Saturday, July 26, 2014

August - 6 months

I should explain that I do not walk around with the camera in my pocket.  We keep it in the car, so on trips it is ready to take pics thru the window.  Sometimes it is in my pocket for different activities, and I might come across something else interesting while it is in my pocket.  I don't take it out to make a spectacle, I just try to take pictures discreetly.

We have been here 6 months now.  Now that I feel good we are able to get a lot done, and time goes by fast.  President Ruiz has us visiting the ward councils to give them a training related to missionary work.   Last month he put us in charge of training the new missionaries and their companions.  It boils down to driving to the mission office 4 times every six weeks and running a training session that lasts 4 hours. 2 weeks ago in a meeting with the Stake president, we were asked to go to all the ward councils and train them how a ward council meeting is supposed to happen.  We had  a month to finish.  Now only 2 weeks.  So we are spending more time in meetings than I like.  We still have time to visit people.
 Pollos Rey - that's how you pronounce my name (Ray) in Spanish.  It means King,   like King Wetzel.  Has a nice ring to it ☺   Below it says, "A practical way to say I love you.  Ray's chicken.  I haven't tried it yet.

Went to a wedding Aug. 1st.  Both are return missionaries.  He is from Honduras and served a mission here, then returned with a good job here. They asked me to play the violin non-stop as people were coming into the reception.

The mayor is a family friend and performed the civil ceremony.

Tomorrow they get sealed in the temple.

Our wedding was 40 years ago.

We thought this was a piñata, but it is even better.  After the ceremony the couple stands underneath, they pull the ribbon, and get showered with rice.  Go back to the first picture to see.

We were asked to supervise 46 missionaaries doing temple work.  Here we are with Sister Pister, a missionary serving from our stake in Oregon.  I like her skirt - typical mayan worn by the locals.  How do you like my new suit?

 vicky taught the sisters in another ward how to make bread, & scones.

 The church here is gearing up for EFY in November.  It costs q500 per youth to attend.  That's about $70 - very expensive, like a weeks pay.  So the wards have started to have fund raisers.  Here is an exibition of toys.  They sold food to raise funds.  Most of these belong to one person.

 On Monday we traveled to San Marcos.  We went most of the way to the temple, gaining several thousand feet, then made a left hand turn at the top and continued climbing till we crested and started downhill.  It is high, and the area is known as Tierras Frias - Cold Country.  We were expecting to see a little town of 5-10 thousand, but this is bigger, better than where we live.  It is an area known for Mayan culture.  You can hear the natives speak Mam sometimes.  

The Hodgemans in front of their house in San Marcos.  They have been here for 18 months and leave in 6 days.

This is the most common use of bamboo - to hold up the cement forms as they add another floor above.

This has to be the next big franchise!  It would make tons of money in the U.S. ☺

Thiago turned 4 on Saturday.  As soon as we got there he came to show us his Spiderman shirt and Spiderman shoes.  Then his mother brought out the piñatas.  He was one happy kid

Thiago's brother is on a mission.  There is a great future ahead for  this family
Omar (12 yrs.)  was baptized last October.  He is always bringing friends to church.  His friend Dennis is getting baptized on Saturday.          Coincidently, one of the sister missionaries who is teaching him is Sister Denis, from Argentina.

The tall Elder Heiner finished his mission here.  His brother is in the MTC in Guatemala City, just starting his mission.  They got to see each other for 15 minutes before Elder Heiner went home.

Just before we got to the mission home this week we were following this small pickup that had 6 full grown pigs in it.  These little pigs went to market, . . .

On Saturday we drove to the temple in Quetzltenango with 2 Elders.  A year ago the Arreaga family was baptized.  Now a year later they made it to the temple and were sealed together.

Their story is quite amazing.  We met them our 2nd week here, so it was  nice for us to be with them.

These are the 2 Elders we took with us.  The Canadian is the one who baptized them last year.

Thunder clouds build up during the day, and then let loose a fine thunderstorm most afternoons.

