June 14, 2012

Mommy Wow!!

I obviously do not have time to write the long novel blogposts about our time in Guatemala right now. Don't worry those are coming. They are really so that Jon and I remember everything... But I interrupt those posts to tell you Shayla is a big girl. And I quite possibly have the easiest child in the world.

Tonight Shayla disappeared telling me she needed to go to the bathroom. Not thinking anything of it I continued to NOT pay attention to my child as I tried to get a million things done today. The next thing I knew she walked out with out a diaper or her pants on and said "Mommy! I went peepee in the potty!"

Sure enough she had taken the initiative to potty train herself and had gone in her little potty. We'll see how the next few days go... I leave for girls camp on Monday... timing is not ideal....

She was rewarded by getting to wear her cinderella panties. She is currently proudly sporting them around with only a shirt on. Ah to be almost 3 in the summer. What a girl!

June 6, 2012

Xela (Pronounced Shayla- now you know where we got her name!)

You'll be happy to hear our trip got better after we left the lake. We headed out from Lake Atitlan early Wednesday morning. In fact we didn't bother showering or eating breakfast. Not that we could have if we wanted to... The power was still off. So that meant no running water. From the little casa we headed to one of the other little villages, Santa Catarina, on an errand from Jon's Mom to pick up some corte fabric from that region. We found a place to park the car and walked through their market place. We picked up a few things here and there and enjoyed about an hour walking around their market. As we tried to pull out of our parking spot a police man blocked our way and told us that we needed to pay him 5 Quetzales for parking in that spot. Jon told him to get out of town and that he was just trying to charge us because we were gringos. I was a little afraid at this point that he would throw us in a Guatemalan prison and that no one would hear from us again. But he smiled, agreed, and let us go on our way. Jon felt he had won a huge victory and drove away feeling like the king of the world.

We arrived in Xela and found a hotel to stay in. Hotel 6. Not to be confused with the American chain Motel 6. But probably named after it... Guatemalan's love everything American. Showered and started exploring some of Jon's old area's. He was surprised to see a Wal-mart, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy's and a few other American establishments that had made their way into this town since he had last been there. We ate at the S ubway and then traveled into Totonicapan. A little village up in the mountains where Jon spent some of his time. We toured most of this part of his mission in car and found old apartments he had lived in.

We did get out of the car to explore the town square in Xela, and took some pictures of the old Catholic church there. The architecture here is amazing and all of the details are so fascinating.  I loved seeing all of the ancient buildings. Guatemala is a very dirty, but absolutely breath-taking place.

That night we went to see the temple at night:

These are the stain glassed windows with the mayan design. Very fitting for this temple.

I love seeing temples at night so I asked Jon if we could go look at it. On Thursday morning we headed back to the temple to do an endowment session.

The temple is even more spectacular in the daylight. The endowment room is painted with scenes from Guatemala. You see the lush jungle and even a depiction of Lake Atitlan and a Quetzal bird. While we were in there Jon ran into quite a few people he had known on his mission. So as I sat in the endowment room with my very limited Spanish it was a huge home coming for Jon. It was fun to see. When we arrived we were surprised to find out that they don't rent out temple clothing but they offered to let us borrow some. I had to go into the women's dressing room with women who spoke only Spanish and try to let them know what size I needed all my clothing in. Jon was a little worried I wouldn't make it out of there. So was I. But I struggled through with hand gestures and a little Spanish here and there. And of course a kind smile to make up where my language ability lacked. I was pretty proud of myself when a woman asked why I was in Guatemala and I explained (in Spanish nonetheless) that Jon had served his mission in Xela 6 years ago.

Many of the people in the temple with us had been in there since it had opened and were planning on being in there for a few more hours. Jon was sad (I was oblivious) because everyone from our session was on their way to do sealings but we had to check out of our hotel so we had to hurry off right after the session.

We had been sent with a mission to try and locate a missionary in one of Jon's old areas. - side note- while in the temple Jon learned that his first area(the area where this missionary was now serving), where they hadn't had a lot of success was now booming. There were 4 pairs of missionaries in one ward and they were going to have to split a ward that eight years ago had been struggling with attendance.-- We tried to find the missionary, and on our way out of town gave up and left some goodies from home for him in the mission office.

As we were driving away and through Esperanza, who should we run into? But the missionary we had been looking for! We had almost gone through the center of town looking for him one last time, but had decided since we no longer had the goodies to continue on our way. So it was on a side street, on our way out of town that we ran into him.

 As we pulled up he called Jon, Ben. (Jon's 16 year old brother) Which really threw Jon. He's used to being mistaken for Jim and Mike. But being mistaken for Ben was a first. He was able to chat with the missionary about the area and found out that one of the girls Jon had baptized right before he left wasn't really attending church anymore. So we changed our plans again to drop by her house and see how she was doing. It wasn't a come to Jesus visit. But Jon was hoping that seeing him would reignite the testimony that he knew this young lady had. We left Elder Wimmer with a few tastes of home we had stashed away in our backpack and headed to see this girl. She was really surprised to see Ex-Elder Laudie sitting on her couch and we had a great visit with them. What a tender mercy we had running into Elder Wimmer. I truly felt like we were being led by the spirit and that we were where we needed to be at the right time and the right place.

More to come on the trip. I still have to blog about the coast and Tikal (My favorite day of the whole trip)