Monday, May 8, 2017
We had our office planning meeting at the President’s house at 8am. They were hosting a luncheon for the Bello Horizante zone. We then went home, worked for a while, then went to the hospital to find out what we had to do to get the insurance to pay for a root canal for one of our Elders.
I had to make a late-night run to pick up 2 mattresses for two Elders in Managua. They have bed bugs so needed to throw out their old infested mattresses. It rained most of the night. That is cooling things off and greening things up.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
We started out at the dentist office with one of our missionaries. While we were waiting, we met a North American who was there for treatment. He was in his 50’s. He lives in Nicaragua with his wife (Nica) and daughter (from his first marriage). We visited briefly before he went in for his treatment, but when he came out a short time later, he sat down and began talking with us…. Of course all in English. He said he has many LDS friends and had some questions for the Elders. He said he didn’t want Sister Bell and I to answer the questions, because he said he knew we knew the answers and he wanted to hear what the Elders had to say. He began by asking why they were serving missions and what they wanted to accomplish. This morphed into discussions about Priesthood, Authority, Apostasy, Restoration, witnesses, the light of Christ, Holy Ghost and revelation. He said he has always tried to listen to the Spirit and felt it had guided his life. He also said he didn’t think it was a mistake that he was at the dentist office at the same time we were. The Elders answered every question. I was very impressed. One of the missionaries later said that it was very hard explaining all this in English. This man, Kevin, said that his friends had talked to him about the principle of witnesses, and asked (sincerely I might add) how can this principle apply for the first vision when only the boy Joseph Smith was present. His eyebrows went up when I told him that I was a witness to this event. I then explained how I have received a personal revelation about this event and therefore, I was a witness. We then discussed personal revelation. We read Moroni 10: 3-5 (which he read from his own copy of the BoM on his phone). We thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, which lasted about 1 hour. He said he enjoyed it as well. Hopefully, we answered some of his questions.
We took the Elders to Pricesmart for lunch (Hamburgers and Fries) and then to the bus stop. We went to the office for a few hours and then home. We hosted the Senior Missionary Dinner. We cooked omelets, hash brown potatoes, ham and fruit. We then played Phase 10, until about 8:30pm when we all began to turn into pumpkins, so we quit and everyone left.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Happy Birthday, Becky
Thursday, May 11, 2017
We made a supply run to the West. We took a frig to the Hermanas in Grasca, about 7 kms south of Chinandega. Sister Atiifales and Puac live there. We took their old one and gave them a new one. We then went to the zone leaders house in Chinandega, Elder Gonzalez and Packard. We delivered boxes of pamphlets, garments and mail. Then we went to the house of Elder Nelson and Najera to deliver them a new frig. Out of all the houses we saw today, they had the cleanest house. We then met Sister Martinez and Cortez in El Viejo, 11 kms north of Chinandega. We gave them mail and inspected their house. Then onto Tonala, which is about 15 miles north of El Viejo. We met them at the Church. They have a small branch of about 35 attending members. They worship in a converted house. It is one of the nicest converted houses to a chapel that we have seen. They have a large parlor where they have Sacrament Meetings, with a patio and classrooms on either side. It is well constructed and maintained. We went with Elder Uribe and Rodriquez around the corner to their apartment. It wasn’t too bad for an Elders house.
We ate at Rosti Pollo in Chinandega, getting home about 5pm.
We really enjoyed the drive from Chinandega to Tonala. We had not been there before. There were large fields of bananas, peanuts and sugar cane. Tonala is a quaint little town of about 6000 residents. The road took us past three volcanoes, San Cristobal, Casita and Chonco. San Cristobal last erupted in 2012, but the others are dormant. San Cristobal is the large volcano. Chonco is the small one of the left and Casita is the one of the right.
The yellow Trumpetbush is in full bloom.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Today was a catch-up day. Sister Bell did wash and ironed after going to the store, distribution center and running a few errands. I updated many of my files and got caught up. We worked from home. Pretty light day. The day ended up great, though because we were able to talk to Kim, Henry, Synnova and very briefly Dan. We love you, China kids.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Sister Bell taught Maria Clara and Karol Linneth piano lessons in Trinidad. This was Karols second lesson. She practiced a lot this week and was very prepared. Maria Clara… not so much. We had lunch at Pollo Estrella in Esteli, then drove to Somoto. We delivered fanny packs for Elders Alofipo, Asplund and Williams. These are very popular here. They order them from a company in Guatemala. The only problem is that they fill them so much, they become heavy and cause some back problems.
We taught President Alaniz and his daughter, Cristian the 5th Temple Preparation class. He is really excited about going to the temple. He is a very faithful and visionary man. He related a dream he had. He was in front of a temple that appeared to be in the clouds. The steps were pure gold. He was making his way to the temple. Sister Bell and I, along with the missionaries and many others were heading for the temple. But his family was not with him. He will be going next month to the temple without his family, as his wife is not a member yet. She has been listening to the Book of Mormon every night and really enjoys it. We see changes in her each time we visit. We are hopeful that she will be baptized soon so the whole family can go to the temple and be sealed.
We then taught a leadership lesson. Those attending were President Alaniz, Cristian, Leslie and the missionaries. Natalia did not come. We talked about the Priesthood, Chapter 2 in Book 2. There was a sweet spirit there as we talked about what the Priesthood is, the difference between the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods, the keys of the Priesthood and the purpose of the Priesthood in the Church. We felt good about the lesson.
We arrived at Koellikers about 8:30 and took a nap in the car for about 45 minutes before they got home.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Happy Mother’s Day (in the United States). Mother’s Day in most of Central America and Mexico is May 10. Here in Nicaragua, Mother’s Day is May 30. So we can celebrate Mother’s Day several times. I am excited about that.
We attended Church in Trinidad. We haven’t been there for a while so it was really nice to attend there and see the growth of the branch. Sister Bell played the piano and Maria Clara led the music. President Cruz had asked us to talk in Sacrament Meeting. Sister Bell talked about the importance of scripture study in the family. I talked about Mother’s, relating stories about my mother, my mother in law, and Michelle. Both talks went well. We enjoyed SS, which was taught by Karen Mayorga, a recent convert that has three boys. She gave a wonderful lesson about the temple. Elder Garcia taught the Priesthood Lesson. There are three big Mango trees in the back of the Church. The Mangos are ripe. After Church, the members were in the back-yard eating Mangos and picking a lot of ripe ones to take home. Sister Bell and I are not big Mango fans so we let the members eat our share.
We then went to Condega and taught lesson 2 of the leadership lessons. Noe, Suyapa, Rosa, Freddy and the missionaries were in attendance. The lesson went well. They seemed to learn a lot, which is the reason we are teaching the lessons.
We got home about 7:30. We got to talk briefly with Paul and then talked longer with John and Isa and Steve and Ginger.