Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bus trip to Guatemala City

Dana! Thank you so much for the Spanish encouragement. I have just broken through another wall and reached a new phase. As long as I keep progressing and pushing through the fear I am happy. I am excited about my new primary calling - I am the nursery teacher. The perfect spot to start me! I only have to give a 5 minute lesson in Spanish so that shouldn't be too hard. Problem is Gabby loves the primary secretary that's been substitute teaching and doesn't want me to be her teacher. I am so sad. I am feeling pretty comfortable talking to little kids in Spanish and am starting to overcome the fear of not speaking perfect sentences and trying to communicate with adults. When we were at the temple on Saturday a group of MTC elders were practicing giving discussions to the members waiting outside the temple. My Spanish is quite a bit better than theirs so I had to kick myself. If they can get out and speak then so can I. One Elder told Nathan (in spanish) that he is going to be in the MTC for 6 years!! Ahhh! The joys of learning a new language.

Last weekend we stayed at the Del Monte Colony Friday and Saturday night. A guy at church can get us a room for free in their hotel like apartments. We left at 3 am Saturday morning to go to Guatemala City to the temple. We were packed into a fifteen passenger van. The trip to the City went good because the kids and Nathan all slept and there was no traffic on the road so the driver was able to cruise at a quick pace.

I forgot to bring my camera. I am so sorry! I think we are going back this weekend though so I promise to take pics and post them.

I forgot to bring sweaters for everyone and we froze. It is so weird to me how we can be so cold when it is 75 degrees outside. The body is a funny thing how it is able to adjust and change with circumstance. I always wandered how in the world the women in Colonial Virginia didn't die wearing all those layers in the heat of summer with no AC. Now I understand. Your body just adjusts.

Some sisters in the branch watched the kids in a little waiting area across from the temple. It is a big room kind of like an airport waiting area and has a big grassy fenced in area behind it for the kids to run around and not distract from the spirit of the temple grounds. The distribution center and cafeteria are also in this building.

It was great to be able to attend the temple. I haven't got to go much since Gabby was born and enjoyed it so much. I freaked out a little when Nathan and I had to separate and go get clothes and change. It went ok but I was a little lost and confused at the system different from what I am used to. Luckily some little old sisters found me wandering around and directed me to where I needed to be.

The trip home was a little more difficult because we picked up 3 more people in the city. It was still fun, because we got to bond with some of the members in the branch. Brigham of course charmed them all and made friends with the driver.

The picture above of Gabby on the stairs in a tie is a funny story. If I could upload video to this computer I would post a video of it but I will have to just try to expain what she does. At least once a day she puts on the boys tie and church shoes and says she is Nathan going to work. She goes outside and pretends the stairs are the boat. She pantomimes him perfectly. She starts out by pretending to start the boat by pulling the string over and over again. Then she sits down and puts her little hand behind her back and pretends to be steering it. The she pulls out a pretend phone from her pocket, dials a number and talks while steering the boat. She finishes by hanging up and putting the phone in her pocket and then getting out of the boat and tying it up. I wish you could see it! It is soo funny and she acts it out perfectly. Yesterday she gave Brigham, Ammon, Xela, Kevin and Angie a ride into town on her boat. I should have took a picture of that! It was so cute.

The other pictures are of Gabby in her new pants Grandma sent in the last goody truck. She is holding her white pants and puzzle. Thank you Grandma. She was so happy. Especially when she discovered they have belt loops for her belts and pockets for her cell phone and quetzalis. She won't wear any pants without pockets and belt loops.

I will get pics of the other kids with their goodies when they come home. Mr. Castillo fixed the pool for us this weekend so they are out swimming their hearts out with his kids. Ammon is on a 30 mile bike ride with the youth from church. Hopefully he will be able to walk when he gets home. Thanks again so much for the fun surprises!

We got
4 PB's
4 frostings
4 brownies
1 big bag of candy
1 licorice
1 bag of books
1 how to draw horses
2 puzzles
1 bag of birthday cereal
1 shout (yeah!)
1 pool float (went immediately into use)
1 pack of nerf bullets
2 pairs of pants

The theif must not have been on this boat!

Gabby keeps asking me about blues clues underwear??? Do you know what she is talking about?

Thanks again so much!



  1. Gabby looks so happy with her capri's! Tell her that made Grandma happy. They took a few things. Here's the things you didn't mention, bag of sunflower seeds, bag tootsie rolls(I hoped this would be their bribe:-),Nathan's birthday card,(you mentioned books here's what I sent)Star Wars book, Horse Book, USA puzzel,Civil War book,2 Star Wars comics. Maybe Nathan ate the seeds on the way back. Were the bullets the right kind? There was another type also. I don't know about the Blue's Clue's underwear. If you want I will send as part of her birthday. Maybe they will make it.I hope we're getting a feel for what will make it. A sister at church gave me a bag of fabric to send you. Give everyone kisses and hugs.Momma/Grandma

  2. Love the story of Gabby! Her hair is growing so long. And I can't believe she'll be 3 next month. Crazy! Hey, at least Nathan went with you to the temple. He didn't do that much with me. I went with someone who didn't speak any English and I had crazy braids with colorful beads. Talking about standing out! But it was wonderful. Did you use the translator. Mine didn't work well so it made me anxious. We miss you guys so much! Its time for a home visit!:) love y'all, Kim xoxo

  3. Mel, thanks so much for the great stories and pictures. I have never traveled outside of the US or Canada (English speaking)so have never experienced communications in another language or country! Bravo to you! So many things we do as part of our culture are as foreign to others as theirs are to us!! Kids are so funny and so adaptable - they speak the international language of "kid"!!! I am not sure I would be able to learn another language - my brain is too old!! I will continue to live vicariously through you and the kids!! Robin

  4. mama,
    The bullets were perfect but only one pack made it. The books were all there and have already been confiscated. Ammon is loving the starwars comics. Don't worry about the underwear. She would love them but don't feel like you have to send them. I didn't know if it was something you had talked about on the phone Father's Day or if it was something she decided you needed to send her. Obviously it was the later! She is so funny.

    I can just picture you with the braids! Funny. I didn't use the interpreters. I could understand well enough without them. A few words from each sentence so I got by. I am trying to do more in Spanish to help with learning the language! Little Bill, Clifford, Dora and Diego are all helping me out! You are a lot braver than me though. I don't think I would go in the temple without Nate even after living here 3 months.

    You are so funny! I love reading your comments!

    Love you all!


  5. Mel, I only sent one pack of bullets. I couldn't find any cheap ones. I think they were $5.00. If they need more I will check around for a better price. I think the other ones had a nerf en instead of the suction cup. Did you find out about the other things from Nathan? I don't know when Stormy is shipping a truck again. Love,Momma