Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Monday, December 29, 2014

You guys are seriously the best!

Yeah, not gonna lie, it was super nice to talk to you all and to know that you are all doing okay! Thanks for taking time to skype and call! I loved it! And to say the least, I am more motivated and content after seeing you guys, not so much trunky. I don't think I'm trunky, anyway. 

As for the rest of my week since Christmas, it's been good. The morning of Christmas, we opened our little secret sister gifts and our little goodie bags and it was really nice! My secret sister (it was my companion haha) gave me some new cute pjs!! I'll send you guys some pics when i can. But I love them and they are really comfortable. As for the others, i gave them some calenders from Hawaii ... and needless to say, they loved it! My companion loves flowers, so I gave her one calendar with flowers from Hawaii and Hermana Hernandez loves "aquamarine" beaches so I gave her a calendar with Aquamarine. All in all, it was a very nice christmas! And we had tons of food!

So just a short spiritual thought for  today: the book of mormon has power. A power like no other. What me and  my companion have been doing is caring around the BOMs in our hands so that people know who we are and we've given out a lot since then. At one point, we were visiting a lady and her friend, who is catholic, started asking us questions in a way that gave us the impression that she was trying to find a way to attack us. But our investigator opened her BOM and started sharing her small and simple testimony about the BOM and how it testifies of Christ. She didn't say much, but it was enough. We also gave her friend a BOM and she started reading various parts of it, looking through it, and she didn't attack us. In fact, I think she's actually going to read it! Anyway, to say the least, we have an appointment with her friend and we will see how that goes. But the BOm has a unique power that everyone recognizes, not matter who they are. It's really cool! This new year, i invite you guys to share the BOM. The BOM has basically all the doctrine of our church and if you read the introduction, there is an invitation and a promise for all who read it. I invite you guys to make a goal for this year to 1) read the entire book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true, or if you know that it is true, pray to more and 2) share a BOM with someone this year. I know that if you do this, the Lord will provide a way for you, to bless and strengthen you in your efforts. 

I love you guys so much and hope you all have an amazing new year! Thank you for your love and support, your examples, and for letting me serve a mission. Honestly, besides you guys, my mission means the world to me :D Love you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Love and aloha, siempre, 
Hermana Ho

P.S. if you can, pop some fireworks for me :D

Monday, December 22, 2014

We got pictures!!

This is the day of our baptism of the Family Sabino. We baptized the dad, the mom, and their 13 year old daughter. Now we just need to baptize their 2 other daughters and their son! lol

A picture of us in our house. There's hermana Hernandez (from Mexico) sitting down in the back and her companion, Hermana Nazaire (from the Bahamas) behind her. And then me and my companion, Hermana Maltos.

There are also pics of our other baptism, Breily! Sorry, the other baptisms we had I don't have any pictures because my camera was malfunctioning lol.

Feliz Navidad!

Ward Christmas Party

Feliz Navidad y prospero ano felicidad!

Hola and Feliz Navidad!

So, this past week was pretty good. Honestly, there wasn't anything too eventful. Oh, but I did recieve 2 packages!Thank you so much for them! I got one from you guys, then the 12 days of Christmas. Let's just say that we are so happy to actually have a Christmas tree in our house! Well, I was thrilled! Plus the ornaments and all! Thank you also for the snacks and goodies! We are all enjoying them here and I love sharing a little piece of Aloha with everyone. Oh, and as for the candy canes, there's one elder in my district who is from here, (he's our district leader) and he saw what the label on the package said: "Candy and regalos." he doesn't speak a ton of english, but he knew what the word "candy" meant lol so the candy canes may have been shared with my district ... plus our branch president who just "happened" to be there when I opened the package :D Anyway, thank you very much for everything!

As of right now, we don't have a lot of progressing investigators. This means people who are coming to church. We baptized all of the progressing ones from the last transfer so we need to find more people now! But I will tell you who we do have. 

First, a girl named Angelina. She's 19 and has an adorable little baby boy of about 5 months. She lives with her grandma and has no support from the baby daddy. But she is amazing and really cool. She hasn't come to church yet, but she has been reading the BOM every single night! She loves to read!

Also, we have Greichi, a 35 year old mom who has 3 kids I think. She is super chill and very calm about everything. She is reading the BOM and has been to church once now and we are so happy about that!

We also have Noelia. She is a very well-to-do woman  and is super cool and sweet. She is the sister of Hermana Sabino, the lady who we baptized a couple weeks ago with her family. Noelia has 3 or 4 kids and is very interested in the gospel. The only problem we have with her is that her husband (who we can never teach because he's never around) is a busy man with a schedule, so sometimes she can't come to church because she needs to do stuff around the house for him. But she has a baptismal date and we are going to try to keep working with her.

Oh, also, we had our baptism of Breily! He is 10 and it meant a lot to me to see the smile on his face throughout his baptism. He is very smart and always likes to hear about the gospel. And he is amazing :) 

That's all I'm going to write for now because I'm going to try and send some pics. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! and a Happy New Year! Thank you for all of your love and support and for the packages and letters :) I love you all and can't wait to talk to you soon! 

Love and aloha, con Feliz Navidad,
Hermana Ho

Friday, December 19, 2014

Impossible things are happening every day!

Yups. So many things that I thought were impossible continue to happen every day. I'll explain more later. Can you guess the movie? :)

Btws, I did have a complete dream in Spanish the other night. ... it was one of those worry dreams, where you go to bed worrying about something and in your dream that something happens. Yeah ... but it was all in Spanish! And in the dream, after the worry part, I dreamed of having a lesson in spanish and it was really good! Just a side note, mom I had an AWESOME dream with you in it! We were talking at the beach and it was a beautiful day. Just the two of us, talking for hours :D I tend to dream a LOT about the beach ... either the beach or you guys or both in one. It depends haha

So, yes, impossible things. Impossible things are happening every day. Like waking up at 6:30am ... not really sure how I manage to do it. Or finding people to teach. That's a little rough sometimes. Or contacting random people in the streets. That's something I would've never done before the mission. But there are so many things that I would've never thought possible. Like speaking spanish. I gotta, say, I'm a lot better and a lot more secure. Not perfect and still don't understand things sometimes, but I know so much more than I did 2 months ago, that's for sure. A lot of it is thanks to my companion and her patience :) Speaking of more impossible things, we got transfers. And no one in my district is leaving! I'm so happy!! there are 8 of us in our district and we all got pretty tight. My district leader will now have spent his entire 7 months in the mission in the same area. for those of you who have served a mission, 4months is a lot, and to have 7 in the same area?! This is also his first area too. We thought he would leave and one of the sisters in my house, but merry christmas! we all get one more transfer together!

Sorry for the side track. Anyway, impossible things are happening every day. And here's what I've learned. well, first, I've been trying to write more about lessons learned in my journal, rather than every detail. So I'm writing lessons I've learned, special experiences and feelings, and weird random things. What I've learned about impossible things:
1) obedience. That brings a lot of impossible things. Rules are set, commandments are given, things are asked of us and when we are obedient, we don't always se the results right away. But looking back, my companion and I can see the fruits of our labors.
2) faith. I gotta admit, I didn't have much faith in "the gift" program when it first came out. I had doubts. but we talked about it in my house and my faith has changed. And with that, we had 3 investigators come to church after we shared la Dadiva with them and 2 of them have baptism dates! Faith, literally, in Christ, the gift, la Dadiva. 
3) Hard work. When we do our part, and it's good, and we do all we can to succeed, the Lord follows through. And you see the impossible come to pass. Contacting. it's not one of my favorite things to do, going from door to door, sharing the gospel with people who aren't interested or don't understand me when I try to speak spanish. But thanks to one of the elders in our district who contacted (this means shared the gospel with a person for a brief moment), we have an investigator with a lot of potential. 
4) the mission. It constently amazes me, the sacrifices of so many missionaries. If you think about it, for many, the mission creates many impossible challenges for people. money problems, time, family problems, language problems, spending 24/7 with a stranger you never knew, doubts, many many problems. You'd think the church would be a trainwreck after sending out 18, 19, and 20 year old youth to preach the gospel. But then the impossible happens. And somehow, things work out. Somehow finances aren't a problem, families are put together, you speak fluently and sometimes learn 2 languages instead of just 1, and you become brothers or sisters with your companion. And instead of a trainwreck for a church, you get a piece of the kingdom of God. 

This week, I encourage you guys to do something impossible. Take the leap of faith. This time of year is the easiest time to invite someone to come and adore Him, to accept the gift in their lives. Invite your paddling friend to church. invite your school friend to an activity. Talk to someone you've never talked to before. Go to an activity you've never been to before. Invite someone over for dinner. Idk, something you've never done before, do it with faith in Christ, obedience, hard work and with a mission purpose. And watch the impossible happen :)

Love you guys and I'll talk to you later! Sorry I didn't write some of you back, but I'll do better next time. Have a great week!

Love and mucho aloha,
Hermana Ho

Monday, December 8, 2014

Para siempre dios este con voz

So, this past week was fast. we have transfers the next week and so me and hermana maltos aren't really sure what is going to happen. We had our 2 baptisms this past saturday and that was awesome! the baptisms went really smoothly and nicely. And one thing that I discovered is that satan doesn't attack the baptisms for me and my companion. He's attacking us. After our first baptism together, stuff happened and the night wasn't so fun. But the baptism was good. After these baptisms, stuff happened to us AGAIN, but the baptisms were really good again and so were the members. It made me realize that sometimes, when Satan knows he can't do anything to change the mind of our investigators, he targets us, the missionaries. Plus, I think he's mad because we just baptized two future priesthood holders lol. So that's a problem for him. 

Other than that, me and my companion are doing really good. It's a lot of fun together and we have learned so much together. I know a lot more spanish now, but it's hard for me to understand people still. But I'm getting to know the work a lot more and how to do things. 

And stake conference! Man, that's one thing I like now is stake conference. It sounds like it was amazing! Wish I could've been there for that. And yeah, the work is progressing far faster than i imagined! And if there's one thing I regret, is not sharing the gospel more frequently with everyone. We have so many friends who don't know the gospel and thus have more opportunities opened to us to share the gospel. I wish I had done that more back home. So thank you guys for being examples and for doing missionary work right now! Especially with The Gift. We aren't having too much progress here right now with The Gift program, but the year is not over yet. Mom, great job with the choir! And dad, great job with conference. I'm sure it was great. And your wife can tell you all about it :) As for the example of the missionaries, that's what we do :) and I'm trying to work on smoothing it out ... we'll see how that goes haha. 

Thank you all for your examples! And for your emails and packages. I love it! And I'm looking forward to talking with you guys, hopefully face to face, if not, on the phone :) Love you all and take care! 

Love and aloha,
Hermana Ho

Monday, December 1, 2014

I'll Give You Allllll of Me!

No, I haven't gotten the most recent package. There could be a few reasons for that. First, i live far from the capital, where the mission office is, and where the package goes to. And it costs a lot to travel from there to here, in my area. But at the most, i should get it at the next zone meeting which is ... next week? i think ... or this thursday. We'll see :) 

Also, for uncle John, I am in Hato Mayor. it's a new area for hermanas. i am one of the first and my companion was the first in this area for hermanas. it's been about ... 30 years since there were hermanas here I think. So I'm blessed, to say the least.

By the way, do you mind sending me a simple easy recipe for Haupia? i now it's simple and easy to make, and it doesn't need much, so we are going to have like a potluck thing in our district and everyone is going to make something from their own country. So it would be cool to make Haupia :) 

And last, there is a program that is called "La Dadiva" or I believe in english it's "The Gift" or something like that. Anyway, it's a world wide church program and us missionaries are supposed to ask the members in the area to view a video and share it with everyone through the media. it's a beautiful video. Then, the members are supposed to try and bring friends and family (nonmembers) to church every sunday until Christmas (at least) not only to celebrate Christmas, but to invite others to come unto Christ and worship Him. So, a challenge for you, my family and friends. I think it's on the church website, but watch the video, "La Dadiva" or "The Gift," share it in social media, and invite someone, every week, to accompany you to church to celebrate la dadiva. The goal is to have more investigators in the church and to invite others to come unto Christ in this simple way, through christmas. And why not? this is probably the most easiest time to share the gospel because everyone knows about christmas. this is also a great way for members and missionaries to work together. 

So as for the title of this. "I'll give you all of me." Okay, yeah, i know it's a love song by john legend, but let me relate it to missionary work :) i'm learning here in the mission just how hard it is sometimes to focus on the work. Mentally especially. My companion and I are working on focusing our thoughts more in the work, but it's so hard. like, for example, we think of home sometimes, or songs, or family, or friends, or movies. Stuff that isn't bad. In fact, it's very good. good stuff to think about. but in 1 Nephi, Nephi talks about how there are so many things to write about, but he will only focus on the things that are of the lord and of the most importance because he doesn't have enough space in the plates to write every detail. In the mission, I have. Or, in life, we have plates. We have things to focus on. everything is good and everything is important. Don't get me wrong. But our plates are limited. What are we going to focus on? What will we fill our plates with? TV? service? family time? in the mission, my plates are limited. so me and hermana maltos are trying to focus our thoughts on the things that are most important in the mission. and that is the work. and trying to do that is so hard .... sooooo hard. lol. but, we are trying. So, as for the title, i'm trying to give my all to christ and his work. 

So, the work here is progressing. A lot! And quite quickly too. I'm learning that english is so hard to learn. goodness, who made all the rules? i'm trying to help my companion learn english and wow, we have so many rules. This upcoming week, we have 2 baptisms. we have Moises, 18, and henry, who will be 21 on the 5 of Dec. we are so excited and stoked! Maybe I'll write you the story of what happened with Henry. It was quite a miracle and a witness that the Holy Ghost testifies and that the Lord works in his own time. the work is rough and yet easy all in one. I can't really describe too much of the mission life. you'll have to do it yourself to figure out what i mean lol but I can honestly say that I don't regret a moment. 

As for now, let me answer a few questions and say a few things. Ammon, congrats on finishing your college application! how was that? Good I hope :) can you send me your email please so that i can try and email you? Or mom, can you do it lol. Alliyah, perfectionist, great job in school! keep up the good work and many opportunities will be opened for you. but don't forget to play and to have fun too! And try not to worry too much. Alana, wow, you keep singing ... maybe one day, you can be in the drama club :) lol nah, I miss singing with you! When I get home, we are going to have a jam sesh. Mom, bien hecho con Hermana Nozawa! Good job with sister Nozawa! or ms. haha it's natural to say Hermana. But she's ending teaching? What?! And tell Justin and Charlene congrats for me and i wish I could hold their baby! Or maybe you can hold the baby for me? here it's interesting. Neighbors and family both help take care of the baby. We could be teaching a lesson to a lady with a baby and this random guy walks up and takes the baby and plays with him. When we ask if he's her brother, she just says no it's my neighbor ... honestly, it's a kakou thing. Always. And dad. Yes i actually have a microwave that works! woo hoo! So i can pop popcorn (which I have been doing, :) and the biggest university is in the city, which is about 2-3 hours away from here. So yes, people travel there and back every day. And it's not cheap either. But there are other smaller colleges, but I've had people tell me that sometimes the professors don't show up or don't teach anything. So it's hard for people to go to college and work at the same time. As for bikes, I'd rather not chance the roads. There aren't really traffic rules and there are tons of motorcycles. Those are the taxis here. But i'm pretty sure that Dominicans are some of the most talented and vigilent drivers ever. that, i have no doubt. but they are also the most craziest drivers lol. And for those reasons, we walk everywhere :) 

As for the language, I speak a lot better than I did on day one, thanks to my companion and time here. It's a little rought because with hermana maltos and Hermana fletcher, both are ... fair skinned. So with each, always, siempre siempre siempre, people will come up to me and start talking to me in spanish and talk to them in english (if they can). So i get where Jarom comes from. It's hard. But, I know I'll speak better every month if i work on it and trust in the gift of tongues. 

That's about all for now. Thank you for your emails, love, and support! love you all and thank you so much for the opportunity for me to be a member my entire life. didn't realize what a blessing that is. Thanks mom and dad. And thanks siblings for helping me to stay in the church and helping me get to where i am today. i couldn't have done it without all of you! love you all and be safe! And don't forget la dadiva and the true meaning of christmas this month :)

Love y aloha,
Hermana Ho