Monday, March 6, 2017
We had our office meeting this morning, then worked in the office until about 2pm. We went to Pricesmart for dinner and to purchase a few things. We arrived home at 8pm.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
I am thankful for air conditioning. We held a 3 zone conference in Chinandega today. It was 42 degrees Celsius, which is 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, we were in an air conditioned chapel and driving in an air conditioned vehicle. We taught out of a health card that the missionaries have. This card tells them things they can do for simple health problems, like a head ache. Elder Santizo helped us. He read a question and the missionaries had to look up the answer on the health card. The first one to find it would stand up and read it. If they got it correct, I threw them a chocolate. Rewards and contests always get some missionaries very motivated. Sister Bell was the judge. It was pretty fun.
Sister Bell had several health consultations before and during lunch. We left after lunch, stopping at a park in Leon. The flowers were beautiful. We got home early, about 5pm.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
We had new missionary training today. The missionaries that arrived in January and March came with their companions. Sister Bell first taught about the need to tell those being baptized that they need to bring a towel and an extra set of underwear. We attended a baptism recently where the sister did not bring an extra set of underwear and therefore had to wear her wet underwear home. She also taught the missionaries that they should encourage using white underwear. She taught this at the request of President Poncio.
Then she taught about eating healthy. The missionaries loved singing 8 vasas de aqua and got into the test at the end. We showed a picture of a food and they would need to tell us the food group it is in and how many portions they should be eating of that food group. Of course, chocolate is given for a correct answer.
Sister Bell had several health consultations during the day and I gave out new fans and hot plates to a few that needed them.
We finally made it to the store, which is good because we were out of food…
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Our intent was to make today a preparation day. In some ways it was. Sister Bell did some wash this morning, but we still left the house about 9am. We first went to the distribution center, then to the store to buy a few donuts for Elder Hamson, the financial secretary. His birthday is tomorrow. Then we went to Pricesmart to buy a few things for Sister Koelliker in Esteli. After this we delivered medicine to a missionary in Villa Flor. We finally made it to the office about noon, in time to eat lunch.
This afternoon, we took the Lees house hunting. We have been thinking about moving to get closer to the office. It now takes us 45 minutes to get to the office during rush hour. We can get to the office in 15 minutes if there is no traffic, but with traffic, it takes a whole lot more time. We are also finding that we have to fill up the gas tank an extra time each week, costing an additional $40.00 each week or $120 more a month. Moving closer could reduce time and costs in travel. The problem is that the neighborhoods close to the office as all very poor, neighborhoods we are not interested in living in. We thought we found a couple of options on the internet, so we went to look at them. When we got to the locations ok but we found that the houses were not there. They had been plotted wrong. We did find a golf course. It looked pretty nice. Now if I can only find someone to go golfing with.
After taking the Lees back to the office, Sister Bell and I went passed another possible house. This house is in Las Colinas, which is a nicer part of town but still a long way from the office. It is alittle better because it is on the east side of the Masaya Highway. It would reduce our travel by a third. It was a nice neighborhood. But neither of us feel strong about moving.
We had dinner at the Lee’s house with the Helbergs. We enjoy visiting with our fellow senior missionaries. We talked about some of the challenges we are experiencing in the mission and how the spirit is helping us work through those problems. They did a little object lesson reflecting this concept. The had a balloon, which represented all of our problems. Elder Lee held it over a lighted candle and of course, it popped. He then held another balloon over the lighted candle. But this balloon had water in it. The balloon, when held over the candle did not pop. Sister Lee explained that this balloon represented the help we can receive from our Heavenly Father. With his help, we can overcome our problems and not pop.
Friday, March 10, 2017
We had a 3 zone conference in Esteli today. We got up at 4:30 and left at 6am. The conference started at 9am. We played our game using the health cards. Elder Nonu from Trinidad helped us. The missionaries played acouple of games. Games help teach the missionaries various gospel principles and builds unity. We are happy to see them play games.
Afterward, we took Elder Cook, Elder Mower, Elder Nonu and Elder Garcia to Trinidad. Elder Cook needed to do a baptism interview in Trinidad. We got back in time for district Choir practice. There were 3 men and 1 women. Hermana Acevedo, the District Presidents wife and the district RS president is the conductor. Most of those participating cannot carry a tune. I sat in between two young men. Neither found the right notes very often. But they try and that is all that matters. Sister Bell is playing the piano.
We have district conference in a week. We plan on having 4 men receive the Priesthood; Hermano Catalino from Somoto, Hilario from Pueblo Nuevo, Freddy and Noe from Condega.
We facilitated a call to the global services and Hermana Nubia in Pueblo Nuevo to fix her LDS Church account. Pedro, the District Secretary was able to get her account fixed so she can now get in and request her patriarchal blessing that she received about 25 years ago.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Happy Birthday Corgan. We skyped him today and sang Happy Birthday to him.
Happy 11-month anniversary.
