right: Traci McKay, Kristin Freestone, Janis Nielsen, Lisa Wegkamp, Melissa Ruble. I was taking the photo.
Our Gringa Bunch is made up of friends from the states who gather to speak English with each other once a month.
And there's our week in San Salvador, El Salvador...
We know your week's are busy and exciting also, and we love hearing about them.  Love, Los Petersen - Walt & Eileen

Pear Salad   Nancy Thompson  April 28 2013
1 sm. pkg lime jello
1 sm cool whip 
(Here I use a small box of Crema Dulce*, whipped--*this is the whipping cream here.
1 8 oz cream cheese
1 lg can pears
1 sm can crushed pineapple
              (I put the pinapple in the blender here. No "crushed" canned pineapple here.)
 Mix jello with 1 cup of boiling water.  While hot, mash cream cheese into it with a fork.  Chill til set up soft.  Drain fruit and mash pears, add to jello and stir in the whip cream.  Chill till set.
   Note from Eileen: I usually don't have seconds at our dinners -- but I had a second of this!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Walt's birthday was April 17...
He turned 79.  But I told all our friends here that he is still young. But next year when he turns "80" he will be older than dirt!

Friends, Waldo and Silvia Reyes, in our ward invited us to Family Home Evening at their home for Monday, April 15.  When Hermana Reyes found out it was Walt's birthday two days later, she turned it into a birthday celebration for him.
Here we are getting ready to drive to the Reyes home.  It is on the mountainside about 15-20 minutes away from the temple grounds.  That is when there isn't much traffic.
We arrived just at sundown. I took a photo of our friends walking up to the entrance of the Reyes home.
Here is Walt and me as we entered their beautiful home.  Silvia is an architect and designed the home from a palace they fell in love with in France.  They worked and planned for this home for 15 years.  They moved into it in January 2012.
They are so generous and kind and we appreciate all they do for us and many others.
   Hno. Reyes taught a great lesson on "Doing the Will of our Father in Heaven."  Then after a delicious dinner everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to Walt before he blew out the birthday candles.
It was a very enjoyable evening with 25 friends.
On his actual birthday, Wednesday, April 17, we had our temple shift from 5:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. - and here we are as we came out of the temple.
When we made the 3-minute walk from the temple to our apartment, we found notes, cards, brownies, flowers, a Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD, and home-made jamaica juice by our front door.  And, of course, many birthday e-mail greetings from family and friends.
Then some of the Service Center employees came by with some birthday cookies.

That evening Alex and his wife stopped in to tell Walt "Happy Birthday."

He chose to watch "The Glenn Miller Story" that evening.
But we were too tired to dance to "In the Mood..."
...not that we're getting old or anything like that.
Thanks to all who made Walt's birthday a memorable one!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Our monthly outing was Monday, April 8...

For P-day Monday, April 8, we did our monthly outing.  The mini-bus driver from Santa Ana drove us for an adventurous day along the El Salvador Pacific coast.
L-R: Erwin, the driver, Walt, Lisa Wegkamp, Joe Clark, Marilee Clark, Frank Wall, Diane Wall, Nancy Thompson, Lon Thompson, and sitting in front, Jaime López, our guide (who is our temple recorder and also our stake president).

One of our friends took this photo for us on our camera.
The wharf on the left side of the photo is where we walked along.

Our first stop was at the La Libertad Wharf...where they sell lots of fresh fish...
...a little too fresh for me.

Fish every where we looked... with a fish smell that made it hard to breathe.

We paused along the way for another group photo...same ones, except I'm in this one standing by Walt.

