Hola Hola Sep 29, 2011
First day in the field! It’s pretty great, haha and very eye opening. I’m doing well.
Two days ago (Tuesday the 27th) we got on a bus in Santo Domingo for a 2 hour ride north to Santiago. We arrived at the mission home where the President and his wife greeted us. That was pretty cool! (meeting the President not the ride. Haha)
I was the first to be assigned a companion and an area. My companion is Elder Jensen from Rexburg Idaho. Haha. I am serving in the city (Santiago) for my first transfer. It’s an area called El Ejido!
We have a huge area to cover. The missionary work has been going good for them here. The ward is not very strong but it’s all a work in progress- right?.
Back to Tuesday, we spent most the day at the mission home but at 3:00 we went out on intercambios (trade-offs). I got to go to my area! Only 3 minutes after we left the Mission home it started to rain -well not really rain, it was pouring buckets. I thought that my companion would find us some cover to get under to stay a little dry..... but, no. We just kept walking, I felt like I almost needed to start treading water - I couldn't see anything in front of or around me, I don’t think I could have been anymore wet if I had jumped in the lake! There wasn't a dry spot anywhere on me.
We finally took a ruda (small taxi) that took us over to the Bishops house where we finally took cover. After 30 minutes we looked outside and saw the stairs had a waterfall going down them! haha It is pretty insane here when it rains.
We went back to the mission home after contacting and reading the LDM (El Libro de Mormon – Book of Mormon) with an MA (?) and then we ate dinner and got together for prayer and went to bed. We woke up this morning and after getting ready we got together for our assignments.
I was the first one get my assignment and to leave the Mission home. My new area is the closest to the Mission home. I have been in my apartment unpacking and cleaning all day, because it was filthy! My companion took me to the store. A good way to start in a new area - our mission money card didn't work. haha (well maybe not so much) So, I had to use my personal card. They will reimburse it on my mission card.
Now here I am serving a mission!!! hahah. I love it here and I know I won’t ever get used to the humidity but I’ll dry - or is that try. I can’t wait to learn Spanish better so I can better understand and communicate.
A teacher in the MTC told us that we weren't on our missions to learn Spanish, but that we are here to testify of Jesus Christ - any way we can. And I can do that! but.... I still can’t wait to learn Spanish.
My companion has been out for about a year and doesn't speak Spanish with much of a Dominican lilt or inflection. He speaks Spanish really well. I hope that I can speak more like the natives and no so much like a gringo. I know it will take a lot of practice, but I’m willing to put in the effort.
The Church has implemented a new program for new missionaries. The new Elders first area is to last for 2 transfers or 12 weeks with the same companion in the same area. It is to help the new missionaries become more familiar with mission life and provide a better environment to learn in. I am glad that I was placed with a good companion in a good area. I know that I will be having fun out here – because I already am.
It was sad to say goodbye to all of the guys from the CCM , I had a good time with them! It’s amazing how close you can get when you’re all in the same boat working and learning.
We have a District meeting today and teaching appointments tonight with members. So I will be able to meet them all and get going on this adventure. haha.
I hope that all is well with the family. It was too bad that I didn’t hear from you! I should have let you know when I was going to be transferred.
EMAIL me people! haha
Well I love you all and I will put some pictures of my final days in the CCM on here oaky!
Love you so so much!
ELDER GRINER or Greeener