Marvin and Gabriela were married before she was baptized.  It was a good ceremony, and a nice baptism, yet the ceremony we witnessed in the temple earlier the same day was much more uplifting.  Still, in a year this couple could be in the temple, too.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


 Does Guatemala have a 4th of July?

of course - right after the 3rd of July  ☺☻
 Colomba is a town up in the mountains, about 40 minutes from our house.  The temperature is about 10 degrees cooler than where we are.  We were there visiting some members when the sun went down.
 It is rare to see these sunsets.
 On our way to Quetzaltenango there are some volcanos.  We have not been able to see them before because of the constant cloud cover.  This day was better.
 The objects in the foreground are not grass huts, rather mounds of dirt from a dump truck
Nice little town on a hillside.  Good place to retire ☺

We went to the temple in Quetzaltenango for the 4th of July
We went with another couple to have some good food (not much where we live).  We shared a meter of cut steak and chicken, roasted onions and peppers with salsa.  Here our waiter made some custom salsa, adding our choices of things.

She got her hair done.  Only 250 quetzales and 3 hours!  But she feels way cooler now.

We were invited to a talent night with one of the wards here.  It was great!  These 2 10 year old boys danced to the music with several old dances, including the twist ☺☻  I will try up loading the video.

Critters are everywhere.  We don't mind until they come inside the house.

This guy is about 2 inches long.  The other night Vicky opened the gate where we park the car.  She bent down to pick up what she thought was a rock, but it was a toad.  She screamed loud enough that the owner neighbor came to see if she was alright.  By that time we were both laughing pretty hard.

We were invited to have dinner with Adonias, the goat herder in the olive shirt below.  They killed the old billy goat (look at pics in May or June).  

He blinked.  She had her baby 2 weeks later.

Thier kids.  The one is yellow will be baptized next week by her father, Adonias

Maria makes torillas on the street.  I like the tortilla stove, with the pipe coming up the back.  The fire is inside.
I saw these 2 brothers with their kite and asked to take a picture.
Sister Flores with 4 kids and a niece.
3 generations

 Drismy, Heidi, and cousin Esmeralda
 It is hard to see, but on the top shelf is a whole pig.  Each day they come with a new one.
 Little Mario's father builds cabinets, wood closets, etc.  He built a truck for his son.
 Heidi (in yellow) will be baptized this month by her father Adonias, who was baptized in March.
Heidi's mother is learning to read.  Vicky was a reading teaching for quite a while.

I know it is not a great pic, but from 30 yards away I saw what I swear was a humming bird,

Cute ☺
Vicky taught the Relief Society how to make bread.
Since most of them cook over fires and dont have ovens, they fried the dough and made scones with jam.
Some of their children
 I like bamboo and there is plenty of it here.  This bunch goes up another 15 feet above the picture.
They use it a lot in construction.  They will build the 1st floor of a house (with cinderblock and cement) then use 8 foot lengths of bamboo to support the cement roof they pour till it dries.  Stout stuff.

First time I have seen these flowers

Sunday was our 40th wedding anniversary.  Nobody knew, but Vicky got lots of compliments on her hair. 

 I got my hair done the same day but no one noticed. ☺ 

 William and Nancy have a nice family.  The boys are Angel, Bryan, and William.  
Nice hispanic names ☺☻
 The Elders needed us to drive them up into the mountains for a baptismal interview.  I am trying to find a way to take one of these ferns home next year.
We still have another 30 minutes to get to their home. 

Elder Garoz is from L.A., Elder Nelson from Canada, Elder Bejar from Mexico

 Heidy's birthday is on Pioneer day.  They killed 3 chickens to feed everyone.

 Sister Fave is a Tongan who lives in Fontana, California.  Sister Peguero is from the Dominican Republic.

 Today Adonias baptized his daughter, Heidy Celestina Rodriguez Lopez.
It was very nice service.  Their neighbor came, along with 2 of his sisters.