Sunday, February 26, 2017

Monday, February 20 to February 26, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

We had our office meeting this morning. After lunch we left and ran some errands. This evening David, our guard and another guard down the street worked to remove a broken key from our front door. I broke the key off on Friday afternoon. Salvador and I worked on it for a couple of hours on Friday but couldn’t get it out. So we locked our door with the dead bolt and left for the week-end. We were about to call a locksmith this afternoon, but decided to try one more time. David got help and the two guards took it all apart and removed the broken key. I paid them what I would have paid a locksmith to come to the house. The guards always appreciate earning a little more money because they make so little.

Hermana Bell sent a note to Elder Curtis, our area doctor in Guatemala about the experience we had with the AMOSCA hospital last Saturday; they treated our missionary without having the payment guarantee in hand. She expressed our delight with the improved relations with the Hospital. Elder Curtis sent it to Elder Schwitzer, who is the chair of the Missionary Health Services department and a general authority. He sent this message back to Elder Curtis who sent it on to Sister Bell. He said, “That was a great letter of trust from the Bells – nice work”. That made Sister Bell’s day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Today was Sister Lee’s birthday. We bought her a pink rose and tonight the Helbergs treated us to a Chinese dinner at a really good Chinese restaurant. We were truly surprised to find a good Chinese restaurant in Nicaragua….

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Sister Bell bandaged up a sister missionaries hand. She accidently poured boiling water on her hand last night. She called Sister Bell about 10pm, asking what to do. Sister Bell give her some suggestions including getting a blessing. Then Sister Bell worried for several hours. She finally went to sleep about 1am. This morning, she got a text stating that she got a blessing and shortly after, the pain subsided so that she could sleep. She was feeling much better this morning. We still went by the house where they were this morning to put some cream on it and wrap it. We also went to a pharmacy, grocery store, libreria, gas station, distribution center before we went to the office. After lunch we took the Lee’s (I guess they officially took us) to Huembas, one of the big market places in Managua. Sister Lee wanted to buy a Nica painting for her birthday. Sister Bell found two more that she liked so we bought two additional paintings. They are by the same artist as the first ones we bought shortly after we arrived. We now have to decide where to hang them.

Thursday, February 23, 2017
We went on a road trip today to inspect missionary houses and to deliver medicine. We stopped in Nagarote, Momotombo and La Paz Central. The missionaries had been warned so we were not really surprised when we found things tidied up a bit. However, none of the apartments were perfect so we made a few suggestions. We are starting a new initiative, where we are having the District Leaders and the Sister Leaders do monthly inspections. Sister Bell and I will do semiannual inspections. We presented this to Elder Howland, who is a District Leader in El Paz Central. He accepted the assignment without complaint.

On our way home, we drove to a beach resort we had seen on line; the Grand Pacific Resort. We wanted to check it out and to have lunch there. But when we got to the gate, there was a $15.00 entrance fee for each person, so we declined and drove a short distance to Montelimar and to the Barcelo Montelimar Beach resort. We got in free but lunch was $20.00 a person. It was a wonderful buffet and well worth it. We strolled along the beach. The resort was beautiful with several pools, game facilities, restaurants and a casino (which we did not go into). It must have been a high standard judging from the many old, fat north Americans around the resort.

Friday, February 24, 2017
We had our change planning meeting today. We have 4 missionaries, all Latinos leaving next week and 8 new missionaries are coming. We will close one apartment and open 2 new areas. So I will need to arrange to get furniture into them by Tuesday of next week. The zone leaders will be looking, Sister Poncio will approve and then I go to work.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sister Bell taught piano in Trinidad to Carelys and Maria Clara. While we were they we saw an interesting thing. There was a small truck that passed by President Cruz’s house. They were advertising buying empty cans over a loud speaker. Two boys were running alongside the truck and swinging a burlap sack full of something under the back tire. The tire would roll over the back and the boy would swing it back in front of the tire again. I asked Maria Clara what they were doing. She explained that the sack had empty cans and putting the bag under the tire flattened the cans.  Genius… if you have two young boys that would run alongside the truck.

We then went to Condega and spent a couple of hours with Elder Martinez and Russell, visiting. We taught Freddy and Virginia about the oath and covenant of the Priesthood. He is preparing to receive the Melchezedik Priesthood. We went by a potential chapel building, but couldn’t get in. We did take some pictures of the surrounding areas. We tried visiting the Ramirezs, Darwin and several others, but none of them were home. So we left disappointed.

We went back to Trinidad and taught President Cruz and Yasser Rivera and their families the 6 Temple Preparation class. That went very well and felt the spirit very strongly as we related personal experiences with the temple. Sister Bell told about the revelation she received in the temple that another daughter was waiting to come into our family (Becky) and I told about the feelings I had when I walked into the Celestial Room in the LA temple and seeing my family waiting for me. We didn’t get to the Koelliker's until about 9:30pm.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

We left Esteli about 7:30am this morning to make a mercy run to Somoto. Last Sunday, the District President and his wife, who is the District RS President, attended Church in Somoto and taught about the importance of wearing appropriate clothes when teaching, conducting, giving a talk or a prayer. Many of our Sisters in Somoto don’t have dresses so they have been coming in pants. We rounded up a bag full of used dresses and skirts that have been left by the sister missionaries when they go home and took them to the RS Presidents house. She will distribute. She seemed very happy to get them.

We then went to Pueblo Nuevo to attend Church. Sister Bell played the keyboard (we brought ours from home) and I gave a talk. I told about the message of Elder Rasband who told the members that President Monson loves them and is grateful for all they do. I also told them about the meeting Elder Rasband had with President Ortega and how he felt their love. We then talked about Enos and the things we love from that experience; the importance to teach our children, repentance, etc. I think it went well.

The other exciting thing that happened in Church today, is that Hilario blessed the sacrament today and Jose (84 years old and a new convert) passed the sacrament. Elder Baxter, a new missionary conducted. His Spanish is getting better. After Church we took Hermana Yeny and her 6 children home. They all fit in the back seat… it is a good thing they are all small. She lives in San Antonio which is about 4 kilometers outside of town. They usually walk, which takes them about 1 hour. We then took Hermana Agustina home. She lives about 8 kilometers outside of town. She is almost 70 and usually takes the bus. The Elders had not been to her house so they tagged along. It is a pretty drive.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Monday, February 13 to Sunday, February 19, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

We started the day at the hospital… no surprise there. We had two missionaries (4 actually, counting their companions), one in Physical Therapy and the other in Emergency. Sister Bell went with the sister to the Physical Therapy and I went with the Elder to the Emergency room. Both left feeling better and having had treatment and medicine to help them. In the Emergency room, the doctor was Doctora Abdala. She is a member of the Church and a very good doctor. When we have a question about who to see, we call her. She seems to enjoy helping us as much as we enjoy bringing patients to her.

We then went to the office. On our way home, we passed by the Distribution Center, then the store (to buy flowers for Sister Bell) before going home. She is my eternal valentine and the best thing about that is that she still wants to be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day…

Today was a wonderful day, not only because it was Valentine’s day, but also because we met with an Apostle of the Lord. Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles talked with all the missionaries in Nicaragua, both from the North and South Missions, almost 400 of us. He brought with him, Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Kevin R. Duncan, our Area President, Elder Adrian Ochoa, 1st Counselor in our Area Presidency and Elder Maravilla, our Area Seventy. They all brought their wives. This is probably the first time that 4 General Authorities were in Nicaragua at the same time. They had also invited all of the Stake Presidents and their wives to attend. Elder Rasband mentioned that the reason they were all here was to visit with the President of Nicaragua and his wife, which they would be doing later this afternoon. He said that because they had some extra time, he wanted to meet with the missionaries.

He took the time to have every missionary come up and shake his hand (and the hands of the other general authorities and their wives). When Sister Bell and I shook his hand, he asked where we were from and then thanked us for our service. We both felt he really meant it and that he was speaking for the Lord. That was a choice experience.

