Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Monday, February 23, 2015

We got pictures!!!! :)

 Temple Trip with the Zone

With President Corbitt & Sister Corbitt

This was a hurricane popcorn night and everyone loved it! some might've suggested selling it in the mission cause they would buy it from me!! (they might've been the mexicans :D)

Our mission leader and us with his mom peeling guandules or pidgeon peas. It's super relaxing!

Went to someone’s fields that they had, a family in our ward and it's a nice big campo, as we call it. The guy in this pic is Hermano Viscaino. Super chill and he suggested this photo spot. lol

Happy Day, All is Well!

So, all is well here! First off, thanks for the package! Yups, received it this past thursday! Thank you so much for the chocolate and the notes!! Needless to say, my comp and I are very happy :D Also dad, it's the DL that interviews our investigators.

So this past week was pretty amazing. Stressful, frustrating, tiring, but amazing, as always.All is well in this little island.  Needless to say, I'm learning a lot about patience. I'm going to keep this email a little short so that I can upload pics, but I had my interview with my mission president this past week. It's every couple of months or so, but man, I love having an opportunity to talk with president! He's really amazing. But one thing that he had us do (well, that he was inspired to have us do) is read our mission manual and write down improvements that we can make or things we can do better based on this book. It was a great learning activity and I hope to be a better missionary the next time that I see him. But it got me thinking what we as people, or better yet, as members can do better and what can we use as our "manual." I came up with the scriptures. A lot of times, we just read the stories and think wow, I learned a lot from Ammon or a lot from Nephi. But the real question is, did we apply it? I've learned that through personal application of what we learn in the scriptures is how we can become better people. Maybe just applying one verse in our lives, every day. So, my invitation is that everyone choose a story out of the BOM and write down all the attributes that protagonist has. Then, apply them. I know it's gonna be a little hard to do sometimes, but I know that every day, we can always become better people, better sisters, better brothers, better members, better friends, and better sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. 

Thank you all for your love and support and for your prayers for the missionaries! Love you all and take care!

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, February 16, 2015

Feliz Cumpleanos!!

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!! I know it's a little late, but just wanted to wish you a happy birthday from the DR! I love you so much and am so grateful for all that you so for me and the family. Thank you for making the decisions that you made because thanks to you, I have the opportunity to be here, serving a mission in the Dominican Republic. I hope you had a great day!!

And as for everyone else, thank you for the emails!! And happy belated valentines day!! And yes, we do celebrate valentines day here. These people find every opportunity they get to have a party :) and boy, do they party! For valentines day, it was quite an interesting day. My comp and I both bought some chocolate the day before :D and ate some in the morning. Then we did service. First, we went and helped one of our investigators do laundry for her work.She's a maid in a house and when we went there, we met the daughter of the family she works for ... aka, potential future investigator. she's only 14, so we're going to pass by during the week when the rest of her family is home, but she's super cool. Then, we cooked for one of the family's in the ward. We were supposed to do that early, but we forgot ... so when they called us, we left immediately and cooked for the family. ... aka 11 people! we made fried chicken with mashed potatoes and they all said that we liked it. It was a little stressful at first, but me and Hermana Nazaire could just laugh cause we had almost no idea what we were doing! hahaha but it turned out good, if not a little late! hahaha later that night, we helped hermana Diaz a little with her laundry and talked with them. Oh! Which reminds me...

We have 3 baptisms for the 7 of March! 1st, is Robert! He finally accepted his date and the way he told us, we were not expecting anything. we just passed by his house one day and said hi, and he invited us in. so we talked to him about random stuff and out of the blue just says, "I'm going to get baptized on the 7th." Yeah, it was so awesome! We had literally no idea what else to teach him or do for him other than baptism, so when he told us this, we were more than thrilled! haha, also, the Diaz family accepted! We went with them and put the date with them as a goal and almost immediately, Hermana Diaz told me that we need to change the date because she has her class that she's studying for and all that... but when we went back to them the other night, she told us "you know, the Lord put this date for us and I'm going to pray and have the faith that I will be ready for this day." It was amazing! Her husband, the first night that we put the date with them, he told us "I'm ready! I'm ready to be baptized! But I don't want to get baptized without my wife. But when she gives the word, we'll do it. If she says we'll get baptized tomorrow, we'll get baptized tomorrow. If she says next week, we'll get baptized next week." So it's just a matter of time. But they basically are members. Hermana Diaz even shared her testimony in fast and testimony meeting. We're super excited for the 7th of March, but now it's all in the Lord's hands. I know we're gonna have challenges, and a lot at that, but if it's the Lord's will, he'll help us. 

