¡Espero que todo esta bien con ustedes! I'm officially in my third area, Bella Vista, with my first Dominican companion, Hermana Perez. She and the other Dominican in the house, Hermana Villegas, are both from the East mission next door, so it's kind of weird when they know people here from home or when we run into someone who knows their families. Concerning the language, it's like the States: different areas have different accents and words, so my comp's Spanish is helping me to improve mine. The other Hermana, Hna. Balls, is from Kaysville, UT!! She went to Farmington Jr. High, so we have a bunch of the same friends! I love her to death:) It's a bit strange to be in a house of 4 again; Los Angeles was so quiet with just my companion in the fancy residential areas with no people in the streets. But now, I'm in a big house (with hot water, yippee!) where there are actually people walking about, and there's music blasting from the colmados again (mini convenience stores), which I love.
Kind of funny: our chapel is around the corner from our house, a Pentecostal church is 3 buildings down, and a 7th Day Adventist church is literally right in front of our house. So I guess we break the rule of "Don't proselyte near other churches" haha:) Totally cool, my dad knows my new bishop, Obispo Polanco! They met at a law conference last October in Utah, so that's super fun, I love their family. Oh, and the church has a real piano, wahoo!! The first non-electric one I've found in this country:)
The area isn't very big--the last Hermana contacted it all within 3 transfers. It's a mixture of actual houses and huge apartments. The problem is that everything is gated with guards right there to keep everyone else out, so we can't even get to the intercom to contact. So we contact the guards:)
I had the shortest conversation of my life this week. It went like this:
Woman who answered the door: Religion?
Woman scowls: No. (Slams door in our faces)
And that's life here:)
The number of investigators, less-actives, and recent converts we have to teach are the same as Los Angeles...which means almost none. Entonces we spend a lot of time finding, and clearly that's what God needs me to d, seeing as I basically white-washed my other two areas and am now serving here. But there's this lady, Elena, who I have a lot of hope for. She's actually from Ocoa and moved here right when I entered the mission! She lives and works next door to the church, and we were helping her and Rosa (the other worker) make tithing envelopes for another church. So naturally, we started talking about tithing and what it's used for , so then we talked about temples, which led to a bunch of other awesome stuff; she had great questions. We told her about General Conference, and when I explained how she could write down and pray about specific questions she had/personal revelation, she was SO excited and amazed. Both Elena and Rosa came to the Saturday morning session of Conference, and Elena said that she received an answer to her question and her doubts were cleared up:):):)
Isn't Conference just the best? I especially loved the final talk by Elder Holland and Elder Snow's message about humility. I can't wait to study the talks in English, especially Elder Johnson's about the Resurrection. I know that everyone needs God's revelations that He sends to us in these modern times through ordained prophets and apostles and inspired leaders to help strengthen our spirits and knowledge, but I feel like missionaries have an extra need for that divine guidance; I know I did. My appreciation for General Conference and the understanding of its importance has been multiplied by a million. I understand much better the responsibility of choosing to invite the Holy Ghost in our lives and being worthy for him to dwell within us. when we do that, we can receive personal revelation, change and improve our lives, and help others do the same.
"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing--unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which have never been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls unto repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance."