Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wow, what a difference it makes to have a p-day. We went 7 months of our mission without one and now we get to have a p-day every Saturday. Today was another very fun day. We went to the National Aquarium here in Santo Domingo. It is right on the coast and about 15 miles from our apartment. He have talked to several people that have been there and we’ve read the reviews on the internet. We really didn’t know what to expect. Several reviews and a few people didn’t like it. But we were pleasantly surprised when we got there.

The National Aquarium is nothing like a “Sea World” like we might see in the US. But it was an “Aquarium” or more accurately a lot of aquariums. They had fish and sea life of all kinds in huge aquarium tanks. Some of the tanks were smaller but most were very large. They even had a glass tunnel underneath one of the largest tanks. We could take our time as we walked through the exhibit. All of the exhibits were very good.

We stayed long enough so that we decided to eat lunch there at the snack bar. And that was a pleasant surprise. We had empanadas, calzones, pizza and much more to choose from. We even topped off our lunch with flan covered with caramel. Wow, that was good too. Then we fed the pizza and Empanada crust to the pigeons. Neither the pigeons nor Hna. Johnson & I us went away hungry.

After the National Aquarium we were off to “Orange” to pick up my repaired cell phone. I am sure glad to have it back because now I can us my “Bluetooth” with it. Without my Bluetooth I have a very hard time understanding what is being said to me on the phone.

Next we were off to the Temple Store to fill orders and make purchases for the missionaries. While we were there Hna. Johnson went to the Temple to help the staff at the clothing counter prepare all of the clothing for 24 missionaries from the “Independencia Zone” that will be attending the Temple next Tuesday with Pres. & Hna. Almonte. It really helps to have all of the rental clothing for the Zones endowment session prepared and set aside in advance. If it’s not done early the extra time required sometimes makes the missionaries miss their planned session. The clothing desk staff really appreciates the help from Hna. Johnson.

Hna. Johnson had very pleasant surprise while she was helping at the clothing counter. Our dear friend, Elder Vinicio Morillo, who was released from his mission a week ago last Tuesday, was at the Temple. While he was an AP in the South he was like a son to us. Hna. Johnson said that while he was a missionary she was never allowed to give him a hug. But now that he’s no longer a full time missionary she gave him a big hug like a mother hugs her son. (See the “Pretend Hug” picture and caption on Tuesday, March 30, 2010).

On our way home we stopped at a new flower shop looking for supplies for the silk arrangements that Hna. Johnson is going to make for Hna. Almonte’s home. We were very pleasantly surprised. This was the first “Real” flower shop we’ve found, bouquets on display for sale, 3 designer busy filling orders and a huge walk-in cooler with designs ready for deliver. The manager was delighted to give us a tour, everyone wanted their picture taken. This flower shop was a great find for us. We did buy the board of Styrofoam Hna. Johnson needed.

Next we headed over to a craft store about 2 blocks away from the flower shop. We just heard about it from the flower shop and again we were very pleasantly surprised. It was like a miniature “Michaels” in the states. All of the supplies that a florist wholesale house would carry are now at Hna. Johnson’s finger tips. You should have seen the big smile on Hna. Johnson’s face as she made discovery after discovery. She was particularly excited to discover a “Hot glue gun” and glue sticks. She bought them for her silk arrangement project. She was like a little kid in a candy store. She commented as we were leaving that the discovery of both stores, the flower shop and the craft store, capped a very fun and fruitful p-day.

Late this evening I got a phone call from the AP’s. They were asking for my advice on what to do because the Hna’s in the Independencia Area locked themselves out of their apartment. I was sure glad they called. Usually when Elders lock themselves out of their apartment the solution is simple for them. They just “Kick the door down”. This causes a lot of damage to the door and door jam and it costs the mission a lot of money. But Elder Bates (the new AP) has been an office Elder before and he understands the problem and the cost involved.

I gave Elder Bates three suggestions for getting the Hna’s back into their apartment before someone kicks the door in. The easiest is to use a credit card and slide it into the crack between the jam and the latch and “Pop” it open. It is really very easy. Next I suggested they call a locksmith, have him come over and “Pick” the lock. It is still much cheaper than replacing a broken door and door jam. Last I suggested they call the Bishop of the Independencia Ward and ask him if he knows a handyman they can call to get them in. Well, they skipped the first two suggestions and called the bishop. The bishop is a very good handyman and he went right over and had the Hna’s in the apartment in 5 minutes. And he did it without kicking the door down and at no expense to the mission. I am so glad the AP’s called me first before someone tried to kick the door down.

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