Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 (Traslado)

We survived our 9th “Traslado” (Transfer Day) since we’ve been here in the Dominican Republic. It’s hard to believe we only have 3 left before we go home. This morning we were at the “Transfer Chapel” at 6:50 and the gate to the parking lot was locked. We all waited outside for 15 minutes until the Zone leaders came with the key. This and the sheer numbers of Elders and Sisters to coordinate meant our training meeting started a half hour late.

Everything went very well during our meeting. Since I conduct I get to choose the opening song so we always sing “Called to Serve”. At a meeting like this with all new, young and enthusiastic missionaries what other song is there! Hna. Johnson and I did our training and since there were 18 new missionaries and their trainers we ran a little long but that was OK. We taught the new missionaries how to use their new JP Morgan Visa Card, their password, and how stay out of trouble at the teller machines. We taught them how the church’s mail system in the DR works, how to mail letters and even how to address an envelope. I took each of their pictures by themselves as well as with Pres. & Hna. Almonte. This picture will be mailed home to their parents along with a letter they all wrote home this morning.

After we finished our training meeting Pres. & Hna. Almonte take over and spend another hour or more teaching the new missionaries. President Almonte is a great teacher and motivator. He is also a very spiritual man and leads his missionaries with love, kindness and insight.

After our portion of the training meeting is over we went to the office and went straight to work preparing all of the materials, photos, documents, passports, etc. that the new missionaries brought with them. There is a lot of work to do. The office Elder and the AP’s have the whole day to transport missionaries and their luggage all over the capital. That is a big job too.

Back in the office there were there were 12 Elders waiting for their appointment with Pres. Almonte for their final interview of their mission. There are also 2 Sister missionaries going home tomorrow, they are waiting at the Mission President’s house. All together there are 14 Elders and Hermanas going home tomorrow. There are 4 Dominicans, 1 Nicaraguan, 1 Canadian, and 8 Americans.

This afternoon after their final interview with President Almonte all 14 departing missionaries went with the Almonte’s to attend an endowment session at the Santo Domingo Temple. These trips to the Temple are very special for the missionaries and especially today at this will be their last time to attend as full time missionaries. The temple has been closed for the past two weeks for its regularly scheduled summer cleaning. Today was its first day to be open.

This afternoon Hna. Johnson had a unique opportunity. She volunteer to make 15 table centerpieces and 2 podium arrangement for the banquet held tonight for the kick off of the church’s “Helping Hands” campaign in conjunction with the churches humanitarian programs. It was held at the Renaissance Luxury Hotel in the tourist district of Santo Domingo right on the Malecon coast.

We spent about 3 hours on the flower designing, including the drive time to and from the hotel. It all went very well and really quite fast. Hna. Johnson did a great job considering she was not at the flower shop where she would have had all of the resources she needed. She did have her moments of frustration when she couldn’t get the gladiolus to stand up straight. But in the end everything turned out beautiful. I’m sure the 150+ expected guests enjoyed the decorations.

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