Monday, July 4, 2016
Happy Birthday the United States of America… we miss not having July 4th celebrations today.
Tonight, we were invited to President Poncio’s home along with the Lees for FHE. They are very corgial and welcoming. Their son, Keneth, conducted the FHE. We sang, had a lesson by President Poncio, had a light dinner (we had already eaten so it was good it was light) and just had a nice time getting to know each other.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
We had the Multizone conference for the three zones in Managua (Villa Flor, Bello Horizonte, and Las Americas). It was a get to know the new president type of conference. President and Sister Poncio talked with each missionary for a minute, then gave a slide show presentation about their family, telling us about themselves. Then Sister Bell and I had our 15 minutes of glory. This morning we taught about heat related problems. We had Sister Ashcraft and Sister Coello do a role play of a missionary suffering from heat exhaustion. Sister Ashcraft really hammed it up, falling to the ground and acted as if she was dying. We talked about the symptoms of heat exhaustion and how to prevent it. The missionaries really liked my sombrero, sunglasses and Sister Bell’s parasol. We had a good time doing it.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
We had our first all-nighter. Late afternoon, Sister Bell got a call from an Elder in Chichigalpa, a little town about 2 hours northwest of Managua. He was having severe stomach pain. He called several times needing help. Finally, Sister Bell told him to go to the AMOSCA Hospital in Chichigalpa (which was actually just a clinic). They gave him a shot for the pain and told him he might have appendicitis and told him they couldn’t help him further. He went home, but the pain didn’t go away so he went to the local public hospital, which we had told him not to go to. They too told him they thought he might have appendicitis but didn’t have a lab to confirm this. So in consultation with Sister Poncio, we left Managua about 10:30pm to go get him and his companion and bring them to the hospital here. We got there about midnight (one can make good time when there is no traffic on the road). The local hospital was terrible. There were tons of beetles on the floor of the emergency room. The toilets didn’t even work. We loaded them up and took off for Managua. We got to the Hospital Metropolitano about 2:30am. They ran several tests and determined that he didn’t have appendicitis, but had passed a small kidney stone. We were greatly relieved he didn’t need surgery. We bought them dinner/breakfast and took him to the Secretaries home, where they got a ride back to Chichigalpa with the Mission President. The Poncios were going to Estela for a multi-zone conference, which we were supposed to go to but we needed sleep instead. So we went home, had breakfast and went to bed.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
We left at 6am this morning and drove to Estelí for a 3 zone conference. We had our 15 minutes of fame. It went well. Elder Scaggs and Elder Thackeray did a role play in which Elder Thackerary pretended he had heat exhaustion and Elder Scaggs was trying to help him. They did a great job. They had everyone entertained, laughing and having a good time. We went on to talk about heat exhaustion and things they needed to do to prevent problems from being in the sun all day.
Afterward we took President and Sister Poncio to look at a couple of possible houses for the Koellikers, who will be here on Saturday. They liked both but liked the duplex, which is the one we liked the best as well. We will bring the Koellikers next week to choose the one they want to live in for 18 months.
Sister Bell dealt with several missionary health issues during the day, in person at the conference and via phone. We got home about 7:30pm and are heading to bed about 8:30pm, worn out….
Saturday, July 9, 2016
This morning we went with the Lees to the Plaza de La Revolution. It is located by Lake Managua. On one side is the President’s House (which isn’t used by the President), on another end is a Catholic Cathedral, which is closed, apparently damaged in an earthquake. On the other end is the Palacio de la Cultura and the other side is the graves of some of the military leaders in the last revolution.
We then went to Walmart and PriceSmart. In the evening we met the Koellikers at the airport. They are from Las Vegas and will be member and leader support missionaries in Esteli. We all (Poncios, Lees, Koellikers and us) eat at the Zocalo Mexican Grill for dinner. We are very excited about them being here and will be a great help up in Esteli.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
We had a “all dayer” today. We left at 7:30, headed for Trinidad. We stopped in Sebaco to visit two sick sister missionaries and dropped off some ginger ale and soup. We found them feeling a little better, which relieved our concerns greatly. They both were feeling pretty bad on Saturday, with fever, aches, vomiting and diarrhea.
We arrived in Trinidad about 11am. We picked up Elder Worden and Schoenfeld at their home and then visited Yasser Vanega and his wife. He is the house builder we met the first time we were in Trinidad. I felt a strong impression he was going to be a leader in the branch, but he hasn’t been very committed. His wife is a recent convert but he has been a member for several years. We had a good visit and learned a lot about them. I told him about my impression and encouraged them to become more committed, assuring him they would receive blessings, be happier and find great joy in serving in the Church. They did come to church that afternoon, so hopefully our visit made a difference.
We then had a short visit with the new Relief Society President, Sister Cruz, the wife of the branch President. She had already been to a District RS training. Sister Cruz seems to be learning her assignment and beginning the task of being a RS President with dedication and enthusiasm. They were holding their first RS meeting tonight at 6pm.
We then went to Sacrament Meeting. There were a few less members attending today than in the past. Elder Worden told us that the attendance has been down the last few weeks. This is not surprising as the members were all excited about becoming a branch, and once they did, the excitement went away and some of the members with it. Also, 2 missionaries were moved out of the area so they are spread a little thin. The Branch Presidency is trying hard and are committed to making this branch flourish.
After Sacrament meeting, we went to Jinotega, 1.5 hours east of Trinidad. We have a sister missionary with parasites that needed medicine. She was not able to find the pills she needed in Jinotega, so we found them in Managua and took them to her, along with soup and Ginger Ale. (I think we need to buy a case of each to have as we minister to these sick missionaries.) We found them without difficulty and got back on the road about 5:30, headed for home. On our way out of Jinotega, we got a call from Sister Poncio, telling us that one of our missionaries was in great pain. This Elder is from Brazil and has a disease that was not listed on his mission application, but is cropping up here. So after a lot of discussion between Sister Bell, Sister Poncio and I and after prayer, we felt impressed to go get him and bring him to Managua. He lives in Chichigalpa, which is on the western part of the Country (sound familiar? We went there last week to bring another Elder to Managua). We were in the north central part of the country. Fortunately, there is a road going from Sebaco to Leon. Chichigalpa is north of Leon, a few kilometers. So we took off, driving an unfamiliar road at night. Despite all the problems rural driving at night in Nicaragua has (horses, people, dogs, etc.) we got to Chichigalpa about 8:30. We loaded them up and brought them to Managua, dropped them off at the Office Secretaries house and went home. We tried to read the scriptures, but I fell asleep in verse 3…. while I was reading. So we turned out the light and went to sleep.