August 31, 2015
Hey sorry I'm late on the email this week. Everyone here was like freaking out and saying there was gonna be this huge storm and super dangerous and all this stuff. Most stores were closed, a lot less people on the road. But all that happened was a little bit of rain -_- I was way excited for a huge tropical storm or hurricane and like see the roads flooded like crazy and be out in the streets helping people and stuff... nope. Not at all. I think that we have just been in a drought here for so long that everyone forgot what rain is. So when it finally came they all freaked out and talked it up a ton. I guess the island Dominica got hit pretty bad though. But that's cause they are small and not as mountainy and have been in a drought for a while too so there were lots of mud slides. Like 20 died. I guess Santo Domingo got hit a bit more then here with rain, but nothing more than a simple tropical rainy day. But in all seriousness, I am grateful that we didn't have a crazy storm that destroyed houses and things. If there was a bad storm here, it would do lots of damage because there are a ton of houses and buildings that just aren't made well.
So I got to go back to Salcedo to see Oscar, one of my investigators there, get baptized! A friend of his from our ward baptized him and the missionaries there sang a super good duet. It was a great baptism and I am way stoked for Oscar. He was a reference from our bishop there and from day one of teaching him he was prepared and had a ton of desire to be baptized. Everyone seemed to be excited to see me again. It was way fun to see all of my Salcedo peeps! I got to the baptism way late so I missed the pictures with Oscar in his white baptism clothes. And I forgot to take one with him afterwards :/ but he's baptized so that's what matters :) After the baptism, I quickly went and surprise visited a few people including Rosa Maria and her family. They were super excited to see me and say they are really trying to progress as a family to get baptized! Juan, that dad, just has some things to work on and then they'll be ready! However, one of the sons of the family has no interest at all, but that's okay. They are working on getting baptized next month, so we'll see how they do! Keep them in your prayers. I also had the chance to quickly visit and talk to Katali and Daricha, two sisters who I taught and progressed incredibly! We set their baptism date for the 19th of September originally and they are still working towards that date and are super excited about it. They both want me to come back and baptize them so that will be way cool. Their mom is a less active and when we were there, she looked more excited about their baptism and maybe even on the road back to big an active member thanks to the example of her daughters!
So I guess I really like putting more on my plate even though I'm a pretty skinny guy that doesn't normally eat a ton because I have been wanting to strengthen our ward so we went to Bishop's house to ask him for a task or challenge. I have been really wanting to help the young men and increase the activation rate with them and do some activities and things to help them have more desire to be active in not only the church on Sundays, but everyday. We only have like two active young men. So I brought that up to Bishop and he loved the idea and gave us an unofficial calling to work with the young men in our ward and basically be the counselors of the young men's leader. So when we are not in the office or doing tasks of the mission, we will be working with the young men and less actives. I'm super pumped about it because I had such a great experience as a youth in the church growing up and we did so many fun things. So I am going to try and do that for these kids and help them have what I had. Especially because here, it's so easy to get into the wrong crowd or be out on the streets and all that. So if we can get these kids loving to do things in the church and come to activities, it'll be that less of time they'll have to be getting in trouble elsewhere. I think this calling will be way hard, but it'll be fun and worth it. It really will strengthen our ward and you can never have too much priesthood! :)
Anyway, love you all. Have a great week!