Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Temple Day for Cochabamba Mission Missionaries

[October 13-19, 2015] Another week

In a missionary Family Home Evening a week or so ago, President Jensen's wife showed us how she uses Personal Historian (it's a software program written by the Roots Magic folks) to keep her personal journal and family history. It looked like a good idea, so I'm trying it out. One thing that it will help me with is writing this blog. Each day, I open Personal Historian, and write a quick journal entry for that day. So, here I am with a week's worth of daily entries, and I can extract and summarize them as I see fit for a digest of the week for the blog. One additional benefit is that I don't have to put everything in the blog - just what might be interesting to others reading it.

So, here's the scoop for the week:

About once a quarter, the young missionaries who are here in the Cochabamba wards (that includes the Punata ward, Sacaba, and Quillacollo wards) come to the temple for an early morning session. Since there are over 130 of them, we spread them across two sessions on two different days.

Since this is out of the normal routine of the temple, one of the missionary couples is assigned to coordinate the sessions. Since the couple who used to do it left last month, we received the assignment. I had to get workers for a variety of tasks, some of whom needed to be at the temple at 5:30 am. All in all, it went pretty well, but since the sessions are only a half hour apart, we were scrambling a bit at the end when needs collided. But, it was fun seeing all the missionaries, and the Mission President and his wife at 6:30 am each day.

Molly is still feeling a bit under the weather from the GI disturbance from the weekend, but she felt blessed that it didn't stop her from helping out with these early morning sessions.

We had a second early morning with the Cochabamba Mission missionaries this morning. Two sessions, like yesterday. Today, to adjust for the quick turn around between sessions, we made the first session smaller (only 30 participants), and started the second session about 10 minutes late. That gave us enough time in between sessions to get things reorganized, so it went much more smoothly.

Molly still isn't up to snuff, so I put her to bed after the session, and walked over to the Mas Vida pharmacy across the street. The pharmacist suggested using something that looks like the old charcoal tablets we used previously, but has an antibiotic as well. It's called Estreptocarbocaftiazol, and it has Ftalilsufatiazol in it. She said that one dose should cure it, but if not, take a second eight hours later. I asked if there was a maximum, and she said she was sure that three would cure it for sure.

So, Molly took the first dose at about 3:30, and by 10:30 still was passing liquid diarrhea, so we gave her the second dose. We'll see what she feels like in the morning.

Good news! Molly woke up this morning feeling much better, and had no further diarrhea through the night.

We had a pretty normal session this morning. A group from Santa Cruz and another from La Paz came in today, so the second and third sessions were pretty full. There were four nuevos in the second, and three in the third. After we were done, and I was waiting in the foyer for Molly to get changed, I visited with a lady and her son in the foyer. They were from Santa Cruz, and the son had just been baptized last week. He is 22. His mother has been a member for 2 years, and his brother was receiving his endowments this morning so he can leave on his mission next month for Columbia.

I also got to spend some time in a sealing session with a young lady and her mother - both received their endowments today. The daughter is leaving on her mission in a couple of weeks to Ecuador, if I remember correctly. These are sweet experiences.

After we got home at 2:00 pm or so, we decided to go walk through "El Pueblito". It is a more original area of Cochabamba that has been kept more like it's original state. It is only a couple of blocks square, but it was very quaint - more what Punata looked like 40 years ago, except the roads in El Pueblito were paved. Here are a couple of pictures:

It seemed like a quiet enough place, but we saw some stuffed animals trying to escape from one building. :)

We had a regular morning shift at the temple today, and due to Sawyer's upcoming surgery, decided to start fasting at 3:00, since we have a dinner appointment at the same time tomorrow with the Chalmers. That kept us from the regular Saturday evening group restaurant activity with the other missionaries.

So we stayed home and worked on family history a bit. I upgraded Roots Magic to version 7, and reviewed what we haven't gotten entered, yet (Violet Josephine - so we added her basic birth/blessing data). Then Molly and I printed out sheets for each of the kids and their families so we could verify, update, etc. the information for each of them and their children. For instance, we didn't get Riley's baptism/confirmation dates in, so we need to clean all of that up.

Then, I set up a Personal Historian file for Molly to start consolidating her journal information. Right now, she has some in Evernote, some in Google Drive, and some in SimpleNote on her iPad. We figured, after having a demonstration of Personal Historian, that it might be worth seeing if we could conform our various methods to a single paradigm, just so we could have a central, unified place to track  our info from day to day. Each week, when we sit down to do the weekly blog, we're questioning what we did each day, and wondering what we missed. So, I'm going to try to do a daily journal entry to help me keep things straight, and Molly is going to see if it will work for he as well.

We got up early this morning for our normal Sunday meetings. We walk down the street to Av. Circunvalación to catch Trufi 134. We leave an hour early (at 7:00 am) just to be sure we get there on time. Today was a "Good Day" (Thanks, Stacy for the reference) - we caught one quickly, and got out to Tiquipaya at about 7:20. As we walked up the hill to the Linde/Rosedal chapel, we met a little tiny lady who walks with a cane. She takes nearly 30 minutes just to walk the one block from the trufi stop to the chapel, and she didn't want us to miss anything, so she told us to go ahead. She is so faithful and diligent - she's there every Sunday.

After Sacrament meeting, we waited in the chapel for the Linde Ward to start at 10:00. The Rosedal Primary children were practicing for their Primary program in a couple of weeks, and it was amazing how they acted just like kids in any other ward - hijacking the microphone, singing really loud when they know the words, and really softly (or not at all) when they aren't sure, yelling out the parts of their talking opportunities that they know well and have practiced, etc. Lots of fun.

As usual, I played the electric piano/organ for the Linde Ward, and we went to their Gospel Doctrine class. The members know the gospel as well here as anywhere else, and make good, solid comments about their responsibilities in the church, etc. As we sat there, a sign up list for Temple night was circulating, and had lots of signatures. Hopefully they will all be able to come. We love seeing the members in the temple, and we are getting to know more and more of the regular attendees. Last week, I even got to help with a new missionary taking out his endowments - turns out he is the son of the First Counselor in the Bishopric in the Rosedal Ward.

After dinner with another missionary couple, the Chalmers, we came back to our apartment to Skype family. We really enjoy talking to everyone. Sometimes it's just a phone call, and sometimes we get the real face-to-face Skype experience. Either way, we feel blessed that we can communicate this way.

Preparation day. We started late, since we haven't been sleeping terribly well for the last week, due to the GI disturbances. Since we feel back to normal, we think this week will be better.

We're a bit on pins and needles hoping that Sawyer's surgery will go well. We really appreciate it that so many of our family help us keep in touch through this stressful time for him and Sam and Mollie.

We took a three mile walk this afternoon, out to see if the Parque Bicentenario was open - it wasn't, but the walk was fun. We'll try it again another day. On the way, we saw this place to eat chicken, and figured the name was intentional. Do the Bolivians understand the implications? We didn't think we wanted to try it out today!

And here is one last picture of the temple. The day was a bit threatening, which added some interesting texture to the sky:

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