Anyway, that's about all for this week. I'm doing good here and loving the mission. I know I don't outright just say that every week, but I do love it and am trying to take advantage of every moment because I know that in 1 year, it'll all be a dream, which is really scary to think about. But I'm grateful for this opportunity I have to serve my Lord, my God and to share the testimony I have. And the scripture that says "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your Lord" is so true, as well as the phrase that the teacher is taught from her students. I know I'm a missionary and that I'm doing a lot of teaching, but it feels that I'm being taught more than I'm teaching! The Lord really does work in mysterious ways haha but I hope and encourage all that who are able, to serve missions. It's one of the greatest decisions one will ever make! 

Thank you all for your love and support. Love you all and take care! 

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, February 9, 2015

I got Swag :)

Hey guys! So yeah, just to answer some questions: Alliyah, yes, I have an hour to read and write emails. It's a little stressful, but it's kinda like 1 hour in the real world. Sometimes I print out all my emails so that I can read them all first and then write everyone in that one hour.    I'm sorry alliyah and ammon and dad and mom that I don't answer you all individually all the time, but know that I am thinking of you all all the time and that I really do appreciate the individual emails!  And mom, yes, we have 2 areas now combined into one huge area, but we only have a branch for both. It's really small, but there are some pretty strong members here that we are working with.

We are definitely working really hard here. Every day, we always have appointments, and if not, we have other people we can see. And the strange thing is that the Lord is continually putting people in our paths, every day! We have tons of work to do and for that, me and Hermana Nazaire are always tired, but always happy and having fun cause we got work! 

This past week, we found a family, kinda by chance. We were actually looking for another investigator and didn't know where her house was, so we asked this young lady that was standing on the street. We ended up talking to her about the church and got a return appointment with her. When we went back to teach her, her cousin joined her and the both of them listened to our lesson. It turns out that the young lady didn't live there, but her cousin (she's 14) told us that we could come back to teach her family! She was so excited for us to teach them! When we came back, yups, we taught her family! It was a very strong spiritual lesson and the family is great! It's a mother, father, and their 3 daughters. We are definitely excited to be working with them. Yeah, me and Hermana Nazaire may have been imagining their baptisms in our heads ... I know i know, it sounds silly to you all, but hey, it's the dream  of every missionary! hahaha nah, but we will see. I think they can progress a lot. 

We have a lot of people who have baptism dates as goals, but we'll see what happens. They are all for 28 of Feb and 7 of march. We are hoping and praying that they all prepare. Robert has a date for 7March and wow, this guy continues to crack me up! He's this short little Dominican, 21 years old, who is just a crack up! always cracking jokes and whatnot. And Raymond, his friend, doesn't help much lol the both of them together is asking for trouble! We did end up visiting Noelia  this past week and she's still the same. Sweet, awesome, loving and always thankful for the blessings that God has given her. But her situation with her family is still the same. 

Oh! Okay, so our mission leader is super cool. Another crackup.  He's 20 and every Sunday, we go to his house (we need to take a bus to get there cause it's really far) and teach or contact whoever is down there and usually he leaves with us. He's waiting for his mission papers to come back so he knows where he's going. And he's so prepared to serve! Anyway, so this past Saturday, we were walking down the street and he had on his sunglasses, bag, and was just strutting down the street with us. So I was like "Jhioly!" (that's his name) "I need you to say something in English".  He was like okay ... "I got swag." "wha.." "I got swag" So he said it and me and Hermana Nazaire just laughed! But we explained to him what Swag is and now, between the three of us, it's an inside thing. 

Well, that's about all for now! Oh, wait. there's one more thing I want to share. We have these things in our branch called "Noche de Amistad" or "Friend night." It's every week, when the ward members get together and bring friends or investigators and basically have a FHE night. It's pretty cool and I like it a lot! Yeah, not all the time investigators go, but it really does bring the members together. I'm not sure if we've tried that at home or if it's going on, but if anyone's interested, it's an idea. It's a nice casual way for people to get to know the members, outside of church, as well as what the church is like. Hermana Diaz, one of our investigators (idk if you remember her and the family, or if I talked about them), went once and loved it so much that she asked if she could have one in her house. So we had one in her house and since then, she's been a lot more comfortable with talking to the members and her and her husband have been coming consistently to church since that week! So it's just a thought. Never know what might happen.

