Monday, February 27, 2017
We had our office meeting this morning and then after lunch, Sister Bell and I went to the Elders house to wait for a delivery of stoves, fans and frigs. They were supposed to arrive at 3pm, but the driver got lost and they didn’t arrive until about 5pm. Directions in Nicaragua are different than in the US. Here they find a location, such as a store, restaurant and then give directions from that point. Such as 2 blocks south and then 15 rods up. It can be very confusing. I can’t find places this way. So I normally have the missionaries meet us at the Church or some other obvious landmark and they then direct us to their houses. After waiting for two hours, we loaded up a bed, fans and stoves and drove to Ciudadela. They needed another bed because they are going to be a three some for a while. After dropping off the bed, we eat at Pollo Frito in Tipitapa and headed for home, arriving about 9pm.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
We had 9 new missionaries come last night and today. Two were from the US, 1 from Guatemala, 1 from Honduras, 1 from Salvador, 1 from Brazil and 3 from the Dominican Republic. Sister Bell taught the 10 commandments of good health. She is now teaching without a lot of help. She does have the missionaries read the bullet points in the powerpoint, but she is getting much better in explaining. We stayed for the whole training and watched as their assignments were made. It truly is a fun process to watch.
We stopped at the store on the way home and spent a quiet night at home. I was asleep by 9pm
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Today, something happened that doesn’t happen very often. And I am surprised and sad that it happened. I have been working with missionaries to find an apartment in Las Americas which is close to the office. Two missionaries, new to the area, needed to find a place to live and had been looking a good part of yesterday and again this morning. They found a suitable place, but they needed to take pictures and send them to Sister Poncio for approval. The zone leader was talking to them on the phone, and I was listening in. It would have been very easy, and appropriate for me to volunteer to go to the house with the missionaries, take pictures, get Sister Poncios approval and help make this all happen. Instead, I did nothing. I didn’t volunteer and just let the missionaries figure it all out. Ironically, Elder Hughes thanked me for my help, but I thought to myself, I could have made it much easier for them. Thankfully, the zone leader reported that all worked out and they moved in this evening.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
We spent the morning in Leon with the missionaries in this zone. Leon is about 1 ½ hours north west of Managua. Our purpose was to instruct them about the need to clean their apartments and to give a new assignment of the District Leaders and Sister Leaders to inspect the apartments each month. To brighten their day, we brought donuts, which they greatly appreciated. We both really enjoyed being with the missionaries and felt good about our time with them. We not only passed out the cleaning charts and the inspections sheets to the District Leaders and Sister Leaders, but we also talked about the importance of cleanliness in receiving revelation. We stressed the need to be good disciples, even to our landlords. It is a sad day when a landlord will not rent to missionaries because of bad experiences. We have had several landlords angry with us because of the condition of their houses. Even one bishop won’t rent his apartment to missionaries anymore because of bad experiences. Sister Bell took care of several medical issues before we left.
We then took Sister Pehrson and Sister Nova back to Nagarote. We inspected their house last week and needed to return to fix a few items. On the way back, we asked them to tell us one thing they learned on their mission that will benefit their lives. Sister Pehrson told how she has learned a lot about herself during her mission. Sister Bell told her that she is one of her heros because of the things she has been able to overcome.
We felt very good about this little trip.
We hosted the senior dinner tonight with the Lees and Helbergs. We had a potato bar and then played 5 Crowns. All three sisters had better scores than all three men. Go figure….
Friday, March 3, 2017
We had a bonus day today…. We started taking medicine and McDonalds to sisters in Mercedes. One was having eye allergies and the other just loves McDonalds. They are wonderful missionaries and we have dealt with them a lot, and love them dearly.
We then went back across town to be with another set of missionaries while one was having an MRI on her back. The other just happened to have a cold so Sister Bell was able to give her some cold medicine.
While we were at the hospital (the bonus) we got a call from President Poncio telling us that a young missionary from Nicaragua that was serving in Guatemala, was coming to the hospital to have surgery on his knee. He is covered by Church insurance but was hoping we could connect with him and help him in any way we can. We watched for him at the front lobby, but he never arrived. Finally, I felt I should check the emergency room. He was there with his father and bishop. They had an email telling him that he was covered by the Church Insurance but the registration people would not accept the email as a guarantee of payment. Sister Bell knows how to order a guarantee of payment, so we went to her. She called the insurance, got the guarantee of payment, had it sent to the hospital and he was getting looked at when we left.
We so enjoy helping individuals and helping this young man was truly a bonus for us and a help for them.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Sister Bell taught Maria Clara a piano lesson today. We then visited Yasser and his wife with Elder Nonu and Garcia. He is the 2nd Counselor in the branch presidency. They are preparing to go to the temple. They sold their motorcycle and purchased a bicycle instead in order to save enough money to go to the temple.
We had a near miss on our way to Esteli. It was about 8pm, so it was very dark. The road from Trinidad to Esteli is very windy. As we were making a right turn through a curve, we came face to face with a large semi-truck in our lane. He was passing a stalled semi-truck. We got over as close to the edge of the road as possible, slowed down and the truck passed us without making a scratch. We slowly edge around the semi, passing a long line of cars waiting to pass the stalled truck. It was a miracle that we didn’t hit each other. We surely have been blessed while in the mission. That was one of the specific blessing that President Langeveld gave me when he set me apart. We have certainly been blessed as we drive around the mission.
We eat dinner at Rosti Pollo in Esteli and ended up at the Koellikers about 9pm.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
We went early to Somoto to visit with President Alaniz and his family about the temple. Sister Bell gave Sister Alaniz a set of Book of Mormon CDs. She can’t read so these will be very helpful. We showed them a video about the temple and then talked about the blessings of the temple that are outlined in D&C 109. We visited on their front porch. While we were talking, their puppies, kittens, chickens, rabbits and other critters played together. We were amused at their play… it was quite entertaining.
After Church we held a Branch Council. They asked me to provide some direction, so we got out Book 2 and read about Branch Councils. Then we demonstrated how one could be run. We gathered around a white board and put on the board topics to discuss. We ended up with 4 topics. President Alaniz prioritized them and then we started with number 1. I facilitated and Elder Melenciano took notes. We got done with all 4 topics in 20 minutes. I don’t expect future counsels will go so smoothly, but hopefully they now understand how an agenda and a facilitator can help make the meetings much more efficient.
We left Somoto about 1pm and drove to Pueblo Nuevo to pick up Hermanas Nubia and Dania. We took them to Esteli for interviews. We had a delightful trip visiting about families, plans and cooking. They were surprised to find out that I do all the cooking in the mission. Sister Nubia had an interview to go to the temple and Hermana Dania (her 21-year-old daughter) had an interview to get her Patriarchal Blessing. The District Secretary also helped Hermana Nubia get a church account so she could request a copy of her patriarchal blessing she received 25 years ago. Sister Bell was asked to accompany the District Choir which will sing in two weeks at the District Conference.
We got home about 7:30pm.