This week was a good last week. It's strange to feel the words "last week" leaving my fingertips.
Last P-Day was amazing... Hermana Barreda and I got special permission to do an intercambio and we went to visit my first area where I also trained Hna Barreda in my third transfer. We got to visit Apolinar and Ana Cubilete, which brought back so many good memories. Sadly others we wanted to visit had moved and there wasn't a lot of time, but I was able to see Maiky and Maicol, the first people I taught that got baptized in the field, on our way home. I love these people. I am going to miss my Dominican friends.
Saturday I had my last temple trip with the other missionaries that are leaving then rushed home to make it just in time for Rafael's baptism, which started at 5. It was beautiful. It was so heart warming to see his family bear testimony that God answers prayers in his own time. They have been praying for over ten years that the day would come when Rafael would decide to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. He finally decided to take that step, and now he and his wife are preparing to enter the temple in a year to be sealed for time and all eternity.
I know that this is the work of the Lord. I feel so many things right now that this journey is ending. I am excited for the future and what is to come yet I will miss my Dominican family so much. The mission was a very special experience. My testimony has grown so much in this restored gospel. I have been faced with difficult questions and rejection but it has only strengthened my faith. I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ. I know that God loves us. He wants the best for us. He offers us hope. It is through Him that we can overcome whatever temptation or affliction. We already overcame the adversary before we came to this Earth, and we can do it again here.
I love you all, Keep shining, I'll see you soon,
We don't have much time to be on the computer today so this will be brief.
This week was good! Our whole District came to our area to contact on Saturday and find people because of what happened with all our investigators the week before. We also went to the Elder's area and helped them out. Their area was definitely different than the ones I've been in. Dirt road... cows... fields... it was cool.
Yesterday we went to go visit a joven we had contacted the day before. Her mom came out and answered the door in a not so welcoming way. She told us that she didn't need our lessons and accused us of believing in some things that weren't true. I testified to her and cleared up some of her false perceptions, giving a brief introduction to the restoration. Her attitude changed and she let us in. We taught her, her husband, and her daughter The Restoration and they listened attentively, asking questions. The Spirit was strong. Everyone said they would read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon and that they would prepare for baptism if they received their answer. That moment was such a testimony builder for me and reminded me to be courageous in my testimony of Jesus. When people have false perceptions of us, we must patiently explain and testify of the truth. If we do so, we open doors and allow them to accept the restored gospel.
Rafael's getting baptized this Saturday!! I'm so excited. His family has been waiting for this day for over 10 years. He and his wife have become dear friends to us :)
I know that the church is true. This is the church of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for this time that has been given to me to preach the restored gospel. I still haven't processed the fact that it's coming to an end. I think I'm going to be here forever.
I love you all, Keep shining, Can't wait to see you all,
Wednesday was my last Consejo de Lideres. Ah. I bore my last testimony, along with the Sisters and Elders that are leaving with me at the end of transfer. It was surreal. Honestly I never was able to process it. I still don´t feel like the mission is coming to an end. Hermana Carpio, Stoker, Juchau, and I sang a special musical number (attached below).
We are starting this week with a practically empty planner. We either dropped or were dropped by so many of our investigators this week. Quite honestly this week was a bit heart wrenching. Families... progressing investigators... telling us that they didn´t want to hear more. The Lord must have something great in store, and He´s just making room for it. We just need to exercise greater faith and keep looking. He will work wonders.
¨..man doth not comprehend all the things with the Lord can comprehend,¨ (Mosiah 4:9) He has a greater plan. Greater than any of us could ever imagine. I know that He lives and that He loves us. This is His church, restored on the earth.
