Sunday, August 28, 2016

Monday, August 22 to Sunday, August 28

Monday, August 22, 2016
The sister missionary who was in the hospital is feeling better today so she checked out of the hospital today. We look her and her companion to our home to recover, after having gotten permission from President Poncio. We stopped by the sister leader's home and we threw an extra mattress on top of the car, since we only have one twin bed set up in the spare bedroom. We got them situated in the extra room, where they are resting and recovering well. They have been a delight to be in our home. Sister Gould is recovering well. Both are a lot of fun, are bringing great joy (and noise) into our home and are helping around the house.

We celebrated Sister Willes birthday tonight. Her birthday isn’t until September but she received packages this week with a cake mix, so she cooked it and we celebrated her birthday after dinner.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
We had a training for new missionaries today. Sister Bell and I gave a presentation about eating a balanced diet. We had twenty minutes but apparently took twice as much time. Just before we were to start, the power went off. We had a power point all prepared, so we quickly decided to use a white board. We had chocolate to give to those who answered questions, which got everyone’s attention. We had a lot of fun talking about food groups and how many portions should be eaten each day. At the end we had a test. We showed a picture of a food, and the first one that guessed which food group it was in and how many portions needed to be eaten each day, got a chocolate. The competition was fierce and a lot of fun.

We then spent the afternoon at the hospital with another missionary. We had a 2pm appointment but when we got to the doctor’s office, the doctor did not have a record of the appointment. He came from Ocotal for the appointment and needed to return the same day. So we were really disappointed and a little upset. The nurse said the doctor comes in about 3:30pm and had another appointment, but could see him after. We stayed. Fortunately, the 3:30pm appointment did not show and the doctor saw the Elder first. We finished just in time for Sister Bell and I to take him and two other Elders from Ocotal to the bus station. We got there just in time to catch the last bus of the day.

We got back at the house about 7pm. Sister Willes had started dinner (there are some real blessing having them in our home). After dinner we watched the new Johnny Lingo movie (we didn’t know there was a new Johnny Lingo movie), and ate popcorn (and M&M peanuts which have been sent to the Sisters in care packages – another blessing for having them in our home).

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
We had a multi zone conference in Waspan (Managua) today. It included the Bello Horizante, Las Americas and Villa Flor zones. Sister Bell and I did a presentation about the Zika Virus, focusing on the symptoms and prevention. We also passed out deet, permethrin, spray bottles and one mosquito net. I also helped several missionaries consecrate oil. Sister Bell only had a couple of missionaries that needed medical attention.

Hermana Willes and Gould are still in our home. We made microwave enchiladas for dinner and then watched the old Johnny Lingo movie. The sisters got a real kick out of old movie.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
We took Sister Willes and Sister Gould shopping this afternoon. We first went to the distribution center and then to La Colonia. They went “nuts” at La Colonia. Sister Gould drove around in a motorized shopping cart. Sister Bell and I started shopping, we thought the girls were behind us, but went we looked for them, they were nowhere to be found. We finally found them in the cosmetics section having a great time. We left them and went to PriceSmart and picked them up an hour and a half later. They had just finished shopping, having gone down every aisle.

We invited the Lees over for a Spaghetti dinner and game night. Sister Lee won 5 crowns (as usual), but I came in second…. (a miracle). Sister Willes and Sister Gould came in last, but that didn’t stop their enthusiasm.

Friday, August 26, 2016
We left Sister Willes and Sister Gould in our home and left for a multi zone conference in Chinandega. We got there at 9:30, early for what we thought was a 10am start time. But when we entered into the Chapel, we realized they had already started (apparently no one bothered to tell us that they changed the time to 9am). We gave our Zika presentation, helped consecrate oil, and passed out deet, permethrin and spray bottles. Sister Bell only had acouple of medical conversations. We left in the early afternoon and headed east. We stopped in Jinotega to pick up missionary application information for Yunior Gonzalez and got to Esteli about 7pm… just in time for dinner with the Koellikers. We drove about 7 hours total today, approximately 500 kilometers (about 300 miles).

From Sister Bell
Today when we were packing for our weekend on the road.  As I was putting things in my cosmetic bag, I had the distinct impression that I should put in a little tube of antibiotic ointment.  I then said to myself, “But I don’t need it.  I don’t have any owies.”  Again I had the impression that I should put it in, so I grabbed it and put it in my purse and then did not think any more about it.  At the multi-zone conference, an Elder showed me a small pustule on his arm that looked like the beginning of a small infection.  I taught him to scrub it with warm soapy water four times a day and to put on it – yep you guessed it – antibiotic ointment which I just “happened” to have in my purse because I listened to the gentle nudge from the spirit.  I gave him the tube and hopefully prevented a worse infection.  Wounds get infected easily in this warm, humid climate.  It was a little thing, but I am learning to listen to even the small promptings.

In the early evening just before the sun went down, we saw something truly beautiful and unusual.  The was a huge pile of fluffy white clouds in the sky.  Behind the fluffy white clouds was a sheet of dark clouds that looked like rain.  Just above where the two met was an island of light where the sun was coming through.  Somehow the light was refracted and it looked like a lake of sparkling rainbow.  Every color was there, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  It wasn’t in a bow, just a lake of shimmering rainbow colors.  We enjoyed it until the sun went down.  We have never seen anything like it.  It was breathtaking. Note: we looked it up on Google and found that this phenomenon is called cloud iridescence.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
We started the day in Trinidad (30 minutes south) giving Carelys and Maria Clara piano lessons. They are learning well. Then we headed for Ocotal (2 hours north) to drop off pamphlets. After that we drove to Somoto (1 hour north west). We trained President Alantiz how to sustain and set apart a new RS Presidency. Then we discussed the process on how to interview, sustain and ordain an Aaronic Priesthood holder. They have several that are ready and need to be ordained. We then held a Priesthood Preparation class. We only had two young boys come, along with the branch president and the missionaries. That was very disappointing that we didn’t have more come, especially some of the newly baptized men, since the discussion was about the Melchezidek Priesthood. We ended up in Pueblo Nuevo (1 hour south) for another Priesthood Preparation class. We talked about Priesthood through the ages, the apostasy and the restoration. There were 5 men, 1 young boy and a sister, besides the missionaries. The boy was sitting next to me and helped look up scriptures and read. He had my Spanish bible on his lap, looking at the pictures and thumbing through the pages. All of a sudden he asked “how do they make the edge of the pages gold?” That got a laugh out of everyone…. We left about 7pm when it was pitch black, driving on a winding, cobblestone road and lightning in the distance. It was like driving through a mid-evil forest. We arrived back at the Koellikers at 8pm (1.5 hours south).

I find that I can teach the gospel fairly well in Spanish, but normal conversation is still a struggle.

Sunday, August 28, 2016
What a day….. we stayed in Esteli for church, going to the El Rosario Branch. It was their branch conference today and the Condega group is part of this branch. So just before the meeting started, in walked about 30 members from Condega. We went out to meet them and when they say us, they got really excited. It was like seeing family. We love these members, and they love us. Sister Bell played the piano for the branch conference and I said the closing prayer.

I was able to facilitate getting instructions from the District President for callings in Condega. I also visited with him about several issues in Somoto. This time with President Asivado was well worth being there. I told him about the piano lessons, Priesthood Preparation lessons, clerical support and mentoring leaders. He is very appreciative of our efforts. Elder and Sister Koelliker made sack lunches for all of the Condega Saints who came.

We then went to Trinidad for church. Carelys and Maria Clara played prelude music and Sister Bell accompanied the hymns during the Sacrament Meeting. They had a baptism this week, so they had the confirmation in Church. It was the daughter of one of the members that we had met in one of our first visits. I was really impressed with the father, who had been a member for several years, but inactive for several years. His wife is a recent convert, but their daughter was not. So we were really excited when we realized it was their daughter that got baptized. She was really excited that we were there for her confirmation and after her confirmation, she looked at me and I quietly clapped, which brought a big smile on her face. She looks very happy and has a wonderful countenance. It was wonderful to see the change.

Just after the rest hymn, a major thunderstorm hit that lasted about 15 minutes. The Trinidad meeting house is a garage that is open on two sides.
We all had to huddle in the middle so we didn’t get wet. The lightning and thunder was severe. After about 15 minutes, it let up enough that we could continue the meeting. After the meeting, three youth came up wanting to learn to play piano. So we are looking at expanding the piano lessons.

When we got home, the house was pitched dark and the front door was slightly open. We asked David if Hermana Willes and Hermana Gould were home and he said they were. So we thought they were in their room with the door closed. So we walked in…. they came out shouting “Welcome Home”. They even made signs that said “Welcome Home, we love you”.  Sister Gould made brownies and they were super delicious.  Sister Bell broke her no sugar vow and said that the brownies were well worth it.  The sisters are a joy to have in our home.


  1. I really enjoy hearing about the small acts of service you are able to provide, and other service that is not small. I imagine these people to have a very simple and humble culture. Thank you for the updates.