How are you guys? Well first of all, I'm extremely sorry that I didn't write this week. I sent pictures...I hope that was a little interesting! First of all, the pictures of the beach--don't worry, we had permission! I'm sure you were all freaking out--but, we had permission. How is life back in the good, ole valley of cache? Things here in the Mission Office are just as crazy as ever! I honestly don't remember the things that happen in the week--so I'm going to apologize in advance. My letters are probably more and more boring as the time goes on, but I really just don't remember things that happen in the week! A good chunk of our time is spent pretty much running errands. We have to buy things for houses, take care of sick missionaries, run errands for President and Hermana Rodriguez, and all of that stuff!
This week we didn't have hardly any time to work in our area, and the time we did have, we mostly spent contacting. Contacting here in the capital is a lot different than in San Cristobal. We do a lot of contacts by intercom. My first contact by intercom had to have been one of the top 10 awkward moments of my life. I really felt like a Greenie all over again. I was like, "Uh uh uh uh, we're missionaries and we want to share a message with you!" She said, "Okay, but in another moment." So I said, "Can that other moment be tomorrow?" She said no :( Ha ha. Anyway, life is just a lot different here in the office, but as I learn more about my responsibilities, and the more time I spend learning from President, the more I love it. One of my favorite parts of being here is really getting to know President. He is such an amazing man, and I really hope to become more like him.
Yesterday I did an intercambio with Elder Mejia, one of the assistants, and we went to his area. We were working literally right next to the temple, when we saw 2 guys with some sweet four-wheelers. Elder Mejia asked me if I knew anything about four-wheelers, and if I wanted to talk to them. I said sure thing. We went over and we just started talking to them about four-wheelers and riding and all sorts of stuff. Somehow or another the conversation changed to the church. We asked them if they knew what that big building (the temple) was. They told us that it was something with the Mormons. We then started talking and explaining a few things about our beliefs, and why that building was so important to us. It was an extremely powerful experience to view how the spirit worked within them, and they accepted a visit. As they roared down the street on their four wheelers they waved and yelled, "We'll see you!" It just made me think of a saying that I always saw in Doyles' (yes Doyle soccer coach Doyle) classroom. It says "They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." This experience just confirmed the truth of that saying for me. Had we entered and right away fired away with the gospel, it is possible that they would have told us to get out of there. Elder Mejia encouraged me to talk about four wheelers, which at first seemed weird to me, but it's possible because we showed that we were interested in their interests, they listened to us.
I have realized that as missionaries sometimes we are a little over zealous. Yes, we want to share the gospel with the whole world, but it has to be the right time. When we see someone struggling with their groceries, should we run over and say "Hey, we are missionaries, can we share a message?" Or should we run over and say, "Hey, let me help you out?" Obviously, the second. The more we look into the real needs of the people, and look at them as children of God that we want to help, and not as someone "disguised as a baptismal statistic" (as Elder Holland says), the whole way that we work changes. The joy of living the gospel is incredible. The joy of sharing the gospel is something extremely special.
On Sunday, we got to go to the CCM with President and the assistants to talk to the new missionaries, and to take a few pictures with President. Well, we got to the CCM, took a few pictures--and BOOM emergency. We then converted our truck into an ambulance and were off! We spent the rest of the night shuttling people from hospital to hospital, doing x-rays, sonografias, all of that stuff. Hospitals in the D.R. are not happy places.
Monday, SUPER P-DAY! Super P-Day was awesome because we got to go to Barahona! Barahona is the furthest zone from the capital, so I got to see a lot of the country! I drove through Bani, Azua, and a whole bunch of the country. It was extremely weird to see mountains, and mostly just open country--some of it even somewhat resembled Utah. It was something that made me realize just how much there really is in this little country.
Well, here in the D.R. people don't obey any of the posted signs, even stoplights, so to keep people from speeding they use tons of speed bumps! Well, speed bumps have a different name here--policia acostada--which translates to lying (as in lying down) policeman. Well, as we were driving rather rapidly towards Barahona, on the FREEWAY Elder Brimley (who was in the truck in front of me) found one the hard way. Hitting a speed bump at about 120 KM/H makes a little Toyota Hilux get some air! I had to pull over I was laughing so hard after seeing the little Hilux go airborne. Moral of the story: Be careful driving in the D.R. because they just throw out a speed bump in the middle of the freeway! Once at Super P-Day, we were in charge of a bunch of games, the food, and activities. For us, it was more of a super work day, but it was still a lot of fun.
Another exciting thing this week, THE 4TH of JULY! Happy 4th of July! The 4th of July was quite fun for us because we got to spend it with President's son. He and his family were going to interviews in San Juan, but he had to get his cast off, so he came to spend the day with us! It was an extremely fun day. President's kids are awesome, and we had a lot of fun hauling him around the city.
I'm sorry I haven't been the greatest writer, but I'm trying my best! I want you all to know that I love you! I'm so grateful for all that you do and the support you give me. I hope you have a great week!
Question: I know I shouldn't worry about this....but I saw a billboard the other day advertising the new Batman. Is that truth? Please tell me that it isn't....
Problem: My electric razor bit the dust this week.....but it has a 2 year warranty! So, I'm going to send it back to you guys and if you would be so nice, you can replace it at Best Buy. As for now, I'll hack at my face with the Gillette. I think I need a lesson on shaving or something, ha ha.
Comment: Mark and Lori sent me a package--please tell them thanks! I'm going to try and write a letter, but time is a little short!