Friday, December 27, 2013

Dominican Republic - December 27, 2013

Hola to all -                                                        December 27, 2013

We trust you have had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to celebrating a New Year!  We have had fun activities to keep us fairly occupied and memorable experiences. 

A sad event was going to the office on the 10th and learning our friend Aydy's baby had passed away.  Her desk/office is right across from us.  He was about 8 months old and had been born with some heart issues he could not overcome.   The graveside service was to be that morning - we and the Crismons attended.  I have never seen a more lovely cemetery - it truly was luscious green, serene and well kept.  We are told it is tradition to wear white for a funeral and it was so perfect to see Aydy, her mother and little girl all in beautiful white dresses with flowers and ribbons in their hair.  I loved it. 

The Dunfords came to stay with us the last couple of days before they flew home.  It was so fun!  They had to be out of their apartment and we so enjoyed having them!  We will look forward to seeing these good friends another day!  The night before they left we went to a mall where the West Mission missionaries pulled off a flash mob of Christmas caroling.  It was a great experience and we loved watching it. 

Our assistant from Haiti - Jean Rossely Bernardo couldn't get his visa to come to the training held in November so last week he was finally able to come over for two days so Chuck could teach/train him.  He speaks English well enough that it wasn't a problem - Chuck's French is lousy!  It was a privilege to be with him in the temple as he was able to participate in doing the work for his father. 

Last Monday there were about 15 of us that went out to a small housing area in the cane fields called a batey.  Haitians live there - about 40 families and work the cane.  They are extremely poor - there is a tiny school building and some housing - all in the dirt.  We took lots of items that Crismons and others had gathered - each couple also took rice, beans and oil for 5 families.  We expected it to be a marvelous experience . . . it turned out to be rather chaotic and we didn't feel much gratitude.  It continues to be such a problem with how to help people without making them totally dependent on that continued expectation of help.  Much of the time you just have to give and then let it be in the Lord's hands.  That is why in the Church we try so hard to train the leaders in the proper use of funds to help people be able to help themselves.  I also had my camera stolen while there . . . bah humbug! 

How wonderful to have visits with all the family - technology is so awesome.  Chuck even got to narrate the nativity via Facetime with the Florida kids as they acted out Luke 2 Christmas Eve!  Christmas morning the senior missionaries played Santa elves and gathered to put together a goodie plate for each missionary at the MTC.  Each couple took 45 "somethings" - we put one each on 45 plates - wrapped them in cellophane tied w/ribbon and went singing to the cafeteria where they were all gathered.  We sang to them - they sang to us and even though a little homesick rejoiced that we get to spend Christmas in the Caribbean! 
We also delivered the 90 baby kits we had put together . . . indeed there were more than 90 babies at the hospital that morning.  We got to walk through the rooms singing and wishing the mothers "Feliz Navidad" - lots and lots of tiny babies and mothers - some didn't look like they felt too well and we almost felt like we were imposing but it was a wonderful experience. 
A favorite sighting this week was watching a man trim/shape a small tree with his very large and sharp machete - definitely is a tool of choice for all things here! 
Greatly missing home at this time of year but enjoying counting our blessings here in the Caribbean!   LOVE TO YOU - Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Gma and Gpa    XOXOXOXOXO

Pictures -
Goodies for the missionaries at the MTC - Chuck is far right
Haiti Nativity sets . . . do you see and love the giraffe with the cow and sheep??? 
Batey kids lined up for gifts
A new baby and mother at the hospital with one of our newborn kits. 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Dominican Republic - December 6, 2013

