Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week of February 18 to 24, 2013 in El Salvador...

Most of our time is in the Temple . . .
Tuesday we had the morning shift - 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday we had the afternoon shift which is 12:30 noon to 9:30 p.m. - However, Walt has his weekly Presidency Meetings on Wednesdays, so he was there 9:a.m. to 9:30 p.m.  So every 3rd Wednesday he is there over 12 hours because he doesn't take a break between this 3-hour meeting to when our afternoon shift begins.

Thursday we had a day with no shift. 
Two of the members of the San Salvador National Symphony are in our ward: René Adán Hernández and Bishop Figueroa.  René drove Elder y Hna. Thompson and us to Santa Ana to a Symphony that they do throughout El Salvador for elementary and high school students.
Here is the photo of their National Monument Symphony Hall which was started in 1902 and finished in 1910.
The conductor explained what each instrument did and then that section played a few measures...very interesting. René is second chair in the violin section. (So he is the second best violin player in this 70-piece symphony orchestra.) Bishop Figueroa plays  viola, and I think, he, too, is second chair in that section.
You can see the white border around the dome ceiling that has portraits of famous musicians, including Beethoven, Wagner, Verdi, Bellini, Gounud and others. (We'd heard of all except the last one.)
René had arranged for us to sit in the first balcony Presidental box.
The symphony was superb!

Below are students standing in line.  We liked their plaid skirt uniforms. The boys had white shirts and navy pants.
Below are Elder y Hna. Thompson sitting by us in the balcony box seats.
 Here we are. We were following the rules, turning off the flash. So the photos are dark.
Here we are in front after the hour-symphony. René Hernández is at the top right.
Now I'm taking time out to warm up the pulled pork that Hna. Thompson had for the main dish for Sunday dinner.  We four guest speakers were invited to join the stake presidency and all their bishops and wives at a dinner after the stake conference today.

     I'll finish the rest of our week later....
I'll put in birthdays of our grandchildren for this past week.    And then it's Goodnight for now.
Happy Birthday this past week to:
McKell "16"

Aimee "25"    Aimee with husband Michael
Ben "8"  Ben with airplane

Will have photos next week of these:
Taylor "10"
Sam "7"
and Walt's sister Phyllis "81"

Sunday, February 17, 2013

This week in El Salvador...

Happy Birthday today, February 17, 
to our beautiful daughter, Julie.
"39" 1 or 2....
Julie, age 2, with 3 1/2 y-o brother, David.

Below is Julie during her BYU Ballroom Tour Team days...
She and her partner, Richard, from Ohio,
won many awards during those years.

Julie & John, Jacee, Jackson, and Maddie at Disneyland
March 2012
She just changed one letter in her last name when she married
John in November 1999 - PetersEn to PetersOn.

We had a great outing on Monday, Feb. 11...
   but the camera card would not load again in my laptop....

President Petersen calling prospective temple missionaries...
Feb. 16.

We went to dinner last night with The Thompsons, Walls, López, and friends from Guatemala, Lynn and Bonita Justice.
At "Las Cebollines" the Mariachi's played for an hour, but we were sad they didn't know "Besame Mucho."
L-R: Elder y Hna. Thompson, Lon & Nancy; Elder y Hna. Wall - Frank & Diane; Lynn & Bonnie Justice; Presidente y Hna. López - Jaime y Gladis (he is our stake president, also the Temple Recorder); and us.
We hosted Sunday dinner today. L-R Lisa & Dale Wegkamp (Friends visiting here this week who were here in San Salvador when we arrived July 2011.  Dale works with children in El Salvador who need help. They went back to their home in Utah when the gov't contract ran out July 2012.  They were hoping to return by Oct or Nov, but the contract is just being renewed, so they hope to return in April or May.  We hope they do, too.) Lynn and Bonnie Justice flew in his  Sky Master twin-engine plane to the Honduras Open House on Friday and tell us the temple is beautiful. They flew to El Salvador yesterday and did a session in our beautiful San Salvador, El Salvador Temple.  They flew back to Guatemala this afternoon after dinner.
I'm without Walt who had just left for a 3:00 training of sealers at the temple. Elder y Hna. Thompson - Lon and Nancy.  Hna. Wall - Diane is taking the photo. Frank had taken something back to their apartment, but we couldn't wait because the taxi was waiting to take the Justices to the Illopongo Airport where their plane was parked.)

Here's a photo of Elder y Hna. Wall - Frank & Diane at the dinner last night.

Maybe I'll get to post some more photos if I can get the rest of the week's photos transferred from Walt's laptop, where I was able to down load them.  We had a fun outing on Monday, Feb. 11, to Cotejutepeque. (Took me a while to learn how to say that: Cot - a - ju - ta - pak - a -- all vowels with a long sound.)

Hope you are having a restful Sabbath...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

This week in San Salvador, El Salvador

I've tried several times but my camera chip will not pull up.
My computer is saying "USB not recognized" or something like that.
So perhaps I have lost this week's worth of photos. Rats!

