Monday, July 3, 2017

Monday, June 26 to Sunday, July 2, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Our office meeting was postponed until this afternoon, so we went to the hospital to be with with one of our sister missionaries and her companion. After her appointment we went to the office to update the President and Sister Poncio about what the doctors said. We then returned to the hospital for a doctor’s appointment for another sister missionary. After this appointment we took them to dinner at the food court of the Galleria. Their eyes were really wide as we walked through the mall. I think they had visions of shopping. 

We thoroughly enjoyed being with each of these missionaries. They are all bright, beautiful young women, who love the Lord and love being missionaries. They were a lot of fun and they were appreciative of our service to them.

I made a 9pm medicine run to the Assistance house. It has been a long day….

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Michelle ironed white shirts this morning and then we went to the store. Afterwards, we stopped by the office to print some papers and then we went to Tipitapa to help the Hermanas move to the Sister Leaders house so that our two recuperating sisters can recuperate together. But first, we took them to lunch. They wanted to go to the food court at the Multicentral mall. They ordered food at Pizza Hut and McDonalds.

While we were waiting outside the Sister Leaders house, we began telling missionary stories. We discussed Elder Renlunds talk about the three things he wanted us to know (thanks from not only him, but also from the Lord, that we were called of God and that President Poncio was called of God). We talked about why some missionaries have to go home early for health reasons. I had related a little from Paul’s (our son) talk that he gave in Condega a few weeks ago. He talked about Lehi and why the boys needed to go back several times to get the plates and wives. They Lord knew they needed these things and yet, he made them go back to get them. Why didn’t he tell them to get them before they left? Paul answered that question, with a telling observation. He said they needed to experience the journey in order to learn, grow and show their faith and determination. I had told the sisters that they come on a mission for the same reason, to learn, grow and show their faith and determination.  We then talked about Zions camp, the parable of the seeds and the parable of the talents. Many thought that Zions camp was a failure because they did not free the saints in Missouri. But many of the future leaders of the Church participated in that march. They learned a lot about leadership from being with the prophet. They also showed their obedience and willingness to do whatever they were asked, and did so willingly and without complaint. They not only showed our Heavenly Father that they had these traits but they also showed themselves. We discussed that this is another reason why some missionaries come and go home early. 
We then talked about the Parable of the sower and the Parable of the Talents. In the Parable of the sower, we focused on the seed that was sowed in good soil, for our missionaries are growing in good soil. But some of the plants produced 100 percent, some 60% and yet others 30%. We sometimes think that these differences represent capacities, for some members/missionaries are more productive. But it could also represent time; for some missionaries served a full mission, some part and some even shorter time. But the plants grew and contributed. We then talked about the Parable of the talents, stressing that the individuals who received 5 and 2, received the same reward. We stressed that it is not as important how long we serve, but that we are dedicated while we are serving.

Sister Gunn, who was listening, then expressed her thoughts that missionaries that go home early for health reasons will still be serving in the kingdom, just in a different location and capacity. 

We have a great love for these sisters. They are wonderful. We love being around them. I love it when Sister Jimenez says, “Oh Elder Bell”, when I say something funny and when Sister Gonzalez yells “you who” when I tell them we are taking them to lunch and giving them a ride. They love the Lord, each other and being missionaries. This is truly one of the great blessings of being a missionary. We love watching them grow. We remember Sister Jimenez, when she first came into the mission field. We felt she was a little girl, lost in a big world. But she was really grown and matured. We are impressed with Sister Gunn. She has a wonderful heart and is very compassionate and inciteful. She will be a powerful sister Leader, but more importantly, she will be a wonderful wife, mother and Relief Society President. Sister Romero is also one we love. She is older, 27 years old, having only converted to the Gospel two years ago. Her maturity and dedication really shows forth. It is a wonderful day when we spend it with the Sister Missionaries.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

We spent the day again with our two recuperating missionaries. After taking them to the hospital for another visit, we then took them to PriceSmart. We got wheel chairs for them. One of the wheel chairs was motorized and our sister missionary loved driving it around the store, stopping at all the sample stands to get samples of food. I pushed the other, but we also stopped at the sample stands. We bought them hamburgers and fries after shopping and then brought them to our house for a few minutes. Afterward we took them back to the Sisters house. Both are a lot of fun.

