Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Thursday, July 24, 2014

p.s. To Dad

 love you dad! Stay strong in your testimony and keep being an example for those around you. 

I know that I haven't always made the best choices in life.   I know that God puts us through trials for a reason, but I have faith in Him. I have faith that somehow, that trial has strengthened me for something that is going to come, whether on my mission or later. Thank you for being there for me. I still don't understand, even though i KNOW (there's difference between knowing and understanding) why good people go through hard trials. But today, after watching a missionary devotional by Elder Bednar, that with faith, we can trust God and in turn, he trusts us as we go through our trials to make the right choices. he refines us. Learning the language is a trial. A huge one, especially with my impecable memory with things (major sarcasm there). But I have faith. I know that He called me and that He has a plan for me, a perfect plan, the plan of happiness. and one day, after the struggles of speaking to people, everyone, I hope that when I see them again, whether this time or after, that i can see a whole bunch of people who I guided to Christ. I hope that I can meet each one of them, whether I only gave them a pamplet or whether i taught them, or greeted them with a smile or did temple work for them. And then i can say our Father "I did all I could, I sacrificed all I could, Father. Accept this, my offering." 

Love you dad. thank you again for your example and for your mission. I appreciate all that you and mom have done for me and keep doing. Thanks for staying in the church. I realize here, where there are first and second generation church members, the importance of keeping them and their families in the church. Many of my teachers are converts or parents are converts and they have to stay strong for their family and friends. so thank you for continuing to be in the church. Thanks for marrying mom and I'm glad she stayed strong when so many of her family members didn't. I love you guys! 

love and aloha,

Hermana Ho

How Firm A Foundation

Hola familia! Como esta? 

Mi español es un poquito bien. My spanish is a little better, but I still have a lot to improve on. Tons, actually. Right when I think that i'm getting everything, i find that I'm not quite there just yet haha. But life's good! The title of this email is How Firm a Foundation because spanish is and will be the foundation of my mission. Well, not spiritually, but if I can understand spanish, then I can learn of the needs of my investigators and i can teach to them and try to help them and to bring them to Christ. Thus, my goal by the time I leave the CCM is to be fluent. Gosh, people here speak fast! If I can at least be fluent by the time I leave, then I think I'll be ok ... We get lectured a lot to speak spanish. The rule is "español, español, español!!" so, español it is!

yet in the midst of the spanish ... a few of the elders in my district (elder tenney and elder davis) are trying to speak and learn pidgin. There's a few other polys here that speak it and they tried to say "ho you know dat brah" ... they are so white. hahaha so i'm trying to teach them.  also, here we play volleyball ...i'm reminded of how much of a water baby that I am every single time I play ... I'm poly, but I'm so not cut out for volleyball! But my companion plays so I go along with it. plus, the two other poly elders and 2 other poly sisters play, so it's pretty fun. 

Last week i got to go contacting for the first time! It was super exciting! and boy was I so nervous. I mean, I know I know the doctrine but trying to teach them in spanish ... oh dang. hahaha but that was the first time we got to interact with the locals! And everyone we asked to talk to (we went to the university here and contacted), they politely stopped walking, and looked at us when we spoke, and accepted our pamphlet. They are soooo nice and patient! A few even corrected my spanish, which was nice for me and helped me a lot. They are so nice and so ready to hear the gospel. I'm looking forward to teaching them more! I have 2 weeks left in the CCM i think and then i'm out! I met this one lady with a baby when we were contacting and she listened to the message. I felt prompted at the end to give her a BOM, but by that time she was walking away and I didn't have the gut (or the spanish) to call her back. i felt really really really bad that i didn't give her one ... but from now on, I'm gonna do everything the spirit prompts me to do; i mean, it wouldn't hurt too, but its muy importante to listen to the spirit.

When we teach our "investigators" (our teachers who pretend to be investigators), i'm beginning to understand more people and to talk more without any help! That's super exciting! A lot of the time, it's the spirit working through me, guiding me in the conversation, doing the understanding for me that I can't do for myself. But it's getting easier every day. 

My favorite times here at the CCM are sundays. We have church in the morning from 9-12, then lunch, then we have a deeeeep doctrinal class with our president (which is awesome), we watch church movies, and then we have dinner, a devotional by one of the 12 (video, of course), and then talk about that in our district. That's when all the good, juicy spiritual stuff happens. and it's aweomse. I love it! Thne in the night, we walk around the temple. The Latinos here are hilarious! On sunday, me and Hermana Fife (mi companera) were just sitting outside the temple talking and then they latino guys came up and asked us to take pics with us. We felt super pops lol but it was super fun! They are hilarious and loud and awesome! I love them! 

Anyway, Know that I'm okay and that i'm growing so much and be humbled more than i ever thought i could be. I had to give a talk in sacrement meeting my first sunday and I said "I know that my spanish is broken, but i also know that my testimony is not broken." Entonces, thank you for your love and support.  Please pray for my missionary amigos here in the CCM. We are all struggling with Spanish, many more than others and a few people have been taking it really hard. I'd but muchas gracias por that. 
Love you guys! Strengthen your testimonies and strengthen each other and the home. I challenge my siblings to stay off electronics every day as often as possible. Doing so, i've realized, invites the spirit in more ways than one and opens up opportunities for you to "do something good in the world today" as the hymn goes. if I can do it, you can too!! Love you guys! Thanks for your love and support and for all that all of you have done to get me on my mission. Thank you for your examples. Love you all! and asta luego!! :D


Hermana Ho

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Tell the guards to open up...the gaaaaaates"

Hola mi familia!!

I miss you guys a ton! And there's so much to tell you and i only have a few miniutes. So forgive my spelling (i promise, I did get my diploma) for the next couple paragraphs.

Life here is great! My district is amazing and we have been growing so much together, ever since that sunday. I think i told you guys about that. The language is still hard, but I'm putting sentences together! So that's good! Last night we had all these spanish speakers come in from like mexico, puerto rico, guatamala, nicaragua, and the DR and ... well, let's just say I have a long ways to go until I'm fluent, but it's not as bad as day 1! I've learned that attitude is everything. There was one day when I didn't start my morning off so hot, but then I decided I needed to change (for the sake of my companion) and it worked! i was good for the rest of the day! But i'm sooo tired every single day!!! no matter whether I "sleep-in" (which is the 5 minutes between 625 and 630) or go to bed on time.  Yeah, it's rough, but it's a good tired.

The "lessons" with my "investigators" are going well (it's all roleplay, btws), and my companiion and I got 1 guy baptized!! yaya! We are working on two other people and they're a little harder to get to .. but I know that I can do it! We've been told by senior couples that we "taught", during their feedback to us, have said we have a great companionship and work really well together.  I think we do too! I mean, we aren't the best, but this one guy said that we're further along than others so that gives me hope. I can't understand the conversations between mi companera and investigator all the time, but the Holy ghost is with me and guides me and he helps me say what I want to say when. even though I can't talk fluent, Hermana Fife is patient and helps me say what I need to say. She's honestly amazing!

So this past sunday i had to give a talk, ... in spanish.  The way it works is that you prep a talk and the president calls on you that day.  So i talked about the restoration or more specifically, the faith of Joseph Smith and the members. ... yeah, I might've gotten choked up cause I shared my own personal experience of going to the grove with ROC and singing a song there that was really touching .. but it turned out all good. Mi espanol es roto, pedo me testimonio es no roto = my spanish is broken ... but my testmony is not broken. That's what I told them.

Ok, the subject title: so, we finally go to go outside the CCM. I mean, it's great here, but we're cooped up inside a gated area. So we finally got to go outside to go to the store and it was amazing! Thus, the title of this email. And it was amazing! I loved it! The people are awesome and this place is more humid than home, but it was super nice to finally get out. "There'll be actual real life people. It'll be totally strange. But wow am i so ready for this change!!" That song was in my head the whole time we were outside and it literally described my life. btws, I'm having movie and song withdrawals soo ... please keep a list of movies for me. Luckily, my companera loves movies and songs as much as I do so we sing all the time ... just not the love songs, but the other "uplifting" songs we sing ... so disney counts ;)

Anyways, I have to go. I love you guys! The work here is so great and I'm looking forward to serving out in the field. yeah, it's super rough and hard when i can't understand people, but it's all good. My mission isn't for me. That's not the main point. It's for the people outside these gates, waiting for me.

There have been so many spiritual experiences here I wish i could tell them all. but I can't ;( but know that it's amazing here and the spirit thrives. keep up the good work!

Oh and Ammon, if you are going on a mission, read the Preach my gospel. We watched a devotional from Elder Holland to us misionaros and he basically told us that its for us misionaros and not for the investigators. ... he kinda yelled at us read it cause he helped make it and knows what it means to him ... so i kinda need to read it more .. lol

Hermana Ho

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hola mí familia! Gracies por le amor y le emails!!

Haha so I'm alive! Let me just get down to the basics for you: I made it here. And everyone is super nice! I love this place and it's a little more humid than home, but other than that, it's all pretty much the same. The people are super nice, even though I haven't actually been outside. The MTC or the C.C.M. as they call it, is within temple grounds. You go through the gate and the temple is on your right. Then you turn left into the parking lot and the C.C.M. is on your Right. It's pretty cool. We just went to the temple this morning and guess what?! I got to experience endowments as well as sealings with Spanish and French and english! It was sooo cool! In sealings, the guy took out a paper and did mine in english, then we had Haitian sisters in there with us (also in the C.C.M. with us) and he did theirs in French, then there was a Spanish couple and he did it in Spanish for them! It was AWESOME!! Ammon, Alliyah, and Alana, strive to go to the temple. not only is it cool and beautiful and whatnot, but I can testify that it is a place of peace, a place of happiness and a place where you can do family ordinances for yourselves, your family, and for other families. It's a type of service that I've come to love.

Okay, so every day is super busy. we wake up at 6:30 and go to bed at 10:30. Seriously, I'm exhausted every night, despite the fact that I'm still getting enough rest. but It's a good exhaustion. You think that you know everything about the gospel and stuff, and then you get here in my position and you just ... are super humbled. Especially spanish. Ohmygosh don't even get me started on learning the language. You guys all know how well my memory is. well, all I'm gonna say is that the Lord called me here not because he wanted to laugh at me struggle, but because he knew that i could do it. And he called me to the dominican republic and he called me to speak spanish. But I must say, I'm not doing too bad ... I've progressed a lot since day 1! We began teaching mock investigators on like day 2 ... my companera knows a lot of spanish already, so she did most of the work. Oh, my companera!

She is amazing!! Mom, remember the sister missionary that was coming from Alaska? Yeah, she's my companion! her name is Hermana Fife. the two furthest away. Haha she is sooo cool and we have just clicked, not only as friends, but also as companions, on a spiritual level. And honestly, it's amazing. That's the best type of relationships there are. We work pretty well together and are learning and growing a ton. We room with hermana Collins and heremana Beukers and they are all hilarious!! I love all of them. all these elders are amazing. I admire their testimonies and strong spirits. It hit me this past week in class on Sunday. There's us four sisters in our district, plus Elder Ence, Elder Smith, Elder Tenney, and Elder Davis, all fresh outta high school. We were talking about a very spiritual fireside that we just saw and discussing what we as a district could do better (the first four days were a little rough, learning in classes i mean). That's when stuff got serious. One sister, hermana beaukers, was impressed to ask for a blessing. so she did and the four elders got up. They were all a little nervous cause they were still new to it all. Elder Ence isn't a super talkative guy, but he's kinda like kepa; quiet sometimes, but the kinda person you wanna make laugh and talk. He's opened up a lot more since then though. Anyway, They all layed their hands on Hermana Beukers' head and Elder Ence gave the blessing. After about 3 words, the spirit just ... surged into my heart and I started to cry. It was the most powerful blessing ever and the fact that those four elders, fresh outta high school, were worthy, no temple worthy to hold the melkezidek priesthood and give a blessing was just ... amazing. I have a whole lot of respect for them, all of them. Most of these elders are fresh outta high school here at the C.C.M. I have toooooonns of respect for them and am blessed to serve here.

Thank you all for your letters!! Pdays are on Thursdays here and I email you guys at ... 1:30pm, so ... 7:30am ish your time. There are so many spiritual moments and even though I can't speak spanish fluently or well, our teachers have told us to listen to our hearts. And I have and found the spirit to be present in many places. When teaching our mock investigators, Hermana Fife and I feel the spirit the most when we teach together instead of her just speaking, so I at least try. and yes, Dominican's talk fast. Our motto in our district (they are awesome by the way, we have so much fun together) is "si se puede!" meaning, I can do it! So there you have it.

I miss you guys, but there really isn't much time to think about missing you guys (don't take that the wrong way). Alliyah, thank you for the Ipod. And honestly to answer your question, I'm not nervous about the mission ... just speaking spanish, but I know that the Lord will help me out if I do all my part. Ammon, I realized the importance of CTRing now as I'm away. You are the oldest in the familia at home right now and your younger sisters look up to you a lot. Set a good example for them as you are doing right now. You are amazing example to me and continue to be so for them. You always CTR so keep it up! Alana, remember the coins you gave me? Thank you!! I appreciate it, even though I can't use it. But I want you to save up for your mission, if you desire to go on one. Use those coinds for that. Mom and Dad, you guys have been amazing examples in my life and it's mostly you guys who have preped me for me being here. I hoipe you realize that. Grandma and Grandpa, thanks for your love and support.

I miss you all and I'm sorry for the grammatical stuff.I know that I didn't tell you all everything either. but Basicallly, this place is amazing. It feels like time is going so slow and fast at the same time. It's like "Today was long but good. aaahhhhh!!! I only have 17 months and 4 weeks left?! Nooooooooo!!! I wanna stay forever!!" hahaha anayways, love you guys! i'll try email a little less next time hahaha.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I Made it!

(The quick email that came the day she arrived at the MTC/CCM)

Hola!!! Haha so I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to call you guys. The payphone in Georgia was weird and didn't work with my card and then I didn't have enough change. Sorry! But it was interesting cause the whole entire time, I didn't feel nervous at all. It was some looooong flights cause these babies (in both flights!) were crying and screaming throughout. But, I made it and I'm alive! oh and once I got to DR, people came up to me and just started speaking Spanish! I guess I look like a Dominican! haha huge compliment lol 

Thanks for letting me come :) I love you guys and thanks for the letters! They were awesome and what I needed to hear. Well, I'll talk to you guys soon! Love you all! I'm so excited to start :) 

Hermana Ho


She made it to the Dominican Republic!!

Santo Domingo East Mission

Hermana Ho

Hermana Ho with President and Sister Freestone

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Airport Farewell

Kamalei left at 3:36 on Delta.  We were grateful to those who traveled from near & far at such a crazy time of day!
Anika Borden

Tiana, Kamalei, Michele, Kaya

Getting Set Apart as a Missionary

President Watanabe

The Bretheren who helped to set her apart
Pres. Watanabe, Kyle, Grandpa Ho, Bishop McMillan

Grandpa & Grandma Ho

The family