Monday, April 25, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
(Michelle) The training consisted of computer training on how to use the medical website, eyes and what can go wrong and how to fix them, ortho problems, teeth and case studies of various kinds and what to do for various sick missionaries.  It was concluded that stress was the cause of most of the missionaries’ medical problems.  We went to the temple tonight with all of the medical missionaries that have been in our training.  We all went to the prayer circle together.  It is amazing how close you can get to people in such a short time.  We have truly become brothers and sisters.  We did an endowment session and then did one sealing.  That completes all the cards that we have, so we are caught up with the temple work.  We will not go to the temple for the next 23 months.  We have only one day of training left and then we go to Nicaragua.  Wow it is getting close!!!!  We had dinner at the Lion House Pantry again and walked to Rite Aide and bought a pulse oximeter, a thermometer and a wrist blood pressure cuff.  The instructors suggested we might these tools for assessing our missionaries.

(Scott) We have had a week of training. Tuesday, I went back to the Provo MTC for a day of office training. I took frontrunner, leaving the motel about 6am. I got a sense of how to get into the financial programs and I got a chance to look and read about some of the missionaries in our mission. There are a lot of Latino missionaries. The best part of the day was seeing our District friends during lunch and talking with our two mission missionaries. They were all exciting about seeing me, which made me feel good.

I have gotten a greater appreciation of what Michelle has been asked to do. Taking care of 200 missionaries is going to be a full time job. I will need to help her, especially until she is fluent in Spanish and even then, I will need to support her by taking her around and helping her keep up with the paper work. I have been impressed with the resources that the Church is providing the field missionaries. The medical website has so much information. I found out that there are over 500 volunteers that work in the Missionary Medical Department of the Church with only 4 paid employees…. Amazing.

We went to the Salt Lake City Temple tonight with the medical missionaries. We have become very good friends with each of them in such a short period of time. We will be serving in Chili, Nicaragua, Mexico, Russia, Africa, Germany, Philippines and Argentina. All of us are going to International Missions. Two more days and we are in the mission field….

Friday, April 22, 2016

     When we arrived in Nicaragua, we made it through customs almost without incident.  They pulled our two smaller suitcases and Scott had to open them and the officials inspected them.  As I held my breath, they raked through our things.  They pronounced us ok and we sighed a breath of relief.  We proceeded to the gate and were met by a smiling couple jumping up and down and calling our names.  Bienvenidos a Nicaragua from the Hermano and Hermana Lee.  They are from Brigham City, Utah and are the senior missionaries who are full-time in the office.  They are the parents of nine children and grandparents of 35 grandchildren.  Hermano Lee is a retired Spanish teacher.  Sister Lee is a retire teacher’s aide.  They are really fun.  I know we are going to enjoy being their amigos.  They dropped us off at the Casa San Juan.  The room was much less than expected.  No hot water, a double-sized bed, and a large section of moldy ceiling.  I was really tired and I shed a few tears.  I then realized that the bed was comfortable, the sheets were clean and other than the mold, the room was clean.  We went to bed and I slept like a log.

Saturday, April 23. 2016
Our first official day in the mission field.  My attitude was greatly improved after a good night’s sleep.  We walked around the neighborhood before breakfast.  It seemed to be very safe and we Buen Dia (as they say here – they drop their s’s) everyone we saw.  After a cold shower which actually felt good after our walk in ninety-degree temperature, we had breakfast outside on the patio area in front of the hotel.  Breakfast served was fruit (fresh pineapple and watermelon), scrambled eggs with peppers and other things, and gallo pinto (rice and beans).  Our server is a member of the church and she greeted us warmly when she saw our tags.  We had a nice visit with a family from Canada who were going to see the volcano.  They had visited Salt Lake City and wondered why everyone was so beautiful and handsome in Salt Lake City.  I told them that perhaps it is because of our health law and explained the Word of Wisdom.  The mother laughed and said that could be.  The Lees picked us up and brought us to the Mission Office where we had an interview with the mission president.  He outlined what our responsibilities would be.  1) the nurse 2) seminaries and institutes in the two branch areas 3) prospective missionaries 4) piano and 5) checking missionaries’ apartments.  It sounds very busy, but that is good.  We were then invited for Bienvenidos lunch with President and Sister Collado and the Lees at a very delicious Peruvian restaurant.  I had a stuffed chicken avocado which was very yummy and a drink which had purple corn and fresh pineapple juice in it.  It was so good.  In the afternoon, we looked for an apartment with the same crew.  We saw about five places and settled on a little house with two bedrooms in a gated community of 3 other little houses.  We hope to be settled soon.  It is unfurnished,
so we will be gathering furniture.  The church will buy the basics and if we want something else, we will have to buy it.  It will be nice to get out of the hotel.  We then had dinner with the Lees at McDonalds.  Elder Lee was stopped by the police for going down the wrong way on a one-way street.  He told them he was an elder in the LDS church and was here to help his people and the policeman knew about the Mormons and he let us go.  Never a dull moment in the life of a missionary.  We went home and tried to watch a movie which wouldn’t download.  I fell asleep and the next thing I knew it was morning.

Sunday, April 24, 2016
     Today we went to the Cuidad DarĂ­o, a small town 2 hours north of Managua.  The is a branch with over 400 members with about 30 active members. 
Elder Lee is the branch president.  When we walked in, they were having a baptism meeting.  Luis was the man being baptized.  He was an older man and looked like he was half blind with cataracts.  He was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting.  They had three speakers, a young seventeen-year-old girl, a woman who we found was a judge and the second counselor, Elder Morales.  It was wonderful to take the sacrament.  Elder Lee asked us to bear our testimonies, which we did. Everyone seemed to enjoy our messages and language skill. They do not have a keyboard, so the song leader would stand in the front and sing the first line of the song to find the pitch and then start over with the congregation joining.  They sang beautifully.  It was my favorite part of the meeting.  We sang an opening and closing in Sunday school and Relief Society.  The lady judge taught in Sunday School and Relief Society.  She was a wonderful teacher.  She would diagram everything on the board in Spanish as she was talking and using scriptures, so I knew what the lesson was about even though I could not understand everything she was saying.  The people were so warm and loving and welcomed us and seemed genuinely sad when we parted.  I love the Nicaraguan members.  We shared a lunch on the way home of sandwiches and yogurt and then went to the Lees apartment for a little relaxation and some left over potato salad.  They have a lovely home up on the hill.  We then returned to the office and met the two office missionaries and the two assistants to the president.  They were calling their zone leaders and doing stats for their meeting      with the president tomorrow morning.  They are Elders Nielson and Morales in the office and Elders Boyce and Moser who were assistants to the president.  Good young men!  We tried to call the kids, but they were not on line.  Steven called us when we got back to the hotel, but we did not have a good connection with him, but it was good just to see their faces.  I am home sick for them.  When we met the elders, we showed them our family and seeing their sweet faces pulled at my heart strings.  After talking with Steve, we watched a movie called the Fifth Quarter about a young man who was killed in a car accident and how his family handled it.  The family could have used the gospel and the comfort of the Holy Ghost.  I am so thankful for his presence in my life.

1 comment:

  1. That's a busy 1st week Elder and Sister Bell! Nice to talk with you today.