Friday, February 15, 2013

Needful Work

Hi family and friends . . .

We have been wanting to visit the dedication site here in Santo Domingo.  We finally got to do that - it is in a park here close to the area office.  Apostle Russell M. Nelson dedicated the Dominican Republic in 1978 for missionary work.  They don't maintain things too well here so the park at one time was probably beautiful but it could use a little work now. 

Us at the dedication site in Mirador Park

As Area Auditor there are 6 cases we are working on now or waiting to be opened.  Other assignments are much more gratifying than ours . . . but this is needful work to help these leaders know the error of their ways and try to return to good standing.  Chuck has become quite the investigator in this paperwork and figuring out how things were done.  It is pretty amazing how many ways people can figure out to deceive.  We continue to be grateful it is a very small percentage of leaders that have these problems.  As the audits get better and new reports are instigated - more red flags show up!  He shows a lot of love in working with these men.

Chuck always searching the records . . .

There is a doll "home industry" here that we visited - it was two rooms in the back of a couple's home.  They had three men out in the yard (with all the chickens) cutting wood for the base of the dolls and some other projects with wood.  They use a mixture like play dough with a corn starch base to make the faceless dolls - faceless indicates the many cultures represented here.  It is an old fashioned doll with a parasol and intricate flowers, patterns and colors in the dress and decorating of the skirt - all with the clay.  It seems to be a customary gift here . . . will wait to get one later perhaps. 

Parasols for the dolls at the "factory"

The Kanyangas just arrived as a couple missionary to serve in the temple.  Interesting story - they are from the Congo w/six grown children.  Twelve years ago with all the disruption in their country he barely escaped with his life with asylm in Korea.  His wife didn't know where he was for three years and then it was another three years to get her out to be with him.  They joined the church 7 years ago in Korea.  Their native language is French which is greatly needed with the Hatians and others in the Caribbean that come to the temple.  He understands a little English and she has even less.  Neither of them speak Spanish.  Nevertheless - they will be a great asset - such faith in a very humble couple. 

Elders Neil Anderson and Ronald Rasband are visiting the Caribbean Area and spoke in a devotional this morning here in the office that was broadcast to church employees throughout the whole area.  They have been in the far out islands of the West Indies, arrived here yesterday from Haiti and are headed to Cuba.  They spoke of working w/unity, diligence and patience in the offices of the church.  Contention always creates division.  Isn't that true in all situations even families? 

Chuck is quite the Dominicano driver - no left u-turns from the far right lane yet - but you never know!  

Feel free to reply . . . love hearing from you!!  Love you all MUCHO MUCHO!!!  Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa XOXOXOXOXO 

Chickens to market - also have pics of truckloads of pigs and goats! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Changing of the Guard

 Hola to you . . .

I haven't mentioned how excited we are for Jera and Jordan's announcement of our #15 grandchild - to arrive in mid July - WE WELCOME THE BLESSINGS IN ST. GEORGE! 

Our friends, the Hammons, finished their Area Welfare Specialist mission and left last Friday.  They shared an "office cubicle wall" with us which means we could usually hear each others conversations.  They have also become good friends as they helped us get to know the ropes here in the office and the DR in general.  We miss them!  Their replacement doesn't come until March 10th - Crismons from Pleasant Grove, Utah. 

We are losing three of our seven assistants - hopefully the new ones can just be trained by the very capable ones being released in Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. 

Us with the Hammons

There is a young father, Vincente, here in the finance department that helps us alot with many things - especially computer issues and reports - he is learning English and doing great!  He was so excited to be on vacation this  week.  He has never had a vacation.  He has only worked here about a year and a half and his previous work didn't have vacation time.  His little family was going to visit his grandmother that lives by a river a little over an hour away . . . you should see his face light up to talk about it.

The office was closed w/two holidays in one week so we and the Dunfords headed to see Constanza - a beautiful valley.  Well we almost got there - took a shortcut - will we never learn?  The road eventually got so narrow, rough and when we encountered a 4-wheeler (at a high steep fork in the road) were told "you won't make it in that" - so thankfully we turned around.  A scary adventure but was gorgeous and we got some good pictures.  Have no idea how they farm on the incline of those mountains.     
Beautiful farming on the mountains

It was interesting to watch them paint the apartment building across the street from us.  It has 11 stories and they were using rope ladders attached to the roof.  They would use ropes to "pully up" 5 gallon buckets of paint.  There were two men just using rollers or often a paint brush attached to the end of a pole for far away spots.  The painters were tethered to the ladders with maybe a 4 foot strape attached to their waist . . . all very scary looking - but, the paint job looks great! 

Painting with a rope ladder

Last Sunday we went to Bani Branch about an hour away.  We had to pick up the financial documents.  Lots of "severe padding of the travel account" in the district.  I pretty much hate this part of our work.  Then on to Santiago - 2 and half hours - to get our assistant Felix Cruz to go another hour and a half to Monte Cristi for 4 hours of training  (I was dying) then back to Santiago to spend the night - exhausted - and hard driving at night on dark roads with cars and motos w/out lights!  Amazing there aren't more accidents.  We usually aren't out on roads in the campo (country) at night but this couldn't be avoided.  In fact it could be breaking the rules - we won't ask. 

Many thoughts and much love to all - you are always in our prayers for blessings in your life - you are certainly some of ours!  LOVE YOU Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa  XOXOXOOXOX

Huge avacados - do I always have this many wrinkles . . . nah, probably just a bad wrinkle day!!!!