Sunday, November 30, 2014

This week in Idaho . . . We are thankful!

Thanksgiving Day . . .
November 27 - Thursday . . .
      We didn't get a photo of everyone together at our Thanksgiving Dinner....but we got a photo of some who helped rake leaves from our front and back lawns = 47 huge leaf bags full!
       We don't always make everyone "work" for their dinner.  But did they ever work on this morning.  WE ARE SO THANKFUL!
    Some highlights from the actual Thanksgiving Day...
I started to get "family photos" and started with the Fisher family below.  With the three married kids they have added the names of Mecham and Anderson.
So left to right: Heidi, Sam.  Aimee Mecham, whose husband Michael is in Alabama at his Air Force office training, doing exceptionally well! (We missed you Michael.)
Then Daniel and Kelly, Parker and Katie--married Nov. 1, and in front "little" Michael and just-turned-14 Ashley.
By the time I had taken this photo of the Fisher family--the rest had dispersed.

After raking the leaves, while the adults were finishing their assignments for the actual dinner, some of the dads drove the kids--big and little--over to Storybook Park to play some energy off.
Daniel was great at spinning cousins on the tire swing, and also playing soccer with those who wanted to.
We enjoyed watching Abbey practice her color guard spinning of the flags, sword, and rifle (of course, not a real gun).  
She is excited that her Westlake High school Color Guard and Band will be marching in the Pearl Harbor Parade in Hawaii on December 7.
We enjoyed sitting in the warm sunshine watching twenty-one grandchildren at this super fantastic Burley park.
We can hardly believe that Joshua David (16) is taller than his father David.   
 Cousins Sarah (12) from Minnesota, Jacee (11) from Utah, and Ashley (14) from Idaho having fun together. 
We gathered them together for a photo before we drove the few blocks back to our home.  William, Sam, Seth, Jackson, Jacob; Daniel, Kelly; Ben, Adam Josh, Lizzy, Maddie, Isaac, Carter; Sarah, Josh, Jacee, Sam, Kimble, Ashley, Michael. 
Then it was time for Thanksgiving Dinner.  John and Jerry were in charge of cooking the four turkeys.  They were way more adventuresome than how my Grama Huffaker, my Mom "Grama A", and I roasted just a plain ol' turkey in the oven.  Well, they did do one traditional one in a roaster so as not to panic this Grama too much. 
Jerry bought a turkey fryer on the way to Idaho. He wanted to get one last year but didn't.  When he and John were assigned to do the turkeys, this was his perfect chance! 
Jerry with the the turkey in the fryer out front to save the circuits inside.
And the turkey is ready...
John with one of his roasted turkeys.
John with one of the turkeys.

 One was done with a brine; one with a rubbing of spices on the outside; and the fourth one (shown in the photo) was deep fried in an electric indoor turkey fryer.
Each couple prepared a delicious part of the dinner, making the whole a colorful array of scrumptious vitals.
My Grampa Huffaker wrote in is life story that when he was young--at big family gatherings--Table 1 was for the adults who ate first, then after they finished was Table 2 (same table) when the kids got to eat. He heard the adults say, after he'd caught his first fish: "That fish little Davey caught this morning was sure good. Too bad there isn't any of it left for him to taste."  He didn't think that sounded fair at all.
Now it is the reverse--feed the kids first.
Most of the hot dishes were over on the counter: mashed potatoes and gravy, cauliflower in cheese sauce, yams, corn.  Then the salads, rolls, and the turkey were on the kitchen table.
And it was so warm (in the 50's) that we set up the kids' tables outside.  I don't remember that ever happening before and it may never be that warm again the end of November for it to happen again.
We enjoyed our Thanksgiving Feast.
We had three tables inside and three outside.
I never could get a photo when the tables were full because everyone was up and down going into the kitchen table for seconds and maybe there were some for thirds.
Thanks to Aimee and the girls for doing the centerpieces for the tables.  We had ample food for all 42 out of 52 family members gathered.  (We missed you others who were not able to be here.)
Steve had volunteered him and the boys to do the dishes and clean the kitchen.
Then it was time for the talent show.  Most did their talents outside, then Isaac, Anna, and Josh played the piano inside.  Steven was the announcer.
First was Jackson (10) doing karate.
Abbey (14) did a great color guard routine.
Maddie (7) danced for us.
 Ashley (14)
did a cheerleader routine for us.
And I guess my camera battery went dead here and I started taking the photos on my cell phone, which I don't know how to transfer to my computer. (When I learn how I'll post the rest of the talent show photos.)   
The other talents I remember....Isaac played "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," on Sarah's violin, that she taught him that day.
Sarah and Seth played a duet on their violin.
Lizzy wanted to sing "Let It Go" but was too shy.
William did something but I was in getting my cell to continue the photos and didn't get to see it.  Sam
Sam (8) recited a really long poem.
McKell (17) sang a song from "Thoroughly Modern Millie."
Isaac, Anna, and Joshua (16) played the piano.
   (Please let me know if I have forgotten anyone.)

