Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday, July 24 to Sunday, July 30, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy Pioneer day. We celebrated by cooking breakfast for the Assistants (Diaz, Campbell), and the secretaries (Adams, Chinchilla and Ruiz). We ate blueberry pancakes, eggs, ham, watermelon and juice. They enjoyed the food and we enjoyed their company. We all went to the office for our weekly planning meeting. The Poncios went to Puerto Cabeza last week and came home with a list of things they need. Elder Lee and I will be sending 4 mattresses, 4 fans, 2 whiteboards and 6 telephones. Sister Poncio brought in a wonderful lunch of chicken, pork, salad, rice, watermelon and desert. It was delicious. Having eaten lunch and after having eaten such a big breakfast, we won’t have to eat much for dinner.

We spent the afternoon in the Hospital with missionaries that had doctors appointments. We got home about 6:45pm. I cooked grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Tuesday, July 26, 2017

We were back at the hospital for another doctor appointment. After leaving the hospital, we went home for lunch and to take clothes off the line. We worked from home for a few hours. Sister Bell had a lot of charting and follow-up to do and I worked on putting together an agenda for the Somoto RS activity and their VT routes which we helped them develop last Saturday.

We then went back to the hospital to get test results for a missionary and take them to the Doctors office. As modern as this hospital is, they don’t have an electronic system for test results. All the test results are hard copy and the patient is responsible to take care of them and bring them to the doctors’ offices. Not a very modern system of record keeping.

Sister Bell ironed after a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We spent a few hours with Hermana Silva from Brazil and Hermana Pozo from El Salvador. We took them to Huembas and then to Rosti Pollo for lunch. We love the missionaries. 

After dropping the sisters off at their apartment, we drove back to the hospital. Two other sisters came in, got fixed and returned to their area and another Elder had a doctors appointment. We have been at the hospital a lot this week. Fortunately, most weeks are not like this. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

We spent a few hours in Tipitapa paying for some lab tests for another missionary. The downtown streets in Tipitapa become an outdoor market. The cars can barely pass and some streets are totally blocked off, except for the bike taxis.

We stopped at Multicentral Mall to buy another white shirt and tie for a young man in Trinidad. Then home for lunch and out again after lunch. After lunch, we went to the distribution center, Pricesmart and Colonia. We were hoping to spend more of today at home working on a newsletter, but it wasn’t to be.

Tonight, we went to Helbergs for dinner.  It was a delicious meal with lots of vegetables.  It was nice to visit the Helbergs and the Lees with just relaxing conversation.

Friday, July 28, 2017
We picked up 4 mattresses and 4 fans from the sister’s house and took them to the office. It was nice to have the truck. The mattresses and fans all fit into the back of the truck. We spent the morning and early afternoon in the office. 

We left about 3pm for Trinidad. We taught a temple class to 3 sisters (Karen, Wendy and Nubia) and two young man who are preparing to go to the temple. The boys are going to be baptized for the dead. Most are preparing to go in December. One young man is going in September to do baptisms for the dead. The lesson, the Plan of Salvation, went well and was very spiritual. We love teaching the gospel.

After we left the office this afternoon, someone got into the Church lot and stole the side mirrors from 3 mission cars; the Presidents, Lees and the secretaries cars. The Church property is fenced and gated, but we might have to hire a guard.

We stayed with Koellikers.

Saturday, July 29, 2017
Happy Birthday Nora…. 1-year old today….

We slept all night waking up at 6:30am. I didn’t get up once. We love the big, soft bed we sleep in at the Koellikers. It is wonderful. We walked, showered and ate breakfast before leaving at 9:30 for Trinidad. Hermana Bell gave lessons to Maria Clara and Darisa. We took Elders Soares and Baxter to Esteli to get baptismal clothing from the Zone Leaders. We stopped at Burger King for breakfast and headed for Somoto.

We met with Natalia and Celia to finish planning their RS activity. We also reviewed the Visiting Teacher assignments we helped them develop last week. Celia was feeling better (she was sick last week). She smiled, laughed and talked more this week. Natalia is always happy and loves to talk. She visited inactive sisters this week with the missionaries. She is learning to be a RS President.

We then went to President Alaniz's house. His wife has a baptismal date for August 8. Elder Diaz, one of the assistants and the missionary who baptized President Alaniz will be in Somoto on divisions that day, which is why she agreed to be baptized. Even though it is a Tuesday, we will make the trek to Somoto. We wouldn’t miss this. She told us why she decided to get baptized. She had been very reluctant to get baptized because her family, especially her mother, were very Catholic and she didn’t want to disappoint them. However, the other day as she was pondering whether to get baptized or not, she heard a voice, which sounded like her mother, saying “you need to get baptized”. She decided then and there to get baptized and has been very happy since making that decision. This was tender mercy for her, letting her know that her mother, who has passed on, was supportive of her getting baptized. We suspect her mother has also accepted the Gospel and wants her to do the work for her in the temple.

We then went to the Church and taught another leadership class. We talked about reactivation and retention activities and how a branch counsel can help in these efforts. We discussed how visiting teaching and home teaching can help bring people back to church. We also talked about the need for every member to have a calling, a friend and be nourished by the good word of God. Elder Alfaro told about how when he was inactive, he was fellowshipped by a wonderful older couple and by a friend. That friend is Elder Martinez in our mission.

We then drove to Pueblo Nuevo and taught another teacher improvement class. We had given assignments to read about how to show our love for students in their classes especially those who don’t come, incorporate those principles into action and then share the experience they had. Sister Nubia told how she is talked with her young niece who is inactive and encouraged her to come back to Church. Hilario told how he went to visit Francisco, an inactive older man, and invited him back to Church. He also took the missionaries to Francisco’s house. The missionaries are now visiting with him regularly.

Hermana Nubia also told us of two faith promoting experiences she had since we saw her last. She has had some health problems, especially dealing with high blood pressure. One night, she was laying down and could hardly breath. She thought that she might die. As she sat at the side of the bed, she prayed and told Heavenly Father that if it was time for her to leave this life, she was ready to go, but if she had a choice she wanted to stay. She said that she then saw an angel in her room. As the angel passed, the sickness left her and she felt well again. Apparently, she has more to do in this life.

She then told us of a dream that she had. She dreamed that she was walking toward a building, being followed by a large crowd of people. She didn’t know the people. As she was walking, a storm passed by, with lightning very close to her. She was becoming very scared. She then heard a voice telling her, “you need not fear, you are endowed”. Instantly, she felt very calm and knew all would be well.

These Nicaraguan friends of ours are very spiritual and have great faith.  They are great examples to us and we are strengthened by being with them.

We stayed at the La Frontera Hotel in Ocotal. The Hex Hotel where we usually stay in Esteli was full. They had a concert in Esteli and all the rooms were filled. The Frontera had a pretty courtyard outside the back door of the room, below the balcony. The clouds were hanging low in the mountains surrounding Ocotal on Sunday morning. It was peaceful and beautiful.

Sunday, July 30. 2017

We attended Church in Pueblo Nuevo and then had dinner at the Koellikers house in Esteli. President Poncio and his family, the Lee’s, Elder Maravilla (Area Seventy) and his wife and the Zone Leaders were invited. Sister Koelliker cooked a wonderful chicken dinner with vegetables, salad, watermelon and Texas Sheet Cake with ice cream.

The men then went to a General District Priesthood Meeting at the Church in Esteli. There were close to 150 Priesthood Holders, Aaronic and Melchezedik. It was wonderful. There were maybe 30 Priesthood Holders at the last District Priesthood Meeting that was held as part of District Conference. Most in attendance had white shirts and ties, several that were given to them by our family. There were at least 8 from Somoto, 2 from Pueblo Nuevo, 6 from Trinidad and about 6 from Condega. Then we had all the missionaries there as well. I walked around shaking hands and giving hugs. It felt like a family reunion. I love these brethren and feel their love for me. I love being with friends and they are truly friends. Freddy and Catalino from Somoto were presented to be ordained Elders. This was a surprise to me as I thought they were waiting until the September District conference. Apparently, President Alaniz and President Rivera had other ideas. I support them in this decision and will work hard to help these two brethren understand the Priesthood and magnify it. 

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