Friday, 13 March 2015

March 9 2015

Hey everybody!

So, another beautifu week in Villa Altagracia, unfortately with not so great news, Elder Jones is leaving for San Cristobal, meaning I am going to be left all alone in Villa! Well, almost alone, apparently I will be receiving a ¨mini missionary¨ which means a member who lives somewhere in the mission who will be my companion for.... who knows how long? No one knows who it is, or why here all I know is that I am the only missionary in the mission with a mini and no other details haha. So that will be interesting.

Otherwise, all has been well. Today we did a bunch of farewelling in the district.

 Random tip, I might be writing on wednesday instead of monday next week for a temple trip...

So yeah we made pizza with the district and stuff, good times. Played this strange card game about the book of mormon, I think I won but only because I had an invincible combo that I think the creators didnt think about. So fun.

Um, we did a bunch of farewelling this week. Um, oh I did a split with our district leader who was here in Villa when he started the mission. Really cool, he helped us find this one less active we are teaching now and it was cool for him to see the old area and old friends of his, one couple that we are hoping to get married and baptized haha. It was fun and stuff, and the district leader almost matched me in P90X so I better start working out harder. 

Other cool things, we made some big steps with people. We got a little more direct on the getting baptized thing with people even not being married, we even set some long term goals with them. Looks good. We were teaching these two eternal investigators who are not married and Elder Jones got all direct about baptism with them, and the wife started ¨dando pela¨ or giving it to her husband that they were not married and needed to be keeping the commandments and stuff. It was crazy, but he came up all defensive and such. Well, Elder Jones started doing some crazy questioning and stuff and we uncovered that it turns out this guy just doesnt actually understand the Restoration, and so he doesnt believe that the bible can be the basis of religion nor all the bad religious leaders of the past that have created the modern religions. Turns out the restoration answers that doubt super well, so he was kind of taken back, and we plan to follow up there, especially since he sees more need to get married right now for social and financial reasons, so its looking up there. The ward is willing to help out, the new guy and I will be working on that. The bishop is pretty excited about working on some certain people, and so I think if we can get all the unmarried couples into position, the ward will help us get them married and free of nasty sin! We had some kind of repeat experiences with other people. One guy who can actually get married super easy if he and his wife will just do it, keeps on saying he needs a firmer answer, but he promised Elder Jones one day he would get baptized. We are going to see if we can make it sooner than later. He needs some more reading and praying, and a little push on the whole commitment thing, but its exciting to see maybe another marriage in the mission yeah!

Well, I cant think of too many other things. We had fun, preached a bunch, heard lots of boches from this one member who kept on talking about tithing, coming to church and reading the book of mormon. He gave a huge thing in priesthood about how people who work on sundays do not trust in the Lord´s promise of tithing, that they work because they dont trust giving him his day and his money, and he said that those people will always suffer financial problems and never feel peace of mind. Interesting point, I think I will never work on sundays no matter what, its not the biggest sacrifice in the world. It still strikes me in this ward the happiness of the married couples, and the apparent lack of peace in all the people just living together who arent members. Its gotta be commitment, and the commitment of some of the members is so apparent, and so they liev great peaceful lives, but our investigators are still missing that. I hope some of them can determine what they really want and go get it.

Contacted a lot of people this week. 100 in total. Good times, its nice to talk.

Played clue with the ward mission leader last week. Fun times, supposed to play today as well. Best thing since sliced bread!

Well its all good here and I have no complaints other than the whole mini missionary thing but I just need to be more patient haha.

Have a nice week!

Que el SeƱor les cuide siempre,
Elder Sullivan

March 2nd 2015

Hey everybody!

