Monday, June 6, 2016

May 30 to June 5, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Mother’s day and anniversary.
We presented our concerns and strategy about the apartments to President and Sister Collado. They liked the idea. We will present this to the zone leaders tomorrow. So I have been preparing our presentation.

We went to Las Pampas for dinner tonight. It is an Argentinian Steakhouse; very good but very expensive. The Lees went with us.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This morning we went to the leaders meeting and Elder Bell presented a little class on keeping the apartment clean including bathroom and kitchen helps.  He did very well and followed it up with a handout that they took with them.  He then drafted a mini-lesson and sent it out to all the leaders by e-mail. He will try to do this each week.  We went to Hembas which is like a super flea market.  We found some little tables that could also be used as chairs with very colorful covers made from strings.  We liked them, but decided to wait to buy them and look around a bit.  We were called back to the office, but the painters were there and had covered all the computers and tables, so we went home and worked from home.  It was a very relaxing day, taking calls from sick missionaries and getting caught up on the paperwork, or computer work as it is now.  We ended the day with the first Star Trek movie.  It was a great day.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The day started early with several very sick missionaries.  They were running high fevers and had diarrhea.  They both needed stool studies and medical visits to the doctor.  I have worried about them all day, because I was afraid one of them had malaria.  The good news was that neither had malaria, but both were full of parasites.  They are both happily on gobs of medicine and will be much better in a few days.  Another trip took us back to Hembas and we bought the little tables as well as two paintings of homes that looked like those that some of the families we have visited live in.

  We will bring the paintings home with us.  Little by little, our house is becoming our home. 

Both of our guards are reading the Book of Mormon and want the missionaries to teach them.  Salvador lost his wife 26 months ago and so he is very interested in the plan salvation and eternal marriage.  He was in tears this morning when he was talking about his wife.  Being a missionary is great!!!!  We will have to turn them over to the South mission, though because both live in the Nicaragua Managua South Mission.  Perhaps we can get permission to join in their lessons.  We spent another afternoon at home to avoid the paint fumes.    

Dad: While we were at Wimba, Elder Lee got his shoes shined for an American dollar. So I sat down to get mine done too. They look great, nice and shiny. When he was done he told me it was $5.00 American. I asked why and he told me he had to do more to my shoes that to Elder Lee. Well, I paid it, actually it was about $4.50. It sure is not like my first mission where little boys were on every street corner and charged only a few cents to shine your shoes…. I think I will buy some shoe polish and do it myself.         

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The office is being painted so we have been spending a lot of time working for home. It is very pleasant at home. The internet is better than at the office, it is quiet and at least acouple of rooms are air conditioned. We could work from home and be very comfortable and productive.

We had a Skype session with the MTC today. Sister Bell would like to continue her tutoring sessions with Whitney Allen, her tutor from before the mission. Hopefully that will happen soon.

We visited with Dr. Guido, who is the dentist that is doing the pre-mission exam for one of our young men from Jinotega who wants to serve a mission. The initial examination was free, thanks to the gracious dentist. However, he needs a lot of work. It will take 3-4 appointments and will cost about $5600 Cords (about $200). That is a lot for a young man from Jinotega.


We put up some new decorations in our home. We purchased a couple of painting at Wimbas and two stools. Our casita is beginning to look and feel like a home. We have been doing a few preparation type things during the week, because Saturday, which is our scheduled P-Day, is when we have been visiting the groups in the north central part of the Country. President Collado has authorized us to take another day for our P-Day. But since we have calls from sick missionaries every day of the week (and most times of the day), and other mission tasks most days, we have been taking a little time every day.

We took donuts to the office today. We bought them at the donut factory next door to our home. We smell donuts most of the time…. It is a nice smell (maybe that is why we like to work from home so much). We gave two to our guards, one to a guard at the office, one to our cleaning lady at the office, one to our immigration specialist that happened to come into the office and I eat one. That left a box of 6 for the 3 Elders. They were very appreciative of the gift. They taste as good as they look.

One of the guards down the street gave us a fresh coconut. We say hello to all the guards and they seem to like having the Norte Americanos talk to them. We brought it home. David, one of our guards got out his machete and cut the top off so we could drink the coconut milk. Michelle enjoyed that (I am not a fan of coconut milk). I then took it back outside so he could open it in order to get to the meat. He took his machete and gave it a good wacke or two, and it opened right up. It was really good…..

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sister Bell wore her new pants today.... She loved it and looked really good. 

This morning we left the house at 7am, stopped at a farmacia to pick up some medicine for a missionary and headed for Esteli. We meet the Zone Leaders, who took us on a tour of the town, searching for rental units for the new missionary couple who will be coming in early July. The missionaries, district present and a real estate agent are all looking for options. It rained hard while we drove around town. I am glad we have a high clearance vehicle as some of the roads had several inches of water running down them. We will return in a couple of months to see what they found. We took Elder Ferrin and Elder Hernandez to pizza hut for lunch.

