Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Michelin Man - March 28, 2016

Hello there everyone!

I GET TO STAY IN LOS 3 BRAZOS! Woot! AND I GET TO STAY WITH MY COMPANION! Double woot! Life is good here. A snippet of my letter to president for time´s sake:
It is truly a blessing to be able to stay here in Los Tres Brazos. I will FINALLY get to see C**** and A**** (and now their daughter C**** and their grandson A****) get baptized this 24th of April! They are ready and eager to be baptized, but C**** still wants to get out of his cast and they still need to look for some paperwork before they can get married. Next week (after general conference) we, C****, and his family are going to dedicate our fast (C**** and family´s first fast) to his leg, that it may be sufficiently healed to have the cast removed that week. R*** A****(the mother of the bishop of Capotillo) has also expressed desire to be baptized the 24th of April, has already stopped drinking beer (because it gives her stomachaches) and is working to leave behind coffee. She too is ready and willing to be baptized; she just needs a review of everything (it´s been 2 or 3 years since missionaries have visited her) and she wants some help answering a few questions. We will happily continue forward on that note. That´s a total of 5 firm baptismal dates, the most I´ve had for a single month in the mission. I feel truly blessed as I am seeing the results of exact obedience but even more so of faith, and of the Lord´s angels preparing the hearts of the people we´ve met.

I am also deeply grateful to be able to continue with Elder D****--he is an amazing missionary, and he has a way of connecting with people and of teaching families that only a Dominican could have. We´ve been getting along splendidly, and are really looking forward to this coming transfer. We received 4 new references from the system which we´ll contact this week, and we received a reference from C**** (his niece, I****). We need only help E**** C**** obtain a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and he too is willing to be baptized (on the condition that he obtains that testimony). We will be sure to focus on him and teach him more about how one gains a testimony but also about how one need not have a "road to Damascus" or "Alma the Younger" moment to take a step of faith.

So, yeah. Life is good. It is the culture here that everyone has their birth name and their nickname, and EVERYONE knows the nickname. It could be just a different name your parents call you, or it is based on something you did, do, say, or have said. For example, Elder D**** knew a "Papi Shampú" because he was always combing his hair and gelling it and messing with it, and another kid, just for hanging out with him all the time, is known as "Papi Rinse." Culture is always funny. Thus, I made the mistake of saying that although I´m skinny, I used to be really chubby as a baby, so... now around the house he calls me "michelín." Dangit. XD

I still can´t believe General Conference is this weekend! The cool thing is that we already have 5 investigators firmly set to be there for all the sessions, and a couple more who will show up for at least 2 or 3. It will really be a great opportunity to share the reality of prophets today on the earth.

Also we made Habichuelas con Dulce for the first time in our lives. I had already tried it a few times, but never made it. It turned out all right, but we threw in too much clavo dulce (¿sweet cloves?), too much nutmeg, and forgot the salt completely. We´re going to try again this week, since the materials are cheap and we already shredded two coconuts to make coconut milk, so we won´t have to go through that painful mess again (painful for the muscles, messy in that it took an hour and a half to clean up the mess we made. If we manage to (nearly) nail it this week, I will send the recipe so you guys can try it. It is a complex flavor, but it is really, REALLY good. (it also makes less mess and is faster if you just buy coconut milk, but Elder D**** wanted to save money.) Speak of recipes, man, will I have some foods for you guys to try when I get back. Mangú, Moro, Lócrio, Guandules, Pollo Guisado... I am learning a little bit of everything with Elder D****. The benefits of having a mother who cooks and teaches how to cook--it´s easy to learn how to make new stuff! :) (Thanks Mom!)

Pero na. Love you all! I miss you. Read your scriptures, and mark them up. Pray openly and sincerely every day. The simple things change lives--they´ve certainly changed mine. I feel the Spirit present in most every lesson (working on that) and almost all the time as we´re in the street (dembow kinda ruins that). I feel blessed when appointments don´t fall through, and I am equally happy when they do, giving us another chance to visit someone else. References are a HUGE blessing, no longer a hindrance (yeah, I used to think references were a waste of time, because all the ones I´d contacted didn´t want anything to do with us). In fact, every investigator but one who is progressing right now (and almost all those we´re teaching) are references, and they show the most interest and the most progress out of anyone.

Until next week,
Élder Rowe

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