Saludos Familia y amigos!
A LOT has happened this past week! So much to say in such little time that I have.
I'll start with Thanksgiving. It was just another day in the mission, nothing super exciting or anything related to the holiday because they don’t celebrate it here. But I got to have dinner at my, newly convert, Ruth's house. Definitely wasn't a Thanksgiving dinner, but we had some dang good fried eggs with onions and avocados and platinos! Haha. It is tradition to say what you are thankful for on Thanksgiving, so I took my tradition to them and told them what I was thankful for.
Friday was a crazy, crazy day! In the morning me and Elder Rodriguez finished up our planning and everything for the baptisms on Saturday. Then we got ready for the wedding of our investigators Orlando and Maritza! Orlando was in the mountains with his family getting stuff really for the reception/party after so he was missing all morning and there is no signal up there so we couldn't get a hold of him. He ended up being like 2 hours late and we got to the place were they were getting married at 4 and we were supposed to be there at 1! The place was just a government building where all you do to get married is sign a couple papers, but they dressed up any way and looked supa fresh. After, we had to go pick up the wedding cake and bring it all the way up the mountains in the back of a pickup truck! We literally had to put the cake on the floor of the pickup truck and then as we went up the mountain that is unpaved and has a ton of rocks and boulders and bumps all over the place, two of the ladies in the back with us decided to pick it up and carry it in their arms/hands! I thought for sure it would be a disaster and would fall all over them. As we made our way up the mountains, bump after bump, with the cake barely holding together, our faith was tested. The whole time we were just all praying that the cake would make it in one piece, and especially that the truck we were in would make it as well, with the 12 of us in it! Black smoke started coming out of the engine and exhaust pipes, but somehow we managed to make the 1 hour, 30 minute journey and the cake stayed in one piece. (Didn't look too great by the end of it, but I mean it was edible so...) The party was great. (Don't worry, we just talked with their family members like they really wanted us to.) And we got their friends and family members super interested! We now have a couple more great potentials! Luckily it didn't rain like it looked like it would, because if it rained, the truck wouldn't be able to take us down because the breaks and stuff.
Saturday was yet another crazy, but great day! In the morning we went around to all our investigators and tried to get them to come to the baptisms. We didn't have as many there as we would have liked, but esta bien. The baptism was a great turn out and there was a ton of people there! Except one problem, Orlando and Maritza were both missing! The baptism was supposed to be at 4, but it was 4:05 and we were still not able to get a hold of either of them... As I felt zits forming on my head because of stress, they finally walked in at 4:25. We took pictures and the baptism finally started at 5pm. Which is actually normal Latino time. So an hour late to me is right on time to everyone here. The baptisms were great and it was an awesome first baptism (in the mission) and it was just a great day.
Sunday. Saturday night after the baptisms, the ward decided it would be a great idea to have us (the missionaries of our ward) sing in church and inform us 1 day earlier!... I am not one to sing, especially church hymns in front of the church. But I didn't really have a choice. All of us 6 missionaries have terrible voices and only practiced once because we had no time to. So it went about as well as I thought it would... Terrible. But hey, our ward is all pretty bad at singing too so they probably thought it was great! haha. Hopefully we did bad enough for them to never ask us to sing again haha.
Now onto some disappointing news. Transfer meetings were yesterday and no one in our zone thought we were leaving except the sister who is finished with her mission. So we all went to transfers thinking nothing was going to change, especially because Christmas is soon. Yeah, no... Not at all what happened? All but 3 companionship's in our whole zone got changed! It saddens me to say that my dad (in the mission) Elder Rodriguez got transferred. He got transferred to Nagua, a dreamland of beaches! Literally the exact place I want to go! He will be a District Leader there. I received a new companion from Santo Domingo. His name is Elder De Bernardi, is half Dominican, half Italian, and speaks about as much English as I spoke Spanish when I first left on my mission... Which is close to none. But I'm excited about that because it should really help me with Dominican Spanish! He is great and seems like a really hard worker, so I think we will be a great companionship. I'm excited I am still in Los Cocos and look forward to keep on doing great missionary work here. I am a bit nervous about taking this place into my hands, but I have a lot of support with the members and I have faith I can keep up the great work! Elder Rodriguez has been the best trainer I could have ever asked for and someone I now call a brother. He is probably one of the closest people and friends in my life (kind of have to be when you live with one other person) so I'm sad he's gone, but he is needed elsewhere. I know he will do great in Nagua and I'll do great here with my new compa!
Love you all and keep the great people of Los Cocos in your prayers!