October 13, 2011

Part 2

'reunited and it feels so good'
Before Part 2, i just want to say:
I am SO so glad we have these family photos!  I've been wanting to post this one since Ashley took it... After all, it's the follow up of those ones down at the very bottom of blog from Sept '06 when Olivia left, Sept '07 when Sean left, & Apr '09 when Calvin left... 
I wanted to put this one of us w/ willows and mtns background in the header of the blog, but couldn't get it how i wanted - and Sean was gone this eve, or here but preoccupied with getting an iPhone 4s after midnight tonight.  Hence, my header redo with Playmobil PERSONIFIED -- (Carmen put those together back when O was expecting Cohen).
OK, so back to my story...
SPRING BREAK 2006:  Gracious Tara Kim came to my rescue!  She encouraged us to come visit them in Palo Alto - making it possible for us to actually GO somewhere while kids were out of school... Our main MUST DO's were:  ( listed by importance : )
  • IKEA   (a yr prior to Draper opening)   -bunk bed shopping, & just Swedish on a shoestring fun
  • Monterrey Bay Aquarium   -amazing, unforgettable, all day wonder
  • A classic day in 'The CITY'  -golden gate bridge & park, crab louie's and lobster on the wharf
  • San Gregorio beach   -took my UT-Youngins to the ocean, by golly, even on a windy rainy April day - and i didn't even lose my Robert's of Woodside lunch on that curvy drive to get there!
We had a wonderful week!  (except for Winnemucca - it was the worst!)  Brig, Tara, & Beckstead's were the BEST!   (can't believe i didn't think to call Gret that time - hello! - so so so dumb)   

But wait - the REAL meaningful point of my story here is to share something else we did while we were there - one of those 'no brainer' kind of things, yet totally unplanned... very worthy of mentioning here in my late weeknight blog post (for which i will pay dearly tomorrow).
 As we were heading into the City we happened to stop for gas right in the heart of my childhood 'stomping grounds' - (the Shell on Sand Hill Rd in Sharon Heights).  In that moment, as I was hit over the head by a flood of memories, it finally occurred to me that my kids might want to see where i grew up - duh!  (I suddenly remembered how much I LOVED visiting Newport, Oregon the summer after my mission, and seeing my mom's house, etc).  
We stuck with our original San Francisco plan for the day, but went back to my neighborhood the following day.  We went to the 2 homes i lived in, to my schools and church, to Sharon Heights pond and downtown Menlo Park, etc... They were fascinated; it meant a lot to them!

Since that day I have felt even MORE strongly about the importance of taking them to Guatemala.  Before then i always wished we could go again* and thought it would be so fun - but since then it has been an ache inside me... knowing i MUST find a way - even against all odds!  But even when we were both working, a trip like this made little sen$e - logically or financially... Especially to 'Mr. Practical' - who has viewed the expense as unwise and irresponsible... How can anyone overcome those valid objections?

However, I've learned over and over in my life that when i set out to do something that i really WANT to do, and KNOW is right & good -- it will HAPPEN -- (in this case, a month from today) -because incredible things come together sometimes, in ways i never could have imagined...

I'll attempt to share a quick bullet list of some of them for Part 3! 

* The only other time we've gone was in July 1992 when #4 of 7 (Josie) was 6 months old - Cal was 3, Sean 4.5, & Olivia was 7.  We drove down w/ Mama Jose & Papa Moises, stayed 2 weeks, LOVED it, and have dreamed of going back ever since.

October 11, 2011

Once Upon A Time... (Part 1)

When the good King of this castle was still a tender young Prince of 11 yrs old, (1971) his entire royal family embarked on a memorable journey.  One for which they had prepared, saved, and sacrificed for the previous 4 years.  The 10 of them were part of about 5 busloads of families from the San Marcos / Quetzaltenango area to travel together that year, because of their faith - Just as busloads had done each year for a few years before and after.  

They traveled 4-5 days each way to the nearest LDS temple at that time - in Mesa, Arizona.  
Mama Josefina & Papa Moises were eager to solidify their love & faith and be blessed with added strength and protection for themselves and for their posterity.  As soon as they were sealed, their joy continued to expand as their children entered that beautiful room, knelt with them, and formed a complete circle.  While grasping each other's hands, a kind man with special permission gave them a blessing, which sealed and bound them together permanently.  
I can only imagine the sacred memories those busloads of families still have.  I am amazed by everything i've heard through the years about the journey itself, and the organization of equally faithful people that served those busloads along their way each year.  They would travel all day and stop each night at an LDS Chapel (In MX and AZ) - where local members would serve them dinner and breakfast the following morning.  The travelers slept on cots, etc set up for them in their Cultural Halls.

KoKing remembers finally getting to Mexico City (maybe half way?) and talking with others about how great it would be if there could be a temple in Mexico some day!! - (Then they'd BE there already!)
Back then the Mexican government had ultimate rights to ALL buildings in the country, regardless of private ownership or use.  Those Guatemalans knew that a sacred temple up and running in Mexico would require many miracles!

5 years later in April 1976, the Church first announced plans for a temple in Mexico.  They broke ground on it the end of '79 and dedicated the Mexico City temple Dec of '83 - the same month the King & I were married/sealed in the Salt Lake temple.

Only a year later the Guatemala City temple was dedicated, about a 5 hour (?) bus ride from San Marcos & 'Xela' (pronounced like "Shay-la") - Hey, somebody should tell President Monson that its common indigenous name is much easier to spell! :)

On 12/16/2006, (our 23rd anniversary), less than 3 months after Olivia left on her mission and more than 3 yrs after Mama Jose passed away, the Church announced the building of the Xela temple!!  We were muy amazed, excited, and grateful!  Who on those yearly bus trips could have imagined that this could happen in their lifetime??

I immediately began dreaming about how cool it would be for us to go to Guate together when it was finished.  Soon the Church News ran a great article about it and the wonderful members in that area of the world.  We had it stuck to our fridge for months and months.  I kept asking relatives and wondering when it would be ready... and kept hoping it would take long enough for first Sean and then Calvin to return!! ...
Then, not long after Sean returned, (Nov 2009) after 16+ years with the same employer, the State of UT had no more money to renew the yearly grant that funded the King's job... And because he'd been with the state so long, he was the highest paid of the handful of those helping disabled individuals return to the workforce, so HIS position was cut.
Needless-to-say, so was my DREAM of a Xela Temple/Guate Family Reunion Trip ...    

...But 'stay tuned for scenes from our next episode' of 'Days of Our Lives'...