Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Remember last Saturday the 17th, I wrote about our trip to San Juan to deliver mail to the only elders in the mission that use bicycles, Elder Dixon and Elder Allen. Well…. They are no longer on Bikes. Last night at 9:30 a motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed hit both elders while they were riding their bikes. Both bikes were destroyed. Elder Allen took a glancing blow and was not hurt. However Elder Dixon took the brunt of the collision and required dozens of stitches on the back of his scalp and more stitches on his forehead.

The motor cycle riders in this country drive crazy reckless and crazy fast. Elder Dixon will be fine except for a huge scare on his forehead. He is in good spirits and already can’t wait to get back to his area and back to work. Unfortunately he will have to spend the next week here in the mission office recuperating and having follow up visits with various doctors. These two elders are classic examples of the caliber of missionaries we have here in the Santo Domingo West Mission. They are hard working, tough and resilient. These Elders love the Lord, the people and the work.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tonight we had our usual FHE at the Temple Accommodation Center, but it was not very usual. We had a General Authority, Elder Richard Hinckley and his wife Jane talk to us. Elder Hinckley is over the Missionary Department of the church and is touring all of the Mission Training Centers, including the one here in Santo Domingo.

It was a great FHE. Among other things he mentioned the dire need for more Senior Couples to serve. There are 4100 Seniors serving now and for the missions of the world to be fully staffed they need an additional 2000. He also said that there are currently 48,000 younger Elders and Sisters serving in 344 missions all over the world.

He also said that 15 years ago when the announcement came that a temple would be built in the Dominican Republic there was a lot of controversy. Everyone thought that is should be build in Puerto Rico. However now that it has been finished and in operation for a decade, the wisdom of the Lord and his choice of locations has been recognized by everyone. With political boarders and restrictions that must be dealt with, some people would not be able to get visas to travel to Puerto Rico. For example, citizens of Haiti (that share this island with the DR) can come to Santo Domingo without problem to do temple work. However if the temple had been in Puerto Rico, they might never get to enjoy the benefits of a temple.

***NEWS FLASH*** And speaking of people that don’t enjoy the benefits of a temple. Elder Hinckley was asked when we would have missionaries return to the island of Cuba. “Off the record” he said that 5 weeks ago the missionary department started a preliminary inquire into the possibility of the church being officially licensed to operate in Cuba! Who knows, maybe someday soon, we might be sending missionaries back to Cuba for the first time in over 50 years.

Elder Hinckley said that the church does have one operating branch in Havana, Cuba. He also mentioned that as of last month the ecclesiastical responsibility for the island of Cuba was switched to the Caribbean Area Presidency. This is very interesting because unlike the US, almost all of the island nations of the Caribbean will allow their residents to travel to Cuba. This is very good because there is a ready pool of eager young Elders available to be sent from the countries of the Caribbean. For example there are already nearly 500 Dominicans serving in the mission field. These and many more from the Caribbean could easily be sent to serve in Cuba where American Elders cannot go.

I would like to mention an interesting story Elder Hinckley told about his father, Gordon B. When asked what is the greatest legacy of President Gordon B. Hinckley many people will say that his legacy is the construction of so many new temple all over the world, bringing the blessings of the temple to many members that would not have been able to go because of the distance and cost. Elder Richard Hinckley said that when his father was 93 he was asked to perform the sealing of one of his grand children in the Salt Lake Temple. During the preliminaries of the sealing he paused for a moment and said; “with this sealing, I have sealed every one of my children and grandchildren to their spouses in the Salt Lake Temple”. Elder Hinckley said he hasn’t forgotten the profound comment he made next. His father paused again and said; “This is the greatest accomplishment of my life”.

After FHE was over Hna. Johnson was asked by Sis. Susan Hendricks, the wife of the Santo Domingo MTC President, if she would arrange a bouquet of flowers for her. Of course she was delighted. Hna. Johnson designed them in the Hendricks’ 4th floor apartment. Sister Hendricks said that she had purchased the flowers today to make the MTC look nice for the inspection the next day by Elder Hinckley. She was going to drop the flowers in a vase she had, but then remembered that Hna. Johnson was a flower designer. The bouquet turned out great. I’m sure the visit by Elder Hinckley went well.

No comments:

Post a Comment