Sunday, August 27, 2017

Monday, August 21 to Sunday, August 27, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

We took our truck into a new dealer for servicing. We had to make an appointment, find the dealer, figure out where the service department was, find someone to help, pick it up hours later and pay for it. All went without a hitch. Maybe we are becoming Nicas.

We attended the office staff meeting, picking up a few assignments. Then we headed to the hospital. We drove the President's car since ours was in the shop and he was in meetings all morning. We helped the missionaries, bought them lunch, gave them money for taxis and wished them well. We also picked up some medicine for other missionaries and then went back to the office. 

A tender mercy happened while we were at the hospital. There was a returned missionary (of 4 days) who was in the emergency room. Her home was Nicaragua but was serving in another country. She came home needing medical attention. She needed to be admitted, but the hospital was not able to contact the insurance to change the condition of the payment guarantee. The admissions person asked if we could help. We talked to the missionary and her mother. We tried getting a hold of the Stake President, who would be the one dealing with the insurance. But he didn’t answer his phone. Finally, Sister Bell called the insurance, explained the situation and the lady at the insurance said she would call the hospital immediately. We were glad we were there to help.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

We had our new missionary training today, 16 new missionaries with their companions. The unique thing about this group is that only 3 were Elders and 13 were Sisters. Because some of the new missionaries didn’t get our 10 commandments of good health when they first arrived, President Poncio asked that we incorporate this training in what we were going to do. Our topic was to be eating a balanced diet, but since this is part of the 10 commandments, we decided to expand the original 10 commandments presentation. We did this through asking questions about the 10 commandments and of course, we had a bag of chocolates to pass out for participation. The participation was excellent and it was a lot of fun.

We had Elder Alofipo, Bendeck and Chen for dinner at our house. We made enchiladas. I get more and more impressed with these missionaries as I learn about their family life. They are wonderful examples of disciples of Christ.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

We got up at 4:30 am, expecting to leave at 6 am for a zone conference in Chinandega. At 5:30, we got a call from Sister Poncio telling us the conference is being delayed until noon. So we skyped with Kim and left about 8 am. We took a new mattress to Sister Romero in Leon and then took her and her companion Hermana Orellana to the conference in Chinandega. 

Sister Bell taught a lesson on back pain. She showed the missionaries how to do exercises and then had a few missionaries do them. It was a lot of fun. We left the conference and drove to Esteli. We are staying at the HEX.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

We had our multizone conference in Esteli at the El Rosario Chapel. We love this conference because we see so many missionaries that we work closely with in Somoto, Pueblo Nuevo, Condega and Trinidad. Our presentation about back pain went well. The Koellikers baked cupcakes for everyone to celebrate President and Sister Poncio’s birthdays. We sang happy Birthday to them in Spanish and then in English.

Friday, August 25, 2017

We had our Multizone conference in Managua. Sister Bell did her presentation about sore backs having 5 missionaries demonstrate back strengthening exercises.

Elder Boaz showed us how to do one of the exercises.

We had a short 2-hour conference. Then we had the opportunity to listen to M. Joseph Brough, 2nd Counselor in the General YM Presidency and his wife and Tad R. Callister, General Sunday School President and his wife. Brother and Sister Brough spoke Spanish, having served as Mission Presidents in Guatemala. President Poncio was a Stake President in his mission when he was there. Brother Callister talked about the Atonement. We had read his book; The Infinite Atonement so were very excited to hear him speak on the subject in person. Sister Bell took about 4 pages of notes. One of the key messages from his talk is that the Atonement overcame 4 obstacles that prevent us from returning to the presence of God. Two are obvious: The Atonement overcame Physical death and Sin (Spiritual Death). But he also said that the Atonement helps us overcome our afflictions and our imperfections and weaknesses. He explained that if we feel the Holy Ghost, we are either forgiven of our sins or at least on the path to forgiveness. He also explained that we remember our sins because remembering can be a deterrent to repeating the sin. His example was Alma, who remembered his sins for many years, but could remember them without the guilt after he received forgiveness.

We had the Helbergs over for dinner. We cooked pancakes, eggs and hash browns. We were sad that the Lee’s were not with us.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

It was good to be back in the mountains. We are both tired after a very busy week and were not excited about getting back in the truck and driving 4 hours north. But once we started and especially after we got there and began to work, our hearts changed and we loved what we did today. Sister Bell taught one lesson in Trinidad to Maria Clara. The other girls were not around.

