Monday, 12 May 2014

May 12th - Mothers Day and Baptism

We had a great time Skyping with Elder Sullivan on Mother's Day.  He appears happy and healthy and is in an exciting area where the Gospel is spreading.  Elder Sullivan was able to perform the baptism ordinance in Spanish for the first time on Saturday, May 10th.  He attached many pictures as you see above along with the short note below.

A quick note to post! (And thanks for the photos)

So this week was awesome. We have a lot of progression and its pretty crazy around here. We have an activity this week where we have to do skits (this stuff just never ends). We are hoping the family we are teaching comes through and are working super hard with them. They are scheduled to be married next week and everything and everyone is reading and praying and doing really well. We cooked lunch with/for them and some pan de guineo (banana bread) to celebrate the birthday of their son who just turned 8 (so he is also going to be baptized). So that is super cool.

Also, we baptized two people! A little lady from a banana plantation who cant read really but wow does she have faith. She has retained what we taught her pretty well and shows her faith like no other, actually walking all the way to church without fail early even though she travels the farthest. So she got baptized. Nice lady. Always really kind and funny haha. I finally baptized! A young woman, who even though she is super sassy and always makes fun of us and seems a kind of mean or prickly person, she really isn´t. Strong testimony, and really loves the Lord. After she was baptized she just giggled and laughed and smiled so legitimately it was super cool. Didnt even make fun of my hair. Bore her testimony and stuff (its super cool, and she really didnt want to at first but then she did haha). And she survived the baptism even though I submerged her for a super long time haha. So that was cool! Its fulfulling to help people and impact their lives in way that will impact them forever.

So thats kind of it for now. More later!

Elder Sullivan

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

May 5th - New Mission President

Hey everybody!
Wow everyone at home is having lots of adventures in Salt Lake, the temple, at home and in the snow! Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated here haha so I kind of missed that but oh well. All that stuff in salt Lake sounds pretty cool, other than the shopping. Thanks for the pictures, Thomas still looks the same (little), and snow looks super weird! It makes me proud that Benson and Andy have taken up jazz music and the higher plane of life as it is. I am sure it rocked the youth world, and told everyone that they must listen to jazz. I didnt know Richard was called to Carolina. Thats cool. I hope that all goes well.
So this week was really cool! President Rodriguez and Hermana Rodriguez are already gone as of Thursday, off in Toronto! They had been saving a long time to go. I completed 9 months in the mission as well on Thursday (wow) and its all sort of going too fast. We are still teaching the super awesome family of 6, 5 of which will be baptized at the end of the month (the other guy is not 8). They are superbly awesome and cool, and have changed so much just from the first lesson we gave. They even follow the commandments (almost, the marriage has to be set this week, and the husband has to stop drinking coffee. He dropped alcohol before so... it shouldnt be bad if he has faith). All is well other than the husband didnt come to church this sunday, so the whole family has to show up the next few sundays. His wife left him in the house when he was tired and didnt really want to go or something and told us ¨well, salvation is personal right?¨ Yeah, until you leave your family without it! Oh well, they are still a really awesome family. We have two baptisms this week that will be happening! A youth and an older lady. They are super cool. The one old lady is that one who walks super far, and she was at church early again, and this time with her daughter and a girl who helps her read sometimes. Lots of faith. The youth is sort of mean and sassy on the outside, but definitely has a testimony and love for the Lord, and all the sufficient knowledge (and months of church attendance). So yeah, its super great. This branch is really close to becoming a ward within the new stake of Azua if everything goes all well. So we have to keep filling the chapel with people until we can complain its too small. The focus is priesthood holders and potential priesthood holders, hence the branch has worked really well with us to help the family we are teaching and has given us a bunch of names of less active families. We just have to push on a little bit more. Converts here can get the Melquisedec (thats the spanish spelling, I dont know what it is in English) priesthood after just a few months. So we could be a stake in my time here in the branch, but only if we work super hard. So far our church attendance has been pretty high and our youth attendance especially. We just have to find more oldies and family types now haha. It wil be a little strange with a sort of backup president for a bit until President Nuckols arrives at the end of this month. But its all good! We are feeling great here doing lots of work and there is great progress, we just have to continue with faith and I have to not fall asleep in our first appointment of each day hahahahahaaha (its really hot and I get sleepy after eating food haha). Usually it means we were in the lesson too long anyway.
Otherwise all is well. I am chilling with Elder Peña and I am learning lots of english kreyol stuff. How fun! I work out lots. Like a lot. I can almost lift the same amount of weight as everyone else but not quite. Maybe in pushups I am equal? Anyway, I cant think of too much else. Oh, Elder Peña lives in Carazol Belize, which is where Amanda went on that HEFY thing. So they totally met. Elder Peña is super cool, and lifts way more weight than I do. And has to talk with the Hermanas on the phone every day (A pain I avoid and just get to eat food and work out at night hahahahahahaah!) He is a good guy, and so are the zone leaders. Nice house to live in, other than the one bathroom thing. We have to do lots of chores for the zone like clean houses and deliver stuff and do stuff like that sometimes. But wow the area is progressing so much, so I cannot complain! The weather is the same, hot. I dunno if I can even return to Canada or how on earth Pres and Hermana Rodriguez are possibly surviving right now. The zone leaders baptized a guy a week ago (maybe I said that already?) Anyway, he has a crazy child who bit me and stuff because he has mental problems but hes a funny kid.
Anyway, I love you all and know that you are all kept safe by the Lord while I am out here. Thank you so much for all your support and prayers, they really do count, I know. Thanks for being such great parents, so that now I can try to help other parents become better too (well, or at least the Lord and the Spirit can but only if I show up`at their house). Know that I love you all, and that the biggest thing I have learned out here on the mission really is about how to love as the Lord loves, and about how much He loves everyone. Never forget that Heavenly Father and Jesus love everyone!
Con amor,
Elder Sullivan