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.

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