Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Monday, March 30, 2015

He is Risen!

Happy Easter! I just got your package today(we went to the mission office today so I got to get my package a little early. I'll explain later)!!! Thanks so much for all of the treats and you can bet that there were many missionaries who greatly enjoyed them. some might've been a little jealous about my cute and adorable family who comes up with these great ideas :) Thank you! 
Anyway, dad, to answer some of your questions. Let me just give you a basic overview of a PDay here. So, I know you said you started working on everything the night before.... idk if you had the mission manual in your mission ... or if you're too old for that ... hahahaha jk jk I love you! But I don't start my Pday until the next day. I wake up, sometimes we start cleaning right away, sometimes we do the daily exercise. Then, we clean the house, get ready for the day, and after our studies, we go and print out our emails, shop, and then do whatever we want. Today was a little different. So, our phone got stolen last night (someone reached in through our window and took the phone right off the dresser. I know dad, it was stupid and we shouldn't have left our phone where someone could get it. But sometimes, we just are too tired or worried about other things to worry about that. sorry :). so we called our leaders and they told us that we could come by the office today and pick up a new phone. So ... we missed our zone activity to go to the office ... we waited for a guagua (dominican bus) for about 30 minutes before we finally got on one, then took the 1.5hour trip to the office in that. When we got there, we got our phone and also got to talk to the office missionaries who work there and I got my package! It was nice to be in AC in this heat. Then, after we left we were hungry and our money in our mission accounts hadn't come yet. So we couldn't shop for this week's food (we'll probably have to do that tomorrow), and so we decided to eat out at a place called "Happy Hour Zhou." It was the closest restaurant we could see. And here's a little taste of dominicans. We walk inside and it's a nice restaurant with American decorations, "chinese" food, and mexican music. .... I'm just gonna say that Dominicans love to mix and match things and I've learned to just go with it and enjoy it hahaha Ok guys, if my memory is correct, chow fun is noodles, right? I ordered chowfun ... and got a huge plate of rice. hahahhaha it was super good, but I guess dominicans mixed and matched up a little too much this time hahahaha hna mcFarland ordered chowmein (which, if my memory serves me correctly, is also a type of noodles) and got these wontons instead of noodles! Hahahaha we couldn't help but laugh! But it's okay. we had "Chinese Food" in a fancy restraunt so that was different. Our first restaurant outing!! (unless you count burger king, cause those are restaurants here). Then another guagua ride back here where I almost died cause the driver had road rage ... and the passengers supported his cause hahaha aiyaiyai ... all I can say about this place is "oh the DR ..." 
Anyway, so that was a typical Pday and today's pday. oh and dad, we don't have screens. idk why, of all the countries, this country should have them! But the majority have fancy looking bars over them. all the homes. our house is lucky to have loovers. but our house is super hot right now and we don't always have sufficient electricity to wash our clothes, neither do we have water all the time. So we talked with the office and are looking for a new house right now. we'll see how it goes. As for our generator, we don't have one. well, maybe that's what "inversedor" translates into. idk. but we use the inversedor for backup power, but it doesn't power our fridge or washer. And if you remember Hermana Hernandez from Christmas (the other Mexican I lived with and who talked to you on the phone), I'm living with her again :D and with another american named Hermana Gingell (who is hilarious!) and then me and my comp. When I get the chance, I'll send pics. But for now, I don't trust this computer place. It's kinda ghetto ...
Well, There's too much to tell you guys about and not enough time. Time drags here, but looking back, it flies all in one. As for investigators, we don't have any progressing. that means reading the BOM, coming to church, completing compromisos ... I think that means commitments. yeah. this area is not like Hato Mayor and has taken me out of my comfort zone. But let me tell you the positives. My companion and I work very well together, as friends, missionaries, members, poly sisters I love here:D The members here are amazing and are a wonderful help to us every single week. We did have a baptism this past Saturday. Her name is Marleiny and she's a little shy, but she agreed to bare her testimony at the baptism, which she did and although it was short, you could see the light shining in her eyes, especially when she was confirmed the next day :) Also, we have 2 new investigators with a lot of potential. One day, we were walking down a street we'd never walked down before and this guy called out to us and asked us if we had pamphlets. I said yes and asked if he wanted one, and he said yes, so i gave one to him and explained who we were and what time church was at and where the chapel was. I didn't think much of it and I didn't want to just right out contact him because he was with a group of friends and i wasn't sure if that was juice or beer in his cup. So we walked away. That sunday, in the gospel principles class, I was sitting there when these two guys walk in and ask for a sister Ho. Yups, it was the guy that contacted me! His name is Juan and the friend he brought with him is Wilber. They had come at 8am and stayed til 11! If there's one thing you should know, no one comes to church at 8, someitmes not even the members! But these two contacts were there at 8!! So have have begun teaching them and they seem to have sincere interest. They so far have soaked up every word we've said and although they didn't come to church this past sunday (Juan hurt his knee and can't walk too well), I think they have a lot of potential. 
So that's about it for this week. I hope that this saturday and sunday, we can all have a great general conference and that we can remember that Él Vive, He lives. Remember "The Gift" project that was during christmas time? Well, they are continuing with that and instead, it's "Because He Lives" ... well that's what it means in spanish. There is a video up again too with that title and I invite you guys to watch it and share it. But it doesn't stop there. The purpose of this project is to invite others to come unto Christ and this time, it's to invite them to general conference. So, my family and friends, I invite you to share this video with someone (in person, because sharing through FB is just too easy ;) and invite them to watch conference WITH you (not by themselves online, because that would just be too easy as well ;) I know it's hard. trust me, sometimes my tongue gets tied up in Spanish. But the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. And we should try to invite every one of those souls to return to Him. Christ lives, not only for us, but for those who have yet to discover him or to accept Him. 
I love you all and thank you for your love and support in every way. Take care and have a happy easter and general conference sunday!! 
Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, March 23, 2015

It’s Hard To Believe That I Couldn’t See...

Dad, thanks for the offer for the shower, but me and hermana Fletcher tried that a long time ago (her mom sent her one) and it didn't work to well, especially with my hair, if you know what I mean lol. I got too much of it and there wasn't enough of a force in the water to wash it all lol as for the headlamp, i should be ok. we have an inversedor, like a ... generator, but not a generator ... that gives us light 24,7. but recently, a lot of our leaders have been talking to us about emergency preparedness so I think something is coming our way. if you have any advice of what more I can put in my 72 hour kit, that'll be good, but I basically have everything that we would put in our kits in our house (when we'd do it as a family). But if you have any cool tricks that'll be helpful, let me know!! :D

Also, thank you for the package! Oh man, my birthdays just get better and better each year! Thanks mom and dad for letting me come to a tropical island for my birthday! It's beautiful and so relaxing! Man, i love just sitting in the house in A.C. eating chocolates all day, and talking to the dominicans. hahaha jk but really thanks for sending me to a tropical island. It is one of the best gifts I could've ever received! And the package! wow, let's just say that my comp and I are stoked. I think I'm going to teach my district a little about haole brownies this thursday ;) i almost cried, yeah. But for my birthday, my roommates are amazing! The day before, we had a zone meeting, so I had the embarrassing privilege of getting happy birthday sung to me. I share a birthday with an elder too who’s super cool! he's my zone leader and his name is Elder McCombs. Then afterwards, Hna McFarland took me to a room and when she opened the door, I got balloons in my face and horns honked and a big "happy birthday!" haha my district surprised me (quite literally) with a surprise birthday party and they even had a cake which Hna Hernandez and Gingell made in our own house without me knowing! It was a great birthday :) and then the night before my birthday, they secretly decorated the house. I would send pictures of all of these things, but I'm scared to do it because the place where we are at, hna. hernandez said that she tried to send home pictures but when she plugged in the memory card to the hardrive, it wiped out her pics from her memory ... soooo i'm not going to take any chances. but it was an amazing birthday. Then that night, we went to have a FHE with a family and they all sang a birthday song to me ... idk which one it was cause i've never heard it before hahaha but yeah. it was a wonderful one.

The past couple days have been a little rough. We don't have a lot of progressing investigators, some people blamed us for things that they think we didn't do, but we actually did, tons weren't home, and we've received a lot of overwhelming responsibilities from the ward which I don't know if it's our responsibility to accept and do, as missionaries. But, so is the missionary life. I turned a lot to the general conference talks, scriptures and prayer. It's kinda a hard adjustment for me here, still, but it's okay. It's a part of the change that I need to make to become better and the Lord knows what i need. As for the title of this email, yes, it's from high school musical. One, because Hna Gingell sings a lot of high school musical and this song especially (hahahaha i love her so much! If you guys get to see her in may, she is hilarious!) and two, because I did see something knew that i missed. I read an article in the General conference issue from this past conference titled "The Lord has a plan for us" by Elder Godoy i believe and it was really really good! It's made me look at my patriarchal blessing in a whole different way! So, I invite you all to read that talk and if you don't have a patriarchal blessing, to get one asap. If you do, read it and see what you can do or need to do to change your life to receive the promised blessings that are in there. I just wrote down what I can do this morning and it's amazing at the revelation or new insights you can receive.

Anyway, this is all for know. I love you all and know that you are in my prayers every day. I think of everyone often and whatever opportunity I get, I share Hawaii and it's people with my friends and family here in the DR. Thank you for everything and have a great week!

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, March 16, 2015

Change All My Acts to Serve Thy Ends

Ahhhhhh!! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! I loved it! hahaha and my housemates and companion definitely want to meet dad now. hahaha  We might've laughed a little too hard. Man dad, you just get a little crazier each year!  Well, then again, so does Ammon ... and Alliyah ... and Alana... hahaha and some loco people in the ward. awww, but seriously, thanks guys! I really do appreciate it! I loved it so much! Can you believe that i'm going to be 20?! It's kinda scary, but I can't think of a better way to spend this year other than on an exotic island :) ... granted, I can't celebrate it at any of the beautiful beaches that they have, but that's okay :) I'm not crying. but I did get a tan! 

Yes, dad, our mission president was pretty desperate to put two poly sisters together. But she's amazing. She reminds me a lot of Makana Hallums, who just left on her mission. The two are so much alike! I love her so much :) ph and she's samoan. She lived in samoa for a little bit to take care of her grandparents and I believe her dad is from New Zealand.  I can't say that we have had the easiest days here in Hainamosa this past week, but it has definitely been nice to have someone to talk to and laugh with during this time. I'm not gonna lie, Hainamosa is not Hato Mayor (my old area), in many ways. I really miss my old area. But i'm looking forward to what the Lord has in store for me in this new area. The ward members and especially the bishop are really excited about doing missionary work. Elder Holland just visited this area (no, I didn't see him, sadly) and idk what he said, but they are very excited to work with us now so we'll take advantage of that. This area is HUGE!!! I know I said Hato Mayor was huge, but I think this place is bigger... and luckily, we have members who have cars so they can drive to the appointments with us. 

And I can't believe that everyone is returning home! Yes, time does fly ... I'm almost half way done in the mission and NO NOT trunky hahaha I'm at the point where I’m about accustomed to the mission life and I cant really see myself going home. And be careful, before you know it, those three men that came home are going to be engaged!! Hahaha there's a lot of missionaries from this mission who are engaged ... and I heard my cousin Wesley is engaged too!  It's okay, I give all my family and friends permission to get married while I'm on the mission, as long as I can at least have a picture of their spouse!! lol 

Sorry that I don't have a lot to write about this week. well, I have a few crazy things I could tell you. 1)I get to bucket shower in the mish!  I know I've had some ghetto bathroom experiences, but this one beats them all I believe. For that, all I can say is "OH, the DR ..." Don't ask how long it takes to wash my hair like that haha. Oh and our shower is even more ghetto because the drain doesn't work, so you have to shovel the water into the bucket when you're done and empty it into toilet or the sink. Oh yes, it's a party. 2) Our house is green. Yes, two shades of green to be more exact. Outside and inside. My room is a cream color and the bathrooms are blue. Yes, "oh the DR..." 3) The members are amazing. Our relief society president drives like a maniac, but she’s awesome.  4) We have almost no light in our house aka no electricity. So washing our clothes is a whole other adventure here.  haha you have to just have faith ... lots of faith. hahaha 

So that's that for you. I’m still adjusting to living here hahaha. Thus the title. But I’m also adjusting to the people here. They are very different and I feel sometimes that I'm not wanted in the house of some of our investigators (the sister before me had 6 months in this area and now she's in my old area). So I'm literally trying to change a ton of stuff so that I can serve the ends of my Savior. Easier said than done. But I'm changing :) 

Thank you all for your love and support and for the birthday wishes! I love you all and love reading all about your lives back home. I pray for you all every day and love you all ... yes, even my crazy dad. hahahaha have a wonderful week!

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, March 9, 2015

This Week's Pics :)

Robert BEFORE...

Robert AFTER...
with his future wife (he just doesn't know it yet)

Me and my district

Me & my companion

Us after the baptism, celebrating by eating hurricane popcorn :D

Us the Sunday after

And our mission leader, practicing riding his bike to prepare for the mission.  He's so great!

It's All About Robert

So before I jump into everything, just want to verify some things. Mom, for the meetings, for those who live closer to the capital, they get mail every week cause the office is closer. As for me, I live farther and we have meetings every first, third, and sixth week of transfers, where we get our mail. and the dates vary, so it's ok. This week, I'm going to zone meeting, so I should get the package. Thank you!! :D And thanks for your spiritual insights mom and dad. I'm sorry I can't comment or respond on everything, but I really do enjoy reading your emails and try to apply them in the mission. God blessed me with some pretty awesome parents :D And I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to be faithful worthy members in the church and worthy to attend the temple. Thanks for making the choices you made so that I can be here. i'm seeing just exactly how the choices of parents affect their children, and I just gotta say that the choices you both made up until now are amazing and I'm am soooo eternally grateful for them and for you both now :D Love you all!

So this past week, Robert got baptized!! Only Robert, the Diaz family said that for sure they are getting baptized. They are going to pick their date though ... little by little with these guys ...But ROBERT GOT BAPTIZED!!! I've only known this guy for about 6 weeks, but in these 6 weeks, he's become one of my best friends. And if you know Robert, he's this small little bunch of energy haha and he was so excited to get baptized! His parents were excited too because his dad bought Robert a white shirt and black pants and nice new church shoes. When we went to his house the day of his baptism in the morning, just to visit, Robert had his hair done and was all shaved and everything. He never wears anything but a polo shirt and pants, even to church. But when he came to his baptism ... me and Hermana Nazaire almost screamed cause he was a changed man!! I got some pics to prove it!! As we were waiting for people to arrive, we asked Robert if any more of his family are coming (only his parents came and he has 2 brothers and a sister) and his response was "I don't know when they'll come, if they'll come today, tomorrow, or next week. But it doesn't matter, because my baptism is more important!!" Haha I love this guy and am going to miss him so much. But he was baptized and confirmed the next day. Our mission leader baptized him and it was his first baptism too in a way :D

Robert is amazing. And there's been so much i've learned from him. one, to study the scriptures. he reads the bible at breakfast and dinner time, sometimes lunch. So we challenged him to read the BOM at the same time too. And he did it! And is still doing it. And he doesn't plan on changing. Another thing I've learned from him is charity. This guy, I'm not sure how he finds the time, but he always is helping out his family and neighbors. They live in a little group of small homes and he's always in and out and babysitting and everything for them. And third, this guy has taught me faith. He told us that the Friday night before his baptism, he prayed from 2am to 4am. Idk what it was about, but he did it. Whenever he has doubts or questions, he turns to prayer and the scriptures and nothing else. Sometimes he believes us when we tell him what is right and wrong, but most of the time, he turns to the Lord.

okay, so I realize it might sound like I'm in love with this guy. But I'm not. It's like how a prophet in the Book of Mormon said, I do not boast of myself, but of my God, for He is greater than all. And I agree. I rejoice in my God and the change that Robert has made for God. Not for me, not my companion, but for the Lord. And through Robert, I can see the Lord working in him. It was amazing. I've learned so much from this guy and I'm really really really going to miss him because ...

