Wow this week was great in an unexpected way.
So Mother’s day here is the last Sunday of April, so we had a ward Mother’s day party and the lady in our ward who lived in California for 40 years made the food. So good. We even had desert. I don’t know that word in Spanish still because that doesn’t exist here ;P
I had the chance to talk about mothers and basically bore my testimony on how awesome mothers are and made my mom sound like the coolest person ever. (Cause she is.)
Monday through Thursday were pretty good teaching days and we were busy. But when Friday rolled around, we had no one to teach because we had already gone by and taught everyone we have at least 1 or 2 times. So, we had no choice but to contact! Contacting is when we go talk to people in the streets or go house to house and try and find people who are interested in talking with us and hearing our message. Well, quite honestly it was a waste of time because we walked around our whole area having no luck or success finding people in their houses or that were interested. So we have been praying long and hard and even fasting that we would be able to find people to teach that would progress and that the Lord would prepare to be ready to accept the gospel into their lives. Friday: talked with and taught a few new people, but no one who really had all that much interest. Saturday: the same. Sunday: we took advantage of it being Mother’s day and went around with a mother’s day video and told people we had a quick message about Mother’s day. That really worked and we got a lot of lessons in. Then Monday rolled around and it was a good day of teaching people we have been teaching for a while. Then yesterday rolled around and our prayers were answered!! God blessed us and answered our prayers with RAIN! I emphasize RAIN because Dominicans have some sort of phobia of the rain and will not go outside if it´s raining and pity anyone who has to. So everyone and their mothers invited us into their houses so we wouldn’t get wet! From 3-4, it was bright, hot, and sunny. We had to go back to our house real quick to grab some things and while we were there, within 5 minutes it went from nice sunny blue skies to a full on tropical down pour. Within 10 minutes the roads were all flooding and it looked like a hurricane was about pass on through. (Which is totally normal) So I put on a rain jacket real quick, and we headed out super stoked that it was raining so hard because the harder it rains, the more people will invite us in! We walked for maybe 5 minutes and like 6 different people invited us in. So we got our contacting on! No kidding Friday and Saturday we walked around in the dead heat and humidity for hours, sweating bullets, and no one once invited us in without us having to start conversation and small talk for a bit and then asking if we could come in and hare a message. In fact, I even got rejected for the first time in my whole mission. But when a little rain comes around, the whole world invites us in! So we were more than thankful for the opportunity to be cold and soaked to the bone the whole day. It rained so badly and the roads flooded so much (mostly because the drainage systems here are terrible if any at all) that we had to walk in almost knee deep water. Someone once told me before my mission that I would be needing rain boots for the Dominican Republic. I finally learned yesterday why. As we were walking yesterday to our next appointment, we came across a lady who was trying to un-flood her road or something. She was standing by an overflowing river that was blocking off the road so no cars or motors could get by. “Compa! Look a lady we can help and serve!” I said. I quickly ran over to here not minding that the water was to my knees. “Hey! Can we help you?” The lady turned around and tried to warn me, but I had already stepped where she was going to warn me not to step. The water was so muddy brown that I couldn’t see where to step and had no idea that there was a drop off. I don’t know what it is about me falling into rivers as of lately, but I totally fell right in. I was absolutely drenched, my whole body practically in nasty, muddy, gutter runoff water. My backpack included. But it was honestly the funniest moment ever! We all 3 just started cracking up laughing. The lady was just about to stop anyway so she thanked us but said there was nothing for us to do. So we talked for a bit and then went on our way still laughing and smiling. Kind of sucked for me the rest of the day because I was covered in nasty water, smelled bad, and my feet were soggy. But it was honestly one of my favorite days in the mission and I loved every moment. We stayed busy and found new people to teach. My companion and I are totally going to start doing rain dances like the Indians now so we can keep having great days like yesterday! Haha.
We ended the night by going to a small Evangelical meeting or gathering thing because one of the youth in our church asked us to go to support him because he is the only Mormon in his family and his mom makes him go to these evangelical meetings and he feels pressured and attacked. So we went. Super awkward at first obviously, but the people were nice to us. The preacher guy told us he was explaining what we need to be saved. He said all we need to do to be saved is have faith in Christ, accept him as our Savior, and accept that we are sinners.... And that’s all... Ummm... Okay so what about being baptized or repenting, or the commandments, or all of the things that Christ taught??... There were so many things I wanted to share and say, but I bit my tongue and simply shared ‘Faith without works is dead’ in James. Then said that if we only have faith and not works, obviously our faith is nothing. And that we have to do the things Jesus taught. And a few other things. But I knew that if I went in there and talked a lot about our doctrine and stuff, it would do nothing but create contention and they would all have negative feelings towards Mormons... More negative feelings towards us. Plus the reason why we were there anyway was to support our friend from the church. But I was not going to leave there without at least sharing the bit that I did that clearly stated that there are so many other things we have to do in order to receive salvation. I hope it at least made them think... And I don´t think there will be a next time because I will not be able to hold myself from going hardcore scripture on them and making them probably hate me haha. But I am thankful for the opportunity to have listened to their beliefs and shared a few of mine that I know made them think twice about about what we have to do to be saved.
Lastly, we were surprised this morning with a call from the Assistants of the President that my companion, Elder Ramirez is being transferred today to another area. He and two other elders are being special transferred because of some issues in other areas and with other companions. So I will be getting a new comp today! His name is Elder Coombs, has red hair, super white, from Utah, and has less time than me in the mission so I am finally senior companion haha. I don’t know the full situation yet, but I guess his comp and him were having problems so they are sending him to me to work things out! I have talked to him a couple times before and seems like a great guy and I think he will be willing to work hard with me! Elder Ramirez is a bit bummed and quite honestly we were doing so well together these past couple of weeks, but he has grown so much here and I have seen him make a great change in himself. So I am hoping he keeps it up in his next area and remembers the things he learned with me. In all honesty, it has been so challenging with him these past 2 months, however, I am most thankful for the time I had with him and this past transfer and 2 weeks with him because we both grew so much and I honestly learned so much about myself and that I have to humble myself and change the flaws about myself before I expect others to. I will miss the crazy guy, but am excited to see how it goes with my new companion!