I love you all, Keep shining,
Well for my birthday we woke up at 4:00 am and travelled to Gazcue (aka the mission office) for an amazing Zone Conference with half the mission. The conference was absolutely amazing. At the end they had the missionaries that are leaving this transfer bear their testimonies. Honestly I didn´t know what to say at first... I still don´t believe that I´m going home. There´s still so much to do! President Corbitt talked about exceptional faith in Christ (as always) and how it helps us to see as God does. He sees all.. past, present, future. And exercising exceptional faith (aka seeing promised blessings as present blessings, having a faith so strong that it´s as if the promise already came to pass) helps us to see more as He sees.
Last night we had an amazing lesson with our neighbor that lives upstairs. To our surprise she told us that the missionaries had never visited her before. She already had a Book of Mormon and told us she had read parts of it.
I am totally drawing a blank about all this week. But it was good. We are trying so hard to do this work as the Savior would... talking with everyone, listening to what they have to say, teaching clearly. I feel the Spirit testify to me as we teach as the Savior would. This is His work. We are His instruments. And it is wonderful!
I love you all! Keep shining!
What a marvelous week! Rafael told us on Tuesday that he wants to get baptized in February! Wow! He's been investigating the church for YEARS. His mom, wife, and son are all members, and for the past couple of months he's been going to church yet avoiding our lessons because he wasn't ready to talk about baptism. He finally let us visit him this week and told us that he wants to get baptized!
This week we also met a baseball player from the San Francisco Giants! He played from 2003-2006. Cool. We taught him and his wife and hope to see them again :)
Alfonso got baptized yesterday! His mom, Kilsi, has been going to church for over a year now but hasn't been able to get baptized because getting married has proven complicated. Alfonso turned 8 and she told us that he wanted him to be baptized. Seeing him baptized made her feel even more motivated for her baptismal day.
We went to Rosanna's house this week, ready to tell her that we couldn't visit her anymore. She's amazing but just hasn't been willing to act for quite a while besides read in her Book of Mormon. She told us she was scared of praying because she didn't want to get an answer from God she knew she'd have to follow. Well, we went to visit her and we asked her how her reading was going. She told us that when she read her Book of Mormon she felt something hit her inside. Like she could just feel that what she was reading was true. She went to church yesterday and we are praying hard that her fear of commitment doesn't hold her back from coming closer to God.
"...God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.." Mormon 9:15
I know that He watches over us. He loves us. Our Father is a God of miracles. When we open our eyes, we see the miracles in our lives. They are everywhere.
I love you all, Keep shining,
We went to Gazcue and I got to visit Mercedes and the Urraca Family!
What an ups and downs week. Luckily what started out with lots of lows, ended up with a big high. In church we were amazed; many of our investigators showed up, including a Haitian couple, Elord and Mariece, we´ve been teaching for a while that had stopped coming for more than a month. Kilsi is more excited than ever to get baptized and is encouraging her son to prepare as well.
Saturday my companion wasn´t feeling well so we didn´t leave. As she slept, a text came from the Zone Leaders saying we had received a referral from a member in a neigboring ward, and that she wanted to go to church. I called the number and began talking with Moraima, who agreed to meeting up close to her house so we could walk to church together. Sunday morning we went and found not only her, but her and her two sons, and her sister! We all walked to church together. Her sister fell in love with Young Womens and even went to an activity they had that same Sunday to visit less actives. We are so excited to visit her. She and her family are so prepared.
The Lord does such marvelous things. His blessings are rich. When we see more clearly the blessings He gives us, the rest doesn´t seem so bad. He offers a greater perspective, which we must adapt and weave into our very beings. There lies true happines.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
I love you all!! Keep shining!
Today we visited my old area, Benjamin, to see if we could find Diego... he wasn´t home but we visited with his sister, who´s a member and dear friend, and grandaughters. Love them!
Transfers News: there are no transfers! All the Sisters in the whole mission stayed the same. There were no new sisters that came in.
Strange to think that this´ll be the last transfer of them all. There is so much more to do!
