La "Luna de Xelaju" (Haga click en la foto para escuchar la cancion.)


December 1-13, 2011

Click here to see interior and exterior pictures of the temple.
Click here to see the youth cultural celebration.
Click here to see the printed cultural celebration program.
Click here to see printed temple dedication program.
Ferrocarril de los altos
Click here to see excerpts from my mission diary with addresses where I lived, companions, and names of people I baptized or confirmed.
I wish I were better at web site design and construction. Alas, I am not. As always, it seems too daunting a task to try and go through all the pictures and decide which stays and which goes. Sooooo, they all stay. Look at what you want and skip the rest. he first links are "PDF's" so you should have no problem seeing them. The links with the notes are "Powerpoint" files in case you want to see them that way.

The notes are from a little notebook I kept and are transcribed pretty much as they are in the notebook. Memory joggers for me.

We could have gone home after the first day and the whole trip would have been worth it. Each succeeding day was just as good.

At any rate, I thought I'd give you an early look at the pictures, etc. It is difficult to really explain in print how each day's events seemed to always come together in a special way. I love retelling it so anytime you have a spare hour or so, let me regale you with the absolutely amazing time we had.



















Day 1 - Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 2 - Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 3 - Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 4 - Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 5 - Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 6 - Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 7 - Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 8 - Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 9 - Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 10 - Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 11 - Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 12 - Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 13 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011




Day 1 - Thursday, December 1, 2011
9:00 American Airlines to DFW and then to Guatemala City arrived 8:45 pm
Ron Tobler picked us up.
3-50 18 Calle, Zona 14, Victoria Suites
4663 6599 Tobler's phone number

Day 2 - Friday, December 2, 2011
To area office.
Met Arturo Mijangos, 2369 0835 home, 5019 3220 cell.
Met area presidency and met with Jim Martino re:mission.
To Montufar chapel (original mission home and church) for annual church employee's Christmas devotional and luncheon.
To Antigua with the Toblers.
Movie with the senior missionaries.

Jim and Maryann Smith-retired from Gunnison, knows Bev and Raz. Doing security on mission.
Wallace's, audit mission, WFB banker from Idaho Falls.
Garth Read (controller for church area office) home in Riverton on 4 year assignment-Keith Edwards' son was his roommate at BYU-I.

Day 3 - Saturday, December 3, 2011
Early morning walk to embassy homes neighborhood.
Sergio Navas 5405 0538 cell, 7830 4701 home,
Baptized 1976 Zona 4
Zona 5
20 stakes in Guatemala City/39 stakes and 19 districts in country.
Ciudad de Plata/Kaminaljuyu
North-white, south-yellow, east-red(sacred), west-black, center-green
La Florida-Pte. Enio Molina
Sergio Ortiz (HC) (imports cars and does real estate, former banker Banko Industrial(?)-daughters live in state of Washington-baptized by Alvaro(?) Fallabella 6/71)) and Edgar Ramirez (HC)(Escuintla 4-70 Wells and Torres, Rama San Juan, Sa. Marta, San Jose'), both former stake pte.
Alejandra Moraga (her child's birthday?)
Pollo Campero
Barcelo' Hotel (Amex didn't work, debit card did.)
Password at TAG=tagcounter
Las Torres (Rittscher's apartment/hotel where I lived last three months of mission)
Movie night with senior missionaries

Day 4 - Sunday, December 4, 2011
Vista Hermosa Ward, 3a Calle "A" 24-59 Zona 15 Colonia El Refugio with Arturo Mijangos.
Bill Southwick, 2369 6492 (high school Spanish teacher)
Clete Mask (She is a Garns and served 63-65, he served 61-63)
Rolando Amado conducted.
Eric/Sonia/Cesar Soto

Antonio Lepe Montufar
9 Calle A Jardines de San Cristobal 9-34 Sector A 10
San Cristobal Sector II
Casa 39
4393 1595
Julia De Lepe (esposa)
Ma Jose Lepe Queveda
Antonio Lepe Quevedo
Laura Lepe Quevedo

Barrio 8 capilla to see children of Julio Rene Valle Vallejo
Julio Adan Valle CPA (mother and sister live in Toronto, CA)
Mercedes Valle
Raul Ureta - seguros
Estela Parra-abogada (Arturo's sister?)
Barrio 5 to see if any one left. Met son-in-law of Julio. Also met Sara Cassiano de Molina who would have been there when I was there.
Lunch with the Mijangos family.
Took Tobler's trunk to Susan's (husband works at embassy - from Billings, Montana - works with government bank re:money laundering.
Christmas devotional with the senior missionaries.