Hola family and friends . . .                                            December 6, 2013
One morning last week I was sitting as assigned by the chapel door here in the Santo Domingo Temple.  There was a hymn softly playing and no one was coming or going.  I was alone in the corridor and the whole temple seemed quiet.  I had the thought that there were probably more worthwhile things I could be doing.  Then the thought came to me from a poem where the Savior says "There, tend that for me."  I thought of all the places in the world including our homes that people are "tending" for the Lord and the work can be lonely or invigorating but all needs attention and care.  It was a moment that caused me to pause/ponder and I have thought of it often.   
On a lighter note . . . we had a tasty and fun feast for Thanksgiving.  Wow - all these "grandmas" know how to cook!  I scattered DOTS candy (acorns) among the fake fall leaves - that and Crismon's sea shells were a hit.  It was a fun gathering. 
There are several events planned for the Christmas season - we will take advantage of them all to keep our minds off thoughts of events we are missing at home!  Last Sunday evening we had a concert from the acapello men's group that we have heard previously.  They are wonderful to listen to!
There is a large park across the street from the temple/Casa/ MTC compound.  They have been making improvements outside/inside the park for months and stringing Christmas lights (it has been advertised as 26 million) and a lot of other decorating.  They turned on the lights last Sunday night.  We were afraid that all the area electricity would blow - and it did for a brief minute but then it was fine!  The park is rather more Mardi Gras looking with a Christmas theme - most of the trees are wrapped with orange, green or purple lights.  The Dominicans do love Christmas - decorations started going up in early October - those millions of lights . . . it could be true!   
Jill Dunford, Joy Crismon and I all each baked 100 cookies and we took them around the office Monday singing and giving Merry Christmas wishes.  We did this last year and it was fun to do again.  Everyone enjoyed the mid-morning snack and probably thinks we are a little wacky!
Our auditing work is low key at this time.  Chuck is working on getting some regular training in place for leaders on the dispensing of welfare funds.  That seems to be the area where much of the misuse of funds happens.  If it is misunderstanding of the proper procedures that is one thing - but, a small percentage is intentional wrong doing.  Those are the sad situations that we have to deal with.  Another aspect is that the stake audit committees need to understand to be able to discern proper procedures. 
I have thought much of my Aunt Sybil this week. She passed away Tuesday, December 3rd.  I have wonderful memories of family gatherings growing up in Missouri.  Her husband, Uncle Buddy, is my Mom's only brother.  We will miss being with loved ones to celebrate her good, long life. 
Know you are enjoying the season - it is wonderful here also!  LOVE TO EVERYONE - Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa
"It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags. . . What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
Thanksgiving feast - we added more leaves after this was taken - Caribbean festive!
Lights in the park taken from the temple driveway . . . . just a little corner of the park . . .
Cookie delivery in the office w/Jill Dunford and Joy Crismon 
Trash to be picked up - crazy system - animals and people go through it and scatter it everywhere! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Smooth Training

Hola to all . . .                                                          November 22, 2013
Area Assistant Auditor Training here in Santo Domingo
Our annual Assistant Area Auditors Training was last weekend - all went off smoothly and we are grateful and glad to have it behind us!   Richard and Ann Ray serving in the West Indies and live in Trinidad stayed with us 4 days and we loved getting to know them - wonderful people!   They are from Tempe, Arizona and wanted a good plate of Spanish food . . . not to be had!  All the other assistants are from their local areas and aren't missionaries but are assistant area auditors by assignment/calling.   Everyone expressed gratitude for learning good things and clarifying situations that were a concern.  Everyone returned home safely.  These are exceptional men that we get to work with! 

Ron Malen went home to Utah on an Air-Med plane Wednesday.  He is the man/temple missionary that had a stroke on November 5th.  He was stable enough to transport and the family gathered the money to make this happen.  Such a sad situation.  His family felt like they had some positive hand squeezes and communication from him although he is not conscious.  His recovery is indeed in the Lord's hands and doesn't look very promising but they they wanted to get him home to deal with the situation.

Our friends Leon and Marilyn Button go home to Arizona tomorrow the 23rd.  We have had fun evenings with them for dinner/movie nights, six dice or hand and foot card games.  We will see them again in Arizona!  That is one of the best things about our mission - meeting the many couples that also serve and getting to know them.  Wonderful people!!!

This Area Communications Committee that I serve on is a challenge for me and my less than techy skills.  I was asked this week to edit, rewrite, correct or whatever you want to call it a couple of articles for the Caribbean website.  One is a 6 page article someone wrote on the youth conference held in Haiti last August - want it down to one page.  I am not a writer - how did I get into this???

Can't believe royal blue orchids
We are eager for our Family Home Evening Thanksgiving Dinner Monday night.  Will be lots of great home cooking with all the fixuns and about 60 in attendance.  Have the table decorations again this year (was that really a year ago) - autumn colored tablecloths and fake fall leaves and get this . . . lots of sea shells!!  It's the Caribbean . . .

Chuck's birthday with friends
the Dunfords, Buttons, Crismons and Haws
Chuck and his favorite computer guru Vincente have created a report that shows possible abuse or misunderstanding on how to dispense welfare assistance.  The report shows the number of "helps" a unit provides to members.  In some units the numbers are consistently very high.  He is checking on the top ten that could possibly have problems to be investigated.  We are grateful that these kind of issues are less frequent than when we arrived.


