Sunday, February 23, 2014

This week in El Salvador - Feb. 17-23, 2014

Today Walt and his two counselors left early for the hour drive to Santa Ana for a 7:00 a.m. Regional Correlation Council.
Here President Petersen is with President Alas, his second counselor, just before President Majano, his first counselor joined them.
The temple looks beautiful morning, noon, and night!
They're loading into the Honda Odyssey.
And they're on their way.
Our Campestre Ward primary children came to our Relief Society class to sing "Families Can Be Together Forever" to enhance the
lesson on "Turn the Heart of the Family to Increase Faith in Jesus Christ" taught by Gilma Hernández.
After this precious lesson, the sisters with February birthdays were invited to the front while we sang "♪♫Feliz Cumpleaños a Ti♫♪" to them before being served festive mini-cupcakes.
Several plates were full, and I'm not sure if all the Relief Society sisters got their chocolate and vanilla treat before the primary children came in and scooped them up.
I try to take photos of families in our ward.  Today I got Bret Curtis with his three sons, Cade 14, Kyler 12, and Conner 8. He is in the Young Men's Presidency. His wife, Shaulee, is in the Primary Presidency and was still in the church house. Their daughter Meilee, 5, didn't want to be in the picture.
I also got a photo of Savanna Nielsen and Elli Dawson.
Then it was time to dash to our apartment to finish my assignments for dinner today.  The Haroldsens hosted with Beef Stroganauf, pasta, and veggies, and we did the Lime Pear-Piña Jell-o salad*, homemade bread, fresh pineapple, and banana coconut cream pie.
Since there were only two couples today, it was nice the Beatons--Steve and Cristina could join us.
Walt made it back from Santa Ana just before we finished. Hna. Haroldsen warmed his plate of food up.
*This is a recipe from Hna. Nancy Thompson, in our original group of the four Sr. Couple Temple Missionaries.  It has become my favorite Jell-o salad.

*Lime Pear-Pineapple Jell-o Salad 
   From Hna. Nancy Thompson – Temple Missionary
Lime Jell-o – 1 small pkg  
    (In San Salvador this is “Porciones-Servings 5. 40g or 1.41 oz)
    (We don’t have “Jell-o brand here; have Royal Gelatina Limón.)
Cream cheese – 1 8oz pkg
Pears – 1 large can (this is 4 pears), drained (Walt loves left-over pear juice.)
Pineapple, 1 can crushed, drained
     (Or if in country with no crushed, “crush” in blender)
Cool Whip* - 1 small container
  *Or in countries (like here) that don’t have Cool Whip – substitute whipping cream.
             – Use ½ cup whipping cream (add 1/8 c sugar )
            Whipped stiffly into 1 cup I whip 1 cup, then have 1 cup of whipped left for something else.
                  (Today I also made a banana cream pie and will use whipped cream on that.)

Dissolve Jell-o in 1 cup boiling water.
While hot mash cream cheese into with a fork. 
Chill till set up soft – barely 20 minutes. 
While chilling, drain fruit and mash pears. 
Add mashed pears and pineapple to Jell-o.
Set till soft – barley 10 minutes.
Mix in whipped cream and chill.
It sets up quite quickly.

This has become my favorite Jell-o salad.
Hna. Marilee Clark made it often for our dinners.
Now I’m making it for our dinners.
     --Hna. Eileen Petersen – San Salvador
       July 2011 to November 1, 2014
           Made for dinner Sunday, February 23, 2014
          (President Petersen and his counselors are in Santa Ana—1 hr drive—
today for a   Regional Correlation Council: Area 70, MissionPres, Polaski
Cordón, 6 Stake Presidents.  Gone 6am-2pm.)
Sunday nap time.  Back soon to finish this post.
Back, after a rest, we walked around the temple grounds.
Walt checked out the flower beds and the ground covers.
I love the palm trees.
Now I'm back to finish this week's post.
Saturday, Feb. 22...Yesterday walking to our shift - 10:15 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.    Everyone loves to greet the temple president.
This may have been a young bridesmaid waiting for her sister "bride" to come out of the temple for photos.

With our four shifts this week, Walt had 39 hours in the temple and I had 36.  He had a Temple Presidency meeting on Thursday when we had no shift, so he has 3 hours more this week than I do.
Friday, Feb. 21, we had the morning/afternoon shift.  I baked 5 loaves of bread and a batch of cinnamon rolls that evening. Walt enjoys both. We really like homemade bread toast with homemade hot chocolate--well the old Hershey's cocoa recipe.
While the bread was raising, we watched the end of South Pacific that we had started the previous Saturday evening.  Can't believe it's been 56 years since it came out in 1958.  Great story, wonderful Rodgers & Hammerstein's music...
Thursday, Feb. 20, was our day with no shift.  I took this one photo of a van that had about 20 people or more climb into it. We always wonder how far they need to drive after coming to do sessions at the temple.  
  We drove Hna. Dora Winter, a temple missionary, grocery shopping since she has been excused from some of her temple shifts while caring for her husband, Jerry, who has just had back surgery.  He's been in a lot of pain, but hopefully this will be alleviated now.
Wednesday, Feb. 19. Since we had the afternoon/evening shift, I had time to bake some more biscuits to use up the rest of the sausage gravy I made for Walt for Valentine's Day last week.
We shared some hot ones with the Haroldsen's.
We can find most of the food we are accustomed to in Idaho.  And what we can't find, we can do without...except it's nice when we have visitors come from the states who bring us a surprise or two.
Tuesday, February 18, we had the morning/afternoon shift.  It's a special feeling to be the first ones in the temple on these early shifts.  And then on our afternoon/evening shifts, it's also a special feeling to be the last ones to leave and Walt locks the temple.

