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.
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.