Monday, 19 January 2015

Jan 19 2015

Hey everyone!

Im glad vacation was nice! I am very sorry to hear about the Linteris family, have them know that I will pray for them, and i send my love and hope they feel the eternity of their family, that no one is ever truly gone, we all continue to exist just as we have for eons. That the Lord protects them and sustains them always.

So this week was fairly interesting. Lots of people not home, and lots of investigators being kind of ¨flojo¨or floppy. But Cruz Maria went and picked up an older lady we are teaching for church and they came together so that was neat! I appreciate that this lady is really honest and actually does what she says she is going to do. She enjoyed church and appreciates Cruz Maria a lot, so we hope for her to progress and this will really be a boost for Cruz Maria in missionary work and the church overall. A lot of less actives have been coming back to church, one of the many med students we teach has started coming back again now that he is home from Haiti. Also, the home teachers of one less active family went and made a visit and committed them to church, and voila, there they were on sunday. The power of home teaching is interesting. President just committed us to working with the members more and there is some good evidence that it works. This one less active who is almost counted as reactivated has been coming now for a few weeks and reads scriptures and manuals a lot, but there is still a lack of the peace in her house haha. They have this little puppy that Elder Reed always plays with, so thats cool. Its crazy, he always sticks his fingers into its mouth but at the point where it cant bite him haha. He also keeps it spinnng around and carries it everywhere, its like his little baby or something. Anyway, we are basically family there. The mom is crazy though and her kids crazy. They have a more than classic Dominican sass and are always yelling at each other, the neighbours and the dog. Especially her younger daughter, shes kind of a nasty child who kept on calling Elder Reed and I ¨dirty¨ so her mom kind of beat her, and then she flipped us off so more beating and then she tried throwing stuff at me so more beating until she finally gave up. Beating is kind of the base response around here, I dont think Ill ever use it on my future children haha, its super ineffective. This one guy keeps talking to us about cars, a subject that could interest us less than a pickle. We took a former evangelical member to some of our lessons and he got all the investigators saying ¨amen¨haha. Also, went to this one lady who started talking down on people from San Juan, calling them dirty, less than human and really mean. The member with us laughed super hard and then said he was from San Juan. She had to backpedal there, and said one in every five San Juaneros arent bad, but the other four are bad haha. That same Haitian guy told us he had read to jacob in the book of mormon again.  Someday we will be victorious in Herrera! We kind of got to phone call that one awesome ex preacher who went to San Juan, we hope he comes back, he sounds good though. 

Today we went out into the city and saw the olympic plaza. Basically a bunch of sports centers, the largest one being the main baseball diamond (which we could not enter) A lot of other cool buildings though, and they let us into the fencing club. Nostalgia. I didnt get to fence with the people though or even goof off with the equipment, I suppose I should have asked if I could have. Oh well. We at least played a bunch of sports like soccer and basketball, both of which were kind of super competitive Im surprised I survived. Actually, my team actually won a bunch which is different than usual. We then went for an adventure, Elder Reed and I, through the city and went to some stores and malls and stuff. It was neat, not as big as that other malll. In a toy store I bought a stuffed toy. It was kind of expensive, but worth my happiness haha. Taco Bell so far is the only restaurant capable of filling me with a single plate (except for pica pollos, those dont count their meals can be massive).

Well I think thats about it for now, all is well here.
Gracias! Y con amor!

Elder Sullivan

Jan 12 2015

Hey everyone!

Thanks family for the pictures, looks like the adventures went really well! A little bit of the high seas, arr! Luck for Tasha in the new living experience!

So life is pretty interesting here. Interviews with President tomorrow, so lots of repentance going on (haha kidding) but we might get mail (well, probably not actually) but I always hope haha. We had some meetings and stuff, ward council finally happened and we tried to make a ward mission plan. That went um.... well? and I think we agreed on some goals and plans for the year, but Im not sure how much follow up will be occurring. At least the members have agreed to come with us to lessons and stuff and we are doing a little better on that front. Make the slaves work hahahaha kidding we are the slaves.

The week was good, we taught some stuff. I gave Cruz Maria a boche (a talk) about how only wearing her wedding band ¨sometimes¨or ¨basically never¨ is not a good thing. Her whole being married thing is still kind of non existent haha, its like she´s still single but every so often calls an old guy who sometimes comes for extended honeymoons or something. All in all, we wish that she had instead dropped him and fallen in love with our ward mission leader who is like 35 and in need of a wife. They are best friends now and stuff and like chill in church and at her house and stuff so I dont see why she married the other guy. Well you can´t win ´em all.

Also a cool story, we found this investigator while contacting some apartment buildings. Originally, we had contacted this lady at a door and she said we could come back on a different day. So we did, and some guy greeted us at the door while he was taking out his garbage. We asked if the lady was around, he said she didnt live there. So we asked if he had time to talk, and he said yes. We started talking a bit, and he told us basically his life story. He was in a lot of trouble since his business was failing and debt was destroying his marital relationship, he had just been cleaning up the house to try and make hsi wife happier when she came back. Life was pretty sad for him and he wasn´t really getting anywhere with the business, wife, friends and such. He said just before coming out to take out the garbage, he had thrown himself on his bed and prayed, asking for some kind of guidance and help from God. And we happened to show up at his door, looking for someone else. So that was nice, we are supposed to teach him more soon, he might be a really good investigator, but at least, for that one day, he felt better about himself and that God cares and looks out for him. People are very trusting of those who they recognize as people of God, and if we try to listen and just be caring, people often open up and let us know how we can help. Its part of our calling in this world, bless where we are.

Other cool stories, some people came back from the campo into the city so we can teach them again. One guy though is still away, his mom always points out the door a different direction every time and says ¨no hes still over there¨. His sister explained that hes still out in san juan though. We saw an ¨Iglesia de Dios inc.¨ so I guess the pastors thought it was time to get into business, or the Lord needed more money (Im not going to guess the latter, His church is already got lots of that without any business help haha). We also found this rehab organization that is run by an inactive member, so he wants us to teach some of the people who live there and himself as well, so that could be an interesting opportunity, we are having a family home evening kind of thing with them tonight. We set some new baptism dates finally with some young guys and their mom, although just one or two of them really seems overly interested, they are promising. The 14 year old (all the kids are named luis, and so is their dad) always reads and says he prays lots and said he would come to church this week so it sounds good. Victory! We got rained on again on the way to the church and got super soaked, but its all good apparently it makes my wife hotter for every drop of rain on the head, so she probably just went for a jog and lost weight yesterday hahaha. 

Well, thats mostly what happened. People are doing well, the new year is lookin pretty good.

Hasta luego,

Elder Sullivan

Jan 5 2015


Hey everyone!

Thanks for the pictures family, the gates and barred windows on the church building are super familiar to me haha. holidays sound great at least interesting, I hope it all goes very well!

As may have been noted in the photos, we spent new years day out in the city. First in an extremely closed mall where the only thing open was the food court, so we ate there and proceeded to walk around blindly on a little adventure. We ended up finding the ocean somehow after a decent little jaunt on a little lookout thing. We stayed there for a bit before returning to the metro station and getting preached to by a pentecoastal guy on the train. The city was so dead on new years day. But I guess new years eve was pretty exciting. We visited some people (the three people still at home) and lost dominoes again with the old people. Then we watched some disney movies because we had to go home so early and Elder Laws and I waited for the fireworks at midnight. We went and watched them on the roof, shooting all around the city. Quite a sight, since I think its illegal in other places to do the same. But here we can shoot them where we want, and thats what happened. A whole bunch of noise and light for about half an hour, and some lanterns went floating around as well, making the light show complete (funny that we had just seen that movie tangled right before the lanterns went out in real life haha). They also burned a bunch of wood in the streets and the music, dancing and overall festivity was intense. The next day nobody except for me got up I think in the whole city haha. 

So that was new years, some of the least exciting proselyting though, since almost no one was around, no ward activities or nothing and lots of the members left too sooooo... it was kind of just us for a bit. But this week looks a little better, and by the 10th everyone should be back we think. Cruz Maria is married now.... doesnt seem that different though. We met her sick brother, he looks super inflated with a bunch of swelling all over his body, they are dialatying (I dont know how its spelt) his kidneys. She is praying a lot for him and so do we, hopefully he can get better. So far he is already beating the odds. We had a nice time with some of the less actives we teach lately, and a few are basically reactivated and such and its nice that they like to see us now and we have lots of fun with them. Strange how the gospel just makes people happier and more at peace with themselves. We also had a bit of a showdown with one of our older investigators who is a little atheist. He finally kind of opened up on his whole lack of faith thing, talking about how why cant Jesus still just be alive and convince everyone of the truth, he really thinks that just with a single thought God can change peoples minds and just have them convert right there. We tried to explain to him that it wasnt like that, its all an experience but hes still firm on his stance that God just changes us with his mind if he wants and he supposes that God doesnt love him because he hasnt given him a confirmation of the truth. Well, with this attitude he will never find the truth since he has to get that confirmation himself. It isnt given, its obtained. He almost offended me, saying he knew how I think, that really I was a believer just because I was raised like that and so I gave him a piece of my mind on that and said he should stop supposing to know how I think and who I am and he got really apologetic after haha. So, we hope he can turn it around and stop feeling so tormented and without peace just because he keeps saying he has no faith. If you say you are something, that is how you will be. But we havent given up yet!