He had each of the wives and General Authorities bear their testimonies. Everyone of the Seventies and their wives spoke Spanish. Elder and Sister Rasband did not and had interpreters. We were very glad his talk was in English as we were able to understand all that he said. Some highlights:
·         Hermana Christensen told us we should be “professional Repentors” meaning that we should become very good at repenting…. Even on a daily basis.
·         Elder Christensen told us that the Apostle charge is found in Matthew 28:19, which is our charge as missionaries, to go into all the world to teach and baptize. He then taught from D&C 20: 37 which is the standard for baptism. Our investigators need to have a desire to be baptized, have a broken heart and a contrite spirit and witness before the Church that they have repented and have manifested by their works that they are willing to serve Him and have received a remission of their sins. He also told the missionaries that they too need to be converted.
·         Hermana Rasband told us that she didn’t marry an Apostle, but she did marry a valiente returned missionary. She also taught that the success missionaries see their investigators as Heavenly Father sees them; as sons and daughters of God and then loves them into the Church. She encouraged the missionaries to Smile. She also told them that they should try to be obedient.
·         Elder Rasband said he wanted to raise the standard of obedience, to not only try to be obedient, but to be strictly obedient. He wanted each of us to express President Monson’s love for each of the members of the Church and to tell them two things; 1) that he loves them and 2) to thank them for all they do. He invited the Mission and Stake Presidents (9 of the 10 SP were there) to come up with him. He had them link their arms together.  He explained that all the key holders at the Stake and Mission level in the Country were present (except 1). Then he brought up the Area Presidency (2 of the 3), the Area Seventy and Elder Christensen and explained that these men were there to build the kingdom of God in Nicaragua and that the missionaries needed to work unitedly with the Stakes to carry on this charge. It was a powerful sight.

He talked about Valentine’s day and said that President Hinckley had said on many occasions that the most important day in our lives is when we were sealed in the temple as a husband and wife. He encouraged the missionaries to prepare for that day and to help the members prepare as well. Our work in the North is right in line with this counsel.

He taught us from D&C 109: 22, 23 and 39. He said that even though this section is the dedicatory prayer for the Kirkland Temple, it gives wonderful direction on how the missionaries and the Stake should work together. Verse 22 tells us that “thy servants” (the missionaries) should go forth from the temple, with Christ’s name (our name tags) upon us and as verses 23 and 39 explain, we should bring the converts to the Stakes. He said that at the time of this prayer, there was only one Stake in the Church, the Kirtland Stake. The revelation talks about Stakes, plural, which is a prophetic statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

He also quoted Alma 26:5-6 and indicated that the Sheaves were converts and the Garners with Church leaders. He said that the missionary efforts do not end with baptism but that missionaries should be helping with the work of helping the Stakes get people to the temple. Missionaries should be helping with reactivation, strengthening members and helping prepare members to go to the temple. He said that the secret of missionary work is in the finding and that missionaries should always be finding, including asking members for people to teach. He said it is appropriate to ask a member if there is someone the member thinks would want to hear the Gospel Message. He even suggested that when the missionaries get a rejection on the street, that they should ask that person if there is someone else that would want to hear the Gospel message.

We were very uplifted. They spirit was strong. We felt Heavenly Father’s and the Savior’s love. We felt appreciated, even though we were just two of almost 400 missionaries. Of course, the spirit was really strong when we sang “Called to Serve”. We noticed that Elder and Sister Christensen knew the words by heart…. In Spanish.

When Elder Rasband was leaving, he told the missionaries that he was going to give them the only kiss they would get this Valentine’s day…. And then he blew them a kiss.
We invited the Lee’s and Helberg’s over for ice cream and strawberries tonight. We normally don’t find good fresh strawberry’s but we did yesterday….

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Today there was a good article about Elder Rasbands visit with President Daniel Ortega, the President of Nicaragua and his wife who serves has the Vice President. Elder Rasband told the President that the Church is a Church of peace, which was very important to the President. Evidently, after the civil war, they established a commission of peace to bring peace to the country, so this resonated with President Ortega. Elder Rasband talked about the early history of the Church where we had to leave the United States to find refuge from the persecution. Elder Rasband also talked about how the Church is blessing the lives of the people of Nicaragua.

Elder Rasband told how some of the Mormon Pioneers came through Nicaragua on their way to Utah. They would leave the east coast on a ship, stop on the east coast of Nicaragua take a smaller boat up the San Juan River to Lake Nicaragua, then finish the trip over land. This was as early as 1852. I was not aware of this.

