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!