Crazy two weeks! We did "English Interviews" with all of our missionaries for the Senahu, Polochic and Peten Zones. We were working to help our Spanish Speaking Elders set goals for improving their English. The follow up visits will now be by phone, and then in person when we do the next housing inspections. We are really excited about this program, hopefully it will help our missionaries focus and work on their English skills. The daily study goals are important, but the biggest goal is to listen and understand the Prophet and the general authorities without having to use a translator - that is a very exciting goal!
In between the zone conferences we made it to Guatemala City, did our major shopping for the next few months and dropped Natalie off at the airport. After having her here for the last six weeks, we will definitely miss her.
Exciting follow up news is that our four month old little girl from Senahu that was diagnosed with cataracts will be going down to the capitol next week with her parents to see a specialist, if all goes well she will be having surgery to remove the cataracts. This is a very difficult decision and time for her family, Guatemala City seems like a world apart for her parents who will be traveling the nine hours by bus to take her, and not to know until after they see the Ophthalmologist there, whether the surgery will even work. This is a big miracle in the happening, thanks to many people and their love and support. A family and Ward in the US who is paying for the trip and surgery, a doctor willing to do the surgery at cost, missionaries in Guatemala who will be making sure things go okay there, the Doctors from Choice who found the problem, our Area Doctor who found the Ophthalmologist in the city for us, our District President who talked to and worked with the family - so they decided to go, a branch who is standing behind and supporting them emotionally to take the trip. This is a miracle that involves lots of people, each doing what they can to help bring it to pass, I find it amazing. We are hoping and praying that the Doctor finds the surgery possible and that all goes well.
In Peten we went to what is called a Paca. It is really like a huge DI or Goodwill, full of clothes and stuff that have been sent down from the US from places like Deseret Industries or Goodwill. Companies or business here get it, (not sure how that happens) and then they sell it. Some people have really big Pacas, then there are smaller ones, and sometimes just out in the markets. Clothes, shoes, and all sorts of stuffs in a huge range of prices. The Elders here collect "Paca Ties" These are ties they buy in the Pacas for 5 quetz, (about 75 cents) Some of them are really nice, some are quite hideous. The ties and collecting them is quite a fun game between everyone. We bought some ties this time, so that we can take them back up to Senahu to give to future missionaries and to give out in Wards where they don't have ties. I also bought me a new sweater for $1.25, We have started the season in Senahu where it mists a lot, or light rain during the daytime and cool, so a sweater will be quite a wonderful thing to have. Last time we were in the Paca I was looking for cooler shirts because of the heat!
While we were in Peten we also shopped for the missionaries in Senahu, they are setting up two new apartments and needed a refrigerator, pillows, white boards and a blanket. Things we would just run to Wal Mart for in the states become quite a searching adventure. We had to stop part-way home from Peten this evenign in El Estor where we made a couple of deliveries and are picking up some things to take up to the other Elders. Spending the night here because it is too late to finish the trip. Tomorrow we will be visiting the Panzos Branch on our way through, they have an average attendance of only about 25 members right now. Stopping in Teleman to drop more things off, swinging by Sacsuha to pick up a clothes rack, then up to Senahu to deliver things and make it to choir practice!