I will do the highlights of Rigdon's Blessing Day - Saturday, November 29 in another blog.  Here is a photo of John & Julie's family on this special day.
Here are the priesthood holders who were in the blessing circle.
And here is Mother and son.  One tender fact John said in the Father's Blessing for his son was that Rigdon is truly their miracle baby.
We welcome this grandbaby #34 whole-heartily into the Walt & Eileen Petersen Family.
We pray you have had a restful and peaceful Sabbath Day.

At this Thanksgiving time, we are thankful for many things, foremost is our God, our Family, and our Country.

We testify that Heavenly Father knows us individually by name and loves us unconditionally but does not love us to break His commandments.
We testify that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer and fulfilled His foreordination to atone for the things we do wrong. We can be forgiven of those wrong things when we repent while in this probationary life on earth.
We testify that Joseph Smith was foreordained to be the Prophet of the Restoration of all truths and bring forth the true Church with all of the Priesthood ordinances for these latter days.
We testify that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth now and another testament of Jesus Christ.
We testify that the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.
We testify that Thomas S. Monson is the God's Prophet on the earth now for our day.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Walt and Eileen Petersen - Burley, Idaho

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Our first three weeks home...

Before I try to catch up.
This weekend we drove to Utah for the blessing of our new grandchild #35. 
Saturday afternoon both families gathered to be there when Jerry blessed their seventh child -- Anna Sue Brewer.  Jen & Jerry drove Wednesday and Thursday from Minnesota with Seth, Sarah, Ben, Josh, Lizzy, Adam, and Anna.  We are thrilled to have them here this week.
A fun surprise for them was that Jerry's sister Robin flew in from West Virginia and his brother Stewart flew in from Nebraska.  Jerry's Mom, Sue, and his step-dad Steve drove over from Vernal, Utah.
My camera card got left in the computer, so I couldn't take any photos.  I'm waiting for someone to send me the photo of their family together.

(Space saved for photo of the Jen & Jerry Brewer family.)

We also enjoyed seeing McKell in her Westlake High School play "Catch Me If You Can" on Friday night. She was great as detective disguised as a nun in this mystery.  You can tell I didn't get all this when I exclaimed at the end: "What?! The bad guys won?!" Julie explained the surprise ending to Dad and me.
McKell has all kinds of fans congratulate her on her performances.
Here we are after getting McKell's autograph.
We can't believe she's a senior this year!
We saw Josh in his play for the new Corner Canyon High School "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat." He was great as Reuben, the oldest of the twelve sons of Jacob. It's the best production of "Joseph...." I've seen.  They even had a live camel, and added some funny cameos throughout.
Here's Josh with his family - David  & Julie, Anna, Sam, and William.
Julie Beth is a great fan of her brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.
Gar & Kathy, Abbey, Jacob, Isaac, and Jacee loved the play, too.

