Monday, 25 May 2015

May 25th, 2015

Hey everybody!

Hope everything is well!

So, here we are another week. This week was mostly, rain! We were severely rained on basically every day. So we got a little wet and ended up a little demobilized, but we still managed to get around somewhat. 

The week showed a lot of good progress with less actives. We have mostly been visiting them so far. We have these two sisters from the hills on the other side of the highway who have been coming back to church. Their kids are really needy and annoying, but they are cool. Really nice to us at least haha. The two sisters have been inactive for a few years, but we found them one day contacting. After talking a bit, we got them remembering about all the times they had with the first missionaries who baptized them. They especially remembered getting the pamphlets, reading, the weird games we always play as missionaries to have people pray (the nose game is a favourite) and various other experiences. Thats mostly our job with less actives, is to remind them why they made covenants in the first place. And when they remember the missionaries who baptized them and all their experiences with them, it always helps them. We taught these particular two a lot about repentance and are trying to encourage them that getting back on top is possible, itll just take some effort and they should never feel bad about coming back to church, its not a shameful thing. So far response is good, and its nice to see them changing. Maybe even their little kids will be a little happier (not likely). 
Well lots of other less actives coming out too, we are having lots of good times with them, since they are happy to receive us and the ward actually home teaches them and stuff. We even ventured out to the north to visit a few more out there, everyone is a little more excited about church and such now. We have a young man coming back now, hes super cool. I probably already talked about him. He draws anime and stuff, hes drawn me a few things haha and Ill probably send a picture he drew of me and stuff. Hes really cool, into animation class and stuff. Fun to sit with in church, he can like draw stuff in just a couple of minutes and it looks awesome. Im trying to learn a few things from him, but my drawings are still really bad. At least I have the shapes down better haha.
Still waiting on the marriage situation for the investigators or extended church attendance for the youth so... well... baptisms are going to be tough but we have big plans for Francisco to get on the bandwagon haha. At least everyone is making progress little by little, although teaching youth is always a pain (they just never like to pay attention and rebel against us whenever they can, but they all went to church). Anyway, all is pretty good!
Had a funny talk with Francisco cartoons. He thinks that dragonballz is really good, I dont really think so. He then called most japanese cartoons demonic. Dragonballz is totally japanese. Ah well. He always tells me I look ugly until he puts his glasses on, then suddenly Im a handsome dude. 
We had a kidney shot war with our little deacon during some ward wedding that happened (its our fellowshipping of youth style haha). We locked him in a room for a bit, after thoroughly destroying him with kidney shocks. And then some big 8 year old kid showed up who weighs 120 pounds. I picked him up but it was a huge effort and I guess I made a weird face. He will one day be a super fat boy.
There was probably other stuff that happened... but I cant remember it all

Have a nice week!

Elder Sullivan

Sunday, 24 May 2015

May 18th 2015


So hope everything is all good over there!

We had a good time this week, topping it off today with an activity at President´s house where we played a bunch of sports. Elder Wassum and I did Villa proud in a few of the games, we ended up being the last two in a game of bump in basketball and he won so thats cool haha. Things have been nice up in the Villa, a little rain has cooled stuff down a bit and its nice to be working really efficiently up there. This week we didnt really get as many lessons due to lots of people not being around and such but we still got lots of people at church, the chapel was fairly full. Lots of less actives came back that day, probably because of the solid home teaching efforts here and we are focusing a lot on working super hard with less actives very specifically We were super happy to see two sisters go that live up in the hills. We had been talking with them lots about repentance and such, trying to help them see that its fine to come back, and that the shame of the people is all just imagined and that really it will just be good for them. I hope it was, and the bishop was cool running around and talking with everyone. Our schedule is a lot more organized now, so we are even planning to run up north a little bit to see how the northern folk are doing haha. 

Other cool stuff, I guess according to an old guy in the street the church isnt true because there are 80 000 orphans in the world. Interesting statistic, keep paying fast offerings I guess! Some goofy kids of our ward mission leader are really sassy. The were around for one of our lessons, and kept on saying that Elder Wassum was going to pray, and then they kept saying amen through the lesson, Common kid stuff, but they are super sassy when they do it and they always say no when I ask them stuff why do kids always say no?

Other stuff, we cleaned the house really well and threw out the trash finally the truck came for that. So it smells normal again. We had a cool meeting with the capital and talked a lot about converts. I was happy about that, and the mission is really focusing on the whole converts thing. President made all these little books for us to use and fill out for all our converts and things on the mission so we can remember it all and he put all his contact info there too. Its nice that he wants the mission to be an experience to be remembered and that the people always stay with us. I really like that, and will try to always be writing all the cool people that Ive met and gotten to know so well. Lots of nostalgia in the conference when I thought about all the great people Ive met, lots of cool stuff. I hope that we can have a few baptisms here in Villa to spark it up and stuff. At least we had two 8 year old baptisms on saturday haha. One girl totally cried, the other was just fine. Good times. Lots of lessons this week about the sabbath day, trying to get people out to church and not working on sundays. Its working, I think probably because its a huge focus in the whole church right now. Sabbath day observance. We will see what happens. Shared a cool scripture, in 2 Nefi 32 about the Spirit and that talking to about prayer. I like those, especially one verse (I think verse 3) where Nefi is all like ¨And if you dont figure all this out, its because you do not ask or knock, and therefore you are not brought unto the light (or to church, or baptism, or happiness, or success) and must perish in darkness¨ You gotta step out of the darkness, and ask and knock and look. Thats when it all gets clearer. I hope the investigator we were teaching understood that, since everyone is a little too content with just sitting around and waiting for something to happen. Make it happen!

