This week we ended up at the hospital every day except for Sunday. We had two missionaries that were admitted and several others with doctor appointments or emergency visits. We are grateful that both missionaries that were admitted were released on Friday and the others were able to get diagnosed and treatment completed.
We also had two zone conferences; one was the Puerto Cabeza zone conference which was on Wednesday. The whole zone (18 missionaries) came to Managua on Monday (17 hours) to celebrate breaking the mission record with 82 baptisms in one month. They had a celebration with the President on Tuesday and then a zone conference on Wednesday.
We never get to teach Puerto Cabeza because their zone conferences are usually in Puerto, so it was a pleasure to do so. When we start a zone conference, the missionaries stand up and say the Mission objective and mission culture. The missionaries know these sayings by heart and always say them with a lot of enthusiasm. However, when Puerto began to say these in Spanish, it was sloppy and without enthusiasm. Several were reading the words, as if they didn't know it. I began to be a little concerned that they have gotten lax, being so far from the President. However, after they said them in Spanish, they repeated them in Miskito, the native language spoken in Puerto Cabeza. This time they said it with enthusiasm and with great energy and feeling. It was great to hear them in Miskito. It was powerful.
We got to work with Doctor Abdahla, who is our LDS doctor. She is a wonderful doctor and treats our missionaries well. When we have a question about a missionary or need to identify the right doctor to send a missionary to, we call Dra. Abdahla. We love her and appreciate all she does for us.
We had the Managua three zone conference today. We gave the feet presentation again.
They did some roll playing. Our three office Elders (E. Russell, Howell and Bennion) teamed up for this exercise.
We were back in the hospital most of Saturday, thus we had to cancel our scheduled activities up north. One of our missionaries, serving in Jalapa (7 hours from Managua) came in with problems. Fortunately, once diagnosed it was something fixable with medicine. We fed them and took them to the Elders house.
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Because the sick missionary was doing well, we decided to head north. We left at 6am and arrived home at 7:30pm. We attended Sacrament Meeting in Condega. Now that the Koellikers have left, we will begin to service Condega again. We spent a lot of time in Condega and have seen the numbers go up and down. Today, the group was very small. There were only 7 members, 1 investigator, and 4 missionaries (including Sister Bell and I) in attendance. We felt a sadness in those who attended. We are not sure why, but we didn’t feel the joy of the Gospel today. We stayed only for Sacrament Meeting, but on our way out of town, we stopped and visited with Freddy, the assistance group leader. He was sick at home. Virginia was not in the house. Her mother passed away recently and she was visiting with her family. They are preparing to go to the temple in April. The Koellikers have taught them the Temple Prep classes, but we want to stay close to help them be ready.
We then made our way to Somoto. We arrived about 12:15 pm. The meetings were over and almost everyone had left. But we were able to visit with President Alaniz. We discussed the need to find a Secretary for the branch (He and I are the only authorized signatories for checks. Once I leave he won’t be able to cash a check), make arrangements to get their Patriarchal Blessings, and prepare for the April temple trip. We took him home and showed his wife and daughter the used clothes we brought from the Sister missionaries who had gone home. They had fun trying on clothes and picked several that looked good on them. President Alaniz and I just sat watching and laughing. They were so cute trying on the clothes and Sister Bell was enjoying helping them and giving them her comments.
We then went by Celia’s house. We wanted to see her new glasses and give her some RS lesson material. Her glasses look wonderful and the best part is that she hasn’t had headaches since she got them. She loves to read and these glasses will help to read without problems.
We then ended up at Azaria’s house. We discussed the temple trip, which she didn’t go on. We told her we loved her and that it was alright that she didn’t go and encouraged her to prepare to go in April. She told us about the new job interview that she had and is anxiously waiting to hear if she got the job. I also asked her for her conversion story that she is writing and told her I wanted to share it with President Poncio and the public affairs people in Guatemala. I think it was be a wonderful Liahona story. They asked me to give Cythnia, a young woman, a blessing as she prepares to go back to school, so I did.
We stopped on our way through Esteli to deliver a microwave to Sister Pacheco and Pozo. We then stopped at the Church to give Somoto financial reports to President Rivera. We also dropped off a few bibles to Elders Espinosa and Najera in Sebaco. Then we drove directly home. It was a long day. The best parts were the visits in members in their homes. Ministering to the one is always to best way to show our discipleship.