Hola family and friends . . .
We had to come on a mission to get a new car! They switch out the cars at about 3 years. Most of the church cars are white but there was a gray one and Chuck chose it. It is a Honda Civic - we are just glad to have a car - able to rent a car!
Last week we had the sad experience of going to a chapel to retrieve the financial records from a Bishop's office. We spent the next day and a half going through them - mostly checking a report to see if the receipts matched. It is a huge struggle in this area of the world and probably other places also to have the people turn in a receipt when they need to be reimbursed for expenses. They don't give receipts on most exchanges. Like yesterday Chuck asked for a receipt at a gas station and was told they couldn't do that "today" - come back tomorrow! So . . . it is very difficult to get the people to see the importance of this aspect of the church finances - it is not their culture. Here is what we found . . . you want receipts? There were receipts stapled to each report expenditure . . . just receipts . . . nothing matched the totals on the reports. Maybe a report for an activity with food and the receipts were for office supplies . . . O.K. it started to get funny when we realized what we were dealing with . . . you want receipts . . . well, here you go . . . lots of receipts they dug up somewhere! There is training still to be done . . . .
We hear Utah had some good snow . . . a novel thought here in the tropics. One of the senior couples got a great snow picture from their kids with a snowman - they printed it and took it to show their apartment house guard - all apartment buildings have a guard. They said it was so funny - their expressions of "what is that?" - questions like how does it feel and they had no idea what a snowman was. They tried to explain a snowball fight . . . not sure they got that across!
We are losing our assistant in Jamaica, Kevin Brown - he has been called to be a mission president. He is a good man. Perhaps we will NEED to go to Jamaica and train the new one . . . we will see what happens.
The Buckmisters are friends in Maricopa - McKay their son is "watching" our yard for us. They gave us some money when we left to do a small project here. Our friends the Dunfords attend the Consuelo Branch an hour out of the city and knew of some little boys that needed a white shirt and tie for Sunday. We went with them and got to attend church a couple of weeks ago and give the shirts. The rented building is in a "colorful" location w/a little store across the street - I got a picture of a boy riding up on his horse . . . you can see the chunks of meat laying on the counter to be sold. They will get their own chapel in the near future - included is a picture of Elder Dunford presenting the Branch President a picture of the beautiful little chapel that will be built and you can see his excitement!
A favorite missed picture was a man on the back of a moto (motorcycle) reaching back and holding the handlebars of a wheelbarrow to bring along. There are tons of motos and they zig zag around/between traffic and have no rules! The most passengers we have seen on one is five.
HOPE YOUR THANKSGIVING DAY WAS WONDERFUL AND YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! Monday all of the couples will have a turkey dinner - there will be about 60 of us. We didn't have it yesterday as the Casa cafeteria where we meet was scheduled with people from Puerto Rico here a week for the temple. I brought tablecovers, napkins and other deco stuff from when we were home in October - yea for the dollar store! It will be festive and very tacky . . .
Hearts certainly think of home at this season - words can't say how grateful we are for all of you and the priviledge of being from the USA!! We are thankful for the atoning sacrafice of our Savior - Jesus Christ and give thanks for our bounteous blessings both temporally and spiritually. MUCH LOVE TO ALL . . . Mom-Dad, Chuck-Vickie and Grandma and Grandpa XOXOXOOXOX
Chuck at the gate of the rented church building in Consuelo.
Boy in the store directly across the road - note meat on the counter.
The Branch President loves the picture of what will be their chapel.
Family of four leaving church - note her heels even on a moto!
Bradley in his new white shirt.