Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009 (Thanksgiving Day)

We talked to Elder Almonte and Small this morning after their TV appearance last night. They said it went very well. Elder Small complemented Elder Almonte on his answers and calm demeanor. They said the producer of the program would get them a DVD copy of the show. The format of the program is a talk show on Channel 9 here in the capital. The host’s name is Freddie Veras Gouco. The Show is titled, “Freddy y Punto” and has over a mission viewers every night!

Near the end of the show Freddie turned to the camera and his vast audience and said: “So the next time two young missionaries like these two knock on your door, let them in and listen to what they have to say.” Yah, that was great! Elder Small said that the host might just be saying that but may not have been sincere. So after the show Elder Small asked him if he could send two missionaries over. Elder Small said, “He’s no hypocrite, he gave us his address and his phone number.” As it turns out, the address is in the area the AP’s work in. They phoned him and have an appointment! We’ll see how it turns out.

This morning the last two Elders arrived for this “Translado.” They are Elder Kevin Pickett from Vancouver, WA. and Elder James Kieley from Chandler, AZ. Elder Picket is a native Spanish speaker so he was sent to us straight from the MTC in Provo. He didn’t need the extra 6 weeks of language training here in the CCM. Elder Kieley should have come down for language training 6 weeks ago but he was sick and they kept him in Provo where he was able to finish his language training.

Elder Kevin Pickett

Elder James Kieley

This morning Elder Small and I had to fix a door latch for Hna. Brewer & Hna. Sanchez in Herrera I. It took me a while but it is amazing how much you can fix with just a screwdriver. After I finished they rewarded Elder Small and I with some left over “Trick or Treat” candy. I love the Hna’s, they always give treats. Now I need to go back and figure out how to keep rats from squeezing in under their door!

Today is Thanksgiving but you wouldn’t know it. Of course it isn’t celebrated in the Dominican Republic. Some American mission presidents make a big deal out of Thanksgiving for the American’s in a foreign mission. I know my president did 40 years ago in Mexico. He brought every missionary in to the Mission Home and we had a huge thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Then we went out and had Zone activities, played football, basketball, etc.

We asked the AP’s if we could have them over for dinner along with the other two office Elders. Elder Caldwell (the AP) said that it is not possible. Pres. Almonte has told the whole mission that the 25th of November would be a regular working day for Missionaries. That means not accepting dinner appointments unless it was to teach investigators.

But that didn’t mean we didn’t eat well today. Hna. Johnson and I were leaving for lunch when Hna. Ramona, the mission office maid, cornered us and told us we had to eat with her and the Elders for lunch. It was great! Hna. Ramona taught Hna. Johnson and I how to make homemade empanadas. We had fun and learned a lot. We made 4 types; they were beef, vegetable, egg and cheese. When we finished our lunch we were stuffed. It wasn’t turkey with stuffing and potatoes with gravy but it was very good all the same.

We did have a real Thanksgiving dinner though. Hna. Johnson has been planning it for a week. She planned to feed 4 Elders so we had a ton of food. And it was wonderful. We had a turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and even a pumpkin pie. The only thing mission was Football on TV. And we really do have a lot to be thankful for. Every day in our prayers we thank our Heavenly Father for the opportunity to be serving a mission here in the Dominican Republic. He as blessed our business to prosper, without which we couldn’t be here. We are also very thankful for our family back in Arizona that supports us and are working so hard to make this mission possible. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them too. And finally we are thankful for all of the faith and prayers of all of our friends everywhere that supports us as well.

This evening just before we sat down for dinner I got a phone call from the AP’s back at the office. They needed a favor from me. It seems that the maid, Hna. Ramona, left this evening and locked the steel gate as she always does. However the AP’s left their ring of keys outside in their truck! They were locked inside the office which is also their apartment on the ground floor. I had to go back to the office and let them out! It is a good thing the building wasn’t on fire, they would be trapped inside. Of course all Dominican building are made this way. When the doors are locked, it is just like a prison cell, there is no way out.

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