Saturday, January 25, 2014

1st Week

We were not sure when her P day was going to be but thought it was Thursday so we anxiously waited with a great deal of excitement. With no real clear picture of how or what her week could entail we wanted to hear specific details. What she did, what activities and adjustments she was making.  So, here it is:

Mi familia y mis amigos! I miss you guys so so so much. The CCM is
great and all but it is hardddd. (ps my enter button does not work so
i will apologize now) Oh and i would like to apologize in advance that
my english is now hard to understand as well. its crazy. I can now
pray and testify and hermano ramireraz is having us memorize 20 words
a day and we have our purpose in spanish memorized its insane. I kinda
do not like all the memorization but whatever. I love you all. on my
journey here i didnt see any missionaries until miami and i ran into
hermana given at the pay phone. she is from colorado and is one of mi
companions. she is 5'3'', blonde and barely hundred pounds. her and i
hung out for like 4 hours waiting for our flight. and then met up with
elder york from tampa and hermana stanton from utah. we are all in the
same district... and we are the only ones in our district lol. 4 of
us. thats right. so so small. but its all good. the other district is
about 14 and they are all going to puerto rico. and then the other
district are haitian missionaries. all the missionaries here are
pretty awesome. the haitians are so nice. we are all going to the
temple tomorrow because they havent received their endowments yet. any
way, spanish is coming along pretty well. as of lately our teachers
havent been speaking to us in as much spanish as i would like so i
feel like i am losing my spanish that I have learned. but i do know
how to pray and testify in spanish so thats cool. umm we get to
excercise every day for about like hour-ish. and thats so nice. my
companions and i ALWAYS go outside because it kinda feels like a jail
here... however it is pretty warm. like i got sunburnt... ouch. but
not too bad. just my face burned a little. oh and as much as i kinda
hate to admit it.... i like ultimate frisbee... there i said it. its
fun. i mean, i sweat like so so much because of how hot it is here in
compared to good ole idaho but its fun. it is a little hard because i
cant like touch the elders... i mean not like i would... but i mean
like my competive level is down a lot a lot because i dont want to
accidently run into them... the elders make the whole 'distance' thing
super awkward. gah... whatvever. oh and btw like allll the elders are
like 18. just little babies. there are two that are 20 but still... oh
and my companions are 19 and 21. the other two sisters from the other
district are 21. what else is going on here? umm... oh estoy cansada
siempre... like i am always always tired. its gotten a lot better ill
admit that and its good are schedules are so planned out because it
keeps are minds constantly going so we dont think about all we're
missing and who we're missing at home... so wisdom in that. but at
night it gets hard. i try to fall asleep as fast as i can but hermana
given has been having a hard time and so we try to stay up and talk
with her to help her out. umm la comida is good... umm today was the
first day we had the famous soup thing they make here with meat and
plantanes... and i liked it. it kinda tastes like a beef gravy/broth
and the plantanes taste like potatoes... the meat, i kind just ate
some here and there. i have eaten so so so many bananas its
ridiculous. good thing i like them... holy moly. oh and the jugo, the
juice, is really good. chinola is really yummy... its passion fruit i
believe? anyway, i miss you guys a ton. but i do know this is where i
am supposed to be. The Lord has set me apart and has blessed me
tremendously since I have been here.. even in small things... and big
things too. There is no way that i could know this much spanish on my
own nor be this diciplined on my own. goodness... but i like spanish a
lot. it makes a whole lot more sense than english. oh and i love
singing... sorry thats a random jump. but i sing like alllll the time.
kinda weird, kinda awesome. I just sing and i am comfortable and its
all good. i mean my one companion is beautiful singer though. the
blonde one she has some songs on itunes. you can look her up. Taya
Lynnete Given. My other companion is Rachelle Stanton. She is from
Payson Utah and shes like 5'7'' with brunette hair. umm... oh and I
have seen my setting a part blessing put in action already... crazy
how that works right? well i love you guys. Heavenly father (Padre
Celestial) loves you... Yo soy una misionera de la iglesia de dios de
Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias... yo voy a servir la
mision santo domingo oeste. yo se que la iglesia es verdadera. yo se
que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero. en el nombre de Jesuscristo,
amen. oh and ps.. guys..  you can use dearelder and i will get it on
thursday afternoons. oh and please pray for me to have the gift of
tongues (del don de lenguas)... I need it. You are in my prayers! I
love you. the church is true and you can know it is if you want to...
its all about your desire. pray to our Heavenly Father.. and read the
sciriptures... specifically the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost will
manifest the truth of it unto you. I wish I could just give you all
hugs gahhh this first week has been so long and it will be (24x7
hours) until I can talk to you again. THURSDAYS... YOU MUST LOVE
THURSDAYS! okay? that's my P-day... Hope you feel my love and prayers
from the DR because I can feel yours! with all my love, Hermana

She is such a blessing and it is very comforting to hear the excitement in her words even as she struggles through some homesickness and challenges.  Until next time.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Departure & Beginning

Wednesday January 15th left Boise at 6:50am which made for a very early morning.  Surprisingly enough all of us were up and very much awake.  A few tears were shed by all but McKenzie who was all smiles and trying not to appear to zealous to those of us shedding tears.

Logan received an email at a little after 9pm which is midnight in the Dominican.  She had met up with 3 other missionaries.  It went like this: "I love you all. I made it safely here. There are three of us hermanas and one elder. We have already bonded its awesome. It is warm but not bad but then again its currently dark time haha. This place is fulllll of palm trees its awesome.  Hermana Stanton is in my mission and hermana Given and elder York are in the east.  I love you all!!!"
I could hear her excitement through the letter it made me smile.  I was fortunate to receive and email today from what I believe to be a senior couple there and it brought happy tears to my eyes as there were 3 pictures of my new missionary!!
I look forward to getting our first correspondence about her first week in the Caribbean! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Dominican Republic

"The Dominican Republic is a beautiful island country located about six hundred miles southeast of Florida. The island, also known as Hispaniola, is split between the Dominican Republic on the eastern two thirds and Haiti is the western third. It is the second largest Caribbean island after Cuba. During his first voyage to the new world, Columbus had reached and explored the northeastern tip of Espanola the more Anglican name of Hispaniola.  It is here, in the Dominican Republic, where Columbus was ultimately buried and where his casket still lies, protected by uniformed guards at the very middle of the giant monument-the Columbus Memorial Lighthouse in Santo Domingo."

"For the Saints who inhabit this nation, the Lord's hand has been apparent since Christopher Columbus discovered the land. Dominican Saints believe that the country's first liberators, headed by Juan Pa lo Duarte, were inspired. Called the Father of the Republic, Duarte carried a white, red, and blue banner with the words 'God, Land, and Liberty' scrawled on it, much as Moroni did in the Book of Mormon (Alma 46: 11-14)"

"In November 1978, President Millett sent the first ten full time missionaries to the Dominican Republic." Within in a month the first baptismal service was performed on December 6 1978. "Twelve converts were baptized by eight different missionaries in a peaceful and memorable service at poolside."

"A Beautiful symbol of the pinnacle of the work in the Dominican Republic was the establishment of a house of the Lord in Santo Domingo.  The dedication of the first temple in the Caribbean-and the Church's 99th operating temple was on September 17, 2000 in Santo Domingo.