With lots and lots of love, Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa
International Auditor Training in Salt Lake last month
Really humble looking fruit stand - look at the size of those carrots! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Memories!

Hola all . . .                                                                   November 8, 2013
Jenna's airport arrival - hadn't seen each for a year and a half
We have had a fabulous visit from Justin/Lori and Jenna!  They arrived and left at different times so we had wonderful together and separate time with them - HAPPY MEMORIES!  We saw interesting things here in the DR, had great food, a wonderful time at the ocean, went to a small church branch out in the campo on Sunday etc.  We loved it and are grateful to those that watched kids at home so they could come - especially Lane.  Thanks so much!!!  

Justin, Lori and Chuck went for a walk to a nearby park
and a sudden downpour DRENCHED them! 
Real Dominican food . . . the bandera dinner!

There is a couple serving here in the temple on their 4th mission.  Ron and Donna Malan from American Fork, Utah.  They were here previously when the temple first opened about 10 years ago.  He had a stroke on Tuesday and is now on life support with no chance of survival.  Three of their children arrived yesterday to be with their mom. The hospital won't follow the family wishes to terminate his care.  It is a sad on going situation that is heartbreaking.
A couple has arrived here to serve in the DR East Mission Office - Kevin and Elaine Mortensen from Centerville, Utah.  What is interesting is that he was one of the 10 original missionaries sent here to open the country for the preaching of the gospel in 1978.  He talked to us last Monday for Family Home Evening (yes, kids were here and loved it) and told of some of the many experiences in opening the work here.  What a thrill for him to return now 35 years later and serve again.   He knows so many people that are now much of the older strength of the church here - it was wonderful to listen to him and we will enjoy getting to know them.
Gary and Janet Flake have just arrived to serve as the new temple president as of November 1.  We can tell they are full of life and energy.  We know him from out previous humanitarian service work in Argentina.  He is retired head of Humanitarian Services for the church worldwide.  He will be awesome to listen to on occasion and hear his many stories and life experiences with that wonderful work.  He had a twinkle in his eye when he told me he has LOTS of great stories! 

We are trying to buckle down and be ready for our Assistant Area Auditor Training that we host next week.  The assistants that we work with will fly in from all over - West Indies, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico and travel from here in the DR for the seminar here at the office November 15th and 16th.  We have some details to wind up - but for the most part I think we are ready.  At least all assignments are made, food planned and hopefully not too many surprises!  Oh yeah . . . I do still need a translator for some of us -  Jamaica, West Indies and Salt Lake visitors.  I will get it done . . .  

LOVE LOVE LOVE TO ALL OF YOU - THE BESTEST!!  Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa XOXOXOXOXO

A favorite vendor that we love his smile and attitude - ok, so we pay too much but he is worth it! 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hiatus to the Good Ole' USA!

Meeting Miles for first time
Hola to all . . .                                                                October 24, 2013
We are back from an awesome "hiatus" to the good ole' USA!   Enjoyed everyday so very much and have returned to finish up our last 3 and a half months feeling refreshed, revived and blessed for all we have!   It was wonderful to spend a few days in 3 of our kid's homes.

Chase w/300 stuffed animals as part of Eagle Project
We loved participating in their everyday lives.  While we were in Arizona, Chuck had the opportunity to give Chase and Briley their patriarchal blessings.  This was indeed a memorable experience.  Chase was working on his Eagle Project - collecting over 300 donated gently used stuffed animals for prizes etc. for a health fair he participated and worked with.  We hear it was all a big success!  It was an awesome drive to St. George we were reminded of the gorgeous American west and wide open spaces!

Meeting baby Miles that was born in July was soooooo fun - at 3 months he is smiling, "talking" and generally full of cuteness!   Then on to Pleasant Grove for watching more soccer, flag football and enjoying family. 
Kayl learned my talent well . . .
We have replacements!!  Jay and Rosalind Sorensen from Lynnwood, Washington.  They were invited and able to attend the annual training for two days with us in Salt Lake City.  We were able to visit with them and talk about all their concerns and about the auditing assignment.  They are wonderful and we are sure they will hit the ground running and be ready for us to get out of the way!
The two days of training and learning about the changes in procedures was really a boost to our work.  For example . . . there will soon be a "practice audit" online for training of leaders.  What a great help that will be.  We were with 15 auditor couples from all over the world serving in the different international areas.  All meetings and meals were on the 9th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building with the temple looming out the window . . . glorious!

We just had our monthly Area Audit Committee Meeting.  Chuck makes the agenda and moves the meeting along with Elder Zivic of the Area Presidency, Jerald Taylor the Area Controler and Lorenzo Castillo works with MLS (Member Leadership Services.)  So many acronymns!  He is always glad to have that meeting finished.  He keeps a "concern log" of the problem issues that we encounter and that is usually where the most time is spent discussing the items and what action to initiate taking care of the situation. 

I have been asked to be one of two assistants to the coordinator for the Family Home Evenings that we hold together as senior couples.   There are often about 60 of us.  We gather as one large group and then sometimes as small groups of 4-5 couples in an apartment.  It is always great fun.  We are planning a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving.  I brought back a suitcase full of table covers etc.  Also, 90 baby receiving blankets for a service project we are doing for Christmas at a hospital that they say has 90 babies born a day.  That sounds like a lot to me . . . whatever, we are going to take that many "gifts" for the Christmas babies.  Will wrap a onesie, 5 diapers, soap etc. in the blankets and take them around to the mothers.  Fun . . .

We are eager to have visits next week from Justin/Lori and Jenna.  Thanks Lane for making this happen for Jenna - it will be happy times!  It is still warm here - continue to sleep under the ceiling fan and no sweaters or jackets needed - ever - except when air-conditioning is too cold! 
Now that's a Great Pumpkin! 
Mucho mucho mucho love to all . . . we think of you and your concerns always!  LOVE - Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa    XOXOXOXOXO 


Monday, September 30, 2013

Before the Deadline

Hola again from us . . .                                            September 30,2013

The Audits are finished 100% before the deadline and we were second in the world - Mexico always seems to beat the Caribbean and they have 5 times the number of units!   We are glad to get 100% in - many areas don't get that done.   Then it all happens again starting in January.  Now we are preparing for our 7 Assistant Auditors to gather here in November for a seminar.  We did this last September right after we arrived - so it isn't quite the "unknown" that it was then.  We just have to figure out the travel, meals, agenda for training etc.  We think there will be two visitors from the Auditing Department in Salt Lake here to contribute and observe.

Chuck flipping burgers and hotdogs

 for the DR East Mission lunch.

Last week we went to the East Mission Office to help with a bar-b-que lunch they were having for about 50 missionaries.  They regularly do this when asked - this time it was for two districts that were gathered.  Chuck was helping cook/flip the burgers and hot dogs - it was HOT!   They gave them a burger, hotdog, bag of chips and Klondike ice cream bar and they were happy campers!    A couple of elders that are avid BYU football fans had to stand on the stage and sing the Ute fight song . . . they lost the bet.  It was a fun time! 

We fly to Arizona this Friday and will enjoy being with Jason/Angela and family a few days.  We have some doctor appointments and will then drive to St. George and the Jera/Jordan house to meet newest grandson Miles at 3 months old and on to Pleasant Grove to be with Jenna/Lane and then our annual training in Salt Lake - which is the reason for the trip.  We are excited to be able to see all our "kids" except the Florida ones on this jaunt home.  We are really looking forward to it!!  One thing we will be hauling home is a 4 foot carved mask that we bought . . . Chuck thinks it won't be "any problem at all" . . . . we'll see!

Our work/life seems to be pretty routine these days with our schedule the same each week . . . which is good and we love all that we are involved in and the wonderful people we associate with.   
Broken helmet "fixed" with a rubber band.
It will be great to watch General Conference this weekend.  For our friends that have never seen a session of General Conference of our "Mormon"  faith - it is held twice a year in Salt Lake City and you can get full coverage at  It is always uplifting and timely for our day - teaching about gospel principles and encouragement in living the commandments given us by a loving Heavenly Father.

Cycle with a load of mops.
LOVE TO ALL . . . hope life is treating you well with wonderful blessings to recognize in your daily lives!!   xoxoxoxo Lots of Love . . . Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa  xoxoxo

Chuck with Oswaldo - the day guard for our apartment building.  He is a wonderful helper to haul groceries etc.  Chuck teases him that he prays always for rain so he can wash our car! 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Family Elders

45th Anniversary - the office people  were so fun to stop, visit, get candy and think it incredible to be married so long!    
Hola family and friends . . .                                               September 15, 2013

The audit period is coming to a close and we are looking good - West Indies, Haiti, Santiago DR, East DR are all finished.  Puerto Rico, Jamaica and West DR are almost there. 

We are still really warm here in the DR and ready for cooler weather . . . however, we haven't noticed a whole lot of change this last year in the temperatures.  It seems to be more which fruit is in season! 

There was an outbreak of cholera that the Crismons (Welfare Couple) have been dealing with and trying to have some buckets put together of cleaning supplies for families - possibly 3,000 of them.  It is in a very poor area that the people struggle to have clean water.  It seems to drag on as they try to work with the agencies here.  Sorta scary stuff . . .

Their is a team of doctors/specialists here from the states this week to give Neonatal Resuscitation Training.   Dr. Jensen is the head of the team and we worked with him in Argentina.  Such wonderful people that donate their time and knowledge to come and help others.  We had them over for dinner and it was a fun visit! 
It is a joy to be here to welcome Elder Neeley and Elder Buehner to serve as missionaries here in the DR.  Elder Neeley is the grandson of my cousin and Elder Buehner the grandson of my brother.  Fabulous young men - happy and excited to serve and working hard to learn the language and all else they need to know to go out and teach the gospel when they leave the MTC.  Elder Neeley and his companion have been assigned to us on Mondays for their 4 weeks of training to teach in Spanish.  It would of been great to have Elder Buehner also - not to be - he is on a different schedule.   We will try and keep them supplied with some treats! 
Us with Elder Buehner
Us with Elder Neeley
We visited some underground caves with the Dunfords about an hour out of the city.  "Cueva de las Maravillas" was really pretty and interesting - such a marvel what can occur under the ground.  The caves were discovered in 1926 but just opened to the public in 2003.  There were many Taino Indian drawings - we have to admit to questioning some of their validity . . . but, the caves were gorgeous with well lit paths and railings.  

It was sad to learn of the missionary from here in the DR that was killed while serving in Colombia.  His stake president works here in the office and said his family was of course devastated.  He was their youngest child.  Chuck had sat in church by the DTA (Director of Temporal Affairs) for our area the Sunday after it happened and he reported having been up most of the night trying to arrange for the body to be returned home.  Hard, unexpected things.   

I have been asked to serve on an Area Communications Committee - I have to admit it seems a little overwhelming - but there are people coming from Salt Lake City to train in what they would like to see happen.  All I could say was . . . "I will try."  They said they needed my English input . . . ya think, it certainly wasn't for my Spanish! 

We know fall is in the air for some of you . . . ENJOY!  LOVE TO YOU . . . be good to each other  XOXOXO Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa
I need a recipe for what to do with a cow head . . .
The guys on cycles scoot in, out and around and squeeze through traffic  . . . this guy came to a fast halt! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Los Butterflies

Us at the Mirabal Sisters Museum.
Hola all . . .                                         August 30, 2013

Audit report . . . 80% of the Caribbean Area units have started their audits and 65% are finished!  They have a couple more weeks to complete them. 
The experience of visiting The Mirabal Sisters Museum is one of the most interesting we have had.  It is dedicated to the memory of 3 sisters that are heroes in the Dominican Republic.  These women showed great courage as they took a stand against the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the underground movement against his regime that represented the Dominican people in their quest for freedom.  "Los Butterflies" was their underground name.  Their story is depicted in the movie "In the Time of the Butterflies."  They died as martyrs November 25, 1960 when an accident was fixed and they were taken to a field and killed.  Trujillo was ultimately assassinated on May 30, 1961.  A fourth sister Dede is still living - she is 87.  She raised her own three children and also the 6 children of her sisters after their death.  The Mirabal family home is now the museum.  Dede often receives guests and school groups at the museum.  There are wonderful manicured grounds with lovely flowers and huge trees around the home that cause it to be an inviting and peaceful place of reflection and full of butterflies!

Obelisk that Trujillo built to himself -
now the people have painted it as a monument
to the Mirabal Sisters.

We left our apartment Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m. to pick up Lorenzo Castillo who is one of our bosses in the office finance department.  We were headed 2 and a half hours away to the Sabana de la Mar Branch of the church.  There are many concerns there and not just with the finances.  We can empathasize with these outlying areas having lived in rural Arizona for 33 years.   Wednesday Chuck and Lorenzo went back to try and meet with the Branch President and verify some of the expenses in question - he was not willing to meet with them.  The missionaries took them around to try and talk to some of the people.  It appears this situation will not have a good ending. 

The first ever multi-stake youth conference was held in Haiti last week.  There are 4 stakes of the church in Haiti.  Almost 400 youth attended with 75 leaders that were mostly young single adults.  The site itself was a miracle to obtain - after almost a year of trying to get permission to use the government owned and operated facility.   It was a fantastic opportunity for them to have fun together and feel the spirit of the gospel with their peers.  Only the area presidency went from here - without their wives.

Serving a mission causes us to miss many family events . . . this week it is the 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration for Dick and Nancy.  We know all those gathered will have a great time . . . remembering . . . . XOXOXOXOXOXO
One way to take two cows . . . somewhere - they were alive! 
Rice field workers - beautiful - looks like a pretty daunting task!   

Love you all sooooooo much and pray for/think about you daily!!!!  LOVE, Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa    

Friday, August 16, 2013

25% Audits Complete!

Hola to family and friends . . .                                                     August 16, 2013

We are in the mid-year audit cycle.  Out of the 15 areas of the church throughout the world - as of a couple of days ago our Caribbean Area was leading with about 25% of audits completed.  We have about 409 units that need to file an audit - stakes, districts, wards and branches.   Lots of work going on by the leaders to make it happen!   We were in Bani last Sunday with Rolando Marte helping with their audit and doing training of the District Audit Committee.

Our friends the Rees' are headed home Tuesday.  We admire them so much for the work they have done here in Santo Domingo with church music.  He is a rancher from northern Utah and not a musician - she says she played piano a little.  There is a great need here for people to lead music and play the piano in the congregations.   They have truly magnified their calling.  He taught himself to play a few hymns on the keyboard and then to teach classes - he does have fluent Spanish.  He was known to bribe w/chocolate!  They have taught 14 groups the 6 month course - about 230 students from ages 10 to 70.  They started with the conducting course and then a smaller percentage learned to play a hymn - all of course with varying degrees of success!  Last Sunday evening we went to a recital they held for a group of about 20 students finishing a course.  It was fun to hear the students and the Rees' were like proud parents!  WELL DONE . . . now home to the cattle!

Rees' with their kids before the recital

Chuck was out driving with Ray Johnson - serving here as a lawyer in the area office.  They got stopped by the police for running a yellow/red light.  You have to understand the driving here is  c r a z y  and the rules are pretty much just "suggestions" - however, if the officers are hungry or bored they will look for someone to stop.  At first the amount was 5,000 pesos - $125.00.  Chuck got it down to 800 pesos - $20.00 . . . he after all was feeling guilty.   The officer wouldn't take the money from his hand or even when he sat it on Ray's leg.  He wanted it to sit on the seat and then he reached in with his hand to pick it up under his cell phone - so others wouldn't see him taking a bribe.  My question is . . . who was the one being bribed . . . hummmmm?

Anna - our friend on the corner selling papers

Every morning we buy a paper from Anna down on a corner by our apartment - she is always chatty and friendly and glad to have a little package of cookies we give her.   She has given us mangoes, avocados and cantaloupe on occasion that she picks out special and says to eat that day!  She is usually happy and is a fun greeting to our day. 

The Crismons have returned from being home with her broken hip - we are glad to have them back as our office partners!  They are the Area Welfare Missionaries so are in charge of some emergency relief projects.   This last week we were down in the large meeting room helping them pack 250 kitchen kits.  These are to be given when a family loses their home through flooding, hurricanes or whatever.  They would be awesome to receive if you had that need.  Items are packed in a five gallon air-tight bucket and contain:  4 plates, 4 cups, 4 small bowls, utensils for 4, two large cooking spoons, large pan w/lid, mixing bowl, can opener, lighter, candles, small metal pitcher for hot water, a sieve and a roll of toilet paper.  They figured the cost of each bucket was $34.00.   It was fun to help get these ready to go if there is a need. 

250 Humanitarian Kitchen Kits line the halls

MTC Elders getting some of the white shirts and ties sent from Jenna's ward

Summer is flying/flown . . . lots of memories we have loved hearing about!! 

Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandpa and Grandma