So many meetings this week. Wednesday was Consejo de Lideres with Elder Martinez, from the Area Presidency. Thursday was Conferencia de Zona with Presidente Corbitt. Friday was District Meeting. My goodness. Meetings. They're good though. And it's nice to live in Gazcue because the mission offices are just down the street! So travel is easy.
We have been working hard here in Gazcue and talking with everyone. It's good. We are very busy yet praying hard to see more fruits from our labors. As we do our part and exercise our faith, I know we will see them (the fruits) soon.
This is the Lord's work, not ours. As we help God in His purpose to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, we see miracles and we see lives change, in our own included. Who will you share this great joy with today?
I love you all,
Photo - Leadership Counsel. The Zone Leaders, us (the hermana leaders), and the security counsel sisters, all came to represent the Santo Domingo Zone with PINK. Believe it or not, it was the Zone Leaders' idea.
Thanks to The Bishop of her last area who sent a link to the musical number, "Hie to Kolab". She sings and plays the violin while The Bishop's son, Nelson Familia, plays the piano. https://youtu.be/2Ot9AfP3NoM
On Tuesday I arrived in Gazcue, Santo Domingo and met up with my new companion, Hermana Burrell, from Utah. She is sugar sweet and this is her last transfer of the mission. We live with two other sisters, one of which is Hermana Frias, my very first companion and trainer!! It is so awesome to be in the same house with her again. She's so fun and it feels good to be with an old friend.
Gazcue is in Santo Domingo and is a pretty well off area. There are parts that remind me deeply of Europe and beautiful ruins scattered throughout it. Gazcue has a reputation for being a hard area. But I refuse to believe it. As Hermana Frias says, "There are no hard areas, only people with little faith." I believe that. We are going to see miracles!
Friday night the whole zone came to our area to visit old investigators from the Area Book and make some contacts. We all united as a zone to find people to teach, especially families, in these two areas that make up Gazcue. It was a good moment of unity for the zone.
On Saturday Yoselin got baptized, this adorable lady who the sisters were teaching before. She is a light to all around her.
Being in Gazcue has plenty of perks. I get to go running in the morning, we eat with members three times a week, there are lots of cool things to explore, and sometimes it feels like you're walking the streets of Italy or Spain. I'm excited to see what this area has in store!
I love you all!
Today we roamed Gazcue for P-day. There are some pretty cool ruins here. Sometimes I feel like I'm in Europe again when I walk the streets.
Yoselin is this adorable lady who got baptized on Saturday! I only got here last week but it's been awesome getting to know her.
Monday. P-day. The sacred day of rest for all missionaries. Hermana Perez and Hermana Shaw return home and notice that they keys are nowhere to be found. They dump their stuff out and check again. Nothing. P-day is already nearing it's end and they are anxious to go out and work, yet by the time the landlord comes to help them, it's already late. The landlord can't help them. They stay the night in Villa Verde with the other sisters. The next day, the blessed Hermana Manila helps them find someone to come pick their lock. Once again, Manila saves the day.
Saturday night we received transfer calls. I'm leaving the area and heading for Gascue, which is in Santo Domingo, the capital. I'm going to be with Hermana Burrell, an American. Here I come city life!
Benjamin in La Romana treated me well. Here it often smells sweet because of the sugar factory and when it does, there are occasional pieces of ash falling from the sky. The train passes by several times a day and, if we are in the house, it's often difficult to hear one another so I just end up harmonizing to the toot of the horn. Bye train. Bye ash. Bye sweet sugar smell.
We have a family we are teaching that is so great. I'm really going to miss them. On Saturday we went to go get a member, Isabel, to come with us because Benjamin is a single father with three sons, and we knew his daughter wouldn't be there. As we left from Isabel's house, it started to sprinkle. Not within five minutes, it started to pour. Hard. WIthin minutes we were soaked from head to toe. We walked quickly for about a half hour in that downpour. and there wasn't one part of us that wasn't wet. As we arrived at Benjamin's street and turned the corner (with his house still quite a ways away), the rain started pelting at us, opposite of the direction we were walking, like little bullets striking three determined, unperturbed soldiers. When we arrived at Benjamin's house he was shocked. He thought we wouldn't come. He said, "If there's no light, the sisters find a car. If there's a flood, they find a boat. Nothing stops you guys, does it?"
I believe that diligence and hard work are essential to this work. The Lord has a great vision and who are we to not do everything we can to help him fulfill it? We must give our all to him and exercise our faith by doing the hard thing.
Shout out to all the wonderful mothers who did the hard thing and chose to dedicate their time to raising a family, especially my wonderful mother. Love you mom :)
Benjamin and his three sons came to church for the first time last Sunday! I'm going to miss them so much.
Us, after the lesson with Benjamin. We are still soaked from head to toe.
Locked out of the house
Monday. P-day. The sacred day of rest for all missionaries. Hermana Perez and I were chilling in the apartment, She's taking a nap as I caught up writing in my journal. The phone rung. I answered it. The AP's were on the other end, telling me that Hermana Perez and I were going to be in a trio, that we were going to meet up with our new companion in 2 hours, and that we were going to be working in both areas until further notice. Another sister had received her Visa and left for her mission in Florida, so Hermana Jean would have been left without a companion.
That call turned our week into a very fun adventure as we joined Hermana Jean, an adorable sister from Haiti, in order to form our little trio. The majority of the week was spent traveling from one place to another as we dedicated one day to our area, one day to hers, and so on. Ever night we returned to Hermana Jean's area because the apartment there has enough beds for us all.
Honestly it was so enjoyable being in the trio :). We had a lot of fun together and were able to still get a lot done and have some really good lessons. There is a boy, Tijo, that only speaks Creole that has been attending our church in Benjamin, but lives in Villa Verde. Thanks to the trio we were able to find him since we were working in both areas and start teaching him. And thanks to Hermana Jean, who speaks four languages - Spanish, French, Creole, and English - it was all possible! Hermana Perez and I would teach our parts of the lesson, and Hermana Jean would translate for us. Trio blessings <3
On Saturday we had another Noche Blanca where six people in the stake got baptized. It was a beautiful service and we, the missionaries, performed a special musical number. There was a man who got baptized that, for medical problems, couldn't submerse himself completely in the water until the third time when two more men entered the font to help him keep his legs down. After the ordenance, our mission president spoke of the importance of complete immersion, and why it was necessary that he be submersed three times in the water. He explained that it is because, just as we must completely submerse ourselves in the water, we must completely give ourselves to God. There are often times where we want so badly to give ourselves to God, yet we can not do it alone. We find that the help of our fellow men and brothers is what allows us to submerse completely, to become more fully a disciple of Christ. We can not afford to hold our arm above the water and consider ourselves fully converted to Christ. Rather, we must give our all to Him and fully submerse ourselves in the water.
We are teaching a family right now that is amazing and so close to my heart. Benjamin is a single father with four children and he has the best questions ever. They are so hard sometimes but they have helped me to study better and he has real intent, so all the questions are okay. We are praying that he recognizes the importance of really praying and recognizing the Spirit and his answer. He wants to know more than anyone I've met on my mission.
I know that God lives and loves us. I know that He answers our prayers. I know that as we seek to have the Spirit in our lives, He will guide us.
I love you all,
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