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

27 April 2012

Book Fair

Santo Domingo hosts an International Book Fair each year at a park within a 10 minute walk from the temple.  There are big exibits and displays as well as little booths. 

The Church sponsors an exibit each year.  Thursday evening we went to the grand opening of the Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) exibit. 
This family spoke at the opening ceremony about how Noche de Hogar has blessed their family.  We met the oldest son last summer in Puerto Rico when he came for EFY.

The entrance to the home where we learn all about Noche de Hogar
Exit in the rear and sit on the porch to watch videos

Family Home Evening was a great blessing to our family.  Every Monday evening we gathered together to sing, learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, play games and eat a treat.  Sometimes we just went somewhere for a fun activity together.  We love our family and know that Family Home Evening helped us be closer and more united.

Visitors from Puerto Rico!

The first week in April we had visitors from the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission!  Our dear missionary friends, Elder and Sister Hymas came to attend the temple with some members of the branch in St. Croix.  It was great to see them and spend time together again.
Elder and Sister Hymas
That weekend was the Caribbean Area Mission Presidents Interim Seminar.  We were happy to see President and Sister Alvarado and catch up on the happenings in Puerto Rico since December.  
President & Sister Alvarado, Sister & Elder Button

25 April 2012

Trip to Haiti Part 2

After leaving the missionaries at the border we turned around and headed back to Santo Domingo this time going around the south side of Lago Enriquillo. (we took the north side to Haiti.) 

Unfortunately we didn't have time to stop for fish....

Sugar Cane transported by train from the fields

Driving back into Santo Domingo

La Republica Dominicana Viaje "Roadtrip"

On Tuesday, April 3 the 14 Haitian missionaries completed their three weeks of training in here in the CCM (Spanish for MTC).  We were part of a 3 vehicle caravan that transported them back to Haiti to begin their missionary service in the Haiti Port-au-Prince Mission.  In other words, 12 hour roadtrip! The Haitian missionaries love to sing.  The 2 sisters in our car were happy and sang hymns most of the morning.
We were excited to take this drive and see a little more of the Domician Republic.  We took lots of pictures but didn't have time to stop everywhere.  Here are some of the many things we saw:
 We had a rest stop at this beautiful, clear pond - the local "swimming hole"

Next rest stop was in the desert.  We might have thought we were home in Arizona, but there isn't any saguaro cactus!   We hiked up to Las Caritas (faces), pictographs drawn in the coral rock by the TaĆ­nos.
 Lago Enriquillo is the largest lake (covers 102 square miles) and lowest point in the Caribbean and the lowest point on any ocean island (falling 129 feet (39 m) below sea level)
Arriving at the border:

The missionaries are greeted at the border by President Joseph, their new Mission President.  He is so young, he looks like one of the young Elders!  This is where we said goodbye to these 14 young Haitians that we have grown to love the past 3 weeks.  At a devotional these missionaries were asked how many times they had read the Book of Mormon.  Most had read it at least 4 times.  One had read it 9 times!  They are amazing and well prepared to serve. 

12 April 2012

General Conference Weekend

General Conference only comes twice a year.  It is the time when we have the privilege of hearing from the Lord's prophets here upon the earth.  Members of the Church from all over the world gather in chapels and homes as well as in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City for the conference.  The past 3 conferences we watched conference in Puerto Rico.  This time we joined with other missionaries in the CCM in Santo Domingo and watched together. The Elders enjoyed seeing the MTC choir sing during the Saturday afternoon session.  They had been in the Provo MTC with some of the missionaries in the choir.

In one room the broadcast was in English

In another room the broadcast was in French
Rest hymn in English

Rest hymn in French

 A few words we heard from President Thomas S. Monson:

"Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice; and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, which contain the word of the Lord and the words of the prophets—provided to us to help us successfully cross the finish line."

"It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings are earned through a lifetime of striving, seeking, repenting, and finally succeeding."

You can view or read the conference at:
or learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at: