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