Monday, June 20, 2016
Today was not an exciting day. We got up a little late as we were very tired from traveling this week-end. Senior missionaries can do that. We spent most of the day in the office helping sick missionaries, trying to get into the computers that have been updated (unsuccessfully I might add), dealing with a few minor issues, and studying Spanish. The most exciting thing was when we took the car to the shop to get a nail removed from a tire. I find I am not very productive in the office. I was most productive for the first hour when we worked from home.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Happy Birthday to Kim….
Today is one of the happiest days in the mission, when the new missionaries arrive. We had 13 new missionaries, 5 from Provo, 5 from Guatemala, 1 from the Dominican Republic and 2 from Brazil. While President Collado interviews them, Sister Bell and I give them the 10 commandments for good health. So we did it four times, once with the US and Guatemalan Elders, once with the Provo and Guatemalan sisters, once with the sister from the Dominican Republic and a short version with the two missionaries from Brazil. About noon, the trainers came in and President Collado would assign the new missionaries to their trainers. One of the trainers would get up in front, tell who they were, and talk about their area. People would hoop and howler and then the President would announce their companion who would get up, get a hug from the trainer, while everyone is clapping and shouting. It is really quite exciting. Then we had lunch, today it was pizza and then they left for their assignments. We really enjoy this.
On our way back to the office, we stopped at another mall that the sister missionaries told us about. In one hour, we walked out with two new pairs of pants for Sister Bell. It was a miracle. We have looked all over town, at least the shopping malls we knew about, but the sisters knew the “secret” mall and it was gold. Sister Bell says she is done shopping for pants… Hallelujah.
Tonight, the Lees and us helped President Collado look through a lease agreement and helped him pay for a security deposit in Pleasant Grove. He will be going to BYU to get a master’s degree. We sure love the Collados and are glad we can help him in any way we can.
June 22, 2016
Happy Birthday to Steve….
We worked from home this morning. We get a lot more done from home than we do from the office, at least I do. There are too many disruptions in the office and the computers and the copy machines don’t seem to work very well. We have air conditioning and a good internet service, so we are very efficient at home. I have been making plans to take supplies to the three western zones tomorrow, gathering supplies, getting them loaded into the car and calling zone leaders. I also had to make changes to our week-end plans as we are now going on alittle excursion with President and Sister Collado, their family and the other office staff on Saturday. This will be their last week-end with us. They go home next week. We will miss them dearly but are looking forward to meeting the Poncios.
I had a nice compliment today from one of the Latina Sisters. She told me my Spanish was improving greatly. That made me feel good. I find that I can understand and talk a lot better than I did a few weeks ago. My confidence is improving. I still get stuck once in a while and I am sure I butcher the language on many occasions. But I think it is less than a few weeks ago.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
We had a fun road trip today, except for the few minutes in traffic we were not sure where to go and our patience was very thin…. Or non-existent, but other than that it was a good day. We took supplies (mosquito nets, deet, book of Mormons, pamphlets, letters, packages) to the three western zones; Leon, Chinadega and Chin Oeste. First we went to a small town on the north end of Lake Managua. The mosquitos are really bad there and the two missionaries were very glad to get mosquito nets and deet. Elder Alfaro was recently transferred from Condega where we worked with him. He is a wonderful Elder. He is now paired with Elder Chen. They both came to the mission field together, about 5 months ago and were companions in the MTC. The little town is Momotombo.
We delivered more supplies in La Paz Centro, Leon, Chinandega, Chin Oeste and in El Viejo. We enjoyed interacting with the missionaries. In El Viejo, we first met the sisters to give them some medicine. We offered to take them to their next appointment. They really enjoyed being in an air conditioned vehicle. They were really impressed when we handed each of them a cold bottle of water. We took them to their appointment and started back to the highway, when we ran into the Elders. We picked them up and took them to their next appointment (they didn’t get the cold water because we were out). They enjoyed being in the air conditioned vehicle, even if it was for a few blocks. It was fun to serve them.
We got home about 8:30pm. Sister Bell is still dealing with missionaries who need her help. It has been a long day….
Friday, June 24, 2016
What a day to turned out to be. We had an appointment with President Collado at 9:30am to review our 10 minute presentation to the new Mission President next week about our assignments. So we had it all prepared, but President Collado didn’t come in until after 10am. So that put us late. We made the presentation, made a few changes to our handouts and eat lunch before we could leave. We then had to drive to Leon to get a sister out of the hospital. She went in yesterday but the hospital wouldn’t let her out until the bill was paid. This hospital in Leon is a sister hospital to several other rural hospitals. They provide decent service so we like to send our missionaries there. They also take our insurance which makes it nice so the missionaries don’t have to come up with money. But this week, they changed their policy. Thus out quick trip to Leon to pay the bill. WE found out that AETNA, the churches insurance provider represents another company from Germany and haven’t paid a $16,000 bill. Therefore, this hospital and all their sister hospitals have “blackballed” any company that is covered by AETNA. We talked with acouple of their administration people and the hospital director assuring them that we are not that German Company and we have a separate contract with AETNA. We finally got them to agree to visit with a AETNA representative next week. We will facilitate that conversation. So after doing all of that and finding the medicine for the sister and getting them settled into their apartment we finally headed back to Managua, a 2.5 hour ride. Now it was 5pm.
When we got to Managua, we visited with a missionary on the north east part of town about some health issues. We got there about 8:30pm. Then we had to go to the hospital in Managua because a missionary had taken a sleeping pill, and literally fell asleep at a member’s house. They couldn’t wake him up so they rushed the sleeping Elder to the hospital. The Doctor said he would be fine after getting a “full” night’s sleep. We finally got home about 10:30pm. What a day…..
A little tender mercy… we needed to exchange dollars for Cordobas. So at Walmart, we decided to exchange the dollars at a little bank they had there. However, the bank teller would not except the copy of our passport. They wanted the real passport. We actually don’t have our passport as it is locked in a safe at the office. The bank we normally do business with accepts the copy so we were alittle upset that we couldn’t exchange the money. As we were walking out of Walmart, a young lady called to us and said she could help. She and her friend were in line behind us and watched as we walked away without our money. So she said she would be glad to exchange our money for us using her ID. So she took our money, exchanged it for us and gave us our Cordobas. I offered to pay her for her kindness but she declined.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
When we were about to leave, the began raining very hard.
We got soaked. We left and went to a
restaurant, where they had the air conditioning on and we actually got cold. I
never thought I would be cold in Nicaragua. Here we are with Elder Gonzalez,
one of the Assistants, just before we made a mad rush to the car.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Happy Birthday Parker
We spent the day in Condega, 3 hours north of Managua. We were there last week but had some unfinished business. So we went back today. We met up with Elder Scaggs and Elder Thackeray (a brand new missionary, who came in this week) in time to get the chairs from the store, haul them to the borrowed building, clean the building and set up the chairs. Then we went to see the Ramirez Family. They are the reason we wanted to go back. They are having some family problems and we have been worried about them all week. We talked about tender mercies, then we each related a tender mercy that happened to each of us this week. Brother and Sister Ramirez also related tender mercies that they have seen in their family. We then talked about Joseph Smith’s experience in the Liberty Jail and the Lord’s message to him in D&C 122-124. There was a sweet spirit there and I believe they were appreciative of our visit.
President Acevedo, the District President came to the Sacrament Meeting today. I was glad he was there as I needed to talk with him about the Koellikers, the new senior missionary couple who will be coming in two weeks and living in Esteli. President Acevedo is very excited about them coming and working in his district. He will also keep an eye out for any apartments that might be for rent and offered to take us around town. There were 36 people at church today, 8 of which were investigators. It was raining at 2pm, when church was supposed to start. There were only two people there. Sister Bell said a silent prayer that the rain would stop and the members would come. The rain stopped and the members came (in the back of a drunk man’s truck). A tender mercy. President Collado’s challenge to each companionship was to bring 7 investigators to church, so Elder Scaggs and Elder Thackeray exceeded President Collados expectations.
Well number 5 occurred today…. We got stopped by the police for the 5th time in the 7 weeks we have been there. We passed some very slow cars where we shouldn’t have. Fortunately, one of the police officers had taken some missionary discussions and was sympathetic to us. Also, I told them Sister Bell was the mission nurse and we were going to Condega to help the missionaries. They gave our documents back to us and told us to be more careful. Another tender mercy.