July 4, 2011
Sorry I’m writing so late...we went to the temple open house today, so we just got back...a lot of the missionaries haven’t written today, because they live far away from the stake center (we write in the center of family history)...I asked special permission, and am here with my district leader....
So, we had a couple of service projects this week, I’m sending photos.... We were cutting trees down with machetes, and we had to climb up in the trees to get the branches down first. (You probably would have killed me if you had seen that we were cutting super close to the telephone wires, and yanking the branches and stuff out.... I’ll send those photos later).... Miguel has helped out a lot...I cut one of the trees down, and he cut the other one (he is in the photo, but he is up in the tree...)
Work is going kinda slow, Elder B is getting more baggy, he’s making songs about it now, and sometimes when we do divisions with the members, he makes a whole bunch of appointments to go and eat...in part it’s good, ‘cause I’m actually getting dinner a couple days.
We have a couple people who are progressing, one sister who had a fever this Sunday, and couldn’t come, and the deaf man. (My sign language is a lot better now, but it’s going to be interesting when we have to teach the law of chastity...).
Alright, I’ve got to tell you about the temple...I saw Elder Rivas today...he’s from the fourth quorum of the seventy, and he’s from here in El Salvador.... while they were choosing grounds to build the temple, (they had a few spots selected), they were in a meeting with the stake presidents, without having decided where to build it, one of the stake presidents asked where the temple was going to be built, and they said that their fingers were directed and they pointed to the spot of ground it now stands (which was not on their list of “chosen spots to build”)...so they asked the first presidency, and got permission, and bought the land. A lot of the architects were skeptical of the spot of land chosen, because the earth in the capital is really weak, and many times they have problems building heavy buildings.... but when they tested it, they found out that it was among the most sturdy ground in the country (I heard a little bit about some kind of volcano rock too, but I didn’t catch it all)...so they started to build to lay the foundations, and were worried, because it was hurricane season, anyway, the rains came, and came closer, and the people that were in charge of the construction almost doubted that it would get messed up, because the rains were coming closer and closer to temple ground, but when the rains came, the clouds split in two around the temple ground, preserving the foundation, but flooding almost everything around the dedicated ground....
So, the artistry of the temple is the best I’ve seen.... I’ve learned something about painting here...they had Salvadoranian artist do landscape paintings.... the creation room was made in the USA by an artist and shipped down in pieces...he used 1,800 photos of the best spots in the country to do the painting...they shipped it down in pieces, put it together, and the artist sealed the crack perfectly.... the crystal for the lights was brought from Austria, and shaped in New York.... the stones were brought from south America...also, the oxen that support the baptismal font...in all the temples around the world they are white, except here.....they made a mistake mixing the paint to paint the oxen, but it turned out so beautiful that the painters asked the first presidency permission to keep it that way, and it was accepted....it’s a brownish white mix...and it looks far better than white.....also, in the entrance of the temple, there is a painting, the artist from the USA, Jesus in the Jungle, an Indian child on his right, and one on his left....Elder Rivas explained that one is a Nephite, and the other a Lamanite.....the stonework in the temple is impressing also, the flowers designed into the walls are the Izote flowers, the nation’s national flower.....I’m sending photos of the outside.
Chow for now.