Friday, May 24, 2013

Life Is About Attitude

Pascale Pierre with Vickie

Hola to family and friends . . .                                  May 24, 2013

We had a fun "Mother's Day" talking to or getting messages from kids and grandkids.  The Florida gang decorated a plastic tablecloth for us - we are enjoying it!  The day wasn't so great for our office partners/friends Joy and Jim Crismon.  They arrived two months ago as the Welfare couple for the area.  She fell that Sunday morning and broke her hip.  She was flown out that night to Miami and had surgery the next day.  She swiftly made recovery in a rehab facility and went home to Utah yesterday for more rehab and healing.  We are anxious to learn what will happen with their mission assignment . . . we miss having neighbors next door here at the office.   

Some time ago while serving in the temple they needed someone to be the escort for a young woman that was there all alone preparing to serve her mission.  It was a wonderful blessing for me to be asked to be with her.  Her name is Pascale Pierre.  She is 24 and from Haiti but has lived here for 3 years supporting herself.  She speaks 4 languages lucky for me one is English.  Her mother couldn't come to be with her as she was having issues with her papers to leave Haiti.  Pascale was leaving the next day for two weeks to go to Haiti and visit her family - she hadn't seen her mother in a year.   When she returned she was entering the MTC and then going to the Santiago Mission here in the DR which is the north/central part of the country.   I really wanted a picture of her and so tracked her down at the MTC.  It was so fun to see her again.  What a different life she has had from anything in my experience and she is thriving!

Reid Cornish - Everyone's buddy!
Reid Cornish is a friend extraordinaire to all the senior missionaries here.  He is the son of Elder and Sister Cornish serving in the Area Presidency.   He always has a happy greeting and big hug when you see him and treats you like his best friend.  When we drive into the Casa/temple complex he is often playing basketball, roller blading and doing cartwheels or on his "board"  blasting about.  I took a picture of him the other day in his shirt he had decorated himself - you can see the scotch tape and different letters he made work to create the message "Life is About Attitude!" Well Reid, you are a terrific example of that!  We are grateful to have you for our friend.   

The tornado season seems to be especially hard - seeing all the devastation in Oklahoma truly looks like a bomb.  The Haws serving here as Humanitarian Service have a daughter that lives in Moore, Oklahoma - she had just picked her son up early from that Plaza Towers school that was demolished - to take him to a funeral for which she was playing the piano.  Their home is on the edge of all the destruction and was not harmed.  They are feeling very blessed.

As we drove to the office this morning the ocean looked really brown but you could see the beautiful blue further out . . . we are told there has been a lot of rain in the mountains and it is the river dumping water into the ocean that caused it to be so "ugly!"  We hadn't seen the brown water that far from the river before - amazing what "Mother Nature" can clean up!  The outlandish gorgeous red Flamboyant Trees are almost in full bloom - will have to send pictures next time - they are really head turners!

We are looking forward to a short visit from Dick and Nancy arriving tomorrow night - we hope they make it - the planes coming here always seem to be pretty full.  LOVE TO ALL  . . . . please know we "talk about you" and pray for mucho mucho blessings on your behalf!!!

Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa     XOXOXOXOXO
Cement truck workers catching a ride on the truck - totally permitted!

Chuck's "corrected" Spanish translation. 
He thought there would just be a mark or two - hilarious! 


Friday, May 10, 2013

Midway Point

Hello family and friends . . .                                               
May 10, 2013

A few months ago we were working with a missionary that left the MTC here for some previous financial mis-use.  We had to travel to Azua an hour and a half away a  couple of different times.  Then he dropped someone's camera and had to repay that.  It seems to be extremely difficult for them to find any kind of work to get money.  Chuck decided to give the Branch President some money and have him find some work for the elder to do so he could earn it.  Things seemed to drag on and we weren't sure he would ever get back in the mission field.  Well - last Monday we were going down the hall to have the class where they teach us.  Chuck gets a tap on his shoulder and it was him!  It was so fun - like a long lost kid - found!

Us with the Elder from Azua

There isn't much to update about our work - it just seems to go on and on with finding problems that need to be resolved.  The good part is at least that is a starting point for them to hopefully repent and return to good standing in the church.  We know that the better auditing procedures and training put in place by the Snows that preceded us are allowing for better reports that show trends and red flags.   We often feel like the "bad guys" but someone has to do this right?

The DR seems to have many holidays - last Monday was another one and the office was closed.  We checked out a van and 5 couples headed to the north shore 3 plus hours to visit La Isabela - a settlement established by Columbus.  It is right on the ocean and the water was so many different shades of blue - absolutely gorgeous.  There are only "footprints" of ruins left.  It was destroyed in the 70's either on purpose by Dictator Trujillo or his instructions to "clean up the site" were mis-interpreted and things were bulldozed!  We can't seem to get a real story.  It was interesting to be on such a historical site and stand on the cornerstones of what may of been Columbus' small home . . . we do know he had a great view of the ocean!   We had all taken a lunch and found a beach to sit on for some addictive ocean watching!
Chuck and Vickie at Isabela - we are looking out at the gorgeous ocean!

The latest project of the neighbors was last Saturday - I was up early and watched him strip a dry palm frawn down to the stem.  Later I see him sitting in front of his door with the dry leaves in a pile and he has a chair that I instantly realized he was going to weave a cane bottom for that chair.  It was fascinating to watch him from the distance of our window.  It looked like he was doing a beautiful job - definitely had done that before.  They live on the other side of the cement wall of our parking lot.  I think they may be Haitian.  The next time they are doing something I think I will go over and check it out . . . or send Chuck!   These are the men that washed their dishes with dirt and a little splashed water.

This week is our midway point - only 9 months to go . . .

My brother Dick called last night and his grandson Jed Buehner had just opened his mission call - Santo Domingo East Mission - he will arrive here in September at the Missionary Training Center two blocks from us!  Bienvenido Elder Buehner . . .

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL OF YOU GIRLS - have a wonderful day and we will hope those around you remember how much pampering you deserve!

Love to all and remember how much we miss you xoxoxoxooxxo  Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa 

Reserved parking for people like you Jera
Neighbor weaving the seat for his chair