Sunday, July 21, 2013

Two-year Anniversary of being in El Salvador...
    Saturday, July 20, 2013
Yes, we arrived July 20, 2011...
Presidente Jaime y Hna. Gladis López met us at the El Salvador Airport and Hna. López handed me a bouquet of was raining...  I just now checked my planner page for that day.  I have we got to the Salt Lake City Airport that morning at 6:30.  I think we landed about 6:30 that evening and it was an hour drive into the temple grounds.  I also have written on that page: 
"Day 1 of 1,198 days or 170 weeks, or 39.5 months."
    ...and now we're down to 15 months.
They took us and our luggage to our new, beautiful temple president's apartment on the second floor of the temple complex building...
Then we wanted to go see  the temple even though we were tired from our full day of travel.  I didn't get a photo that night of the temple but here is the one we took our first Sunday night in this beautiful Central America country.
Our view of the new San Salvador El Salvador Temple the next morning from our terrace patio...
We got in on the last three days of the Temple Open House...
I'll have to ask Walt how many visitors came to the 3-week Open House. (Later) He told me they published that 160,000 came to the Open House.
We have had wonderful temple missionaries to work with...
The Walls, Kitleys, Thompsons, and Gibbons arrived Aug 17, 2011.
Kitleys y Gibbons finished their 18-months on Jan. 25, 2013. The Walls finished their 22 months on May 18, 2013. The Thompsons finished their 23 months on June 25, 2013.
   We miss them but know they are on to other callings in their lives now.
Elder Gibbons must have been taking the photo above...
Here are Gibbons at the first breakfast they cooked of homemade biscuits topped with strawberries 'n whipped cream for all of us in the seven apartments in the temple complex building.
We've also had great counselors in the temple presidency and their wives to work with during these two years...
Presidente y Hna. Majano and Presidente y Hna. Alas... (They are standing on the right--The Alas together in the middle, and The Majanos on each end.)
And now we have new temple missionaries who have come to help carry on in the temple here...
The Clarks...arrived Feb. 28, 2013
The Winters and the Haroldsens...arrived June 13, 2013
The Caballeros are scheduled to come from Canada on Aug. 15, 2013. They are originally from El Salvador.
Hope you have had a peaceful Sabbath Day.
We are thankful for this beautiful earth that Heavenly Father has created for us to live on.
We pray that we may be good stewards of places we live at on our planet.
      We are thankful for life and for being together in this calling in the San Salvador El Salvador Temple.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

This week in San Salvador...

