Friday, August 29, 2014


Last month we got a package from our children.  The best thing they sent us was the pictures.
 The grandkids are a great-looking bunch.  Our joy.

No team can beat this team ☺

 A ward family that we visit:  Alejandra, Rosario, Maria
We found a nice plaza.  The marimbas were across the street.  I should have gotten closer because you can here the water splashing in the background.  I love the marimba.  It looks like one big one, but is actually 2.
A local ward invited us to come to their Civic Night, 2 days before Independence Day on Sept.15
We learned a bit about their country, their flag, and music.  Here some Primary children are dressed in typico guatemalan clothes, doing a dance. 
Bishop Santiago has a shirt that I really like.  I want to get one to golf in.
The girl is 7 years old and nailed her recitation.

 The Young Men put on a native dance.
The Relief Society Sisters in typico Guatemalan attire.  Vicky wants to get a dress and blouse like this. The short video below has some nice Marimba Music.

 Relief Society Sisters Dancing

The bishop called me the day before and asked me to come and play some Guatemalan music for them.  I found some good songs online.

 After the program Molly and her friends drove away together.  This is very common,  The most I have seen on a motorcycle is 5.
 Just to illustrate - that if you plant a stick in the ground it will grow.  Soon this will be a natural fence.
Peluqueria means Barbershop.  I get my hair cut in Elder's Barbershop. Only q10 ~ about $1.50  The last time was by the owner, a guy named Elder, about 35 years old,  I asked him where his parents got his name.  I bet they knew some missionaries years ago.

If you need anything announced (stake conference, for instance) this guy will do it for you.  Those are LOUD speakers, and a cd player has a recorded announcement.

We parked downtown to go get some prints made.  As we got out of the car we were in front of a marimba school, and they were taking this tree inside.  All of the leaves are hands of the teachers who have worked there.  This will be a year long project for me after we get back and settled - 4 kids, and 13 grandkids.

Here is Vicky with some youngsters where we visit.  She is holding a cocoa pod,  Kiddingly, I asked the sister if when you broke it open there would be a candy bar inside, ☺

When it is cracked open there are a lot of seeds inside (the side of an almond still in the shell) and they are packed together in some kind of goo.

So you can take out a seed . . .

and suck the goo off - it is a nice sweet taste.

Then they let them dry in the sun - the one on the right is dry.

Here are 2 dried seeds, cracked open.  I tasted one - it is very bitter, just like baking chocolate.

Amparo and her daughter, Karen.  Amparo was 12 years old when she was baptized 15 years ago.  After 3 years her parents took her to another church.  We first met her 6 weeks ago and she hasn't missed church since - very excited to be back.  When the Elders went there to fill out the baptism papers, Elder Sanders said he would like to baptized her, but she said right away, "Elder Wetzel".  Elder Ellgren said he would like to baptize her, and she said, "Well I guess I will have to be baptized by all 3 of you".

More bamboo used in constuction.  The walls are up and they are going to pour the second floor.  So even inside the house there is bamboo supporting the wood where the cement will be poured.  That is a lot of weight, but bamboo is strong.

Elder Machado left from the ward we attend here, to serve in the Coban mission, in the northeast part of Guatemala.  He has been in the mission 4 months, and has been a member for about 2 years.  

Tatiana is another girl I baptized this month.  Her mother is a member.  The sisters took us to the house to get some information about her baptism.  We just met them that night.  When the sister missionaries asked her who she would like to baptize her, she pointed at me.  I guess I am a novelty:  old, white, american.  Tatiana is 9 years old and quite a fireball.

 Coming home last week there was a nice sunset, but the thing that caught my eye was the two kites up high.  They are made of thin plastic and they were reflecting the sun, almost like mirrors in the sky.  You can just see one, Looks like a bright spot,

We went to the cemetary last week to help a brother try to find some dates - when his children died.  He wants to go to the temple and have them sealed to him and his wife.  You buy a lot (like 1 meter by 3 meters) and build on it to hold the remains.  There is space for more family members when the time oomes.
So this is 1 by 4 and 4 people high.

We went to Genova, where there is a branch of 75 active members,  Vicky wants to paint our house this color.  I like the 2 trees, grown together, with a square entrance cut out between them.

 Julio Diaz baptized his son, Helaman.  We are teaching the parents the lessons to prepare to go to the temple.  Hopefully that will happen on Oct, 11.
 Sariah giving a wonderful talk on the Holy Ghost.  She is 10.

 The small branch in Genova.  This is Priesthood Meeting under the Mango Tree,  The tall American Elder is brand new to the mission.  This was his 5th day here.  Although his Spanish is better than mine was 43 years ago as a new missionary, he doesn't understand much of what they say.  His companion next to him is from Mexico, so he will learn fast,
Elder Mattson is 6'4 inches.  After 2 weeks in the mission field he gave his first talk today - a very good talk.  He still can't understand a lot of what people say, which is normal.  Inside of 2 months he will be feeling more at ease, on his way to better Spanish understanding.

Now, I inserted some pictures in the wrong place, so you have to go about about half way to the top for the new ones,