Sunday, March 21, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mondays haven’t seemed the same since we quit going to Neyba and Duverge for the weekends. Now we get to the office at the usual time, do our work and get home in time to go to FHE with the other Senior couples at the “Casa the Huespedes”. We are still going through a bit of culture shock. We are grateful to not be driving ten to twelve hours on the weekend but we will always miss our friends in Neyba and DuvergĂ©.

One nice thing about leaving work at 5:00pm instead of 6:00 is the extra time allows Hna. Johnson and I to get our exercise. This evening we went to the Gym at the Dominican Fiesta and worked out. Hna. Johnson walked the treadmill and I swam laps for a half hour. We were back in our apartment, showered and in the car heading to FHE on time. In the past we usually didn’t get out of the office until 7:00 or 7:30. We were always too late to go to FHE with the other Senior couples.

This evening was a very special FHE at the “Casa de Huespedes”. (But then again they’ve always been great!) Elder Bowcut, Counselor in the Temple Presdcy., gave the lesson. It was inspirational, faith promoting and awe inspiring. He started out by saying that the most important souvenir that the Senior couples should take home with them from the Dominican Republic is a love of the people and an understanding of their culture and history. Yah… He’s right about that!

Elder Bowcut told us the history of the church in the Dominican Republic starting with the very first convert in 1978. He talked about the growth of the church until 2000 when the Temple was dedicated. It was fascinating to hear the stories. But the best was yet to come. He introduced two families to us that were some of the very first converts to the church. These “Dominican Pioneers” are good friends of the Bowcut’s and he invited them to FHE to tell their story of conversion to us. It was wonderful.

The first to speak and bear their testimonies to us were Hno.& Hna. Melendez. Bro. Melendez has been a member of the church for 30 years now and has served as a counselor to the Temple Pres. for four and a half years. The next to speak was Robert & Norma Reyes. Two of their daughters Karla & Khoina were with them tonight. Bro. Reyes is currently the Temple Secretary. Their stories of conversion were so powerful and touching that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. It was truly a marvelous experience to hear them speak and bear such moving and fervent testimonies. Hna. Johnson and I really enjoy going to FHE with the other Senior couples.

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