We started the day in Trinidad, giving Maria Clara a piano lesson. Then we went with Elder Nonu and Elder Garcia to Hermana Cruz’s Sisters house. She lives around the corner with her son, his girlfriend and daughter. The missionaries have been teaching them. They seem very interested in the Gospel message, but the girlfriend doesn’t want to get married. So the missionaries invited us to come and show them what a successful marriage looks like. We showed them a video put on by the Church about the importance of families. That touched them. We gave them a copy of the Family Proclamation and gave them a challenge to read it together. They accepted the challenge. We, Sister Bell and I and the missionaries all felt very good about the lesson and the spirit that was there.
We went by Yasser, the house builders home, but no one was home. We had set this appointment a week ago.
We dropped the missionaries off at their house and headed for Pueblo Nuevo. We picked up Hermana Nubia and her husband and took them to her cousin’s house which is about 10 km out of town. The road is very rough so we went slowly. The cousin and his wife were glad to see us and welcomed us with open arms. Hermana Nubia, Sister Bell and I sat down with her cousin’s wife and began gathering names, dates and places of her grandparents. I asked the wife, if she wanted to know why we needed this information. This lead to a discussion about baptisms for the dead, temple work, the restoration and the Book of Mormon. At first, the wife was pretty defensive but as we talked, we saw a softening and interest on her part and on her husbands. We left them with a Book of Mormon and a couple of pamphlets.
Afterward, we dropped off Hermana Nubia and her husband in Pueblo Nuevo and headed for Esteli for a choir practice, dinner at Rosti Pollo, gas and we bought sandwiches for tomorrow at Subway.
When we got back to the Koellikers, Sister Bell inputted Hermana Nubia’s family information into Family Search. We will print off the temple cards tomorrow and give to her when we attend Church in Pueblo Nuevo. She is going to the temple Tuesday of next week. It was a tiring but very satisfying day.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
We left the Koellikers at 7:30 am and arrived in Somoto at 8:30am. Sister Bell got on the computer and printed the temple cards for Hermana Nubia. She also printed the family group information that was in Family Search, which is more than what Hermana Nubia had. It had been inputted by someone working on her father’s line. She gave copies to Hermana Nubia this morning (we went to Pueblo Nuevo after picking up Presidente Alaniz in Somoto). She was thrilled. The late night work by Sister Bell was worth it.
President Alaniz was supposed to have an interview with Catalino, an older member in the ward, but he did not come in time. So President will need to do it later this week.
We attended Church in Pueblo Nuevo. Elder Baxter conducted. His Spanish is getting much better. Hermana Nubia bore her testimony and the missionaries and President Alaniz talked. Sister Bell played the piano (we took our keyboard with us). We were very pleased to see Hermano Hilario come with white shirt, tie and dress slacks. (we had bought him the pants a few weeks ago). He had even cut his hair. Hermano Jose, who is in his 80’s, passed the sacrament. It brought a wonderful feeling to our hearts to see these men using their priesthood.
After RS/Priesthood, Hermana Jenny, who lives in San Antonio was not feeling well, so I took her and her 5 children home, while everyone else had Gospel Principles. Afterward, President Alaniz interviewed Hilario and Jose to receive the Melchezedek Priesthood. I knew Hilario was ready, but interviewing Jose was a surprise. Apparently the missionaries felt he was ready. My reservations are that he has only been a member for a few months and is just learning how to be a Priest. But President Alaniz interviewed him and found him worthy, so he is being scheduled for an interview with President Acevedo.
We took President Alaniz to Esteli for a Branch President’s training and then headed for home. When we were passing through Trinidad, I saw President Acevado outside the Trinidad Church. We stopped to visit. He was very concerned because he was not sure Marilyn Rivera, Yasser’s wife was ready to go to the temple next week. She came to Church in a short skirt with a sleeveless blouse. Hermana Acevedo talked to her about her dress and told her she would not be able to go to the temple with the clothes she was wearing. This troubled her greatly and she went home very upset. We offered to go past their house and visit with her. We found her at home with her sister (who lives with them). She explained what happened and expressed her desire to go to the temple, but did not know what to do. All of her clothes were unacceptable to be worn with garments and she did not have money to buy new clothes. She understood the changes she would need to make and was willing to do so, but could not afford to buy new clothes. We asked if she would accept a gift from us and we gave her enough money to purchase at least enough new clothes for the trip to Honduras. She was very grateful and relieved. We felt very good about our visit and were glad we followed the spirit to visit and to offer assistance. She and her sister will go shopping tomorrow.
We then headed to Matagalpa. We went to Matagalpa to give a package to Hermana Elwood. We had the package on Friday at the multizone conference but forgot to give it to her. She even asked about it, but I had it under things and I thought it was a box of pamphlets. I felt really bad, bad enough to go to Matagalpa on our way home and give it to her.
We arrived home very tired, but very pleased with the day.