Monday, October 27, 2014

MTC Mix Up

Hi All,
Bannon had an interesting week this week but he is having a blast and is in good spirits! He keeps telling us that he is struggling with his Spanish so if you all could keep him in your prayers as he learns to communicate with the people of the Dominican Republic, he would appreciate it! Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

Wow, do I have a story to tell...
So yesterday was transfer meetings where all the missionaries have a zone meeting with their zones and find out if they are staying in their areas or leaving and getting a new companion or possibly having a leadership calling. This transfer a lot happened. The sisters in my district and ward got whited out (which means both left to another area instead of just one) and replaced with elders. We got a new zone leader because one of ours is done serving and going home. And we have a new Assistant to the President. And a bunch of other things happened that were non exciting for me because I'm new and don't know anyone yet. But that's not my story, it's just the start. After the meeting, we all go out to eat somewhere but the zone leader that is leaving and my comp didn't want to go, so we went on splits and I went with the other zone leader, Elder Quesenberry. After lunch Elder Quesenberry and his comp were supposed to go to the mission house to receive two Greenies (new missionaries who just arrived to the mission) and take them out to go contacting and talk with people and hand out Books of Mormon. Since Elder Quesenberry's comp was with my comp, I just went with Elder Qesenberry. When we arrived to the house, we walked in and I started looking at all the new missionaries. All of the sudden, I make eye contact with a very, very familiar face... As my jaw dropped and my eyes got as big as basketballs, I realized who it was... Ivette, my investigator from the MTC!! She smiled at me knowing how surprised I was to see her and simply nodded her head. I ran over to her to ask what the heck she was doing here. As I shook her hand and asked, I saw that she was wearing a missionary badge! "Oh my gosh!!! YOU'RE A MISSIONARY!?" "Yup!" "What the heck!? Wait so you were a fake investigator!?" "Yeah, I wanted to tell you so bad the whole time, but I couldn't because it was my job." Apparently she has been working at the Provo MTC for a year and has had her call to this mission for 6 months! "Are you mad?" she asked. "No, not at all. You're a missionary so that's great! But I am way disappointed. You had me so 100% sure you were a real investigator!" But apparently her whole story and everything she told us was real, just it all happened 4 years ago. So you could say I pretty much feel like my whole MTC life was a lie. Haha. I was so sure I was being this great missionary doing literally everything I could for this girl and help her after her baptism when she moved to Carlsbad and all that. That's what really convinced me she was real. Like she had such good details that were so convincing! I even fasted for her on a P Day! Wow... I'm still in shock. All I can say is she is one dang good actress! But even though that really sucks and I am way sad she wasn't real, it was still a great experience with her and those lessons we taught definitely helped me as a missionary. So I guess it is a blessing still after all :) And it'll be way cool/fun to tell this story to everyone throughout our missions and when we see each other!
In other less dramatic news, our English class is doing great and we are having a lot of success with that. Last week we had over 30 people show up! Most were kids, but it still went great and has helped us get acquainted with more people. The kids we teach recognize us when they see us and say hi or take us to their houses to teach their families. I think they actually think I am a real English teacher haha. So next week we are going to teach them our purpose as missionaries and establish who exactly we are. But hey, now maybe I can say I was an English teacher in the Dominican Republic for job apps and stuff ;) You don't need a real degree to be a teacher here anyway. Or a doctor for that matter...
Elder Rodriguez and I decided to follow the river and find the waterfalls in the mountains. There wasn't much of a trail but Elder Rod had been to them before, but didn't know the exact way, so we got lost a couple times and once or twice had to rock climb, climb over cliffs, and cross the river. (Don't worry mom, it wasn't that dangerous ;)) We thought it would be a simple 2 hour hike/jog to the waterfalls there and back. Nope. Not the case. Took us 4 and a half hours actually... But it was way worth it and really cool. On our way, pretty deep in the mountains, we found a couple villages! How these people live out that far I have no idea! As we were walking, school there apparently just got out, so when I turned the corner all these kids just stopped and it got way silent and they all just stared at me like I was the only white boy to ever walk through their village... Oh wait... I probably was. :D So me and Elder Rodriguez started saying how cool it would be to be the first Elders in that area and be the first to bring the gospel in their lives! I even asked President about it and he said that it was fine, but probably not worth it and to focus on our area. He is right, we are way busy with our area as it is anyway.
It's not even November yet and people here are already celebrating Christmas! Our neighbors decked out their house with lights and even have a fake Christmas tree. I don't quite understand, but they seem to love Christmas a lot so why not celebrate it 3 months early?
I can't wait for November! We have 4 baptisms next month so that is way exciting!
Well, that’s all for this week.
Love you all.

Con Amor,

Elder Greer

Our adventure into the mountains to the waterfalls

Hike to the waterfalls

Hike to the waterfalls

Our adventure into the mountains to the waterfalls

Got stuck in sinking sand/mud and my shoes are now filthy

Us being weird on Pday

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