Monday, June 5, 2017
We had an office meeting today. The major topic was preparing for Elder Renlund's visit on Saturday. There is a 5-person missionary choir that is preparing to sing at the multi-mission conference. We listened to them practice. Sister Bell gave Jocelyn a piano lesson and we ate at Burger King for lunch with all who were there. Sister Bell and I then went to the hospital to give travel money to a missionary that was getting a tooth fixed, then to Pricesmart and La Colonia to shop for food. We also went to the bank. We couldn’t do our banking business because their computer system was down, but we got to talk to Michelle. We asked her if she wanted to learn more about the Church, but she politely declined. That made us very sad. We called Elders Williams and Baxter, who were also disappointed. Hopefully, someday the seed we planted will sprout and she will want to learn more.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Happy Birthday April
We are beginning to receive items from our latest order of furniture for the missionary homes. Roger Perez is beginning to buy the 25 mattresses, 30 fans, 20 hot plates, 10 chairs, 10 tables, 20 mirrors, 20 mosquito nets and 5 white boards that we ordered about 2 months ago. We met Roger at Sinsa, one of the big hardware stores here and picked up 17 hot plates, 10 chairs and 10 fans. We stored a few of these things in our house and I took some of it to the Sister Leaders house. They have several storage rooms.
We had dinner at the Lee’s house tonight. Sister Lee cooked enchiladas and then we talked about our fathers. Sister Bell and I have been very blessed to have fathers that were good fathers. There are so many bad fathers in the world, especially in Nicaragua. Most of the children in Nicaragua are being raised by their mothers with no fatherly influence. It is one of the ills of the world today. Thanks Dad for being loyal to your family. Dad taught me many things, but especially duty and hard work. I shared that dad taught me how to be a dedicated home teacher… among many other things. I remember several fathers of families we home taught tell me how much they appreciated my father, and how he helped them with their businesses and other matters. I remember feeling very proud to have a father like that.
Sister Bell - I too have been blessed with a wonderful father. I haven't seen him lose his temper very many times. He taught his boys to respect their mother and sisters. He could sqeeze a dime till it bled. He believes in supporting his family even if he had to dig ditches. He is the most loving man I know and I always feel more positive about the world when I am around him. I love you, Dad.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
We spent the morning with Sister Poncio and Jocelyn at the hospital. Jocelyn started her physical for a mission. They appreciated us helping them learn the process of checking in, going to the appointment, getting exams and checking out. This is not an easy process in Nicaragua.
I had to find a new barber. The barber shop that I usually go to was closed… the shop was vacant. So I tried another barber shop today; Moas Barber Shop. They did a nice job of cutting my hair, but it was 100 cords more than the barber I used to go to.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Today we were the mission delivery missionaries. We first stopped in Rene Polanco to deliver a personal item and a stove (two burner hot plate). Then to La Catorce to deliver personal items. They gave us in return, a sack of clothes left by Sister Vasquez. We will give these to the sisters in Pueblo Nuevo who can’t afford to buy Church Clothes. Then we stopped by the hermanas in Los Laureles to drop off another stove. The sisters were excited to finally get a stove that worked. Then we went to Las Mercedes by the airport to give the sisters a new smoke alarm and some bug killer. Our final stop was in La Bocana in Tipitapa to give them another smoke alarm that works. Sister Bell did several health consults while we were visiting and some on the phone. We stopped at several pharmacies to find medicine for missionaries and made a run to Pricesmart to buy food for when the family begins to arrive tomorrow. We stopped at the office for about 2 hours and while there, I had requests for a DVD player and a new frig. It is never ending. I’ll go get a new frig at the assistant’s house and deliver it tomorrow morning.
Friday, June 9, 2017
I started the day taking a new frig to La Primavera, in Managua. Their light bill was really high last month and the owner thinks it is the frig. Apparently (I learned this from Jonathon Estrada) the frig as a control that turns off the frig when it is cold and sometimes this control burns out. When it does the frig runs all the time. The frig was hot and was running when we went by. So we will try this approach.
