Monday, September 12, 2016
Today was moving day, not for us, but for missionaries. We have three new apartments in Managua. We hired Jonathon Estrada to take beds, stoves, frigs, etc. from the Assistants and the Sister Leaders home to the three new apartments in the city. Sister Bell and I arrived at the Elder’s home about 10am and began to remove items that we needed. I was sweaty and dirty after we got done loading the truck. Then we stopped at the house to have lunch and pick up a few extra items. We then went to Villa Flor to drop those things off. We found the zone leaders and then took three missionaries across town. We stopped at La Colonia to buy a few groceries and stopped briefly at the office. We were going to go to the airport tonight to greet the new missionaries but we needed to get ready for the new missionary meeting tomorrow, so we didn’t go.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Yesterday and today, 23 new missionaries came to the mission. We had our new missionary training. There were several highlights. Sister Bell and I were really impressed when the new missionaries and their trainers sang “Called to serve”. It was truly powerful.
At the end of a morning of training, the new missionaries met their trainers. The trainers came into the chapel and the President introduced a trainer and introduced their companion. They hugged, everyone cheered and a picture was taken. It was really exciting. At the end, the President looked at Sister Bell and I, who were sitting in the back of the chapel and told everyone that we didn’t have a companion change. When we heard that, Sister Bell and I cheered and then kissed. That got everyone cheering, clapping and laughing. Only certain companionships can kiss…. And I am glad we are one.
When we got up this morning we found that we didn’t have any water. We do have a backup tank that feeds the four houses on the compound. However, the city water was off. We asked Salvador about this and he showed us the leak on the street in front of our house. There was a steady stream of water flowing down our street. Apparently a big part of our block was out of water. Yesterday when we got home, there was a ditch dug across the street and men were installing four water lines to our compound, instead of one. Apparently our landlord wanted to install four separate emergency tanks of water instead of the one we share with the others on our compound. Apparently the connection didn’t hold. We called the Lees and they invited us to shower at their house, so we grabbed our towels and went to the Lees. We fully expected it to be fixed during the day, but we live in Nicaragua…. So we were disappointed but not surprised when we got home tonight and found the leak had not been fixed. The next two days are holidays so I doubt it will be fixed before Friday. We have a little water from our emergency tanks but that won’t last long. So we will be trying to use little water for the next few days.
Wednesday, September 15, 2016
It was a normal day, doing things in the office, delivering a frig to some missionaries, etc. until about 5pm when we were leaving the office. We got a call from a missionary in Cuidadela, about 30 minutes north of Managua. He was complaining of coughing up blood. So we told him to get a taxi and head to the hospital in Managua. We met them at the hospital. His companion also has had feet problems and had an ingrown toe nail, so we ordered a payment guarantee for him as well…. We figured we might as well get them both taken care of. The one was diagnosed with a respiratory flu and the other had his ingrown toe nail taken care of. But by the time we got medicine and then took them back to their house, and back to ours, it was 2:30am. Another long night.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
WE HAVE WATER…. All is well again in Nicaragua.
We slept in until 6:30am… I wanted to sleep more but couldn’t so we got up and walked…. Well actually Sister Bell got a phone call from a missionary who needed her and charted for a little while before we walked. The exciting part was when we turned on the tap and found we had water again…. That was a great way to start the day.
We spent the morning gathering or at least looking for items for our ailing missionaries in Ciudadela. We finally gathered them all up and delivered them about 12:30pm. We got to their front door, but no one was home. A cute 16-year-old member girl, who lives down the street, helped us track them down. They were eating at their lunch appointment. After they finished lunch, we went back to their apartment and Sister Bell taught the Elder with the foot problem how to clean his foot and reapply the bandage. This Elder is a big, soft spoken, gentle and humble missionary. He doesn’t say much, even in teaching situations, but the members of the branch just love him. He doesn’t socialize very well either, but I think Sister Bell has connected with him and he has appreciated the help we have given him. When we left, he came to the door and waved as we drove away. Again, we had that sweet spirit that comes when we serve as Jesus would have served.
Friday, September 16, 2016
The Koellikers came to town today and we all had dinner at Lee’s. Sister Lee had us play a game where we have to guess what our spouse would say to various questions, such as “What is a phrase your spouse says a lot”, and where is her favorite food and restaurant. I thought we did pretty good. But I have to admit I am learning a lot about Michelle being on a mission with her and spending so much time doing this together. I should have been more observant over the years and I would have been a better husband.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
The volcano was not as impressive as it was the time before, partly because it was hard to see the lava through the vapor. They only let us stay for 5 minutes because of the exposure to the vapor.
Then we headed for the Laguna de Apoyo. We went to the same restaurant as we did acouple of months ago, but instead of rain, we had beautiful sunshine. It was very beautiful, peaceful and the food was good.
When we got home, we were greeted by a full rainbow. This is the view from our bedroom.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
We are not in Managua very often on Sunday so we talked where we should go to church. I wanted to go to the La Catorce Ward to see Hermana Golding. She is one of the two missionaries in the MTC that were going to Nicaragua. We have a special bond with her and haven’t seen or talked with her for a while. We arrived at 8:45am, thinking we had 15 minutes before church started. But we walked in and they were already giving talks…. We realized that they started at 8am. This has happened to us before. Since we wanted to take the Sacrament, we left and went to Villa Flor. They too had started at 8am, but another Ward, Villa Venezuela was going to start at 10am. So we sat through the rest of the meeting. Villa Flor is a large ward, with 4 missionaries serving in the Ward: Elder Walker (ZL), Elder Pineda (ZL), Hermana Cruz (ST) and Hermana Lord (new this week). After Church Sister Bell met a young woman who was there visiting with her finance. He is from Salvador and served his mission in Nicaragua. She is from Nicaragua and served her mission in Salvador. They met while he was in Nicaragua on vacation after his mission. Sister Bell found out that she is a doctor and has a small clinic in Ciudad Sandino, which is on the outskirts of Managua. She would love to serve the missionaries, is willing to accept our insurance and is fluent in English. There was a reason why we needed to be in Villa Flor today.
We stayed for the Villa Venezuela ward meetings with Hermana Ruiz and Munoz. We went to the hospital to be there when our Elders from Thursday night came for their follow-up visits, then home for the rest of the day. It feels nice not to be traveling 4 hours this afternoon to get home. But on the other hand, I miss not being with the Saints in the north. I feel like they really need us and we are making a difference.