We now have over 100,000 members of the Church now with over 75 different congregations. Elder Rasband gave the President a Christis. It was reported as a very productive meeting.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

We spent the morning with two of our sister missionaries who had an appointment at the hospital. We picked them up at the Sister house (they are from Esteli) and took them to the hospital for a 10 am doctor’s appointment. We got out of the hospital about 11 am. The sisters hadn’t eaten breakfast so we took them home and cooked them pancakes and eggs. We then took them to the bus station on our way to the office. We got there about 12:30 pm.

Friday, February 17, 2017

We visited with Elder Maravilla, the Area Seventy for Nicaragua today. He works for the Church. We went by the Church offices to pick up a mission call package for Michael Castro from La Dahia and while we were there he came out. We asked him about the meeting with Elder Rasband and President Ortega. He was very happy about the meeting and said that the Church was received very well by the President and his wife. He said the spirit was very strong, so much so that President Ortega said he could tell that we were a Church of peace. After being introduced to Elder Rasband, Elder Christensen, Elder Duncan, Elder Achoa, Elder Maravilla and others, President Ortega asked who were the leaders of the Church in Nicaragua. Elder Maravilla was identified and was asked to come sit next to the President Ortega and Elder Rasband. He said that was a real honor to sit next to an Apostle and to the President of his country. He also said that Elder Rasband was very pleased with the meeting. This is the second time the leaders of Nicaragua have had a conversation with an Apostle. The first time was with Elder Scott, after the Nicaragua Government had seized 3 LDS chapels, in 1982. After the meeting with Elder Scott, they turned the chapels back to the Church, that same day. Relations have certainly changed over the years.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sister Bell gave Carelys and Maria Clara piano lessons in Trinidad. We then went to Pueblo Nuevo. We oriented Elder Wight and Elder Baxter in Pueblo Nuevo as to the things we are doing, such as helping Hermana Nubia prepare to go to the temple, help Dania get her patriarchal Blessing and prepare Hilario to receive the Melchezedik Priesthood. We gave them a pair of dress pants for Hilario, as he only has levis to wear to church. We hope they are the correct size. We then went by Hermana Nubias home and helped her to begin documenting her family history. She is trying to gather a few names to take to the temple when she goes in March.

We then headed to Condega, eating our Subway sandwich as we drove. Sister Bell was helping a missionary in Chinandega, who was passing a kidney stone. He ended up going to the hospital but passed the stones shortly after getting there. A little miracle happened in relation to this incident. He is serving in an area on the west side of the mission, outside of Chinandega. He would need to go to the AMOSCA hospital, where they will take our insurance. We have had problems with them in the past accepting our insurance and at times they don’t have someone that can get their email, so even if we send them a letter guaranteeing payment, they can’t get it. Usually if they can’t get this paper, they require payment in cash. Today was one of those times when they couldn’t access their email. But today, they accepted the insurance based on the assurance of Sister Bell (on the phone) that the paper had been sent and they would receive payment. With this assurance, they treated our missionary. A tiny miracle.

We met the missionaries, Elder Martinez and Elder Russell and gave a priesthood preparation class to Isaac, Noe and Suyapa’s son in law. We talked about the Aaronic Priesthood, which he is preparing to receive. We then visited with Freddy and Virginia. We gave Freddy a white shirt we purchased for him and a used tie. We talked about the requirements for receiving the Melchezedik Priesthood. He is working hard to be ready. He has changed a lot since we first met him. He was living with Virginia, his ex-wife, because he had no other place to stay. President Collado asked me to visit with her to determine if she was ready and worthy to be baptized, even though her ex-husband lived in the same house. This was about 8 months ago. The spirit testified to me that she was ready so I approved her baptism. When I first met Freddy, I was not very impressed and a little angry with him because he was stalling in leaving the house and finding another place to stay. He eventually moved out. He also began taking the discussions, and over time gained a testimony and was baptized. He has been very active and has changed a lot. He has the potential to be a good leader in the Church.
We attended the Noche de Hermanimiento in Condega. It was at Noe and Suyapa’s house. The Elders gave spiritual messages and then we played a game. It was fun. We arrived at the Koellikers about 8:30pm.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

We spent the morning in Somoto. President Acevado and President Rivera attended as well. President Acevado brought his family. His wife is the District RS President. President Acevado, his wife and President Rivera talked. President Rivera conducted a financial audit after Sacrament Meeting. We did a few things wrong, but the money was all accounted for. President Rivera helped us input ordination information into MLS and to get a Patriarchal Blessing recommend printed off for Dania.

