Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Monday, November 24, 2014

Merry Christmas.... toooooo you!

Thanksgiving?! Who needs thanksgiving when the people here have been celebrating Christmas since October?! hahaha jk jk yeah I'm gonna miss thanksgiving, but I'm seriously enjoying the Christmas stuff here :) Seriously, decorations have been up since October and the owner of our house has decorated it beautifully with a ton of lights! Do enjoy the stuffing and turkey for me though please :) 

So I'm really sorry that I totally forgot to tell you guys ... but this past week we had a baptism! And my camera functioned beautifully for that! As long as it functions for these activities, I'll be okay :) But it was so awesome. It was the baptism of a family :) or part, I should say. But the mom, dad, and their 13 year old daughter. I'm not sure if I wrote about them and their family, but this is the family Sabino. The mom reminds me of you mom; fun, outgoing, and so into everything she does! (which is a good thing, btw). But yeah, they were all baptized and the branch did so much for the baptism. I was kinda surprised because I wasn't sure whether or not to expect a lot of support or not too much (my last area, hardly anyone showed up to baptisms; we were lucky to have someone from the bishopric there for ours!). Yeah, at least half the branch showed up which is great! (like ... 30 people?) And the family looked so happy :) We were so happy. This was my companion's first baptism and our first baptism of a family! Yay!!

The work here is going so fast! When I think of the fact that i have almost 5 months here, it's not a lot. But when I think of the fact that I go home in 13 ... it scares me cause that's not a lot of time!! Coming up, we have 4 more baptisms! One is of Moises, an 18 yearold guy who is super intelligent, but super busy in the university the whole week. But he's ready to be baptized. Last night, we had an appointment with him and he bore his testimony to us. You know, testimonies don't need to be long and elegant. Just the simple statement  "I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ lives" is a testimony.

We also have Henry, who is 20, and he has the same baptism date as Moises (December 6). He is the only nonmember in his family and is soooo ready for baptism. I've only visited him 3 times so far and each time I feel as though he is ready, and he is. He, also, is very smart. And his sister is super cool :) She's a returned missionary and helps us out so much!

Our other baptism is of a 20 something year old woman,Andreina, who is super cool, but we aren't quite sure if she's gonna get baptized on her date, only because we can never teach her! She's never in her house cause she goes to the university. That and if we want to teach her, we need to walk 30 minutes to get to her house ... and although that's not much time, as missionaries, well, time is of the essence and we can't walk back and forth everywhere. 

our other baptism is a 10 year-old boy, Breily, who is adorable! He's super smart and his family are members. They are awesome too. And one of the sons is the boyfriend of Angelina. The daughter, Angela, helps us out a lot. She returned home early from her mission because of back problems, but she helps us out a lot as well. Breily's baptism is on December 10 i believe (it's a Wednesday) because that is one of the few days that his dad will be home from work. 

Alright, so that's who we are preparing for baptism. Guys, our area is HUGE! And when I say huge, I mean my comp and I have not seen all of it. It consists of like 3-5 different towns and so far, i've only seen 3 I think. Some of the members walk 30-50 minutes to the chapel for church in the hot sun and with health problems. others drive back and forth on their motorcycles, picking up and dropping people off. Their sacrifice constantly amazes me and makes me love them more and more each time I see them in church. 

And mom, what you said about blessings (btws, great work! Last minute notice and all! hahaha no worries, I'll bet they loved you! Oh, and the lesson too, of course). But yeah, I can testify that some blessings come immediately and some slower than others and some waaayyy later. I can see now so many blessings and privileges that I've had that I couldn't see before or in the moment. It's hard to teach investigators that, But with every commandment the Lord gives us, there is a promise. We just need to be patient. 

