Amigos y Familia,
I am finally out of the CCM and in the mission field!!!! I love where I am serving. I am in an area called Villa Mella. It’s probably 30 minutes outside of Santo Domingo. It’s a wonderful place to serve. Sorry I didn’t warn you guys I wouldn’t be writing on Thursday. My P-day is now Monday.
I love being a missionary. There is so much work to be done in Villa Mella. I have never met kinder people. No matter what their religion or their living circumstances, people invite us in because they want to hear about Christ. I love it here. I’m finally doing what I dreamed of--sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of the Dominican Republic--ALL DAY LONG. There really couldn’t be anything better.
So you´ll never guess who my companion/trainer is… Hermana Hansen!!! She’s from Texas and is a great missionary. She’s been serving for 14 months and I’m learning a lot from her. Everyone says "Ustedes son Hermanas? Primas? Familia?" Our answer is always "No, pero somos hermanas en Cristo" Haha I love being a missionary. The other sisters in our apartment are Hermana Barrington (from Utah) and Hermana Romero (from Columbia). I’ve found out that I love Columbian food :)
So my Spanish is coming along. I can understand most people pretty well, and I can usually get my point across. Hermana Hansen lets me do a lot of the teaching so I’m learning a lot. Dominicans speak sooooooooooo fast! All of the Latino missionaries in our zone I can understand almost perfectly but some Dominicans are almost impossible to understand. My trainer tells me to be patient, first you have to learn Spanish, and then you can learn Dominican :)
We do lots of walking. Lots!! During the week we really don’t use any public transit. The streets are pretty old and we have one of the biggest areas in the mission, so my shoes are getting quite a workout. But I don’t mind the walking. I love exploring the Dominican Republic :)
It is HOT here. I am always sweating. The only place with AC is the church and the store. But on the bright side, I’m never cold and I’m getting a great tan. The tan lines on my feet are going to be awesome by the end of my mission.
I stick really stick out here. Besides some of the missionaries, I’m the only white person I’ve seen since I left the CCM. Plus the blonde hair doesn’t help. The whole time I walk down the street I hear "Americana! Rubia (Blonde)! Mormona!" I’ve never felt so different in my life :)
So I had a cool experience on Saturday. Every Saturday the English speaking missionaries offer a free English class for the city. Hermana Hansen and I taught probably 30 kids. It was so fun. But afterwards we were talking to one of our investigators in the adult advanced English class who had brought a friend. His friend knew I was a new missionary so he wanted to hear my Spanish. After he ran out of questions to ask me, he said, "teach me the gospel of Jesus Christ.” My companion looks at me, hands me the pamphlet we use to teach the doctrine of Christ, and then gives me a look like "go ahead.” So I taught him the whole lesson on the doctrine of Christ. Then he wanted to hear more, so I taught him the whole lesson on the restoration. He knew pretty good English, so he helped me with a few words I didn’t know and corrected some of my conjugations BUT I taught the gospel IN SPANISH. That felt amazing. I felt the Spirit guiding me in that lesson. And he and his friends had some really good questions. He doesn’t live in my area, so I referred him to the missionaries in his area and they are meeting with him. I told him to pray about the things we talked about and then told him we would talk more next week. I love being a missionary. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives, and I cannot think of anything better than to share it.
I love you guys! Thanks for all of your prayers. Sometimes when I’m lying in bed and I’m nervous or feeling discouraged I think of all the people I know are praying for me that night. That brings me so much peace and strength. God loves us! And he really does answer prayers, often in ways that we don’t expect. But he does answer. We must have faith, patience and diligence. When we do, miracles happen. I know that is true because I have seen it occur over and over again as I have asked for His help and trusted in my Heavenly Father.
Love you lots! Keep the letters coming! Dearelder.com is still a great way to get in touch with me.
All the Missionaries in the CCM
The Missionaries in my CCM District
Hermana Hansen y Hermana Hansen