Monday, January 2, 2017
We have house guests. President Poncio asked if we would host a couple from Puerto Cabeza this week that came with their youth for especially for youth. They are Marvin and Sorayda Sequeiva.
They brought about 15 youth. The youth are staying at the local university close to our house, but they don’t have accommodations for couples. When the President brought them over tonight, we found out that they also have a 4-year-old son, Larry Richar with them. They are a nice family. He is the 1st Counselor in the District Presidency and she is the 1st counselor in the District Relief Society. We look forward to getting to know them better this week.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KANIKA!!!!!!!!! We love you very much and hope that today was fun for you. You are a good son-in-law. You would be in heaven in Nicaragua. Everything they make has lots of cement, the houses themselves are cement floors and walls or big cement bricks. Each house has a wall around made of cement and metal. You would be in great demand and never have a snow day.
We went house shopping today. The mission office is moving to the Waspan Chapel, which is by the airport. They are remodeling the back portion of the building to accommodate the mission office. The office space doesn’t look as big as what we have now, especially the storage area, but we will make it work. They said it could be finished in a week. But since this new office is across town, we are considering moving to be closer to the office. There would be some advantages in doing so. It is much closer to the airport, making it easier to get from the airport to the office. Also, it is close to the end of the city making it much easier to travel north. But the area surrounding the chapel is not very nice or safe so finding someplace to live in a safe and nice neighborhood would be difficult. The Lees are especially interested in moving because they have to come to the office every day. We can work a lot from home, so would probably work from home more instead of driving across the city every day. We looked at a couple of gated neighborhoods. None were very inviting. One neighborhood is new, with several of the homes still being constructed. The other two that we looked at were older neighborhoods. We now live in what I would classify as middle class. These neighborhoods are lower middle class. So we will probably stay where we are for now. Besides we have a lease until May.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Michelle: We had a very special experience today. Marvin, the dad of the family staying with us, had not seen his mother in 5 years. He lives on the other side of the country in Puerto Cabezas and the family does not have the money to make the trip very often. She lives in Ciudad Santino which is just outside Managua on the North west side of the city. We took the family to his aunt’s house where his mother lives. She did not know her son was coming and when she saw him she flew into his arms and began sobbing and thanking God for answering her prayer. Evidently this morning, she had asked God to send him to her for a visit, and then there he was on her doorstep. I started bawling as well and she put her arms around me and thanked us for bringing him again and again. It was such a sweet reunion. I expressed to Elder Bell that it was an inkling of what our reunions in heaven will be for those who have passed on. I thought especially about my sweet mother and how I would love to be enveloped in her embrace. I have great faith that if I can continue to make good choices that someday that reunion will happen.
We made a run to two Elder’s house with a refrigerator that worked as theirs had died. Elder Bell and Elder Lee made a run to the post office. John, the package you sent finally arrived. Thanks so much for sending it. We packed up packages, Liahonas, and pamphlets to take to the missionaries. We have a 3-zone conference tomorrow and Elder Bell and I are teaching about bedbugs, chiggers and fleas. Yes, the missionaries have been bothered by all three here. The family that are staying with us called and they are staying with the mother, so Elder Bell and I have the house to ourselves. We will try not to be too rowdy.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
We left the house early, heading to Chinandega for a Multi Zone Conference. We arrived about 8:30am. The missionaries were all waiting outside the gate, waiting to get into the Church. Several missionaries will be going home; a couple we have worked with a lot on the mission. One is Elder Scaggs. He is one of the Zone Leaders in Chin Oeste. We worked with him in Condega. He is a fun missionary who teaches with a lot of enthusiasm. Another is Elder Ramirez from Guatemala. He worked in the office with us from the time we arrived to about 3 months ago. He helped us a lot, helping us with technology and getting familiar with mission life. We will miss both of them.
Sister Bell taught a lesson about chiggers, fleas and bedbugs. We have had some problems with these critters. She had each zone (there were three zones) help teach about one of the critters. We had a short test at the end. I read a comment about one of the critters and the zone that represented that critter stood up and cheered. It got them active a little.
Sister Bell talked to about 7 missionaries for various reasons. Then we headed for home. We arrived just in time to pick up the Lee’s at the office and go to the Helbergs for dinner and games. We enjoy our weekly dinner with the Senior Missionaries. They have become good friends.
Friday, January 7, 2017
We had a sweet surprise when we taught lesson one of the Temple Preparation class in Trinidad. We expected to teach the Branch Presidency, President Cruz, his wife and 2 daughters; Luis Pineda the 1st Counselor and Yasser Rivera, the second Counselor and his wife. But Yasser (another Yasser) and his wife also came. President Cruz invited him. He has been a member for many years, but his wife is
Maria Clara also committed to begin piano lessons again. Hurray… (starting again next week)
We then made a medical stop in Esteli to talk with the sister missionaries.
We had a wonderful second lesson (Temple Prep) with Hermana Nuvia in Pueblo Nuevo. This lesson is about worthiness. We discuss several commandments in detail, such as Tithing, Word of Wisdom, Sabbath Day and the law of Chastity. Sister Bell taught the Word of Wisdom and Sabbath Day. She did a wonderful job. I was proud of her. Hermana Nuvia is such a wonderful Latter-day saint. She was recently diagnosed with some sort of bacteria in her blood and is taking shots for 6 months. She felt very anxious about this but as she began to think about going to the temple, a peaceful feeling came over her which has continued through the first shot. This has given her great confidence that going to the Temple is something the Lord wants her to do. However, I checked the membership list and found we don’t have her membership record so I will need to find it and have it sent into the Somoto Branch.
We then taught a 1st temple lesson with Noe and Suyapa in Condega. Elder Spence and Elder Sanchez sat in on this lesson. We only had about an ½ hour so we condensed the lesson. There was a sweet spirit there. We then went to Rosa’s house for the Noche de Hermanimiento. We got there at 6pm, which is when it should have started. But there were only Elder Spence, Elder Sanchez, Sister Bell, Rosa and myself until about 6:30, when about 10 others walked in. Elder Sanchez taught a lesson about obedience. Elder Spence then asked if anyone had a suggestion for a game. I suggested we play “ask Elder Sanchez about his mission, since he will be completing his mission in a week. He got all sorts of questions, like what is one of your favorite experiences, what did you learn, what was your favorite Nicaraguan food. Everyone seem to have a good time, even Elder Sanchez.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
We had a sweet day in Somoto. It started at the Branch Presidents house about 8:30am (we left Esteli about 7:30am). We taught him the 1st Temple Prep class over again because his wife (who is not a member) and his daughter (19 yrs old and is a member) were there for the lesson. The first lesson is about the Plan of Salvation and we wanted to review the Plan of Salvation with the whole family. We also gave them a framed picture of the Honduras Tegucigalpa temple. President Alaniz immediately put it on their wall of the house (which is actually an outside wall under a porch). Christin, the daughter is planning to serve a mission so we gave her a copy of Preach my Gospel (in Spanish). She was excited. We love this family and look forward to seeing Hermana Alaniz get baptized. But we haven’t sensed any softening on her part. And now we don’t have Church on their porch any more, she doesn’t come to the meeting. Therefore, we have decided to teach all the Temple Prep classes in their home.
Church in Somoto is now in the morning. They used to meet in the afternoon. They told everyone that Church started at 9:30am and then plan to start at 10am. They actually started on time today, at 10am that is. There were only about a dozen people there when the meeting started, but by 10:30, 25 or so walked in. As we were waiting for Church, Elder Nelson was helping Alejandro Lopez, an 81-year-old member, put on a tie. He passed the sacrament today for the first time, under Elder Nelson’s tutelage. It brought a sweet feeling to my heart. During Sacrament Meeting a young girl, about 2 years old came up to Sister Bell and wanted to sit on her lap. She snuggled up to her and then came to me. However, during the Sacrament, she followed Hermano Lopez around, probably hoping to get more bread and water. She was really cute and Sister Bell loved having her on her lap.
The other surprise was that they held a Gospel Doctrine class for the first time today as well. They divided everyone up into two groups: those who have been a member for 6 months or longer and those who were investigators or members for less than 6 months. Elder Gonzalez taught Gospel Doctrine (D&C) and Elder Simpson taught the Gospel Principles class. We were well feed spiritually.
They only down side of the meeting was that after two hours, everyone was ready to go home. They have been used to only two hours of Church. We will need to begin educating the members to stay another hour in order to have Priesthood, RS and YW.