Then we went back to shore and had a cold lemonade before driving on.
Here's one view of the Pacific Ocean...the grass is really dry and brown because we're in the fifth month of the dry season. The rainy season begins sometime in May, and soon everything will be green again.
We stopped at a little restaurante called "La Nuestra" to get some good photos of the ocean.  However, I missed a big step down and fell flat on my face on the concrete floor.  Walt doesn't know how I didn't break a hip or something.
    I'm thanking my guardian angel for somehow cushioning the impact.  And, of course, we had prayed for safety before we started the trip.
In the photo below, President López is testing my eyes to see if they can follow his finger up and down, over and across.  He said if I was hurting too much, we could turn back.  But I wasn't hurting that bad.  
It had knocked my glasses off and broken the side stem, and my camera fell out of my hands.
They told me the first thing I asked was: "Is my camera okay?"
I think I was somewhat dazed at first.
I had a small cut on my upper right cheek bone, my left thumb and index finger were hurting, and my left knee was hurting.  Today--6 days after the fall, the hurts and black 'n blue bruises are about gone and I'm not having to wear a band aid on my cut.  I'd been wearing a sun hat, so my hair got flattened on top.
Driving on we went through several tunnels through the mountainous terrain.  

As we neared the main port city we rendezvoused with Bishop Juan Javier who joined us for lunch.

We had a beautiful view of the blue Pacific from the Café Acajutla where we stopped for lunch.
We even had some mariachi singers come by, but it was $20 for 5 songs, so we passed.  They did sing Besa Me Mucho for us, but they really couldn't carry a tune.  
It was a relaxing, enjoyable lunch.
Then we were off to see more sites.  We didn't realize that, Jaime López, our guide, had arranged ahead of time to also rendezvous with the Sonsanate Stake President, who works at the famous Port of Acajutla, to have him take us inside the port.
     It took 20 minutes waiting at their security office to have our clearances okayed, but it was worth the wait. Pte. López said he had never been allowed to see the inner port and was so excited to have "VIP's" to take in. (We know we are not VIP's, but they all seem to think we are.)

We saw some big battle ships, one had just docked from Taiwan.  Three young sailors told Walt, in English, that all young men have to serve one year in the military in their country. They had just docked and would be in this El Salvador port for 3 days.
I didn't get out this time. I had had a hard time getting up into the mini-bus after my fall, and I was icing my knee.  So I was happy to just see everything from the window.
 We headed back to San Salvador from there, stopping once for ice cream cones, then arrived back at our apartments at 7:25...(just in time for the NCAA final game). It was one of our longer outings -- 9 1/2 hours, but we always have a great time together with our full-time temple missionaries, and today with Lisa, and with President López.

We hope you have all had a good week.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.
We are thankful for Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration.
We are thankful for our Prophet today, Thomas S. Monson.
The Book of Mormon testifies of the Diety of Jesus Christ, as does the Bible.
We are thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
  Walt and Eileen Petersen - San Salvador
The Restored Priesthood Temple Ordinances 
Seal Families for Time and for All Eternity

Saturday, April 6, 2013

General Conference Saturday - April 6, 2013

While Walt is at the General Priesthood Meeting, I am catching up on our blog.  I have posted a blog about Easter.  Now I will post about today....Saturday, April 6.

General Conference is a special time.
    We arrived in San Salvador July 20, 2011.
     Our first full-time Sr. Couple Temple Missionaries arrived on
     August 17, 2011. For our first General Conference together,
     Elder David y Hna. Marilyn Gibbons started the tradition of
     having breakfast together before the first session.  They hosted it and served homemade
     biscuits and strawberries/whipped cream.
Today we carried on this tradition, but with waffles, strawberries, and whipped cream.

Here President Eduardo Alas is taking a plate home for Hna. Consuelo Alas, who was not able to come.

We served 16 this morning.  We didn't get a complete group photo, but here are some of us:
Back row: Frank Wall, Dale Wegkamp, Lon Thompson, Joe Clark.
In front: Diane Wall, Gladis López, Lisa Wegkamp, Aida Majano, Marilee Clark, Walt Petersen, Jaime López (our stake president and also the temple recorder).

