Monday, 14 October 2013

October 14th - Thanksgiving Letter

Well, happy Thanksgiving! Um nobody knew about it here. And it looks like I won´t be having a large meal today since our apoyo money didnt come today. I still have food dont worry it is just my pasta though... yeaaaaa. Otherwise all is well and great and thank you for everything.

I am glad all of you are enjoying yourselves with this crazy party every week thing and constant celebration. I like mama´s cake in the photo! I actually got to eat a cake (which we call bizcocho here) yesterday and it was super cool awesome, alas it is the only cake I eat other than little things I buy in the colmado (store) here. It has been pretty good and all. I heard from Mom that Dad is still a goof riding scooters in the mall. Haha. You´re pretty funny father. But that is also super cool. I hope you drew the attention of the whole mall with your coolness and showed them who was boss. I hope you get better Dad and take care of the leg and I pray all the time for it so you can dance and surf again. I am glad everyone is learning the virtues of jazz music and playing it. Music here is a little rough. They call their one type of music typical or something like that, things like merengue and stuff and those songs are reallly cool and awesome, but the popular music here is definitely lacking. Apparently it is good I do not understand some of the words they say haha.

So this week was pretty good. We are accomplishing most of our goals and progressing pretty well. We have a pool of investigators who are attending church now and our hopes for them are very high. It is interesting that absolutely none of our investigators come alone. They always need someone to actually go to their house and pick them up to come to church. We are trying to work harder with the ward now and get members out to everything to get our progressing investigators in the church. Our ward mission leader is great with all of that and really works hard making lists and visiting people and coordinating with us. Of course he talks super fast and weird with a strange subdued accent that makes him super difficult to understand especially on the phone but he is still great! Phones really arent very good here. We cant really hear much at all and people also have trouble understanding us. Oh well. Phone bills are also a rip off. Buying these cards to get minutes. It is superbly expensive.

We found this investigator who has a husband who is a member who lives in America I think in New York or something like that. She is super prepared and all already reading the book of mormon and such. Elder Peterson originally had her reference but never found her until this one day we were walking in a park looking for someone else and this boy found us, who just happened to be the son of this lady with the husband in New York. He told us to come that day, and we did and they were there. Pretty cool. We are super happy to have found one of the few well behaved children around here haha. A super helpful and friendly 9 year old. Wow. Such a contrast with the other children we find. Most children rip our books, do strange things, yell and scream for something or other and are overall poorly behaved even rude. Ah well. At least we are still alive with our ears intact. Anyway, our hope for this investigator is pretty big, we do have to get her baptized before she ¨gives the light¨ (which means to give birth apparently).

Our other investigators are super cool too. This one guy who originally didnt do much at all is now reading all the pamphlets all the way through and has attended church two consecutive weeks (which is a big deal) and his baptism date is november, and we really hope it doesnt fall. He really enjoys church, but he only comes for the first hour right now. He has definitely changed though since seeing conference and a baptism of a different person. Really affected him. It is really cool to see how people change as they learn about the gospel and try to come closer to christ. Because we really dont do anything other than invite them and say whatever it is the Spirit tells us to say at the time. Even though we plan things and uisually teach the lessons, so many things that happen are very unplanned and are just thoughts and impression we act on without knowing all the reasons why. Whether the impression is in the lesson or during planning or something. It is extremely cool. I feel as though things are really changing with our investigators. They really are building faith. But the hard part is about to come with most. The trial is kind of coming up with everyone. We have this one man who we really wish would come to church and he definitely has a testimony of some kind. But he wont go without his wife, and his wife is comfortable in her religion, despite believing ours is true and wanting him to join it. Our next lesson with him is going to be very direct. We are taking a member who had his kind of situation and is going to explain what he did along with a scripture in Ruth 1. Super cool. We hope he becomes the example in his family and instead of lagging with his wife, really pushes forward.

We have this one set of recent converts whose parents are not members, the En........... They are bakanismos (super cool people), and we always have funny conversations with them, especially when they try using the English they learn in school and such. Everyone always says ¨Im good how are you?¨ regardless if they already asked how we are. Of course they learned how to call each other ugly and crazy since things like that are super important. I hope to send a picture of their rabbits we hung out with one time. We also play sports with one son, who is like the only tall Dominican in existence. We are trying to teach their parents too haha. One time they showed us this really stupid video on the internet of this guy singing this song while walking around the streets with a plate of something covered in chocolate. The song is a huge hit here, kind of like Gangnam Style, which is also here. One time when I was busy getting called a Korean guy, somebody asked if I knew Gangnam Style haha. I dont think I did the whole dance, but maybe just the one thing he does.

The weather is definitely still definitely hot. Super hot and humid. Kind of like always. I guess we only get two months of cooler weather in december and january. ah well. It cools down when it is raining buckets. But then we are soaking wet and it gets superbly humid when the sun comes back. I hope your winter goes okay HAHAHAHA. Another day in paradise for me!

We had our interviews on saturday this week. It was really cool to be with the president and his wife. They hold some kind of special power with them for sure. They are also familiar with Canada through family and their missionary service. Pretty cool. I told them they could visit. haha. They are really harping on the latinos to learn English. Kind of funny.

I still get called a chino at least a few times a week. Or a korean. Or japonese. But it is definitely a source of entertainment I exploit frequently. We have lots of fun in our district of only four elders all in the same house. We like to talk with each other lots in the house and do things and sometimes cook together and otherwise hang out. Someone had the brilliant idea of bringing an old mattress into the main room with a fan and we can kneel on the mattress sometimes for really long prayers now! Yaaahh. Happiness.

Thank you for all that you guys do, and please keep it up! Know that I love you all very much and hope that you will always perseverar hasta al fin. As I tell investigators and menos activos, there are a lot of things in this world we can do and can have. But none of it compares or matters if we dont have the gospel or salvation. It wont be important if we accomplish anything else other than reach heaven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that my family has this joy and blessing.

Con todo mi amor,
Elder Michael Sullivan

PS My spanish (dominican) word for today for you guys is bakano, which means a cool person. Have a nice day! Love you lots! Dont sell my room yet!

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