Now back to some catchup:
Our first three weeks home... (well part of them, anyway)
  Let's see, we left off the night of Nov. 2, Sunday...
So now we're to:
Nov. 3 Monday...
We just kind of wandered around our home, getting reacquainted with it.  Our kids had worked hard getting it back to where we had everything.
We found this fun display on our kitchen table:
"Welcome back home..
      From (the pineapples of) El Salvador...
to (the potatoes) of Idaho...
We found out it was our good friends, Dave and Marilyn Gibbons who had put it there, along with some food in our fridge.
They were in our first group of Temple Missionaries for the San Salvador El Salvador Temple.  Now President Gibbons is in the Temple Presidency for the Idaho Twin Falls Mission.
Each first Monday of the month they serve the young Elders & Sisters a biscuit and strawberries breakfast.
They brought some to share with us. No one can make biscuits like Dave Gibbons does!
They also brought some homemade gravy as a choice for a second topping.
We went to the City Hall to change our electricity and utilities back into our name. Then we updated our address back to Burley.
We also checked with Goode Motor about the car they were trying to find for us.
That evening after supper I had put in one of my favorite Doris Day movies: "Love Me Or Leave Me" when we heard Julie's voice. 
She said she thought we needed a little help in getting settled in.
What a fun surprise!
Then we had another fun surprise, Dale & Connie drove over from Twin Falls to see us.
It's always great to see Walt's brother and his wife. And we all enjoyed some of Connie's delicious homemade apple crisp.
November 4 - Tuesday
We had breakfast at Charlie's Café.
We went to vote...and saw some dear friends at the polling place which is in the Presbyterian Church.

It was so nice having Julie, Rigdon, and Max here for the day.
Julie helped us get our new cell phones and the cell that's like a "land line" all finalized with the setting up.  She also helped us do some more organizing, and suggested that we needed a new couch and to get the carpets cleaned.  She helped us find someone who could clean our carpets.
All too soon it was time for Julie to head back to Utah with Rigdon and Max, after we had a late lunch at Taco Bandido.
For the evening we watched one of our favorite history movies: "Judgement at Nuremberg" about the trials of the World War II crimes. Spencer Tracy and Burt Lancaster are in this movie.
November 5 - Wednesday
We had an appointment with our financial advisor, Tim Preston. I didn't take time for a photo because he had to rush off to fly somewhere to an investment meeting. We were great friends with Tim's Dad, Joe.  Now Tim has one of his sons working with him.

Wednesday evening...we watched "Love Me Or Leave Me" about the life of a 1920's singer Ruth Etting. James Cagney played the role of her gangster husband.  
Guess this was our week to get caught up on our favorite movies that are on video.  We didn't think they would have a video machine in our apartment in San Salvador.  But they did, and we hadn't brought videos.
* * *
It's midnight and I don't want to turn into a pumpkin...
      so have to finish this another time...

Hope you have had a peaceful and restful Sabbath Day.
Steve taught a great lesson in Sunday School this morning from Jeremiah about adversity and trials in our life. At the end he quoted Elder Jeffrey Holland: "...from our trials we can become either bitter or better."
     Let's pray we will all become better.
         We all have trials.
              One way to get through them is to help someone else
                   get through their problems and trials.

We couldn't get through this life without help from our Savior, the Son of God, and His Father, Elohim, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost, or without a Prophet to guide us, even Thomas S. Monson.
    Of this we testify on this Sunday evening.
     In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen. Walt & Eileen Petersen

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Three weeks later...Sunday, November 16, 2014 in Idaho do three weeks go by so fast?!
We had our final week in El Salvador - Oct 26-Oct. 31, leaving at 4:00 a.m. for the airport... 
October 27 - Monday
      Oh, first I'll share some fotos from our last week in El Salvador.
Despedida/Farewell #7 - Asado = Bar-b-que...  (Gabriel doing the grilling below)
...given by the Church Service Employees who helped keep everything electrical, etc., functioning correctly in the temple and in the seven apartments in the annex building on the temple grounds.  
They also kept everything clean and in tip-top condition, including the main floor of the annex building which had a cafeteria, Family History Center, Distribution Services, and nursery for the temple, along with the temple enclosed area, which also included a stake center.
I think our huge parking lot must be the cleanest in the world--it was scrubbed often with those big round swirling brushes.
    The temple grounds had--apart from the above--ten gardeners who kept the trees, plants, and flowers growing and blooming, and the grass mowed or macheteed, including a long entrance way of palm trees, plants and flowers from the redondel (round-a-bout) from the street of Espiño y Pedregal up to the entrance gates.

