Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Optimism about the future - April 11, 2016

Hey there guys!

Quick insert of letter to Pres. Corbitt...
  We came across tons of new people this week. And most of them were references! We met P*** and G*****, who are some of the "children" of Hna. G**** in our ward (she calls all her friends who are younger than her "children," and is continually offering company, food, etc.). P**** seems really interested, and asked to borrow the copy of the Book of Mormon my companion had in his hand. While we shared with Hna. G**** and her actual son, M*** (with whom we´re working towards putting a baptismal date in May), P*** was leafing through the Book of Mormon. By the end of the lesson, she wanted us to come visit and explain more about the Book of Mormon. She´d heard of it before, but noted that it was NOT a Bible. We have her phone number, and we have tentatively an appointment Tuesday.
  We also met a chorus of children in and near the home of Hna. N***, one of the more recent converts in the ward. Specifically, we are focusing on C****, who already has a Christian background and loves to go to Church in any form. He is around 10 years old. We aren´t sure why neither he nor Hna. N*** made it to church Sunday with the huge group of children, but we plan to find out here in a day or two. The bad part is that we´re out of minutes. Well, worse than that is that neither his mom nor Hna. N*** has a phone--the only number we have is that of the neighbors, and if they´re not there, then we have no contact. However, we have high hopes with regard to C**** and his brother, whose name slips my mind.
  As of yet we have six baptismal dates for the coming 24th of April. R**** (who´s going to start working all week long but will still be able to come to church Sundays), R*** A**** (who is progressing rapidly with leaving coffee behind), C*** and A**** (with whom we´re working through birth certificates to get them married), and K*** and A**** (the daughter and grandson of C*** and A****). We also potentially have E*** C***, who is only waiting to hear about a date when he needs to go get his visa (since he´s moving to New Jersey to live with his wife, N****), so that his wife can come down for that appointment and thus be there for his baptism (she´s a member). He will receive that notice before May 15th, so he will be baptized soon.
  My testimony of the power of fasting has also grown. The same Sunday as we were fasting, in Priesthood Executive Council we were talking about the situation with C*** and family, how one son had not been declared and they´d been working through that process 5 years already, and how one of the daughters had been declared by a grandparent and thus carried neither last name of the family. We were worried that all the children had to be included, but as it turns out those two children can be added into the matrimony legally later on because they are still considered undeclared. The Lord is clearing the way for this family to be baptized, especially since now one of the other daughters, M****, is showing a lot of promise and progress. We are going to extend a date this week with her as well.
  We also found a less active member, D***(24), who is niece of Hna. M*** J***, wife of the bishop´s first counselor. We found her by means of her cousin, E*** J***, who often goes out with us. She is well, but overworked--she is working like crazy organizing wedding ceremonies, waiting until the summer to write her collegiate thesis and graduate from college. She said that in her two years living in Los Tres Brazos missionaries had never visited her, and that she was saddened by that fact. She also (as we found out by way of her aunt) sealed but divorced. We don´t know what went down there, but she just calls it a "personal problem" and moves on. When she showed up to Church Sunday, it seemed like the whole world knew and missed her. She still hasn´t had an interview with the bishop, but by the looks of things she will be our first reactivation for this month. We will keep visiting her whenever she isn´t working.

Yeah, life is pretty good right now. That Little Sambo´s place (a resturant in Lincoln City, OR that we have seen in the past and decided to try out over Spring Break.  The theme is based on a children's book that Grammy used to read to Brad and we have also read to our kids.  It was not very good!)  looks and sounds meh, but I can tell you I have eaten in much-worse-looking places here and have had some of the best food on my mission. XD You never know.

Because Elder d***** and I already know how to cook a lot of dominican cuisine, we´ve been asking around for local recipes. We´re going to try Arepas probably this week, and today we did a "púdin de guineo" (which is the name here for banana bread). It turned out alright, but we put in too much milk and it came out with the consistency and flavor of flan with a little bit of banana. Forgot to take a picture... darn. We´re also going to try a bread pudding this week, we think.

There isn´t too much else of note this week. We continue pushing forward with faith, and working so that our fast that the mission can have every companionship baptize and reactivate every month can be brought to pass, at very least, here in Los Tres Brazos.

I love and miss you all. Have fun starting school again! I´ll just stick to studying scriptures for now... :)
Élder Rowe

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