Monday, 15 December 2014

Dec 15th 2014

Hola! FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS HERMANA MIA! Happy birthday Tasha!

So thanks for all the pictures and stories, sounds like Christmas has been pretty big this year, maybe I should be glad I wasnt around to get all caught up in it haha. The choir fiascos are especially entertaining, hopefully it all worked out! Congratulations to all, especially Tasha for the performances. I will pray for Hermano Wellmann.

Thanks for all the university work, sorry about all the time consumption there. Um in terms of those essay things.... I am sort of becoming more interested in ER or like surgery medicine, uh, so I suppose I would like to find better ways to perform rapid internal surgeries to minimize initial problems or something like that. Im not really sure I havent thought about academic things really with medicine (since Im out serving haha) just that it really interests me to help people and like save lives on a daily basis?

So the week was super awesome, christmas conference was really cool. Our skit ended up being really good despite my preocupations. I was like this guy who gets into worldy stuff looking for happiness, the skit ended up having these super creative costumes for alcohol and cigarettes and a host of tempations haha. Unforunately President has the pictures of that so.... It was cool, we got lots of laughs and I tried to cry on stage but mostly I just looked sad so good enough. It was fun and the other skits were really good too super funny, except for this one where a latin guy ¨accidentally¨ used the word ¨nigger¨ so they got in big trouble but the rest of the conference went well. Pres showed us his trip to the Holy Land and stuff and it was pretty neat to kind of realize that Jesus really did walk on the earth and its not all just made up stuff, even though really a testimony of the spirit is all thats necessary anyway, it was still pretty neat. A Hawaiian missionary sang for us too with his ukelele, so that was nice.

Anywho, Cruz Maria is going to get baptized this week on saturday, everything is filled out and announced and so we just have to get through this week with her. She´s solid on it all and is going to be super awesome. She always says she doesnt read anything but really she reads like a chapter or more a day in the BOM shes just got a complex or something (she once told me I have a complex... haha). Her boyfriend is chill with it, but doesnt really want to hear from us haha. Elder Reed made the greenie from the MTC invite her to be baptized with like a scripture and everything on the exchanges. She was super confused for a second, and then accepted. Elder Reed was laughing too hard though so he figured out that it was kind of a joke, but hey she accepted to be baptized again even with the date being the next week so thats good!

A few really cool new investigators came to church! The guy who was getting divorced, Bernardo, came to church with his kid and it was really neat. He really feels like God called him in his ¨time of darkness¨ when we showed up at the door with a messsage about Christ. We´re excited to see his progress, I mean, he gets a little caught up with his biblical knowledge and he rants like any older man but hes really sincere. He participated a bunch in the classes, kept on talking about the evils of the internet and how important it is for us to always be good and that there is a difference between the path of happiness and pleasure. He said pleasure is the path of the devil. Pleasures only take away. They take away time, take away pain for a little while, but they try to take everything and slowly a person disintegrates. The path of happiness is different, its a bit of work and requires devotion to oneself and discipline, but it lasts and doesnt take away, it gives.

An awesome new investigator studying dentistry came to, has really neat questions and is super smart, always relating religious things to science, so Elder Reed liked that and so did I. It was cool to show that miracles arent magic, its all really science its how things are done, but our faith is what makes it all work (interesting concept, eh?). Hes going back to Haiti though, ah well, he´ll be back in January.

We had exchanges again with the MTC. Did some cool stuff.We have a less active moving back into activity, not sure if our visits really made a difference in that but maybe!

So, it was a busy week. Sorry I didnt write that much, but I hope everything is great at home and that it is still Feliz Navidad.

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan

Hey, apparently my blog is kind of famous a bunch of new missionaries keep on saying that theyve seen it. So... maybe you guys should put some advertisements on it so that we make some money haha.

Dec 8th 2014

Hello my wonderful family!

