Puerto Rico San Juan

On September 14, 2013 I received my call to serve as a Mission Nurse Specialist in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission for a period of 18 months. I am always up for a new adventure and look forward to sharing my journey with you.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Busy month again!

Hi ya'll!  Well, I had the opportunity to go without electricity for a couple of days again.  The whole complex was out from 9am - 4pm, but my condo was the lucky one that didn't trip on.  Finally, got it on Monday afternoon as I was cleaning out the freezer again to get rid of thawed food.  Then the A/C  and stove weren't working - apparently part of the switch hadn't completely reset.  We have had some more ups/downs as the mission is getting "reset" as well with the outstanding leadership of President Zwick.  

On a lighter note, Elder and Sister Wentzel arrived from Sacramento, CA and are a great joy and strength!!  They remember Matt Blake when he served his mission there.  It was fun to reconnect them again.  Matt remembers them taking him out to a Mexican Restaurant and going on splits with their sons.  We have become fast friends and they join Sis Allred and I as we rotate for Sunday dinner and play games while drinking virgin PinaColadas.  They, initially, moved into the Patterson's apt in my complex, but have now moved to the Costley's apt in Caguas.

The first part of June was a spiritual feast as I attended 5 Zone Conferences around the island.  President and Sister Zwick shared much wisdom with the missionaries providing them with motivation and 'tools of the trade'.  Their son, Scotty, participated as well.  Scotty is 43 yrs old and is mentally/physically challenged, but able to live with minimal supervision.  He is a joy and really livened up the zone conferences.  He was here for a week so he could attend and participate in all the conferences.  Sister Zwick commented that she "thought Scotty would be one of my greatest trials, but he has been my greatest blessing."  He is so kind and loving with great childlike faith.

June 7th was a busy day as I met Sisters Stirland and Diego for lunch at Macaroni Grill followed by a basketball game at night.  Gary Wilkinson, who was an All American Basketball Student/Athlete at Utah State, is in our ward for the summer.  He has been playing Pro Basketball in New Zealand with previous seasons in Korea, Greece, etc.  He is playing the Spring season with the Bayamon Vaqueros.  He was kind enough to arrange free tickets for the game.  Elder/Sister Wentzel, Sister Allred and I went and had a great time.  He warned us that some of the music lyrics were a bit strong, but I assured him that it is likely that I wouldn't understand them anyway and I wasn't expecting Church dance music.  They lost, but Gary played a great game.  He is putting basketball aside and will be attending law school at the Univ of Utah in the Fall.  He is here with his wife and 2 small children.

I had the opportunity to visit San German again - it was established in 1511.  Also, Sister Allred and I made a quick shopping trip to Old San Juan.  We met up with the same singer/guitarist as when we were over there with Kris and Eric.  That time, however, he had been drinking a bit and just serenaded us with "Happy, Happy, Happy".  Sister Allred gave him a dollar to leave.  This time, he sang pretty well :o)

This has been a busy week.  We welcomed 15 new missionaries on Tuesday and sent 11 home on Thursday.  I was at the Mission Home on Tuesday to do a quick briefing with the new arrivals and helped Sister Zwick with lunch.  Elder Bennett did a great job grilling burgers and hot dogs.  Later in the afternoon, I picked up Sisters Castaneda and Butler.  They were among the missionaries headed home, so they stayed with me Tues and Weds nights.  Both flew home on Thursday to Utah and Colorado, respectively.

We are looking forward to a Sisters Conference on Monday.  The speaker will be Sheri Dew from SLC.  She will, also, speak at the English-speaking sacrament meeting tomorrow.  Then, the Wentzels, Sister Allred and I are invited to the Mission Home for dinner after Church.  Enjoying Sister Zwick's cooking is becoming a pleasant habit!  Our new Mission President and wife, President and Sister Boucher will arrive from Utah on the 27th.  We will be excited to meet our new president, but sad to see the Zwick's leave.  They have enriched all of our lives.

Sunday Dinner at Mission Home - Pres Zwick at head of table and Sis Zwick to my left

Sisters Stirland/Diego - Macaroni Grill

San German

Sisters Partridge/Ponce

San German

Impromptu singer on Catano Ferry - Happy to accept tips!

Elder Jorgensen/Rodriguez (recovered from appendectomy!)

Gary Wilkinson - never missed a free throw - great 3 pointers as well!

Elder/Sister Wentzel/Sacramento, CA

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