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Sister Bell taught Jocelyn a piano lesson today at the mission home.

Friday, June 30, 2017
We had our change meeting this morning at the mission home. We are moving out of 8 houses and moving into 5 new houses. This will require a lot of coordination.

We went by the Sisters house and Sister Bell to give a shot to one of the missionaries. On our walk this morning, we talked with Gabriela, one of our neighbors. She asked if Sister Bell would help her learn English.  We invited her to come in the evening to practice English but she didn’t show up.

Saturday, July 1, 2017
Sister Bell gave Maria Clara a piano lesson in Trinidad. While she was teaching I was calling zone leaders to coordinate moves.

We ate at Burger King in Esteli and bought a Subway sandwich to eat later. Then we took a microwave to Elder Vega in Ocotal and drove to Somoto.

We gave the last temple prepreparation class to President Alaniz. Hermana Alaniz listened in. President Alaniz loved the temple. He went through 4 sessions and participated in about 200 sealings. He said his testimony increased. He also said he received impressions on things he should do in the branch. We discussed the need to help his family prepare to be sealed. A major step is for his wife to be baptized. The family has been listening to the Book of Mormon on CD as Sister Alaniz does not read.  We asked Sister Alaniz if she would like the missionaries to teach her the discussions again. She said Yes. We are very excited and hope that as she relearns the lessons, that she will be receptive to the spirit. We told Elder Taylor and Asplund this and they were really excited to teach her.

After this we went by to pick up Natalia (RS President) for our training meeting, but she had already left. But the lady across the street called me over and told me she is a member (baptized in Esteli) and needed a bible. She had a book of Mormon, so I promised to get her one. The President got her name and will get her records. We suspect there are some unbaptized family members so we told this to Elder Taylor and Asplund so they can go by. We also encouraged them to go past Hermana Natalia’s house to give her encouragement and to invite the non-member family members to hear the lessons. Therefore, we gave Elders Taylor and Asplund three good references.

We taught another leadership class, teaching about branch councils. Those in attendance were President Alaniz, Cristian, Natalia, Azaria and the 4 missionaries. Sister Bell and I both felt good about the lesson.

We then headed for Pueblo Nuevo for a 7pm teacher improvement lesson. About 6:30, we got a call from Elder Meneses asking us if we were coming. Apparently, everyone (Nubia, Dania, Maybelline and Horario) thought it started at 6. There were all waiting for us when we arrived at 7. We showed 5 videos from “teaching in the way of the Savior”. It went so well that we scheduled a follow-up lesson next week, but this time it will be at 6pm.

Sunday, July 2, 2017
We went to Pueblo Nuevo. We sometimes wonder if we are making progress. Pueblo Nuevo is an example that we are making some progress. The missionaries still are conducting the meetings. But Jose and Holario passed the sacrament. Dania taught SS, Nubia taught RS, Holario taught Priesthood and Ariales taught primary. Maybelline is learning how to lead music. We now have two Melchezedik Priesthood holders, two endowed members and 3 members that have received their patriarchal blessings. We are making progress.

We brought Augustina to Managua to receive her Patriarchal Blessing. She lives several kilometers out of Pueblo Nuevo and takes a bus when she comes to church (which she does every week). She was baptized in 2001 while she was living with her sister in Managua. But she moved back to Pueblo Nuevo before the missionaries came to Pueblo Nuevo and therefore was not able to attend church for many years. She is endowed and has done a lot of temple work for her family. She is 70 years old, had 11 children, of which 6 lived to maturity. She has 17 grandchildren. We brought her to Managua, picked up her sister and took her to Villa Flor where she got her blessing. She was very humble and happy to have finally received it.  We are glad she will have a visit with her sister as well.  It has been a really good weekend.

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