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

27 March 2011

"Mom, are the Buttons homeless?"

Mission Office
In August President Alvarado had us move to Ceiba so that we could work in Ceiba, Fajardo and Vieques.  We kept the apartment in Vieques with some things there for our every-other weekend stay.  Then beginning in September President Alvarado started having us help with some special projects that required us to come into the mission office.  Since it only required a couple of days each week, we made the 3 hour round trip from Fajardo and took advantage of the time to practice Spanish and make phone calls.

Gradually, the couple days a week in the office  turned into 4 then 5 days per week. So we started looking for places to stay the night closer to the mission office. Our dear mission friends, the Hymas', let us stay in their apartment during the 20 days per month that they were doing missionary work in the islands. That was really nice for us because we had a place to cook and hang our clothes.
Bedroom at Hymas'

When the Hymas' returned, the Alvarados invited us to come to sleep in the mission home.  The mission home had a great bed and private bathroom, but since the Alvarado's have so little time for their own young family, we tried to stay only there only occasionally.  When we did stay there we always tried to eat out so that they could at least have family time during meals.

Another place we laid our heads down at night was the dormitory in the mission office.  The bunk beds there were actually pretty comfortable and Sister Button didn't even scream too loud when taking her morning showers without hot water.  Neither one of us particularly enjoyed getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because it was on the other side of the building.  But the final straw was when the janitor started coming in at 4:30 am to clean the building.

One day Chucho (Jorge Daniel), the Alvarado's 7 year old son saw us hauling our suitcases to our car which was filled with some of our belongings. With concern he went to his mother and asked "Mom, are the Buttons homeless?"

Dormitory at the Mission Office

In late December President told us that in January he wanted us to take over the duties of the Olsens (a senior missionary couple) who had been serving as the mission recorder and financial secretary, and the duties of Sister Purdy who was the mission secretary.  The plan was for us to move into the apartment that Sister Purdy and her companions were living in when she finishes her mission in April. 
Until then we needed to find a place to stay.  We worked out a deal to find an apartment close to the mission office that would work well for Sister Purdy's companions (two older sister missionaries who don't drive and work in the LDS employment center in the Mission Office.)  We did find a good place that we thought would be ready at the first of February, but wasn't actually ready until the end of February.  We were so desperate to finally have a place to put our things and cook our meals, that we moved in before it was really ready...we thought it was ready until we tried to flush the toilet and run water in the sinks.  Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that the quality of the construction and buildings isn't up to US standards.  Here are some pictures of our home...until the next move. 

Our Bedroom


21 March 2011

Another Best Week in the Mission

They just keep getting better...these weeks in the mission field.  On Tuesday we had the great joy of seeing our dear friends from Vieques receive the blessings of the temple.  Luis and Yarisbel were sealed for time and all eternity in the Santo Domingo Temple.  This picture shows them walking up the hill toward the temple with her mom and dad (Maribel and President Velez) behind them all the way.  This is symbolic of their journey in preparing to come to the temple.
Pres. Velez served as proxy for Maribel's father and Maribel served as proxy for Pres. Velez' mother.  After Luis and Yaribel were sealed, then Yarisbel was sealed to her parents.  It was a joyous occasion.  Here are some pictures after the ceremonies:

But the week wasn't over...On Sunday we returned to Vieques to attend church with our "family" there.  Carlos Ruben Ventura Melendez (Prieto) asked Elder Button to come and confer upon him the Melchizedek priesthood and ordain him an Elder.  We have been very close to the Ventura family since the first day we arrived in Vieques.  We had the privilege of helping to teach their son Melvin the lessons and seeing him baptized.  We then shared their joy as Prieto ordained Melvin to the Aaronic priesthood.  It has been such a great experience to see them bless and pass the sacrament together on Sundays.  Since we left Vieques they have continued strong and faithful.  Last week Bethsaida texted us to say that they all received their patriarchal blessings.  She told us that she had been called as the Relief Society President and Prieto was called to be the Elders Quorum President.  They are well on their way to making the trip to the temple to seal their own family forever.  We hope to be able to accompany them on that wonderful day some time this summer.  Here are pictures of the Venturas: