Oh my gosh it's so hard to not dance here in the streets! On almost every corner, there is a colmodo (a store that a person just starts up. It's super convenient for us to buy things at!) that plays really good music throughout the day! Buchata, salsa, merengue, and sometimes you get the English tunes and if you're lucky, some country :) hahaha but yeah it's so fun!
Anyway, I love you guys! Man, i love telling everyone about you guys and what you all are doing. Honestly, you guys are conversation starters or examples in my lessons for me :) Thank you for your examples! And ward conference! Awesome! We had ours this past saturday and sunday. Saturday, we had an open house where the ward and us invited people to come to the chapel. The members were so excited! Each auxilarary would be explaining like for 5 minutes what they do to the people and all of them had all these presentations set. Including us. And people invited others and we invited a ton of people too! And the night came ... and no one showed up expect the members. I felt soooo bad for them because they invited people and no one showed up. For us missionaries, it's disappointing, but it's a disappointment we are used to. But for the ward, ohmygosh I feel sooo bad. And we have such a great and strong ward! But the thing is, I don't know if it's the culture or if the people have short term memory here, but the culture is so relaxed and so nice that people aren't going to say no to coming to a church. But then they won't come or will forget. So ... yeah, I felt really bad for the members. So bad. But, like you guys, our Sunday was great! We had a few musical numbers (which was interesting ... only because Dominicans love singing .... but aren't necessarily the best). But everyone was so excited to have a new piano in our chapel and one of the missionaries, she played her violin with our numbers that we sang in the choir (oh yeah, I was in it. My companion played the piano). It was a great conference!
Okay, so we have 2 baptism dates! Alex, of course, is Oct 11. Please pray for him! I don't understand him half the time, but my companion says that he said that he knows this church is true and that he wants to be baptized. He has a testimony. And so much potential. And he just cracks us up all the time! hahaha We also have Enercy, who is 13 years old. But I have never seen someone her age with such faith or diligence. She attends church with some other members in the ward, but she wants to be baptized so bad! Because of a few complications, her date was pushed to the end of November, but my comp and I believe she is ready to be baptized so we're going to go with her and have her talk to the bishop about moving her date back to the middle of October (the original day it was set to). So we'll see how that goes!
We are also trying to reactivate this one family. They're like half active ... and the one mostly active guy is preparing to go on a mission. He's working on his papers. But oh, this is my second family here! They are the Adon family, and they live 3 houses down. I love them! The mom is so sweet and kind, but she doesn't want a calling in the church and she only comes for like the 3rd hour (which is sacrement meeting, here in the DR). Her son, Frankeli, is 24 and our investigator and we had a hawaiian lesson with him. So now everytime I pass their house, i'll hear a random "Aloha!!" from him! Francisco is the one preparing for a mission, and he's so cool! He's kinda a mommy's boy, it's so cute haha but he's super cool! Me and him have a challenge going on so he reads his BOM every day:I told him I'll read the BOm with him, a chapter a day. It's my first time reading it in Spanish, so I don't understand everything (which I told him, I don't like, but for him I'd read it), and for him, he needs to be reading every day. So, a chapter a day in Spanish. Oh, and did you guys know that reading your BOM every day is a commandment? The 3 we always tell investigators are 1) read the BOM every day, 2) pray every day, twice a day, and 3) attend church. They need to be doing that in order to be baptized and they are commandments... just saying ;). But yeah, anyway, then there is Wander, their 8 year old brother who just got baptized and is kinda going inactive cause he doesn't have the greatest examples in his life. There are also two other kids who are inactive. One of them is dating our downstairs neighbor, Gary (love the guy. He has a beautiful singing voice and he sings to us every morning ... without really knowing it haha). But this family is my family here in Los Frailes cause I feel like I can just talk to them, even though I can't understand them or express myself well. But I love them so much!
As for your scripture, D&C 33:7, I love! And the verse after it, verse 8. And it's important to remember that the Lord qualifes whom he calls. I like to apply that to callings too, in families and in the church. It's hard to apply that to me cause ... I don't feel very qualified sometimes, but I have to have faith. Faith that I'm here because the Lord, through his prophet, told me I need to be here. I think of home a lot. Tomorrow is transfers, but I'm staying in my area (yay!!) with my companion, but we sent home one of the sisters. She finishes her mission tomorrow! She's awesome and did NOT want to leave haha. Her name is Hermana Hansen. But I thought "you get to see your family though! And speak english!" It's bad to think of home, I know, but it was hard when she kept talking about it. lol But I love her so much! She was so awesome! But then again, I have moments that I live for. Like teaching Alex and Enercy and other progressing investigators. Then there's also the swag walk men here or the guy that shaved his legs like with strips ... like on a candy cane... or my neighbors. The hot momma in her towel doing laundry outside, or her 6 year old daughter shamelessly walking in her pink panties outside, or her teenage brother walking around in his boxers. Or the women who walk around with hair curlers that are about 3-4 inches in diameter in their hair on the streets. And when I see these things, all I can say is "Oh, the DR" and just laugh cause it 's these moments and more that I live for! So if you're worried about me, don't worry! I have a LOT of entertainment here! Haha and also, great members and great investigators who are all generally concerned about me and my companion and making sure we are doing okay.
I love the DR so much! One day, I have to take you guys around here and show you my friends and family and also the quirks here. Don't worry, the Lord is watching over me. I know it. I wish you all the best! Siblings, keep up the awesome work with school and sports! You're doing awesome! And enjoy the water for me :) well, maybe not the Ala Wai water ... but the beach and stuff. Mom and dad, keep being amazing parents. Thanks for staying strong in the gospel and for raising us kids the way you did. I see a lot of broken families here and am reminded of how blessed I am to have great parents and great siblings who love each other, who support each other, who help each other, who are strong together. Grandma and grandpa, thanks for serving your missions. I didn't realize how much that means until now. Thank you for your service and for reaching out to those who needed you.
Love you all and have a great week!
P.S. please dance for me ... cause I can't. hula, jazz, swing, hip hop whatevs. Buchata if you want too! Cause I can't. And swim for me. And sing with the radio for me. Just have fun with life! I am here, without those things, I just miss them a lot cause they are fun too. But live in the moments and just go for it!