Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

After lunch today Hna. Johnson and I went to the “Mega Centro Mall” across town (30 minute drive each way) to buy more “Conde Bags” for missionaries. Since last week Hna. Johnson has taken an additional 9 orders. We also wanted to have a few extra on hand when the last two Zones have their interviews and Christmas dinner this week.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hna. Johnson was especially busy in the office today. She had all of the mission rent to pay, a job that took her hours plus all of the missionary support money to pay, also taking her hours. Add to all of that work, the constant interruptions of a busy office and you can imagine she was very busy. But she got it all done and in time to race home to our apartment to make a large “Apple Crisp” and beautiful floral arrangement for FHE and dinner at the Almonte’s.

Tonight there was no FHE at the Casa with the other Seniors, everyone is on their own on the 5th Monday of the month. Instead we were all invited over to Pres. & Hna. Almonte’s home for dinner and a special Christmas FHE. The Almonte’s have had this dinner planned since last summer because it is the going away dinner for Elder & Hna. Jones, the Area Exec. Sec. & Asst. Sec. they are ending their mission in only 3 weeks.

Also invited were the Pres. Guillermo Antivilo and his wife Mary. He is the mission president of the Santo Domingo East Mission. Next were Elder Daniel and Hna. Rebecca Mehr, Area Public relationa missionaries and the parents of Hna. Mehr. Next invited was CCM Pres. Thomas and Hna. Susan Hendricks. Next were two Senior couples that work in the Area but they are assigned under Pres. Almonte in the West Mission; Elder Reed & Hna. Sherrie Finlayson, Area CES missionaries and Elder DeLoy and Lorna Roberts, Area Perpetual Education Fund Missionaries. And finally Santo Domingo Temple Pres. and Matron, Larry & Joanne Bair.

The food was wonderful. We all brought side dishes to share and the Almonte’s provided the main course of Ribs and Lobster. It is times like this that makes me wish I didn’t have to watch how much I eat.

It was a wonderful evening of good food, good music and great company. The FHE program of a narration of Luke 2 accompanied Christmas hymns sung by the whole group. There were also solos by Hna. Mehr interspersed among the songs. She sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 8 years. She is wonderful to listen to as she brings her songs to life and fills our souls with the spirit of the season... Wow!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Primary nursery was one of the best Hna. Johnson has had since she has been in the nursery. She had no fights, not crying and no arguments over toys. Of course, Manuel our trouble maker, wasn’t in the class so that is what made the difference. The only problem we had was a little two year old girl came to us soaking wet. Evidently her mother didn’t put her in a diaper. But that worked out ok because Hna. Johnson nor I ever let her sit on our lap.

This evening we had a dinner appointment at the apartment of Elder & Hna. Berkley. They are the “Records Preservation Missionaries” in the DR. Elder and Hna. Jones (Area Exec. Sec. & Asst. Sec.) were also invited. The Berkley’s treated us to a wonderful roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy dinner.

After the dinner we chatted for about an hour as we ate the dessert Hna. Johnson brought, she brought a large deep dish of chocolate “Blondies”. We had a nice time talking about or mission experiences. One of the main topics of our discussion was what “Short Timers” we all are. The Joneses go home December 17, 2010. Hna. Johnson and I will get home on January 21, 2010 and the Berkley’s go home two months later. We had a great dinner and great conversations with our new friends we’ve made here in the DR.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our P-day started at Juan Dolio Beach. We didn’t find very many seashells because it was high tide and the surf was really rough. I tried snorkeling but visibility was poor and the rough surf made me seasick, thank goodness for Advil.

We did have a lot of fun at the beach in spite of the conditions. It was a sunny day and the Whitakers were there too. We had a nice visit with them.

We got home, ate, showered and left for the “Conde” by 2:30 to fill orders for the Elders. We bought 16 “Conde Bags” as well as other things.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

I had another busy day of “Diligencias” (Errands) for the Mission Office. Not much to write about but I took some interesting pictures.

Hna. Johnson was also very busy in the office. Since this is the end of the month she had a lot of financial documents to prepare for missionary reimbursements, house rents, “Apollo” (Missionary support money), etc.

Hna. Johnson and I should have been even busier but church headquarters was closed for the Thanksgiving weekend so that lightened our loads a lot. Church HQ was actually closed Tuesday and Wednesday too due to a blizzard that shut down most offices in Utah. The term “Blizzard” had no meaning here. Year round the daytime highs are about 87 degrees with 80% humidity. Although we have had a “Cool spell” here. It was very unusual; we didn’t run our window AC unit last evening nor overnight. It was really quite pleasant with the windows open and the fan on.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010 (Not Thanksgiving Day in the DR)

I was on the run, run, run all day. First stop was at the “Aduana” (Customs package pickup) where I picked up 13 packages for our Elders and Hermanas; same as last week. It was another very, very busy day at the Aduana. The place was packed. The Christmas package season is definitely in full swing at the Aduana.

The San Juan Zone was in the Capital today for their interviews with the President and Christmas dinner. Once again I was at the mission home for over an hour delivering the mail, picking up mail, taking “Reembolos” and filling orders for mission supplies, etc. I was really on the go, go, go!

Last week Hna. Johnson and I were at the INKA store and bought twice as many “Conde Bags” as we thought we needed. But today the last 2 bags sold to Elders and I took orders for more. It looks like we will be going back to the INKA store this Saturday.

This afternoon we were at the “Temple Tienda” (Distribution Center) filling orders for our missionaries. While we were there we ran into Elder Leon & Hna. Marilyn Button again. They are the Senior missionaries from San Juan that are here with a large group from Puerto Rico.

While at the “Casa” / “CCM we delivered a package to one of our Elders that will join us the next “Traslado; Elder Trevor Schaffer. He was out in the parking lot playing basketball with all of the other Elders and Hna.’s during the missionary’s exercise hour.

We also got our hair cut while we were at the “Casa”. We ended our busy day doing an endowment session in the Santo Domingo Temple. It was a fitting end to a great Thanksgiving Day of missionary work in the Santo Domingo West Mission.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another busy day in the Santo Domingo West Mission. This time the Barahona Zone was at the Mission Home for interviews and Christmas dinner. Their trip in the “The South” was too far and would take too much time for them to get to attend a Temple session like some of the Zones did.

As usual all of the Elders were delighted to get their mail when we were there. We did our usual collecting of “Reembolos” as well as collecting their outgoing mail.

We had a wonderful lunch at noon with Pres. and Hna. Hendricks of the “CCM” (Santo Domingo MTC). They invited Hna. Johnson and I out to lunch to thank Hna. Johnson for all of the beautiful silk flower arrangements she has done for them over the past several months. The Hendricks will be returning home about the same time we get released; in the middle of January.

We went to Chef Pepper’s and ate some really big and delicious hamburgers. When we left the restaurant we were both stuffed. The food was really good and we enjoyed the company and conversation with the Hendricks.

This afternoon Elder Thorup and his companion, Elder Anderson, were imputing baptism “Registros” into the mission office computer. He commented that last week was a great week for baptism by a couple of companionships. First, Zone Leaders Elder Thomas Stirland and Elder Ramon Martinez had 7 baptism in the Los Alcarrizos First Ward. But the biggest winners were Elder Jaime Rodriguez and Elder Kendall Clyde. They had 14 baptisms in the Pedro Brand 2nd Ward. Wow, that’s a lot of baptism in one week.

Sometimes in the hectic pace of the Mission Office I tend to focus too much on the problems, illnesses or the mundane routine things. I tend to forget why we are here. These two companionships of Elders bring back into focus our purpose and why we are here in the Dominican Republic. The work of the Lord is pressing forward at a fast pace. The Elders and Sister Missionaries in this mission are doing a great job as messengers of the restored gospel. It is a privilege for Hna. Johnson and I to get to work with these fine young men and women.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today the San Geronimo Zone, from here in the capital, was scheduled for a Temple session with Pres. and Hna. Almonte. They also have interviews at the mission home followed by their Christmas dinner.
So Hna. Johnson and I were at the Santo Domingo Temple early to prepare all of the missionary’s clothes. That way the 24 Elders wouldn’t overwhelm the clothing rental counter when they all got there at once. But it turned out our efforts were in vain. Their trip to the Temple was cancelled.

It turned out that Pres. Almonte didn’t know that the AM sessions at the Temple were all going to be full with members that came in from Puerto Rico. Their Temple trip was a multi-Stake venture with almost a hundred members coming to do endowments, baptisms for the dead, etc.

While at the temple I bumped into a Senior missionary that had come with the group from Puerto Rico. He is from my home town and stake (Lehi Stake, Mesa AZ). His name is Elder Leon Button, the former Bishop of the Monument Ward. He is a Proselyting/MLS missionary (Member, Leader Support). He said to say “Hi” to President Ahlstrom when we get home in 8 weeks. We had a nice visit; it was good to see a familiar face.

This afternoon the AP’s were at the Emergency room of the hospital with Elder Moore again. He is still having chest pains. He was doing much better yesterday and Saturday but now the same pains have started again. Hopefully the doctors can determine the problem and help him recover. We remember him and Hna. Reyes in our prayers every day.