Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wow, what a long day full of activities! We started off at Elder Glen & Hna. Lilly Whitaker’s apartment at 8:00am. They are the office couple from the Santo Domingo East Mission. We rode with them to a beach called “Capella Beach” about 40 miles east of Santo Domingo. We snorkeled, swam and hunted sea shells until after noon.

The Whitaker’s have been on their mission for over 2 years. When they leave in April of 2011 it will be 2 ½ years they’ve been serving as the office couple in the East Mission. They do pretty much the same things there that Hna. Johnson and I do in our office. The Whitakers have a fun hobby. Each time they go to the beach they collect small sea shells. They use them to adorn pictures then the Elder in their mission use them as gifts for their investigators and Ward members. They really look good when they are all finished. They make hundreds of them at their own expense but there is very little cost to produce each picture.

We had a very good time with the Whitaker’s. We used special scoops and strainers to sift the sand for sea shells. We found a lot and brought back about 100 pounds of them. Hna. Johnson and I kept a small bag of shells for ourselves. The rest the Whitaker’s will use. I got pretty sunburned in a few places I missed with the sun screen. My head, face, neck, and arms were pretty protected but my legs are red as a beet plus a few spots on my arms I missed. I think I’m going to be pretty sore for a few days.

This is only the second time Hna. Johnson and I have gone to a beach since we’ve been on our mission. The first time was last January 19th in Samana. Prior to being released from our assignment in Neyba & DuvergĂ© we didn’t have time to go to a beach or even have a p-day. But now we can take a day off and enjoy the company of some of the other senior couples here in the Dominican Republic.

There really is treasure in the Caribbean. While at the beach we sifted the sand for pretty sea shells and we also found 2 US pennies. But the biggest treasure wasn’t found but lost in the sand of Capella Beach. As we drove back home Hna. Johnson discovered that the largest diamond in her wedding ring was gone. Sometime during the morning it must have come off and is lost for good. She is really heart sick over the loss. She keeps saying, “I knew I shouldn’t have worn it to the beach.” I think it is high time she got a new larger diamond for her wedding band anyway. Now I have the perfect excuse to buy it for her.

This afternoon we were at the Temple preparing the rental clothing for the Elders & Hermanas in the “Las Palmas” Zone when they all go to the Temple with Pres. & Hna. Almonte next Tuesday. The Temple workers really appreciate the help when we line up all of the rental clothes for the missionaries in advance.

After the Temple we were off to the “Feria del Libro” (Book Fair) in the Cultural Plaza in down town Santo Domingo. We paid a visit to the churches pavilion at the fair. The exhibit is all on genealogy and family history work. The building has been under construction for a month and was done and ready to go in time for the fair’s grand opening day before yesterday.

The “Feria de Libro” is a huge event and a great missionary tool. They estimate over a million people will enter the grounds of the Cultural Plaza before it’s over. There are over 200 booths and pavilions set up on the plaza. The public relations missionary for the Caribbean, Elder Mehr, estimates that there will be over twenty thousand people go through our pavilion during the 18 day run of the fair. Those that are interested can have two missionaries drop by their home with more information about the family history work our church does and why.

Next Hna. Johnson and I were off to a store called “Plaza Lama” to try to find silk plants for Hna. Hendricks, the wife of the Santo Domingo MTC. She has a project for Hna. Johnson to do in silk plants. Unfortunately we didn’t find much in silk and this is the 4th store we’ve looked in over the past 2 weeks. She did like their selection of baskets and Hna. Johnson came up with some real good ideas on using them for the project. We will continue our search for large silk plants.

This evening we did something we rarely do. We went out to dinner at a restaurant. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we’ve been out to a sit-down restaurant in the past 8 months. It is called “Chef Pepper” and came highly recommended by several people. We weren’t disappointed. We loved the food. I hope we can make it back to eat there again soon.

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