Friday, 10 July 2015

July 6th, 2015

Hey everyone,

So probably the last big email to update whats been going down!

Lots of cool stuff that I always wish I could write about, but I usually cant think of it all. Well anyway, I suppose to just talk about this week, today we played basketball with some not so active youth who are playing in this stake basketball tournament. So that was fun, although Manuelfi, the guy who draws anime and stuff, is obviously a lot better than everyone else in Villa haha. It was fun to play with them, although I still kind of suck at basketball and I usually throw the basketball like a rugby ball still. Good times though. Other stuff this week, well, our family reactivated here, their 9 year old daughter passed the interview and is getting baptized this saturday, so at least one baptism here in Villa before leaving, even if it is just a kid. Well, thats how President Nuckols was baptized, a 9 year old reactivation so who knows? Maybe she will become a great leader someday. She is the reason the family got reactivated so, good signs! Although, the whole divorce of her Mom has been a little impactful. Divorce is bad! But we are excited for her baptism, as its a big step for the ward and such. Hopefully the primary is all like there and supportive and stuff, apparently the whole agenda is getting set up by the ward... I hope....

So lots of fun doing the whole teaching little Dayi (thats her name by the way). Shes pretty funny, and kids always say exactly what they think about something haha, so her remarks are always a little direct, strange but always pretty funny. She like, would straight up tell the district leader that she doesnt like him and thinks he is a gossiper haha. And then that she doesnt like chinese people because the pica pollo (fried chicken place) workers werent very nice to her. So I had to talk her down on that one (being chinese haha). And she believes everything we say, even if I tell her that Elder Wassum fell off a pea tree even when he shows up the next day just fine. Then she kept on telling me its bad to lie, and I agreed haha. So many questions too, about everything! Anyway, shes really funny, but the whole divorce of her parents has messed her up a little, so we hope that the ward and her parents right now can fix that up. Gonna be a cool baptism anyway!

Lots of craziness, lots of people came to church that we have been working with. Finally had all three of the crazy O'soria sisters come. Lots of work there haha. They're like, less actives who are attending the church lots (its not just church attendance that makes you a less active). Its nice to see them making lots of progress anyway, and its been fun teaching them. One of them even reads the book of mormon and can actually like, relate all the stories back. Someone shot a gun while we were in a lesson, like, across the street. Luckily it was a small gun that might not have killed anyone, either way. They shot just because of some insult someone said haha. The wonders of drama.

So yeah its been good. Lots of fun with my comp, lots of walking and talking but that happens every day. Its been super cool with Elder Wassum, its been different being with another older missionary, but it turned out super good for the work and it was a good time. Hope to see Elder Wassum around again. Lots of the members have been great to meet with out here. Dominicans always have their little jokes, and the people in villa have had probably some of the best, especially since I understand them all now.

Well, so I guess this is kind of the end of my mission. It was super great, and this last week I hope to end it off well. It looks like we are going to try and visit with all the great people, and make one last effort with the baptism this week and everything. 

My words on the mission as a whole? AWESOME! Best experience ever, and great blessings for so little. I will really miss all the great people.

Well I probably write like one last time next week, but for now,

Sigan para adelante (Press forward)

Elder Sullivan

June 29th, 2015

Hey everyone,

So the big news for the week is that I went to Azua on monday! Visited all the people I had taught and baptized and a few members and such that I had worked with. The branch is in a strange state but otherwise they are doing really well. It was really cool to see everyone down there and be able to share with them one last time (well, there will always be facebook). We ended up staying there super late, because the Minyetti family just wouldnt let us leave haha we had to eat and talk with them. It was fun though, Im glad they are doing so well my dominican family. Unfortunately their son just failed school and isnt active and I didnt get the chance to talk with him and let him know how it is and such, but at least I saw him. At least the other family members are doing really well, like their callings and still want to go to the temple and such. Just gotta work with their rebelious son. I was glad to see them and they me, and it reminds me all of that story in the book of mormon about Ammon and such and how the people always remembered each other and had a close bond forever. Good stuff.

Here we are still preparing a 9 year old girl to be baptized by her recently reactivated Dad. We´re working super hard so that it gets done next week. Gonna be tough, but I mean shes like 9 so... we think it will be fine. The goal will be that the whole family stays active now. Other investigators are all not married and living together so this is our big hope. Although we did get this one lady to like go to church and stuff and accept a baptismal date and shes actually getting super into it and reading, and so we think she is really trying to get ready for baptism. She could actually do it, and has been like, repenting and stuff so thats good. Basically life is good, and I feel like the area is good enough to leave it and be like ¨yeah its all good¨.

Well, I cant think of much else to write and time is short.

Keep the faith bretheren!

Elder Sullivan

June 22, 2015

Hey everybody!

So life in Villa has been pretty good. We reactivated a family here, the couple has been interviewed and everything and like they are going to receive callings and stuff and they are doing good. We are going to be teaching their daughter to be baptized by her Dad pretty soon. The family is in really good spirits and they come pretty far from the north up to church. They have even begun a little bit of scripture reading and such. So its nice to see all the things coming together, although most of the success is really due to the bishop and his crazy home teaching and follow up on less actives. He is a machine, and the ward will see great growth because of it. 

