I´ll start by streamlining the Q&A:
I wish I was in a 4-man house, but alas, I am not. It has been sweet to have a latin comp though.
By barrio I mean inner-city. There really is no such thing as suburb out here (unless by suburb you mean 2-story buildings instead of 3 or 4); you get campo towns (of varying sizes) or you get buildings and houses crammed into every square meter of space. There´s Gazcue, the city center, which is all nice and touristy and stuff, and about 30 mins in any direction that ends. If you look on a map, you´ll see that the river Ozama makes a sideways u in the middle of Santo Domingo-Everything within that U is my area.
Gua-guas are, as much in the campo as in the city, for transport to and from meetings only (along with occasional trips to Megacentro or Sambil (the two big malls here I have yet to visit formally) or to P-day activities). Within my area, we walk. It´s about 45 mins walking from our furthest investigator downhill on one half of the area (the perpetually alive, poorer half) to our furthest investigator in the upper half (closer to where we live, in the nicer, quieter part of Los Tres Brazos).
In the city I am still always wet, but with sweat. It hardly ever rains, and the sun is more potent.
Jessica, this week I have really gained a testimony of exact--and I mean EXACT--obedience, as well as the portion of the baptismal covenant relating to obedience. This week Elder M***** has been sick, and because we´ve started going to the gym daily (for the first time in my life), I have been über sore (elder M***** goes hard--he´s acting as my ¨trainer¨ as to how to develop a good workout and workout schedule). Thus, we´ve been 10-15 minutes late to begin study, haven´t gotten ready for the day until the end of study, and stuff like that. As a result, I have felt less clear in teaching, less able to keep my Spanish brain turned on, and so on. However, as I took the Sacramentand covenanted anew to "always remember Him," I decided to better turn my time over to the Lord. Even in just two days of doing so, I feel the Spirit having a much bigger influence in my teaching, and I feel much more energetic and focused despite having exercised and missed an extra half-hour of sleep to do so.
Good to hear that Thanksgiving was crazy as usual. I didn´t even notice anythign differentuntil I thought about in the evening how much I missed spending the weekend of madness with everyone. I love you all!
We had a ¨Mission Tour¨with President Cornish (Area President of the Caribbean, member of the 70). Wow. We talked about developing a true love for our investigators and passion for conversion--both of ourselves and of others. He has a science brain like me, so when he started sharing about space and time and eternity and how we will outlast even the multibillion-year-lived stars in the cosmos, and how short our time here on Earth here really is, and how our time in the mission is even shorter, it really caught my attention, and keeping those kinds of marvelous and wondrous thoughts in mind has been helping me develop a sincere desire to help others develop, for themselves, a need to turn to Christ and a desire to be perfected in Him.
(also, president Cornish shared in his talk about his grandson, A****, who´s in the Mexico MTC. Funny enough, after seeing a picture of him I was reminded that he was one of my buddies at BYU this summer, and lived on my hall and was in my elders quorum--small world, eh?)
Que pasen una semana buena,