Thanks for all your always doing at home! Im sorry that today my message wont be brilliantly long, we had a bunch of trouble with the power in our sector today and we are already late as it is haha. I will remember the Muirlaslo family in my prayers and I dont know if it would be possible but I would like to email them somehow I dunno. At least if you see them let them know that Im thinking about them, especially give comfort to Sister Muirlaslo. No one is ever a lost cause. Im glad you are all enjoying the snow and finding great joy in the christmas season. I hope Dad gets better from the nasty flu bug but Im glad that as always ¨those who trust in the Lord shall find new strength, they shall spread their wings as eagles, and they shall run, and not tire, and they shall walk and not faint¨. So continue onwards in faith, and I hope all the many concerts and hecticness goes well and that you can find peace as well in the Saviour in this time of christmas. Thank you for the pictures, Im sorry that today I dont have any. 

We are getting more and more excited for the december times here. Cruz Maria is still set to be baptized, reading lots, praying more and shes really excited to make covenants like baptism and also marriage. We taught her specifically about marriage recently and tried to help her understand the importance of it all and that she needed to communicate more with her spouse and stuff so that he knows whats going on in her life with the baptism and all, since its kind of important. It was fun to teach about, and wow we read a bunch of serious talks from apostoles about marriage, I suppose Im pretty excited about it all now haha.

We have a new awesome family of a single mom who came to church this week and are reading the book of mormon like mad men. We are trying to get them into the gospel more each day, and it looks pretty good from here. We have been meeting so many people lately who really want to find the true church and really join themselves to God its really exciting. They are even making good friends with certain members and its making our work much easier as the members can take care of them as well. Anyway, its all pretty neat.

Christmas conference is tomorrow for the capital. Itll be fun, Ill send photos of the strange skit and everything. Im really mostly excited just to see all the good friends I have made in the mission.

Also, I know that soon we get to do phone calls and stuff. Do you guys still have the skype name I used last time? I seem to have forgotten. It will be on the 25, Im not sure what time yet.

Well, other than all that, I hope everyone can focus on the true christmas spirit. That Christ can fill all of our lives with great love and joy. Remember that really truly charity is our most important attribute, as it is the only thing that will remain after all is said and done. Charity includes suffering with people, consoling them, taking time for them, helping them, charity is more than just affection it is devotion, the desire to help and stay with other people. I have learned a lot about charity out here in the mission, and through it learned that its so important to think the best of people, to give them the best and to be the best possible for them. Obviously, Im still learning, and far from obtaining charity, but its all about the journey anyway. So keep up the good work. Thank you Mom and Dad for always being with me, and thank you sisteries for never giving up. Keep the faith. Know that I love you all with all of my being and soul, if I could do all things for you it would be done. Like C.S Lewis said once, ¨The suffering is part of the joy, it makes it sweeter.¨ So when we return once again, the joy will be even greater. 

Con todo mi amor, que el Señor les cuide siempre,

Elder Michael Sullivan

Cool experience I forgot. Went out with the new guys from the MTC this week. We had a cool lesson with a less active who during it she kind of just opened up and said that ¨I think the Lord has been punishing me for not being active and not living his standards, so I think I need to go back and fix these problems.¨ And so she did, we keep on encouraging her now. She looks happier from what weve seen. So that was awesome and a new guy got to see it and stuff.

Thats all!

Dec 1st 2014

Hey parents and sisteries!

I hope everything continues well even with the cold coming in (I think it happened every time the play has been running). Its getting pretty cold here too, a real low of 28 degrees or something maybe even around 21, so we are basically freezing out in the streets right now. Im glad all the many shows went well and that the stampeders finally won the grey cup yeah! I will be praying especially that the winter all goes well, and I hope this Christmas the spirit of Christ can be with all and that we can all commit ourselves better to share the gospel with everyone. I say hi to all the people at home especially all the extended family and let them know I am thinking of them. Say welcome back to Holly. Im glad seminary is really great class, it sounds quite a bit better than my overall participation at least, stay animated Mom! And thanks for all the cool stories, I always read every one. And thanks for the pictures, its always nice to see whats going on. 

