Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday, November 8, 2016 to Sunday, November 13, 2016

Monday, November 8, 2016

When we were out walking this morning, we came across this mural on a wall….
The writing means, “one only sees well with the heart. The essentials are invisible with the eyes.”

We love our guards. They are really good friends and do maintenance work around our little compound.

David is on the left and Salvador on the right. Salvador is David’s uncle. Both are reading the Book of Mormon and visiting with the Missionaries. I think David is a little more serious than is Salvador, although we originally thought Salvador would be more interested as he lost his wife a couple of years ago. They both like to do extra things for us, because we pay them for it. They wash our car a couple times a week. We pay $C150 (about $5.00) to wash the outside and little more to do the inside and outside. We trust them both implicitly.

Another interesting thing we see in Nicaragua is ball moss growing on the powerlines. Ball moss is a bromeliad, an air plant. It is actually a flowering plant, not a true moss or grass. If the seed lands on the power line, it will grow on the power lines. It gets nourishment from the air, and water from the humidity.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

We spent the morning at home, studying. Sister Bell had a tutoring session with Whitney Allen in late morning, then we had lunch and ran errands. I needed a new watch battery and then we shopped for pie ingredients in preparation for Thanksgiving. We went to the Lees tonight for dinner and games… the Helbergs came as well. They are adjusting to missionary life in Nicaragua.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

We held a new missionary training today. Sister Bell made her Umbrella of Comfort presentation. Elder Santizo and Elder Simpson took things out of her purse and she talked about how they helped her deal with life in Nicaragua. Our hope is that they would put some things in their backpacks that could add comfort to their missionary stay.

Friday, November 11, 2016

We left Managua about 8:30 this morning and drove to Somoto. Our purpose was the help the new RS Presidency hold their first presidency meeting. Only Elder Santizo and Elder Simpson were at the Church when we arrived in Somoto. So we drove to Hermana Natalia’s (RS President) home, looking for her walking along the way. When we got to her house, her daughter, Celia said she had already left. Celia, who is the secretary should have been with her, but she said she couldn’t leave because she was taking care of children. So we drove back to the Church. We also found out that Zaida, the 1st Counselor (and only counselor) wasn’t coming because she had been sick. So we loaded up Sister Natalia, her granddaughter who had come with her, and the Elders and drove to Zaidas house to hold the meeting there.

The meeting went well. We taught Natalia how to direct a meeting. We created an agenda together. Elder Santizo took notes. We had three agenda items. The first was a brief training on the RS, which I did, using the material in the Handbook. Then we talked about this week’s RS meeting and lesson. We will be showing another talk from the general Woman’s conference. Then we talked about visiting. They got excited talking about planning a RS activity and also when we went over the RS list. I think they appreciated our help and they have a better idea of what their callings are.

We then headed for Ocotal to work with Sister Hernandez and Sister Silva. Sister Hernandez has been sick, so we wanted to check on her. We took them to dinner then we went visiting. They taught two lessons in the street, one informal and the other a formal lesson about the restoration. We went by several other houses but no one was home. We thoroughly enjoyed helping teach the gospel.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sister Bell taught Carelys and Maria Clara piano lessons this morning in Trinidad. Then we headed for Condega stopping first in Esteli to buy a speaker system for our computer. We grabbed a chicken sandwich at Tip/Top and drove to Condega.

We met Elder Spence and Elder Sanchez. Our purpose was to visit some of the potential priesthood holders to teach and encourage. Unfortunately, we either didn’t find them home or other issues prevailed in our conversations. We visited Edgar, who was baptized about 4 months ago. He has been pretty faithful, but was in a motorcycle accident about a month ago and is slowing recuperating. Elder Spence told us that he was drunk when he was hit by a truck. We have had several of our potential Priesthood holders “fall off the wagon” lately, two in Condega and one in Pueblo Nuevo. Drinking is a major problem here.

We did have a good visit with Noe and Suyapa, our teachers for Priesthood and RS. They found out recently that the lawyer who performed their marriage four years ago, didn’t complete the process. So the Elders have been helping them. They need to find the lawyer who married them, but they don’t know who it was.  So we devised a plan to find the attorney…. More of this in tomorrow’s journal entry.

We then went to Pueblo Nuevo for another Priesthood Preparation Class. We missed Javier, who “fell off the wagon” a couple of weeks ago. But we had three there. We talked about the keys of the priesthood.

We then headed for Esteli and arrived just in time to take Hermana Fackrell and Largaespada to the other sisters’ house. They discovered that their own apartment is full of mold. Even some of the clothes that were in their suitcases were moldy. Sister Poncio approved a new apartment, but they can’t move into it until Monday. So they washed clothes at the Koellikers home and moved in with the other Sisters. We will be bringing them 2 new beds, a wardrobe and new fans, all because their old items were full of mold. 

Sister Bell had to chart the medical calls she received today, and I was asleep before she came to bed.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

We were up at 5:30 am to drive to Condega to pick up Noe and Suyapa and drive back to Esteli to attend the Esteli Branch. Our goal was to talk to some of the witnesses to their marriage in order to find the name of the attorney. They did find a witness but he didn’t know the name of the attorney either. We talked to the Second Counselor in the District Presidency. Noe explained the situation. The counselor assured them that they were married and gave them the name of an attorney from Matagalpa who did a lot of marriages during that time frame. We looked him up in the church membership system, found a man by that name and sent him an email. Hopefully, he will respond. But the fact that they are legally married was wonderful news. They can continue to serve in the Church. They are really needed. They still need to work toward getting the final documentation of their marriage and are doing so.

On our way back to Condega we stopped and walked across a suspension bridge. It had a few boards missing and it rocked back and forth really bad. 

We had a peaceful picnic lunch on the side of the highway outside of Somoto. We got to the church at 1pm to give Cristin, the Branch Presidents daughter her first piano lesson. We waited, and waited and waited. She and her dad finally arrived a few minutes before 2pm. She had forgotten. Church was supposed to start at 2, but of course no one was there, including the missionaries. We started about 2:30. So we gave Cristin a crash course in leading the music. She led the music for Sacrament Meeting and RS. She got the basic pattern down, but rarely started the first beat in the measure with the down stroke. But we were proud of her anyway.

There were about 30 people in attendance, at least at the end of the meeting. Elder Baez, Elder Simpson and President Alaniz all talked. Elder Simpson's spanish is improving for a new missionary. He also blessed the sacrament with Elder Nelson. Elder Santizo, gave the Gospel Principles lesson. He is a very fun and animated Elder. Everyone had a good time and learned about the principle of work. Then we split for RS and Priesthood. Elder Simpson gave the Priesthood lesson, and Sister Bell showed one of the talks from the General RS meeting. President Natalia, directed the meeting, using the handout we provided her. The sisters seemed to really catch the spirit of RS and the talk by Sister Stephens of the General RS Presidency was well recieved.  They had lots of comments about the talk, most of which we didn't understand.  The sisters really sang with enthusiasm the closing song with Sister Bell playing the keyboard and Cristin leading the music. It brought a big smile to my face as they sang with great emotion, but not quite on tune.

We helped President Alaniz set apart Sister Zaida as a counselor in the RS, then left for home. We did get stopped by the police about 30 minutes from home, for crossing a solid line when passing a slow truck. I explained that when I started to pass, the line was not solid, but was solid at the end of my pass. He was going to give me a ticket (and take my license) but I kept talking, explaining who we were, where we had been and that we were sorry. He discussed this with his supervisor and the supervisor let us go, after telling us to be careful and writing my name down on a paper. We got home about 9:30 pm, tired and ready for bed (and glad I didn’t have to pay $C800 and take another day to get my license back). 

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