I hope all is well! And everything is good and such! Sounds like you guys are having a great time and such! I'm glad Dad is fine with the surgery and all and you better let it "heel". HAHA. Sorry you can't walk for a bit Dad but I hope it is for the best.
So I guess I can say a little about the CCM. The study has begun to pay off! I don't know if I told you a new group of missionaries came in and the place is packed! It is funny to see people at the point we once were at in Spanish. I guess a lot of things have happened, but I really don't remember everything since the days kind of blend together. I guess there is a lot of ping pong. The father of an Elder here also went to Korea on his mission to Seoul and he also holds the ping pong raquet like a Korean. Ha. I cannot play with the other Elders though they are way too good. Our teachers are all returned missionaries and have some very unique experiences. They were amazing missionaries, full of vision and hard work. Its amazing to learn from them. I'm glad I came to this CCM, the small size has reminded me of my school and the way it was easy to develop relationships with everyone especially the teachers. I like knowing everyone in the building. Although they are all still Americans or Latinos. No other nations haha.
I guess my biggest news was my trip on Friday into the field. WOW. It was amazing! To actually do some real missionary things! (which I guess happens on Tuesday anyway but still). The DR is really different from anywhere I've ever been. If we thought Mexico was dirty.... wow. Here the sewage is basically open and the dump is the street. People here kind of do whatever it is they want to do haha. Like pee and poo in the street. Clothing is kind of an optional thing here, and I'm told the Law of Chastity is the hardest lesson here especially since marriage is kind of a tough and passive thing. But the people are all superbly nice and friendly and receptive. I blend in here since I look asian and apparently that's normal here. The white people have more intererest to people here for sure. And apparently its different for Hermanas here. And what we used to think was poor or ghetto in the world is nothing compared to here. We usually taught people in the street since their house is just a bed in a room. Floors don't exist its either dirt or concrete. Its dirty everywhere. I guess my area was particularly dirty according to other people. They kind of just throw their stuff in the street haha. But it was really fun! Other than crossing the street! My split companion was Elder Nunez from the West mission, zone Independencia, area Cristo Rey. He was from Guatemala and super funny. He really liked Japanese anime like me and we spoke at length in Spanish in the streets. We taught recent converts (lessons that we don't practice in the CCM) and I explained some things, asked some questions, prayed/bore testimony and talked about myself mostly haha. Everyone thinks Canadians speak French, and they really find it amusing that I am a Chinese/British Canadian. The converts were really nice and sweet but definitely mostly the poorest of people. It is really easy to get lost in DR. And the street is the loudest thing ever. Music booms all day (techno bop or merengue), cars are super loud and people are always talking haha. They're pretty religious though. Shoes get super dirty here in the dirt and trash haha. It isn't overly sketchy in terms of crime either. AND I LOVE THIS PLACE. The weather! People! Stuff! Interesting foods! And their strange slang in spanish! I always get to say to them "Yo hablo un chin chino." (I speak a teeny bit of chinese). They love it! And I love talking with them! It is so different to be in a place where people talk! :). Anyway, thats about it. The street is meant for shorter people than me. The missionaries in the West are super awesome! Lots of them are really excited about the work, and it seems pretty good here. I want to get out in the "jungla" though, since I would be out of the city and apparently its way better out there in terms of people, living, etc. The storms are worse though in the jungla. But my companion said his favourite place was San Juan province.
I guess I should say that the gift of tonges is a very real thing. I actually spoke out in the field and have learned Spanish definitely not on my own. No chance that any of us would have advanced this much. It is crazy how the words come. It is crazy how what to do next just happens, whether in planning or right in the moment. One teacher said a succesful missionary doesn't walk much here. He says they move from door to door, person to person and teach all day without moving much at all. I can see it here for sure. So excited for these people to become my friends and hopefully bretheren and sisters forever. In the temple I listened to the session mostly in Spanish today, and it was cool to understand it and realize that language doesn't mean anything in the kingdom of God, and it is no barrier for His will. Heavenly Father knows all our languages, and has asked us to become like Him, so I guess I better master this language and then find another! I'm glad that I have been raised by great parents, and the most recent lesson I taught in the CCM was the 2000 stripling warriors (dos mil jovenes), and it is a great power for me to be able to share the greatness of my family, for I know my family is the same as those 2000. Never fear anything my family, for God walks with you.
Stay safe as always and keep on enjoying yourselves! I have yet to see the ocean again since my first day! ARGGH. As always you have my prayers, love, soul and all. For the people I do not yet know, I will give my time. For my friends, I will give my life. But for you, my family, I would give even that which I do not yet have, no matter price.
Con amor siempre,