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

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