We spent the afternoon with the Somoto Elders. Somoto is high in the mountains. We spent most of the time with Elder Diaz and Elder Mendez. We visited Alberto in his home. He lives on the edge of town in a very humble home. Alberto and his 18-year-old daughter were baptized a couple of months ago. His wife still is not a member. We reviewed portions of King Benjamins sermon and the reaction from his people. The spirit was strong. We asked his wife if she has seen a difference in her husband and daughter since they were baptized and she admitted that she had. We asked if she would again consider being baptized and she agreed. They had a plant, which is the Nicaraguan National Flower. She picked a cluster and gave it to Michelle.

WE then visited two other adult Aaronic Priesthood holders in their home before we went to their Saturday night social activity. There are two groups that meet for Sacrament Meetings in Somoto. One is at 10am and the other is at 2pm. They meet in two groups because it is hard for some members to get from one part of town to another and the homes they meet in can only handle small numbers. There were about 20 people at the activity, mostly women and children. They have one Melchizdek priesthood holder. I suggested that the prayer to find the Branch President, a counselor or Elder Quorum President, he who the Lord is preparing.

We are staying at the Motel Frontier in Ocotal. It is not very impressive. It is old and not very kept up. There are red ants on the floor. However, I suspect it is the best in town.
Sister Bell wore pants today. She looked very good and said he was very comfortable.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Today was a wonderful day. La Trinidad was made a branch today. We talked with Elder Worden this evening. He was very excited. They have a Branch Presidency, with three local Brethren. I am sure they are overwhelmed. All of the members of the branch presidency have only been members for a few months. We plan to visit next Sunday to provide support.

We were up early this morning to take Book of Mormons and other supplies to the missionaries in Ocotal. We met Elder Hirschi and Elder Familia at their apartment at 7am. They were anxious to begin visiting investigators in order to invite them to church. Their apartment was over a bakery.
A little tender mercy happened as we were driving back to the motel. Sister Bell had been debating whether to try to visit Sister Willes and Sister Le Starge while we were in Ocotal. So as we were driving back to the motel, we saw them walking in the street. We stopped and said hello, before the recognized us. They got a big smile and got all excited when they realized it was us. We took them to the other end of town. It was the first time Sister Willes had been in a car in months. They wanted to take a picture to document the “grand” event. Sometimes little things can bring such great joy….

We arrived back in Somoto in a rainstorm. The drive back was beautiful. It rained on and off while we were driving. But it was so beautiful. Everything is so green and lush and with the low clouds, it was really beautiful.

They have two Sacrament Meetings in Somoto. One is at 10am on one side of town. It is in the home of Alberto and his family. They had a few chairs set up under their porch. It was very muddy around the house and the porch leaked, but the people came (about 15) and it was a very sweet meeting. Sister Bell and I bore our testimonies. I envisioned that the Savior held many meetings in simple settings as this. Albertos wife has not been baptized. One of his daughters was baptized with her dad. Sister Bell become good friends with the wife and told her that we would love to attend her baptism and she said she would let us know, through the missionaries. We were looking at a photo of her husband’s baptism, which was in a river and I asked her if that is where she is going to be baptized and she said yes. I felt the spirit in her home both times that we were there and apparently she did too.
It was so muddy that Alberto had to push us in order to get the car moving in the mud. We had to be very careful which roads we drove on and didn’t drive on many of them because they were so rough or too muddy.

We had a little time between meetings, so while the missionaries invited investigators to the second meeting, Sister Bell and I drove to the Honduran border. However, when we got their we found about 20 semi-trucks parked waiting to get across the border. Apparently, it is not a simple or quick process to enter into Honduras. We drove passed all the trucks but were only about to get to the exit gate of Nicaragua. But at least we can tell Steve we got close to the border.

The second Sacrament Meeting was at the home of a member. It was in the same home where the family home evening was held last night.  There was about 15 in attendance. They confirmed a young lady who was baptized Saturday morning. Sister Bell and I both bore our testimonies. The people are so friendly and welcomed us everywhere we went. We are beginning to understand the people more and more, but we still just have to smile and nod our heads at some of the things they say to us.

We meet Elder Shawcroft and Elder Mendez in La Ciudad Dario on our way home to give Elder Mendez some medicine. We looked at a bunch of pharmacies in Ocotal and Somoto before we found what we needed.

 We got home at 8pm, just in time to skype with Becky. It was fun to visit with her and her family. We sure miss those kids. We got to see them weekly before the mission. Corgon keeps asking us when will we be coming home. 


  1. Thank you for taking the time to write about your mission. I love the insight you bring and the details you provide in your blog. Thank You. Elder Scaggs thinks Michelle reminds him of his grandmother.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to write about your mission. I love the insight you bring and the details you provide in your blog. Thank You. Elder Scaggs thinks Michelle reminds him of his grandmother.

  3. You look great in your pants, mom. Hope that cuts back on the mosquito bites. The countryside is beautiful and lush. Your house is really starting to become a home.