Today Walt had a Regional Correlation Council in Santa Ana and I got to go to our ward.
   Walt was up at 4:45 a.m. and left the apartment at 5:30 for the hour's drive to Santa Ana.  President Majano drove, and Sergio Oliva, the executive secretary to the Area Seventy rode with them.
The temple looks wonderful any time of the they are driving past it just after sunrise.
We did not have a combined dinner today. As I was leaving Church, Elder y Hna. Haroldsen invited us to dinner for when Walt got back.  Luckily he arrived about 1:30.
It was a delicious "Mormon Sunday Dinner," with roast, potatoes and gravy, green beans, jello, and for dessert chocolate cake and ice cream.  Elder y Hna. Haroldsen are from Idaho Falls and arrived here June 13 for their 18-month temple mission.  They have served two previous missions in Chile--I think about 2005 and 2010.
We had the Saturday morning shift, opening the temple at 4:00 a.m.  We walked over in a heavy rain storm.  We got back to our apartment at 12:00 noon, and were asked to speak with a group of primary children from the Mossaret Ward that afternoon.  
What precious children in this generation of El Salvadorians.
   After we spoke with them, they lined up to walk over and touch the temple.
Walt took several photos of them lined up by the temple.
From there we dashed over to the Mall for Walt to get a haircut barely getting back in time to leave with President y Hna. López to a dinner we had been invited to as a welcome to the new mission president, Kai Hintze and his wife Diane. Their daughter Kimberly is also with them for the summer, having just returned from her mission in Hong Kong.
The five stake presidents and wives were there who are in the area of this new El Salvador San Salvador West Mission. (The mission also includes Belize.)
  Pictured below are Presidente y Hna. Alfaro of the La Libertad Stake, and Elder Angel Durate, the Area Seventy and his wife. The dinner was at the new LaPampa Restaurante on the mountainside going to the El Bocquerón Volcano.
Presidente y Hna. Calderón were also there from the El Salvador Santa Ana Mission.  And seated to their left are Hno. y Hna. Oliva, the executive secretary to the Area Seventy.
Across from us were the Presidente y Hna. Henriquez from the Sonsonate Stake and Presidente y Hna. Soto from the Sonsacate Stake.  They are both an hour or more away from the capital.
Presidente y Hna. López, of the Los Heroes Stake, who drove us are on the top right.  He is also our full-time temple recorder.
And the Cuscatlan Stake, represented by Presidente y Hna. Menijivar are here with their backs to us across from Presidente y Hna. Hintze.
Walt and I are sitting by Sergio y Betsabe Oliva.
Most got some kind of steak with seafood, but since we do not like most seafood, we just ordered steak...I had a 6 oz tenderloin, and Walt said his filet mignon was one of the best he's ever had...very tender and cooked all the way through without being burned on the outside.  Reminded him of the ones at Burley's Ponderosa Inn back in the day.  (Sorry I didn't get a photo of his filet mignon). My tenderloin was well done and tender.  Most of the beef here is very tough.
I tried to get a photo of the night view of the city below that would show the temple.  Even tho we could pick out the temple very easily, it doesn't show up on the photo.
   Oh, now I can see it....almost in the very center right to left...and just above the dark of the trees.
Here it is from LaPampa when we went to lunch there the last Monday the Thompsons were here--June 24. I had to make it large size to see it, so I don't know if it will show on the space the blog allows for the photos.
Friday was the Gringa Brunch...L-R: Lisa Wegkamp, the hostess; Kristin Freestone, her last week here, she and her family fly out July 17 via Montana for a family reunion then over to the San Francisco Bay area; Marilee Clark, me--Eileen Petersen, Dora Winter, Sharon Haroldsen, Delena Markland, whose twins were born June 8, and her Mom, Jodi Lewis, here from Ogden for 6 weeks, helping with her new twins grandbabies.
This is Dixie...the youngest twin by 1 minute.
And this is Mateo. They are 1 month and 4 days old in this photo.
Friday afternoon as we went to dash out the door by our elevator to get to the 4:00 session (it was our day with no shift), this little family was sitting right in front of that door.  So as they all got up to let us out, we took a photo of them.
Thursday, July 11, before our afternoon/evening shift at the temple, I saw the National Bird out our south window.  Torogos--it has a long, double tail and is very colorful.
Wednesday, July 10, was a fun baby shower for Delena and her twins, hosted by our Relief Society Presidency...
She received many delightful gifts.
Mateo didn't wake up to get a photo of him by the "blue" table.
Here's Margarita, a ward single sister, holding Mateo by Delena who is holding Dixie Delena, and the happy maternal grandmother, Jodi Lewis, who arrived from Utah the day before the twins were born on June 8.

Many friends took turns holding these precious babies whom the whole ward helped Delena through many days of being in the hospital and being put on bed rest during her pregnancy.
Here are Lisa, Kristin with her daughter Kira behind her, and Shaulee.
This is the only photo I got of Karina, our wonderful Relief Society President who makes all these fun events happen for our Sisters.
Everyone had a great time.
Tuesday, July 9...these two service center men came to clean our terrace patio and our apartment.  We are very thankful for all the help.
Edwin comes to fix anything that needs to be repaired in our apartment.
Monday, July 8, we had lunch at Shaws...after grocery shopping.
It's a wonder I could eat after Walt put this in our shopping cart.
We had family home evening at Elder y Hna. Winter's. They had us share miracles we've had in our lives.
And that's our 103rd week here in San Salvador.  Next Saturday, July 20 will mark two full years that we have been here.