We met with President Cruz, his family and his second counselor, Yasser in Trinidad at 3pm to give them another temple prep class. We taught lesson 2 about being worthy to enter the temple. It went well.

A side note: the mountain country is coffee and tobacco country. That is one of the major agricultural industries in Nicaragua. There are lots of tobacco farms around Esteli. We are amazed with how fast tobacco grows. In just a few short weeks, the plants go from newly planted to almost as tall as a man. It is amazing. It is a beautiful crop… if only it wasn’t good for man. All the tobacco goes into making cigars. I think a lot of the Cuban cigars are actually Nicaraguan cigars. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Monday, February 6 to Sunday, February 12, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017
Sister Bell felt good enough to go to work today. We both felt useful again. We started out for our first mission office meeting in the Waspan Office. 

Sister Bell shares a table with Elder Galo, the records secretary and I share a table with Elder Lee. In our old office, Sister Bell had a table but I didn’t. So this is a step up in my opinion. It took us 45 minutes to drive 11 km (6.6 miles) across town. A step down.
Sister Bell gave a quick piano lesson to Yoselyn Poncio in the Chapel and then we went to pick up 2 sisters and take them to the hospital for a doctor’s appointment. We spent about three hours at the hospital, took the sisters to lunch (3:30pm) at Pricesmart and then took them home. These two sisters are from the Dominican Republic. We have several missionaries from the Dominican Republic. They are wonderful, hardworking missionaries. They tend to be very happy and like to have fun. We need more missionaries from the Dominican Republic.

We then went back to the office. Sister Bell did her weekly health report and I began calling missionaries to do their monthly smoke alarm tests. Out of the 90 companionships, I had about 30 that hadn’t done the test. I texted them a week ago, but I am now calling those that still haven’t done it. A tedious task.

I then had a call with a young perspective missionary in Puerto Cabeza to get clarification on some of the information on her missionary application. Sister Gabraith, who is serving in Puerto Cabeza helped with some of the translation. I was really glad she was there as I couldn’t have communicated or understood her well enough to get the information I needed.
We called Grandpa and wished him a Happy 92nd birthday, then skyped with Kim. She had just gotten back from India. It sounded as if they had a wonderful time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What a wonderful day. The membership record for Hermana Nubia in Pueblo Nuevo has been found. Brother Gonzalez in the area office (Guatemala) found it and sent it to the Somoto Branch. She can now go to the temple…. What a wonderful day.

The other great news is that our little teller at the bank was still there today. I was really concerned that she would be fired after giving me more money than I deserved (see Jan. 23 and 24). I went into the bank today to cash a check and pay a bill. When she saw me, she gave me a big smile. Fortunately, she was not helping someone else so she helped me. She was really glad to see me, and I her. The manager was also really happy to see me as well. Both asked where Sister Bell was and sent their regards to her. (Sister Bell was at the hospital with a sick missionary).

We then took two Sisters from Jinotega to the Emergency room at the hospital this morning. They came in on the bus (a 3-hour bus ride) this morning. We met them at the hospital and stayed with them until midafternoon (to clarify, Sister Bell stayed with them all afternoon, but I slipped away to run some errands), when we left the hospital. We fed them, gave the sick missionary a blessing and took them back to the bus stop.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

We again spent a few hours this morning with our Dominican Republic Sister Missionaries in the hospital. We took them back to their area, as it was on our way to the office. We spent a couple of hours at the office before going to lunch and running a few errands. We ate at El Churrasco, a steakhouse near the office. It was really good but expensive…. $38.00 for lunch. Sister Bell had a chicken and mushroom dish. I had fajitas. Who said people can live cheaply in Nicaragua. Otherwise, it was an easy day.

Thursday, February 9, 2017
We spent the morning again with our Dominican Republican sisters. We had them over for breakfast, after they did some tests at the hospital. We had pancakes. We offered them blueberry pancakes, but they were not familiar with blueberries, so they had plain pancakes. After breakfast, we practiced English and then took them back to the hospital for a doctor’s appointment. All was well. We then took them to their house and went to the office. We had packed a lunch since the office is now a long way from our house. We ate at the office and began working when we got a call from Fatima, our maid. She comes once every other week. We had forgotten she was coming so we had locked the door. We quickly packed up our things and drove across town to our house. We apologized profusely and gave her a little extra money to make amends.

