Serving in the Caribbean Area Presidency Office in
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

23 October 2010

You heard it here first!

I'm sure that you'll all want to know what is on this billboard in the outskirts of Fajardo -  I'll translate for you:  May 21, 2011 Begins the Judgement Day. The Holy God will destroy the World on October 21, 2011.

 I don't know about you, but I appreciate the good intentions of the people who paid for this billboard.  But they could have saved themselves quite a bit of money if they'd read the Bible where it clearly says in Mark 13: 32, 33 "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is."

The Mailman Miracle

Last weekend President Alvarado asked Elder Button to fly to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands to help train a new branch clerk.  Because the airfare is so expensive, Elder Button had to go by himself without Sister Button.  To get to the airport in San Juan to catch the flight, he would have to leave Ceiba at 4:30 am in the car.  That would leave Sister Button without a car.  He also would have to take the phone with him to contact the people in St. Thomas when he arrived, so Sister Button would be without a phone all day also. 

Our personal phone went bad during the second month of our mission due to the humidity.  We sent it back home to see if it could be repaired or at least have the numbers transfered to another phone. But that took longer than anticipated and we still were without a personal phone.

Elder Button was worried, although Sister Button said she wasn't, about leaving Sister Button  in the Ceiba apartment alone, without a car and without a phone from 4:30 am until 8:30 pm when he would return.  The best option that he could come up with was to have some of the members and the missionaries check on her a couple times during the day to make sure she was okay.  But he still didn't feel very good about the situation.

On Saturday evening as we walked from our car to climb the stairs to our apartment, Sister Button noticed a box sitting on a chair in the downstairs apartment patio.  This patio is behind a locked iron gate and is never used because the downstairs apartment is vacant.  It looked like a Flat-rate box from the post office.  We had received these boxes before but always had to go to the post office in Ceiba to pick them up after receiving a notice in the mailbox that something had arrived for us.  We asked the caretaker for the apartment who live a couple houses down to come and open the gate so we could see if the box was for us.  It was ...and it included our personal phone that we had been waiting for!   Now Sister Button wouldn't be without a phone and a way to call for help if needed!

Many people would say this was just a coincidence.  But we know better because these types of little "coincidences" are happening repeatedly during our mission - we just don't write them here in the blog. We know that the Lord is blessing us how and when we need it.  Think about this - the mailman had always just put a slip in the mailbox so why didn't he do that this time?  If he would have followed standard procedure, we wouldn't have been able to get the box until the next Monday because the Post Office was closed when we got home from working.  To put the box inside the locked patio, the mailman had to walk about fifteen feet, open a sliding gate that is very hard to open, then he had to push the box through a tight space between the bars of the patio and then toss it on a chair.  Why did he go to all that bother?  Why did Sister Button notice this box inside the locked patio?  Why did the box arrive the very moment that we needed it so badly?

Sunset in St. Thomas

The view from the tarmac at the airport in St. Thomas
We marvel at the tender mercies of the Lord to us.  We know that He lives and that He loves us.  We know that He loves all His children because we feel that love so profoundly as we work with the people here in the Caribbean.

09 October 2010

Week in Review

Week in Review

We began the week watching General Conference. It was wonderful! There were two different rooms where conference was shown – air conditioned in Spanish and not in English. Here is a picture of the missionaries and some youth standing and singing the rest song.

We were delighted to receive a call from our dear friends, Luis and Teresa Mejia, from back home. They came to Puerto Rico for a vacation. We met them and showed them some sights in El Yunque, the rain forest of Puerto Rico. It was wonderful to see them and catch up on the happenings with their family.

We are still doing our tutoring of Accounting and English at the Inter-American University in Fajardo. This is one of flyers hanging on the wall to invite students to come for tutoring. We have had only four different students attend so far, with many others stopping by to say they will come ‘for sure’ next time. We suspect that as the semester progresses and the tests start coming, we will have more students attend. It’s interesting the parallels between the tutoring and our proselyting work. In both cases we freely offer that which will greatly benefit people. We try to let as many people know about it and possible and make ourselves available to share. Unfortunately very few take advantage of what is offered…but when times get tough, they’ll come looking for help. That’s okay. Just as long as they come.

Visit from the kids

Our grand-daughter Sadie came to Puerto Rico – and brought her parents. We had a wonderful time together. They went to church with us where Sadie enjoyed nursery in Spanish and Mike got to sing in the choir.

We went to see El Yunque and learned why it is a RAIN forest.

We took the ferry to Vieques and played at the beach and went snorkeling.

We drove and saw the beautiful Isle of Enchantment – Puerto Rico.

We walked through Old San Juan and saw El Moro – the castle.

We had a wonderful time but it was very hard to say goodbye.