Our Family

Our Family
DAC Family At Devin & Ashley's wedding Aug 2007

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas at the Guatemala CCM 2009

Area President Don Clarke and wife Mary Anne and their daughters family visited for Christmas Eve devotional. Little Ellie handed out Snickers bars to each missionary. Isn't she cute!

6:10 a.m. Christmas morning we received carolers at our apartment door. All eager to begin our service project.

We had to walk on the narrow streets to this school yard in the community of Fraijanes, 20 min bus ride from CCM. Elder Curtiss, our Area Humanitarian missionary helped find the project and had a member of his ward help us do it right. We divided the missionaries by districts with assigned areas. It took us 6 hrs, but looked so much better when we were finished. See the before and after pictures below.

Outside wall of the courtyard.

Two buildings for classrooms.

Classrooms...see Elder Curtiss in the center. This elder is rather tall for a latino...Elder Medina from Panama.

See Dad working with the missionaries in the background.

I worked the hardest...holding the rope for the paint line...why do you suppose the line was crooked and had to be re-done??? I kept garbage picked up and for some reason I was exhausted 2 hours before we were done.

The mayor of Fraijanes, his son, and city manager viewing the finished product and thanking the missionaries. Below the 74 missionary servants. Dad & I on the far left.
Above is the home of Paco and his wife and 3 children. They live here behind the school. Last time we were here the black plastic was not there. Maybe it insulates. A group of missionaries represented us all in giving a basket of blanket, towels, and some Christmas bags of goodies and school supplies for the children and scriptures. Neither Paco (front with hat) nor his wife can read or write, so he feels fortunate that his children can go to this school. He is friendly and a hard worker.

For a few hours after the service project, we enjoyed Christmas dinner and a wonderful visit at the Mask's. We so enjoy them.

Christmas evening the Bell Choir came to entertain with a wonderful program.

Several missionary couples came to sing carols and had the missionaries sing by groups by their countries of origin. All seemed happy to be able to participate. These are the Tilley's, our Area Security missionaries.

Each of the missionaries got to have pictures with Santa. The couples brought oodles of cookies and goodies for all to enjoy. It was quite festive!

Sunday the Branch Presidency brought cupcakes for the missionaries. Me, Hna Barrios, Hna Fajardo, and Hna Duran.

Breakfast in Antigua with Masks

Antigua could be one of the best places in the world...and what could be better than early breakfast on the patio, with Clate & Carol Mask, at Don Rodrigos restaurant. See the little lady patting out and cooking tortillas on the grill. We sat there to be warmer. The plates are filled with eggs, refried black beans, and a fried banana, accompanied with a fruit plate. Yum!

Rooftop part of the restaurant, newly added. Beautiful view from here, with those beautiful bouganvillas all around.

One little shoe shiner on each foot.

We did some serious shopping and enjoyed strolling through the central plaza.

Now this is some standard for McDonald's. We enjoyed hot chocolate on the garden patio.

We have thoroughly enjoyed special hours with our old friends, the Mask's. They have shown us some new things in the area, where they both served as missionaries. We wish we had had more time together...but we are enjoying each other before we go.

Visit to Coban and the North Mission

On our way to Coban we stopped at the Biotopo del Quetzal Nature Reserve for an hour hike in the cloud forest. Look at the lush green. It was raining a very light mist, called chipy-chipy and muggy, but cool enough not to be miserable.

Below is our hotel Mansion Dto Domingo de Guzman. The gardens were lovely, though the rooms sparse. Hna Torres and the guide book assured us it is the best in the area with one of the few hot showers. So we were happy.

The gardens here are always beautiful.

With the Torres at the House of Orchids restaurant. They think of everything to serve you...note the terry cloth bibs to keep our clothes clean.

This is one of the orchids which only blooms one night a year...and we were there on that special night . Beautiful smell too.

Dinner at La Posada the next night with Hna Torres, while President was in meetings. This decor was typical of Coban...the straw tree and decorations.

These decorations were bowls or half shells. beautiful.
See the straw Nativity behind Dad.

Our purpose for the trip and favorite part was visiting a Zone Conference in Coban. We knew most of the missionaries who had come through the CCM and some of our first group were giving their final testimonies. It was very sweet for us to see the finished product after two years in the mission. We were so happy. Hna Torres had them sing from the different countries of origin for the Christmas program. We joined the North Americans.

Dad and the Torres participating with the Mexicans.

All our cute hermanas...some brand new and others the trainers.

I loved these typical outfits, worn only for this special occasion.

Dad doing a little shopping on the way home.
All the way home I wanted to take pictures of the beautiful landscape...you know how hard that is with Dad. He really has a hard time stopping his horses once we are the way...but we got this shot of a pretty white church. We stopped to find some cardamon gum. This area ships cardamon all over the world...but no one had it.

It was a wonderful experience...being in a beautiful part of Guatemala...out of the big city, among the missionaries in the field, viewing Pres & Hna Torres teach their missionaries. We loved being with them.

Monday, December 21, 2009

December Doings...

Decorating is a family affair...so the teachers helped put up the three trees and decor...Hnas Fuentes, Chacon, Hnos Gonzalez, Mendez, Escobar.

We had a little tremor one night and this pile of spaghetti fell off the top shelf in the kitchen. Isn't this an interesting Christmas tree effect?

Our main level Christmas tree in the foyer.

Our Rexburg ward Primary children sent us a missionary package with these love notes...some from our own grandchildren. We loved it!

We are loving having a little time with our friends, Clate & Carol Mask, who are here as the new Guat Temple President & matron. We went to Antigua for breakfast at Don Rodrigos. We can talk for hours and never run out.

The Mariachi band at the hotel plaza. Such atmosphere and serenity. We just sat on the benches and visited.

Presidente Torres (wife in center) invited us to the National Orchestra & Folklorico program for Christmas. We enjoyed the company of Elder & Hna Martino and a little culture outside of the MTC.

Part of the folklore included a yearly tradition of burning the devil (Dec 7th)...which we watched outside the theatre after the program. Interesting to participate in other cultural traditions.