Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beat the Heat!

Grandma Starkey taught us this week that if we choose to be thankful for each of our problems, we will have a new lease on life! 
(Val caught this field of sunflowers getting ready for prepare for the sun!)
 So, this afternoon, working to take a quick siesta in the back of the chapel, Val's favorite pew,

 I was discovered by a ravenous mosquito, 
We are learning why young
Elders and Sisters use mosquito netting

I became crazed with itching and determined to beat the itch and maybe beat the heat. Que suerte--what luck!  I am awake now, comes a hello!

Things are heating up in northern Guatemala. 
 Every three years, in general, comes a change of guard in LDS missions.  
(Photos from the Church website and Facebook)
President John F. and Sister Beatriz Curtiss began serving in July of 2013, in a mission which opened at that time. After serving earlier in Guatemela City as Humanitarian missionaries, using specialty with water projects, they then served in the area office for another period, with President Curtiss, as executive secretary in the Central America area office.  

President Carlos Alfonso Faundez and Sister Teresa de Jesus Riquelme L. de Faundez are scheduled to arrive at the end of June. Pres. Faundez has been an accountant, a bishop, and a stake president in Santiago Chile. 

When Elder Starkey found a fix for some wobbling office chairs  

                                                             that had cushioned and accompanied young missionaries, moving back and forth, leaning in to plan changes, to converse and receive counsel from a once-new president to a once-new mission since July of 2013, President Curtiss commented that various things in the mission seem to wear out after about three years.  

Our one-of-a-kind printer (yes, there is one another in the area, several hours away in Senahuj) last night and this morning is hiccuping again.                                                                                      With repairmen summoned, fibrilater activated, and rollers exchanged, we have hope that it may last another "ratito" (short while--Elder Starkey likes to use the word to speak of a "little rat")  which is comforting news after this imperative tool threatened to give up the ghost a few months ago, suffering an induced coma in the "printer ICU" at Rapi-copies, who might make copies rapidly, but the ordering of printer parts was closer to molasses, which the stores here say they have, but  do not, do not, do not!  I have yet to make a good ginger cookie.   Our printer remained hostage for what seemed like two months, with the new part looming at the price of two regular printers in the US.  Our office manager is in negotiations to the area office. "New part or new printer?" (That is the question!)

At a garbanzo bean soup lunch today, my husband's eyes were bright:  I love solving problems!! 

The next problem on the gamut was having electricians fish through the walls to locate the faulty connection for a remote switch to open the new office door.  It has been broken maybe a year.  But there is hope!!  

The question is--do we want to let them in?  
                   Who could say "NO!" with smiles like these?

So here is a job--to prime things and polish them up for our new friends in the passing of the baton.

We are implementing an idea from Guatemala South mission, as there are no senior couples foreseen in the near future:  Missionaries are cleaning their apartments and sending pictures in to our housing secretary.  We joined ranks and captured photos of our beds, sheets washing, closets--paring down to essentials only.  

Sister Curtiss says: "Not even one dish left in the sink!"  She forgot to say anything about the yard!
A fun new assignment for me includes processing mission calls.  I spoke with two of three young adult friends from Salamá who traveled three hours by bus to Guatemala City to the dental clinic this morning: one that is waiting to enter the MTC to go to Costa Rica, 
another, the brother  of an eight year old girl  that I was able to enjoy

in a music class,  and a third friend 

(Thank you, Facebook 
for the next two photos)
who joined the party, just for moral support.  (Imagine, going to the dentist, just to go!)

A fourth friend, who orchestrated the event and accompanied the last group of four.  Mitchie called me three times just before I got to push the "send" tab on his missionary application this week.   His papers were submitted Sunday, and we are waiting for inspiration and snail mail!! This young man has prepared for months, presently serves as district secretary, and is encouraging other to prepare.  We are trying to be like Mitchie. 

Soooo, here is the question.  (What do I do with an empty nest?)
Why should I consider a couples mission in my future? 

Well, in some ways, it can be like Grandma's new vista.  If not a honeymoon, the half-moon this weekend reminded me of words of our Megan's father:   "Our couple mission was the best 18 months of my marriage!"


I won't speak for Brother Millward, but here is our "why."
It never hurts once in a while to "get away." 

With a mission, surprises await beyond the next bend.
We have separate assignments, but we learn to work together--like in a three legged race--it can be a kick when you get the hang of it and walk in rhythm.  
We are developing new talents,

abilities to share. 
And then there is always digging up old ones
Who remembers waffles with Starkeys?
Tell Grandma S and Kristen, we can count to TEN in colors!  
Or maybe eight.
In encountering new friends in a new culture, 

we are learning that attention to the "one"  is tender, real, and propelling.

Last, but not least, if God really wants us to tithe...or give back in a measured way...
serving others is another means of opening heaven's windows!

What are you doing to beat the heat???
No, we have not packed...but we are learning from Elders in Chisec. 
 President Packer refused to live out of a suitcase, but it is beginning to appear attractive!
Val has asked Maria "What color is your parachute.  You might need one on the way to stop a dike leak in Holland.  I only need a pretty pink bag...or maybe blue! 
 And, "the time is far spent--there is little remaining, to publish glad tidings by sea and by land"
From Honduras to Guatemala, from our house to your house from his house to is inspiring to see [his] servants...go forth from this house armed with thy power.

 A breath of fresh air to you!
Elder and Sister Starkey