Day 5 - Monday, December 5, 2011
Met Charley Albert (?) from Durango, CO, building school at San Anhu, Alta Verapaz, Seamay, built dental clinic in Guatemala, member of Durango High Noon Rotary club.
Guatemala North Mission office to drop off Sister McKnight's suitcase.
Drive to dental clinic. Met Elder McDermott from Layton, UT at clinic.
Relief map of country right across street from dental clinic.
To Mercardo Central
To Area office-reservations for Atitlan and Xela. Met Percy Salazar 4626 6503 Llano Largo/Atlantico??, Secretary to President Watts in Guatemala North Mission - said he would hand deliver Sister McKnight's suitcase (she works in his ward) (also ran into him later on at the reunion in Xela). Baptized 4/66??
Met Douglas Rodas, Barrio Peronia, Estaca Mariscal (his daughters Leslie and Valery playing viola and cello in church on Sunday. He said his daughters had told him how beautiful Sherrie was.
Back to Victoria Suites then drive to Hotel Camino Real to cancel overnight reservation at Tikal.
Visit to Hacienda-Real restaurant to scope it out.
Shopping at "Paiz" supermarket
Concert at Tobler's apartment by member of their ward-Peruvian flute-accompanied by a friend of member on guitar.
Dinner at Alexandro's (worked on Rebecca's movie) family restaurant.
Coctel de Cameron con ensalada de aguacate, Lomito Perez, conguniza chapin, flan
5a Ave. 14-67 Zona 10 Hacienda-Real

Day 6 - Tuesday, December 6, 2011
To temple for 7:00 session (area presidency session-all were there)
President Joseph Brough and wife and his missionaries in celestial room, met them outside and chatted briefly.
Elder Richards from Boise, his brother married Cam Dudley niece?? (met at temple with Toblers)
Elder Jimenez-Mexico
Elder Tice, Choluteca Honduras to Nicaragua.
Back to Victoria Suites, then Ron and I headed to area office (fixed transportation spreadsheet) and then to Convergys to cancel internet.
Ruby's place in Zona 13, Colonia Santa Fe (Tobler's helping her with her "school")- Zully-18, Samuel, David.
Party at Rudy Guajardo's (public affairs missionary) apartment-Rotarians in attendance.
Help Tobler's pack.

Day 7 - Wednesday, December 7, 2011
5am - Pack Tobler's suitcases in Smith's jeep.
7am - wash clothes and move to apartment 202 across the hall. 28.33 por dia…198.33+20=$218.33
9am - to temple (witness couple)
12:30 - Rotary at Hotel Camino Real - present $1,000 check to Mentors International representatives
3:00 home
4:30 depart for Roberto Colmenares' (Rotarian-orthodontist) home.
5:00 walk to nearby park for "Quema del Diablo" celebration which began at 6:00 p.m., then walk back to Roberto's home for dinner.

Day 8 - Thursday, December 8, 2011
4am - up
5am-at TAG for flight to Flores.
Drive to Tikal about 70 minutes or so. Carlos guide (400 Q-about $50)(transportation also 400 Q)
Tikal/agouti/howler monkeys/woodpecker/toucan/coatamundi/lots of ruins
1:30 lunch and Comedor Tikal/Frijoles negros y arroz y tortillas.
5:15 flight to Guatemala City.
6:15 home.

Day 9 - Friday, December 9, 2011
4am alarm went off-forgot to reset it.
7:30 am left for Xela
9am - Patzicia chapel. Met young man doing some ground work…Victor Coc/Barrio 1. 2 capillas/2 wards per building…RM from Nicaragua 1 ½ years ago.
11:30 Hotel Atitlan
Panajachel by tuctuc.
Shopping. Met Jose Aponte and family (friend of temple president in Xela), has 12 kids and lives in KY, Crestwood Stake/La Grange.
3 - Solola' by chicken bus to visit central market
Met 4 missionaries: Elder Calona/Tegucigalpa, Elder Sosa/Huehuetenango, Elder Ruiz/Santa Ana,ES, Elder Chason/Tampa, FL.
4 - Panajachel- stopped at chapel and met kids with leaders practicing for cultural celebration.
Branch president son on mission $13 month. Daughter is YW president and turned down 2 year full ride scholarship in US to go on a mission. Papers are in.
President Juan Cosigua
Rolando Urizar-1C Distrito to Solola'.
William Cosigua - 18
Josue Cau - 17
Felix Ixcoy - 15
Freddy Morales - 14
Eric Urizar - 15

Claudia Cosigua' (YW president and daughter of br pres.) - 21
Vanessa Cau - 13
Noweli' Morales - 15
Guadalupe Garrillo - 12
Jaquelin Ixcoy - 13

