Monday, April 13, 2015

Our Last Week in Puerto Rico part one

We have been home a little over a month now and I am finally getting back to my blog to finish our mission as this is my journal too. . . . .

February 28, 2015

We got up early Saturday morning and headed to Ponce.  It is on the south side of the island.  As we drove down the highway the scenery was beautiful.  It had been raining and the clouds were right on top of the mountains.  It was beautiful.

When we came out of the mountains, I thought I was driving through Wyoming or Southern Idaho or maybe Arizona.  It was much more like a desert area.  There were even cactus on the side of the road.  And there were the 'windmills' like in Wyoming. What do you think??
Looks like Wyoming to me . . .
Maybe more like Arizona with the cactus
The dryer landscape - not lush and green
Wind Mills
More windmills in the distance
 We made it to the church and began our interviews which were wonderful again.  I have been amazed at how each of these people know the exact date they were baptized!  I know the month and year, but not the exact date.  I think I need to learn this because it is an important date!  

We interview the Stake President - President Ruiz.  He related the following to us:
While on his mission in Las Vegas, he opened the phone book to find an investigator and saw the name Blake and Barbara Bellard.  This was the name of the Elder who had baptized his family.  He called the number and found that this was indeed the missionary who had baptized his family.  At the begining of his mission he went to do an inteview of a young woman who was ready for baptism.  They arrived late.  The parents were mad and told them not to come back.  Then the father called towards the end of his mission to apologize and ask for forgiveness.  He then asked if Elder Ruiz would baptize him.

After we finished the interviews we decided to see a little of Ponce . . . the beach.  (Have you figured out that I love the beach??)  We drove to this beach and saw an area where they put containers on ships. 
We went to the boardwalk where they had little stand where you could buy souvenirs.  There were a few restaurants and bars there as well. 

We found these lovely birds who would let you walk right up to them and almost touch them.  

This little bay was beautiful with sailboats docked.(Two different views)

Then we walked over to the beach.  It wasn't the beautiful sandy beach we had seen in other areas, but I loved the grassy area and the trees growing in the water.  What a beautiful site!

While I was taking pictures a man came up to me and asked what area of the island we were serving in.  We explained that we were doing oral histories for the Church History Library and we were just there for 2 months.  I asked if he was a member and he said yes.  Wade began talking to him and we found out that he was in the Caguas Stake.  They had just gotten a new Stake President the week before. Wade asked who was called to that position . . . the man replied "That would be me."  He had been a member for some years but had been inactive.  He was in the service in Europe and had married a women from there and had 3 girls - none were members.  But his one daughter and her family were visiting him and they had brought them to the beach.  Such a kind person and so willing to stop us and ask questions.  You just never know . . .

March 1, 2015

We we were up early and on our way back to Ponce to attend church and do more interviews.  We passed that same beautiful scenery as the day before.  But we did stop for just a few minutes to get some pictures of the letters that spell out Ponce as you arriving there on the freeway. 

I love the custom of gthe people of Puerto Rico.  They greet you with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  This is usually with the women but sometimes the men do this too to women.  When the men greet each other, it is with a hand shake and a hug.  At first this was strange for me and I felt funny about it.  But as timne went on, it was just a  natural thing to do.
This was the temperature at 8am

The four three letters P O N C
A little closer shot of the N C

Even closer of the C and E  (I almost got hit by a car taking this picture)
When we headed home that afternoon I took this picture - Our daughter, Patti, served in Coamo when she was on her mission in Puerto Rico 18 years ago. 

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