Can I just say how much I love our Bella Vista/Quisqueya house? I can hardly imagine leaving these Hermanas, we have such a blast together! I've learned how to really have fun (missionary-style) here, and I love them so darn much--they're like my real sisters. Seriously, not every casa gets along as well as we do:)
So yeah, obviously I'm feelin the love right now. Dominicans can be very lovey-touchy-forward-expressive. Even just when you greet someone, you kiss them on the cheek. Obviously we missionaries don't do that with the men; you get good at jutting out your hand really fast to simply shake it:) It's also normal to call a total stranger "mi amor" and stuff like that.
Awesome coincidence that happened in the street on Thursday: my old investigators form Los Angeles were here looking for a new house! It was so fun to see Miguel and his whole family, and he said that he's been going to church, yippee! Friday, I went on splits with CCM Hermana Anderson from American Fork! It was awesome, I've never been a with a newbie with that good of Spanish:) On Saturday, Hermana Ventocilla, my adorable koala bear of a companion, and I had our best lesson of the week with Rafael! Plus, he had looked up more information about Joseph Smith during the past few days, too. We taught about the Book of Mormon, and he totally understood its importance and everything! He's super excited to read it and pray about it. Then we fasted for the less-active Martinez boys to come to church, and 2 of the 3 of them did! Wahoo Starlin and Daniel!
At zone meeting on Wednesday, we did a lot with the mission focus of the month, which is "inspired questions." President Nuckols is the king of asking those, let me tell you. We had interviews with him and Hermana Nuckols on Thursday, which were awesome!
President made a little comparison of the stories of Ammon and Abinadi from the Book of Mormon. Ammon, who served a 14-year mission, had lots of visible success; he baptized huge numbers of people and even brought them to his homeland. On the other hand, Abinadi's investigators and less-actives killed him. President said that up until last week, my time in Bella Vista has been more like Abinadi's case. But you never know who's watching; Abinadi probably didn't know that one of wicked King Noah's priests, Alma, would actually believe his words, repent, be converted, teach the people what Abinadi had preached, baptize a ton of people, and establish the church there. You just never know the full impact you can have. God's plan is so perfect and intricate in a way we can hardly begin to comprehend. That's why we have to have faith--faith that everything will work out in the Lord's timetable, faith that one day, all that was bad and hurtful and unjust will be made right. These words from Rob Gardner's musical, "Lamb of God," express this concept beautifully:
"Not now, but in the coming years
It may not be when we demand
We'll read the meaning of our tears
And then sometime we'll understand
Why what we long for most of all
Eludes our open, pleading hands
Why ever silence meets our call,
Somewhere, sometime we'll understand
Sometime we'll fall on bended knee
And feel there, graven on His hands,
Sometime with tearless eyes we'll see
What here we could not understand
So trust in God through all thy days
Fear not, for He doth hold thy hand
Though dark thy way, still sing and praise
Sometime, sometime we'll understand"