What an insane week! I probably say that every time, but so much always happens! First off, we got chased down by a huge horde of children--these Dominicans crack me up, they love our hair and practicing English with us (they only know Hi how are you? What´s your name? What country are you from? and maybe they know some numbers and a few words).
On Tuesday afternoon, we got a call from our zone leaders saying Hermana Dibble and I needed to be in the capital that night because they´re already working on my Visa stuff so I can eventually return to my native land. So we had to cancel our appointments and take a gua-gua (bus) to Santo Domingo, and we got to stay at the mission home with my mission president! Holy crow I flipped out--it was like I was back in America, and everything was so nice, they even have a piano and wood banister and dining room and a toaster and everything I haven´t seen in what feels like forever. Guys, I´m already like an awkward RM, and I´ve been in the field for a month haha. So I got to spend 20 hours with my CCM companion, Hermana Flake!!! AND 5 more missionaries from my CCM group were there, too!!! We were absolutely ecstaticto see each other, especially since some were from the East mission. Anyways, we spent all of Wednesday doing Visa stuff and getting a physical, like having my blood drawn and fun stuff like that. Get this: there was a woman on our gua-gua who was also on the same gua-gua as us on the way back, and since Hermana Dibble and I stood in a foot of space in the aisle the whole ride, this woman offered to hold H. Dibble´s bag. We contacted her, and she turned out to live in our area!! Her name is Sanei, and we taught her on Saturday--she´s awesome, we´re excited to see her progress.
Since I am not even close to being fluent in Spanish, I didn´t understand the talks in Women´s Conference on Saturday, but I will read them in English in the Ensign and Liahona magazines later! Our branch had a fun dinner before the conference--we gave them food, but then we brought in long sticks with spoons taped to the end so that they had to feed to people across the table from them and build unity. It was supposed to be fun and silly, but these Dominican women are scary when they´re upset--they all kept yelling at me and I didn´t know what to do, so then we gave them forks and they calmed down. So the activity kind of backfired, but I will definitely remember it haha:)
One of our investigators, Denia, did the most hilarious and awesome things this week; we´d just taught her about the Word of Wisdom, and a few days later at work, an employee offered Denia some coffee. When Denia refused, the woman said that she´d been drinking coffee her whole life and was just fine. Denia said, ¨It may not harm you in this life, but it will in the next.¨ HA way to go, girl!! She totally stood up for what she believed in, AND she´s been reading The Book of Mormon at work!! I love her dedication!
So the last little while, I´ve been having a hard time feeling a love for the people and culture, and I haven´t been feeling very close to God. Weird, right? I´m on a mission and feeling the Spirit a lot, doing what I´m supposed to, and should be feeling nearer to God than any other time in my life. I know that the Spirit testifies of God, and I have been feeling His promptings, but it´s like I used to know God better. So I poured out my heart to God and sincerely told Him of my desire to know Him better and about how I want and need to love these people. I prayed specifically and fervently, and wow, PRAYER WORKS. As soon as we walked out the door that morning, I had an incredible desire to contact every single person I saw on the street and felt Heavenly Father´s presence, as if His arms were wrapped around me. I know God lives and answers prayers--He will NEVER leave us alone! And the more specific and sincere your prayers are, the better He will answer you! I don´t remember which Apostle said that, but Elder David A. Bednar said, ¨Your prayers are a condition of the heart, not a function of the words.¨ I know that if you are willing to pour your heart and mind out to God, HE WILL LISTEN. He WILL respond, even if it´s not in the way you expected it. I´m so grateful for that knowledge and for the opportunity to share that knowledge. That´s my challenge to all of you: before you go to bed tonight, sincerely pray to our Father in Heaven and offer up all your thoughts and desires. He cares, and He always will--I know that to be true.