We then drove to Pueblo Nuevo to work with Elders Johnson and Medeiro. We visited members and investigators, all who lived way out of town. It takes them 1.5 hours to walk out to these homes. The first stop was to the home of a teacher. She was not home but her husband was. He allowed us to come in and the Elders taught him alittle about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. Apparently the Jehova Witnesses are visiting him also. He accepted the book and they set another appointment for tomorrow. We then stopped by the home of Hermana Jenny. Her husband was home so we got to meet and visit with him. He is not a member. Past missionaries taught him but he was never baptized. The Elder gave him a short message. Sister Bell passed out candy and we left. Both these homes are in San Antonio, several Kilometers outside of Pueblo Nuevo. I had to put the truck in 4-wheel drive acouple of times to get to their homes.

Then we went in another direction out of town. Again it was about 7 kilometers outside of town but in a different direction. We stopped at the home of a young family. The home is adobe but very clean (for a dirt floor). The Elders gave her (the husband was not home) a Book of Mormon and we all bore our testimony of the Book of Mormon. The two little girls were practicing putting buckets on their heads.

We taught another teacher improvement class in Pueblo Nuevo. It went very well. Each taught a mini lesson about Teaching by the Spirit. Dania and Maybelline were not there. Hilario, Nubia, Arylis, Elder Johnson and Elder Medeiro were there. We had a wonderful discussion focusing on being prepared and then being flexible so that the Spirit can guide the teaching.

 Sunday, August 27, 2017

We attended church in Pueblo Nuevo. Sister Bell took our keyboard and she played for Sacrament Meeting. The Elders had asked me last night to talk in Sacrament Meeting about Mercy. I of course, thought of Mercy and how it affects Justice. I had a talk all outlined in my head about the merciful act of the Savior in our behalf. But when we got to Pueblo Nuevo and began to visit with the Elders, I found that they had another idea all together. They wanted me to talk about Mercy and how we should be merciful to each other. So I had to quickly rethink my talk. That wasn’t hard because I had a wonderful example, Grandpa Thomas. I told how he was kind, considerate, patient and merciful to others. I shared two examples: the first was when I was visiting their home before we were engaged. Michelle had gone to pick up Roxanne. She drove through I stop sign and ran into a truck. Grandpa didn’t show any anger, only compassion and concern for the health of his daughters. He was very merciful. The other example was that he forgave any indebtedness to his family members in his will, another merciful act. He was a great example of putting others first.

Sister Bell helped in primary, playing the piano and teaching songs. The kids really enjoyed that. 

We then went to Trinidad and taught another temple preparation class. Only Karen was there, but we had the lesson anyway. We talked about the blessings of the temple, using D&C 109 and D&C 97 as the text. The spirit was sweet. Karen is very excited about going to the temple and has found great peace and happiness in the Church. We were not sure she was going to make the class, as one of her sons was sick. She had taken him to the Hospital. They found he had the beginnings of a throat infection and gave him some medicine. She took him home and then came to the meeting at the Presidents house. We offered to postpone the meeting (especially since Dania and Wendy were not there), but Karen wanted to come and have the lesson. She is a great example of faith and commitment. She teaches Sunday School and Seminary. They have been trying to have Seminary in the church every morning at 5 am. She lives across town so she must walk to the church and be there by 5 am every morning. Not surprising, the students haven’t been coming. I suggested that they consider home seminary and a class once a week on Saturday. She liked that idea and will talk with the Branch President. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Monday, August 14 to Sunday, August 20, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

We got up at 3:30am. The Office Elders picked us up at 5am and took us to the airport. Our flight left at 7:30 am. We arrived on time in Atlanta and after going to immigration and customs, we looked for new Elders who were arriving from the MTC on their way to Nicaragua. We found Elders Davis, Russell and Deere. We had lunch with them, explaining about the mission and answering their questions.

Everywhere we went, we found other senior missionaries, current or past. It felt like we were part of a fraternity. We met missionaries serving in Panama (Temple), Dallas and Hawaii. We met other members who would say “hi” to us. It was a lot of fun. We arrived in SLC at 7pm, got our car and drove to Idaho Falls, arriving about 11:30pm.