One watch still works, but I dont use it because I always get these weird rashes on my wrists, sometimes they show up anyway but with the watch its worse. Its alright because I have the cellphone, we are just more timely lately (maybe because its two white people so we are less chill about it all haha). Thanks for sending the packages, I will be needing the two shirts (another one just got wrecked during an activity).

So its all pretty good here. Cruz Maria was out of town for most of the week unfortunately, but is pretty far in the book of mormon and is set on being baptized the 20th. She is always a blast to visit, her whole long distance relationship with this spaniard is kind of funny since hes super old, and she always likes to question us if we have girlfriends and stuff to see if we can relate to her whole long distance thing. She is ridiculously punctual, always leaves for church like 45 minutes early shes crazy and walks faster than we do. Going to be sweet. Other cool stuff, we leave with lots of members now so its fun to talk with them while walking around. Lots of really educated and intelligent people in our area with university degrees, but they still have the dominican sass. We took this one member to a few crazy lessons. This one guy who we taught took like 30 minutes to explain this weird dream he had had. He dreamed he went to heaven and it was full of people walking around this grassy field, but they couldnt talk with God they had to give Jesus a telegram paper but not everyones could be taken by God at the same time so yeah. Then he went to the Underworld and saw a bunch of people stuck in the mud and some like women dancing or something. He also in real life almost got shot while in a bar by a really drunk guy who accused him of being with his girlfriend but he prayed and wasnt shot. We are also teaching an ex preacher who doesnt really believe in any religion (especially the evangelist for some reason) but he believes in the apostasy and stuff so maybe we will be able to progress from there. So far he likes what we teach and our knowledge corresponds with his. He is one of the first dominicans I have met getting a real legal divorce from his wife, they actually got married and stuff! Its sad that they will now be separated, but his sorrow has been a chance to relate with him and teach him. Our doctor investigator Maico told some fairly scary stories about ER in the hospital, I think I still want to be a doctor though and maybe even in the ER since the whole saving people and intense situations appeals to me (although, it sounds scary). He is progressing good, still wont accept a baptism invitation but he is getting better every time and hes really smart. He talked with us a bit about Lord of the Rings since Elder Reed is super into it and a lot of stuff about medicine, I would really like to study it haha. We have lots of people reading the book of mormon now, its like a revolution in the DR, we will soon be dominating the world with the BOM haha. So far everyone has accepted one that we have given it to. This translator lady we are teaching speaks really good english, its like talking to an american. Shes crazy. We finally got our doctor to go to church and also a less active that hadnt come since forever ago, victory! All it took was incessant phone calling and a few visits. Shes cool but has a weird hairdo that kind of throws me off sometimes.

Well, I think thats kind of most of what happened. We are preparing a skit for the christmas conference. I have to play this guy (as a mime) who is searching in life for happiness and so I get into alcohol and drugs and women and stuff and this girlfriend I have rips a paper heart into shreds and I have to be really sand and stuff when I dont have no more drugs and then Elder Peterson shows up and gives me a hug and everything is good again and we all sing a christmas song at the end. Yeeeea! The guy playing drugs ripped my shirt though, so thats interesting. Well, it should be a half decent production other than my poor acting skills, I did a bad job of the faces this week. Its all good it will be funny at least.

I love all of you and hope everything goes really well. I would really like to testify of the book of mormon this week and its power in the conversion of people, those who read, come to know God. Lots of people study the human behaviour and have come up with self help books, but as always the best is still the gospel, and has yet to be beat. Its been really nice to have lots of experiences with the book of mormon lately and I have always been praying to be the answer to peoples prayers and lately we have been finding lots of people who were praying to find the truth, and perhaps they will have the faith now to follow Christ. So remember to always throw down the nets of life, and as Christ says ¨Come follow me¨. He is always there for us, and his love will never run out as long as we turn to him, and not to man.

Siempre con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan