Monday, July 10, 2017
We are starting another week. Time is flying by. We started with our weekly office planning meeting. This is the first time we have attended for several weeks. Sister Bell took a bag of clean bed sheets to give to Sister Galbraith. Sister Bell also did another load of sheets this morning that she will give to her tomorrow. She has two more loads to do.
Sister Bell gave Joselyn Poncio a piano lesson, then after doing a few other tasks, we headed for home. Sister Bell needed to get the sheets off the line before it rained. We started working from home but took a break to talk to Steve, Heidi, Avery, Ginger and Nora. It is always good to talk to the family.
We went to the distribution center about 3:30. We have a long list of items the missionaries needed and wanted. We also expected to pick up our new truck, but it wasn’t ready. Tomorrow…. Maybe.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Happy 15-month anniversary and Henry’s Birthday. It is also Grandma Bell’s birthday.
We had our new missionary training meeting. This is when the new missionaries (up to 12 weeks in the mission) and their companions come for more training. Sister Bell taught her “Umbrella of Comfort” presentation, showing items that can make their stay in Nicaragua more comfortable… basically the missionaries go through her purse. Then Elder Adams and Chinchilla took us to the Church O&M office to pick up our new truck. Pretty fancy… huh. It has 266km on the odometer.
Lees and Helbergs came over for dinner. We asked Lee’s about their mission, what they enjoyed and what they didn’t. They said that the thing they didn’t like was the traffic, especially the Motos, Taxis and buses. The thing that gave them the most satisfaction was working with the branch in Ciudad Dario. They had 14 members, 2 families go to the temple this month and one of the men was just called as the Branch President. They have worked miracles there.
Tuesday, July 12, 2017
We drove our new truck to Chinandega for a multizone conference. It was a pleasure to drive. It accelerates wonderfully so it was easy to pass slower vehicles. Sister Bell taught about respiratory illness and I talked about taking care of Baptismal clothing. I told the missionaries about my memories of my mother ironing her temple clothes before going to the temple. She did it with such love, respect and care. It made a major impression on me. I then told them that baptismal clothing is just as sacred as temple clothing and we should treat them with love, respect and care.
Sister Bell and I made a run to a pharmacy to buy medicine for a missionary. Then I set up tables and chairs for lunch. We looked all over the building for tables. We found 5, but 2 were broken and couldn’t be used. We had 60 mouths to feed and 3 tables was not enough. There was a young man at the church who made a few calls and got keys to an outside closet. He pulled out 5 brand new tables. We put them in the back of my new truck and drove them across the lot to the church. So every missionary had a place to sit at a table.
Sister Bell had several medical consults throughout the day and was the last one out of the Church because she was still helping a missionary. We loaded up and headed for Esteli. We decided to drive to Esteli tonight so we didn’t have to get up early tomorrow to get to the multizone conference in Esteli. However, on the way, we got a call from a missionary whose companion needed to go to the hospital. I was tempted to change our plans and head for home, but we didn’t. We got permission from Sister Poncio, gave instructions to the Elder of what to do, and got a payment guarantee. Now we are just waiting and hope all goes well. (It did)
Thursday, July 13, 2017
It was nice to sleep in, or at least not get up at 4:30am to leave by 6am. Since we stayed in Esteli last night, we were able to have a normal morning. The multizone conference went well. Sister Bell was able to get through her material in record time so that I had 3 full minutes to talk about how and why we need to take care of baptismal clothing. President Poncio gave all of us a challenge to read the Book of Mormon in 2 months and write down the impressions we get. Sister Bell and I have been reading every night, but we will need to increase the amount we read to finish in 2 months. This reminds me when President Hinckley gave the members the challenge to read the book of Mormon in 60 days. It was fun to see people reading everywhere;on the train or on a plane. There was a wonderful spirit everywhere we went. We then took Sister Poncio to Subway to order lunch, back to the conference and then back to Subway to pick up the sandwiches. Sister Bell visited with several missionaries that were sick. We left Esteli about 3pm and got home about 6pm.
This is the Ocotal Zone; Somoto and Pueblo Nuevo are part of this zone.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Sister Bell finished washing the sheets for the Sister Leaders. She washed, dried and folded 28 sheets over the week. It took 4 loads and most of one week to do it. That is a labor of love.
We then made a trip to Pricesmart. Then home for lunch and to take sheets off the line. We then went to Multicentral Mall to buy 4 white shirts with ties, then to the office. The Lees invited us to go to Carl’s Jr. for dinner so we went to Metrocentral Mall, where the only Carl’s Jr. in the country is located. It was packed. Apparently a lot of people like Carl’s Jr. Hamburgers… just like home.
At home, Sister Bell ironed and we watched a movie.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
I slept pretty good until about 2am. I kept thinking about how I was going to pack boxes of materials, a table, 2 whiteboards and our personal things in the truck so that they don’t get wet or stolen. I didn’t sleep very well the rest of the night.
We left at 7am (David helped me pack, using tarps that I had purchased about a month ago). We stopped at the office so Sister Bell could make a few copies of music sheets. We got to Trinidad early, about 9:30am. Maria Clara was still in bed, but her mother got her up. Karol Linneth came over, plus another young girl who wants to learn to play the piano. Michelle now has 3 students in Trinidad.
We then grabbed a bite at Subway in Esteli, before heading to Somoto. Our first stop was at the home of Natalia and Celia. Natalia is the RS President and Celia is the 1st Counselor and daughter of Natalia. The kids in the neighborhood love Sister Bell because she always has candy.
We took Natalia and Celia to the Church where we had a RS training. They have been the Presidency for several months, but are still needing to learn more about what a RS Presidency does. Sister Bell found a wonderful short video that explains the three primary purposes of RS. We showed that and then had a wonderful discussion about how to organize to accomplish the purposes. We talked a lot about visiting teachers. At the end of the meeting we had three action items. 1- Identify 2-3 sisters to visit and then to visit them. They came up with several in our meetings. 2- Plan an RS activity, identifying what they want to do and how much it will cost and 3- Elder Bell will develop a RS roster so we can help them begin to organize VT routes.
We then took Natalia to her cousins house and Celia to her house, but returned a little later to pick up Celia for a branch council training. Only President Alaniz, Celia and Elders Garcia and Gharring were there for the training. We had a great discussion about how to support the missionary effort in the branch.
We then drove to Pueblo Nuevo for another teacher improvement lesson. Everyone was there, including Hilario’s granddaughter. We continued the discussion about how to develop love for and prepare a lesson for the students. Again, there was a lively discussion, which went very well. By assignment from the week before, Dania, Nubia, Arelys and Hilario all taught a part of the lesson. At the end of the lesson, we discussed extending the 2-hour block to 2.5 hours to allow more teaching time for SS, Priesthood and YW. Everyone was in agreement. Therefore, starting in two weeks, they will begin their meetings at 9:30am. Elder Medeiro was appointed the time keeper to make sure everyone knows when to begin and end their classes.
We got to Koellikers about 9:15pm…. A long but satisfying day.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
We had a wonderful day in the service of the Lord. We started a 7:30am driving to Ocotal to deliver supplies. We got there just a few minutes before Church was starting. When we walked in, we noticed President Poncio and his family was visiting. We quickly dropped off the materials and left for Somoto.
Attending Church in Somoto was a delight. President Alaniz with the help of the missionaries have made some wonderful progress. Hermana Zaidas 12-year-old son came with his white shirt and tie so that he could pass the sacrament. Many of the other men came in white shirts and ties. They looked good. After Sacrament meeting, the members and investigators separated into several different rooms. There was primary, which was taught by Leslin, a recent convert.
The young women went into another class room. This class was taught by Cristin Alaniz. There was another SS class for young men. Elder Alfaro taught this class. There was a gospel doctrine class taught by Elder Gharring and Principles of the Gospel which was taught by Elder Asplund and Garcia. I was really impressed. At noon, these classes ended. Some of the members began to leave. However, the RS stayed and held their meeting. Somoto is growing. It is wonderful to be part of this growth.
We picked up Elders Soares and Baxter in Trinidad and took them to Managua with us.