Well I cant remember what else really happened this week.


Elder Sullivan

May 11th 2015

Hey everybody,

Another short message, but such is life.

This week went well, happy mother's day everyone! Hoping to see big progress with people. The only big story I really have to tell is that Francisco will probably be getting married finally, even if its by the catholic church. Otherwise life is normal, were doing good. Church was fairly full of investigators and such, so its exciting.

Well, I think thats all I have for now, Keep the faith bretheren. Little scripture for everyone. "Those who wait upon the Lord shall not be ashamed". Onwards!


Elder Sullivan

May 4th 2015

Hey everyone!

Well the entry for the blog here will probably be pretty short.

Life is awesome, Elder Wassum and I just went and taught a bunch of good lessons, rocked some awesome numbers, even being a little sick and crippled. We saw lots of people we are teaching in church, less actives and investigators a like. Exciting things are happening. Lots of chilling in the jungle regions.

Well the rest I dont really have time to write sorry.

Elder Sullivan

Sunday, 3 May 2015

April 27 2015


So here we are in Villa Altagracia, my comps name is actually Elder Wassum, not Watson. Hes got a lot of time in the mission too. He goes home like a month and a half after I do (one transfer after). Interesting change. Its nice at least that we both can teach really well and he knows lots of spanish and stuff. We have been working on relations with people, and we seem to be doing really good, especially with new people. Elder Wassum had some good ideas about it and we did some funny little ways of presenting us and having the investigators present themselves as well (I think in english it makes more sense to say introduce themselves, right?). Anyway, its fun, we know the whole mission and stuff and Villa is a really friendly open place that is super happy to have Elder Wassum. Itll be fun, and now my name isnt the only one that appears on the active missionaries in villa list (although, it was funny to see one email President sent about companionships that had achieved 5 investigators in church or more each week for the month of april, and there it says Sullivan and mini haha.)
Well, the week went well. We went out and taught a bunch of people, at the end of the week we went and got a bunch of new people too. It was good times, and the ward has been receptive. The investigators are doing well, still the same problems with marriages, a few different things with the new investigators, mostly not coming to church because they belong to a different church. But we are working on that, and most of them live really close to the church anyway. Still a lack of books of mormon. Lots of fun times out in the hills, running into random people who want to hear us under the banana treees and such, its really hippie like or something. Found a cool family with a guy who actually has read the bible a lot and such. Of course, they were super confused about the nature of God. So, Elder Wassum whipped out the bible and we started clarifying doubts on that. The whole Godhead thing is kind of confusing for people out here, but we made it real simple with Matthew 3 where Christ is baptized. We taught that lesson twice in one day, it really helped people and got them excited to learn from us. Other cool lessons with less actives, we convinced a bunch to come to church, mostly we just invited them, but it must have stuck for once. Elder Wassum was blown away by the whole being a ward thing but being super small out here in the middle of nowhere haha. We actually have a lot of active priesthood, and thats probably why we are a ward. Bishop is helping us a lot, leaving with us, throwing down the word wherever he goes haha. We are excited for what is to come. Wassum met Francisco finally, interesting time haha. Hes cool and interesting that Francisco, hes just plain scared of his wife haha and wont tell her they are getting married. The Bishop has plans for him though haha. Funny meeting with the priesthood about that, sometimes the man doesnt govern the house (usually doesnt govern the house). There is kind of a sense of patriarchism here though, so its strange for men to not be the leaders of the house haha.
Well anyway, good times. Most of the other stories I cant remember. 
Keep the faith bretheren!

Elder Sullivan

PS forgot, my comp is from Wyoming, hes got 4 other siblings, all are younger than him. 