Finally, just now we were able to download
(or is it upload?) my photo card onto Walt's computer.
But by the time we figured out how to save them and
then get them sent to my's too late to
blog them.

Sunday, February 10, 2013...
Walt had an impression coming out of Church to invite Hna. Diaz to come to dinner today.
She comes to the temple from 8am to 4pm as a patron each Tues, Wed. and Thurs.
She carries everything she owns in a bag.
Our local friends tell us she lives on the street, but she is always clean and neat.

I'll load one photo of Hna. Diaz at Sunday dinner with
us today...

Another with Hna. Wall in it...

We had great Sunday School and Relief Society Lessons today.
    Hope to add more about this....using the visual aid that our R.S. teacher had for staying on the ship of the Church...
It's 10:45pm and Walt's just headed to bed.
We're going on our monthly P-day day-trip tomorrow...
so I'm off to bed, also.

Hope you have had a peaceful, restful, and spiritual Sabbath day.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013...

For this week, I'll start with today and go backwards.
Last week I started with Monday Jan 21 and went to Sun Jan 27.
Then we'll see which we like better.
Today, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013
It's our granddaughter, Katie's 19th birthday.
H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y,  
K A T I E !
Here's our week in reverse, Sunday, Feb. 3 back to Monday, Jan. 28
San Miguel Stake Conference - with President Santos Alfredo Rubio Villata, who is pictured below with Walt and me.
They had a wonderful choir of 40. They sang for 15 minutes before the Stake Conference began, and then they sang a special hymn before my talk.  It was surprising when I saw my name on the agenda as the first speaker.  That was unnerving (is that a word?) for me.
I started my talk with: "Buenos Días.  The spirit is very strong here today. I see the countenance of Christ in your faces.  Thank you for your worthiness and for your service. And thank you for your coming to your beautiful San Salvador El Salvador Temple."

Then I spoke about the experience when Hna. Wendy Nelson, wife of the Apostle Russel M. Nelson, visited El Salvador. She plus the other wives of the General Authorities who were here came to the temple.
After the session, I showed them a sealing room. She had already told me how strong the spirit of the Lord was in the temple. In the sealing room she said that the spirit was even stronger.
After they had come out of the sealing room, Hna. Nelson re-entered the room, and said that Yes, the spirit is felt even stronger here in the sealing room.
Then I continued: "Why is the spirit so strong in the Sealing Room?"
"Because that's where the culmination of temple work is done--sealing families together forever!"
"I would hope each person here today has had or will have the blessing of being a family sealed together forever. And I pray that President Petersen and I, our 7 children and 33 grandchildren will be worthy to become a family for all eternity by keeping our covenants and the commandments."
 I shared two quotes, the first one by Brigham Young about temple work: 
"ENDOWMENT: "a gift.” “A Celestial Course of Instruction.” Brigham Young said:
                        “Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of  the Lord which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation…”    
(I know I have quoted this before....but it is my favorite quote about the Endowment.)
Then I quoted Gordon B. Hinckley: "I know your lives are busy. I know that you have much to do. But I make you a promise that if you will go to the House of the Lord, you will be blessed; life will be better for you."
In preparing my talk I had a quote by President Thomas S. Monson that I wanted to use but Walt said it didn't translate with the same meaning into Spanish: (I write my talks out in English, then Walt translates them in to Spanish for me. I'm so thankful for him for many different reasons!)
"As a result of the sacred ordinances performed in the holy house of God, no light need be permanently extinguished, no voice permanently stilled, no place in our heart permanently left vacant."--President Thomas S. Monson
(I was thinking a lot about our Wendell, Idaho mentor, President Murk R. Lancaster, whose funeral was Saturday, Feb. 2.)
I ended with my simple testimony:
"This Church is true and Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration. I love the Book of Mormon which is another testament of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for Jesus Christ and His Atonement for each of us.  I am grateful for our Prophet today, Thomas S. Monson.  Also, I love my sweetheart who is my husband for all eternity. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
I hope to have Walt translate some of his talk into English so I can share...

At the end of each stake conference, it is always so touching to see the members--young and old--rush up to greet their temple president.
We know it is "our calling" and not "us" that they are honoring.
This darling little girl wanted a photo with me.
Whenever we ask these young children: "Are you a future missionary?" they respond enthusiastically with: "Yes!"
This 80-year old hermana wanted a hug from each of us, and the young girl proudly told us: "This is my grandmother."
Hermana Nancy Thompson, one of our full-time temple missionaries from Jerome, Idaho, greeted and was greeted warmly by the members. She and Elder Lon Thompson, her husband, had come over with Elder y Hna. Hall, the Perpetual Education Fund missionaries.
Elder y Hna. Hall from Sacramento, California are serving an 18-month Perpetual Education Fund mission.  Many big changes are happening right now in the PEF procedures. I think they finish their mission in May.

