Monday, 9 September 2013

August 8th Letter

Buenas tardes mis padres y mis hermanas
I hope life is still going well and thank you for writing! As I thought, only my parents wrote to me haha. I hope this message finds you well.
Thanks for sharing all your experiences about Trek and testimony meeting. It makes me very happy to know my family is being looked after and is looking after other people. Please keep up all the work (Dios ha veendo). Let me know how it goes, and keep those Chestermerians and Calgarians on track!
Lo siento about the whole airport fiasco! The agent was really not happy about all the unlucky odds I faced haha. Pero it worked out fine in the end and nobody died or anything.
Entonces, el CCM. Es bien. Pero, I can´t wait to leave it haha. Today I met some Elders from my mission in the bookstore. WOAH. I´ll be serving con ellos en 5 semanas! La comida en el CCM es ok. Arroz cada dia. La carne is not done very well haha. Pero, me gusta poco. haha. I was sick for a couple of days so staying awake at times was tough but I get WAY more sleep than during the school year. I play a lot of volleyball during gym time and actually eat three square meals a day and its bonita. I am in a great district, and this may or may not be surprising but there is actually almost NO native elders in the CCM. They are all americans! From Utah. About as white as you get and I am the only Canadian. Pero, mi companero Elder Joseph is a Haitian who has lived in Santo Domingo for 8 months. He has a really large family, and one of his sisters is serving a mission in Santo Domingo East, the same mission he will be going to on September 10! He is super funny, loves joking and running around and speaking a bunch of different languages (some hermanas here speak Tagalog by the way) and doesn´t speak more than a couple words of English. So how do we do anything? Yo no se. He speaks a lot of Spanish very well but it is not his first language, Creole\French is. Entonceeesss... its pretty hard. Daily life is fine because I can speak the basic things but as soon as complex things need to happen like teaching a lesson to an investigator.... IT GETS REALLY TOUGH. Because all I speak is the basics. To communicate in complex terms I need a lot of time to think it out or write Spanish down and I take too long. But usually it works out much better than I thought and all is well and its good that I´m a follower because mostly wherever Elder Joseph goes I go unless I really need something haha. It´s hard for him because this place is meant for, designed for and caters to English speakers for learning Spanish. Only the Haitian missionaries speak French (most of them are old friends of Elder Joseph´s). But he is a great companion and its going to be great. The other elders\hermanas en mi distrito are from the U.S. There are far more elders in this CCM than hermanas. Its cool to see the different levels of progress in the different missionaries concerning the language. Everyone knows the doctrine. But only certain people are really progressing in spanish. Our district leader Elder Pedersen is really learning a lot of spanish (he basically speaks more or less the same as me) and is a great guy who follows the rules but still does fun stuff and is a classic Utah kind of person. His companion Elder Little is SO FUNNY. OH MY. COMICO. Sin Elder little, there would be so much less fun in the district. Elder Le Fevre, Elder Ernst, Hermana Scholes and Hermana Hamblin are all awesome too and the hermanas get along with Elder Joseph well (despite the severe lack of Spanish knowledge in most of the missionaries. except for one hermana who took it in college. She used the past tense in a regular conversation. I died a little inside.). Its a priviledge to be here and a great honour and blessing and my one desire is that I can learn enough here to be an effective tool in the Lord´s hands. I really like that the CCM is on the temple grounds and today we had the blessing of going inside! After an endowment session we got to do sealings! It was amazing to do work for families and to do sealings for children to their parents! I really understood and felt the importance and power of eternal families and I am so glad that my family is eterno and that we are under the covenant and can´t wait for mama to be sealed as well!. I am grateful for everything you guys do and will strive to become the man you hope and expect from me. I am having a good time at the CCM, but really want to get out. The language is progressing. To an extent. I have good grammar and structure, but I lack complex vocabulary. Thankfully I spent all that time trying to understand Chinese when I didn´t speak it because it truly is helping me comprehend people here. I hope I can do more than just ¨"figure things out" and actually be useful. I really need to. Its a truly spiritual experience to be here and I hope that spirit carries on into your lives. I pray for you all the time. I hope all things for you. There is great power in faith. And I would like to express the importance of pondering and deep thought, as it was alone without any distraction as I sat and thought about what to say in a lesson where it all became so much clearer in prayer and deep thought. True inspiration. I hope I´m helping my companion, but I really have no idea. It is awesome to be here and to be doing the Lord´s work. I feel so much better than I did in school. I guess my favourite scripture right now is Moroni 10: 3-5. The Book of Mormon challenge. The family should read it and understand the true power of prayer and quiet thought. Remember always I love you and if nothing else I hope my love of you and the Lord is enough to prevail against evil. Always have joy, my family and thank you for getting me out on this mission especially prepared.
Fight the good fight.
All of my love, se amo se amo con todo mi corazon.
Elder Michael Sullivan (El Canadian solamente)

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