Dear Family and friends , 22/Sep/2011
Ok what up what up what up!!!
It’s cracking thunder outside right now and has been so so so humid all day today. We walked out of the temple and it was sunny and as we got to the CCM it was raining (remember the two buildings are like 100 feet apart, if that), it happens so fast here! I will definitely need to purchase an umbrella or just not dry off after my shower in the morning ‘cause with the humidity I’m wet all of the time.
Hey sorry, I tried to send ya'll a video and pictures but I guess the file size was too large that it wouldn't go through. I’ll put some of last week’s photos on an email today!! Okay! Dad I hope your finger is okay! That sounds gnarly.
These last two weeks have been pretty eye opening and very exciting! We had the opportunity to go into the field last Friday and again yesterday (Wednesday). It was amazing to see how I will be living and what exactly I will be doing for the next 2 years or just under. Elder Hiatt and I were paired with Elder Rich who is from Park City. He wraps up his mission the same day that we leave the CCM. So we got to see the other side (the experience vs newbies) haha.
We went to the East Mission here in Santo Domingo. He took us to his area where we saw some ”amazing” houses. They were maybe the size of my bedroom back at home. We first went to a new member’s home. She had just been baptized and seemed like she loved it. She had a little issue with dressing modestly, which everyone does here because the temperature is so HOT. Anyway, I was able to share a message about faith, explain it a little and tell how it ties into to the doctrine of Christ and she seemed to understand me and the concept...... so .... two points for me ha. Elder Hiatt bore his testimony in that lesson and then Elder Rich took over ha.
Then we went to a really poor part of the area. We were walking down a road and then took a side road that lead to a tiny gate that didn't look like a door but it opened up into a whole new world of terribly built cement homes and tiny alleys.
We walked for a little bit and looked down, started going down stairs; which I almost fell down. The stairs lead right into a home. The furnishings consisted of a bed, a TV, and a couch (tiny place). We taught a man that was holding his naked little baby in his arms. so .... it was pretty awkward and didn’t feel right. We all felt like we needed to get out of there, so we did.
We walked back up that same street on Wednesday and saw these two teenagers flying down the road on one bike. 2 people on the seat going over bumps. They came to the bump right in front of where we were walking and the kid on the back flew off and totally face planted and scrapped up his body, his knees, his hands... everything. So we went over and picked him up and he was laughing (I would’ve cried) but I squirted him off with water from my camelback and he was on his way back up the hill to do it again. Some people don't do things slow, relaxed or smart here.
We proceed to contact the area we were in - houses and apartment building. We walked up to the top floor of an apartment building that looked like the projects. The plan was to start at the top and work our way down to see who would receive and listen to us. Surprisingly, most people wanted to listen and talk a bit, and they welcomed us into their homes. We were able to teach a little and leave messages. I guess the big problem here and everywhere is people are willing to listen but not willing to act, which is sucky (can I say that?)
The other night Elder Hamilton, Hiatt, Harris and I (my roommates) asked ourselves if we knew nothing about the gospel, would we act if some 19 year old kid came and talked to us. And would know the promptings of the Holy Ghost when we felt them? So, I guess it is a very different thing for most people, but that’s what we are here for – to help them feel the Promptings, understand, change and commit!
I learned the importance of charity and helping. When we were walking up one of the stair cases to an apartment building, we came across a little boy trying to take one of those huge blue water barrels (like we have at the house) up to the fifth flight of stairs. So, we saw him and Elder Rich picked up the barrel and took it up the stairs. We helped the kid bring more water up the stairs and Elder Rich just picked up the kid and carried him up the stairs. There are a lot of opportunities to serve here and as missionaries we need to take advantage of it. Just see the need and help. Don’t wait to be asked or told - just do it. haha
I now know that I don't know very much Spanish. My CCM Spanish is pretty good, but I have a long way to go. … line upon line, precept on precept , etc… but it’ll happen, and I’m pumped for the day when it does.
So, I leave for the field soon and like I said I’m excited! Thank you for emailing and sending me letters while I have been in the MTC and CCM !!!
David thanks for your DearElder.com letter and thank you also DAD. I went and read about Paul, and referenced it to the ‘Articles of Faith’ which was pretty fun.
I hope that Staci is excited, even though probably bummed about David (I still want to hear from her!!). Lindsay, thank you for the DearElder.com letter. Please thank Sa as well!!!
BRISTEN thanks for showing your love and sending me things..... not. :) jk i love ya! .
Jeffrey Michael sent me a DearElder.com letter! Will you please send me his email so I can get back to him?
love ya’ll, hope all the best, and wish me luck!.
I will try and write before I leave the CCM for Santiago.