I'll start off by saying sorry for the inconsistency in writing lately as well as the disorganization. I've just been all over the place lately. The week before and especially the week after transfers are extra busy and crazy. It really has given me great appreciation for organizations and companies. I never realized what it takes to run a mission. At least in a developing country. So many little things that you don't think about that are important. I really think that in my mission I have been serving many people in many different ways and sharing the gospel and putting together weddings and building houses and doing service projects and all the other things I've been doing thus far, but in all reality, of all the things I've been able to do, it's been the most beneficial for me. I have learned so much while being out here. Not only the gospel, but just life in general. My mission has been so life changing and awesome because I have been experiencing life in a completely different way. The office has already taught me a ton. And now that Elder Hollingsworth is gone, I am officially on my own. Just like how I learned so much my first couple months living here on my own (without my family/parents) I have been going through it again in a sense now that I don't have Elder Hollingsworth by my side training me what to do. It's hard and long and tiring work, but it's even more of a blessing because it makes me have to figure things out and especially put my trust in the Lord and know that He'll help me out. I have definitely been experiencing the blessings of trusting in the Lord lately. There have been so many times lately where I have just been like... ahhh... what do I do? Then I simply say a prayer and know that since I am living worthy and serving faithfully, everything will be OK.
Transfer day was pretty hectic. We had to drive all the missionaries around to their new areas as quickly as possible. Then we took all the "dying" missionaries back to the mission home to have their final day in the mission. (We did a bunch of other stuff but just a bunch of random, un-noteworthy duties) By 11:30 we were home from the mission home and then back at it at 4am to take the missionaries to the airport. This past group that left was a hard group to say goodbye to because there were a bunch of my good buddies in that group.
....Okay. I am going to take a quick pause. A slight change of events just occurred while writing this email. I was writing this email as I was sitting in the back of our truck as we were driving to a super cool waterfall in Samaná. Elder Vargas was driving, Elder Castillo in the passenger seat, and me and Elder Walker in the back. Out of nowhere a guy on his motorcycle pulled out in front of us, not looking both ways. We slammed on our breaks and Elder Vargas swerved and did what he could not to hit him. But as they say in the movies, it really did all happen so fast. We heard and felt a large bang and thump as we swerved half way off the road and took out a fruit stand. Elder Vargas was slamming on his brakes and we drifted a little. When the truck finally came to a stop on the side of the road, we all just kind of sat there in shock for a second. In all honesty, the first thing that I thought was, wow... that guy just died. There is no way he is still alive... I thought for sure he was dead. As the crash happened, I saw a bunch of liquid fly up and go on our car. I thought it was his blood. But it ended up being stuff from the fruit stand we took out. We all kind of just sat in shock for a couple of seconds and then got out of the car. In a matter of seconds there were a billion people around. We were in a small countryside town in the middle of nowhere. The ambulance came and took the guy we hit to he hospital. We wanted to see and talk with him but they wouldn't let us go over there in case the family members wanted to hurt us or something. I tried to walk over, but they wouldn't let me go. Apparently all that really happened to him was that he broke his leg pretty bad. But we didn't know for sure. Our car was pretty jacked up and our front passenger side tire was completely exploded. We got towed to the nearest police station which was in Nagua. On the way, we just sat in silence. I could tell Elder Vargas was pretty shaken up. I tried to tell him that everything was going to be okay and that it clearly wasn't his fault and stuff. But he was still pretty sure the Haitian guy we hit was dead or in bad bad condition. So he was super stressed and in all honesty, freaking out. But this whole time I just had a calm peace and was remembering my words from the first part of this email.. hey, we are living righteously. We are being obedient. We are being faithful servants of the Lord. It was not our fault. We did all we could. So He WILL take care of us. I just wanted Elder Vargas to know the same. Eventually we arrived at the police station in Nagua. We had to figure out a bunch of insurance things and who's fault it was and all that and for some reason they told us we were like being held there, unable to leave and maybe have to stay the night there and stuff until they got the paperwork and everything figured out. We called the elders in the area so they could bring someone from the church to help us. Our president of the mission wasn't answering his phone. Luckily we called the elders here because if it wasn't for the guy they brang, they wouldn't have let Elder Vargas leave and we would have had to stay the night in the jail there even though it wasn't our fault. The police guy there was crazy and a huge jerk. And he like thought we weren't understanding him and stuff. So the guy that came with the elders worked it all out for us. Then we changed the tire and I drove back to Santiago. Right before we left, we got confirmation that the guy we hit was fine, just has a pretty jacked up leg now but that he is in the hospital and smiling and stuff. Once we heard that Elder Vargas was so relieved and the weights just lifted off his shoulders. On he way home we were all fine and back to normal and all felt pretty blessed that it wasn't worse and that we got everything figured out. Then President Castillo had us come over to the mission home to have pizza because we had not eaten all day, and to talk with us and make sure we were all okay. He was very understanding and encouraging.
One of my jobs in the office is cars. I am in charge of all the cars of the mission. And the one we crashed today was mine. So now I get to figure out that fun car stuff that I know really nothing about.. like I said, Heavenly Father just really wants me to be less ditsy and more knowledgeable ;)
Lessons to be learned: Look both ways before you cross the street! I know it's annoying when your mom always tells you that when you're young, but unless you want to get trampled by a big Ole truck, listen to yo dang mamá!
"Todo estará bien." Is my new motto. "Everything will be okay." Cause it really will. If and as long as you keep yourself worthy.
Keep the Haitian man in your prayers. He is fine, but his leg is gonna take some recovering.
Hopefully next week I'll have a great story to tell about a family we teach or something more spiritual :) love you all.