I hope that everyone enjoyed/survived the first week of school! Summer never ends here, so no biggie for me haha. However, my week was a tad different--let me tell you about it!
Tuesday afternoon, Herman Vazquez and I visited the Young Womens president, whose dad passed away while she was on her mission. She talked to us about viewing "bad luck" as blessings, which ironically preceeded the following event. Within 5 minutes of leaving her house (in the rain), I accidentally stepped on a broken beer bottle, which went right through my shoe and into my foot. OUCH. There was blood everywhere and obviously I was in a bit of pain, but thankfully there was a member home 30 seconds away who helped us out. Then my foot started turning purple and I was beginning to freak out, but we were able to get a hold of someone who could drive us to the hospital, where I received stitches and orders to not work until the NEXT Friday. My comp was like, "That means you can't work until September!" haha. At the time, that seemed really far away. I had some great contacting opportunities in the hospital and taught part of the Restoration to the doctor who stitched me up! Never miss a teaching moment:)
Wednesday morning, I woke up with a fever, and the mission president's wife drove us to the MTC, where the doctor for all Caribbean missions works (cool fact: he was the Utah Jazz's doctor for a few decades). He took a look at my foot, and I got the rest of the medicine I needed. Hermana Vazquez and I tried to get a hold of members who could go on splits with us so that she could still work while I stayed with other members. Friday night, we finally got something worked out, but up until then, "s" defined the week: stitches, studying, sleeping, silence, sitting. I couldn't believe that this was happening right now: the busiest time of my whole mission, Estarlin's baptism coming up, so many investigators to teach and members to visit (in whitewashing, establishing good relationships with members is as important as the investigators, and seeing as some of these members haven't been visited by the missionaries in years, we've got a ton of work to do). But I remembered what the YW president said prior to the accident, and I decided to count my blessings. For one, I got to stay safe and dry in the midst of hurricane season starting, where it poured and poured every day this week. It even hailed today, whoa!
Saturday morning was 16-year-old Estarlin's baptism interview, and he passed!! He's so excited and ready to be baptized this Saturday!! I'm super grateful for the support system he has in the Church; he has an awesome group of member friends who he hangs out with all the time. and guess what? He and Anthony went to early-morning seminary every day this week, along with another teenage investigator, Victor, and they loved it! They are amazing! Anthony is doing fabulously and has a talent of applying any gospel principle to real life with the funniest and best examples--he just gets it so perfectly:) His inactive mom and 2 teenage sisters are participating more and more in lessons, and now one of the sister's friends (who was in the lesson yesterday by chance) wants for us to visit her family! Wahoo! I feel so blessed to be able to teach such wonderful, prepared investigators:):)
I realized that I've been talking like I was there in person for all that--I wasn't, but my comp was with members. She got to work all Saturday and Sunday while I stayed with 2 member families who live in our apartment. One of them is la familia Mercado; the husband is Dominican, and the mom is a BYU graduate from Washington. They met while serving together here, raised their 6 kids in the States, then moved here to start a school (Brigham Young School, which is preschool through high school) and build some apartments (they're the owners of ours). Their 2 youngest kids who live with them, 12-year-old Naomi and 9-year-old Jacob, remind me so much of my own siblings, Julianne and Nathan, and the parents are like my adopted ones in this ward. It's been fun speaking so much English with them, and I'm so grateful for all they're doing to help us out!
Saturday afternoon, I went to Brigham Young School's first graduation with them, which was unlike any graduation I'll ever attend again. Remember that everyone believes in God in this country and that they can openly worship Him, like pray in school and stuff. So there were prayers and talking about God during speeches--it was really cool! Hermano Mercado even used scriptures from the Bible AND the Book of Mormon, HA so awesome!! I'm so grateful to have been born and raised in a country that was founded in order to have religious freedom, and I'm incredibly thankful for this opportunity to serve in a place where everyone loves God so dearly and recognizes that they have everything form Him. Serving here among literal Lamanites helps me better envision what it was like to live in ancient, Book of Mormon times when whole nations believed in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father; it makes the scriptures feel even more real. My love for them has grown so much as a missionary. I'm just feeling so grateful for everything right now:) Me encanta ser misionera de la unica iglesia verdadera: la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias.
I think I previously shared this scripture, but it fit my thoughts this week.
Alma 17:11 "And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls."
Su misionera Dominicana,