When we landed in Atlanta, we had a wonderful feeling come over us, telling us “we are home”. With all of the problems we have in the USA, it is still a wonderful place to live.  The first thing Sister Bell did was drink out of the drinking fountain and brush her teeth using tap water at the airport.  Those little luxuries!!!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

We started the day at the temple. The Idaho Falls temple has been renovated and it is beautiful.  Michelle’s sister, brother, sister-in-law, nieces and a nephew joined us.  We miss the temple and it was like going home.  We felt close to Dad there as that was one of his favorite places to be.  He went to the temple weekly for most of his life and served as a veil worker.

We spent the day with family preparing for the viewing tonight and the funeral tomorrow. It was great to be with family. Everyone is working together to make grandpas funeral go well. We met the babies of Danielle and Marie. They are both adorable. Everyone wanted to hold and entertain them.  Michelle and her sisters helped put Dad’s temple robes on and worked on their talk for tomorrow. We had a luncheon with everyone that was there so far, about 25. The viewing was very nice. Several seminary teachers came that worked with dad.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today was grandpa’s funeral. Paul, Addie, McKay, John, Steve, Ginger, Avery, Heidi, Dutch, Nora, Becky, Kanika, Kadin, Corgan and Meena all came. It was a wonderful tribute to a great man. Dad loved to serve others. He did things, not so much because he wanted to, but because others wanted to do them. For example, he went hunting with Kevin, because Kevin likes to hunt. Michelle, Roxanne and Jamie shared stories. It was a lot of fun. The grandkids and great grandkids sang “Give said the little stream”. Michelle shared a story that changed his life, it was during WW II. He was in an LDS church service. A young man bore his testimony and said that if he died in battle, he was ready to go. Dad felt the spirit strongly and he wondered if he had done things to build the kingdom. He decided then that he needed to do more to build the gospel. Michelle shared his testimony that he had written as part of his person history. It was very strong. 

Steve gave the doctrinal talk. He summarized the plan of Salvation in a simple manner. We were very proud of him. The graveside service was in McCammon. Paul, John, Steve were pall bearers, along with the other grandsons.

We went to Becky’s after the funeral. John, Paul, Addie and McKay went to Logan. The kids went swimming at Paul’s hotel. We picked up barbeque in Malad and took it to Becky’s.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Michelle and I took John to the airport. We were so thankful he came. He flew in on Tuesday night and drove to Idaho Falls with Paul. He stayed at Becky’s house on Wednesday night and then flew home today. We had an enjoyable time driving to the airport with him and had a good talk. Then we drove to Steve’s in Big Piney. Paul was there, too. We picked up fresh peaches and corn from Willard and cooked corn for dinner. We are having a wonderful grandkid “fix”.  It was especially nice to hug little Nora for the first time. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Ginger

We spent the morning in Wyoming. Paul left about 11am and Michelle and I left about 2pm. We enjoyed our stay with Steve and Ginger. They are very happy and the kids are growing fast. We are excited about their new one that will be born in March. We hope to be home for the big event.

We drove to Becky’s and stayed with her Friday night. It was good to be with her family too. We love and miss our children and grandchildren.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

We left Becky’s about 5:30am and drove to the airport. We flew to Atlanta and then to Managua, arriving about 8pm. Elder Adams, Chinchilla and Ruiz met us at the airport. All was well at our home.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

We got up at 4am and left the house at 5:30am, headed for Somoto. We wanted to attend the Branch Conference. However, when we were almost to Esteli, Elder Koelliker called and said that the branch and District Presidents had a meeting in Managua. We didn’t know if the conference would still happen, but we kept going to Somoto. We found out that they had postponed the Branch Conference. We still enjoyed the meetings. We stopped by President Alaniz’s house to visit with Sister Alaniz. Juanito was sick so she could not come to the meeting. We visited with her awhile and then left for home, stopping briefly at the Koellikers house. We got home about 7pm. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Monday, August 7 to Sunday, August 13, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017

We had a lot of things to do today and we were not sure if we could get them all done… but we did. We first had our staff meeting at the Presidents House. He was preparing to host the Leon Zone for lunch at this house. He invites various zone to come to his house monthly to celebrate those who meet their goals. They play and eat. The missionaries love it and it gives them a reward for meeting their goals.
Sister Ingram (2nd from L) will be going home this week. She is a wonderful missionary, works hard and loves being here. Sister Menendez, her companion is of the same caliber of missionary. We love our missionaries.

