Hello there everyone! This week went by CRAZY fast.
I am glad to hear that Mock Trial state was great! I think we placed 19th or 17th or so (when he was involved 2 years ago). I honestly can't remember. As far as tracting went, we did a LOT. We met a bunch of crazy people in the street, because here there are no help systems for people with mental problems--they just let them wander the streets looking for food and entertainment. They bully them a lot, too. We met a guy who said he was "sent by God; there's Moses, then Abraham, then Jesus, and then God sent me." We pulled ourselves out of the conversation with some effort and some help from people sitting out in the street telling him to leave us alone. We always meet skanks (I'm sorry for the harsh wording, but there is no better way to describe them) who try to flirt with us or say they want our eyes or our children (or a child with our eyes). We met this week over 5 people who, upon opening conversation with us, proceed rapidly to tell us that they are Pentecostal Christians, as if to imply that they don't need any preaching from us. They almost always reject us, saying that we need to find the wicked or the strayed ones who don't go to church, and that we shouldn't waste our time with them. There is a transvestite guy who lives 3 blocks from us who always says hi when we go by (he lives on a main street); he is always dressed in the weird tight-t-shirt-super-short-
dresses immoral women wear here. We met a lady on a guagua to the capitol this week who was super awesome and receptive, and works on TV here. We set an appointment for yesterday, but when we went to visit her, the number she gave us is not hers... GAAH. That is a look into a day of tracting in the DR. We meet all kinds of people, many receive us the first time, and next to no one receives us a second time. It is a really great feeling when people keep being home and when they progress, though. You start to feel like it's all worthwhile.
I asked a number of questions and these are his responses... Daily life is a lot better with power. We always have cold water without having to buy little bottles every day (we have 2 fridges, so we put our 5-gallon bottles of potable water in one of the fridges and use the other for food), and we can keep leftovers from what members give us. We eat with members 3-4 days a week (fridays, saturdays, sundays, and occasionally another day). We cook for breakfast, and the other elders cook dinner (I decided a long time ago to eat dinner earlier, so I get a snack around 6pm instead of eating a meal at 9:30 or 10pm). On P-Day, we usually play basketball in the morning (outside the chapel or in a rec center nearby), go shopping if we need to, get together at our house with some other elders from the zone (since our house is the centerpoint of all San Pedro and the guagua/bus routes. There aren't that many things to see. Because of disobedience in other missions, in the entire Caribbean we got permission to go to beaches taken away, so I can't go down to the boardwalk or to the beaches here to take pictures. IT SUCKS. A LOT. I would LOVE to bring home pictures of dominican beaches, but we can't even ask a special permission to go. We have to travel a TON for exchanges. The farthest area is 2.5 hours away, there is another area about 1hr away, then one at 45 minutes, then one at 30, and then a few that are 10-15 minutes away because they are in the city itself. San Pedro is considered one of the "campo zones," because it has 5 little-town areas and 6 areas in the city itself. As far as experiences as a ZL, I need more time to think on that one. I need to take a moment to slow down and think of all that has happened, because time FLIES when you're always busy. I really enjoy this house of 4 because we all get along well. I have been in houses of 4 where things are great like that, but if you get into a house of 4 with one or two people that don't get along with others or start to have problems, it does make things messy sometimes. I have some pics, but I left my camera at the house. I will send them next week.
Anyhow, I don't think my brain can take much more. I love you guys so much! Enjoy SoCal! (We went for Spring Break.) I'm going to go play BANG! with the elders in my house and the elders from Quisqueya (a good friend of mine, Elder F****, has the bullet with all the expansions).