And dad, I thought a lot about what you asked me last week and yes, missionaries need a testimony. They don't need to have to know every little thing about the church. They don't have to be perfect. They don't need to know the language. This past week has testified of that to me. They need a testimony. I asked the missionaries who I live with what they thought too and they agreed with me. Future missionaries need to know their Savior and to have a testimony of Him and his restored gospel and church. And it's really good that the mission president doesn't allow food drop offs anymore cause it's a great way for missionaries and ward members to work together! Last week, it was confirmed in our zone meeting that we are absolutely not allowed to eat or drink the food or drinks in anyone's house. For us, that's difficult cause we walk pretty far for some people and plus, it's a natural part of the culture for people to just give us food. Like, FOOD, food meals and stuff. But President wants to change the rule, so they are looking into it. but yeah, feeding the missionaries has so many benefits for members and missionaries. 

Well, that's all for this week. Have a wonderful thanksgiving and know that I love you guys! And that the Lord loves you all too! As cliche as that is, it's true. Love you and merry christmas! I mean, happy thanksgiving! :D

Love and aloha, 
Hermana Ho

Monday, November 17, 2014

Feliz cumpleanos a ti!

Before i even start my letter ....


I know it´s a little early, but I'm still trying to figure out if i should wish people happy birthday a little early or a little late ... BUT thanks for being amazing. just read your email and thank you for worrying for me. Trust me, there are a lot of things to worry about when it comes to health, but then again, there is only so much I can do. But thank you for your love :) I appreciate it and love you! thank you for being an amazing father for us kids and for always being there for us ... even through 3 hikes in one day. I appreciate it! And I miss say, sometimes I miss things in the mission (sorry, it's normal, but I'm trying to get better) and one of the things I miss is your hugs. Never thought such a small thing could be so big in my life, but thanks for your hugs. Continue to give them freely!!

So, since this week is your birthday, i'm gonna focus this email mainly on your questions for me. Ready?

So, this area is amazing! I love it! Yes, we walk a lot, but it's after we walk for like 20 minutes that you can really see the green that is here and the beauty. And it also gives you time to appreciate the beauty around you. Yes, there are mosquitos, and I still get bit even if i use my repellent. To say the least, yes, i'm praying every night for my health. but my body seems to be functioning normally up til now. The only pains I get can be fixed when i stretch every morning and night. Just the pains you would get if you ran a 6miles and forgot to stretch after, if even that. So yeah, it's not to bad :) 

And yes, having an amazing latina companion really makes a difference in your spanish! It's only been 2 weeks and my spanish has improved a ton. She even said so herself! Yay! But i'm teaching her english too .... which is a little hard. I realize how hard english is for other people to learn. It's really difficult, even for me! But I tell her "You know, I don't know the specific grammatical stuff, but I know how to speak English and I can help you with that." She's amazing. Sometimes when I find out a person is a convert, I'm just blown away! The Lord works miracles through converts. And I think the Lord knew I needed some miracles, so He gave me a convert, a latina, a sister :) I'm pretty sure we are sisters though because we are sooo alike, it's kinda scary! like the same things, similar personalities .... all! Yups, so sorry to tell you this last minute, but you have another daughter here ... idk how she was born in Mexico, but yeah!! lol 

As for the branch, they are really small, but strong. Our ward correlation consisted of the presidencia and this other guy I didn't know and us 4 missionaries. .... idk if that helps. But it was more like missionary council cause we talked about our investigators. Idk if we even have correlation ... 

now, about the missionary efforts. I was told by one of the other hermanas that is about to go home that the missionaries that are coming in keep coming in stronger and stronger in their desires to serve. Honestly, the iPad thing, it would be nice to have. Trust me, a lot of us missionaries here envy those in the states. But with that comes a ton more problems. You know. But we can live without them. Mormon messages would be nice to share with people on iPads, but it's not necessary. 

As for preparing missionaries, I think it's a process that needs to be done as early as possible. Starting with the Primary. Future missionaries need testimonies. And if they have that testimony, that light of Christ in them, they can go out. I know one elder who has been a member for 1 year ... basically the year that he had to wait to enter the temple. But he has a strong testimony and that is why he is here. My companion has 2 or 3 years in the church and she's here because she loves the BOM and has seen how it has blessed her life and the life of her family. They were just sealed a year ago. For me, personally, I have a testimony of the gospel and I have seen how it has blessed my life, our family's life, and the lives of other people. And for that, I'm here to share the happiness of the gospel with others, the Love of Christ and our Heavenly Father with others. Times get rough in the mission: learning the language, dates falling, other missionaries, stuff and I'm not gonna lie, it sucks sometimes. But then I remember why I'm here. 1Nephi 6:4. I also look in my journal to the day when I opened my call and review my thoughts of that moment and the moment I arrived in the MTC. I also look at the good moments that I've had in the mission, and there have been many, big and small. And I remember why I'm here. I'm not sharing this to brag or to make people think highly of me. that's not what I want. Honestly dad, the best way to prepare missionaries is to have THEM come unto Christ, to have a testimony. The missionary purpose is "To invite others to come unto Christ ... through the Atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy ghost, and to endure to the end." The church IS a mission. I realize that now (sorry, a little late). We are all working on converting ourselves and each other. But honestly, do missionary work for the youth, the children, and the members. Prepare missionaries by inviting them to come unto Christ and being perfected in him. There's a saying that Hermana Fletcher's friend shared with her. It's this: if the church wasn't true, missionaries would've destroyed it a long time ago." lol, but seriously. Invite them to come unto Christ. you were and are a missionary :) You know how :D 

So, with that being said, I hope that answers your question. If not, ask me again next week :) I hope that you have a great birthday! Thanks for being an example for me! Oh, examples are also good for missionaries. It's a way for them to learn and to watch how things are done. No ones perfect, but I'm pretty sure you and mom were pretty close to perfect parents:) thanks dad :) love you so much and hope you have a great birthday!!

the best oldest daughter,
most wonderful person ever
and awesomest,
(who you are blessed to have lol ... maybe stressed to have, but count your blessings!!! hahaha :)

Hermana Ho

Monday, November 10, 2014

Now Let Us Rejoice!

There are so many things to rejoice about right now! 

Alrighties, so yes, now I am in the country, or el campo, as we call it. It's as campo as the sisters can get in this mission. And I love it! The house that I live in is big and has a gorgeous view of the mountains. We actually have greenery here! It's beautiful! There's parts that remind me of Hawaii. like in Laie roads, when you drive down a road with greenery on both sides, except there is only a rocky dirt road. And there's plenty of houses, but there's little smidgets of memories of Hawaii here and there. I love it! 

It was a little hard to get adjusted to the schedule here. Me and my comp are both new to the missionary life. Oh, my comp!!! okay, i'm pretty sure I have the cutest, sweetest, most loving comp ever!!! She's adorable! A doll! When i send a picture, you can see. her name is Hermana Maltos and she's been a member since 17, but she's known the church since she was a child. Her family was sealed about a year ago I believe. oh, and she's from Mexico. She's amazing! We left the MTC at the same time, and we both just finished our training. So right now, we are trying to figure out how to live the mission life without a trainer together. Also, I feel as though my spanish has grown so much. it's one thing to speak spanish, but it's another to speak it 24/7. She's amazing. Oh, and i'm teaching her english. She knows a lot, but putting together sentences and understanding is difficult. got any tips? 

As of right now, we are in a branch. Oh my gosh, it's so tiny. the classes, the chapel, everything. But there's a special spirit here that the members bring. you can feel the unity and their desire for the gospel. Our branch president is cool too and the guy works so hard in the branch. 

Right now, we are working with amazing people. When i came, Hermana Maltos had 3 families and wow, they are incredible! one is the Diez family, a couple who has 3 kids. The husband is so ready to be baptized (you can see it in his actions and words, even though he doesn't speak much. But when he does talk, he's got the light of christ in his eyes and an excitement to learn more about the gospel). his wife has so much faith and so many miracles in her life. She knows the BOM is true and the church is true, but she wants to make sure she knows knows ... which is hard for me and my comp, because we know she knows. She has so many miracles and evidences in her life, but she wants more. But it's okay. in time. 

