Monday, October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017


My lil Haitian family. Well, not very little. Five adorable kids. I love this fam so much and the faith they have. They have been living in their tiny house without power for 16 days now. We were soooo close to having everything ready for them to be married and for the mom to be baptized, but now we discovered they don't have some document..... Neither of the parents have a job right now.....They have many reasons to be down-hearted. But they always have so much happiness and they trust in God so much that he will soon have everything work out. They are such a good example to be happy in the hard times, and no matter what, put your trust and faith in God. This night, in the darkness of their little house the kids were dancing around and we were all laughing and having a good time. Even with the trials we have, we can always find something to be happy about.


There is this thing called Dominican time. Which means if we put a time to leave with a member, or we have a meeting or anything where you put a time....it will actually be about 20 to 30 min after the actual time we put. So part of the mission life is lots of waiting. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16, 2017


All my comps haha 




You know the song Concrete Jungle? Yeah, it actually wasn't talking about New York. It was talking about Herrera


My cutie pie Adriana lookin good for church

So this week I will hit nine months in the mission. To be honest, not quite sure how I feel about the fact that I am already halfway done with the mission. Time is going by a lil too fast. Teaching people the truth all day errday is da best and I don't want it to end!

This week God blessed us bigtime! We were out contacting an area we had never been and weren't having much success. but then we came upon this building with two apartments. So we climbed the stairs and were met by this cute dog that led us to this open door. And there in this apartment sat a 24 year old Haitaian man as if he was just waiting for us to come to his door. We shared with him about the Book of Mormon, and then we somehow got on the topic of priesthood and this power that worthy men can have. I shared about how blessed I have been in my life to have men who hold the priesthood and some of the amazing things that the priesthood can do, and then he said "I want that. What do I have to do to have this?" Then we talked about the gift of the holy ghost. and he said the same thing. "I want this. What do i need to do to have these things? What can I do to be a part of this?" My comp and I just looked at each other in awe and then we told him he had to be a baptized member. Then he said. "Okay, I like things fast. And I want these things as soon as possible, so when can I do this?" Then we asked him to be baptized on November 4th. and he said yes!! 

I was literally so giddy during and after that lesson. God had his hand in this experience. The fact that we decided to go to that area, walk down that road, go to that buidling. It was all the Spirit guiding us. I am so thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and priesthood power. And so thankful that Heavenly Father led us to Jessy so he can soon have these amazing blessings! 


Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017




Everyone says I look like Shakira. Literally one of the things I hear most these days. 
Also I think hurricane Irma and Maria just arrived a lil late. The other night it started to doooownpour while we were walking home, and then that night the lightning and thunder that was goin' down was insane. I've never heard thunder so loud. Our apartment building was shaking and car alarms were going off, all due to the thunder. It was a pretty good time.

               So we are teaching this guy named Charlie. He started talking to us on the street one night in English and at first I thought he was just one of the flirts on the street so I gave him kind of a half-hearted greeting, but then we ended up talking for a bit and discovered that this guy is awesome and he's searching for the truth. Anyways so we've been teaching him, and turns out he was in this boy band back in the day. And during one lesson he went on and on about it and showed us pics too. Some of the pics were so posed and so cheesy, it was hard to not bust up laughing. So ya. I'm teaching the equivalent of a Backstreet Boy. Just Dominican. So dat's pretty cool.  

                  The mission is so great these days. I have such a love for this work. It really is the Lord's work and as a missionary I'm representing Jesus Christ. I've been trying to remember that more, and I've just been able to feel the love that our brother and Savior has for each person. I'm so grateful for this time in my life as a missionary. yayayayay



Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017



I could die, because of the amount of food people give us. At one house we get a giant plate of rice and meat, at the next a giant plate of pasta, and then later that night we get some more rice from someone else. And these meals are always paired with soda, and ah, its just too much these days. 


I have a new comp. Hermana Yillatoro. She's from Guatemala and it looks like I'm walking with a 10 year old all day. I'm not very tall myself, but this women is tiny. i will be "killing" her as the missionaries are calling it these days, as in this is her last transfer, and I'm her last comp. She loves using her selfie stick.

