Sunday, September 29, 2013

Last week of September...

Before I share the week...
     Today is the 76th Wedding Anniversary Remembrance 
for my Mom & Dad.
Verna Huffaker and Arnold Albertson
August or September 1937
Photo taken in photo booth at the Jerome County Fair
"This is as close to a wedding photo that we have," Verna said.

         .........back on September 29, 1937, 
Arnold Albertson, age 24, 
said to Verna Huffaker, age 17:
"I dare you to elope."
Verna said: 
"I double dare you."
         They told their best friends...
Here are my Mom's words from her life story:
"An Idaho Girl" 
   A dare to get married: 
To elope or not to elope? …that is the question

            Arnold, evidently had gone to Hagerman to see his old girlfriend.  I’m pretty sure that he had, on the rebound, asked her if she would marry him because he knew that she was really in love with him.
            On Tuesday he come out after school and wanted to talk to me.
            “I dare you to get married,” he said.
            For some cotton pickin’ reason I said, “I double dare you.”  That was a popular saying.  So we decided to get married.
            I went in to the house and got ready.  I wore my new dress that I had bought with my cafe money, a two-piece blue knit dress. 

            We went and got Marie [Richardson] and Ralph [Rogers], our best friends, and told them what we were doing and wanted to know if they wanted to go and get married, too.  They did.  
            We drove down to Hagerman.  Arnold had to stop at this old girlfriend’s house, and it seemed like he was in there an hour talking to her.  When he come out we took off for Hailey.
            It was about a two-hour drive from Wendell to Hailey.  We couldn’t get our marriage licenses until the next morning when the court house opened.  Marie and I stayed together that night at a room in the Hiawatha Hotel.  Arnold and Ralph stayed together in another room.             
            That was the first time Marie and I had ever seen a big bathtub. 
            The next morning when we got up we decided we’d have some fun in that bathtub.  We filled it as far as it would go and we just sit there and splashed around and was having a good old time.
            We didn’t know that Arnold and Ralph had gone to a jewelry store in town to each buy a gold wedding ring.  The rings were the same.  They cost $7.00 each.  [That would have been a little over two day’s pay.]  This is the wedding band I still wear.
            When they come back, we didn’t hear them knock on our door so they thought we had backed out and gone home.  They went down to the bus and train stations to see if we’d been there.
            By the time they got back, we were dressed and ready.  We ate breakfast at the hotel cafe then went to the court house to get the license.  When Arnold saw the line for the birthdate he whispered to me, “You better put 1919.”
            “I already did,” I whispered back.
            We didn’t have to have a blood test at that time.  The license probably cost a dollar.

It was about one o’clock by the time we went to the Episcopalian minister’s home.
            I almost backed out.  I can remember going up that walk, reaching down to pick up a rock, and thinking, “Do I really want to do this?”   I can remember during the ceremony thinking, “I wish my Dad would walk through that door and stop me.”
            The minister’s wife played the piano.  Arnold and I were married, then Ralph and Marie.
            I loved Arnold but by then I was a scrambled egg.  I had four guys that I thought I liked but I was so overwhelmed that Arnold could feel that way.  Arnold was head over heals in love with me.  In fact, it kinda bowled me over to think he loved me so much that he cried when he thought he was losing me.  I couldn’t believe that anyone could feel that way.  I thought it was just awesome that he would love me that much to cry if I wanted to go with somebody else.
            When we got to my house after the wedding there was this letter from Harold, signed “Love, Harold.”   I had to sit down and write to him that I had gotten married that day.  I often wondered what he thought when he got that letter?
            In his letter Harold said  “maybe you will get your feelings back for Arnold,” or something like that because we had talked about it.  I had told Harold I wasn’t sure that I was in love with Arnold anymore.  Harold and I hadn’t even gotten past the holding-hands stage. 
                We went to tell Mother and Dad we was married.  Mother was out hanging up clothes and I just walked out there and told her.  I guess they could have had the marriage annulled since I was not yet 18 years old.
            “Well, if I’d known you wanted to get married, we could have had a garden wedding for you here,” Mother said.  
            Then we four newlyweds drove to Twin Falls.  We went to a movie at the Orpheum theater downtown.  I don’t remember what the movie was.  Arnold and Ralph checked us into rooms at the Rogerson Hotel a couple of blocks east of the theater. 
            Arnold had drawn his next week’s salary from Owen at the Sport Shop, and we’ve been a week behind ever since.

