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

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