So life in the Villa is going super well, and its already hard to believe that on saturday we will receive transfer calls. Wow. It turns out I only get 3 more transfers and then Ill be transferring permanently. Ai yi yi! We did lots of stuff this week, although mostly the members dropped out on us and the people we are hoping for the most progression have started flaking a bit. We didnt even get out to see the Solano family out in the remote part of villa, but we did have ward council which was.... fun? We also went to another Dominican funeral for the mom of a member. Sad, as always, but I find Dominican funerals mostly just uncomfortable and kind of strange how everyone kind of just sits in the house all day looking at a coffin and crying a lot. And then some preacher guy got up and started giving a strange sermon. At least we paid respects and gave our feelings to the member who had suffered the loss. Of course, this meant our meeting later started late and the bishop was upset about that saying the members had forgotten the scripture let the dead bury their dead, because everyone stayed at the funeral up until the grave procession which lasted forever. When I die, my funeral will definitely be nothing like these haha. I hope everyone has a party or something, instead of sitting in plastic chairs waiting for.... something. At least the member knows that her mom is ok and waiting in the spirit world better than she was here, 
Other things, we set a baptism date in this month of march with one of our long standing investigators. He has like... months in church but is still not married. He committed to the date though, and we are going to work our buns off for the marriage and stuff. Hes just a little slow about things, but hes really cool and understands all the stuff and just needs a little bit more surety about whats hes doing. I like having goals though with investigators and taking steps to reach them a lot better than floating around waiting for a testimony to appear out of the air. Tip for all, it doesnt happen. Gotta move from A to B, not float around. Commitment is the way to Christ.
Found out this one member draws these awesome anime drawings, a little nostalgia there. Hes one of the only young men, and is moving towards reactivation. He passed the sacrament recently even, BONUS. All it took was... basically no work from us just from his Dad. 
Church was a little sparse this week due to rain, but thats a common thing.
Hoping for some big things this week with some cool family home evenings and lots of work with the members. We even got a lunch date with one partial member family, hoping to strengthen them especially the 12 year old son who is the only deacon. The ward out here is still kind of lacking in something, but I havent really put my finger on it. We are just lacking progress with reactivation and such right now. We even had this one less active basically like lash out and attack us in one lesson. We were just sharing a nice little scripture to encourage her to read the book of mormon and she got all angry about how she doesnt go to church and she has other things to do and that we didnt understand because our lives are comfortable and easy. Well, that went poorly, but we recovered by changing subjects and mostly just accepting her accusations instead of hitting back. So now we are the guys with comfortable lives who just walk around teaching people about stuff. Accurate? Somewhat I guess haha.
Got a chance to catch up today with some old buds in my last area. We headed down to the big supermarket Jumbo in the capital to pick up some stuff (like, a new bag for me and a bunch of stuff for laundry and some fancy foods like Pop Tarts haha) and we ran into Elder Laws and Hasler. Caught up with them, nice to hear about Cruz Maria being good and strong and her husband is going to be referred to the missionaries in Spain YES! We also chatted a bunch about stuff, like Elder Holland coming soon to the mission to probably send us all home haha. Nice to see old friends, and eat that awesome food from Wendys. 
Also, found out that one of our investigators is a surfer too! We were talking with them about faith, and he started using an example I always use to explain faith with surfing! So that was cool and related to the lesson and stuff, and it was awesome to relate with him on that. It turns out the sea just calls to some people, and there is no turning away. The story I always use with surfing is that  when one paddles out, first you have no idea what is waiting beyond, but you hope its good. When youre out in the surf, you cant see the horizon, cant see where youre trying to reach. Instead you battle the waves, diving under, ducking them or just driving forward. Often you dont make much ground, but if you stop and let the wave get you, you lose all the progress made. Its usually a battle getting out, but if you dont stop eventually a gap opens and you reach the line up at the horizon, the sun is nice and bright, the waves calm and you sit and wait for a good one to come haha. But you cant stop in the break zone. Its just like faith, you gotta keep going and always make steps, even if they go nowhere. Because the horizon is there, even if you cant see it, and the reward is so much better than 5 minutes of paddle battle.
Anyway, there is my little spiel haha.
I hope all is well with everyone, and Im sorry if I forgot any interesting stories (I dont think I mentioned there was a little tiny earthquake last week, did I? Well there was, the house was vibrating haha but it was pretty minor and we just continued with the lesson)
Hasta que nos volvamos a ver,

Elder Sullivan