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

26 January 2011

Happy New Year!!

The Alvarado family invited us to share New Year's Eve with their family and other missionary couples in our mission "family".  We enjoyed great company, good food and lots of fun games...including Don't Eat Pietz, in honor of Elder and Sister Pietz (our take off of the game Don't Eat Pete that we used to play in family home evening with our children). 

New Years Day we drove together in the mission van to Elder and Sister Olsen's home in Cayey, up in the mountains.  The Olsen's treated us all to a very special day, Puerto Rican style.  Their home is nestled in the trees with a breathtaking view.
Sister Olsen is an amazing cook
Elder Olsen and his helpers at the grill
After an amazing dinner we gathered around the piano and sang some beautiful Puerto Rican Christmas songs.  Singing in Spanish... Elder Button couldn't be more content!!

25 January 2011

Mailbox surprise

Christmas Day we traveled over to Vieques so we would be there for Sunday meetings the next morning.   A few months ago the mailbox fell off the post and someone put it behind the fence where it has been sitting ever since. 
We don't ever look it it, because we stopped using that mailing address in August when we moved.   Christmas night, I was outside talking on the phone with one of our kids and I looked over at mailbox and thought, "you should look in the mailbox", but of course I'm smarter than that, why should I look in the mailbox (after all it's on the ground, behind the fence, and weeds are growing around it).  Again I thought, "go look in the mailbox", so I did.  It was dark, but there was a package in it, and an envelope.  What a surprise!!  Amy Martinsen had send both the first part of December and I had a fun Christmas surprise. 

23 January 2011

Christmas Conference

One of the joys of service as "Senior Missionaries" working in the mission office is our involvement with the young missionaries.  We were able to help plan and put on the mission Christmas conference for the 110  young Elders and Sisters serving in Puerto Rico.  The first day we spent hiking in El Yunque with 4 stops during the hike for a spiritual thought.

 After the hike we sang Christmas carols at the mall in the food court: 

After a dinner the missionaries entertained each other with a talent show.  Day 2 of the conference began with Elder Vinas from the area presidency speaking in a morning devotional followed by a Christmas dinner at the mission home.  Here are the cooks:
The missionaries sang Christmas carols at the San Juan Museum of Art with a youth bell choir that the Alvarado girls belong to:
The conference concluded with a testimony meeting.  It was very inspiring to hear the Elders and Sister bear testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.

18 January 2011

La Parranda Misional

La Parranda is a Puerto Rican tradition similiar to Christmas caroling.  It can be done anytime between Thanksgiving and Three Kings Day (Jan 8th).  You show up at someone's house, wake them up singing sometime during the night or early morning, party, and then take them with you to another house, etc.  President and Sister Alvarado are Puerto Rican, so they introduced this tradition to the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission, but of course within the bounds of mission rules.  The Alvarado family, 3 senior missionary couples (including us) and the 3 assistants to the president, loaded up in the mission van and toured the mission.  We started on a Friday night from 9:00 to 10:30, went home to sleep, and then started again on Saturday morning at 6:00 am and finished at 10:30 pm.  Our paranda included singing "Regocijad, Jesus Nacio" (Joy to the World) and "Cantan Santos Angeles" (Angels We Have Heard on High) delivering a t-shirt for the mission Christmas conference and one of Sister Button's cinnamon rolls to each missionary (a big thanks to Sister Pietz for helping make the rolls!) We loved spreading some Christmas Joy!!!

12 January 2011

Feliz Navidad! Christmas Season in Puerto Rico

Christmas season in Puerto Rico is just coming to a close. We have had some wonderful experiences over the past several weeks celebrating this special time of year with many dear friends and missionaries in this beautiful country!! Our long drives were certainly enhanced by the many Christmas decorations along the roads and freeways.  Here are just a few:

09 January 2011

Another Blessing in the Button Family!

Bristol Anne Button was born December 29, 2010. 
This is Bristol when she called Grandma & Grandpa on Skype New Year's Eve
We love little Bristol and are glad that she has joined our family!!