Elder Spradlin used a new type of hammer, well at least for us. He helped put in a raised garden for a family. They put down the wood sides, then made stakes with their machetes to hold them up. To hammer the stakes in they used a big rock for a hammer. It worked! The next day while out visiting families we were invited to take a seat, the seat was another huge rock. Great recycling I would call it. A lot ofthe places we go are uphill, or downhill and very muddy, keeps us praying that we won´t slip and fall. So far we are very grateful for answers to that prayer!
On New Year`s Eve the Elder`s had a baptism in one of the branches for an 89 year old man. It was supposed to be at 11am, but when we got there at 10:45 we found out they couldn´t run the water because the town was out of water, not an unusual event here, there were only a few inches in the fount. Great predicament, till The Branch President stood up and explained to the people it would take a sacrifice from all for the baptism and he sent everyone out to their homes to carry back water. Many of them lived over a half mile away, again up and down the hills. The people got up and a lot of the adults and teens left. Some adults stayed around with all of the children. A little later a stream of people came back carrying water on their heads, over their shoulders and between them. A huge demonstration of faith and love!
Later that afternoon I went to a family`s home who had just recently gotten a propane gas stove with an oven, they had never had one, so didn`t know how to use it. Both of the women spoke only Qèqchi`, so with my little amount and the children helping translate from Spanish we made a chocolate cake. A little later one of the children brought out a flashlight and looked in. Oh the surprise when they realized the cake was rising! It turned out perfect and we were all very pleased. The next day they tried helping me learn how to make tortillas. Not as easy as I thought it would be!
New Years Eve we were invited to a sweet family`s home for caldo, a broth with Chicken which is considered a great delicacy for them. The family uses candlelight and cooks over an open fire in their kitchen. They brought out the soup for us to eat and I said -oh we will wait for you¨- that is not the normal here, and so it caused a slight problem because they did not own enough dishes for everyone when we ate with them. So the mother had her daughter keep making tortillas, which is the traditional way of women, to make tortillas while the family eats. We have experienced such generosity and love here in Guatemala.