A bit on the sad side, one of our investigators (Francsico) died from a heart attack. He had been going to church for a long time, but he got in an accident a little while ago, and so while he was recovering, his problems with diabetes spiked and he dided last night. We met with his son but the rest of his family we have yet to see. I think though that this will be better for him, as the injury could have crippled him for a long time and now he doesnt have any obstacles to be baptized. He will be missed here on earth though. Its nice to know that hes still out there though, making his little jokes haha.

Other stuff, our light got fixed, but it burned out one of our fans and light bulbs haha. Um... yeah. We played basketball today with the district and one of the young men and his brothers, it was fun but I sure felt kind of old. Good times with them though.

Well, Im kind of drawing blank on the rest of the week, it was really rainy.

Keep the faith bretheren!
Elder Sullivan

June 15 2015

So this week we went to the colonial zone in the east mission to see the old cathedrals and other historic things about cristopher columbus and other stuff. It was pretty cool, learned a bunch. The country's past is a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. Lots of intrigue, the natives here were actually really nice and peaceful and like just kind of mixed into the spanish race for the most part and most of the wars were with Haiti and such. If I remember right they didnt actually fight for their independence here, it was kind of granted kind of like in Canada. Turns out that even though columbus didnt land here first, this was on of his first colonies that was actually successful and made it all the way into current times due to the Taino people who helped them and stuff. They suspect that columbus was actually buried on Dominican soil, but the spanish deny that and yeah who really knows? Also lot of stuff about catholicism, its kind of weird all the stuff in the churches. Lots of paintings of demons to keep the demons out.... the old catholic religion was really into mysticism and stuff like that. Its a lot different nowadays.

The rest of the week was pretty good we taught some people and found some new people and are teaching stuff. Regular kind of thing. Francisco is in good spirits and we visit him to keep him happy and such. Haha. At least he has lots of time for reading now. Those less actives are a lot less less active now, they come every week and are doing super well so we hope we can keep that up.

Went and visited my old areas on monday, great experience. So nice to see all the people again. Wish I could have spent forever with them all. But at least I have all their facebooks and stuff. I hope to see them all again as well!

Well I was going to write more but we really didnt find that much time tonight when the light came back to write a bit.

Hopefully more next week, mayb esome photos... well I guess Im already back anyway but

con amor,

ELder Sullivan

Thursday, 11 June 2015

June 8th 2015

Hey everybody!

So just here, chilling in the DR (well, chilling isnt exactly an accurate description with the weather, more like sweating it out). Things are good though.

Well, this week was interesting. Sort of a sifting through people kind of week as a bunch of people we just have kind of dropped or missed because they werent home. We dropped two youth recently who we were really fed up with. They were just toying with us and not learning anything and who knows why they were taking the lessons with us, they just kept on demanding things and not paying attention and so, we told them how it was and left. We had been patient for at least a month with them, so that was kind of the final straw, and it looks like they wont be talking with us for a while. I have decided to never become a teacher of students in a school, Im not very good at it haha. 
Otherwise, Francisco is still at the hospital, apparently he is suppsoed to be operated today. Pray it goes well! Other people are progressing but still not married, but at least they are working on it. So far, it looks like the only hope of seeing a baptism before leaving the area will come from reactivating this one family and having their daughter be baptized. But we are still working hard on it, the ward is really supportive so I think we will come out on top here!
What else went on... well we didnt have water or light for most of the week. So lots of sitting on the porch, wondering when life will begin haha. Im a granddaddy out here in the mission, Elder Herrmann is now training a kid from Oregon, so thats cool. They be working hard, his new comp is kind of shy met him today but he'll be a sassy dominican by the end, Elder Herrmann certainly is, haha. We had an activity today playing basketball, and Herrmann and I caought up a bunch. Good times.
Been called chinese a lot lately. People are kind of racist about it actually, especially in basketball today haha. Ah well, I guess I mostly lost in basketball anyway. 
The rest is kind of fuzzy. Still a little weird to be so close to finishing the mission, weird that I recognize its the end but still cant even imagine what it will be like to be finished and someplace other than my little apartment here in the DR. Going to miss the people here in villa, super nice guys. And that one guy draws anime and stuff, we learned a bunch from him haha. 
Well, those are the adventures for now, keep the faith!

Elder Sullivan

June 1st 2015

Hey everybody,

So what to say about the week, its been good. We managed to get out more without so much rain. We even contacted and found some new people. Taught some really cool restoration lessons there in the first lesson, that was fun. Its cool how people relate better with the restoration than any other of our lessons. 

Anyway, some cool happenings. Francisco got hit by a motor, so his foot is broken. He is coming back from the capital sometime soon, but we may be rolling him to church in a wheelchair. Who knows, maybe the experience will help? For him to... I dunno... speed up getting married? Or something, either way, kind of unfortunate, we hope hes ok. Motors are dangerous things, gotta watch the street when you walk on it. Although, we all seem to walk in the middle of the street, and just dodge them when they come.

Well, other cool things, we have a lot of people coming out to church, members and non members. Its like a fiesta or something. Anyway, its cool to see everyone out there, and really lots of our investigators are progressing really well in terms of their learning, repentance and overall lives, the only problem is that so many are not married. But, if they got married, they would be baptized tomorrow haha. All we need now is a new shipment of book of mormons, and a few miracles in the paperwork/marriage department. Hopes are high!

We are having lots of fun, had some cool dinners with some people and watched the restoration movie with one investigator with food and everything. It was cool, and unique that someone actually had a functioning DVD player and TV (although, it was a super old DVD player haha). Some dog attacked me, but backed out at the last moment before actually jumping on me haha. Probably had something to do with Elder Wassum yelling at it haha. I have oficially decided also to never teach juniour high or elementary school except maybe for like piano lessons. Because kids that age are super annoying, and its super hard to teach them and basically is just this huge patience game. hey but they are fun to have around in church because they're pretty goofy haha.

Um what else? There is this cool guy named Felix that we teach who is progressing really well with the book of mormon, hes actually getting into the story and he comes to church straight from his job as a security officer, he doesnt even sleep until after, and he really likes the church, gets super into the classes. He even filled out this little self-sufficinecy thing when we did like a provident living class thing (I didnt even fill it out haha, I probably doodled during that class). Another cool youth we are teaching finally came to church, hes super quiet and stuff but he was liking the lessons and getting into the book of mormon reading super far and actually understanding the story. Too bad hes moving into the capital, but at least he progressed with us. We had some good times with him, playing dominoes and learning the gospel.

Other stuff, kids are crazy in the DR. They almost kill each other on like a daily basis. 

Good times had by all. Oh right, its transfers. Im staying here with Elder Wassum, but our district will be seeing some big changes. A guy who was in  Azua is coming in, so Ill have to talk with him about my people there. Otherwise its stay the course for now. President sent a special note to our group of missionaries, seeing as we will be taking almost a quarter out of the mission with us. He wants us to leave the legacy. So thats what we are doing.

I heard that Elder Perry passed away, a great man. Ill miss him. I guess the world is still changing, somewhere out there.

Keep the faith bretheren, never give up.

Hasta entonces,

Elder Sullivan

Monday, 25 May 2015

May 25th, 2015

Hey everybody!

Hope everything is well!

So, here we are another week. This week was mostly, rain! We were severely rained on basically every day. So we got a little wet and ended up a little demobilized, but we still managed to get around somewhat. 

The week showed a lot of good progress with less actives. We have mostly been visiting them so far. We have these two sisters from the hills on the other side of the highway who have been coming back to church. Their kids are really needy and annoying, but they are cool. Really nice to us at least haha. The two sisters have been inactive for a few years, but we found them one day contacting. After talking a bit, we got them remembering about all the times they had with the first missionaries who baptized them. They especially remembered getting the pamphlets, reading, the weird games we always play as missionaries to have people pray (the nose game is a favourite) and various other experiences. Thats mostly our job with less actives, is to remind them why they made covenants in the first place. And when they remember the missionaries who baptized them and all their experiences with them, it always helps them. We taught these particular two a lot about repentance and are trying to encourage them that getting back on top is possible, itll just take some effort and they should never feel bad about coming back to church, its not a shameful thing. So far response is good, and its nice to see them changing. Maybe even their little kids will be a little happier (not likely). 
Well lots of other less actives coming out too, we are having lots of good times with them, since they are happy to receive us and the ward actually home teaches them and stuff. We even ventured out to the north to visit a few more out there, everyone is a little more excited about church and such now. We have a young man coming back now, hes super cool. I probably already talked about him. He draws anime and stuff, hes drawn me a few things haha and Ill probably send a picture he drew of me and stuff. Hes really cool, into animation class and stuff. Fun to sit with in church, he can like draw stuff in just a couple of minutes and it looks awesome. Im trying to learn a few things from him, but my drawings are still really bad. At least I have the shapes down better haha.
Still waiting on the marriage situation for the investigators or extended church attendance for the youth so... well... baptisms are going to be tough but we have big plans for Francisco to get on the bandwagon haha. At least everyone is making progress little by little, although teaching youth is always a pain (they just never like to pay attention and rebel against us whenever they can, but they all went to church). Anyway, all is pretty good!
Had a funny talk with Francisco cartoons. He thinks that dragonballz is really good, I dont really think so. He then called most japanese cartoons demonic. Dragonballz is totally japanese. Ah well. He always tells me I look ugly until he puts his glasses on, then suddenly Im a handsome dude. 
We had a kidney shot war with our little deacon during some ward wedding that happened (its our fellowshipping of youth style haha). We locked him in a room for a bit, after thoroughly destroying him with kidney shocks. And then some big 8 year old kid showed up who weighs 120 pounds. I picked him up but it was a huge effort and I guess I made a weird face. He will one day be a super fat boy.
There was probably other stuff that happened... but I cant remember it all

Have a nice week!

Elder Sullivan