I can't believe it's already turkey time! How did it come so fast? De verdad, I blinked, and the week was over. It started last Tuesday with splits with our Hermana Leader. A member showed us where several inactive members live; there are soooo many here! Wednesday, I played babysitter and stayed with sick Hermana Christenson so that Hermana Vazquez could get some work done in her area with Hermana Neff. That same day, investigator Virginia (who I used to teach on the other side of Ivan Guzman when it was all one area) passed her baptism interview! She'll be getting baptized this Saturday!!!
On Thursday, us 4 missionaries taught the stake mission prep class about the First Vision and the Book of Mormon; it was so much fun! Those youth are so strong and willing to learn, ay mi madre, sometimes they have 40 kids come to class!Friday, we had zone conference with elder Hugo B. Martinez of the Seventy/counselor in the Caribbean Area Presidency. I learned how to more effectively teach keeping the Sabbath day holy and about how to plan conversion. We set some awesome, new mission goals concerning baptism, and wow, it's amazing to see how much this mission has improved in all aspects during the past year or two. I was asked to bear my "final testimony" at conference; how surreal that I've arrived at that point. On Sunday, I played a piano solo in sacrament meeting, and we had a fantastic family history activity for the ward that evening! So many people came, including Starlin, Victor, and Wbert, yippee!
I got to visit my third area, Bella Vista! Unlike in Ocoa the week before, where I felt like it was a dream, I felt like I had never left BV:) I saw my favorite member, who seriously are like my family, and I found out that my investigator who was recently baptized, Alberto, is now a counselor in the ward Young Mens presidency, yay!
Miracle story time. Saturday night, after having a tough time with the work all week, our plans fell through, so we went contacting. Well, just about everybody was drunk, but we were able to meet some non-intoxicated people and make our contacting goal. Once we did, it was almost time to go home, but we didn't stop there; we knew that we could find someone ready to hear the message of the gospel, and the very next person we met was GOLDEN! Her name is Yelissa, she's 24, has all the right questions, doesn't work on Sundays, and can't wait for us to come back tonight! Miracles are real! Faith + obedience + works = miracles:)
I was looking through my agenda from my first transfer and found the list I wrote of things I took for granted: accessible water, doors, paved streets, privacy, air conditioning, electricity, plumbing, stable houses, a job, trustable food, traffic laws, cars, carpet, wood and tile floors, running and/or clean water, handheld and electric mixers, the ability to sing on key, restaurant health codes, parents who are married, clean transportation, churches close to us, cute dogs/non-disease-carrying dogs, cleanliness in general, clothes, family who loves and supports me, pianos, toasters, dishwashers, crushed ice, fences, windows, electric stoves, washing machines and dryers, quiet neighborhoods, appropriate social conduct/behavior, church members who fulfill their callings, ranch dressing, waffle makers, whipped cream, powdered sugar. Wow. That's a lot. Since then, there are many more things I have become grateful for. I am grateful for the chance to learn Spanish. I am grateful for what I've learned from every companion. I am grateful for my testimony. I am grateful to have served a full-time mission in la Republica Dominicana. I am grateful for everyone I have met here, for the unfailing faith of these Dominicans, for my leaders, my family, the sacrifice and dedication of the missionaries here, my patriarchal blessing, a knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, His perfect Atonement, our loving Heavenly Father, and so much more. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for, no matter how hard life gets--especially when life is hard. As we live with an attitude of gratitude, we choose to be happy; I relearned that principle this week. I hope you all think of something to be grateful for this week and remember that it--and everything--is from our Father in Heaven.
Alma 34:38 "Live in thanksgiving daily."
Doctrine and Covenants 78:19 "He who receives all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious."
Llena de gratitud,