I am glad to hear that everything is very well with all of you. Sorry you had to return from the land of the sun and warmth back to the frigid wastelands of Canada. It is still a hard thing to imagine here. The weather is still a little cooler, but is slowly heating back up and soon it will be the summer and we will all suffer. (cooler meaning: we dont sweat so bad that we have salt stains on pants and shirts.) People here have a REALLY hard time imagining Canada. A place where everyone has heaters. Where the ground freezes and snow falls for 8 months. It is really hard for them, since the only weather changes here are rain, sun and hurricanes. Everyday is kind of the same, you just try to guess when the rain might come haha. So life continues somewhat to an extent.
So yes it is transfers week. And Elder Diaz and I are remaining in the area, but splitting up with other companions. And.... We are both training! Felicidad, I guess! Elder Diaz will be racking up 9 and a bit months in this area if he completes the training of another Elder, and I will be getting around 7 and a half months. Well, at least the house is really nice and our neighbours are nice and the area is too dangerous (although, there are some sketchy places haha). But all is well. So my image of the Dominican is still just one little place. This change will be good though, as Elder Diaz and I have great plans for the revitilzation of Ivan Guzman by working with the ward and having real conversion instead of just baptsims, as that seems to be what happened a lot in the past. We have even decided to divide the area (which is a really big step for our "organization"). The new year is finally looking brighter and somewhat better and I hope we can really achieve great things in an area that has really suffered.(Another sad thing, I dont get to see Elder Diaz's investigators anymore. :(. I really liked them they were super cool. And they had nice bathrooms I could use in their somewhat quiet houses.)
Apparently hitting 6 months is coming up for me, so I am a real missionary now, having pooped my pants and assorted other historical milestones. But I really learned something profound by working with Elder Diaz. We really discovered the importance of the Spirit, how a lesson truly works and our real purpose as missionaries. We dont necessarily change lives, but our message and our work does. There is a form and pattern to a lesson that must be observed so carefully as to not disrupt the Spirit. It is a very subtle touch that I have learned so much about. How delicate everything is. People dont change their lives just because they have knowledge. We have plenty of investigators with all the knowledge they will ever need about salvation, but they lack something very important: the Spirit. I didnt really realize what the gift and influence of the Spirit is before now. But now I really feel some sort of presence all the time. Where we should go, what we should do and a great love for everyone. I like to imagine all the people I have met here all together in a room dressed in white, I suppose the Celestial room of the temple here in Santo Domingo. I greet everyone of them at the door, and see in them the joy of having finally entered the kingdom of God. Then we all get to sit down for a bit. And then I have to go back to work. It has been some sort of grand priviledge to work here and truly find the Spirit. I hope it truly impacts the lives of the people we have taught, but at least it has changed mine. I really have lost the focus on just obtaining numbers, as the numbers are people that all need their own time, however much that may be.
Anyway, sorry for rambling. I just feel really glad to have changed so much in this area. Grown up or something. I'm still a goof, but maybe at least the uber-goof. I hope all our investigators get over their struggles. It will not be easy. People have real problems, and life is never as simply as we think, but it could be if we just followed the Lord in everything. Gave all.
Note: I am healthy again! Victory! I have normal bathroom schedule again during the day! VICTORY IS SWEET! Unless it dirties the bathroom.
We had pizza today I guess. We ate out. Felt really good to sit down with a bunch of missionaries and just eat out. It was like what I used to do at home with friends. Nice to just sit and eat. I mean, a few people were impatient and such but such is the American way hahahahahaa, eh?
Keep on walking! (I guess where you are it is skiing). I guess I have to haha. Thanks for the birthday wishes and all (Tasha, your birthday thing is coming, I just have to find a cool place to take a photo and actually send photos). I forget and then remember about when my birthday is, so people are probably annoyed by how many times I have said how soon it is. Thanks for all your prayers and love always. Mom shared the youth theme I see, and really... asi es. We need to continue on and find Christ. I really like Moroni, and wish an investigator would actually reach his chapters (so I could talk about them!). Maybe we will just assign them to someone.
Be careful with the snow and ice, and never forget I love you all. I will have a new companion tomorrow, another "son" in the mission! Hopefully I am actually cut out for doing this sort of thing. At least I get to see the President tomorrow. Always a great experience, just hearing and seeing the man. WOOOW. I will be sad when he leaves. Im sure Hermana Rodriguez has something to say about my health as well haha.
Thanks for everything always,
Siempre mi amor y todo mi corazon,
PS The notes from the cousins in the dearelder thing were really funny. I am glad hockey is still running, though I probably dont remember how to skate or anything haha.