I'm getting transferred. Yes, after 4 wonderful amazing months in Hato Mayor, I'm going to move very far away to a place called Heinamosa. And my companion is someone I knew from one of my other districts. Her name is Hermana Macfarlend and i'm excited to work with her. We're going to be the poly power over there, cause I believe she's samoan or tongan from Utah. I'm sad to leave, but happy and I know the Lord has plans for me. I'm really going to miss Hermana Nazaire too ... i never had a night where I went to bed discouraged with her cause we were always laughing and joking around. But it's okay. With change comes good stuff, especially in the mission. 

Anyway, that's about the update for now. Later I have to go home and pack (i have so much stuff ... maybe even a mini christmas tree from an awesome aunty ...), and tomorrow I leave Hato Mayor. but, just gotta keep your head up!

Love you all and thanks for your love, support, and prayers for the missionaries. i hope that all is well back home too and that the missionary work is progressing! Have a great week!

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, March 2, 2015


Some pics from this past week. In our district meeting, we had a little luncheon with the elders. Me and Hermana Nazaire made fried chicken, juice, and cornbread for this occasion and then we played Uno after. it's very different playing that in spanish, but it was nice to touch cards again.

We had independence day this past friday and took some pics of a part of our area. Believe it or not, this is only one city of the 5 to 10 we have lol and yes, they are about this big. Oh, and also, to celebrate, these people dressed up like in Halloween costumes to go to "carnival" ... idk what that is exactly, but someone also dressed up this cute little dog hahaha his shirt says "soy dominicano" which means, I'm dominican. 

I'm Walking on Sunshine

So, it's getting hotter and hotter over here :'( it's more like I'm walking in Sunshine ... all shiny from sweat.  Really sad, but all is well. 

I'm doing okay dad, to answer your question. Physically, just tired all the time, but I think you know, it's the norm in the mission ;) Spiritually, the best I've ever been! And mentally, well, it's always a roller coaster. But I'm learning and realizing the amount of control I have over my thoughts and emotions. I surprise myself sometimes. Financially, well, since you're asking ... lol jk, i'm good. And my comp is amazing. She's a great example for me and inspires me every day to change and become a better person. 

So over here, not much went on this past week, thus more pics (for you mom lol). But this saturday, we have the baptism of Robert! I sent a couple of pics with him in it. But he's so cool and he told us that he's not getting baptized for anyway. Only if it's something the Lord wants him to do and if he (robert) feels like it's something he needs to do. So yay! It's only him this saturday. But the familia Diaz said that they are going to get baptized too! It's a sure thing now. But they are going to put their own date and time as to when. I'm excited for them. we are working with quite a few families here, and so it's great for me to see the changes they make. They are all in different stages of the conversion process, some starting, some looking, some discovering and I think that's one of the greatest blessings and miracles in the mission. The change. It's something we all need, and sometimes don't realize we do (or maybe don't) have or need to work on. What we change, how we change, and for who we change is up to us. My comp and I were talking about how if we focus all of our lives, every minute of every day on the Lord, it's so much easier to feel the spirit. Thus, missionaries and our "spiritual high." Yet our every day lives after the mission are the hardest. Why? because of the changes we need to make. But imagine how much more spiritual we can be if we try and focus every minute of every day of our lives in Christ. It's hard, I know, but if we try, what will we change? With everything the Lord asks of us, there are promised blessings. some not on this earth, but like Ammon said in his talk, some come later, sometimes in the eternities. I know as we become more spiritually minded and focus our eyes on the "sun"/Son of God, we will change for the better and will live our lives growing more spiritually. 

That's all for now. I love you all so much and thank you for all of your support that you have given me, through prayers, packages, words, examples, everything! Love you all and take care!

Love, Aloha, And Amor,
Hermana Ho