So glad that all the holidays went very well in Russia and Mexico! Nice to hear the ocean was kind this year and shared of her wonders with everyone. I havent seen oceany things in a while but Im sure I will sometime. Sorry that you all still have a language barrier going on but oh well it just means you have to study spanish haha. I miss doing things on the water but live vicarously through all your experiences. Thank you as always for the great words of comfort and guidance. Although I havent seen great success in numbers, I suppose at least all the people I have met here have been changed in some way or another. Changed for the better.
Well I am glad all our friends think I am doing a great job. Of course they think so, its a great part of latin culture, the preaching of the word. People here recognize so easily that we are here to preach, but of course when we state our real purpose of changing their lives, they back down a little haha. I suppose it testifies to me of the truth of this gospel. Im not just going around trying to get people to join the church just to pay some money, but really inviting them to follow Christ. It has been so special to share with people what will really touch and change their hearts forever. I may be facing my last week here in Ivan Guzman (we will find out sunday), so it might be time to finally see the Dominican Republic outside of my little bubble here. I have really got to know a lot of people here really well, but its kind of strange to kind of go through cycles of investigators like I have. As always its worth it or in spanish, ¨vale la pena¨. I am going to really miss Elder Herrmann and Elder Diaz and the Mercado family.
Otherwise things are going well. The sun is shining brighter and brighter and burning us alive but thats ok because there were once another three missionaries in the bible who did the same Shadrac Mishac and Abednego and they didnt burn at all. So hopefully we dont as well.
This week was really interesting to see the desire of some of our investigators. They have this burning desires to know and to be better and have blessings or something for their lives, but are always turned back by something worldly. Work, money, slight sicknesses and whatever else people can conjure up tends to get in the way of their desires though. So, they do not yet have the faith. But that comes.
We went to the temple with some other zones last week. I am very glad we did. The Lord seems to know when we need things from, and He knew in that moment that I needed to be in His presence again. I felt granted the priviledge of being with all of our eternal family. Elder Herrmann and I stayed in the temple a long time, and it made me sad again to leave. It was really special to feel that we really are going to be together again, everyone. I hope we will all be there together with even more people, all our dear Dominican friends too. I am grateful the Lord has His plan for us. So we should never fear, just press on. I have really found out a lot of what happens is all in our minds, and we just need to have open hearts so that we can forget problems and take up our cross in this life and walk. Other people need me every day, and if I am bogged down with little things that happen to bug me, I am missing the point of life here.
Its been great to share with such great people. We brought a cake to celebrate Christina´s birthday with a family and really got the kids involved. Hopefully they can become an eternal family. So special and great. They all say happy birthday to Christina, in chinese as well!
Some investigators have been going really cool, accepting baptism dates and stuff. We blessed a bunch of people this week for assorted different things. Priesthood exercising. And body exercising, I have been doing a lot of that lately in the mornings. So far its working to help keep me awake and doing well and everything.
We also have been really feeling the guidance of the Spirit. Sometimes we miss impressions, but for the most part have been exactly where we needed to be in the exact necessary moment. To share with a family about faith. To help some people understand their lives could be so much better if they live the commandments and press forward in the path. To comfort a family distressed with sickness. To invite a man to hear more about the Gospel. Finding someone we lost randomly in the streets one day. So priviledged to be here.
So dont worry about me Im figuring out lots of cool things and everything. I love being out here and would not trade it for anything. We saw the baptisms of Elder Diaz´s investigators, all the ones I had the priviledge of working with. They are so amazing now, the Spirit glows within them and sheds light wherever they go, and Im so happy to be a part of that. That we picked them up out of darkness and now they are here in something beyond comprehension. Wow Im getting poetic.
Family, I love you dearly and hope only the best. Never give up. I know you are in God´s hands. Do not look back on what is past, only at what exists now. Because life is so wonderful and we have so many chances to live it.
Gracias por todo siempre. Que el Senor les cuide en sus manos.
Siempre mi amor,
PS Hopefully this all made sense!