Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hna. Johnson was up at 5:30 this morning, she couldn’t sleep, the events of yesterday were very hard for her. She used the time to write a letter to her family about our experiences yesterday with “Translados”, Hna. Mecho’s funeral, etc. I really like it when Hna. Johnson gives a second opinion on the events of our mission. She offers a fresh prospective and remembers a lot of things I’ve forgotten or that I got wrong.

Hola mi familia,
It is very early right now, here in the Dominican and I need to tell you of our transfer day yesterday. Every transfer day is different from any other but we never anticipated this one. Elder Johnson and I get to our transfer chapel at 6:45 am and we start our orientation at 7 am. President and Hermana Almonte come a little after 8 am and then Elder Johnson takes pictures of the newly arrived missionaries with them to send home to their families. As I went to greet Hermana Almonte, she had already been talking to Elder Johnson and he told me that Hermana had some very sad news for us. Our Hermana Mecho in Duvergé had passed away around 7 am that morning. Emotions swept over me and I did have to leave for awhile, our Hermana Mecho is very special to us and we were looking forward to having Jared and Tere meet her when they come. The funeral was scheduled at 6 pm that evening and Pres. Almonte was very supportive to David and I as we asked him if we could go. They do not embalm bodies, so they bury them right away and everything was an experience to remember and very different from our funerals back home. Hermana Mecho was buried in her beautiful new temple dress and ordinance clothing. Two weeks ago she called us to see if her other pairs of garments had come in yet because they have to be specially made and they still have not come but we check every Friday for her at the temple distribution store. I cannot even begin to tell you all how special this woman is. She came down with the flu about two weeks ago and when she called she told us she had not been feeling well but she sounded just as cheerful as ever. On Monday night she had returned home from the hospital, not completely well, for her breathing was still very labored they said (it definitely sounds like pneumonia). The 4 Elders in Duvergé went to visit her, actually her home was their favorite hangout for she adored the missionaries and they adored her and loved to tease her to hear her squeals and laughter. They said she was so happy to have them over and they said they would take turns tapping her back to help her breathe. Her mother kept asking her if she wanted to go back to the hospital but she insisted that she was better and the Elders said she was so happy and upbeat. They had FHE there and they sang lots of hymns and went over a lot of Preach My Gospel scriptures and talked and testified about missionary work. As we were driving to Duvergé, David said this is transfer day and Hermana Mecho has just had her transfer as a missionary here on earth to being a missionary in the heavens above. One day I hope you all will have the chance to meet Hermana Mecho for she was one of the most beautiful daughters of God I have ever had the privilege to meet. I love Hermana Mecho.
Love, Mom

I didn’t get up until 7:00. I enjoyed sleeping in a little because I was up until 12:30am writing in my journal all of the events of yesterday. We spent the night at the hotel “Costa Larimar” in Barahona. Barahona is about 40 minutes east of Duvergé. It’s a very nice hotel right on the beach and it’s intended for tourists. I guess that’s why they actually had hot and cold running water. We really enjoyed our stay there.

We went to breakfast at the hotel’s “All you can eat” buffet breakfast. The price of the meal was included in our room fee. It was very good.

We were off for the capital by 8:20 and back at work by 11:00 for a full day of work in the office. Later we had visitors in the office. Elder Eric George’s parents came to the DR from Riverside, CA. to pick him up from his mission. They plan to spend a week visiting his old areas, meeting the friends he’s made and getting to know some of the members he taught the gospel to. I think it’s great. Hna. Johnson and I picked up all 6 of our sons when they finished their missions. We have very fond memories of our travels and the people we met. Picking up our sons from their missions was one of the best things we could have done. I highly recommend it to everyone that is considering picking up their missionary.

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