Two miracles went down this week. The first one: Jenny got baptized. Woohooo. After a good amount of time investigating the church, she finally felt ready and knew the truth. After she got out of the font, she just gave me a big wet hug. My heart was just so full knowing that this amazing daughter of God finally made the best choice in her life. 

The other miracle: To make a long story short we were called to do intercambios with the MTC. All the MTC kids were very late, so it would have been pointless to travel back to our areas with only like an hour to proselyte, but guess what. We were in my old area Piantini. So I went and visited my convert, Leonnel, who now has the priesthood! and has an even stronger testimony than before. It was so great to see him, and see how the gospel has just become part of his life. It's still something new to him but he has just embraced it. It made me think. cause i was born in the church as many of us are, and its always just been there. It's never really been something new for me...for us, which is okay because we have always had a sense of this wonderful knowledge, but like Leonel, a new convert, we need to always be actively learning about the church we are in. We can't get lazy because we have had it our whole lives. We need to be doing the little things that new converts are so excited about. reading the scriptures, going to church, listening to the words of the leaders of the church. During conference this weekend i was sitting next to Marilin who was baptized last Saturday, so very new in the church. and she was just so excited and listening so intently to their words and every time she liked something they said, she would look at me and just give a smile and a big nod agreeing with what they were saying. These converts may be new but their testimonies are so so strong because they are actively learning more about their new church...their new life as a member. 
it just opened my eyes that we as long-time members can't get in the rut of thinking we have enough because we have been members our whole lives. We need to be like the new excited converts who are ready at any moment to obtain more knowledge and a stronger testimony of their church. well yep...thats all. love you all!!!  

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25, 2017


Jose


Marilin


Adriana

Three amazing children of God are now members of this perfect church!

Adriana, who is 15 years old, was a reference from a member. She's kind of an intimidating girl at first, but once you start to get to know her, she's the sweetest. She's being such a good example to her family. It's been so fun to see her testimony grow so much and see a little bit more light and happiness enter into her life through this gospel.
Marilin was a contact on the street, and wow, this lady is incredible. She had been searching her whole life for the truth, and the first time she went to church, she knew she had found it. In all my 8 months in the mission, Marilin is probably the most prepared person I have met. 

And Jose Alberto. He was a reference from the sons of our bishop. He's only 11 but I truly think the influence of this church and his friends in this church are going to help him so much. His dad is always drinking, his home life is just kind of jacked up, but he's found so much happiness through the gospel and through the ward family.

Preparing a baptism for three is pretty stressful already but even more so when you're filling the baptismal font, and the dirtiest water comes out. Like with long worm-type things just swimming around. It was so gross. We got most of the bugs out before anyone saw them, but I'm sure there were still a few haha. So yeah, they didn't get the luxury of a nice, clean font like most people these days. But they got an experience more like the one of Jesus Christ being baptized in river water. so i guess that's cool.

But really, it was an incredible night and all three of them were just so happy afterwards. The spirit was so strong and once again it just testified to me that without a doubt this is the church that Jesus Christ established and that this is the baptism that our heavenly father intended us to have. There just isn't another way. The power and authority of God is in this church. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017


The cuties that will be baptizedJose Alberto Adriana Marilin


Also one of the best lil old ladies!! She's the cutest thing and I love her sooo much!




Also, Anthony Davis is Mormon and in my ward. 

Random fact....Dominicans use their ovens as an extra cuppoard. They ask you if you want a drink of water, and then they pull out the cups from in the oven. Or they ask if you want some crackers, or avocados or something random, and they pull it out from the oven. Its really funny. Everything but stuff you bake goes in their ovens. 

Another fact. I hit 8 months in the mission today. Time is just flying by! ahhhhhhhh

Fact 3... I have lice. Washing your hair and then seeing gross little bugs coming out is not a fun experience. So this week was just a lot of lice hunting. All the actual bugs are out, but they laid billions of tiny eggs, so my comp has been real great and has been trying to find them and take them out strand by strand. But a pro to all this was that we got to go sleep in a nice air-conditioned apartment because we didn't have running water one night so the missionary couple that had been helping picked us up late one night and took us to their house where they put special shampoo in my hair and got some lice out. Then I slept in a nice, air-conditioned room snuggled up with a nice big comforter. 