Wedding Shower

            The next week my mutual class gave us a wedding shower at Mom and Dad’s house.  Arnold drove down to Hagerman and brought his mother to it.  She just sat on a chair toward the back the whole time without saying a word.  My mother got a little upset because she said Blanche hadn’t put forth an effort to talk or get acquainted with anyone.  However, I learned it was because she was so extremely shy around people.  She didn’t even talk much around her own children.
            I knew that the school didn’t allow married students so I went and got my deposit for my locker.  I think it was a dollar and a half.
            Mother and Dad moved to the Basinger place at this time...

And they lived happily ever after . . . or mostly happily.
They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple 
on June 14, 1961,
the day Walt and I were sealed.
My Dad passed away on February 6, 1982,
at age 69 of colon cancer.
My Mom was a widow for 31 years.
She passed away two months ago on July 26, 2013, at age 93.
This is our family is June 1962.
Mom, age 42; Dad age 50, my sister age 13, and me age 23.
Walt and I had driven from St. Louis to be with our parents in Idaho
for a vacation during our first wedding anniversary and
after Walt's third year of medical school.

I spent two hours after posting the above, writing about our full week of Sep. 23 to Sep. 29... had 21 photos.
     And now it's vanished.
            Computers! Love 'em and hate 'em. Can't live with them and can't live without them.  Now I don't have the energy at 10:17 to post any more tonight.  It was a great journal post.
            But, oh well, that's life.
                        Hope you've had a great week.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Temple re-opens after the semi-annual two-week maintenance closure...

"It's good to be back in the temple," Walt said during our shift that Tuesday morning of September 17, 2013.
     The temple was closed September 2-16 for deep cleaning, painting, refurbishing, and any maintenance needed.
This shows one of the scaffolds used for cleaning the outside of the temple.
They do keep the House of the Lord in tip-top shape.  Before the end of each shift, the workers do quick clean. Also, each day three specific cleaning people do 8 hours keeping everything clean. And then these semi-annual projects. to be continued.  They air-condition the temple and our apartments to the point that I'm usually cold. Going to get a sweater.    ...back soon, I hope.
Yesterday we had many receive their endowment, and had many couples and families sealed for time and eternity--the crowning ordinance in the temple.
What a blessing temple work is!

We got to go to our ward for a change.  Seems we've had one stake conference after another to speak at most every Sunday.
We had a very touching Sunday School lesson in English combining last week's and today's lessons of "Faith in Every Footstep," and "A Mission of Saving."  I never remember that 70,000 pioneers came across the trails to Salt Lake Valley from 1847 to 1869.  In 1869 the railroad tracks replaced the "trail." 

Bro. Wegkamp, our teacher, asked: "Why are the Prophets focusing on what the pioneers went through in their trials?
    My response was that perhaps they know something we don't know and are getting us prepared to live like they did.
   He quoted Pres. Hinckley as saying: "We should never get over being thankful for them [the pioneers].

    He closed with the hardships that the Willie and Martin Handcart companies went through.  

He said he's driven through Wyoming in snow storms and can't imagine doing it on foot, without sufficient clothing and food.

     ........he ended with the rescue of these handcart pioneers, expanding into "missions are for rescuing,"
 This Church is a Church of rescue, focusing on The Savior's Atonement is the greatest rescue of all!

    We were all in tears by the end of this special lesson.

We had Sunday dinner out on the commons room terrace patio.  That's what we did every Sunday the whole first year here until the sub-division development next to the temple grounds started running their heavy earth-moving equipment (caterpillars,etc) on Sundays and the noise plus the thick dust they created caused us to move into the host/hostess apartment.

There was a light rain to start with but it didn't blow into the patio.  The Caballeros--the newest Sr. Couple temple missionaries--native Salvadorians but who have lived in Canada 30 years, were the host couple today.  

They bar-b-qued lomito (a thin beef steak) and chorizos (big link sausages).  They also cooked rice, tortillas, a veggie plate, and homemade tomato salsa.
We hope you have had a restful and peaceful Sabbath Day.
We testify that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that Thomas S. Monson is His prophet for the whole world today.
Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration of the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He saw what he said he saw...
Read the Book of will change your life.
Of these truths we testify on this first day of Fall 2013...
Con amor, Walt and Eileen Petersen - 
San Salvador, El Salvador

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Finishing our experience at the border of El Salvador...

What happened at the border coming back in to El Salvador?
    The officer came out to the mini-bus and asked for Walter Petersen to please step out.
   In a quite voice he said to him: "We have a slight problem here. Your visa residency expired yesterday."
     It was more than a "slight" problem. It was a BIG problem.
...long story, short. We were at the border 2 hours versus the 40 minutes the day before.  
     ...because the official tried to work it out for us not to have to pay the $114 fine each--both Walt's and my visas had expired.
   He had Walt come up into the offices and he called his superior.
This higher official asked Walt why we were living in El Salvador.
When Walt told him we were on assignment by our Church--the Mormon Church.
   "Oh, the Mormon Church," the officer said with a pleasant tone.
(Later that week when we were working this through with the Church's attorney here, I asked him why they were favorable to the Mormon Church.  He said it's because the Mormon Church follows their rule and does everything by their laws and rules--nothing is underhanded with them.)
    The Immigration Officers at the border had to type up documents that stated we would immediately begin the process of renewing our visas, and gave us a 5-day temporary visa to get everything worked out.
Everyone made the best of the situation, and Janie figured out a "worst case scenario" of having to go back to the last town  to have us two "visa-expirees" stay until the Service Center people could come pick us up and they would go on to San Salvador for their flight out the next day.

    One time when Walt was able to come back down to the bus (all the offices were up about 10 steps from the parking area) the driver took a photo of us all by the bus.  Little Michael must have been sleeping in the bus.
I'll see if he's in another is Michael next to Sam and Shawn at breakfast that morning.
    From the bus we could see Walt and the officers.  One time they took Walt around the corner and I asked: "What do you think they're doing now?"
    "Flogging him," someone in our group said.
          Then an officer came down and asked for Eileen Petersen to come up to the office.  
    "Now they're going to flog you," the same voice said.
         I had to sign the document with my name on it. after two hours, paying the fine, and signing several things, we were on our way.
    And neither of us were flogged.
  Janie and I were figuring out how long it would take to cook what we'd planned to have for dinner that last evening. We had something planned but it would take a while to cook.
    No one had had lunch....just some snacks, so everyone was getting hungry.  We were about 3 1/2 hours from the capital.
Walt suggested that we stop in Santa Ana to eat. That was just a couple hours away.
   So at 7:00 p.m. we arrived at the food court in a big fancy, dancy Santa Ana mall, and everyone got to choose where to eat.  Katie got her wish of eating at a McDonald's in a foreign country--a tradition of hers.  
And below is the last photo I got of the trip because my camera's battery gave it's last breath.
The next day, Wednesday, Sept. 4 was the time for "Goodbyes" after a waffle-strawberry-whipped cream breakfast.
Two vans to the airport...
Janie and her Dad together for the last time until Nov. 2014...
The farewell airport photo...
And now they're all back in Idaho...  It seems like they were here and gone again in the blink of an eye! But we have sweet memories of their 8 precious days with us.
    The next Sunday, September 8, we spoke at the Cuscutlan Stake Conference. The first stake conference we've been to with the new mission president and his wife.  President Kai Hintze y Hna. Diane Hintze of the new El Salvador San Salvador West Belice Mission are from Salt Lake City, Utah....well, somewhere in Utah, although they have been on assignment throughout the world for his work with the Church.
That same Sunday evening, Walt and I took a walk around the temple grounds.  The apartment has seemed so quiet and lonesome since the Fishers and Mechams left.
When Walt told the Majanos about our visas expiring, Hna. Majano said: "Oh, you're wetbacks!?"
We spent the week catching up on things we don't get done during the normal times that the temple is open.  Walt did a lot of filing, and I did some. I worked on my Mom's Life Story, and did some 
    We have been taken twice to different places to get these visas renewed -- once to the National Police Station. Because we let our visas expire when we were out of the country, we had to begin from scratch as though we had never been in the country....with the police check, a medical exam, finger prints, mug shots, etc., etc.
And one day we went to Price Smart....and yes, Sept. 7 they had Christmas stuff out.
Here we are after spending Tuesday, Sept 10 having a great 4 hours being in meetings where Bonnie Oscarson, Young Women General President, spoke with Stake YW Presidencies and then Stake and Ward YW Presidencies about how to better fulfill the Young Women's program.
Our Campestre Ward Young Women's Presidency were thrilled to be trained with Sister Oscarson.  
    The Church officials here used the temple president's van to drive Sister Oscarson in during her day and a half here.  Carole Stephens, Counselor in the Relief Society, was also here at another Stake Center, training the local R.S. leaders - Sociedad de Socorro is Relief Society in Spanish.
Here are L-R: Janis Nielsen, Stephanie Dawson, Bonnie Oscarson-YW General President, and Aida Palacios. Aida is our ward YW president, and Stephanie and Janis are her counselors. They do a great job.
The young women from our ward came to our apartment on Sunday, September 1, where the ward YW presidency had asked me to speak to them about temple marriage. Janie and Aimee helped me out by also talking with them about this tender topic.
Today - 
Sunday, September 15, 2013
We spoke at the Soyapango Stake Conference.
    Since September 15th is the El Salvador Independence Day.
     Minos González, a high councilor from the stake, drove over to guide us to the Soyapango Stake Center.   normally just under a 30-minute drive....but with many roads closed because each suburb was having their own parades and celebrations, it took an hour.
Luckily we walked in just as they were ready to start.
     The members love to hear their temple president speak as he teaches them more about the importance of the ordinances and covenants of the holy temple.
     I share about how my mother's death is not as sad as I thought it would be because I know she is now young again...can see, hear, run, dance, and remember....and is with her eternal sweetheart because she and my Daddy had received their temple endowments and been sealed for time and eternity in the holy temple.
We are always relieved when our talks are over and we can greet the members.
Here is Minos González with us as we returned to the temple grounds this afternoon.
We came home to a quiet Sunday dinner.  When 10-y-o Michael Fisher saw this photo, he said: "When they're alone they sure don't have big Sunday dinners like we had with them. But their grape juice looks good."
Then it was time for our Sunday naps...
Tomorrow morning we are serving a breakfast of
Biscuits 'n Gravy
to the 6 couples in our 
temple complex apartments...
President & Sister Majano,
President & Sister Alas,
Elder y Hna. Clark,
Elder y Hna. Caballero,
Elder y Hna. Winter,
Elder y Hna. Haroldsen.
Then in the afternoon we're going 
to help in the temple
putting the sacred items back 
in place after the two-week
closure for maintenance
and repairs.
We hope you have had a peaceful 
and restful Sabbath Day.
The Gospel has been restored in 
these latter days
through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Read the Book of Mormon.
It will change your life.
We are thankful for the 
of the Savior,
and the hope of 
His forgiveness as we
repent of our short-comings,
and that we will all
be resurrected,
and with temple ordinances
can live together
forever as families.
Con amor, 
Walt and Eileen Petersen