Anyway, that's all for now. Sorry that it's a lot to read, but it's life in the DR for you! Thanks for all of your love and support and for all of your prayers. I love you all and will talk to you next week! And don't forget to smile! 

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, February 2, 2015

We’re the perfect two, yeah

Hey I'm still alive!  So, life in the mission. Yes, I have a pretty legit companion. Her name is Hermana Nazaire, and she is from the Bahamas. Her parents are from Haiti, but she grew up in the Bahamas with her mom. She can speak Creol, French, English, and now spanish :D she's crazy, but then again I am too so we make the perfect two! Lol the work here is progressing. We are still trying to figure out how to plan all this stuff out and boy, we got lots of work to do, but it's okay. I can assure you that we never don't have anything to do. We also have a cool ward mission leader. His name is Jhioly (pronounced Hioli), and he's preparing to go on a mission. He's awesome and is really working hard to help us two out. I didn't realize how much a ward mission leader does! 

We've been working our butts off like crazy this past week! We've visited a lot of people and a lot have potential to progress. We're going to try and give some people some baptism dates this week and we're going to see what happens. Hermana Nazaire has a lot of guys in her area who are super cool. One is Raymond, who's 18 and he says he wants to serve a mission in Hawaii.  He knows a lot about the church, but doesn't come to church every sunday because he has school. So that kinda sucks, but he's super cool and has had a lot of questions for us. His friend/neighbor, Robert, is also another one of our investigators. He's soooo awesome! Super intelligent and knows the bible really well, but every time he passes us in the streets, he's always got his motorcycle, wearing his shades, and smiling at us. super chill! As for Noelia, we haven't had the time to visit her this past week, but when Hermana Maltos said bye to her the last time we saw her, she cried. She was really sad to say bye to her. But I think she's doing good. She's seriously amazing and we are seriously just waiting for things to cool down with the family before she can get baptized because she is sooooo ready. 

So do you want to hear a crazy story? the other night we were walking out of our house and as I was locking the door, my companion started to say "No, please no, i don't want to see a naked man on my mission, I don't want to see a naked man on my mission!" I was like "What?! what are you talking about?!" She just kept repeating the words over and over. Then, as we were walking down the stairs, I see this chubby kid run by and I'm like "What the heck ..." and as I look closer, the kid is butt naked! He's like 5 or 6 and he runs through this group of little girls who start screaming! Ok, i know that the law of chastity is hard to live up to in this world, but it's not THAT hard! lol Me and Hermana Nazaire just start cracking up!! Next thing, the kid just starts sprinting back down the street and back down to his house ... i hoped... lol but yeah, it was so funny! Another funny story that happened was the night before that night. So we were walking down the street to visit someone when we see these kids come by on roller blades. Idk why, but all the kids here are roller blading now! It's really cool. sometimes, they grab onto the backs of their friends motorcycles and zip down the street, sometimes a group of them, holding onto each other. It's cool to watch! Anyway, there was a girl and a boy roller blading down the street. The girl was a lot more confident and sturdy, while the boy kinda struggled. So at one point, they decided to go down a small hill together (this all happened in front of us as we were walking). So the boy held onto the girls hips and down they began to go. All was going well until a few seconds later, the boy got all wobbly and, as he was about to fall, he wrapped his arms around the girls hips, then, gradually, slid down til he was holding onto her legs. BUT, did they stop? NOPE! The girl screamed and instead of falling, kept her balance and kept going down!! So all you see is this girl, roller blading, trying to hold her pants up, while dragging this boy down the hill with her!! It was soo funny!  After a couple meters rollerblading together like that, she finally fell. It was so hard for me to help her up without laughing. Oh, the DR ...

Anyway, life's good here! All the advice I have to give you guys this week is to look for a funny situation in this upcoming week. Life's rough, times are stressful, and sometimes I forget to laugh or smile. But with my new comp, I think that's going to change :D So smile! Laugh! And let me know about how the challenge went for you guys:D 

Thank you for your examples and for your love and support. I never forget you guys. How can I? i'm representing the Ho family and Hawaii here in the DR and I'm loving every moment! Love you all and take care! Have an amazing and fun week! 

Love, amor, y aloha,
Hermana Ho