Met two elders at chapel also. E. Daily from SLC and E. Previa (sp?), AL. (16 months and 6 months in mission respectively)

Dinner at Hotel Atitlan. Met Pres and Sister Brought and daughter. Also met the Alex and Racine Ghiz family. She came up to us and said she had heard my bear my testimony on Sunday at Vista Hermosa. He is FBI, they lived in North Las Vegas in Laurel Canyon Ward. Her mother is there on a visit (Mrs. Arnold from Draper-not LDS)

Day 10 - Saturday, December 10, 2011
6:45am - depart for Xela
7:15am - on main highway.
9:00am - at campo de futbol for cultural celebration "ensayo" (we first went to the "estadio" which was wrong place)
Saw Smiths on way in and followed them toward VIP area but he said you had to be invited.
Sat in bleachers. Cesar Morales (area 70 in charge of entire event) came up to us and asked us where we were from and then said to come with him and he took us to the VIP seating area and we sat about 4 rows up from President Uchtdorf. Sherrie thinks he was sent down by President Martino or perhaps Jim Smith.
Sat right behind stake president from Coatepeque President Pisceota.
Jairo Garcia??
15 stakes, 1 district…each did one dance in traditional clothing.150 to 200 kids per stake.
Uchtdorf/Neil Anderson/Larry Gibbons.
Met Wane and Kathy Gelder from Bountiful-77-78-spoke Mam-helped translate temple ceremony into Mam.
Stood in the parking lot afterward watching kids come out…took pictures.
Met Guillermo Cabrera and wife, counselor in Guatemala temple presidency…lives in house number 4 by temple (house owns 4 or 5 houses right next to temple for temple presidency and visitors.) He was counselor to Armando Paniagua (who was branch president in Xela when I was there). His grandkids with him, Alison and Angel (he lived in Nampa Idaho for awhile.)
Met branch members in back of pickup…Rama Choqui/Distrito Paxactup.
Alejandro Ixcoy, President 4673 8544
Orlando Ixcoy also with him (but apparently not related).

Drove by temple…gates locked. Talked to some sisters (former missionaries) sitting on the grass outside…one turned out to be Facebook friend on Guatemala-El Salvador group
Temple address: 9a Calle 4-03 Z-9, Quetzaltenango (near Cemaco…large Home Depot type store)

Ligia Celese Arevalo (Facebook friend) - I think she said she served with Arturo Mijangos in El Salvador.

Dalila Marini
218 N. 1800 E.
Spanish Fork, UT 84660

Argentina Hatfield
1829 Santa Fe
Lewisville, TX 75077

Dora Villatoro
161 S. 1980 West
Provo, UT

Fabiola Fuentes
San Marcos, GT


Met Guillermo Diaz his wife, and daughter Martamaria Diaz.
Pres. Central 69-
77 Consejero???
Regional representative
His daughter emailed us pictures of temple from church website.

Guillermo told me to call Octavo Gomez (Ex stake pres.) 5454 2906 about what chapel to go to tomorrow. Said to say "Willy Diaz" said to call. I did and he said Los Arcos.

Raimund Villatoro - patriarch in Las Vegas 702-287-28??

The sisters said they were going to the reunion at 2:00 at the Garibaldi chapel and asked if we were going. I said I hadn't heard about it. I knew there had been one in the morning but we couldn't go because we went to the cultural celebration. They said, "follow us", and away we went. Had a great time and met lots of people.

Neal summers - 86 Aberdeen, ID, Sandy UT
Randy Whitehead - 76

President Carlos Astorga conducted meeting. President of Q mission 99-02.
99 stakes in Central America
10 temples in Central America
James Martino-1st counselor in area presidency (also missionaryin Guatemala-El Salvador mission circa 70)…2600 missionaries/2300 natives???/2200 bailantes
Stuart Waldrip. President of Q mission 05-08.
Julio Alvarado (who we had met at area office-public affairs) President of Q mission 90-93.

Sat by Tyler and Jennifer Bales Sherman (I think he or she is from Cedar City). In Ohio doing residency, knows Scott Thomas-had class together at Touro.

Met Luis Amado (knew him when I was a missionary…brother to Carlos and Rolando)…was mission president in Honduras.

Met Leif Nortdstrom (dentist) served in Q mission circa 96.

Day 11 - Sunday, December 11, 2011
7:45 am - Los Arco Chapel (only chapel in Xela when I was there - I think - vastly remodeled since I was there) for first dedicatory session at 9:00 a.m.
7a Calle 13-10 Z-3, or 13 Ave. y 7a Calle, Z-3.
Met Bishop Hector and Mathilde Rodriguez (member for 6 years - but had been a "dry" mormon since my days there apparently - married to a mormon.
Sat next to Mark and Kathy Burgess from St. George (he grew up next door to mom and dad's house in St. George.)
Southwicks sat behind us (another couple with them…Perkins from Fillmore)
Neil Anderson conducted in Spanish.
Cornerstone (piedra angular) ceremony.
Pilar de Perez (matron) spoke
Israel Perez, temple president
Enrique Fallabella spoke/involucre??/hacedores/oidores
D. Uchtdorf - dedicatory prayer
136th temple/a menudo
Exclamacion hosanna/HHH a Dios y al Cordero
Willy Gonzalez, Pte. Estaca Zaculeu

Met two missionary sisters, Sister Allina Smith/Greybull, WY and Sister Erin Nelson/Draper, UT…left business card with "trabaje duro" for Spencer David who is going to MTC on 14th and will be serving in Q mission. Sherrie had told him that we were going to leave something down there and he was going to have to find it. We told the sisters to give him the card when they meet him.

Drove to temple and walked around grounds-also building with apartments/distribution center/family history center, etc.

On walk down from temple, met 4 brothers, Joe Gadd/Nashville/Guatemala North Mission 98-00, John Gadd/Pleasant Grove/Tegucigalpa 96-98, Brian Gadd/Spokane/Guatemala South 94-96, Matt Gadd/South Jordan/Xela 93-95.

Lunch at McDonalds. Met Tyler and Amy White (Riverton). Q Mission 99-01.

Drove by Kathy Rittscher's to find address. 2a Ave. 2-14 Z-9, La Floresta (1 block before McDonalds) near Garibaldi chapel. 5777 7797.

Drove back to temple.

Ran into the Burgess' again. Spoke with Rolando Amado (who eventually hooked us up with Cesar Morales who took us (Sherrie and I and the Burgess') right into the temple for the third session. We sat in the youth instruction room right next to the baptismal font. There were still some empty seats so we didn't displace anybody. Sat nex to Jose Beque from Retalhuleu/Trebolos/Las Palmas. Does auto painting? Very emotional during session. Offered me his handkerchief (I asked him to keep it as it would be a special memento for him) after session.
Speakers second counselor in temple presidency, Fredy and Abigail Jimenez.
James Martino spoke; 1. Current recommend, 2. Frequent attendance, 3. Teach family about temple.
Larry Gibbons spoke; meditation/light in life.
Dieter Uchtdorf; defining moments in your life. Events in temple during Jesus' life (annual at Passover/money changers/visit prior to death). A menudo/often.

Met Dave and Shannon Cisneros/84-86/Glendora

Met David Nielsen/77-79/St. George/CPA Mesquite casino
Met Scott Florence/Lehi

Met Hugo Diaz/Boston/San Marcos and Melissa Diaz/San Marcos (took pic of Sherrie and I on way out)

6:00 p.m. Dinner at Kathy Rittscher's.
Andres Ramos/Pavel Ramos
Calle El Grito 151
Campo Verde
Molina, Lima, Peru
+51 317-7101
+51 1368-1692
Director of Temporal Affairs for Peru Ecuador Bolivia Columbia
President of Guatemala North Mission 93-96
1C MTC Lima

Marta Garcia (aunt to Kathy Rittscher) - Marta Eugenia?? Garcia/Las Vegas/Tallers de mecanico BMW??

Rudy Lopez/baptized 1949/19th member in CA. Translator for Kimball/July Liahona
72 Pres. Rittscher
2nd counselor - Mario Lopez
72-75 divided stake.
Armando Paniagua/Talleres Paniagua

Two missionaries at dinner/Elder Gledhill/Sandy, UT and Elder Moody/Cokeville, WY.

Met David Patey (translates for GA's in CA from Sp to Eng)…lives in Costa Rica (knows Wayne Tew who visited ward in Costa Rica)…took family to CR for experience…after year or so called as bishop…when released called to stake presidency…parents Canadian and he was born in Israel

Day 12 - Monday, December 12, 2011
Breakfast at McDonalds
Visited chapel next door to McD.
Visited large chapel across street from Bella Luna Hotel where we stayed Saturday and Sunday night.
On return to Guatemala City, took detour from Chimaltenango to Antigua. Beautiful drive.

Day 13 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Dropped off car at rental agency.
Met SisterSuzanne Limburg who was with the Southwicks/Perkins at dedication. Also met Flory Palaj Evans (David Evans who served as missionary 97-97??-they live in Sonora, CA)…she is from Reu.
Met ? Lunt mission president in 96? (also a missionary in 1955)…Henry Lunt 1824/53/4 wives…Infield rep for church