Other than that, not much has happened. We went to the mall again today since it was open that was cool. Kind of strange to be amongst the really wealthy and stuff... it was fun. Some funny things happened that I cant really recall right now but Im sure sometime Ill remember.

Have a nice week, 
Con todo mi amor,

Elder Sullivan

Dec 29 2014


Nice to hear that christmas went well, I hope Mexico is just as great! Thanks for the university stuff too. I hope Tasha has fun outside the house, Yeah! I wish all the young men great success, and they should all know that a mission for the Lord is a big win for you and so much happiness for so many people its crazy. I hope the whole family is well, and thank them all for the awesome Christmas gifts and things and cards! I really appreciate it! The lego is awesome, I think as the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars geeks we are Elder Reed and I will enjoy it, also I really like the star wars thumb war thing, Im still not very good at it but its really cool haha! The other guys kept disarming me but one day I will bring balance to the force. All the stuff is awesome! I flew the santa plane thing, it actually flies I was surprised.

Sorry about no photos again, I left my camera at home! The week has been cool, I mean, no one is really home because they are all out of town and stuff but we find people here and there. Cruz Maria just got married today and is already off on her honeymoon (woooah). No one came to church on sunday haha, investigator class was empty. But the people are doing good, we are hoping still that in January we can at least achieve one baptism still. We are having fun anyway, but its kind of weird to have so few people to teach haha. At least we are teaching a lot of the less actives, and it was nice for them to pass the christmas well together with us. The whole christmas and new years thing is kind of breaking up the routine a lot, Im not sure how much I like it haha. But we are still moving forward. We had some nice food at least (traditinal cool kind of tamale things especially yum). And we have a few people progressing with the book of mormon so thats nice. We hope they get baptized, gotta take the step of faith haha.

Well, Im kind of drawing blank on what else happened. Oh some lady named Janet we teach is reading the book and praying and doing these cool things but cant come to church. She said though she had never asked in prayer if the church or the book or anything was true, so, we gave her the story from Ether about the bro of jared and the stones thing, and that first she needed to make the stones (read, come to church, do good) and then pray so that they would make light! It was also in jest of her excuse about the light leaving all the time so she cant read or pray as much as she would like, so she needs to pray for her rocks to make light. Cool story! 

Well have a great week everyone, you´re in my prayers and hopes always,

Siempre con amor,

Elder Sullivan

Dec 22 2014

Hey everyone!

Nice to hear that christmas is great! We will be talking soon, so Ill just write some stuff here for the blog.

This week was super awesome! We did some running around trying to get the baptism ready at the start, lots of stuff to be done since the ward here has forgotten how to baptize. I finally got to use my white clothes again, yeah! Cruz Maria is now a member of the church, and a rocking one at that. My voice was super hoarse that day though so she almost freaked out in the font when I said the prayer haha. But she got baptized well and even though she let go of my arm somehow I submerged her enough to be fully saved haha. We then proceeded to have a little celebration with cake and stuff and we got to hear all the people who got baptized testimonies. They were super cool, but of course I liked Cruz Maria´s best. She cried a bunch, so shes all ready to be a mormon, but it was nice to hear her side of the journey we all just took. Just for us randomly knocking on her sister´s door and her happening to be there for the lesson and then she came to church once and she loved it and remarked on something really interesting. She was only going to come every other week to church, but then, upon returning the week after missing the last, the teacher of the investigator class told Cruz that she was missed at church and she was wondering where she was. Cruz said that she felt truly wanted at the church, and that made a big difference for her. Later we made her pray and set a baptism goal, and so she prayed and worked for the baptism goal, and here we all are today. Shes a really different person now, calmer, more at peace and more open than before and she finds it easier to pray with real intent and speak about spiritual things, so its a good change to see. Shes still crazy though and super funny, she thinks Elder Reed is really funny even when he doesnt say anything haha, and they keep on making fun of each other for not understanding each other´s languages. Haha. 

Other news, we got Bernardo that old guy I was talking about who made comments in church, to commit to baptism and he came to the baptism service and stuff, hes really cool and funny he´ll make a great high priest someday disputing about the youth of the day. Another haitian med student is coming to church and stuff and we took a bunch of random selfies with him on his camera so he ought to remember us at least haha. 

Other than that we are doing good, waiting for Christmas and hopefully we have some people to visit those days and spend some time with haha. So far so good. Christmas has been neat, we handed out a bunch of pass along cards to all the random people we saw so that was fun, some people didnt want them but we gave them more anyway! My voice was and is messed up right now so its interesting to teach lessons like Darth Vader. ¨Luke, join the mormons, together we can rule the galaxy!¨. I can cook chicken now, YEAH!

Well I think thats all for now,
Con todo mi amor,
Elder Sullivan

PS Family, I will see you on the 25th, waiting anxiously!