We so appreciate all the help of these Church Service Center employees during our three years and three months there.
Front row: The out-going temple presidency--Presidente Rafael y Hna. Aida Majano, Presidente Walter y Hna. Eileen Petersen, Presidente Eduardo y Hna. Consuelo Alas.
Second row: Edwin, ___, Romel, Russo(Hugo), Hugo, Alberto, Alex, Gabriel, ____, ____, Victor, Cecilia, Maria Elena, Rosy, ____, Hno. Bonilla, Santos, Ricky, Jaime López. (Can someone help me fill in the blanks of the names I don't know. Thanks.)
That Monday evening, our final Family Home Evening was
hosted by Presidente Eduardo y Hna. Consuelo Alas.
After an inspiring lesson about the Savior, they served
the delicious apple struddles from San Martin's Bakery.
October 29 - Wednesday
Our 8th and final Despedida was given to us by
Herbert y Daniella Hernández Castillo
on Wednesday evening, 29 de Octubre
a dinner at Herbert's mother's home.
Herbert laughed and laughed when we told him we didn't
eat Sushi.  I said that because several times on 
Wednesday nights they took Daniel y Kelly for
Sushi when it was "2for1" every Wednesday.
His mother's home is beautiful with a fantastic view
from high above the city.
It was also fun to have Waldo y Silvia Reyes there.
They have done so much for us during our three
years in El Salvador.
And Herbert's father came in later.
Here's our last typica El Salvadorian meal of pupusas of cheese and beans, plus some empadadas.
We stood just outside the patio, hoping to get some of the city lights in the background, but it looks like we blocked out the lights.
You can see Daniella's cute bump of twin boys at 6 months along.
They are due Feb. 19, but will probably come earlier.
They are planning to name them: Herbert Daniel y Sebastian _____ (can't remember the middle name).
Here are Herbert y Daniela as they brought us back to the temple grounds.  They are very dear friends. Walt performed their sealing in the temple in May 2014.  She was baptised in March 2013, three months after they were married. Herbert joined the Church sometime in 2010.
October 30-  Thursday 
We walked through the Temple President's apartment one last time.  They had put up a different painting in the office/den
of Jerusalem viewed from the Kidron Valley.
A painting like this has been in the lunch room at the temple, but I was obedient and didn't take a photo of it.
I was so glad I could take this photo of it as it is now in the apartment.  We were in Jerusalem for ten days in Nov. 1989,  arriving late at night. When we awoke and looked out our window,
this is pretty much the view we saw.
However, as we learned in our stake conference,
it's not just in the Holy Land where we can walk where Jesus walked, but also in our temples we walk where Jesus walks.
The new temple president and matron of the temple, Presidente Luis y his wife Hna. Juliette Chaverri arrived in the late afternoon from Costa Rica.
We had a short orientation with the new presidency and their wives (as instructed) and then all had dinner at the Hacienda Real.
Hna. Chaverri had fallen the 5 days before they came and was having too much pain to walk, so was in a wheelchair.
Presidente Chaverri is in front of Walt and me.
It was such a downpour when we were ready to leave, that we couldn't go out to the car for an hour.
We were mostly packed, but anxious to finish and close our three suitcases, and put our laptops in their cases.
Presidente y Hna. Chaverri together.
The First Counselor and his wife--Presidente Alonso y Silvia Figueroa.  They are the parents of our Bishop in the Barrio Campestre.
The Second Counselor and his wife--Carlos y Hna. Estela Montepeque.  His parents and siblings have had a great influence on the Church in El Salvador.
We finally got home, finished our packing, and got to bed
at 1:00 a.m. before we had to be up in two hours.
October 31 - Thursday
Most everyone on our apartment floor came to help us take down our luggage and told us goodbye for the last time.
Here's one of the night security guards who took the photo above.
He handed me a gift from the gal who runs the Distribution Center.
And we are at the airport...where missionaries had just taken a missionary going we had lots of help getting our luggage inside.
And our temple recorder and great friend who has driven us many times to this El Salvador Airport...but always before we were going to return...
The young missionaries waved "Good-bye" to us.
...landing in Salt Lake City two hours late because of a light on the wing having to be replaced before we could take off from Los Angeles.(Sitting in a plane on the tarmac for two hours is not fun.)

