Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another week in San Salvador, El Salvador...

Today we spoke at the El Salvador San Salvador Layco Stake Conference...  Sunday morning - Walt putting the final touches on his talk before we left for the 30-minute drive to the stake center.
Walt spoke about how Satan is also our brother. His name "Lucifer" means light and he was a Son of the Morning, but because he would not accept the plan of Heavenly Father of having our agency on earth to choose between good and evil, and wanted his plan to force everyone to be obedient so not one soul would be lost, he was cast out of Heaven and became the devil. One-third of all of Heavenly Father's spirit children followed him and his plan and are now in league with Satan.
    However, Satan is powerless to tempt us beyond our ability to resist, otherwise we would not have our agency. (Can anyone tell me the scripture reference for this?)
      Because Satan will never have a body, and thus never have a family, he doesn't want families to be happy nor be sealed together for eternity.
     I had spoken just before Walt about when I first went to the temple and my father and mother also went that same day to receive their endowments.  I knew nothing about the temple and was nervous.  No one had told me I just had to remember two things that first time through the temple: my new name, and how I felt on this very special day in my life.
     Since that day I have been to many different temples hundreds of times and each time I learn something knew.
    I ended with wishing each one there would have the opportunity to be sealed in the temple as a family for eternity, or had already had that opportunity.
     Plus I said I hoped that Walt and I, our 7 children, and 33 grandchildren would live so that we will be a family together forever.
     And, of course, I closed with my testimony:
Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration.
I love the Book of Mormon.
Every day I am thankful for the Savior and His Atonement, and 
for our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson.
I am also thankful for my "novio," who is my husband for eternity.

Bishop Gabriel Méndez and his wife Karla came to guide us to the Layco Stake Center.  He is the assistant temple recorder.
When we arrived back at the temple grounds, we invited them to come and have Sunday dinner with us and the temple missionaries and the PEF missionaries.
Elder and Sister Clark were the hosts today.  He is pouring the ice water.  By him are Elder y Hna. Utt--Gary and Janet, the new PEF missionaries.
Hermana Clark is a great cook -- today she had baked chicken breasts, baked potatoes with a special gravy, and hot rolls out of the oven (albeit from San Martins).
The Thompsons brought a 5-fruit salad; the Utts brought green beans with white cheese grated over them; and we brought the dessert of snowballs. 
Here are the snowballs.
We were all missing Elder y Hna. Wall who finished their 22-month mission here and flew home to Salem, Utah, yesterday morning. It was just getting light when they loaded up their luggage at 5:15 a.m. and Hno. Morán drove them to the airport.
Yesterday afternoon Silvia and Waldo Reyes hosted a Mother's Day Luncheon for the sisters in our ward and for the Saturday morning shift of temple workers. Hna. Reyes is a worker on Saturday morning.
The Reyes are such sweethearts.  They had gifts for all the sisters there.  There were about 60 who came.
Their are currently two missions in El Salvador: The El Salvador San Salvador Mission and the El Salvador Santa Ana/Belice Mission.  Their presidents have been having their young Elders and Hermanas come to the temple during the past two weeks.
Rod Ralphs, our friend from Burley, Idaho, e-mailed us that his son would be in a group coming on Friday, May 17.
    We didn't have a shift on Friday, but we went over early to see Elder Ralphs before his group of 20 Elders did the 8:30 a.m. session.    Then I had a bi-monthly meeting with my assistants.  So when President Petersen and I were walking back to our apartment, the Elders were just coming out of the temple.
    We invited Elder Ralphs, his companion, and his zone leaders to come and see the temple president's apartment.  We took photos on our patio terrace.  He has been here 4 months and we could feel his great spirit and know that he is a wonderful missionary.
We also took a photo with Elder Ralphs.
On Thursday, May 16 was our grandson, Michael Fisher's 10th birthday.  In this photo he is giving his Mom a "10" on the after-school treats for the first day of school of his  5th grade year.
Michael, we hope you had a great birthday!
Wednesday, May 15, we had a day with no shift so Walt had a chance to go to an Otolaryngalogist to get his ears checked because
his hearing had been diminishing for a few months.  Sure enough, the doctor saw a big chunk of wax which he flushed out with strong bursts of water.  (I did take a photo of it but don't want to gross Julie Beth out.)
    Walt said: I can hear again!
 Here's Walt with the doctor.
That evening we went to a marvelous piano/violin recital with Sheralie Broadbent and René Hernández.  He is second violin for the National Symphony here and she is like a professional. 
They played the works of Mozart, Schumann, Debussy, Mendelssohn, Hubay, and others. 
Here is Sheralie with the Hernández family.  They are all in our Campestre Ward.  She has been my visiting teacher since I have been here.  Her husband has been here with the Embassy for two years, and now they are being transferred May 30th to Vancouver, Canada. 
Sheralie and Peter have a darling family of Jeffrey 11, Laird 8, Lucy 5, and James 3.  Lucy was sad when they found out that baby #5 would be a boy and that she wouldn't get a sister on Aug. 28 or before.
 Tuesday, May 14 we had the afternoon evening shift from 12:30 noon to 9:30 p.m. We have many spiritual experiences in the temple which are too sacred to share.
Here we are with Melanie, a sweet teenager from our ward.  For our 22 months here, Walt keeps calling her any name but Melanie.  She finally figuered out that he's just teasing. (This was after the concert Wed.)
Monday, May 13 was the Farewell Dinner at our apartment for Elder y Hna. Wall. They shared their testimonies and their feelings about their 22-months serving here as temple missionaries.
President Majano took a photo of the Walls while everyone else was in line to get their pupusas, quesadillas, banana empanadas, and other typica San Salvadorian food.
Hna. Wall said in closing: "We have a beautiful missionary family here, and we're going home to a beautiful family."
Elder Wall said he spent part of the morning just walking the streets 
of the city near the temple for one last time.  He served his mission as a young Elder here close to 50 years ago.
Here's the group that were at the farewell dinner.
Front: Elder y Hna. Thompson--Lon and Nancy; Bishop Gabriel Méndez and wife Karla; Second row: Hna. Petersen--Eileen, Elder y Hna. Wall--Frank and Diane; President Petersen--Walt.
Third row: Elder y Hna. Clark--Joe and Marilee (he is behind her);
President y Hna. Majano--Rafael y Aida; President y Hna. Alas--Eduardo y Consuelo; and Hna. Estrada--Rosy (she is a temple worker, and also caters for our small dinner parties).
And earlier on Monday, May 13, we had a Gringa Brunch as a Farewell for Diane and Sheralie.
It was at the home of Janis Nielsen. Photo--Front: Celeste Mecham holding Sophia, Diane Wall, Shaulee Curtis, Traci McKay, Nancy Thompson, Eileen Petersen, and in front Lucy and James Broadbent.
Next row: Janis Neilsen, Sheralie Broadbent, Marilee Clark.
Last row: Delena Markland, Kristine Freestone.
Some weeks are busier than others!  Busy is good.  The time is zooming by.  Tomorrow, Monday, May 20 marks 22 full months that we have been here.  That leaves only 1 year, 5 months, and 11 days that we have left to serve here in the beautiful San Salvador El Salvador Temple.
The sealing power is the greatest power in the Universe...families sealed on earth will be sealed in heaven.
      The Priesthood Ordinances of the Temple are true and binding, depending upon our faithfulness to these temple covenants.
We hope you will have a great week wherever you are.

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