We are thankful for this call to help in this beautiful 
San Salvador El Salvador Temple.
Here it is at sunrise this morning.
Because of the restored Priesthood Temple Ordinances, we have the hope of being sealed as families for time and for all eternity.
We are thankful to the Lord for restoring these truths through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
And we are daily grateful for the Atonement of the Savior which makes it possible for each one of us to look forward to being resurrected.
We look forward to His Glorious Second Coming!
We hope you have had a good Sabbath Day and have a great week coming up.

Sunday, July 7, 2013 did it get to be 6 years after 7-7-07?

Note: As I was finishing this post at 8:50p.m. the longest and strongest earthquake we have had in our 2 years here started shaking the apartment, my computer, and me.
    When it ended, we went out into the common hallway, and everyone from the other four occupied apartments were already buzzing about it.
  I asked the Majanos if this was a big one for them.
  "No," Hna. Majano calmly replied.
  President Majano said he thought it was probably a 4 or 5  magnitude.
  Walt said: "It was getting to the 'scary' stage."
Our sweet Hna. Clark just e-mailed us the magnitude:
"I looked it up--it was a M 5.9  There were probably 50 or so today all over the world--New Guinia had 2 quakes that were in the 7s--but we were the next biggest of all the quakes today.  It was in the ocean.  Wow--that was amazingly powerful!!
May this wonderful earth find peace--how painful for her to suffer through all this evil and moving.  Plus--one quake is enough for me!!
 Love you all---los clarks"

And here's how I originally started this post before the Mother Nature shook up our peaceful Sunday evening:
Another Sunday. 
Some days are long but the weeks are zooming by...
 Here we are this evening after a 3:00-5:30 training of temple workers for LaLibertad Stake for when they will be serving as obreros y obreras when their Stake comes on the holiday of August 6.
Presidente y Hna. Majano - Rafael y Aida. He is the first counselor and she is a great assistant for me.  The Alas' had already left just before we got out the front door. He is the second counselor and she is also a great assistant for me.
   Walt feels it was truly inspiration to choose these two counselors. They are a very unified temple presidency. And I add, they are a very spiritual and strong temple presidency.
Walt and the Majanos greeting the workers in front of the temple...
Our Sunday schedule...
We have decided not to do our combined pot-luck Sunday dinners on Fast Sunday.  Everyone chooses different times to begin their fast on this way each can break their fast when they desire on Sunday.
     However, a couple came to the temple yesterday who are here in Guatemala from Rexburg.  Hno. Shiley is over International Business at BYU-Idaho and is on Sabbatical with a grant from Wal*Mart helping single women in 3rd world countries--opps, the politically correct term now is "developing countries"--start up small businesses.  
    Hna. Clark invited them to Sunday dinner, as we were standing by them after their session.  She also invited us.  
"Now, I'll have to go check what I have in the freezer," she said. There was no time to go to the store after we were all off our shift.
(Well, time but we went once to the store on a Saturday evening....the lines were so long we vowed to never do that again at the end of the week.)

