The internet's down so I'm writing in hopes that it comes back soon and all this doesn't get erased. My goodness. The concept of everything possibly getting erased... okay. I shall not think of that.
Hermana Silva is my companion now. She's from Brazil and is awesome! She speaks Portuguese and learned Spanish on the mission, but already speaks it practically perfectly. I'm still in Gazcue and life is good.
INTERNET IS BACK! LIfe is good.
This week we have been teaching Bryan a lot, and helping him be prepared for his baptism on Wednesday. He is 11 years old and doesn't know how to read, so teaching him is a little hard. We have gotten really creative with using pictures, our own made-up sign language, and chants/songs to help him remember the very basics of this gospel. He can now remember what he at first could not even capture. Miracles!
We contacted someone this week that only spoke English. I tried so hard to speak with him. It was hard. Good thing he was understanding and patient as I fumbled over my words.
I love one of the General Conference talks that speaks of how to have peace. As we learn, listen, and walk with Christ, we will find peace. His way was never easy, and our way will not be easy, yet we have the promise of peace as we trust in Him, learn of Him, and use His atonement in our lives.
I love you all,
These little girls are the coolest. They make my life so happy.
Familia Acosta :) Bryan, the one with the striped shirt and making the gun symbol is getting baptized on Wednesday this week!
My new comp! Hermana Silva!
Cifrida, a recent convert in the ward, cut my hair. Hermana Taylor was a witness of the act.
I just wanted to get a picture of my short hair and all these hooligans decided they wanted to be in the picture too.
This Sunday in Relief Society we talked about extending your arm out to the lost sheep. I saw a lot of that this week.
On Tuesday the ward got together to visit less actives. We got to go with Hermano Garbanzo and Leida to see Familia Contreras, the partial family we are teaching. Elizabeth is less active and Rafael has a baptismal date for July. It was so awesome. Really friendshipping in the church is priceless. When a missionary sees that members care for their investigators, there is no greater joy. The next day we had a Family Home Evening with Familia Contreras in another member's house. Then, when Familia Contreras showed up to church yesterday for the first time, everyone was so excited. They even welcomed them over the pulpit! When members care about our investigators, we are so so happy.
On Monday we had another Family Home Evening with another family where the husband is less active and the wife is not a member. The members who hosted the FHE invited them. Go members!
One of our investigators, Reynaldo, has basically been taught the lessons by his member friends. He has been coming to church for quite a few months now and has a firm testimony. We haven't been able to teach him because of his super busy work schedule, but he has just been embraced by many members and we are so grateful. Really. The work of members is priceless.
Do we realize our role in reaching out to the lost sheep? Do we do it? Really there are so many people that need us. They just need a hand to reach out.
Transfer calls came yesterday! Hermana Burrell is going home to Utah and I'm staying here in Gazcue to train a new Hermana Leader, Hermana Sylva. She's from Brazil so she speaks Portuguese! Sweet! Everyone went crazy telling me how great she is so I'm pretty dang excited.
I love you all, Reach out to some lost sheep this week,
Hermana Taylor and I get to hang out today since both our companions are leaving. I LOVE HER.
Our zone shirt! Mision = mission and Mi Sion = My Zion. Cool, huh? We designed it together as a zone then I drew up the draft to make the shirt.
Hermana Burrell finished her mission! It was so fun being her companion. She is so great.
This week I stepped in dog poop two times. BUT I ate sushi once (chicken sushi because we can't eat fish) and ice cream three times. Good wins.
Today we got dropped by an investigator that was going to get baptized on Sunday. She didn't show up to church and called us three times today to make sure we understood she didn't want anything to do with us. We told her we understood. BUT this week we got to go to the temple and had an absolutely beautiful lesson with the Contreras Family. The wife is less active but wants to return to church, and now her husband wants to get baptized! He's preparing for baptism in July. The lesson we had with them was awesome and they committed to prepare to enter into the temple in a year from now. Good wins.
Another investigator, Chepe, that was supposed to get baptized on Sunday didn't show up to church because he had to bail his friend out of jail. BUT we had a lesson with him yesterday and he is still really excited about everything and is totally on board for getting baptized another day. Good wins.
