Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

On our way to Neyba we stopped in Sabana Yegua. First we met the Elders there and had Elder Barrett sign documents he needed for his schooling at BYU. Hna. Johnson will be sending them back to BYU on Monday. Next we met with Henry Felipe, he was released as the Secretary of the Santo Domingo West Mission and has accepted the call to be the new 2nd Counselor in the mission presidency. We also discovered that he is no longer working for Centro de Servicio as the South’s Physical Facilities Coordinator. I will miss him in that job. He was my “Go to” guy for all of the problems we have with the chapel in Neyba. He hasn’t been replaced yet, hopefully soon and by someone as good as him.

Back on the road we got to Neyba early enough to stop by the apt. of the Elders to drop off Elder Falor with his suitcases, mattress, desk, chairs, etc. and still make it to church 20 minutes early to set up. Elder Falor is the 5th Elder in Neyba. He is in a three way companionship with Elder Bates and Elder Mateo, the Elder he is training who just got to the mission 5 days ago. Elder Bates is one of those really great, go getter Elders that gets things done and make good thing happen no matter where he is assigned. I am really looking forward to working with him in Neyba.

We had some minor flooding this morning. The chapel’s water pump took 30 minutes to finally work. And when it did we discovered too late that the sink in the kitchen was plugged and the water was left on. We didn’t discover the problem until there was an inch of standing water in the kitchen and it started running from under the door and into the hall. There was a lot of water to mop up. What’s worse… I don’t have Hno. Henry Felipe to call anymore.

After church services were over Hna. Johnson and I went to visit a Haitian family that are refugees. They are Maria Yann & Sany Finilon and they have nothing. Absolutely nothing but yet they are happy. They have 6 kids ranging in age from 17 to 5 years old. It is amazing to me to see little children with big smiles laugh and playing that are truly happy, even though they live in a makeshift shack with a dirt floor. While we were visiting them I filled out a “Needs Analysis” form and determined that the church’s Fast Offering fund will help them buy food for the family. At least until they can get on their feet.

There are so many people here in the DR that live in poverty it really tugs at the heart strings to see them. However most folks here do manage to get by. They have a job of some sort and can pay their own way. But some families like the Haitian refugees have nothing and no one to fall back on. The church’s welfare system, fast offerings fund and humanitarian aid are divinely inspired. These programs benefit so many needy people all over the world. As the Branch President in Neyba I am blessed to be about to help families that are truly in need.

Before we left Neyba we dropped off Eliú Librón at his Grandmother’s home, where he is living. Eliú is very excited. Today I brought a “Mission Application” form from Pres. Almonte for him to start to fill out. He has been preparing for a full time mission for several years now and hopefully he will be able to serve soon. He is the Branch Clerk and does a wonderful job at his calling. He is a great asset to the branch and if he leaves on a mission the branch will really miss him. But two years in the mission field will really make him a better man and strengthen the branch in Neyba in the long run.

When we left Neyba we didn’t go straight back to Azua but instead we headed to Duvergé to pick up
Elder Jimenez and Elder Carrasco, the Zone Leaders. They needed a ride to Vicente Noble to do “Intercambios” (splits) with the Elders there. The Neyba Zone is very large, there are 8 companionships, 16 Elders and the ZL’s have to do “Intercambios” with all of them regularly. It is amazing to me that Elder Jimenez can do his own missionary work and still be responsible for the whole Zone. But he does, in fact he is one of the best missionaries I’ve had the privilege to work with.

Back in Azua Hna. Johnson fixed dinner for us and the South AP’s, Elder Morrillo and Elder Taveras. Normally they spend the night in their apartment in Vicente Noble but they are out doing “Intercambios” too. They won’t even get to sleep in their own beds for 5 days. They are also dedicated missionaries and work super hard at their job as AP’s. Hna. Johnson enjoys feeding the missionaries any chance she gets.

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