Sister Galbraith (2nd from R) from Jackson Hole, WY is going home next week after serving faithfully for 18 months. She has served as the Lead Sister Trainer for the past several months. We have loved serving with her. She is always happy and smiling. Sister Fersola (r) will be the new Sister Trainer. 

We then went to the bank, Pricesmart, found a place to fix our tire, helped three sets of missionaries with doctor appointments, bought items at Distribution, went to dinner with the Lees and Helbergs at Pricesmart and ended up at the Mayasa Volacano at night. What a day…. The volcano is more impressive at night, than it is during the day.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Today is was a day of highs and lows. We woke up to the news that Grandpa Thomas passed away at 12:40am. Jamie and Roxanne were with him as he took his last breath. They said he slipped away peacefully. He is now with Grandma, LaVoy and many other love ones and friends. When Michelle woke up this morning about 5am, her first thought was “Dad is with Mom”. She had a warm, peaceful feeling come over her as the Holy Ghost comforted her. Roxanne called about 6am with the news. Grandpa was a wonderful example of someone without guile. He loved everyone and had tremendous patience. I don’t ever remember seeing him mad, even when Grandma got after him for something. We will miss him, but know that we are an eternal family and will be together again.

We drove 4 hours to Somoto today to be at the baptism of Hermana Sadia Alaniz (President Alaniz’s wife) and Yanelis Lira, daughters of Hermana Zaida. We bought Hermana Alaniz a white dress because the Elders did not have baptismal clothes that fit her. The dress we bought her can also be used as a temple dress. The family has a goal of going to the temple in a year to be sealed. She looked beautiful and it fit perfectly.

Elder Diaz, one of the assistants, performed the baptism for Hermana Alaniz and Yanelis, the daughter of Hermana Zaida. She has been attending Church with her mother for almost 2 years and finally received a testimony. Elder Diaz served in Somoto at the beginning of his mission, taught and baptized President Alaniz, Cristin, Hermana Zaida and Catalina. He was able to come back and spend the day working with Elder Alfaro and then perform the baptism. President and Sister Poncio also participated. There were at least 25 people in attendance. The service was beautiful and the spirit was strong. Hermana Sadia and Yanelis radiated with the spirit. It was wonderful to see how happy they were. President Alaniz was very happy that his wife is now a member of the Church. We brought a cake and served refreshments afterward. It was definitely worth the trip. We drove home (back to Managua) after the service, getting back home about 11:30pm.

L to r: President Alaniz, Elder Asplund, Elder Alfaro, Sadia Alaniz, Elder Diaz, Yanelis,
Elder Gharring, Elder Garcia

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

We didn’t get much sleep as we got up at 4:00 am, in order to get a missionary to the hospital. We spent the morning there. 

We spent the afternoon in the house, preparing for zone conferences. Sister Fersola, the new sister trainer, will need to give the presentation (on back pain) in Puerto Cabeza. She will also need to give the 10 commandments of good health to the new missionaries on Tuesday, of next week (assuming we will be in Idaho for Dad’s funeral).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

We brought the recuperating missionary to our house to rest for a few days. We spent a few hours at the office and then took our Nicaragua ID, Passport and itinerary to Betty Castro. She will get our exit visa tomorrow (we got approval to go to grandpas funeral).

We got a call from a missionary in Tipitapa. We met him at the hospital and spent a few hours with him there. 

We cooked spaghetti for the boys tonight and played a round of 5 Crowns.

Friday, August 11, 2017

We had our change planning meeting this morning. Sister Bell and I actually had a change in our area. Every companionship is assigned an area. We were Maximo Jerez 3 and are now Maximo Jerez 2. We moved up because the Lees are leaving, they were Maximo Jerez 2. This is only a name change; we are still doing what we have always done.

Sister Bell instructed Sister Fersola and Hermana Poncio on how to teach the new missionaries, zone conference in Puerto Cabeza and what to do when a sick missionary calls.

We took crutches to Tipitapa and then came home.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I taught Elder Soares how to cook pancakes. They turned out pretty good. We then picked up the Lees and took them to Huembas. 

We cooked Beef Western for dinner. I bought a fresh pineapple and coconut. Salvador opened the coconut for me with his machete. The Lees came over for dinner and we played Golf (card game) with Elder Baxter and Soares.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

We went to Church at the Ruben Dario Ward that meets in the Waspan building. Elder Baxter served in this area for several months. The members were excited to see him. After Sacrament Meeting, we attended a baptism in the La Primavera Ward. Elder Simpson and Najera baptized a man (Victor). His girlfriend is a member (we think a returned missionary). It was a sweet baptism. Elder Simpson was excited to hear all the news from Somoto, where he served for several months at the beginning of his mission. He was especially excited to hear about Sadia Alaniz and Yanelis Lira getting baptized this week.

There are scorpions here, but this is the first time we saw a metal scorpion in the Church.

We went to the Helbergs for brunch with the Lees. We will miss the Lees. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday, July 31 to August 6, 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017
This morning we had our office meeting at the President’s house. This is one of the last meetings with the Lee’s and Sister Galbraith.

L to r: Bells, Sister Galbraith, Sister Fersola, Sister Poncio, President Poncio, Sister Lee, Elder Lee, Elder Campbell, Elder Chinchilla, Elder Ruiz, Elder Adams and Elder Diaz.

Our day was spent in trying to get the mirrors replaced on the three mission cars. After the meeting, Elder Adams, Elder Lee and I took vehicles to Casa Pellas. Our insurance person had told Elder Adams that all we needed to do was to take them to Casa Pellas and it would take a few minutes to replace the mirrors. So we were disappointed when they told us it would take most of the day. Elder Lee decided to stay and wait (which he did for about 4 hours). I took a taxi home. I got a call from Elder Adams telling me that Casa Pellas did not have the mirrors for the Presidents Car, which I was driving. We also found out that the insurance doesn’t cover this damage, so the mission will have to pay. Elder Adams came and got me at home so I could take the Presidents car (unfixed) back to the mission home. I had left my truck there. I then took the Elders back to Casa Pellas so they would pick up their truck. We didn’t get much more done today…

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Today is another celebration in Nicaragua. It is the first day of the observance of Saint Dominic (Santo Domingo) de Guzman. There were festivals, parades and horse and car shows. The streets are supposed to be closed, at least parts of the city with thousands of people participating. We stayed home. We worked a little from home in the morning, and then relaxed in the afternoon. It was the first day we have had in several weeks to relax and it felt good.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I got a haircut this morning and then we went to the office. We worked there until about 1pm. We left to buy and deliver medicine for a missionary and then came home for a late lunch. I put together our next medical flier about exercises for back pain. We have many missionaries, especially Sister missionaries who develop back pain. Mostly from carrying too much in their backpacks or fanny packs and wearing them incorrectly.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Today was a well-deserved preparation day for all the senior missionaries in Nicaragua; Lees, Koellikers, Helbergs and us. We went to Granada.

We went with the Helbergs. When we arrived at the Helbergs house, we found that Sister Helberg was wearing the matching blouse that Michelle was wearing.

Our first stop was at the boat docks where we took an hour boat ride through the Islands in Lake Nicaragua. We enjoyed seeing the homes, birds and monkeys. It rained a little while on the lake. We had a guide that spoke English. He knew a lot about the ecology, birds, fish and people who lived on the islands.

We then went to downtown Granada. We eat at a local restaurant, then walked about the plaza and walked up to top of the bell tower of the Cathedral. Afterward, we got ice cream and then the Helbergs and us took a horse drawn carriage ride around the city. Granada is the oldest city in Nicaragua.

The last picture is of the oldest house in Nicaragua. It belonged to William Walker, an American who became President of Nicaragua for a year. Neighboring countries opposed him and eventually defeated him, but not before he burned 85% of the city. This was in the 1850s.