Manuela, this lovely girl we are teaching, who's preparing to get baptized in July, told us yesterday that she doesn't want to get married and that baptism is on "pause" for now. BUT thanks to the guidance of the Spirit, we had a really good lesson after that about 1 Nephi 3:7 (I will go and do what the Lord has commanded..) and she left with a greater belief that she would be able to get baptized in July. She is excited and agreed to continue to prepare herself for baptism in July. Good wins.
Sometimes our lives are filled with constant ups and downs. But good always prevails.
I love you all. Look for the good. Hope for good. Be the good.
Hermana Juchau, my old CCM companion, en el Consejo de Lideres. She ALWAYS blinks when there's flash.
My cute companion, Hermana Burrell, at Manuela's house as we wait for them to get ready for church.
Oh man. Today was good. We had a Talent Show for the Zone Activity. Everyone got pretty creative and we saw talents from eating bread in 20 seconds to pranking to drawing to doing the splits to singing to playing the acareen, a wind instrument that is circular and small. It was pretty entertaining.
As a zone, we also went to the temple on Saturday to have a lesson with all the missionaries and their investigators. We brought a family we are teaching. Three of the kids are members, and now their mom, older sister, and another brother of there's wants to get baptized. The temple trip was miraculous because before, Felicia, the mom, was adamently against getting married and was unwilling to go to church. Manuela, the older sister, was about to accept a job in another city where she'd work for 15 days straight then return again for 2 days and so on and so forth, making it impossible to come to church. And Brahyan, the brother, just didn't want much to do with us. Yet the temple changed everything. Half the family showed up after the lesson we had together, so we decided to have a separate lesson outside with just us teaching it. It was a little crazy with all the kids running all over the place (she has 9 children), but Felicia finally said she was willing to get married and go to church. Manuela said she was going to postpone her job. And all three, Felicia, Manuela, and Brahyan, accepted to prepare for baptism in July. There is so much work to do with that family and lessons are hard with so many young ones, but we are thanking the Lord for the spirit that is found present at the temple.
The mission is upping their goals and seeing many miracles. The mission goal went from baptizing one a month to two this month and in July it will be three. This means we are on our knees a lot and then on our feet right after. Hard work, obedience, and prayer. It is a bit stressful at times but the Lord definitely has His hand in the work.
I love you all! Do something to share what makes you so happy this week. Invite someone to hear more. Trust me, the missionaries (and God) will be really happy. There are more prepared people out there than we think.
So the Sisters are now allowed to wear pants in our mission. Crazy, right? On Thursday we all received pictures of approved pants and long skirts. We told a member about the new rule. She then gifted me a pair of pants she didn't want anymore and insisted we take them home. Honestly I don't know if I will ever wear them outside. It's pretty hot for that. But now I've got the option. We went crazy in the house, just joking a lot about the new pants situation.
Living with four sisters is really fun. It's especially great because I get to live with my "mission-mom," Hermana Frias. It was Mother's Day here on Sunday so we got to celebrate a little.
Today we explored more of our area and arrived at Christopher Colombus' son's house, Diego Colombus. It was neat.
This week after walking out of a difficult lesson, a mango dropped right in front of my path. Blessings from heaven! It definitely made the day a little more sweet.
On Thursday we had Consejo de Zona. Hermana Burrell and I sang, "I Know that My Redeemer Lives," and we led a discussion about our relationship with our Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. As we get to know our Heavenly Father and His Son, we feel their love more present. With practice we can hone our communication skills with the Spirit.
We had a lesson this week with a lady and her house guests. There was one guy that was really excited and was like, "We're going to church this Sunday!" He didn't live in our area so we took down his information for the other missionaries, and explained that there must be a church closer to where he lives. Despite that, he showed up to our church on Sunday! We were not expecting that, since he lives like 30 minutes way. But he showed up and gave us each a book about the history of the Dominican Republic. Looks like I've got some new good reading material for after the mission.
I love you guys!
"Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." -1 Peter 3:15
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