I think I'm enjoying this transfer way too much. I love being here in Gazcue with Hermana Silva. The miracles are pouring in constantly.
Reynaldo got baptized on Saturday! He is a living miracle for us. His member friends introduced him to the church, taught him almost everything he needed to know, and thanks to them, he's been going to church for 5-6 months now. He told everyone he was going to get baptized in July, and July came. He is living evidence that lives can change drastically because of the gospel and my testimony is strengthened when I hear his testimony and the change he's experienced.
So I know at least my parents are wondering why I didn't write yesterday, so I suppose I'll tell you. Hermana Silva told Hermana Shaw on Sunday, "This p-day I want to change my braids and get new ones. Can we go to Rosalin's house and do that?" Hermana Shaw happily complied. Hermana Silva told her it would take less than 2 hours because that's how long it took last time. Hermana Silva and Hermana Shaw arrive at Rosalin's house at 2:00 so they have time to write their families after everything. Well, putting the braids on doesn't take not 1, nor 2, nor 3, yet 4 HOURS. So, lesson learned. By that time Hna Shaw and Hna Silva had to leave right away to go to lessons, so they called and asked permission to write on Tuesday.
The Acosta Family is still doing great... the lessons are as crazy as usual with 9 kids in that house. A miracle happened and we finally were able to get their papers so they can get married! There's just a simple error that we are going to go fix on Wednesday, then they can get married and Feliicia can get baptized. We are also seeing miracles with her husband - he was very cold to us before and wouldn't even really look at us, but now he greets us happily and even asked us to offer two prayers before we left last night! One day he'll follow his family's example.
The Contreras Family is also doing wonderfully and Rafael is preparing to get baptized on Sunday. I love visiting them. The Spirit is so strong. Rafael's less-active wife, Elizabeth is so supportive and so sweet.
I am learning every day more and more the love that God has for each one of His children. It is grand and it is great. There is so much to do here and I love every second of it. The church is true. God lives, and he loves us. Keep shining people.
I LOVE YOU ALL.
Reynaldo got baptized on Saturday! He's the one closest to the sign.
Us in our zone shirts that say "Dominicans be like..." then a bunch of Dominican phrases
Rosalin's house, our awesome member friend
we had to burn the tips of the braids and we had no candles so Rosalin lit a newspaper on fire but we learned quickly that that wasn't such a good idea
Rosalin putting braids on Hna. Silva
Hermana Frias aka my mom in the mission left today! Her family came to pick her up and we got to meet them.
I can't believe it's another Monday and the start of another great week. We are living in what my mom calls "working euphoria," where there is just so much to do and the work is so dang satisfying.
We are working hard and seeing lots of opposition and seeing so many miracles all at the same time. There's a new Bishop in the ward and he's really young and a return missionary, so it's so awesome to see how excited he is about missionary work. This ward is going to see some pretty awesome changes and miracles. We are working on getting two couples married so they can get baptized (or at least the wife of the two couples; one of the husbands doesn't want to and the other is already a member). It's crazy how many people don't get married here. If someone says they are married by the law it's a miracle in and of itself and if you're a missionary you start to dance on the spot, just hearing those magical words. But with sacrifice comes blessings and these couples shall see many soon!
I don't even know what to write. I think there's too much to say. My companion is the bomb and I love the work. We are in working euphoria and I am loving the mission. We are always laughing and running and talking with everyone and putting in every last drop of energy we have. Life is good.
Being on a mission has taught me so much about faith. It is incredible what faith can do. If we have faith, we are hopeful. We believe in the promised blessings of the Lord. We believe He will bless us. And, even if everything isn't going our way, it gives us the drive to keep going and not become discouraged. We must see ourselves, others, our lives.. with the eye of faith and with a perfect brightness of hope.
I love you all. Keep shining.
OKAY. APOLOGY AND EXPLANATION WILL COME BEFORE THS EMAIL. Today we went to the Jardin Botanico and we came back and there was no electricity and long story short I have a very limited time on the computer today. So uh... if you wrote me... I am printing it and I will read it later.
Okay. But this week. It was awesome! We are so busy! Today we wandered on over to the Santo Domingo West Mission and explored some awesome gardens. It was super great. We took this train thing and visited the little museum they have.
We have been teaching Santa a lot. She's the girlfriend of the less-active, the one that showed up at the office to tell the Elders she wanted to be a member. She came to church yesterday and she's preparing to get baptized this month! She's awesome and very humble. She anounced her baptism in The Relief Society. It was so cute!
We are also teaching Shaitan, the son of a less-active. He is nine years old but so smart! He passed his interview and is getting baptized this Saturday. He is the cutest. His mom is this adorable, wandering artist who is very confident and spunky. She is definitely a unique, beautiful person.
We are still teaching The Acosta Family and the mom, Felicia, is preparing for baptism. She couldn't come to church yesterday because her son is in the hospital. We are praying really hard for them right now. She was supposed to get baptized this Saturday but we may have to change the date. Her oldest daughter is still preparing to get baptized as well this month.
Gazcue is so awesome. I love it here. I love my companion. I love our investigadors. I love missonary work! And sorry but I am running out of time... this was a very rushed letter but I LOVE YOU ALL. May the week go well. And may all your wildest dreams come true :)
Happy 4th of July! We celebrated with an awesome Zone Activity that included, a grill, lots of hot dogs, water balloons, and some games. I'm wearing my red, white, and blue, like any proud American would.
This week was spent showering without light in the bathroom until we could finally buy a light bulb today (no time people), a shower with a water bottle because there was no water on Wednesday, and a sleepless night because there was no electricity to make the fans work (thankfully just for one night). It was also a week of miracles. Bryan got baptized on Wednesday and it was awesome! There were a lot of primary kids there to support him and they all did a special musical number with us. It was rather amazing because the attendance at baptisms here is normally not too much. Bryan's mom is preparing to get baptized in July and three of his siblings are already members.
We have met so many awesome people this week with so much potential. A less active and her son showed up to Bryan's baptismal service, and she told us she wanted us to teach her son so that he could get baptized. The next day we went and had a lesson with her 9-year-old son, Shaitan. He is such a bright, imaginative boy and he is now preparing to get baptized in July.
A less active's girlfriend also showed up at the church and told the Elders in the office that she wants to be a member of the church. They immediately called us up and we rushed over to have a lesson. She accepted the baptismal invitation, is preparing for July, and came to church yesterday.
Life is so good in the Dominican Republic. I love my companion, Hermana Silva, and really we can see the Lord's hand in this work. He is working miracles here in Gazcue. There is way too much potential here and sometimes I just wish we had a car or like another set of us to get everything done.
It is amazing how our eternal perspective affects our decision making and our reaction to our trials in life. As we understand that this is just a brief moment and that everything is for our experience, we are better able to accept the will of God, no matter the outcome. Faith is not just trusting that we will receive blessings, rather it is trusting that all will be well, even if what we want doesn't happen.
I love you all. Keep shining.
Hermana Silva, Hermana Frias and I at the temple
Zona Santo Domingo at the temple
Look at the little girl in the bottom corner's face! Such sass!!
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY
4th of July Zone Activity. We made hot dogs on the grill and the Elders got into a hot dog eating competition.
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