We went to the Lee’s for dinner tonight with the Helbergs. Sister Lee had prepared a list of questions about our marriages (next week is Valentines day). It was fun to tell stories. We enjoy our dinners with the other senior missionaries.

Friday, February 10, 2017
We made a quick stops at the Sister Leaders house and office before we headed north. We found several of the Sisters from the Las Americas zone who were meeting at the office to divide up for splits. Since we were going past Tipitapa on our way out of town, we offered to take Sister Knowlton and Sister Anderson home.
After dropping them off, we headed north, stopping in Sebaco for gas and lunch. Several months ago, we talked to the cook at a small buffet in Sebaco and got a referral for the Sisters. They apparently couldn’t find him home much so they didn’t teach him very much. We talked with him again today (Jaime). He is still interested so we called the sisters (a new pair) and gave them his contact information. Maybe they will have a little more success.

We took Book of Mormons to Ocotal and then headed for Pueblo Nuevo. We gave Sister Nubia the sixth Temple Prep class, the last before she goes to the temple in March. One thing that she lacked was getting a letter from her husband (who is not a member) stating that he supports her going to the temple and that her being endowed will not negatively affect their marriage. I had not met her husband yet so was anxious to do so. He came home while we were talking so we had the opportunity to talk a little about the temple, and get his verbal permission. He agreed to write a letter of support. Oh by the way, Hermana Nubia was excited to get a copy of her Church membership record.

We went with the missionaries to visit Hilario, a member who lives with his daughter and granddaughter. We invited him to prepare to receive the Melchezedik Priesthood at the District Conference in March. We challenged him to do two things: bless the sacrament (he passes most every week but has never blessed the Sacrament) and to go with the missionaries to visit. He accepted our challenge.

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Today, we went to Somoto Canyon with the Lees, Koellikers and President Alaniz from Somoto. President Alaniz made the arrangements and was a great host/guide. At the Canyon, we had another man join us as a guide. We hiked along the river, took a boat ride further up the river and then tubed even further. The best part of the excursion is that we didn’t have to paddle the boat or the rafts, there were young men that did all that for us. The narrows were spectacular, very similar to some of our slot canyons at home. We had two young men that swam next to our tube line to move us up and down the river. We hooked our feet under the tube in front of us to keep us all hooked together. It was a very enjoyable day. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

We picked President Alaniz up at his house about 8:30 am, stopped by the Church to pick up his Temple Recommend Book and drove to Pueblo Nuevo. Pueblo Nuevo is a dependent group to the Somoto Branch. This was the first visit for President Alaniz. We got there just in time for Church, but the doors were closed and locked. There was one member waiting outside, two others arrived shortly thereafter. The missionaries arrived about 5 minutes after that. We started the meeting with 10 members about 15 minutes late. We ended up with about 15 in attendance.  Elder Chinchillas was pretty sad because none of his investigators (he is teaching about 15 people) came. We brought our keyboard so Sister Bell played the music while Elder Baxter lead the music. Sister Bell talked about missionary work (she has several talks prepared so can give a talk with very little notice. The missionaries asked her to give a talk on Friday evening). Hermana Agustina and President Alaniz also talked. Then we split into Priesthood, RS and Primary (I don’t know why they didn’t have SS…. I will need to ask Elder Chinchilla). Elder Baxter taught Primary, all three of them.
After the meetings, President Alaniz gave his first temple recommend interview with Hermana Nubia. I had been over the questions and forms several times, including just before his interview with her. But when they were done, I checked her recommend and he had not filled out about half of the form, so I helped him complete the recommend. He also interviewed Dania (Nubia’s 21-year-old daughter) for a Patriarchal Blessing. He did the interview but couldn’t complete the recommend form because we could not find it in MLS.  

We took President Alaniz to Esteli for a Branch Presidencies training. He was going to get help with the blessing recommend at the meeting. We then headed for Trinidad to teach piano and a temple prep class. But we got word that several of the people attending the class would not be there so we had to cancel again. They want to go to the temple in March. We have had only one class and still have 5 more. We will need help to get them done. As we entered into Trinidad, we found the main street packed with horses, cars, trucks and people. They were having a horse regala. There were hundreds of horses. Some beautiful, high stepping and well bred horses. Even the hat salesmen were out in force. So we weren’t too surprised when we passed by the President’s house to find it empty. The family must have been downtown. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Monday, January 30 to Sunday, February 5, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017
Happy Birthday to our sweet granddaughter, Addie.  She is eight years old today and we are so proud of her as she is growing up.  She is a very sweet and precious daughter of God.

This morning at 6:00 am as I was waking up, I had the impression that we should help Sister Amado.  She and her companion were supposed to be in Managua for a follow-up visit with her doctor after surgery 2 weeks ago.  She should have come last night and stayed with the sister trainers so it would be easy to get to the hospital.  She had an appointment for 9:00 am.  Scott and I went walking and when we returned, there was a message on our phone from her asking where the hospital was.  This was about 6:30 am.  I knew something was wrong, because it was so early, so I called her.  She and her companion had missed the bus last night and had caught the 3:00 am bus this morning and made the three-hour trip to Managua.  They were at the bus station and did not have enough money to pay a taxi to take them to the hospital.  They had asked about the location of the hospital, because they thought they could take buses to reach the hospital.  I told them that we would be there as soon as we could to pick them up and take them to the hospital.  Sister Amado was very relieved and we finished getting ready, made some cream cheese and jam bagel sandwiches for them, and picked them up at the bus station on the other side of town.  Then we drove back across town to the hospital. We were a little late, but so was the doctor. She had a clean report from the doctor and then we took them to lunch at Quiznos, and put them back on the bus to Jinotega.  It seems like a little thing, but that prompting I heeded this morning made it easier to be ready to help the sisters.

We had the Monday office meeting today at 2:00.  Then Scott and I went grocery shopping.  Scott fixed a lovely chicken-broccoli-cheese-rice casserole and we finished the day off with a Happy Birthday Song via Skype with Addie.  She was so excited.  She had her ears pierced today and had tiny gold earrings in each ear.  She got a sticker from her teacher and had lunch with her mother.  She finished off the little party with presents from each of her brothers.  She is one special young lady and we love her so much.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I had a few minutes to sit on our porch early this morning, just enjoying my surroundings. The sky was lit up with brillante yellow, the birds were singing and the national bird of Nicaragua flew past our house to the surrounding woods. It is the Turquoise-browed motmot (guardabarranco). Here is an artistic rendition of this beautiful bird.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

We spent the morning with Sister Caishpal, from El Salvador. She and her companion, Sister Romero, work in Esteli. They were in Managua for a Leaders meeting for Sister Romero. While Sister Romero was in the training, we took Sister Caishpal to a Doctor’s appointment at the Hospital Metropolitano. We then took her to lunch and back to Waspan. We then made a run to a local pharmacy to get medicine for another missionary and then headed for home. Sister Bell is getting a cold, so we went to the house early so she could rest.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Today is a sick day for Sister Bell and a moving day for Elder Bell. Sister Bell has a terrible cold so she stayed home all day resting. We are moving the office from the Discovery Building to the Waspan Chapel.
The Waspan Chapel is in the northeast part of town, very close to the airport. We are now in the south of town. It is about a 30-minute drive, depending on traffic. Our new offices are in the back of the Las Americas Stake center. They have remodeled the back part for our offices. This will save the Church a lot of rent money, thus the reason for doing it. We won’t have as much space as we had before, but we will make it work. I suspect Sister Bell and I will work from home more.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Today was similar to yesterday except we unpacked boxes in our newly remodeled offices in the Waspan Chapel. Sister Bell is still sick and stayed home and rested.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Still at home with Sister Bell who is now taking an antibiotic.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

I went to Church in Villa Flor so that I could deliver some medicine to a sister missionary. I went alone as Sister Bell, although feeling a little better, is still coughing and sneezing. I sat next to Elder Vega and Ward. I felt alone not having her with me. After Sacrament Meeting, I went to the Las Palmas Ward, which is in the South Mission, to ask them if they have Hermana Nubia’s record. They didn’t. I had sent a note to the Area office in Guatemala asking their help finding her record. We need to find it soon, so she can go to the temple in March. If we can’t find it, then she will have to be rebaptized and wait a year to go to the temple.