Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Monday, May 25, 2015

My Week :D

Sorry, so you probably saw what my week was like this past week. It was super good and super fun :D My comp and I are doing good. Transfers are next tuesday, so we are going to find out what happens to all of us. I already know one thing that is going to happen to me. We went to visit my mission president to have a companionship study with him (he's so great! you'd understand dad. We just had a comp study sesh with him and it was super good and he's super cool) and he told me in person that I'm going to be a sister training leader next transfer. Don't know if they had those when you served dad, just cause the number of sisters I don't think was so big. But basically the sister training leaders are over a certain number of sisters, usually the ones in their zone. Kinda like zone leaders but not quite. ... hahaha of all the people to choose, the Lord chose me and well, I guess you can say I feel quite inadequate and pretty humbled. I don't know where I'm going next transfer or who my companion will be, but that will be my assignment next week. Yeah, I'm pretty scared, but pretty excited for this next adventure. 

I don't have much to write this week, but I sent a lot of pictures that I hope you all enjoy. I'm not really sure if I wrote about our investigators yet, but if I did, I'll just give you a little update.

This Saturday, we are going to have a baptism of Yuliana. She is a 28 year old woman who is very independent and has been visiting the church for two years. She kinda has a mental problem (meaning she's super intelligent and smart and can do everything on her own, but she just sometimes has moments when she acts like a young girl.) But she is going to be baptized this week! And she is stoked! Hopefully her baptism will open the door for us to teach her parents. 

We are also visiting with a lady named Carmen. She is in her 40s and has been taking the lessons for a while. We put a baptism date with her for this saturday, but we are thinking of postponing it because we didn't have too many opportunities to visit and teach her more of the lessons. but she is super sweet and she makes her own juice to sell. 

Moises is a 10 year old kid we are teaching that is so ready for baptism and has been taking the lessons and going to church with his grandma for a good year now! But his mom wants to wait for his dad to come before he can be baptized. The thing is, his dad lives in new york ... and we have no idea when he is coming. but we shall see :)

We also are teaching a family, the familia Ferrera. They consist of 2 parents and 3 kids, 2 boys, and 1 girl and they are pretty amazing! We've only taught them a couple of times, but they seem to be ready to hear the gospel. They actually found us. We were walking down the street one day, just talking in english and laughing when the dad called out to us and asked us where we are from. So we talked to them for a little and set up a return appointment and are now continuing to teach them. they are pretty cool :D

We also have this girl named Flor who we are teaching. She's very shy, but she seems to have interest in the church. There are some problems in her family that they are working on, (half are members), but we are hoping to be able to help her feel comfortable in church and gain a testimony so that she can feel ready to be baptized. 

Anyway, that's about all for now. Sorry that it's a little long, but this was my week :) There were tons of miracles that happen and that are still happening. Maybe you can see them in each email, maybe not. But the Lord is working miracles here in the DR and I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to see them all happen and hopefully help some of them happen. I hope you all have a great week and do lots of fun activities with the family! Just take some pics and enjoy the water for me! :D Love you all and take care!

Love, aloha, y amor, 
Hermana Ho

I got to drive my mission president’s car!  It’s super nice

Ask any of these three girls :D

Went to the mission office to speak with our mission president! It was a long ride there and I was super tired ... and we waited for a good while too. But it was a good time to take a few pics of us and of our beautiful office! (yeah, might've cleaned it with my comp while we waited ... we were a little bored.)

We got locked out of the house one day .... and our area is super far and we had to use the bathroom. So while we waited, we took some selfies ... don't mind us, it was after a long day and a long ride in the guagua (guagua means a long bus ride crammed with people in the heat, with the driver speeding and stopping ... yeah, it gets a little nausous in there ...)

From our rooftop ... we were still locked out of the house. So here you can see a little where live. Those black things are the tinacos I always talk about that store our water. Everyone has one here! And yes, i got bored again so I tried to be photographer. not bad, right?

yes, we were still locked out. And it was a long morning, if you can't tell hahaha

Played pictionary for our group missionary activity and it turned out pretty good. Not a lot of people came, but it was fun :)

Today for pday, we got together with some of our old friends in our zone, Elder Sauceda, from Honduras, and elder Herrera, from Guatemala. We just played uno, ate, and played some soccer. And then went out in the rain. Yes, those three girls have problems. And believe or not, I'm forced to live with them!! hahaha jk jk i love them all :D

Monday, May 18, 2015

Nothing's Ever What It Seems

Hey guys! First of all, a big shoutout to mom! Happy belated birthday! Sorry that I'm all the way out here on another island and can't celebrate it with you in person, but I was thinking about you! Thanks for being a great mom and for always looking out for me. Not only are you my mom but you are also my best friend who has done a TON for me! Thanks for all of the times you listened and guided me and helped me walk through this life. I love you so much and hope that you had a great birthday! This week or next week, I will be sending home a package to all of you. This is going to be something new, and the mission pays for this kind of thing, so don't worry. But you're all gonnna have to tell me if you got everything in one piece :D I'm excited for you to get it!