We are seeing many miracles in Villa Verde. Jean came home from Haiti and we started teaching him again. Kilsi is getting married soon so that she can be baptized at the end of her month with her son, Alfonso. We met a new investigator, Madelin, who is adorable and came to church on Sunday with her member friend. She made us an amazing orange drink that literally translates to ¨die dreaming,¨ which consists of natural orange juice and evaporated milk and a little bit of heaven. We are seeing miracles and progress in the area despite opposition. I can feel my trust in God increasing. Whatever happens, the Lord is in it.
This week I got to go to the temple sealing of some of my friends in my old area. Ely and Eryk Sosa got sealed for time and all eternity, and Manila as well to her deceased husband. It was beautiful and was a strong reminder to me of our real purpose as missionaries, which goes way beyond baptism. It is to bring people to the temple. We join with God in his purpose in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. It is glorious and joyful.
...let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
I love you all! Keep shining.
I'm not sure if I'm going to have time to write today. Sorry to everyone that I didn't write. Which I think was literally everyone.
But I'm alive. I'm happy. All is well.
Oh dear. I left my Daily Planner in the house and I feel like I can´t remember anything that happened this week.
But all is good. We had a Companion Home Evening and went a little crazy with the scarves and made a little Nativity scene.
Jean´s mom is sick so he left to Haiti. He called us right before his baptismal interview was supposed to be. It was sad but he´ll be back eventually. He´s ready.
We met these four little girls this week that just make my life. Every time we pass by they beg for us to stay longer with them and they´re always taking us to visit their friends. We found out that their cousin is a less active as well. We are excited to work with this new partial family!
Wow I am drawing a huge blank about what happened this week.
Scripture of the Week:
9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created allthings, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
Faith is so interesting to think about. Why do we have to believe in Jesus Christ in the first place? Why does faith bring to pass miracles? Simply believing in Christ can allow us to see marvelous wonders. I don´t know why, but I know that it does. In trusting that having faith brings to pass miracles and brings us closer to our Father, we develop our faith. As we trust that faith works such marvelous things, we develop faith in faith! And that just ends up strengthening our faith! Faith is pretty powerful.
Keep shining, Christ lives, He is our Savior, Share the good news,
Tuesday morning we left, with no minutes to call, to go visit Sofia, an investigator that goes to church every Sunday and who only speaks Creole. We had no way of contacting the members that normally go with us to translate, but we decided that we would go see if we could at least just read the Book of Mormon with her. As we went down the 55 stairs to get to her house, we found Hna Anet, our most favorite member/translator! The Lord is so inspired. We were able to teach her the Restoration, something that we've felt she hasn't been able to understand well because of the language barrier. She finally understood, and for the first time, accepted the baptismal invitation. It's amazing how the Lord puts people in our paths.
On Thursday we had a Christmas party in Gazcue! Half the mission went and the other half went on Friday. Good times.
Friday we went to the chapel to fill the baptismal font for Jean's baptism. We sat as it filled, waiting for him to show up. The hour came and passed when he was supposed to arrive. The hour came and passed when the service was supposed to start. Another hour came and passed. After many calls and a member looking for him in his house, we found out that his work ended later than he thought it would and that he wouldn't be able to make it. So Jean's baptism is getting rescheduled.
Saturday we celebrated Christmas Eve with the Laureano Family, eating lots yummy food - empanadas, pastel en hoja, chicken, grapes, sweets, spaghetti, pork.... mmm. Love the Noche Buena here.
Merry Christmas to all! The reason for Christmas is so beautiful. I know that Jesus lives. I know that he is our Redeemer. He is our Savior. He is beautifully patient and loving with each one of us. Through Him we reach greater heights than we possibly could scrape on our own.
Love you all! Keep shining!
Christmas party, jumping, talking with the fam
Write me! I would love to hear from you! :)
Santo Domingo East MIssion
SDQ 4102, 2250 NW 114th Ave.
Miami, FL 33172-3652
8540 NW 66th St.
Miami, FL 33195 - 2698
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission