Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Whole Lotta Contacting - July 4, 2016

Hi there guys! Happy 4th of July! 🎆
Elijah--Scout camp will be the BOMB. Archery is super fun. So are metalworking and kayaking. Just FYI, if you do metalworking, you'll have to use a lot of your freetime to go back to the metalshop if you want to finish your project. (at least, I did to finish my hatchet head)
Emu--They do have fireworks in the DR, yes. They just don't use them July 4th, and as a missionary I can't use them. :(
Jessica--Just so ya know, I could TOTALLY see you as an elementary or middle school teacher. Totally. ;)
Questions first, I guess. As for when I email, there is no set time during the day when it takes place. I just do it when I want. Usually we go in the afternoon because it ensures that everything else gets done first and that we get back from wherever we go (like today, when we went to the Duarte street market--more on that later). Also, our internet center has A/C, and that is only on if there is power, and the power goes out every day around 10, then comes back on around 2:30 or 3 and doesn´t go out again until 7 or 8. It is also just habit/custom among missionaries to make it the last thing they do. Some will print out emails in the morning to be reading them and think out a response, others know they won´t get their emails until the afternoon, etc.
(I asked Jacob about laundry...) Every area has the same kind of washer (except a few areas in the Santo Domingo zone, because they get to live in parts where there is MOOLAH), but ours is badly broken. It washes fine (standard spin cycle), but the dryer is shot. It´s a spin-dryer, and it doesn't turn anymore. So, ever since I've been here in Villa Esfuerzo one person does laundry Monday and wrings out everything and leaves it hanging up sopping wet, and the other person does laundry bit by bit in the mornings and evenings all week. Yeah, it stinks. The office promised us a new washer-dryer, but it's been two weeks and we've heard nothing. Thus, we are definitely calling them this week.

My companion is cool. Super intelligent. Went through some crazy tech boarding high school where they have you work on a farm in the mornings and do classes in the evenings. A giant rulebook, demerit points, working weekends as punishment instead of getting to go home, the works. He maybe slept 5 hours a night, MAYBE, during those three years. All of it was intense focus on biology and agronomy, and so he knows TONS. Like, to the point that he decided to buy aspirin and grind it into powder to mix with lime juice and make salicylic acid for acne instead of buying an expensive cream or gel. He is also no longer sick. We've been getting along great.
As a district leader, my first week I was a tad unorganized, but now I am doing much better. I have a little binder to take notes on my district's day and to gather numbers or any other information the Zone Leaders or Assistants ask for. I feel like I'm starting to get used to it.
This week everything fell through. I mean EVERYTHING. The good news is that we now have 30 contacts to sort through for potential this week. We are also really close to getting a family (M**** V****) married and baptized. After a year as investigators, and with their paperwork nightmare coming to a close, the husband finally said he wants to get married, and they will be married before the 16th of this month. At least the mom and two kids will be baptized--the dad needs more testimony. We are super excited, and Elder Sm**** has permission to come back from San Pedro (in the campo, about 2 or 3 hours away) to baptize L***, the mother.
I mentioned the Duarte street market--every city or municipality has its central street named after Juan Pablo Duarte, the brains behind the Dominican Revolution. It's your classic street market, (and you can probably find photos) with everything you could ever want or need (and most of it ripped off or pirated): apparel, electronics, housewares, games, paintings, furniture, jewelry and watches, with fresh fruit and street food everywhere. It's loud, it's messy, it's smelly, but you can get whatever you want cheap (it may not last unless you REALLY take care of it, but at least you got it cheap). I bought a mirror a little bigger than dad's computer monitor for 200 pesos (46 pesos is a dollar--go figure), a simple little speaker to hook up to the DVD player for 650 pesos, and a mini Reina-Valera Bible with a zippered case for when I go contacting (the Reina-Valera is the Church's standard Bible translation in Spanish, just as it is the King James in English) for 600 pesos.
Anyhow, I love you guys. I've been studying this week about how to study effectively, and I challenge you guys to go look at Preach My Gospel chapter 2, the latter half, and try out some of the study activities there. They are SUPER cool, and a lot of them are great mission preps. Also seek to pray sincerely before and after studying so that the Spirit may be with you, because the biggest thing that stuck out in my study was that without the Spirit you'll only learn with your head--your testimony and desire will not grow. Have a great 4th and a great week!
Élder Rowe

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