Thursday, September 29, 2016

Week 2 at the CCM

Hello family and friends!

I have made it to week 2 here at the CCM!  Things are going well.  I am getting more accustomed to the strict schedule so time is starting to go faster!  The language continues to progress, but this past week has been a little hard.  The first week is a very steep learning curve so now I don't think I am progressing as fast, but I do understand more and more, the problem is trying to respond!

Friday- We got to leave the compound again! Yipee!! We got to go to the store to buy some things that we needed.  The Elders mostly just bought a ton of american candy and snacks, while the sisters bought lotion, hair stuff, pretty typical things.  I did buy some dominican chocolate that my teacher says was really good and well... it's not very good at all.  It tastes like the baking cocoa and is not creamy.  They also had a candy bar that has raisens and peanuts in it-kind of weird to me.  But it's a good thing that they do sell American chocolate so all will be well!  The store was very similar to a walmart here so nothing too foreign yet!

I also had my interview with the MTC President later that evening where he just asked me some basic questions to get to know me better.We also taught the restoration lesson for the 5th time that week because we all just couldn't get it very well.  But on Friday night we all taught it simply and you could understand us so Hermano Martinez, our teacher, was very proud.  We even got to play a game the last hour as a reward!

Saturday I memorized the first vision in Spanish.  We had to memorize our objective, the first vision, and the baptismal inviation so I finally finished doing so.  Hermana Jones, one of my roommates, told me that I was speaking Spanish in my sleep, so that's a good sign I think.  She said she couldn't really understand all that I was saying but hey at least it was Spanish!  At the end of prayer meeting President Madsen showed us a picture of how it snowed in Utah!  I miss the snow.  While it is considered fall here it is still like 90 degress with 80-90% humidity-so hot!!!

Sunday's are still the best days.  We talked about Charity and Love.  I encourage you all to read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.  It is a great chapter on charity.  In my study I read 1 Nephi 19:9, which reads, "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wehrefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it.  Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.  I had such a sweet and grateful spirit when I read that verse because Christ loved us and His Father so much that he suffered so much persecution.  He never talked ill of anyone and loved them.  We also watched the Resoration movie, which I loved!  Joseph Smith had such trust and faith in God that he suffered so much persecution and so much loss as well, but he knew that what he was doing was important.  I know Joseph Smith was called as a phophet by God and that he restored the true gospel on the earth.

The next couple days just blurred together, but I have a couple funny experiences.  Elder Barker, one of the elders in my district from Indiana is pretty much the class clown.  He goes over to the other districts room a lot and moves around all the time; so Hermano Martinez got a strap/seat belt type thing and strapped him to the chair.  What makes it even funnier is that the Elders have a game that if you say the word "mine" you have to do 10 pushups.  Elder Barker said the word a couple times so he had to do pushups with the chair strapped to him.  We were all laughing!  
One day at lunch we had OCTOPUS!  Yes, like an octopus stir fry thing.  I tried it to be adventerous but it was not good and I lost my appetite.  I've had raw octopus before in Japan and that was better than the cooked octopus.  I would be okay with not having that again.
On Wednesday we watched the Missionary Training that aired in January.  It was a great training that taught us all a lot.  Some of the things I like most were Neil L. Andersen said to always have Christ's name on your lips and if you don't have anything to say always testify of the Savior.  Elder Bednar talked a lot about having the Holy Ghost as the teacher and having it testify of the truthfulness of our message to people.  Devotional after devotional it is reiterated that the Holy Ghost is the teacher and that we much teach people not lessons.  We need to listen and be attentive to what our investigators need.
Every Thursday is our P-day and we always get to go to the temple for 4 hours.  It's really an amazing opportunity to be able to do that.  The temple here is the only one in the Carribbean so we are very blessed to be able to go.

Life is good here.  Tomorrow on our schedule it says that we will be going out contacting-already.  I don't really know how to carry on a conversation that well, but I know the Lord will help me!

I love you all and I hope everything is going well!  God loves you!

Hermana Steed

Sunday, September 25, 2016

First week in DR!!

We got to the Dominican Republic safe and sound! It was a long day but I got some sleep on the plane. The DR is beautiful and green and very different! Its really flat too. I came with a lot of other sisters and elders-most of us met in Salt Lake and then we picked up more in New York. There are 38 of us total coming today and only 10 here so 48 total-small MTC.  Most of us are staying in the DR with most going to the West mission. We have a couple going to Trinidad and Barbados and then one going to Puerto Rico.  Most everyone is staying for the six weeks! There are only about 46 of us in the whole MTC which is fun because we get to know everyone really well.

The mission is good, just really hard and we are on a very tight schedule right now.  I really like my companion, Hermana Neff, and all the sisters here so that's been a blessing. One of the sisters hung up a banner for my birthday- she is so sweet. The food is lots of meat that we don't ask questions what it is we just eat it.  We don't get out a lot, but it has been good so far. We had the opportunity to go to the Santo Domingo Temple with my district. I room with seven other girls and we basically sit in a classroom all day, studying and learning.

My p-day's will be on Thursday's so wish me well!  I hope you all are doing just fantastic! I miss you all like crazy!

Hermana Steed

Hermana Neff and I at the Santo Domingo Temple