Not too many exciting things went on this week. Well, in other words, I should say, nothing new happened this week. Everything is an adventure, but sometimes I forget that somethings that might surprise you guys are just the norm for me for now. And Alana, thanks for your prayers. I've actually, surprisingly not gotten sunburnt. Just once or twice throughout my entire mission and that was only a little bit. And I'm glad you are feeling better! I hope it wasn't something super bad. It could be some kinda bacteria that's in your body, so make sure you drink lots of water to drain it all out. 

And Alliyah, to answer some of your questions, first of all, yes, my personal progress helped me. You know, you may not think about it until later, but as I look back, I think that it's one of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for later in life. Personal progress was the basics and the foundation of my own testimony. It helped me learn about the basics of the church and the first principles and ordinances of the gospel for myself and throughout college and up until this point in my mission, has maybe been the key to my testimony. A testimony isn't a huge thing, but when you look at it, it's definitely the foundation of my things. There's the scripture that says "By small and simple things are great things come to pass" and Personal Progress is definitely that small thing :) Also, it helps when you are trying to help the young women in the misison do their personal progress because you have your own experiences that you can share with them. And sweet ode by the way! I think it'll be great! Thinking of going into writing in your career?

And dad, yes, the power outage is normal here. Here we call electricity "light" or "luz" in spanish. Usually we have luz in the morning until 10am, then it come back on at 12ish sometimes, then goes, then come back at like 3 or 4 and stays on for the rest of the night. It was worse in our other house though. But in Hato Mayor, it was perfect :D like everything was in Hato Mayor :D And I'm working on smiling more. It's super hard though ...

Well, there really wasn't much that went down this week so I think I'll talk a little about the pics that I'll send. Thank you all for your emails, pics, and love! I'm so glad to be here in the mish and there really are so many miracles that happen here. I'll caption all the pics so you can get a glimpse into the adventure I'm taking right now. Sorry if I repeat some of them. Love you all!

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

So we lost water last week and found out it came. The only thing was that the bomba/water pump (the orange thing) wasn't pumping it to the roof where we store our water.  Then there wasn't any light, So we had to collect the water like this and fill up some buckets. Finally, when we had light, we took water bucket by bucket from this thing and hauled it up to the roof. yes, true manual labor. Good thing was had power cord or whatever dad calls it! :D

And yes, this is our washing machine, mom. Just fill it up with water, let it turn for a bit, then you have to hand rinse the clothes and put it in the little spinner on the right, which spins out all the water 

Don't know if you can see the difference between the new shoe and the old one ... but one has a hole and the other doesn't!

This is normal in the DR. Some dude riding on the back of a motorcycle, carrying this big glass window or something. Just another day in the mission life. 

This is a guagua, or a public bus. On a busy day, you will see these babies packed to the max, people standing and sitting on top of each other, stuffed all the way up to the door. 

The simple joys in life. The hamburger is what we call a chimi and is soooo delish! It's full of nice good stuff and is great to eat at the end of the day. Luckily we have a clean chimi place near our house. 

Then we have a dessert that we tried. It's basically no bake cookie mix over bananas. Gotta be healthy somehow. :D

This was in Hainamosa, the area before the area that I´m in. This man is Yiara's husband, and one of my favorites! He helped us a ton in this area!

Then this is me and my comp. Gotta love the polys here :D

And here we are eating at an ice cream place, sweet frog!

Monday, May 11, 2015


Yes it was super nice to talk to you guys! I'm so glad to see everyone is doing well. And I'm going to keep this one short so I can try and send some pics. But yes, I'm doing good :DSorry that I'm THAT awkward missionary now lol. But alls going good. Thanks for your examples for me and for your emails. And thanks for my plan mom!  But yeah, the interview thing ... was a joke. A stinkin joke from the office elders. I swear, they abuse their powers as assistants to the president lol :D But they're cool. I saw their number pop up on the phone, so when I answered, all I said was "I didn't do it! I swear, I didn't do it!" and that's when he said I had an interview. But he also called my companion and told her I had an interview, which is why we thought it was real! But it's all gee, Imma talk to him today, cause I'm going to the office ... stinker. 

Anyway, I'm going to try and send some pics now. And thanks for all of your stories and questions! Seriously, if you guys have stories, feel free to send them. I can't promise I'll respond back, but I can promise that I read every single one and think of them :D And dad, yes, I understand your mission stories now! It's weird you and grandma and grandpa didn't talk more about your missions. not saying that it's bad you guys didn't do it! But they're fun to hear. And you can bet I got a LOT of stories to keep you all up for days! :D hahaha well, that's all for now. Love you all and talk to you later! 

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Me & the Hato Mayor sisters together again!

Me & the Temple
(yes, they straightened my hair.  Well, Hermana Gingell really wanted to do it so I let her)

Not the best pic of me, but this is Junior and Yiara (Jara) from my other area who are so amazing and super cute :)

Some of the youth that I got to know and teach

Another cute couple who helped us out a lot in Hainamosa.

Reunited in Hato Mayor or the baptism of the familia Diaz.

