Hola mi familia hermosa! Como estan?!
Hope all is well back home with you guys! Before I begin to tell you of the crazy adventures we had this past week, I need to address you all first. Entonces (so), here it is:
1) Remember how the Camachos gave me postcards with their testimonies written on the back? I gave out a few of them. So if you don't mind telling them about it. I gave Auli'is to Enercy, the 13 year-old girl who is getting ready to get baptized. And I showed her the picture too. And I gave uncle Nephi's to Frankeli (i mean, Frank Kelly ... didn't find out how his name was spelled until this past week when we filled out the baptism form). Frankeli LOVED it! He kept saying " ay, muy bonito, muy bonito" (yes, really nice, really nice). Plus, he got a kick out of the picture of them that I showed him (their christmas pic with the mustaches). And when we went to visit him after that, he saw it again and freaked out all over and his family got a little jealous that he had a hawaiian postcard hahaha!! It was great!
2) Dad, you told me to tell Alex hi. So I told him that you said hi and he was like "what have you told him about me!?" I think he was kinda freaked out about what I told you about him. But ever since then (aka. since last tuesday, and we've seen him pretty much every day since), he's always been like, "Saludos kyle! (Hi kyle!)" "tell kyle hi for me!" "Tell kyle!" well, he has a hard time with your name, so it's more like kiol ... but yeah. He says Hi! So you got a bro here in the DR! hahaha
Okay, so where to begin ... oh. okay. So, i can honestly say now, that I am grateful for water. And plumbing. Or just having buckets of water. So, here in the DR, the city pumps water to all the towns like once a week and it's stored in a cistern (I think that's the word) or a well ... it's not consistent though. And so we ran out of water this past week. So ... we had to lift water from the giant well below our house. The water was from the very bottom though and so we scooped up a lot of icky stuff ... and to think that's the water we shower in. and wash our dishes with ... trying not to think about it. But I got a true Dominican experience of bringing up water from the well, DR style. We may have lost a bucket ... and had a Domincian help us fish it out ... it was kinda embarrassing cause when Hna Cox (one of the sisters that lives with me) asked her if she'd ever lost a bucket like this, she said "no this is the first time ..." small kine embarrassing ... just a little. But hey, we got water! Anyway, so I got my first bucket shower here in the DR! for about 4 days, we had to do that until my companion kinda lost it and we went to another hermana's home and showered. That was BEAUTIFUL! Now, we have water (our house owners who live downstairs filled up our well from a water truck ... yes there are water trucks that drive around all day specifically for that purpose)... but our water pump is broken. hahaha oh, well, I'm just glad we have water. And I didn't realize how much water you can save when you're desperate; for showers, washing dishes, clothes, flushing toilets... yeaaaaa. hahaha but esta bien (it's ok). I'm okay with it because I know that i'm not gonna be living like this forever ... hopefully. Let's just say that the next time we go to the temple, I'm going to enjoy using a flushing toilet ... I mean, the session too ;)
This past week we focused a LOT on Alex and Frankeli because their baptisms are this saturday at 6pm!!! Yay!! So last Monday night, we had a noche de hogar (night of house aka. FHE) at our mission leader's home and we brought Alex and his little daughter! I kept her preoccupied the whole time so Alex could participate (I didn't mind ;) plus I didn't understand all of what was being said): Then, in the middle of the lesson, I hear "Ho!" and I look down (we were on the 2nd story of a house on the balcony) and see Frankeli with his brother Wander! So they joined us and afterwards, when we were walking home, Alex wouldn't stop talking to Frankeli (Yes, he is a talker). Basically, within this past week, they've become bros (thank you, thank you, I know, me and my comp are pretty good hahahaha jk jk). But they had their intervistas (interviews) for baptism and they both passed! We went over the baptismal questions with them a lesson before their interviews and with each one, I asked at the end "Who is Jesus Christ to you?" It's not a baptismal question, but I felt as though I should ask it. Honestly, I didn't understand much of their words, but the spirit was so strong. I know they're ready.
