Sunday, October 27, 2013

Oct 21-27, 2013 in El Salvador...

Today we spoke at the Apopa Stake Conference...
Elder Jared Ocampo, the Area Seventy from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was presiding.  Here are the Priesthood men who spoke this morning--Left to right: President David Glazier, El Salvador San Salvador East Mission; Elder Ocampo; President José Sorto, Apopa Stake; and President Walter Petersen, San Salvador El Salvador Temple.
Sisters who spoke during this Sunday session of the Apopa Stake Conference were, Hermana Kriscia de Portillo, Presidenta de la Primaria de Estaca Apopa; Hermana Jacqueline de Silvestre, Presidenta de las Mujeres Jovenes de Estaca Apopa, Hermana Beverly Barton Glazier, wife of the Mission President (pictured below with her husband); and Hermana Eileen Albertson Petersen, wife of the Temple President.
The chapel, cultural hall, and stage were filled to over-flowing, and several classrooms had the proceedings via in-house TV.
A choir of 27 sang "Prayer of Gratitude," for the prelude; "Himno de Alabanza" after the sustaining of Church leadership; and "Con Valor Marchemos" for closing.
When the stake patriarch stopped to talk with Walt, I took their photo together.  He was interested that Walt is also a patriarch.
Here are some future missionaries...
They needed to get the wiggles out after sitting quietly for two hours.
We love to see the families together at the stake conferences...
Hno. Hernández, the stake executive secretary, drove us to and from the conference.  Henry rode back with us. He leaves for his mission to Honduras San Pedro Sula in February.  Henry felt bad he had taken his tie off before the photo was taken.
  The Clarks rode over with us, but after the conferece are spending some time with the Glaziers. Hna. Clark y Hna. Glazier are sisters.
(We didn't get a photo with them today....but here is one from a past stake conference.)
     save space for photo

When we got back to our temple apartment complex, Hna. Haroldsen invited Hno. Hernández and Henry to stay for dinner.
We enjoy these Sunday dinners together.
Hna. Haroldsen served her Mother's recipe of tuna casserole over mashed potatoes today. The Kerrs brought delicious, fresh rolls from San Martins, and the Caballeros made yummy arroz con leche (rice pudding).  Walt and I brought homemade carrot cake.
"Hurry and take the photo," Hna. Haroldsen said, adding "while he still has his arm around me."
Yesterday, Saturday, October 26, we had a day with no shift.
Walt drove a temple missionary to a Dermatologist, after which we spent the day watching a little college football (makes it seem like a Saturday in autumn doing this), then caught up on paper work, and also working on our talks for the next day.
When we dashed over to Walmart for some things for making the carrot cake, we walked by these four cute El Salvadorian boys sitting along the curb eating ice cream cones.  Ice cream is a favorite all over the world!
Saturday was the birthday of our 30th grandchild -- William Joseph Petersen turned 5.  We love you, William! He is the son of David and Julie.  We were happy to get an e-mail from David telling us that William had a very fun birthday.
Friday, October 25, 2013 - 
            Still working on back to finish.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another week in October in El Salvador...

For this week's blog, I'm going to start with today - Sunday, October 20, and go back to last Monday, October 14.
Today we were invited to speak at the Stake Conference in Chalchuapa...
  We left the temple grounds at 8:20 and arrived at 9:15.
The conference was under the direction of the Area Seventy, Valeri V. Cordón. Here he is on the left, with the stake president, Pte. Siguenza.
We love to be with the members at these stake conferences. This family asked to have their picture taken with us.
Here are some more members...
And more...  The tall man in the center back is Poloski Cordón, President of the El Salvador Santa Ana Mission. And to our left of him is the Area Seventy, Valeri V. Cordón, who is his brother.  They are originally from Guatemala.  Elder Cordón has lived in Costa Rica for 16 years.  When we were on our mission in Central America, living in Guatemala, Poloski Cordón was the Recorder of the Guatemala Temple.  He was released as an Area Seventy shortly before being called as a Mission President.
Gabriel Mendez, our Assistant Temple Recorder, came to the stake conference with us as our guide.  Here he is as the conference ended with Ana Milagro Montepeque who serves Tues through Friday afternoons as a volunteer in the temple office.  She lives in San Salvador but was visiting her daughter who lives in Chalchuapa.
Hno. Peñate, one of our sealers, and his family live in Chalchuapa.  He was excited to introduce us to his daughter, her husband, and their two daughters.  It was his older granddaughter's 10th birthday today.
Here are some future missionaries that President Petersen greeted on our way to the van.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings happiness into the lives of its members.  
Not a lot of members have cars, let alone fancy red ones like this one.
This fun tricycle stroller caught my eye...
We were invited to have dinner at the Mission President's home.  President & Sister Cordon hosted the dinner because the visiting Area Authority is President Cordon's brother.
A delicious dinner of steak, chicken, baked potatoes, mixed vegetables, refried beans, rolls, and chocolate cake was served to 12. The interesting juice was orange juice combined with Cran-Apple.
Hna. Cordon told us that this beautiful new mission home was designed and built in 2011 with the idea of serving many missionaries arriving and leaving the mission.  Before this, the Santa Ana Mission Home was in the captial city of San Salvador...not far from where the temple is now. It was much smaller.
Here is the Stake President with his counselors and executive secretary and assistant secretaries.
Here is the group after enjoying dinner together.  President Cordón had had to leave for a meeting before dinner was served.
President Cordón returned from the meeting just in time to tell everyone goodbye.  Here they are with their youngest daughter who lives with them.  They have a son serving in the Taiwan Teipei Mission who finishes his two year call the end of this December.  And they have other children who are attending college now.
Gabriel guided us safely on the 50-minute drive back to the city, and I took this photo of him with President Petersen.  We greatly appreciate his taking most of his Sunday to help us today.
And when we arrived back at our temple apartment, Elder y Hna. Clark brought us some of the yummy dinner they had with the temple missionaries today...chicken alfredo over rice, corn, fresh veggies, fresh pineapple, rolls, and for dessert strawberry-fruit shurbert with chocolate chip cookies.  
Needless to say, we have been well fed today!  Actually, we are saving the second dinner for the rest of this week. space for photo here...
             Hna. Clark forgot to take photos at their dinner, and I didn't get one when they brought our dinner to no photo
---Yesterday, Saturday, October 19, we had the morning shift, opening the temple at 4:00 a.m. and leaving the temple at 12:00 noon.
We had time for a quick 20-minute nap, then finished our preparations for our talks at the Saturday 2:00-4:00 p.m. adult meeting of our Los Heroes Stake Conference.
    I spoke about my mother gaining her testimony when she was 8 years old. (That will be a separate post sometime in the future.) And that in her elderly years she could not see, hear, nor remember. But when she passed away 3 months ago at the age of 93, she is now young again and can see, hear, run, dance, and remember everything.  And best of all, she has been reunited with her eternal sweetheart forever because they had each received their endowment and had been sealed by the authority of the Priesthood in the Holy Temple of the Lord.
    Walt also spoke about the temple and the sealing. He quoted President Hinckley
    At the 5:00-7:00 p.m. Priesthood Session, Walt was also invited to speak.  It was in the form of questions, so Walt was able to answer their questions about the temple for the things that could be discussed outside the temple.
    I took no photos on Saturday.
Friday, October 18, Walt was asked to perform the sealing of José Rivas and Jocelyn Yescas.  As we came out of the temple after his assignment, the newlyweds were taking photos and asked us to be in one with them.
We were also invited to their wedding reception that evening in the Layco Stake Center.   During the sit down dinner for 200 or more guests, the couple greeted each guest at the tables.  When they came by our table, Walt shared some choice words of advice for them.
 We sat at the table with Gabriel and Karla Méndez. The newlyweds not only talk with each guest, they pose for photos with the guests.
After dinner, the music and dancing begins.
We just enjoyed watching the dancing, until we got up to leave and Walt began dancing with me.  It caused quite a stir among many--even the little elderly ladies who nudged each other to look at us dancing.  Many got up to take photos of us.  I guess they thought this elderly temple president didn't know how to dance.
      We only lasted about two dances and then we were out of breath.  We do enjoy being with our El Salvadorian friends at these social events.

Thursday, October 17, we had the afternoon/evening shift from 12:30 noon to 9:30 p.m.  I didn't take any photos on this day either.
Wednesday, October 16, a group came from the Juyayua Branch and two families were sealed.
Here is the other family that was sealed who can now be a family together forever.
Then the 22 boarded this van and headed back to Juayua for the hour and a half drive.
Tuesday, October 15, we had no shift.  Walt had a special meeting with his counselors in deciding if they should discontinue the 7:00 a.m. session on Tuesday through Friday.  It was determined to keep the schedule unchanged.  Walt and I did a 4:00 p.m. session.
     That morning we went to the hospital lab to get our monthly blood tests.  On the way back we stopped at Denny's for breakfast.
 Monday, October 14, as our regular P-day schedule, Walt drove us--the 4 Sr. Couple Temple Missionaries and me--grocery shopping and then to lunch at Rusticos.
After this we also went to Price Smart (Costco).  That evening we had family home evening at the Caballeros.  Elder Caballero gave a great lesson on "Gaining and Keeping a Testimony."  Hna. Caballero served delicious arroz con leche (rice pudding) for refreshments.
And that's our week in El Salvador - Oct. 14-20.
I will close our post with this photo of us when we returned to the temple this afternoon.
We love where we are and what we are doing.
We hope you have had a peaceful and restful Sabbath Day.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

This week in El Salvador...

This week...
 Monday, Oct. 7, we had a wonderful Family Home Evening at the home of Waldo & Silvia Reyes...
Hna. Reyes called that morning to invite us and our Sr. Couple Temple Missionaries to family home evening.  Left to right below, front row: Robert Caballero, Waldo Reyes, Walt Petersen, Jerry Winter, DeVar Haroldsen, John Kerr.
Second row: Irma Caballero, Silvia Reyes, Dora Winter, Sharon Haroldsen, Kari Kerr.
Hno. Reyes gave the lesson on "The Road to Damascus," teaching that most of us will never have a "road to Damascus" experience as Saul/Paul did. Our conversion will come line upon line, precept upon precept.
Silvia said: "Waldo is in charge of the lesson.  I am in charge of the cooking."  She served delicious pupusas for supper following the lesson.
We ate in one of their dining rooms.
Pupusas are a speciality of El Salvador.  They are supposed to be eaten with our fingers, but they are usually too hot for me to pick up that way, so I wimp out and use my fork.
Most everyone else was brave and used their fingers as the custom dictates here.
But however they are eaten, they are enjoyed.
They also served fresh fruit drinks..."mora" is a berry drink, and tonight a pineapple slush was also served.  Sometimes they serve a zapote (not sure of the spelling) drink that is fruit from a tree in their back yard.
The Reyes don't have any children living at home any more so each Monday they invite a different family or group to join them for family home evening.  We love being with Waldo and Silvia.
And Walt loves to hear his flying experiences.  He was a pilot for Taca Airlines for many years.  
We think it is very nice that they have the photo of our Temple Presidency and first group of Sr. Couple Temple Missionaries in their entrance area.
Tuesday, October 8...
We had the shift from 5:15 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. I didn't take any photos today.
Wednesday, October 9...
Walt got to the temple at 8:30 a.m. for his 9:00-Noon weekly Temple Presidency meeting. I wish I could take a photo of the Temple Presidency together in their white suits, but I follow the rule of no photos in the temple.  Here is the photo of the Temple Presidency and their wives taken last year from our apartment terrace balcony.   We need to get this year's photo taken soon.
Wednesday we had the afternoon/evening shift 12:30 noon to 9:30 p.m. so Walt was in the temple 13 hours.  He was bushed that night when we got home.  
That morning I took a couple photos of the ongoing building of townhouses and condos being built next to the temple grounds.

These photos are taken from our apartment terrace patio looking the other direction from the temple.  These are high-end condos and town houses...costing up to $500,000 each.
Thursday, October 10...
We had no shift today.  Walt begins his day's off (and days with afternoon shift) by exercising...first on the stationery bicycle, then finishing off with several back exercises.  On the bike he reads out loud from the Liahona to keep his tongue moving in Spanish.
    On our days with morning shift, he does all these exercises when we get back to our apartment in the afternoon.
Then he catches up on e-mails to and from the family.
Thursday we also had a fun dinner that evening at "The Tower" where the Clarks invited us.  (It's called the World Trade Center here...finished in 2009. We don't know why they would name it that.)
We were eating on their outdoor terrace when a sudden wind and rain storm had us scurring inside.
Here are Walt and Joseph as we wait for the taxi.  They had us go in a taxi because we didn't know how to drive to there.
We ate at "The Florence" an Italian Restaurant on the third floor. We were glad we tried their Panini's--excellent. 
Friday, October 11...
We had the morning shift. In the afternoon Walt stayed at the temple for an extra couple of hours working on things.
For our "Friday night movie" we watch 20/20 about a brave girl from a struggling country.
Saturday, October 12...
We had the afternoon shift. On our way the Majanos were just returning from speaking with several bus loads of primary children. They said the children held hands while they surrounded the entire temple! We wish we had seen that.  Here are a few photos on our way to the temple.
  I just got a photo of the tail end of the children coming from surrounding the temple.
Here are some handsome "future missionaries."
Here are some still gathered by the temple.
Saturday was our son David's birthday. Here he is with his family.  David, we love you, and are proud of you and your family.
Today, Sunday, October 13...
We took a photo of the Kerrs--John and Kari--who are here for six months and serving as full-time temple workers.
Stephanie and her daughter Cecilia came to our apartment after Church.  Aida Palacios also came with her.  They are my new visiting teachers.  I took a photo of Stephanie and her daughter on our terrace patio in front of the temple.
This afternoon the Temple Presidency had training for the six sealers.  On our way over to the temple, one of the sealers asked if he could get a photo with us.
On my way home from the temple--my assistants and I had training for our 10 sub-coordinators.  My assistants are so excellent in all they do and today was no exception.
(looking for photo of us together)

On the way back to the apartment, there were some visitors taking photos of our beautiful temple.
Also on my 3-mintue walk back to the apartment I saw the prettiest clouds with silver linings that I have ever seen.
When Walt got back, he also took a photo of the clouds as the sun was beginning to set.
What a beautiful world our Heavenly Father had The Savior create for us to live on during our time in mortality.
Here is our temple at sunset this past Thursday as we were waiting for the taxi.
Because of the restored priesthood temple ordinances, Walt and I look forward to walking hand in hand together forever.
We hope you have had a restful and peaceful Sabbath Day.