Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Today was our second day of our “Whirlwind Adventure for Shrek and Donkey.” We were on the road by 7:00am headed east for Neyba, then Duvergé and we didn’t get back to the Azua office until after 9:00pm, another 14+ hour day.

This morning when we arrived at the Neyba chapel there was neither power nor running water as usual so I went about the chore of starting the generator and priming the pump so the restrooms had water. In the process I received three phone calls about 5 minutes apart from the AP’s. To answer my cell phone I must take my hearing aid out of my left ear and put on my Blue Tooth. During that 15 minutes I sat my hearing aid down and now I can’t remember where. Between meetings I hunted for the rest of the morning but couldn’t find it. I sure hope we can find it, it is bad enough being half deaf but now I only have one good ear.

Last week I was asked by one of the new converts, Hna. Nicauri, for a personal interview. She asked me if she could have a Patriarchal blessing. I told her that she could and that I would find out who the Patriarch is in the District Neyba belongs to. For the past week I made several phone calls and talked to a number of people in the mission as well as in the Area offices. I found out some very interesting things about Patriarchal blessings. First, Neyba is not in a regular district with a district President like Azua. Neyba is in a Mission District and the District President is the Mission President. Second, there is no Patriarch in the mission, nor is there a Patriarch in any of the regular districts. The only Patriarchs are in the Stakes and all of the Stakes are in the capital. Third only members of Stakes can have a Patriarchal blessing and therefore no one in “El Campo” can have a Patriarchal blessing including our new convert!

There are two exceptions to the “no patriarchal blessing” rule. One, if a young man or young women has received a mission call he or she can make arrangements with one of the Stake Patriarchs in the capital to receive his or her blessing before they leave on a mission. That is very nice. The second way members in outlying districts can receive a Patriarchal blessing is the preferred way. And here is how. They can work really hard at their calling; they can support & strengthen the leadership base and fortify their Branches & Districts with strong worthy priesthood holder. That way their branches can be made Wards and their Districts can be made Stakes. When that happens a Stake Patriarch can be called and everyone can have a Patriarchal blessing! What a great idea, I like this plan!

And speaking of great plans, the Azua District is on the verge of becoming a Stake. I’ve heard estimates that they might be a Stake after the first of the year. Everyone is praying and working really hard to have that happen. I like this plan! It would be great for the members in the Azua District to have all of the benefits of a fully functioning Stake. Let’s see, the Azua Stake, yes… I like how that sounds.

While we were in Duvergé this afternoon I had two interviews. The first was with an eleven year old who’s birthday in on the 8th of December. He’s a really sharp young kid and he will make a great deacon. His parents are one of the three strongest families in the Branch. The second interview was with his little sister. She turned 8 years old last month and somehow got overlooked for her baptism. Well, she passed the baptism interview with flying colors and she will be baptized the next time the Elders schedule a baptismal service for Neyba.

And speaking of the three strongest families in the Duvergé Branch, to night the Elders held their second Temple Prep Class. All three of the families are taking the lessons. There were about a dozen branch members at the class tonight. They are doing very well. They all have many challenges and hurdles to overcome but hopefully all of the families will be able to be sealed in the Santo Domingo Temple in the near future. What a blessing it is to have a Temple so close to the members here.

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