Monday, February 17, was our daughter Julie's birthday. We are so thankful for her, and each of our children. She posted on face book:
"You know you're getting old when what you want for your birthday is to have your whole family come to dinner and have a fun time."
Julie and her Dad in December a couple of days before we flew back to El Salvador.  Julie, we love you!
Family Home Evening was by John & Kari Kerr. Hna. Kerr gave a sweet lesson on "Thankfulness." It was based from a Sept. 2013 Ensign article, and she had some great sciptures. We've been putting in the "what we're thankful notes" in our "thankful glass" this week after her challenge at the end of the lesson.
Elder y Hna. Caballero had to leave before we got the group photo.
Here is the rest of the group.
Then Hno. Kerr took one so I could be in it. We are so thankful for John and Kari Kerr and their serving as workers in our temple from Oct. 1 to Feb. 19. They are loved by many here in El Salvador.  We miss them, but we know they are back in the arms of their children and grandchildren in Pleasant Grove, Utah.  They also worked in the Sweden Temple for 6 months.
And that's our week here.
We hope you have had a peaceful and restful Sabbath Day.
We are thankful for being a part of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are thankful for the Prophet Joseph restoring these truths.
We are thankful for the Book of Mormon being Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
We are thankful for Jesus Christ, His Atonement for each one of us.
We are thankful for the great love He and Our Heavenly Father have for us.
    May we show that love through the lives we live.
         Con amor, Walt and Eileen Petersen

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The rest of this week in San Salvador...

I think the last post ended with Walt getting home from the hospital...
    Well, I'm just going to start with today--Sunday--and go back to last Monday--skipping Thursday, Wednesday, and Tuesday because I posted those days while I was staying in the hospital with Walt.
He is feeling so much better and is thankful for the prayers, concern, and love of family and friends.
Sunday, February 16, 2 0 1 4
Walt left early this morning with his counselors for the Regional Correlation Council at Illopango with Elder Ricardo Valladares presiding. He is the Area Seventy from Honduras.  This RCC covered the El Salvador San Salvador East Mission, their President David Glazier and the 5 or 6 stakes in that mission.
President Majano drove the temple van.
At our Campestre Ward, I took some photos of John & Kari Kerr because this is their last Sunday here. They came October 1 to live so they could be called as stake temple missionaries. We have so appreciated their doing an afternoon/evening shift each day the temple is open.
Here's Kari with Relief Society sisters...I don't know the gals name of the far left, but from there: Consuelo Alas, Silvia Reyes, Liz Behner, Kari, and Lisa Wegkamp with her granddaughter Kelsey.
John and Kari then stood by the front door. But I didn't center it well enough to get the full width of the temple reflected in the glass door.
We also got a picture of them by the sign for our Stake Center.
Elder y Hna. Caballero hosted dinner today...Ricardo and Irma.
Walt got there after we'd started, but they had served a lunch at the RCC just before they left, so we saved his delicious, tender lomito for evening.
I just took photos around the table because Walt had to leave to get the temple open for the afternoon training of the temple workers from the Los Heroes Stake (that's our stake).
Elder DeVar and Hna. Sharon Haroldsen brought mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.
The Kerrs, John and Kari, brought San Martin rolls and butter.
Walt and I furnished the strawberry jello with fruit cocktail, topped with real whipped cream.
Irma Caballero's sister, Mirna and her husband Miguel Santos, are here visiting from Canada. Irma and Mirna both grew up in Santa Ana, El Salvador but when a Civil War started 30-some years ago, they moved to Canada for safety.
   Mirna made a tipica dessert from their native country called "Leche Palados," which tasted somewhat like rice pudding. It's made with milk, rice flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Delicious!
Then we were at the temple from 2:30 to 5:30 with the 61 temple workers who came from our stake.  I tried to hurry and change from my white dress to get out front to get some photos, but some had gotten away. Some came back to the front door for me to get a group photo.
Then I was able to get photos of some of the couples who serve together.  Dale and Lisa Wegkamp serve on the Friday afternoon/evening shift.  We are blessed to have the Wegkamps here and they have been so helpful in our transitioning to living here. They have lived all over the world and have given us good advice. We love being with them.
Steve & Cristina Beaton serve two temple shifts a week, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon/evenings. They also helped at the PEF office before it was closed, and they also help others in the Family History Center.  She is from El Salvador and has been here for a while.  They will be going home to Canada on March 1.
Hno. Alonso and Hna. Silvia Figueroa serve on the Thursday P.M. shift, and Hno. Figueroa serves another shift because our sealers serve two shifts a week.  Their son, Eduardo Figueroa, who is our Bishop, serves a P.M. shift.
René Hernández is a sealer, so has two shifts.  His wife, Lillian, is "sin turno" which means she doesn't have a set shift.  For many years she was the secretary of the Vice President of the country but has recently retired.
Presidente y Hna. Santos have shifts on Friday and Saturday.  Their son, is our Coordinator for the Saturday morning shift - 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
And here is our Stake President, Jaime Omar López, who is our full-time temple recorder.  His wife, Gladis, does a Saturday A.M. shift.
The husband of Yolanda Hernández, Hno. Imendia Hernández, who is one of our sealers, got out before I was able to get a photo of him.
Celina Alberto is our Coordinator on the Wednesday A.M. shift. Her husband does a P.M. shift without a regular shift.
And Berta Amaya comes to two shifts a week at age 84. We have several temple workers in their 80's....which age our temple president is about to be.
There's 34 of our 61 temple workers who came today. I will put the rest of the photos of the temple workers I got in a post later.