We also have the Sabino family who are just cool. They remind me of polys, even though they aren't polys, but they look like them. the parents are ready for baptism, as well as their 13 year old daughter (who is amazing, by the way. She started her personal progress 1month ago and is already done with the faith section. Reminds me of Alliyah :) They have another daughter who is hardly around, and an other who said she needs more time. But if all goes well, the first three have a baptism date for the 22 of this month :) 

This past week was swell. Sometimes our appointments are a 45 minute walk (our area is HUGE), sometimes just down the road. But it's amazing. The work is going forward and the members here are always willing to help us out in any way. I hope this isn't too much to ask, but can you guys please help the missionaries in the ward? References, dinners, even just giving them water, or going out with them to the homes is a huge help. And the members can do so much more than the missionaries. We only have a slot of time in the areas we serve. But the members have way more time and experience in the area, with the people, in those situations. And it's great for investigators to have friends. don't be afraid to share the gospel! 

Anyway, there's my gospel shpill for you guys lol. Love you all and keep being amazing. The work is moving forward rapidly!! 

Hermana Ho

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to survive" ... and serve the Lord

Song with Rihanna in it. But that's basically been this past week. Anyway, first things first: 

THanks for the emails! Love you all so much! And everyone else too :) Congrats on getting through October! You made it! now breath :) I loved looking at the pictures and seeing everything that's going on! That's soo cool! congrats on all your work, from sports, to school, to halloween, to band! I'm realizing right now just home much you all are involved in everything! Haha as for things that I need, I think I'm pretty good right now. I'm not in dire need of anything. Except maybe an AC unit. but that's all :) 

So this past week was crazy. In every possible way. Thus, the title. So, on Tuesday we moved. It's about a 10 minute drive, but me and my companion moved there while the other two sisters moved into another house with other hermanas. It was a crazy day to say the least and a stressful one. I just felt sorry for the elders that had to take apart our bunkbed. It's dominican made, aka it only fits one way. ... so the elders put it together and took it apart 3 times before it finally fit. It's not the same as before, but I didn't have the heart to tell the sweaty guys that. I'm just glad they helped us move. 

The next day, my comp was really sick, to the point where she went to the clinic with another hermana who could speak spanish (all the medical terms). The next day she was still sick and recovering, so for those two days, we didn't really leave the house. But get this: I had to take a test. She had amibas (a parasite), which means that it can spread, so I had to take a test ... my results came back: no amibas! Yay!!! 

Also, transfers are tomorrow and i'm moving to a different area and getting a latina companion! Excited and nervous all at the same time. I just hope I can communicate with her ... well, next week I'll let you all know how it's going. but yeah. The work here is thriving. The area I'm going to was opened pretty recently for sisters, so I'm sure there's lots to be done there. It's also out in "el campo," as we say, which basically is the boonies, kinda sorta. I'm not sure what to expect. But Hermana Fife, my old companion, was there these past 2 transfers I believe and she said there's trees and green there! So I'm looking forward to that. Oh, btws, still working on trying to send pics. I still don't know when that's gonna heppen. But pray for my camera, as it is going a little whack right now. Like, it'll charge, but when I unplug it, it says low battery and turns off ... so yeah. We'll see what happens with that. 

Anyway, As for the ward I'm in now, I'm gonna miss them. They really are a great ward, especially when it comes to missionary work. Tonight I'm gonna be going to see some people to say goodbye, like Alex and Frankelli. Pray that I don't cry at Frankeli and his family's home! They want me to come back and visit. And it's not like I don't want to, it's just that I don't know when... But, I'll keep in touch with them. 

Anyway, I love you guys! Keep being amazing! And keep sharing the gospel with others, whether it's through your example or words or whatever it may be, it's easier than you might think. love you all and take care :)

Hermana Ho