Soooo.... I stayed in the MTC in the DRnight, then went to the mission office, also in Santo Domingo. We had our brains overfilled with specifics about the mission: cleanliness, what to/not to eat, schedule changes, emergency plans, etc. Then I met my companion, Elder Fr****. He has 11 months in the mission, and Sabana Grande de Boya, our area, is his third. He is really cool. His confidence is staggering, and the Spirit supports him for it. Although he can´t speak the language very well, he expresses all he does know as often as possible, speaking slowly and reexplaining himself as necessary. (Oh BTW, pictures won´t be coming until next week; like I said, we got back late).
We took a gua-gua (improv bus) out to Sabana Grandeafternoon, got here evening, and have taught 21 lessons between and last night. The branch here is small (<50), but the people have hearts of gold. Our Branch Pres. is in the capitol, and has been for 2-3 weeks, because of a blood sugar problem, but the Second Counselor N*** is the coolest guy ever. He´s under 30, so he has a lot of energy. he went out with us for 3 hours in the evening (where at the home of the Familia A*** we had dumplings with egg centers and plantaines as a side, which was delicious.), and he is one of the few members who doesn't go inactive if they´re not visited during the week. A lot of the members here need to be visited during the week and reminded about church, or they wont come. The biggest issue here is not that people don't want to listen; its that they don't want to do anything about it. They feel that in the last day they will cry Lord, Lord and be saved. We do our best, but we don´t have many investigators because we´re so focused on reactivating less actives and keeping members from going inactive. The people here, though, are amazing like I said. They all have hearts of gold, and while their circumstances are not always the best they are always very inviting, humble, and hospitable; the A*** family didn't appear to have much more than the house they lived in and the random assortment of furniture they´d bought and scavenged over the years.
I´ve been eating a lot of Tostadas from the local colmados (because Elder Fr**** is in love with them), but we haven't eaten much the past few days because the member who would otherwise make lunch for us couldn't start until. This morning we had fresh egg-filled empanadas (which were the BOMB, and the size of my face), and at we met another district at our chapel to head over to gonzalo, where the two elders there were waiting. After a 30 min hike into the jungle (I´ll send pics eventually) we came upon a cave, which was pretty deep, rather dark, and there was a point where we had to improv a ladder with rope and logs to get to the lowest part. Only one of our member guides and one of the elders from the other district went down there, but it took us like 2 hours to get them both out, because the member found crabs down there and decided he wanted to harvest a bunch into his backpack for dinner. The place where the crabs were was of course out of the hearing range of the people on the ledge (which was still deep into the cave). Thus, having met at the church at , we didn't get back until six, and thus here I am. I wrote down more stuff to write about in my journal, but I dotn have it with me and its already 45 minutes later than we were supposed to get back to the house. AAA, I forgot to talk about the house! oh well, another time.
Love you all, and my prayers are with you back home,