Tomorrow marks 2 months of serving a mission! Wowsers, I feel old. Old because I´m old enough be a missionary and because 2 months sounds like a long time being away from home. Let me tell ya, being out here in a third-world country changes EVERYTHING, and not jsut becasue people don´t speak English. here´s a list of things I´ve taken for granted that I will forever appreciate with a new respect:
Running/clean/available water, doors, paved streets, privacy, air conditioning, electricity, plumbing, stable houses, a job, trustable food, traffic laws, cars, carpet, wood and tile floors, handheld or electric mixers, the ability to sing on key (Dominicans are tone deaf), restaurant health codes, modest clothes, parents who are married, parents who take care of me and love me, Church members who fulfill their callings, Church buildings near our homes, cleanliness in general, cute/non-disease carrying dogs, clothes in general, toastsers, dishwashers, crushed ice, fences, windows, electric stoves, dryers, pianos, quiet neighborhoods, appropriate social conduct/behavior.
I live in a totally differnet world, you guys. Pretty soon, America and its luxuries are going to be a dim memory. This is what I wanted, though: to go to a third-world country where I´d be humbled, speak Spanish, and not go to the Provo MTC. Being in the DR MTC definitely helped me adjust to the climate, be with teh peopel, and learn Spanish from Dominican teachers. I probably would have had a better and easier MTC experience in Provo, especially since so many of my friends were ther at teh sam etime, but heading straight out to the Domincan Republic has helped me ease into the field better. Well, it didn´t preare me for the maggot infestation problem in our house, but other than that, it did:)
Hermana Dibble and I contacted an awesome 15 year old named Carla, and holy crow she is SO prepared to receive the Gospel!! She straight up asked what she needed to do to be baptized! In our second lesson with her, I invtied her to baptism, she gladly accepted, and I set teh date for October 31 (they don´t celebrate Halloween here so no worries:D). Carla came to church yesterday and has a very sincere desire to learn about he Gospel; she´s incredible! Her faith is so strong, I wish all of our investigators were like her.
My spiritual thought of the week is from an MTC devotional with Elder David A. Bednar, who said, "Sin is turning away from God and to self; repentance is turning away from self to God." I didn´t realized until now just how many times the scriptures tell us to repent. I mean, WOW. We are told a million times that we will be blessed for coming unto Christ, and we see the exact results of what happens when we don´t. When teh Savior comes again, I want to be able to look Him straight in teh eye and be free of guilt and sin. I do not want to be burdened with teh pain of human error and have chosen to not use that power of teh Atonement. Christ has already paved teh way for us to reutnr to our Fath in Heaven, He has suffered for us, and He did it because He love us. I´m so grateful that we have such a wonderful brother who would do so much for us. I know that Christ is our Savior, and He lives. He WILL come again, and whe He does, I hope we are ready to meet Him.