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,