This week was AMAZING!
The first highlight would have to be going into the mission field for a day. On Friday the 2 North American districts got into a van and they drove us 15 minutes to a church building where we met up with missionaries who are already in the field. We each got paired up with a companion and off we went. My companion was Hermana Melgar, she is from Guatemala. She doesn't speak any English, so I spent the entire 7 hours speaking Spanish. I speak Spanish!!! What??? I’m not even close to fluent but I can communicate. That is amazing to me. The field is awesome. The first thing we did was jump into a beat up taxi and drove 15ish minutes to my companion’s area. Driving in Santo Domingo is CRAZY. They squish as many people as possible into the taxis and buses. I am in love with this city. We had a lesson planned for the morning but the lady wasn't home so we just started knocking on doors. The people of this country are so receptive. So many people let us in and allowed us to share a message about Christ. That was amazing. Hermana Melgar did most of the talking, but I was teaching people about Christ and His gospel--exactly what I came here to do. We taught lessons everywhere--on the floors of stairwells, outside people’s gates. I had a blast, and it felt absolutely incredible. I love sharing this gospel. I know Christ is my Savior and I want to share with all of Santo Domingo that He is their Savior too. A lot of the streets we walked down were really poor, but the people are so loving and happy. Everyone would say hi to us and a lot of people would give us mangoes. MMMM my favorite! :)
I get to go into the field for the day again tomorrow, and I can’t wait!
The second highlight of my week. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a devotional at the Dominican Republic CCM! I had the privilege of meeting an apostle of Jesus Christ. I will never forget this experience. This man has truly been called of God. He talked a lot about our purpose as missionaries. He said that if we want to help others come unto Christ, it is essential that we ourselves are converted. He also said that as missionaries we need to be BOLD. He said that probably 30 times. But it is so true. Being a missionary is scary, talking to people about the gospel, especially when you don’t know the language very well is very scary. BUT the message that I am here to share is so important. It is a message of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is a message that will change lives. Despite any fears I have, it is my duty and calling to share it with anyone who is willing to listen, and that is exactly what I plan to do. Being a missionary is awesome!
So here’s something that will make Adriane laugh. Almost every Dominican I talk to always goes "Cuantos años tiene?" (How old are you) When I tell them I’m 19 they always say "No, Usted es un bebe" (No, you are just a baby) Then, if it is a woman over 40 they pinch my cheeks. I love the people here. They are unbelievably blunt, but incredibly loving.
Shout out to Olivia! I hope you got my letter before you left! If not, have the time of your life in France! Take in every minute and write me all about it!!! I love you best friend! Don’t do anything I wouldn't do! xoxo
This week is my last week here in the CCM. I leave for my first area very early on Tuesday morning. I am so excited. My Spanish still has some work and I’ll miss all the wonderful people here at the CCM, but I am so ready to be out in the mission field--full time for the rest of my mission.
Oh one more thing! Accomplishment of the week: I can FINALLY, sort of, kind of roll my R's. Trust me its serious progress and a huge miracle. My teachers are so excited. I walk around the CCM with a little hand mirror practicing whenever I get the chance. I look ridiculous and the Latinos all laugh at me, BUT I’m sounding less and less like a gringo every day.
Thanks for all of the letters! I have responded to all of the ones I've gotten so far. They seem to take about a week to get to Santo Domingo and a week to get back to the states. I love letters! Keep them coming. If you haven’t sent me one, you should get on that ;)
Love you guys so, so much!
Hermana Caroline Hansen
CCM with Elder Holland (Seated in the center)
Me & Hermana Clove
Me & Hermana Barnes
Latino Sisters & Sisters from our District
Me & the Latino Elders
Drawing of our District by Hermana Graham