Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nov 10, 2015 - Busy Busy...

By Monday at 7pm I had pretty much accepted we wouldn't be getting a letter this week. Then on Tuesday late afternoon this arrived in my inbox...  I did receive a text from a Utah # saying they in the DR doing humanitarian aid and had picts of Elder Rowe and wanted to FB message them to me.  They wanted to make sure they knew my full FB name. I haven't seen any picts yet but maybe they are waiting until they are back in the US before sending them.  I hope that is the reason...

¿Qué lo que? Díganme a ver.
Bueno, ya me han dicho mucho. I feel like I could never respond to everyone and everything I´m receiving. For those of you who shall read this and are awaiting a personal response from me, it will be sparse and come in spurts. We are just so busy! Also, P-Day always seems to put us far enough from home that we´re scrambling to get to start emailing in time...
(also that means no photos this week, I don´t think; let me finish this and then I´ll see)
I can´t believe I´m almost at the end of my first transfer already! This thursday is my last district/zone meeting this transfer, and next sunday I find out whether I´m getting transferred or not (I think). Time has really begun to fly out here: at least, as long as we´re occupied. We worked really hard this week, but we didn´t have much success. Over 3/4 of our appts. fell through, and both Elder Fr***** and I fell sick (minor tropical gripe (cold) -- don´t worry about it). He had it worse, but I really admire his leading by example and his desire to work even when in pain or exhausted. We did a LOT of walking this week: with stuff falling through, we´d try to visit other less actives or investigators nearby, only to find them not at home, or to find a houseful of women we couldn´t enter, and would then either move on to others or try contacting references or new people. I feel sometimes like we´re in over our heads a bit. Up until 2 transfers ago, this area had 4 missionaries--that seems more reasonable. The area is huge, and for having average sacrament attendance of 50 it has 250 members on record. Ya know what, I need to stop complaining. I really have no need. I recognize that this week the Lord has been teaching me something, as well as the companionship I´m a part of. As companions, we have recognized the need to study together less of the training stuff and more of specific scriptures and topics for our lessons, and that we need to set more firm appointments (and remind people of them, even if we have to go to the point of annoyance a little bit). As for what I´ve needed to learn, I need to respect the missionary schedule more. I never thought I´d say that, but not exercising in the morning (because Elder Fr***** hasn´t) has allowed me extra study time. Thus, I dig into my later personal study time by showering, getting ready, and ironing as late as possible. As I work on this, I have received an answer that not only will I find more success, but that my study will be much more effective.
Yesterday we had a group of 50 US doctors (mostly Utahns and all LDS) come down to Bayaguana (about 2hrs away by gua-gua (bus)) to do a free medical clinic, and we got permission to have P-Day moved to today so we could go translate for them all day. It was amazing to get to help people out like that. I was with a doctor who was just doing general prescriptions for colds and stuff, but I had no free time. I had a 15 minute break to cram down a sandwich and chug some water, and then we were back to seeing patients. It was about six hours of translating total. They´re gonna be here all week, but other elders and hermanas from our zone are taking turns going down and helping out.
Today we went to a waterfall called Salto Socoa (The Socoa Leap or Jump). It was a good 30 ft or so tall. It rained. A lot. We were all completely drenched from when we got there at 11 to when I just got home and changed. It would be really cool to go back sin placa to swim there--they even had ropes to help shorter people get closer to the falls without getting sucked under at the base. We ate cookies and took a ton of pics.
OH! Our zone is having a Noche de Blanca December 19th, which will be something of a mass baptism of people who are READY to be baptized and who have CHOSEN FOR THEMSELVES to do so. It will be up in Hainamosa (one of the outer barrios of Santo Domingo) at the stake center, and our stake president has set the goal of 30 baptisms. That´s 2 (or more, if we like) per companionship. We have two dates set. One is C****, Y**** (recent convert)´s cousin (but raised as her brother), who is super excited but super shy. He has 11 years (er... is 11 years old), and is really receptive and retentive of everything we´ve taught him. S***** (Ch***) is Y****´s father (but she´s been raised as though he´s her uncle--their family story is really complicated and I still have no idea what any of it means), and he´s a different story. Every morning (except sundays, thankfully) he goes out super early to the sugarcane fields. He gets back around 2, goes home to eat, shower, and rest, and then sells chorizo on a street corner from 4 to 10 every night. Thus, while he is receptive to eveything we´ve been teaching (although he cannot read or write), it has been difficult to find when he´s open to have a lesson or to pull him away from his chorizo stand to do so. We have high hopes for them both, and with an eye of faith, we see both of them with Y**** in the white garb of the Temple in the future, and as such we will do everything in our power to help S***** see the value of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want so dearly for him to recognize the joy which is to be found therein.
Alright, I gotta go. No pics for now. (also I don´t trust the internet cafes out in the campo--I really dont want to get a virus on my camera memory card) I love you guys. Study the scriptures, pray SINCERELY, and the Lord will work miracles through you. I know that.
Elder Rowe

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