Friday, February 19, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010 (Valentines’ Day)

Today in Duvergé we discovered that two of the Elders assigned there were gone. Elder Larsen started his mission here and has been in Duvergé for 3 transfers. He was sent to Barahona last Friday, which is very unusual because “Translados” doesn’t happen until next Tuesday. The other Elder mission in Duvergé was Elder Jimenez. He was in the capital at a special Zone Leaders conference with Pres. Viñas, the President of the Caribbean Area. He will be back to work in Duvergé tomorrow. I phoned him and he said the Zone Leader training meeting lasted 5 hour and was wonderful. He went on and on about the things he leaned and the great instruction and insight into the mission work. He said it was “Super Good,” he loved it.

Yesterday the Elders had another baptism in Duvergé. His name is Jose Mendez and today I got to confirm him a member of the church and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. Ironically, later in the meeting I was the third and final speaker and my subject was on the gift of the Holy Ghost. Later in Sunday School the lesson was No. 8 in the new “Principles of the Gospel” lesson Manuel titled: “The Gift of the Holy Ghost”. I think the subject was covered pretty well today.

After the block we were off to Neyba after picking up the luggage of Elder Astacio who is being transferred to Bani. While in Neyba we also picked up the luggage of Elder Batista, Elder Bird and Elder Smith, they are all being transferred out of Neyba. The last Elder in Neyba, Elder Carrasco, is being transferred to Duvergé. In fact Neyba is being “White Washed,” a term that means all of the missionaries in an area are pulled and replaced with new missionaries that know nothing about the area, the members or the investigators.

This is the second time Duvergé has been “White Washed” since we’ve been serving here. You might thing that “White Washing” an area would hurt the work but it really doesn’t. “White Washing” areas are actually quite common. Since all companionships have cell phones, help and advice from the old missionaries is only a free phone call away. Plus every area keeps a detailed teaching log book called the “Area Book.” This book is kept on file in the apartment of the missionaries for as long as there are missionaries teaching in the area. In the book the new missionaries to the area can find out everything about who, when and where every investigator was taught the gospel. If they were not baptized, the book says why not, etc. The “Area Book” help the work go on smoothly and maintains continuity when an area is “White Washed”.

While we were in Neyba we stopped at the home of Hno. Victoriano Diaz to give him his new wheelchair. I taught the family everything I was taught at the clinic about safety, maintenance, etc. Hna. Luz was there too. She’s the counselor in the R.S. Prescy that has been helping the family through these difficult times. She is very helpful. Hno. & Hna. Diaz were very appreciative and happy to get the wheel chair. They expressed their thanks over and over to me. This will really help the family in many ways including helping them attend Sunday services together.

Back in Azua this evening we got to Webcam our family for the first time in 5 weeks. The internet connection to the Azua Office has been down all that time and I’ve been on the phone with the telecommunication company “Codetel” every week to get them to fix it. Now, finally we got to talk to and see our family. It is wonderful, we really enjoy the webcam. We also phoned our granddaughter Delaney. Today is her 4th birthday and she sounds so grown up on the phone. We’ve got to convince Dan to set up the webcam so we can see Delaney as well as talk to her.

And speaking of our family… It must be said that today is Valentines’ Day and they have all been working very hard for the past week with one of the busiest holidays in the flower shop. They have but in lots of overtime and worked without complaint to make the flower shop successful. If it weren’t for their tireless efforts, Hna. Johnson and I wouldn’t be able to be here in the service of the Lord and his children in the Dominican Republic. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family that loves us and supports us on this mission.

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