Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This morning Hna. Johnson and I arrived to work and found a hot, dark office because there was no power. A power line two door up the street broke in the night. The office generator kicked in automatically but it stopped running at 5:00am. The office Elders have their apt. on the ground level below the office. They thought the generator stopped because it was out of gas. We discovered later that it stopped because a relay switch tripped for some reason.

The power outage wasn’t resolved until after 10:00am. And since Hna. Johnson and I couldn’t do any work, we went shopping! Hna. Johnson doesn’t like to go for a ride in the car in the city. The crazy drivers literally drive her crazy. But she is a trooper and puts up with the craziness pretty well. We really needed to go shopping too. We went to La Serena first. It’s a huge department store. Next we went to Pricesmart. We were able to find everything we needed for all of the Christmas presents we are giving to the members in Neyba and DuvergĂ© as well as all the Elders we work closely with in the office and out in “El Campo.”

This afternoon I went to the “Aduana” (Customs) again where they had 6 packages for Elders and Hna’s for me. I was there for an hour waiting for them to find them all and process the paper work. Then near the end of the paper work they said they discovered 5 more so I left with 11 today.

It is very interesting to watch the customs inspectors cut open all of the boxes and “rifle” through all of the contents. They are looking for contraband, mostly banned items not allowed for import like beef, including beef jerky. Sometimes gifts are individually wrapped in Christmas paper inside. Most of these too are torn open and looked at.

The customs inspectors are very funny to watch as they look at all of the contents of the missionaries packages. They will pick something up alike a bottle of hair product or anything else a missionary needs and show it to their coworker and say something like… “Look at this, I wonder if we can get this here?” or “This is really neat, I wonder what this is for,” etc.

This evening we assembled all of the gifts in preparation for our departure for “El Campo” early Friday morning. The gift for the members in Neyba and DuvergĂ© is an 8X10 framed picture of the Santo Domingo Temple. I took the picture about a month ago and today we had 35 pints made at Pricesmart. The frames we bought at La Serena. I plan to give each family a picture when they come to Tithing settlement this weekend. I have time slots available for them to sign up for on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in both branches.

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