     Hna. Clark took the photo below with me by Walt.
I have a photo of President Alas at the start, and here are President Rafael y Hna. Aida Majano.  They had to leave a little early.
Since Elder Gibbons always wore an apron, because he cooked the biscuits...Walt came in with an apron on just before the guests arrived.  He is always the ones that help pull everything together for me when we have guests come for a meal in our home.
      And he did cook today.....he cooked the bacon over in the Gibbons oven.

 And I couldn't have pulled it together this morning without the great help of Diane, Nancy, Marilee, and Lisa. They helped with the before and after.  By the time we needed to leave for the morning session, they had the kitchen cleaned up and dishwasher going to be ready for lunch here for 17 others.
Walt said: "These sisters really come through every time, don't they!"   We are so appreciative of these "doers!"

We are so happy to have Dale and Lisa Wegkamp back from Utah. They finished their contract last July, but are now back for a year or year and a half working to make El Salvador a better and safer country.

Then between the sessions today, we had invited--with President Glazier's consent--the 15 young missionaries in this zone to come for a potato bar for lunch.
     Here are 8 of the Elders and 2 of the Hermanas.

This shows the other two Hermanas:
And here is President Petersen at the side card table with the other three Elders. The Elders on each side of Walt are the Assistants to the President.
We were tickled that most of them went back for seconds:
And our dear Sr. Couple Temple Missionary Hermanas came thru again by insisting on baking cookies for dessert.
Hna. Wall baked chocolate chip and chocolate-peanut butter cookies, Hna. Thompson oatmeal-raisin cookies, and Hna. Clark baked brownies.  They were all very yummy!
Along with some Pops ice cream, it made a delicious dessert!
Here they are on our outside patio terrace for a photo in front of this beautiful temple.
We love missionaries.  They are teaching the truths of the Restored Gospel throughout El Salvador.  They are among the 65,634 missionaries who are taking these truths throughout the world!

What Walt and I did in feeding friends and missionaries today was nothing compared to the SPIRITUAL FOOD we received from our Prophet, Apostles and the Quorums of the Seventy at General Conference.

         Some of the highlights for me are:
President Thomas S. Monson announced two new temples:
Cedar City, Utah
Rio de Janerio

Elder Boyd K. Packer....
Liked his poem about turning 68, then 78, and now 88.
The Adversary is out to destroy the home.
Teach our family about the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Sister Dalton:
What’er thou art, act well thy part.
Mothers and mentors. 
And I was in awe that Hna. Dalton could say immediately to her husband to use Mosiah 18:9 to write on the underside of the last piece of carpet that went under the pulpit of the new Conference Center back in 2000:
“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life.”

Elder Cardon:
Allow for improvement over time, not immediate perfection.
The Savior wants to forgive.

It was tender when Elder M. Russell Ballard said as he started:
“Elder Packer, we look forward to the next edition when you turn 98.” (Regarding the poem Elder Packer started when he turned 68, then added some at age 78, and recently at age 88.)
Our galaxy is one of 200 billion other galaxies.
Earth was created by the Power of the Priesthood.

President Henry B. Eyring
Light of a brilliant morning...
7 words launched the restoration of this Gospel:

Elder Stanley G. Ellis
Grew up near Burley Idaho so
"I'm an Idaho farm boy."
Speak direct or with sugar
Direct today
Basics if want to reap harvest must plant seeds

We are not spiritual orphans.

Elder John B. Dickson
Restoration or Restitution of all things
34 years ago Priesthood able to be given to all men
June 1978

Elder David A. Bednar
Why the eternal law of chastity is so important.
Guilt is to spirit what pain is to the body.

"The eternal importance of chastity can only be understood within the overarching context of our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness for His children."

Elder Russell M. Nelson
Missionary work CATCH THE WAVE
Power to Propel…

I don't have the speakers' names for these: 
"The Apostles and Prophets have often taught that what happens inside the home is far more important than what they encounter outside."

"The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given His children."

"Stay on the Lord's side and you will win every time."

Looking foward to Walt returning from the General Priesthood Meeting with its highlights.

Now looking forward to the Sunday sessions tomorrow.

      TO  A