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Countdown -- only good on September  14, 2013
Fun graphic I just saw on facebook.
   We're also taking time out right now to watch the UCLA-Nebraska football game.  Makes it seem like a Saturday in fall.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fishers and Mechams last 4 days with us...well one of their last 4 days with us.

How did the 8 days with our Fisher and Mecham families zoom by so rapidly?!

Monday, September 2, we headed to the Copan, Honduras Ruins bright and early.  Remember that date: "Sepember 2"
The next day we found out it was a date we should have remembered way before it arrived.
About 10:00 that morning we had arrived at the El Salvador border to cross into Guatemala.  It took 40 minutes, which we thought was a long time.  But we would learn coming back into El Salvador the next day what a "long" border crossing really was.

We felt blessed we were inside our nice rented 26-seat air-conditioned bus out of the sun and rain. Parked next to us were some El Salvadorians traveling in the back of their pickup.  Many, many travel this way in Central America.
We drove an hour or so in Guatemala before crossing the border into Honduras.  It was 1:30 Monday afternoon when we got to the Copan Ruins.  (We'd been told it was a 4-hour drive; took us 5 1/2 hours.)
Our hearts sank when we saw the sign: 
"Copan Ruins -- Open 8am-4pm"
But then we found out they stop selling tickets ($15 per person) at 4:00 and are actually open until 5:00 p.m. 
So we had 3 1/2 hours which turned out to be sufficient to see everything -- except the tunnels (which cost another $15 per person). But our guide told us the tunnels are not really accessible during the rainy season, and are covered with plastic to protect them, so we chose not to do the tunnels.

