Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 1 in the field!

Hello family and friends! It feels as though it has been forever. But all is well here in the DR. I am in a town called Yamasa. This is pretty much as campo as it gets, but more on that later.

Tuesday morning at 7:30 we left to go to the mission home. Our president picked up the sisters and we drove about 10 minutes to the mission home. First we had interviews. The interviews were different than I thought.  Mostly he just skimmed over my profile and read some parts aloud and he said some things that Bishop and President Parrish said about me. It was good to hear that people have confidence and hope for me.  But it was only about 7 minutes. My president is very kind and very in tune with the Spirit. Everyone has said he is apostle material, which I can totally see. His wife is also very sweet but she is very into health so we get lectured a lot about health and cleaning, which is a good thing. After interviews we went into the chapel and had orientation where president’s wife talked to us. Then President talked to us about success in the mission. Our goal is to have 300 baptisms in one month but there are specific things that we are told to do one is have exact obedience so we do that!  After we had lunch with everyone, then we got our companion assignments.
Hermana Andersen and I

My companions name is Hermana Andersen. She is awesome. She is from Declo, Idaho. But she was born and lived in American Falls until she was 8. She is 19 and has only been in the mission field for 2 transfers!  She didn’t know Spanish before but speaks very well. She was shocked to hear that she was training, but here we are. The Lord must have a lot of confidence in us. After we got all our stuff and got in a taxi to travel to Yamasa.  We are one of the furthest areas away. It took us 2 hours from the mission home.  Once we got out of the city it was a beautiful drive, I am pretty much in the jungle.  

The street we live on.
We live in a little apartment on the second floor, but it’s not really an apartment building more just a house with 2 houses in it one on bottom one on top. The first night we just dropped my bags off and went to work. The past couple of days we have taught lessons and met lots of members. Some people I can understand much better than others and some I can’t understand at all, but it gets better each and every day. Right now I just share scriptures, bare my testimony, and pray. We have a few investigators, but are looking for more so we are having a little more difficult of a time.  We are the only missionaries out here so just us 2 in the house.

The food is the same pretty much everywhere, rice, beans, chicken avocado and plantains. But we make lunch every day and sometimes we do American meals so we can have a break. We don’t usually eat dinner because we just aren’t hungry and sometimes we get snack or meals at members’ homes.

Thursdays are our zone and district meetings. We have to travel an hour to get there but there are actually 2 elders from my mtc district in my zone so it was nice to see a familiar face.  

Sunday we had stake conference so we traveled an hour and then attended the conference.  As a zone we sang as missionaries at the conference so that was fun.

Dominicans are very loud and everyone in Yamasa rides like motors or a version of motorcycles and they are very loud and people blast their music here, but it is a fun environment.  Very few people have cars.

Houses of people vary. Some have nicer homes but no AC anywhere. I am pretty much just getting used to the fact of being wet all the time. It is so hot. It has rained a couple of times and then it cools off. Its funny when it rains because then no one is outside because they get sick easily because their bodies aren’t used to the coldness of the rain, but really it’s not even cold. People here are always outside, they don’t sit in their houses very often because it gets so hot, it’s better to be outside in the open. Everyone just has plastic lawn chairs. Most of the houses here are just cement walls with cement floors and then a vaulted tin roof that was put on. The houses are very small, the people really don’t have much here. I really am blessed to have what I have.

Education is really valued here. There are tons of schools and everyone hangs their diplomas and their kids’ diplomas in their houses. The people are very kind and they have actually been complimenting me on my Spanish and they say I will learn fast. I sure hope so.

Leaving the MTC was hard. I grew so close to the people there, but we are all doing well. The mission is hard, but awesome and I just can’t wait to be able to speak the language, but all in due time!

A spiritual thought to leave you with is Elder Holland said, we are Gods investigators, do not walk away from Him.  Keep being strong and believe in Christ. A scripture to leave you with is Mosiah 7:33- Heavenly Father is always there to help you if you keep his commandments.

Thanks for all you love and support!  I am so grateful for you all.  Love and miss you!

Hermana Steed
The Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Temple
Picture before we left for the field!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 5!! I'm almost out of the CCM!!

Hello again family and friends,

I am onto the last week here at the CCM.  It has gone by so quickly and I can't believe I'm almost going to be doing actual missionary work!

But this past Friday we all got to go out and be companions for an afternoon with missionaries in the field.  I went and I mostly just stayed in  the city but we went and taught 2 lessons and then contacted.  There was lots of walking and sweating but it was really great!  Here the cheapest transportation is what they call a carrido.  It is a really beat up, small car and people just pile in.  When you would normally fit only 5 people they fit 8 or 9 so that's fun and sweaty, but it gets us around.  Teaching was fun but also overwhelming because I really don't understand what exactly is going on-i get the main point but when the investigator asks questions I have no idea, they speak so fast here.  So I mostly just stuck with praying and bearing my testimony; starting nice and simple.

Some of the Sisters I am with when we
walked around the weird park here
I will be leaving the CCM on Tuesday Oct. 25!

My spiritual thought for this week is actually some quotes from a song that I shared when I taught Relief Society this past Sunday.  The song is called "One Voice" by Dustin Gledhill and here are a couple of lines:

"I am just one voice, but one voice can still be heard
One, but not alone a thousand voices sing
He was just one voice, but one voice that changed the earth
Hermana Howard and I on this weird teeter totter.  She is from
Houston, Texas and will be going to the East Mission as well!
Teaching love and peace to a lost and dreary world."

Every Sister in my room loves this song and I do too!  Even though I am just one voice I can still make an impact but of course only through faith and the Holy Ghost.  This message goes along with a scripture D&C 100:5-6.  I invite you to read it and remember that you all can be missionaries!

Love you all!  Next week hopefully my emails will be a lot more interesting!

Hermana Steed

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Week 4 in the CCM!!!

Hola Amigos y Familia,

I just want to let you all know that I really am enjoying my time here at the CCM.  I am blessed to be here with the people that I am.  We have all had the opportunity to grow close and go through similar things together.  There are lots of laughs that go around while we work on our language and teaching skills.

Typical lunch: rice, beans, two kinds of
meat, and lots of fruit.
The big event that happened this past week was we went contacting at the local university.  Pretty much we walked to the university our teacher gave each companionship a couple Books of Mormon and some pamphlets on the Restoration then they turned us loose.  We really didn't know what we were doing, but we seemed to hand out quite a few pamphlets and both of our Books of Mormon.  The people were really nice even if they did reject the message, so I'm just glad they are kind people!  After we were there for about an hour and a half our teacher took us to Krispy Kreme.  It was in this one part of town where there are quite a few American food places, which is the nicest part of town.  To cross the street they have traffic cops all around and even if you are 20 feet from a crosswalk they will just jump in from of traffic and let you cross.  The traffic here is insane-no rules!

Many people have asked about the food here.  In the CCM it is pretty good and somewhat normal.  Every day for lunch we pretty much have the same thing: rice, beans, and two types of meat and lots of fruit.  They don't eat a lot of vegetables here-we mostly just have salad.  This week we got to try the famous mangu; which is plantains mashed up with onions on top.  It was actually quite good minus the onions.

As for my spiritual thought of the week we had a devotional by Elder Martinez who is the 2nd counselor in the Caribbean Area Presidency.  He spoke a lot on repentance and the Atonement.  He spoke on his conversion story as well which has a special meaning hearing it as a missionary.  But he quoted Elder Holland when he said, " Missionary work is hard because the Atonement was hard."  This was really profound for a lot of missionaries here and we know it is going to be hard, but Christ did the ultimate hard thing.  The days are great here, but some are harder than others, but we keep pressing on and supporting one another and we pray a lot!

I hope each and every one of you is doing well and I want you all to know that God loves you and wants to hear from you each day!


Hermana Steed

One of our teachers wife, who is also a teacher came in yesterday and started to
braid all our hair. Her name is Hermana Martinez and she is in the middle

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How is it already October? My 3rd week in the MTC!

Hello everyone, 

Yes I am alive and yes we did survive Hurricane Matthew.  Haiti, the other county on the island was in it's direct path so we just got heavy rain for a few days and some wind.  We are inside most of the day with frosted windows so we don't see much of what goes on outside. On Monday, we had lots of rain and went outside to play volleyball but couldn't see a thing because of all the rain-it was actually really fun!  One of my teachers showed us a video of the coast as he was coming to work and the waves looked incredible.  During the night we heard lots of powerful thunder it sounded so different than any other thunder.  The power has gone out a lot, but we are safe and sound! The most damage we had was leaves falling on the temple grounds that we went to rake up.

Of course we all enjoyed General Conference here.  I hope you all took the opportunity to watch it and if not I hope and encourage you to watch it.  There were so many great talks and lessons to be learned.  Russell M. Nelson talked about always having joy even when we suffer.  So my message this week is to always have JOY!

So this MTC is very small.  At most there are only 50 people here at a time.  Usually there are 2 groups of about 20 and every three weeks one group leaves.  So we had more than half leave on Tuesday, but yesterday we got 19 more.  We have some from North America, New Zealand, and then the majority are from Haiti.

It has been a good week and I am half way done with my training here at the MTC.  Only 3 more weeks until I am out in the field.  

I love you all and I hope you are all doing well.  Enjoy the fall weather for me!

Hermana Steed