And i'm so excited for them! Plus, a little bonus: They attended conference together AND a convert baptism with us!!! Well, we picked up Frankeli 3 times (his house is right down the street from us) and Alex came of his free will 2 times and they sat together and when we walked home, they talked. They attended 3 sessions! Dude, I have some legit pics of all these events but this computer doesn't let me upload! So if one week, you just get pics and captions, you know. I sooooo want to show you guys! Oh well
Okay, so conference ... I watched all except the saturday morning one in spanish. It's soooooooo hard. We sat in the spanish session with Frankeli and Alex and a couple other investigators, Maria and Ignacio (they are working on getting married so they can be baptized. The thing is, it's expensive to get married. And her birth certificate papers are in Haiti ... so it's so hard to get them! It's a trial of their faith. But they are such a cute couple! Ignacio so wants to get baptized and I'm hoping maria too. Hopefully they can get married soon! If it's in this month, I might be able to see them to the temple in a year!). So it was a rough conference for me. And it made me a little homesick. And I couldn't focus. But honestly, it was pretty cool. And how was the native speaking!?!? Us missionaries had heard rumors of this happening, but wow!! That was awesome! Oh, btw, Elder Richard G. Scott (I believe that's him) translates his own talks into spanish. It's easier to pay attention to the voice of the speaker rather than the translator. So ... I was wondering if, when you guys are done with it family, you could send me the Ensign with all the talks in it please? It doesn't matter when, just in the future. oh, and lei nets too! Cause we are making leis for the baptisms and I realize those lei nets would be really useful too.
Oh, and the title of this email. So, if there is one thing that I've had a big boche (strict lecture kinda thing) on is that even when you think you've done enough or had enough, it's not enough. The biggest thing with me is patience. I thought I had a lot of patience coming into the mission. Nope. Nope. and Nope. hahaha I'm discovering every day that it's so not enough patience. And sometimes it's hard to have the faith that I can ever have enough patience. Patience in afflictions, patience with people, patience with understanding spanish or learning it for that fact. Another attribute I thought I did a good enough job on is people skills. But dang, i'm so awkward. Not knowing spanish doesn't help anything. Hahaha but the Lord sure has a sense of humor. And he also knows what I need or what I need to do for others. The other day during personal study, I was just reading my scriptures, and was only focusing on the story. It was about Alma addressing the poor Zoramites who were cast out of the synagogues of worship cause their clothes weren't nice enough, and he talks to them about faith and how it's like a seed. And the name that pops into my head, just randomly, is Frankeli's. So the Lord provides. I know he does. I don't know what I need and every time I think I'm doing enough or know enough about something, BAM! Boche! And then I'm humbled. Maybe the Lord just wants me to be more humble (which I thought I was pretty humble coming into this ... but I guess not lol). Moral of the story, is that in the mission and in life, don't get comfortable. It's like what my paddling coaches always said: "Don't get comfortable in your seat because someone can always take your spot. So work hard for it." I guess in life, we can't or shouldn't get comfortable with who we are. There is ALWAYS something to improve and either we know we have to improve that or the Lord will throw something our way to let us know what we need to improve on. So, what do we need to change about ourselves?
Here in the mission it's so hard, cause i have to change so many things at once (physically, mentally emotionally, spiritually), and it's so stressful. But it's good cause I think I need it. But yeah. Don't get comfortable. I think that's the theme of the mission. And dad, thanks for sharing your contacting experience! That's so cool! I'm going to try different things to contact now hahaha maybe not the same as you, but I'll try cause I can't get comfortable :) Plus, the word "almost" is Never, ever going to be enough. Looking back, that song talks about not being certain or sure of something. So, let's not be that. but don't be comfortable either.
Anyway, I don't have time to email back everyone else (the power went out halfway through this email, so it was a few minutes before it came back on), but please let Bishop and Aunty Gigi know that I got their emails and love them and I will email them back sometime! Let everyone know that I love them and am grateful for the part they have played in my life, cause honestly, each and every individual I know or know of has blessed my life.
Love you all and ttyl!!