Monday, October 10, 2016
We took our sick Hermana and her father to the airport, early this morning. She gave us a sweet note thanking us for all our help. She is in great spirits and we feel will recovery completely and quickly. Our hearts and prayers go out to her.
Well I got my driver’s license back today. After our office meeting, Anelca, one of our emigration helpers came and went with Sister Bell and I to the National Police Station. There were about 50 people crowded around the booth trying to get their licenses. Some still had their ticket and payment receipt, trying to get the official’s attention at the booth. There was not organization at all. When they had someone’s license, they would shout out the name and the person would have to work their way through the crowd to get to the front and obtain their license. Fortunately, Anelca, went to a side door and gave my information directly to the boss. Then we waited an hour before they called my name and I worked my way through the crowd. But when I got to the front, the person told me that my license was at the post office. Apparently, they have a new program that after they receive word that the fine has been paid, they send the license to you… that is very progressive, but they didn’t have my mailing address here and no phone number to call me. The policeman did not ask for it and the address on my license is our Ogden address. I was hoping they didn’t sent it to the States. So we drove across town to the main post office. Fortunately, the line was short and in about 15 minutes, I had my license. We took Anelca to lunch at Pizza Hut to celebrate and then took her to her office. About 2 blocks from her office, we say Betty, our emigration officer and Anelca’s boss walking to catch a bus to the emigration office. So we offered to take her there. We really appreciate all the Betty and Anelca do for us. Taking them around town occasionally is a simple way to show our appreciation.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Happy 6-month anniversary. We celebrated tonight at Asados Del Patio, a little outdoor restaurant down the street from the office. We went with the Lee’s and shared the “Gator”, a 27oz piece of beef cooked over an open grill. It was goooooooooooooood. Sister Bell thought it was the best we have had in Nicaragua for sure and maybe the best beef ever. It was melt in your mouth tender.
We gave a book of Mormon to our cleaning lady today. She comes once every other week. We love coming home to a clean house and she does such a wonderful job. David, our guard and her brother, told us tonight that she was very touched with the book. He plans to tell her about the Book of Mormon as he travels with her. An investigator teaching an investigator… how cool is that.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
We had another all-nighter. One of our sister missionaries in Ocotal was having severe belly pain, had a fever and was vomiting. Elder and Sister Koelliker went to Ocotal on Tuesday night about 9 am to get her and her companion. We drove to Esteli and brought them to the hospital. We got there about 3am.
The doctors basically took all day to rule out a lot of potential problems and eventually settled on Irritatible Bowl Syndrome. They prescribed some medication and sent her home about 5pm. We had gotten about 4 hours of sleep from 10am to 2pm. We took them to Rosti Pollo, a local restaurant and then took them to the sister trainers home. We will take them back to Ocotal on Friday when we head north.
We are becoming friends with many of the hospital staff, particularly in the emergency room. We had many smiles, waves and greetings from staff members when they passed by our room. It is hard not to miss old north American missionaries….
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Well our Ocotal Hermana is back in the hospital. The pain medicine was not working and Sister Bell was always uncomfortable with the initial diagnosis so we took her back to the hospital this afternoon. They admitted her and have begun more testing.
Friday, October 14, 2016
We have been in and out of the hospital all day. Fortunately, we now have a diagnosis which is treatable. Hurray…..
Saturday, October 15, 2016
We decided to head north while our sick missionary stayed in the hospital taking her new regiment of medications. We left about 7:30 am. Our first stop was Trinidad for piano lessons for Carelys and Maria Clara. Sister Bell had not given them a lesson for a couple of weeks, but they were prepared and the lesson went well. I talked with the branch President, who is the father of the girls and their mother, who is the RS President. I downloaded a copy of the Women’s conference onto their computer. They met in their new chapel (an empty house) the first time last Sunday. They said it was wonderful not to meet in a garage. They are anxious to get chairs, white boards and the other items they need to make it a functional chapel.
We grabbed a Subway sandwich in Estelí on our way to Condega. We stopped briefly in Condega to give a few items to Elder Spence and Thackeray. Then we drove on to Pueblo Nuevo. We got there just in time to attend a baptism at the river. We had to walk up river a way to find a pool big enough to baptize a grown man. We found a secluded place and had a nice baptism. One of the problems we have at river baptisms is to keep the atmosphere spiritual because the kids want to go swimming, which in this case they did, both before and after the baptisms. The young boy also did a few Bruce Lee poses when he put on his baptism shirt. If you look at the picture, you can imagine why.
We then held the first RS meeting in Pueblo Nuevo by showing the General Woman’s session of General Conference. We had one sister and one young girl come, along with Sister Bell. That was disappointing, but Sister Nuvia and the young girl enjoyed it very much, so it was worth the time. She also downloaded it so she could show it on her computer. Technology is the universal language.
While the sisters were watching the conference, I was with Elder Arias and Elder Chinchilla with all three of the adult Aaronic Priesthood holders in the group in another room of the house to hold a Priesthood Preparation Class. We had been focusing on the Aaronic Priesthood the past several weeks. Tonight we discussed the Melchizedek Priesthood focusing our discussion in D&C 107. I am always amazed how easily I can speak and understand when I am teaching the gospel. I truly have the gift of tongues. I suspect the Lord doesn’t give it to me all the time so I can recognize the difference between when I have the gift and when I don’t.
We were planning on staying the night in Esteli with the Koellikers but the doctor of our sick missionary called and wanted to do a laparoscopy. This kind of procedure requires permissions from the Mission President, the Missionary Department, the parents, and a recommendation from the area medical specialist. So while I drove back to Esteli, Sister Bell began making phone calls (we couldn’t function without cell phones). We did have to park on the side of the road for a little while because cell phone coverage was alittle spotty in places. We stopped at the Koellikers to drop off a few items we had for them. While there, Sister Bell was on a conference call with the Mission President, the parents and our sick missionary. Again, modern technology helps us with the Lords work… we do live in a marvelous time. We got all the permissions by about 10 pm (we started getting them about 8 pm). Sister Bell called the doctor and we headed for home. As we were getting close to Managua, I got glimpses of the Masaya Volcano. I could see the glow of the lava in the crater and the steam coming out of the cater. It was very beautiful. We arrived home about midnight (almost an all-nighter) and crashed into bed.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Happy Birthday Emmet
President Poncio and I gave our sick missionary a blessing this morning before going into Surgery. We stayed pretty much all day as she had the laparoscopy and then we stayed to talk to the doctor. We did get to skype with Paul and the Cambridges and watched Emmet cut and eat his birthday cake… it sure looked good. You can’t get good chocolate cake here. Paul’s cakes are always so fun and creative. It is great to see that artistic outlet in him. We skyped with John. He has been in the hospital this week and we have talked with him almost every day. He had a rough time for a while, but he seems to be improving. We teased him that maybe he needs to apply for the bishop job because due to special blessings, he was never hospitalized during the time he was bishop. Tender mercies – they are all around us.