First thing the kids climbed up the small pyramid at the entrance to the Mayan Central Plaza.
We were happy to have Elder Joseph y Hna. Marilee Clark join us for this 2-day adventure.
We learned a lot about the Mayans, their royalty and culture from our guide, Cesar...
Now I am going to have a Sunday nap with my sweetheart... more later this afternoon.
                     ....It's later, I'm back.
The hieroglyphic stairs up the grand pyramid at the Copan Ruins are covered by a tarp to protect the from more erosion.
Here is some interesting info I just Googled...
(...well, interesting for those who like ruins.  Just skip if you are not interested and scroll down to the rest of our adventures in Copan.)
Also known as Structure 26, this pyramid stairway boasts the longest Maya text found so far. This stairway is the last construction phase of this structure. Underneath this pyramid archaeologists have found other construction phases as well as many astounding pieces of art. 
One example is the earliest stela found at Copan , Stela 63 with a date of, 8 Ahau 14 Ceh corresponding to December 11, 435 AD, this stela was found broken in 3 pieces and buried within the structure. 
The original base where it had stood against the back wall of the inside chamber, evidence states that the burial of Stela 63 occurred almost 200 years after the date carved within this sculpture. In front of Stela 63 and in the uppermost fragment there is evidence of soot and smoke, the blackening suggests that this sculpture was exposed for a great deal of time (200 years?) and was the subject of worship by the constant burning of offerings, until its defacing and burial.
The purpose as well as the disposition of the structures of which Pyramid 26 is a part of remained similar throughout all the building phases uncovered so far, even though the subtler details changed over time, such as orientation, decoration and size, with Pyramid 26 serving as a dynastic temple. Complementing the plaza with Pyramid 26 was Structure 11 that served as a house of office and the Ball Court A, all of these structures suffered modifications over time. The origins of the Ball Game can be traced to the Early Pre classic period so it is no surprise to find one in such an important place at the Acropolis and with more construction phases.
Of special importance is the Hieroglyphic Stairway itself, as it details the life and times of the rulers of Copan in an attempt to legitimize their power linking themselves historically with the founder of the dynasty Yax' K'uk' Mo'. Commissioned by Ruler 12 Smoke Imix God K. Pyramid 26 was finished in 756 AD by ruler 15, K'ak' Yipyaj Chan K'awiil, and on his tomb he was buried with jade, ceramic censers, a flint knife and other ceremonial objects associated with bloodletting.
In the central axis of the Stairway there are 5 seated figures with adornments consistent with warfare, self sacrifice and ancestor worship. Through a reconstruction by Barbara Fash of the façade decorations on the temple, are consistent with warfare, the motifs depicted are large Tlaloc masks set at the corners of the temples and on the central axis of the East and West sides. These 6 masks representative of warrior gods and sacrifice seemed to protect the 5 ancestors nestled on top of the Stairway the same as 5 more located in the façade with slightly larger life-sized human figures and adorned with shields.

...meanwhile back at the
We were all fascinated with the many Macaws flying around, with some perching...
Macaws like this...

And this...
On our way out of the Copan Ruins, we posed with Aimee and Michael Mecham...our oldest granddaughter and her husband.  We were so happy they were able to come.
After a fun browse in the Park's Souvenir Shoppe to compare prices versus what we would find in town, it was off to check into the Hotel Graditas Mayas for the night. (The town is barely a mile from the ruins.)
Then it was off to Copan's central plaza two blocks away for shopping and eating.
Tipica food is rice, beans, salsa and a little meat...with French Fries added for the North American tourists.
If you look closely, you can see the waitress carrying part of our order on her head...
Then we posed outside the fun restaurant. The photo of all of us was on someone else's camera.  I got one of Janie & Shawn.
Then while the young ones shopped, the Clarks and we took a tut-tut back to the hotel. Hna. Clark sent us a photo of Tut-tuts from the next day.
     A fun ending of a fun day with family and friends...
I'm worn out just posting our first day at the Ruins, and I must have worn you out, too.
        But our next day turned out to be more of an adventure than we ever expected...
   be continued tomorrow...maybe.
We hope you have had a peaceful and restful Sabbath Day.
Families and friends are forever. 
We spoke at the Cuscutlan Stake Conference this morning--Sunday, September 8.  That will be a future post.
       Goodnight.  Have a great week - Sept. 8-14.