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! 

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