Friday, August 4, 2017

This morning I prayed that I would see Heavenly Fathers hand in our service. This afternoon, I saw it. We were leaving the office about 2:30 pm to pay a bill. We had several routes we could have taken. But for some reason, I drove through Villa Flor. As we were passing through Villa Flor, Sister Bell got a call from a sister close to Villa Flor. Her companion, had just passed out on the street. Sister Bell talked her through what she should do. We were only a mile from them, so we quickly turned around and headed for their direction. When we got there, the sister was sitting up, feeling better, but still had some pain that was troubling. So Sister Bell decided we needed to take her to the hospital to get checked. She saw Doctora Abdala, our LDS doctor (who is 38, John’s age). She checked her over, gave her some medicine and referred her to a cardiologist. She was back to her normal self by the time we left. We took them to Pricesmart for hamburgers and fries, then back to their house.

We found out a little about these wonderful sister missionaries. One of them has been a member for only 2 years. Her parents (she is adopted) are not members but are supportive and are paying for her mission. Her companion was converted when she was 12 years old. Her mother was an inactive member but her father was against her being baptized. He drank a lot and was very mean. He finally relented and she was baptized, along with 2 siblings. A few years after she got baptized, her father had an experience that caused him to evaluate this behavior. He began to listen to the missionaries and He was baptized. Three years later, he was called as the bishop. He is now working hard to bring the gospel to his family members, most of which have now been baptized. Their family is a wonderful example of the change that can take place once they joined the Church.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sister Bell taught a piano lesson to Maria Clara. Since we had a little time before we needed to go to Somoto, we decided to eat lunch at a nice steak house in Esteli, Pullaso Ole. We shared a 16 oz T-bone that was imported from the US. It was excellent, which it should have been because it cost a little over $30.

We spent an hour with President Alaniz, developing an agenda for next weeks branch council training. Then we helped and participated in the first ever Relief Society activity in Somoto. There were 20 sisters, 5 men (4 Elders and me) and several babies and little kids. It was a huge success. Sister Natalia conducted, talked about the importance of the RS and the Church. Then she and Cristian Alaniza bore their testimonies. Sister Bell taught a lesson about Visiting Teaching. She taught, showed a video and then did a role play with three of the sisters. She taught with very little help from me. I was very proud of her. 

We then played games. The Elders took charge of that. We then ate sandwiches and drank pop. Everyone left happy and energized.

Sunday, August 6, 2017
Happy Birthday to me…

Michelle wrote this poem for my birthday

On August 6, 1953
Scott Woodruff Bell came to be
Born the last of four
With a boy and two girls,
He evened the score

In California, he grew straight and tall
Baseball, gospel, friends and family
He had it all.

He grew close to the Lord
In Uruguay and Paraguay
He taught with the spirit
He learned what to say.

When he returned
School and career were his focus
He chose a beautiful wife
And started a family with the most-us. 

Five children he’s raised.
Grandchildren fourteen he’s seen born.
They are the best in the world
And from them we’ve been torn.
He is serving again
Nicaragua, this time.
Michelle is here too.
Their talents combine.

He turns 64 on this very day.
Years of service still to render.
I pay tribute to him
My feelings are tender.

He is my companion
For time and all eternity.
The best is yet to come
Happy Birthday from me.

Written by Michelle Thomas Bell

We went to Church in Somoto. We picked up Sister Alaniz and took her to Church with us. She is feeling well and isn’t supposed to walk much so our ride was greatly appreciated. 

It was fast Sunday. Freddy and Catalino passed the sacrament and then were the first to bear their testimonies. Sister Bell and I also bore our testimonies. Sister Bell announced that it was my birthday so everyone one wished me a happy birthday during her testimony.

We then headed for Trinidad to teach another temple prep class. As I pulled up, the neighbors pointed to my tire. It was almost flat. We were fortunate that we didn’t get it on the open highway (a tender mercy). We didn’t change the tire until after the lesson. Only Karen and Maria Clara’s boyfriend were there. Hermana Dania and Wendy did not come. While we were teaching, a thunderstorm passed by. It quit just before we were done so we didn’t have to change the tire in a downpour (another tender mercy). Maria Clara’s boyfriend and President Cruz changed the tire. I held the umbrella (another tender mercy).

We arrived home about 7:30pm in time to talk with Roxanne, Jamie and Grandpa. Grandpa is pretty much out of it, although there were a few signs that he knew Michelle was talking and singing to him. We don’t anticipate that he will be with us much longer. We also talked with Paul and his family. We love our family.