April 20th 2015

So here we are another week gone. Transfers tomorrow. My mini is back off home to prep for Nicaragua, Im sure it will be great for him. Im going to miss him though, it was fun stuff. I will be receiving an Elder Watson. I know who he is by face but not much else haha. He only has a little bit less time in the mission than I do. So Im sure we will have fun, trying to ¨fill the chapel¨ as President put it. Its exciting though, and with two missionaries with lots of time we can either be super efficient or super ¨dead¨ as we say here haha. We shall see, I like a little challenge and doing work with the ward here in Villa is a lot of fun and the leaders are receptive and friendly so it should go over well.
So far all things have been going well. I´ve got some good relations with most of the families and people we are working with, so maybe with a new Elder here we can kind of get them moving a little more. It will be nice to have two experienced missionaries around, since there are only two for an entire town of people. It has been a little difficult to manage, but hey, as they say here ¨Dios todo lo puede¨ which means something like ¨God can do all things¨. so we are going out there with some faith that we will find some people and get the ones we have right now participating actively in the ward.
Well basically everybody is still not married, but we have hope. They are consistently in church and are basically members who need to as we say ¨get dunked¨. Although of course they all still need preparation to take the full covenant of baptism on, so far they are keeping up with everything, so I have no complaints about this wonderful area haha. Francisco still needs to get married and figure out what he really wants to do about his wife not really wanting to meet with us and stuff. I hope Elder Watson has some new insight, because really he should be figuring it out, but still hasnt taken the steps haha. Oh well. Our search for new investigators has been cool, exploring the vast jungles of the hills and galavanting amongst the coconut trees, but yeah those people still have to cross that highway and come to church. Everyone is pretty weak about crossing the highway even though Im pretty sure we do it like 5 times a day. Ah well, they just need more faith. If Jesus walked on water, Im sure that they can cross the highway. And the new less actives will need some more support from members and home teaching visits, as it appears just us is not enough to get them to church yet. But we will see what happens in the coming weeks.
A bunch of random people were super flirty this week, and I think a few people told me if I wanted to go out sometime that would be cool. Or at least, thats what my companion told me. I was kind of not paying much attention as usual. People are starting to figure out that I really like to dance, probably because I always move around a little when I hear the salsa or merengue or bachata. Haha, this one convert was all like ¨before you go home I will teach you how to bachata good¨ and we had to explain that Im still a missionary until they remove the calling. So much for that. Whenever we get offered free food, I always accept but my companion often says he is full. One investigator always gets annoyed saying that its just because he doesnt like it. Not true, he likes it he just isnt a missionary yet and will learn soon that when the food is offered freely, it is better to just eat it haha. It offends less people and you end up with a full stomach without having to cook or nothing. Luckily I will eat anything. I will miss my companions cooking though as its pretty good. He cooks it nice and stuff, I always try to light the meat on fire by throwing vinegar in the pan with oil. Its fun. 
Still doing P90X. Its fun.
Ummmm.... I cant think of too much else. It rained on us again, but not as much as usual. The weather is a little hotter. Elections are coming up I think, mostly its just an excuse to make more noise I think.
Well... Im kind of drawing a blank. Mostly because tomorrow is transfers. More stories to come.
Que les vaya bien,
Elder Sullivan

April 13th 2015

Here we are in the last week of the transfer... wow. Soon I´ll be here in Villa with someone else. But at least the mini and I have one last week to do some good and have some fun.
Well, what is there to tell... This week was super rainy. We got soaked 5 days straight haha. Today is our first day dry, and we spent it all in the capital anyway. Rain brings other blessings though, apparently it means that our wives will be better looking the more rain that gets us during proselyting. I hope its true, because we walked through a couple of rivers on the streets a few days. There was a mini waterfall on one of the bridges we crossed haha. Even with umbrellas it was still really wet. But it was fun, it makes you a man or something. We are making some good progress with the people, lots of people still coming to church. Marriage is still on the way for most of the couples. Our young woman investigator even read the introduction of the book of mormon. And almost understood what the gold plates are! So thats pretty good. We got the members out there preaching with us a few times too. And luckily it never rained on them. Just on us. We had some cool lessons with some new people near our house who like read all the stuff and have good questions. We even played a bit of dominoes and checkers for a couple of minutes with them. They totally won the checkers, but we tried playing double 12 dominoes so I won that one. Here in the DR they only play with double 6 dominoes. Its faster and I would say probably more fun to play double 6 anyway. 
We had a couple of bible showdowns this week. The first one was with a less active guy whos mom we are teaching and she is actually interested in returning to activity. The son just wanted to ask some contentious questions. So I answered him swiftly with the word of God. I was looking forward to a highly intellectual deep bible swap, but it turns out he really didnt have anything, so he shied away haha. Too bad. Next we taught our good old language professor guy. He had some questions about stuff, in gospel principles class on sunday too. In both cases, the members answered his questions. It was kind of too bad, because I was ready with some wonderful scriptural doctrine, but everyone kind of just used their own words haha. The Elder who was with me on exchanges was super bummed he didnt get to use all his scriptures in the bible bash and that the member kept interrupting instead. Oh well, he was complacent with the answers. Now, he kind of needs to pray and ask if we really are the true church. Im gearing up to invite him to be baptized in the next meeting. Its gonna happen.
Also, we went to our ward mission leader´s house to have a family home evening with some relatives of his and played Clue. And ate great food, and I made brownies for it (Ive learned how to bake in the mission isnt that something). And I won clue. Its mostly because the other three playing didnt really know what they were doing, but the mission leader is pretty good at it. Anyway, its a good way to get to know the family.
We are rocking on. Good times had by all. I cant remember much of what else happened though Im probably forgetting something fairly drastic haha. Anyway, Im hoping to see great things out here in the villa, and Presdient said yeah, Im staying out here to finish. So LETS FINISH STRONG.
Keep the faith, if you dont fight, you cant win, if you fight, you can win!
Elder Sullivan

PS for Mom and Dad, President Nuckols surfs on the Baja California as well and has heard about Scorpion Bay. He was interested in it.