We have been working with a few really great people and this week they had their baptismal interviews and next Saturday will be their big day!

My testimony has been really strengthened of just how true this church is lately. We have been working with this guy who is super into the bible and he needs all the evidence of everything in the bible. And then our most recent lesson he pulled out some Catholic bible with 8 other books that I had never heard of. I just asked him, but who are these people? Are they prophets? And he obviously couldn't say yes. He didn't really know where they came from. But working with him has just been an eye opener because everything in this church is of God, it´s what Jesus Christ intended for his church to be. I love this gospel sooo much! I know without a doubt its the only true church. If you don't know it, just pray to our Heavenly Father who knows everything!!!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017


We were all so happy after their baptismal interview.

Yo yo yo. 

So this "huge hurricane" turned out to be a letdown. It was just your average rain storm. Not even lots of wind or anything where we were. But besides being stuck in our house all day Thursday because at any moment "the big part of the hurricane is going to come," it was an amazing week. I am just so beyond grateful for the hand of God in this work and for his spirit that touches the hearts of people who are ready. 

Ever since I've  arrived in this area we have been working with Jenny. she has about six months with the missionaries, and in that time has had several baptismal dates fall through because she just doesn't feel ready. The lessons we've had with her we have focused on repentance cause she doesn't feel the need to repent. So there's a lil back story. Now to the most recent lesson with her. We talked about the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ and how he suffered and died for us so we could return and live with our Heavenly Father again. We talked about how we need to be ready at any moment to return to the presence of God, and this is why repenting everyday is so important. I learned a lot in the MTC and one thing my MTC president said to me is that you can make a spiritual moment for your investigator, you can make any situation, any moment, the moment they come to know the truth. So there in that hot little garage, with wet clothes hanging around us, we all got on our knees and she offered the sweetest prayer asking God to help her repent and be ready for baptism. The spirit was so strong, and she looked the happiest I have ever seen her in the time I've known her. Jenny now has a baptismal date coming up. Woohooo.
 
But that's not the only miracle of this week. We have been working with a wonderful Haitian family. The dad and the oldest son have been baptized a long time ago, and so we've been working on getting the mom and other son baptized, but they need to get married first. So along with the help of the ward, little by little they have been saving the money to get married. and finally we have enough so hopefully in the next week or two, depending on when they can get the appointment to sign the marital documents, we will be having the wedding and baptism of the Tibas. 

Yayay for missionary work!!                                  

So this transfer is almost coming to an end. Crazy how fast it went by. All of our hard work in the beginning is soon going to pay off. We are working with about 6 solid people to be baptized the last Saturday of this transfer, the 23. I'm hoping that all of them come through. Truly I feel so humbled that Heavenly Father is trusting me with these people. These precious souls. We are working with this 17 year-old boy who has soooo much knowledge of the bible and we were teaching him about the restoration and he had all these questions that were super deep and he wanted all the evidence in the bible, and truly I felt inadequate. I don't have all this bible knowledge, sometimes I don't have enough words in Spanish to explain the way I want to, Ya know, just those lil doubts that creep in. But it's Satan trying to get me down and I won't let him. I will just study even harder, learn more things, and keep teaching the best I can. Cause that's what I'm here to do. So back off Satan. 


I have a confession. I had a pet cat for a day and a half. So one day we were headed to an appointment and we saw this teeeeny tiny baby cat in a gutter all dirty and this man was trying to get her away from his shop so he was just pushing her with a broom, and it broke my heart. And then a day or two after that we saw her on the road all alone. And then one night as we were leaving an appointment we heard this little crying, meowing noise and we looked to the gutter and there was the same cat, all alone and sad. So I made the quick decision and I picked her up and took her home. She was so tiny, and although it's a mission rule not to have pets, my thinking behind it was "Why does Heavenly Father keep putting her in my path?" So yeah, I took her and I gave her a lil bath, tried to give her some milk and bread, and made a lil bed for her in a box. She was a cute gal, but she wouldn't stop meowing super loud. I think she just wanted her mama. So the next day I found a big mama cat on the street and gave her my baby cat. I hope she is doing well. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4, 2017


a pic with all three of my comps. wooow cool.



Jacob is a dog but acts like a baby. 

This week was extremely fast, and super good. We had zone conference. Went on an intercambio to the southern part of the island where I saw horses and cows for the first time in like 7 months haha. Also saw some darling lil goats on the side of the road, but then a lil bit farther down the road, they were killing them and hanging them upside down, so I tried to forget that part. Goats are cute. 

I'm super sick of bugs. These huuuge cockroaches are always  getting into our house and they are like the length of my wrist. Also our bathroom always has tons of mosquitoes so while you're going to the bathroom you just gotta swat them away. Also our shower has all these little tiny bugs that I have no idea what they are and my shower body scrubber is always full of them, so I just gotta wash it out and then scrub my body and hope I'm not scrubbing these bugs into my skin. 

We had a great activity with our ward and investigators. It was about the plan of salvation. and everyone would move room to room to learn about each part of the plan and at the very end my comp and I stood in front to answer all the questions people had. But something you need to know is that there are lots of hoodrat kids off the street always doing stuff on the grass or basketball court of the chapel, so of course knowing that everyone needs this gospel we invited them in to learn this wonderful plan......and have a donut at the end.... the donut part got them. Okay so now back to the question and answer part of the activity. We had several investigators with good questions, but then all the hoodrat kids started asking all sorts of questions, like what is hell like, what does Satan look like, etc. Just really dumb questions like that just trying to stump us. Eventually the bishop stopped them haha I thought it was pretty funny though.

This week we saw tons of miracles. Finding houses here is impossible. Like the road names are never written, same with the house numbers, and so we had a couple people this week we contacted on the street and we tried to find their houses, and like i said it's impossible...to do on your own, but if you have the help of Heavenly Father it's possible. And by lil miracles here and there we found the houses and one of these people and her daughter came to church and I think they are gonna get baptized. 

And then the best way to finish the week was that we had sooo many investigators in church. (10 of them) They all  just kept coming throughout sacrament meeting and by the end our row was so squished with investigators I was practically sitting on my comp's lap. It was so great. I am having so much fun here, and we are seeing so much progress. Wooohooooo also this week someone in the street said i look like a fluffy dog cause of my hair. GRACIAS 


Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017




Saying goodbye to these little ladies was soooo hard! They were both just sobbing, then I started crying too. And it was so sad. They were such a blessing to me in Piantini.


Me and my new comp, Hermana Yep. She's from Chicago and her padres are Mexican.


Heavenly Father blessed me with some more lil Haitian babies to love though, so it's okay.



The DR is hoooooot. And even hotter when youre climbing baby moutains all day. Being here has opened my eyes to just how wonderful and what a blessing air conditioning is. That will be a cool day when that exists in my life again, but until then I will just keep using the restoration pamphlets as a fan. 

We found this really great woman. She's like 60 and we invited her to church and she actually came, and when she introduced herself in Relief Society she said ¨This is my first time in this church but I hope to be here forever.¨So yeah, that was a great miracle and now she's got a baptismal date coming up! But I always get a lil hesitant to mention cool miracles like that because the last time I wrote about someone who I thought was golden....well she turned out to not just be Claudia, but CRAZY CLAUDIA. So I'm hoping that's not the case for this lady. But I don't think it is. Marylin is great. God is definitely helping us lots here. The work is really progressing.

Something I've come to love is the books of the teachings of all the prophets. It's incredible that we have men guiding us who are literally led by God and I've come to have deeper appreciation for them by reading their life stories and their teachings. I'm currently reading about Ezra Taft Benson. He's dope, and while he was prophet he focused a lot on The Book of Mormon. He said that the whole church is under condemnation because we aren't reading and studying the words of this sacred book more, and that we need to repent for not putting as much heed to its teachings in our lives. Those words are pretty strong, and I definitely had some repenting to do after reading that. haha But the mission has strengthened my testimony so much of this book. I love the time every day that I get to study the words of these prophets. We are all so beyond blessed to have this knowledge. We can't take it for granted. I think of my convert, Leonel. Every time we stopped by to visit him he was listening to The Book of Mormon. It was so new to him and it was so nice to see someone with a brand new testimony of this amazing book and the heed he put in his life to be uplifted by its words. I need to do the same and make time to study The Book of Mormon. These aren't my words. They're the words of the prophet, SO DO IT! 

In true missionary form, I will be following up with ya'll next week. haha. Okay, bye.

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

Hola! 

Well there is a lot to say about my new area. I will give ya'll the run down. So Herrera has been pretty dead for the past several months. Not too much goin' on here. And well let's just say the numbers and statistics prove it. But wow. This ward is incredible. I don't even know how the work hasn't been killer here because the ward wants to help so much, and has tons of referrals for us. Slowly but surely this work is going to come alive here. It already is. God blessed us with toooons of miracles this week. We put some baptismal dates down this week, several new people came to church, and I can just feel it. Soon Herrera is going to get out of the slump it's been in for the past while and in no time it will be thriving. 

This area is all hills. For all my family out there reading this, my area is like walking the hill to grandma and grandpa's house all day errday. Good thing I don't have my mothers knees!

 A blessing or gift or talent or whatever ya wanna call it, that I have always had is that I can sleep. ln any circumstance I can fall asleep, and super quickly. But this talent has left me the past week. I don't know if it's the extreme heat, or the loud music playing until 2 in the morning, or the baby that lives next door crying, or maybe all of the above, but Heavenly Father is helping me to keep on keepin' on. There's a lot to be done here. 

Also there are tons of darling old people in this ward so I'm enjoying that. 

The other day we were knocking doors and a lady was cleaning her fridge so we offered to help, and she allowed us to help take out the fridge shelves, clean them, and put them back in. But while we were putting the shelves back in we all got really confused on how they fit in and I kept trying all sorts of ways it could go in, and I was at it for like a half hour and the lady just kept encouraging me with "Yeah, Mormon." haha Like so many times she said that. And then finally I got them to fit, and so we started the process of putting all the food back in and the lady found this cake that she had forgotten about. And it was very clear she had forgotten about it...SO OLD. But she got super pumped about it and wanted to reward us for our help and so she broke off a piece for each of us and got super happy when we took a bite. And ahhh it was so bad. So when she turned around I threw it in my bag and then my comp did the same. God will always give us a way to escape any hard situtation--any old rotten cake or any trial. ¨Remember that!

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14, 2017


Dania and Rosmita


Ahhhh gonna miss these people. its been a good time with Hermana Chynoweth. 



Cleonse and his children


Doxy and Alphonse


My time in Piantini has come to an end. I will be headed about 25 min west to Herrera tomorrow morning. This is definitely a bittersweet situation...I am super pumped for something new. I am pretty sure I have contacted every inch of this area in these 6 months. So it will be nice to have a new start. But also I am super sad to leave the people here. I think the way I feel about my converts is the way mothers feel about their children haha. Like all the converts are just little newborn babies in this new life as a member of the church. And i just wanna be with them each step of the way of this process of growing in this Gospel.  I wanna make sure they are coming to church, reading the Book of Mormon, etc. etc. and I just wanna be here to help them. But I guess every mother needs to let their child grow up on their own...lol Pretty good analogy right? 

But anyyyyways ya, it has been some rough goodbyes the last couple days. God has blessed me with some pretty incredible people to teach and meet here in this area. I couldn't have asked for a better way to start my mission. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for this time in my life. Definitely some of the best and happiest moments of my life have come from these short 6 months and I'm looking forward to this next part of my mission in Herrera.  

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017




 finding people to teach through intercoms....the classic




all this time Leonel has had a guitar!! ahhh 



Cleonce has cute children

So our English class that we teach is becoming quite a big deal, and people are taking it too seriously haha. Doxy says we should only be speaking English so everyone can learn better even though we have new people that can't speak any English.  Leonel wants to bring his projector to show videos about learning English "so we as the teachers don't have to do anything." A member, Wilson, wants to start the class off with a lil inspirational English speech. haha 

My comp and I are trying to get Leonel more involved with people in our ward, so the other week we suggested he go to the young single adult class for a week so he could get to know more people. His response was, "I'm not here to meet other people. I'm here for Jesus." haha Tell that to a singles ward in Utah, Leonel. We were teaching an investigator about the prophets and apostles today and we showed him a picture of President Monson and his counselors, and this investigator pointed to Elder Uchdorf and asked, "Trump is an apostle?" haha

Well the highlight of the week... My boy Jossue is Mormom woohoo. Before we met him he was going through a really hard time (I won't go into all the deets or then it will get too long and people probably won't read this letter ha) but he was accused of something he didn't do and it became this big thing in the neighborhood and everyone hated him for a little bit and it got to the point where this poor boy felt like he wanted to take his own life. But then his good neighbor who's a member invited him to church. We met him that Sunday, went to his house that week, and then a month later he became a member of this perfect church. This gospel saved him. He saw that he has a purpose in this life and he felt the atoning and perfect love of Christ. This kid is going to do great things. He's being an example to his family and friends. It's amazing to see what this gospel can do for people. I know with all my heart it's true and real. i knew it before the mish, but now, I dunno, words can't explain the feelings I have for this church. I have no doubts whatsoever that this is truly the church of Christ. #blessed

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017


Happy birthday Hermana Chynoweth! When it's the b-day of your comp it's the b-day of you too. Loooots of cake yay



zone



Shirtless man in the back lol men dont wear shirts here. 


Taught some of my Haiitans how to whip and dab. 





Ice cream for Jossue our lil helper. 



A lesson at the temple with Leonel. his idea.He just loves it so much. 


HOLA! The highlight of this week was definitely Saturday. Our dear investigator, Jossue had his baptismal interview, and he passed, and he will be entering the waters of baptism next Saturday. Jossue is so great. He is 14 years old, but super mature, and sweet and nice which is not the norm for 14 year old boys here in the DR. Usually they are kinda punks, but Jossue is awesome. He loves basketball and James Harden. He loves to do zumba with the women in his neighborhood, and he loves Chris Brown haha. 

Also I think I saw James Harden the other day.

But anyways, his interview was at 3 and the baptism was at 5 and that whole time he was our lil sidekick. He helped prepare for the baptism of Cleonse. We played a lil ping pong and he stressed with us when Cleonse was late for his baptism. BUT eventually we went with a member to go pick Cleonse up because his taxi wasn't coming, and it all worked out. The baptism was solid and he was soooo happy!  It's truly amazing how God's hand is in everything. The day I found him was intercambios with the CCM sister. So here I was with someone new, and all of the appointments I had set fell through, and so we went to this neighborhood and bussed the house, but it didn't work, but usually after like a minute and not hearing anything I would move on to the next house, but for some reason we stayed for a little longer than usual. And then out walks Cleonse. He was headed to work and didn't have time to talk, but we got his number and he said he really wanted us to come back.  The next week we went and saw him and that's how it started. I know it was the hand of Heavenly Father that made those other lessons fall through,  The hand of Heavenly Father that made me just wait at that gate a little longer. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost who guided me to that house and for the Holy Ghost that touched the heart of Cleonse. That man was sooo prepared and I am so humbled and thankful to my Heavenly Father who trusted me to play a part in this man's conversion. Cleonse's testimony was so great at the end of the baptism. He said he is super happy to be baptized and how next Saturday he will get to go to Haiti and be at the baptism of  his neice and nephew, who he took to church in Haiti like 4 weeks ago, and now they will become members too! All through him. Woohooo This gospel is amazing and one of my favorite things ever is seeing someone's countenance change after they come to know the truth of this gospel. There is such a light and happiness. Life is good.  Love ya'll.