Dear Family and Friends:
It is hard to believe that another week has come and gone. With our new schedule of a morning on shift, an afternoon on shift and a day off, it is really hard to keep track of the days of the week. President Thompson is doing a better job than I am cause he knows that in three more days life gets sweeter as BSU kicks off its football season. And we have the day off so he can get ready for the game. I'm just hoping for no overtimes cause we have to be at the temple early on Friday morning.
We had a wonderful week. The temple seemed to be busier than usual. I think that it is because the Stake Conferences have started so the people are coming to get prepared for their conferences. On Thursday, the saints from Patzicia came. This is a small Mayan community close to Atitlan. They speak Ketchikel here. However, the older generation has learned to speak Spanish as well, unlike the older generation from Senahu who only speak Quechi. The women all wear the classic Mayan dresses.
The women even wear the aprons at all times, not just when they cook. The smell of open fires was so strong in the temple. All their cooking is done outside on open fires. They are a very humble, poor, but happy people. They are classic Mayans and are about 4'4'' to 5' tall. We ran out of size 5 and 6 slippers. They stayed all day, repeating session after session. What a fun morning. We spent the morning with the very poor, and the afternoon surrounded by the rich.
We spent the afternoon with the Roberts celebrating Hermana Roberts birthday. We went to the Oakland Mall. This Mall reminded us of the Gran Villa Mall in El Salvador. It is 4 stories with three parking floors below the street level. The shops here are very expensive but we came to eat at the Nais Aquarium Restaurant.
The waiting area had this fish tank under your feet.
It was more fun to watch the fish than to eat. The food was good. The restaurant specializes in barbequed foods. It was expensive, but we are glad that we came.
There were small aquariums all over the restaurant with unusual fish in them.
There was a tube for the children to crawl into and feel like they were right in the aquarium. As I can't crawl, President Thompson crawled in for me so I could get a picture. What a sport!
It is hard for pictures to show you the size of the Mall, but it is massive and filled with very elite shops.
We are on the third floor. You can see the carousel on the fourth floor.I was trying to show the waterfall that changed colors and even had words at time, the water is just starting down in blue. The children's play area.
The train offers rides all the way around the fourth floor.
The carousel is a two story one. It was hard to believe that we are in a third world country as we stood in this modern mall. The difference between rich and poor are so distinct here.
On Sunday, we were picked up at 8:15 to go to the Alameda Stake Conference. It was about a half hour drive through a new part of Guatemala City. The drive was beautiful but again, the difference between rich and poor was very apparent.
We arrived at the conference an hour early and were able to greet the saints as they arrived. This is the church.
As we were greeting the saints, Elder Sorensen came in. He said he was from Utah and then he asked where we were from. When we replied Jerome, Idaho, he said that he had family from there. So, may I introduce you to Elder Sorensen.
He is the grandson of Richard and Gudren Johnson and the son of Martha y David Sorensen. We told him that his mother was our babysitter when our kids were young, (one of the only ones who could handle Tracy). His grandparents are very special to us. We have so many wonderful memories that we share with them. He told us that Grandma Gudren was not doing well. Elder Sorensen is Martha's youngest. What a small world we live in.
We spoke in the conference and after the meeting, were able to greet some of our temple ordinance workers.
Hermano y Hermana Paredes. He is one of our experienced sealers.Hermana Paredes has to use a walker but is there every Saturday morning at 4:30 to serve on her shift. They are a good example of dedication and service.
Hermano Ajpop (he is really hard of hearing) but serves with a big smile.
A bicycle taxi. He can have two people in the front seat.
We are really enjoying going to the conferences and meeting with the people of Guatemala. We have an assignment to speak for 45 minutes at a fireside this next Sunday, so we will be busy this week preparing for that. My 5 minute talk won't work here. We send our love to all and pray that you will have a wonderful week. May God bless you and keep you safe. Love Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma, Lon and Nancy