Monday, May 22, 2017
The Poncios stayed in Puerto Cabeza this week-end for their district conference, so we didn’t have an office meeting on Monday morning as usual. So we spent the night in Esteli. The Lees came up on Sunday Evening and spent the night as well. Today we took the day to see a rock art display, high in the mountains above Esteli. An old man, Antonio Gutierrez, carved men, animals and other objects on rocks and on rock ledges. He has been doing this since 1971. It is quite amazing. We paid C$20 to have a tour from Antonio. It was well worth the $.65.
Antonio Gutierrez, the sculptor
The flowers and scenery were beautiful.
One our way back to Esteli, we came across this field being plowed.
The Koellikers showed us a panel in Esteli of the Tree of Life, which the missionaries painted a few years ago.
The only drawback from the day is that Sister Bell hurt her shoulder. The trail/road was slick because of the rain we have been having. The trail got so bad that the Lee’s made their way off the trail and began walking on the grass next to the trail. However, there was a 3-foot ledge on the side of the trail. Sister Bell tried getting over the ledge with Sister Lee helping. But she lost her footing and pulled her shoulder. We think she pulled her shoulder out of the socket but fortunately it went back in. However, it probably pulled some tendons because it is very sore and she can’t lift her shoulder very high.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
We had 6 new missionaries come last night and this morning; 2 sisters from the US, 1 Elder from Honduras, 1 Elder from Salvador, 1 Elder from the Dominican Republic and 1 from Brazil. We held the new missionary training at the Mission Home. We really like having it there because it is quiet, cozy and beautiful. Sister Bell and I taught the 10 commandments of good health. Sister Poncio fed us a wonderful chicken lunch. Then we went to the office for the new missionaries to be united with their companions.
We had our weekly senior missionary dinner at the Helbergs. After a spaghetti dinner, Elder Helberg made us chocolate malts…. We then played 5 Crowns.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
We said good-bye to 6 Latino missionaries. Sister Vasquez, the only North American missionary went home on Tuesday.
L to r: President Poncio, Elder Uribe, Elder Lemus, Elder Barrios, Elder Perez, Elder Samol, Sister Marquez.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
We stayed home most of the day, working from home. We took our car to Casa Pellas for service. They originally told us it would only take 1-2 hours, so we thought we would find a close restaurant to eat lunch at and then wait. But when we got there, the attendant told us it would take 3-4 hours, so we took a taxi home (Sister Bell’s first ride in a taxi). She stayed home resting her shoulder while I took another taxi back to get the car later in the day.
I updated my apartment inventory spreadsheet. That took most of the day.
Elder Baxter and Williams found Michelle, our banker, at her house this evening. She wants to go to church with us on Sunday. They set a lesson for Saturday at 5pm. Exciting….
Friday, May 26, 2017
We slept in until 7am this morning. I don’t know how that happened. It rained most of the night which might have contributed to our tiredness. Whatever the cause, we slept long.
We went to the Distribution Center. We bought garments and scriptures for various missionaries. We also got YW material for Somoto.
We then went to the office. For lunch, we went to a different restaurant in a little mall about a mile from the office. The name is Casa de Café. It is a restaurant that sells various types of coffee. We determined this when we walked in and saw the menu on the wall, which advertised different types of coffee. We started to leave but one of the waitresses, saw us, recognized us as Mormon Missionaries, came over and reassured us that there was a lunch menu and non-coffee drinks. Her name is Rosa and she is a member of the Church. The food was very good, but a little expensive. We also had a fresh fruit smoothie which was also very good. Rosa was very helpful and friendly. We gave her a good tip (which in Nicaragua is not the custom).
We then went to the bank to pay a bill. Michelle helped us at the bank. She told us she loved having Elder Baxter and Williams in her home last night and is excited about our meeting tomorrow night. She lives with her mother, father, 2 brothers and a grandmother. I woke up this morning, and several times during the night, thinking about what to teach them. I have a few ideas, which we will need to discuss with the missionaries. Sister Bell wrote her testimony (in Spanish) in the front of a Book of Mormon to give to Michelle. We will need to take several copies with us tomorrow night.
We then went to La Colonia for food and then home.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
We started the day taking a frig to Villa Flor 2. Hermana Pehrson and Andersen needed a new frig. We then went to the Grand Mall and bought Sister Bell some short pants. We had to find them in the Men’s section. The shorts in the women’s section were way to short and tight. We found three that she likes and looks good on her. I even bought me a new tie.
But the highlight of the day was our lesson with Michelle and Dayve. Michelle is the bank teller that helps us almost every time we go to the bank. Dayve is her boyfriend. We took Elder Baxter and Williams with us. We were there for 2.5 hours. The first hour was just visiting and getting to know the family (and waiting for Dayve to arrive). After a prayer, we explained about the church meetings they will be attending tomorrow. The Elders then taught about the Restoration. Michelle knows the Bible and is very active and committed in her local Church. She teaches the children on Sundays. She knew and quoted several of the scriptures we referred to. Dayve also knows the Scriptures and has the Bible on his phone. Michelle had many questions and wanted to know where in the Bible it said what we were teaching. The Elders found references to every question she had. We could tell she was troubled with what we were teaching because it challenged some of her beliefs. We gave them both copies of the Book of Mormon. She was very touched with the copy we gave her which had our testimonies in it. She expressed a deep connection she felt for us ever since we first met at the bank. She told me that she thinks of me as another father to her. I shared my feelings that I believed we were led by the spirit to meet and that I felt that connection as well. The spirit was strong and sweet. I look forward to tomorrow as they will be going to Church with us. But she will have a difficult time overcoming her current beliefs and commitment to her Church. She will need to be courageous.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
We took Michelle and Dayve to the Ruben Dario Ward in the Waspan Chapel. The meetings started at 8am so we picked them up at Michelle’s house about 7:45. When we walked in, there were very few people there. However, Michelle did recognize a relative, a young lady about her same age and another young man who was a school mate of hers. The chapel was almost empty, but it was full by the time the meeting ended. Michelle and Dayve enjoyed the meeting. We attended the Gospel Principles class. The lesson, which was taught by the missionaries, was about the gifts of the spirit. Then the lesson for Priesthood and RS was Elder Holland's General Conference talk about staying in the Choir. We discussed the lesson on our way home. They all seemed to understand the lesson. Last night, Michelle seemed a little upset because we challenged some of her current beliefs, but today, she seemed inspired and excited about what she was learning. We asked her if she wanted to learn more and she said yes. Finding a time during the week may be difficult because she gets home late and then takes care of her mother. The missionaries may need to visit her on Saturday’s, which is when we are up north. We would love to support her, but we may not be able to. We will need to leave her in Heavenly Fathers hands, and his appointed missionaries, Elder Baxter and Williams.