Sister Bell then went with me to the store. Then we went to the hospital to help a missionary with a doctors appointment. We took them to Pricesmart for lunch. One Elder had a slice of pizza, hamburger, fries, soda and a Sundae. The other had a slice of pizza, fried chicken, fries, soda and tres leche desert. Hungry missionaries can really pack it in. We took them to Bello Horizante, where they will work with Elder Nonu (it is his birthday today) and Elder Carter, the ZL’s for BH.
Paul, April, Parker, Emmet and Addie flew in tonight. It was so great to see them and give them hugs and kisses. We went to Tip Top for dinner (the only place that was open) and then dropped them off at the Holiday Inn Express.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
We cooked pancakes, ham and fruit at our home for Paul and his family. We are enjoying having him here.
Today we were taught by Elder Renlund, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. He was accompanied by his wife and Elder and Sister Achoa. The missionaries from both missions came. It is always enjoyable to be together and feel the love the missionaries have for each other. They love to get together. We sat with the Lee and Koellikers in front. The Helbergs sat close to use as well.
One of the highlights of the meeting was a song sang by some of our missionaries: Sisters Gunn, Atiifale, Hanson and Munoz. Elders Carlisle and Baxter also sang. Elder Nonu accompanied them (he also played prelude, postlude and accompanied the opening and closing songs. Sister Hanson led). It was beautiful.
Elder and Sister Achoa bore their testimonies and Sister Renlund led a discussion. She had asked the missionaries to read General Conference talks by President Urchdoft, Anderson and Nelson and then she asked them what they learned.
Elder Renlund said he had three main messages he wanted to tell us:
1. He thanked us for our service. Not only did he thank us but he thanked us on behalf of the Lord.
2. That we were called of God to serve in our particular missions and that we had the right and obligation to receive a spiritual assurance to that fact and when we receive it we should write it down.
3. He testified that the mission Presidents were called of God. He explained that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles study, discuss and approve each potential Mission President in the Temple and their assignments. He said a call is not made until all 15 Prophets know in the mind and heart that the call is right.
HE taught us how to be better missionaries. It was very inspiring. We all left feeling uplifted and inspired to do better.
Side note: I gave items to several missionaries that needed things and Sister Bell gave medical assistance to about 8 missionaries. It was a good day.
We went back to the house, found that Paul’s family did some swimming and went to the mall. We packed up and headed for Esteli. We eat at Pollo Fritiz in Tipitapa. We got to Esteli about 10pm.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
We attended Church in Condega. Paul was Elder Howlands young mens leader in Castle Rock, Colorado. It was a sweet reunion for the two of them.
The Condega Group had 32 people attending church today, including us. But normally they have about 15. We met in the back yard of Freddy and Virginia.
April bore her testimony (in English with Paul translating) and then Paul talked. His message was very timely, referring to the experience of Lehi leaving Jerusalem, and then having to go back several times to get plates and wives. The Lord knew that they would need to get these things and could have commanded them to return once for everything, but he had them return several times because they needed to learn lessons, that they could only learn through the journey. He talked about the growth of Condega, being a slow process, but that we need to learn things along the way. He referred to the members as pioneers. His Spanish is excellent and they both brought a wonderful spirit to the meeting.
We returned home in time to pack and go to Laguna de Apoyo. We are in a three bedroom house at the resort. It was dark when we arrived so we couldn’t see a lot along the way.
Sister Bell got a call from an Elder who was experiencing severe stomach pains. After prayer, we felt we needed to take him to the hospital. We left about 9:30pm, went to get him at this house, and headed to the hospital. The doctor checked him out and said he was fine, gave him some pain medication and sent him home. We got back to Laguna de Apoyo about 3:30am.
Paul went to the airport to get the Blattmans, who got in about 10:30pm.