The stake presidency served lunch to the guests, which we are always thankful for...especially today since we had a 2 1/2 hour drive back to San Salvador.
We left at 1:05p.m. and arrived back at the temple complex at 3:35p.m..  Roberto Torres and Aida Palacios were our great guides to direct us on each turn to take to get to the right roads leading to San Miguel.  And then to find the stake center when we arrive.  They have also guided us to Santa Ana and to the two sessions of the San Salvador Stake Conference--one session an hour and a half drive from their stake center.  We really appreciate their help.
Saturday, Feb. 2 -- We did the morning/afternoon/evening temple shift 10:00a.m.-7:45p.m.  A busload came from Nicaragua...arrived at 12:15 noon, then drove back to Nicaragua at 7:45 in a school bus. We saw the bus pulling away as we were walking back to our apartment at the end of our shift. Walt said they would probably be 7-9 hours traveling back.  It was dark or I would have taken a photo.
Friday, Feb. 1 -- We had the morning/afternoon shift -- opened the temple at 5:30a.m. - then got back to our apartment at 2:40p.m. It was my bi-monthly meeting with my wonderful assistants, Hna. Aida Majano y Hna. Consuelo Alas. Walt presides and translates for me.  Then we three will have our monthly meeting with the Temple Presidency on Wed, 10:00 a.m.  I meet weekly with the Temple Presidency for the first part of their 3-hour meeting.
Thursday, Jan. 31 -- Was our day with no shift.  Our apartment was cleaned and I had Alberto and another service center man who cleans our patio, help switch the black leather couch from our living room with the smaller one from our bedroom.
This is a beautiful couch but it is so slippery that people have a hard time sitting on it.  And the beautiful pillows that go with it won't stay on -- just keep sliding off.
Here is the love seat from our bedroom moved to the living room. It is much more comfortable and makes more room for the recliner that we moved from the guest room to the living room a couple of weeks ago.
We tried calling our children, but only got through to Janie, and Brian.  Sometimes we just need to talk with each of them.  It's always great to hear their voices and learn about what's happening with them and our precious grandchildren.
Then we decided to get one more session in for January, so we went to do the 4:00 session.  A young mother needed some medical attention, so we helped her go out and after she was okay, we were able to do the 5:30 session instead.
Wednesday, Jan. 30 -- We had the afternoon/evening shift which goes from 12:30 noon to 9:30 p.m.  Sometimes we have lots of patrons come to the temple, and sometimes not very many.  It's always a joy to be with our temple workers and to greet the patrons.
Tuesday, Jan. 29 -- We had the morning/afternoon shift. We get up at 4:00 a.m. to be ready to open the temple at 5:30.  Tuesday is usually our lightest day, but it seems to be the day we have the most temple workers.  Several of our couples, who are here with the U.S. Embassy, come to the 7:00 p.m. session on Tuesday evenings. Most of them are in our Campestre Ward that meets at the stake center here on the temple grounds.
Monday, Jan. 28 -- P-Day is always a busy time with cleaning, washing clothes, grocery shopping and other errands, plus most of the time lunch together.  The Thompsons and Walls don't know what to do with a seat for each couple in the temple van.  
First we went to Price Smart (like Costco).  We go there about once a month to get the U.S. and Kirkland brands, plus they are the only place we have gotten delicious fresh pineapples.  We also have our photos printed there.  Hna. Thompson had about 100 photos of the temple workers that Elder y Hna. Gibbons took the last two weeks of their mission here.  They took them as each temple worker came to or left from their shifts.  
So I had her order 2 of each so Walt and I could also have photos of our faithful temple workers.  Elder Gibbons took over 200.  Hna. Thompson had already ordered some of their earlier.
We drove back to our apartments to unload our groceries. It's only about a 7-10-minute drive.
Elder Lon y Hna. Nancy Thompson at Shaw's for lunch on Monday.
Elder Frank and Hna. Diane Wall at lunch on Monday at Shaw's.
President Walter y Hna. Eileen Petersen at lunch on Monday at Shaw's.
The three couples at Shaw's on Monday - P-Day - for lunch.
Then we went to lunch at Shaw's--a great little chocolate shop that makes their own chocolates, and also has a bakery.  They also have delicious sandwiches, with great homemade soups and potato salad, and other menu choices. 
From there we went to the Multi-Plaza--the huge mall which is only a 10-minute or less walk from the temple grounds.  They have a medium-sized grocery store called "Super Selectos."
Hna. Thompson was looking for some temple shoes and walking shoes. The pairs she's had for many years have worn out.  She had looked at the Payless Shoe Store by Price Smart, then they walked to the Wal-Mart Las Cascades mall, finding nothing in the half-size she needed.  When they walked back to the Multi-Plaza, there in a tiny shop at the entrance, she found not only temple shoes, but also tennis shoes for their hour walk they do each day.  From our kitchen window we can see them walking around the huge temple parking lot at a very fast clip.
Family Home Evening was at the Walls where Elder Wall gave a lesson from the Ensign about personal inspiration stories shared by several different people.  It helped remind us to follow our "inspirations" more completely.
Hna. Wall served yummy home-made banana cream pie.
(Now it will be our turn, Monday, Feb. 4.  We're scrambling for ideas.  And it just hit me that I need to come up with refreshments.)
And there's our week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, 
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