I told her I had wanted to invite Presidente y Hna. Hintze and their daughter to dinner today but I didn't have their phone # nor e-mail to get in contact with them.
     Here are Kevin and Carrie Shiley from Idaho.  They go to Guatemala Tuesday for two weeks, then to Costa Rica for two weeks.  He is working hard and she said she is enjoying their adventures in Central America.
     Sweet Hna. Clark offered to invite the Hintze's when we saw them at our ward today. --Well, Presidente Hintze was in the Regional Correlation Council where Presidente Petersen was (in our building), so Hna. Clark invited Hna. Hintze and her daughter, and also Presidente Hintze for when the RCC finished.
   Presidente y Hna. Hintze have lived in Mexico, Chile, and Argentina many different years working for the Church.  Their daughter, Kimberly, just back from her mission in Hong Kong, is with them for the summer.  Hna. Diane Hintze grew up in Grace, Idaho, and I didn't hear where Presidente Kai Hintze grew up.  However, he did serve his first mission as a young man in Uruguay, so Presidente Petersen and he had that instantly in common.  As well as did Hna. Marilee Barton Clark, whose father served as a mission president in Uruguay.
     It was a delicious dinner--even though Hna. Clark insisted that nothing really went together because of the haste with which it was put together. We gave her some apples and celery for her pasta salad, and that can of pineapple they had given out at FHE as prizes.
I had offered to furnish the frozen strawberries and strawberry ice cream for the dessert of strawberry shortcake.  I was going to bake a yellow cake for it too, but that little pill, Hna. Clark, came rushing down to our apartment when we got off our shift yesterday and said she already had a cake in the oven.  They had just gotten home a touch before we did.
     So I mixed Parker House rolls and baked them last night to go along with her Chicken Alfredo, rice, and pasta-grape-apple-celery-chicken salad.  And she also made Hna. Thompson's delicious green jello-with-pear-and-pineapple salad.  It had become a favorite of mine the first time Nancy served it.
I wish I'd gotten a close up of the beautiful centerpiece of fresh gardenias.
   We took the group photo before dinner this time.

And even earlier this day...Walt was up at 5:45 a.m. to get ready for a 7:00 a.m. to noon RCC. (And for once it didn't go an extra hour or two as it usually does.)
Walt had the assignment to give a 10-minute talk on the Atonement at the beginning of the Reg. Correlation Council this morning.
   He just told me the gist of what he talked about after his several hours of reading and researching again about
                         T H E    A T O N E M E N T
In the pre-existence we had advanced as far as we could go there, so we were sent to earth to get a body and gain the experiences we needed with that body.  Jesus Christ, the first-born Son of Elohim, knew that sin would be part of those experiences and that we would need a Savior.  He offered to come to save those who would be saved.  [Walt knew we understand that all men will be resurrected because of the Atonement no matter what they do, but not all will be exalted unless they do their part.]  
Christ lived a perfect life and was able to fulfill his fore-ordination of paying the price to satisfy justice." [a few photos, then Walt's talk continued] 
The Savior was born into humble circumstances...
He learned from His earthly mother...
And from Joseph, his father figure on earth...
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." --St. Luke 2:52
The Savior is our Shepherd...
Walt's talk continued:
He suffered the pains of every person's sicknesses, sadnesses, and sins in Gethsemane. The scriptures tell us the agony was so great that he bled from every pore.  As a physician I cannot understand this.  God sent an angel to buoy Him up through this agony. [Eileen's note: Somewhere I've been taught that this was Adam, but I don't have scripture to back that up.]
The spikes went through his palms, wrists, and feet.  I cannot fathom the excruciating pain of that.
  If we don't repent, we will have to suffer as He did.
He is our Advocate with the Father.  He paid that price so we wouldn't have to.  It is not just the pain of not repenting of what we've done wrong, all pain: disappointment, defeat, death.
   After all we can do, His Grace through THE ATONEMENT heals all death, defeat, disappointment, all sins, sadnesses, and sicknesses. And we will have none of these anymore.
    This is the end of what Walt told me, and he has fallen asleep in the recliner chair from his exhausting day.
    I see in his notes that he also had written "worlds without end and children without end..."
   [His notes are mostly in I just catch bits and pieces.]
I'll add a few more photos covering the Resurrection and the Second Coming of The Savior.
"He is not here, for He is risen as He said..."
"Behold, my hands and my feet..."
His last words to His Apostles..."Feed my sheep..."
Christ will return - King of Kings, Lord of Lords...
   The Second Coming of the Savior...
We add our testimony to the testimony of many others, that He lives, He loves us, and He is our Savior and Redeemer.  He has Restored His Church to the earth.  
    And we are thankful for the restored Priesthood Temple Ordinances that bind families together forever on earth and in heaven.
We hope you have had a joyful and peaceful Sabbath Day.
This painting is called "Christ in the Americas"...It appeared in the October 2012 Ensign and Liahona.  It was painted by Jeff Hein, Salt Lake City.