Yesterday, Saturday, February 15, we were asked to speak to a group of 25 young men and young women who came in from a stake an hour or so away.
     They got here at 8:30 and were scheduled to do baptisms in the temple at 9:00, so we didn't speak long with them, but they were so attentive and the spirit was very strong.
Then later that morning we were scheduled to speak to a primary group who came on a bus 2 hours to get here. I counted 17 primary kids and several leaders.
We got a photo of each primary child touching the temple.
"They touch the temple, and the temple touches them."
Then several of the parents and children wanted a photo taken with us.  We follow President Hinckley's advice: 
"Adoration can canker your soul." 
We know they want to be by us because of the sacred callings we have, not anything to do with the actual Walter or Eileen Petersen.

Saturday the temple president from the Guatemala Quetzaltenango Temple, and three former mission presidents  who all four had been mission presidents in El Salvador, and their wives, came to do a 5:30 session in our temple.  They had held mission reunions here that afternoon.
They loved the San Salvador El Salvador Temple.
After the session we invited them to come and see the temple president's apartment.
Everyone enjoys the view of the temple from our terrace balcony.
L-R: President y Hna. Mortenson are now in the temple presidency with President Perez; Hna. Cardon; Presidente y Hna. Perez, and I didn't get the name of the former mission president on the far right.
And now we're back to Friday, February 14...Valentine's Day.
We were scheduled for the P.M. shift that day.  However, the day before when Walt got home from the hospital, his counselors said they were going to continue to cover his shift the rest of the week so he could get more rest.  
The physicians here tell their patients that "rest cures most everything." So Walt decided his counselors would be happier doing his shift than his jumping right back into his schedule and possibly having a relapse.
     So he consented to not return until our Tuesday morning shift on February l8.  
     So for Valentine's Day breakfast I made him biscuits 'n gravy--his favorite.
I hadn't had a chance to get him a card...being in the hospital with him for those 2 1/2 days, then his not driving. (I don't drive here because the traffic is so nerve racking!) So I made him a Valentine booklet.  And I'd gotten an airplane made out of chocolate quite a while ago when we were at Shaw' those were his gifts for this special day.
The week before he'd picked out a card for me, and he found another darling teddy bear holding a heart with "Te Amo" = I love you.  He also wrote a sweet letter.
Then I baked the biscuits.
The night before I'd baked some cupcakes, and mixed the dough for sugar cookies. So I got those baked and everything frosted to take six plates around to our neighbors on the second floor, plus I took two plates downstairs to Santos and Cecilia who clean our apartment weekly, and had just finished as I was baking the cookies.
When the missionaries are at their temple shift, I just leave the "surprise goodies" by their door.
I made a plate for Walt, too.
(Sorry, can't figure out how to rotate the pix.)
We put in South Pacific to watch that evening, but were both so tired, we just watched a few minutes, then put it on hold to continue Saturday night.
And I'll just say we had a wonderful Gringa Brunch on Monday, with Walt speaking to us about the sealing power of the temple.
The gals always bring delicious food, and we just plan enjoy talking with each other in English.
Left to right: Eileen, Delena Markland, Lisa Wegkamp, Keri Karr, Shaulee Curtis, Sharon Haroldsen.
And here Walt posed with the "Gringa Sisters." Delena had just left to go pick up Dallin from pre-school. 
The gals were so interested in this presentation on power point about the sealing power that they wanted their husbands to hear it. Shaulee said I could send the 52 power point slides via e-mail, which I did.
Then Walt presented it at family home evening to our Sr. Couple temple missionaries.
And this . . . along with our three previous posts from the hospital, has been our week in San Salvador - Feb. 10-16, 2 0 1 4.  
I will do a post about the sealing power presentation.
Here's a quote from it:
"The temple sealing power 
is the most powerful
thing in the universe."
--Temple Worship, Andrew Skinner, 
BYU Professor of Religion, 2007.