It's always a relief to buzz through customs.

Setting foot on U.S. A. soil again--for always--was a great feeling.
Because of our two-hour delay, David was the only one who cold come to the airport.   
David drove us to his home where Julie had a nice Halloween chili taco soup, fruit, and hot, homemade bread ready for us.  We are thankful for all they do for us!
It was fun to see grandchildren in their costumes.
Here's Samuel as a super hero.
  William, who turned 6 on Oct. 26, said after trick or treating one block, and at the bishop's home when the bishop was going to put candy in his bucket; "No thank you, I have enough candy."  
Anna was Cinderella with her Snow White friend, Chloe.
Then our friends, The Bentons, President and wife of the Argentina Central Mission, during our mission there as Medical Advisor and wife, came to see us since they were at their son's home just across the street from David and Julie's.  They are the grandparents of Anna's friend.
David drove us to Saratoga Springs to Julie and John's where we got to see our new grandchild #34--Rigdon Jay Peterson, who is now 2 months old.
Gary brought Jacob and Isaac over to show us their policeman and Harry Potter costumes.
Gary has always been our best costume maker.  Here is the lightning scar on "Harry Potter."
Here's the sign that Julie was going to have at the airport.
Her version was going to be: "Four is enough. 91/2 years sufficient.
Just say no."
But John thought it should rhyme, so this is what he came up with: "After Four
"No More"
Listing our four missions: 
Mexico Merida Mission - Mission President y wife 1995--1998
Guatemala - Medical Advisor for Central America with
10 missions helping to keep 2000 missionaries healthy 2005-2007
South America South Area - 12 missions  helping to keep 2,300
missionaries healthy in Argentina, Uruguay y Paraguay 2008-2010
President and Matron of the new San Salvador El Salvador Temple
July 2011 to Oct 31, 2014
We do plan to stay home now.
November 1, 2014 - Saturday
We were off to Idaho for our granddaughter, Katie Fisher to be sealed to Parker Anderson in the Rexburg Temple.
We are thankful for Gary driving us, along with his sons, Jacob and Isaac.
One of Katie and Parker's engagement photos...
Coming out of the Rexburg Temple...
Married for time and all eternity by the Sealing Power restored to the earth from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith for these latter days.
Grampa holding one of our newest grandchildren - at Katie & Parker's wedding luncheon.  Gary is sitting next to Walt.
Here we are with the new Mrs. Anderson.
November 2, 2014 - Sunday
We had a brunch at the Fishers, then to Church with them.  I was coughing so much from the bad cold I got two days before we left, so I didn't go.
   Julie helped organize Thanksgiving weekend with everyone volunteering for assignments.
Shawn drove us to Burley where we arrived at our home about sundown - 5:30 p.m.  Thank you, Shawn.
We were greeted by this marvelous sign.
It was put up by our dear friends and neighbors, Don & Ruth Melling.
Then they had us over to their home for Ruth's delicious clam chowder and chicken salad sandwiches.
...we will continue on from here in our next post.

We pray you have had a peaceful and restful Sabbath Day.
As we learned last night from Elder Per Malm, Quorum of the Seventy, in our stake conference that the devil is allowed to only tempt us within the bounds the Lord has set. He cannot take away
any blessing earned, quoting Elder Richard G. Scott.
Then he told us that Boyd K. Packer said: (my paraphrasing) You will not make a mistake without being warned.

Elder Malm closed with: We can be in control of our Spiritual Destiny.

Heavenly Father loves each one of us.
Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Savior.
The Holy Ghost is the true teacher.
The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, along with the Bible.
President Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet for each person living in this world.
In the Temple--the House of the Lord--restored priesthood ordinances seal families for time and all eternity.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true restored Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today.

Of these truths we testify, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Walt & Eileen Petersen  16 November 2014