Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today the office Elders are negotiating contracts, signing up for utilities and moving two houses here in the capital. As Elder Thorup explains it, “These will be much better houses”. Many of the missionaries live in apartments that really need work. But the Elders don’t complain, for the native Dominicans the missionary quarters are an improvement from what they had at their own homes. For the Americans the mission accommodations are like spending two years at Scout Camp. It doesn’t seem to bother them at all.

Elder Thorup’s told me the story of his very first area in Enriquillo. He was the Jr. Companion to the District leader. They were doing “Intercambios” (Exchanges) in Barahona, a two hour bus ride from Enriquillo. While he was with his Exchange companion water started to run in the pipes for the first time in months. His companion showers for 5 minutes then the water stopped. He said it was the only real shower his companion had ever taken in that area. All of their bathing is done with a wash cloth dipped into a bucket of water.

Elder Thorup said that in Enriquillo the house had no running water ever. He said the entire time he was in Enriquillo, there was never water in the pipes in the house. They had to carry water in buckets from the river some distance away. The river was polluted with trash and motor oil from an upstream auto engines steam cleaning business. To fill their buckets they had to skim off the trash and oil slick before dipping their buckets in the water. All bathing, washing dishes & laundry was done with this water. He said that after shaving his face burned from the gasoline!

Today we received the sad news that Elder Manuel De La Cruz from La Vega, DR is being given an honorable release and sent home early for medical reasons. He is very sad that he has to leave the mission early. He was in the mission office waiting area this morning for a couple of hours waiting for his interview with President Almonte. He sat alone singing church hymns and crying. He was a good missionary, we will miss him.

Elder De La Cruz had a brain injury when he was a child of only 6 years old. Since then he’s had a half dozen brain surgeries. Evidently he is having new problem that require intensive and constant attention and maybe even surgery again. We will remember him in our prayers.

Elder De La Cruz’ release necessitated some emergency transfers today. The South AP’s came in to the capital to shuttle Elders back and forth between the capital and “El Campo” (out in the country). They could only stay long enough to unload, reload and go.

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