The adorable family (only one of their 3 kids)

The family Diaz and all the missionaries that went, who at one point taught them :)

Monday, May 4, 2015

And I'll Never Be The Same

Hey guys! So idk if I told you, but I did receive the package of crocs and I love them! They are super comfy :) Thanks for the snacks too! I loved receiving the package and I seriously do appreciate all the time, love, effort, and money that is put into each one. THe only sad part is that my crocs are already dusty and dirty ... we live in a dusty area and are walking like crazy everywhere! And thanks for the spiritual upliftment mom (that's a word right?). Seriously, I appreciate hearing the talks and lessons that you all learn because it's interesting. You don't know exactly what I'm going through, I don't know what exactly you're going through, but yet we still receive the spiritual and emotional nourishment that we need from each other. The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways. Needless to say, I'm rolling through the punches a little too. I realized that I'm losing my smile (I have a legitimate excuse for that one, I promise! Sometimes people take a smile the wrong way here in the DR ... if you know what I mean. Idk if you remember what a freco is? Basically creeps and flirts put into one. Yeah, I try to smile, but if I smile too much, well ... but don't share this info with anyone haha) and just surviving. But in reality, like you said, it's only for a minute. So we should be thriving! And I'm STOKED to talk to you guys this Sunday. We are going to try and work something out, but for now, I think 7pm here or 1pm Hawaii time would work out best if that's okay. You guys will probably get a phone call from my companion, Sister McFarland, this week,  who will confirm the time with you. So if you get a phone call from a weird number, don-t be afraid to answer it! Hahaha 

And that's so great that you guys are helping people to come more unto Christ. It's not easy, trust me, but it never was easy for the Lord. When we ask people to come to church or to some activity, we are helping them in the process of repentance. I know that doesn't really make sense. It took me some time to figure that one out. But our missionary purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them received the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." So step by step, or as we say here, poco a poco, we help people come unto Christ. Remember, if they know we're mormon, it's not only our words that they listen to, but they also watch us and watch us closely. This past week, me and my comp were walking down the street, laughing and talking in English when someone in their house called out to us from the Patio and asked where we were from. As we started talking to him, his wife, and his two kids, turns out that the missionaries always passed down that street and said hi. ... but never stopped to teach them. But look at what the examples of those missionaries did for me and my comp: it provided an opportunity to share. In a couple of hours we are going to go back to that house and teach this family for the first time. We'll see how it goes. 

As for the title of this email, yeah, this is a time where I'm being tested more mentally than anything else and I can promise you that I will never be the same after this transfer. I love this area! There are amazing ward members who are more than willing to help us and come out with us and they are very excited for the missionary work. We are continuously finding people to teach through their efforts and ours. I hope that by the time that I leave this area, I'll have made a difference. We have two baptisms coming up! ONe is a 10 year old boy who has been going to church for about a year now with his grandma (who has been in the church for almost a year) and he has taken the missionary lessons before. So all we are doing is putting a date. This past week he has been talking about how he wanted to share his testimony in his baptism (he had gone to a child baptism and had seen that boy bear his testimony in his baptism). When I told him that he could share his testimony on Sunday (yesterday) and didn't need to wait until his baptism, he prepared his testimony and yesterday, presented it in front of everyone! It was great and I was so happy for him! And you should have seen his happy proud grandma :) The other baptism we have is a woman who is 28. She's super intelligent, graduated with some of the best grades in her class in college and is a sweetheart. The only problem that she has is that she has a mental condition. So although she is super smart and is changing her life to live the commandments, she is like a little child. innocent, sweet, and the way she talks and sometimes acts is like a little girl. So we need to talk with the presiding bishop of our ward to set up an interview and see what he thinks. Because we think she could be ready. 

So that's a little about my area. Physically, my area is different than any other area I've been in. I'm used to seeing either humble circumstances or well-to-do circumstances ... and here it's a huge mix of both. It's so confusing, but it's definitely putting my skills to the test! Haha From our house, because we don't have too much money and can't catch a ride in a little taxi all the time, we walk. And walk. And walk. It's about 30 minutes from our house to our area, and sometimes, when the person isn't home, or is a little farther, it's a good 45 minutes. There was one day where we just walked and walked for about 1.5 hours in the heat... it was definitely an "I appreciate cars and A.C." moment! But I love this area. We've had to change our teaching tactics to contact people and to teach, but I like it better this way :D We live in a cute little house and we ran out of water last week. Don't worry, we filled it up. Water is always a problem in this country. But in our area, it's not even a consistent problem. Water comes when it wants to, not when it should lol. So it's a little rough, but it's life now and I love it! No worries, if you guys have any questions, feel free to ask me on Sunday (dad lol). Seriously, just prepare a whole bunch so that I don't ramble on and on about nothing lol We can have like an interview sesh :D

Anyway, love you all! And for all the wonderful moms, thank you for all that you do! I realize that sometimes it's a sacrifice or trial to let your kids go to college or go on a mission or to another country, but thank you for doing it. we all love you and appreciate all you do for us. 

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho