Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 11

Hello Everyone!
I GOT MY PACKAGE!!! It was like Christmas except I was hot and didn´t have skis on my feet. I´m starting to get ski fever already! But the package was awesome and I am enjoying the treats!
This week was kind of a bummer though. We had two families with a baptism date, and one family the wife is progressing really well but the husband refuses to get married because he says he doesn´t know if he loves his wife and son enough. That was a really awkward lesson because the wife was right next to him on the couch as he was saying all that! So until they get married they can’t be baptized. Also, our other family who had a baptism date were going to get married, but the husbands birth certificate has the wrong date on it so he has to get a new birth certificate and ID before they can get married, and I guess that is a long process here. So they are a no go for now, but the kids really want to be baptized so we might baptize them and then just wait to baptize the parents later. On the bright side we found two other families who are very interested and are progressing well. As for your questions, my companion told me I needed a haircut this morning, but I refused and told him I will next week. I’m not looking forward to that!
My stuffy nose is the same here, so that’s kind a disappointment. I was thinking I might have a normal sinus system for two years but nope! Haha We usually eat rice and beans with either chicken, beef, or pork. The meat here is really different and it makes me really miss Texas roadhouse. We also cut up onions and tomatoes, mix with a little vinegar, and dump that on our rice. It sounds gross but it’s actually pretty good! As for our branch, it’s really good! These people are really dedicated and always have references and are willing to come along for teaching and everything. The branch president was really good, but he just got called as 2nd counselor in the stake presidency, so we got a new president yesterday. Hopefully he will be good, but he has big shoes to fill. I ALMOST had to give an impromtu talk in church, and I was terrified out of my mind. They told me before it started that I need to talk for 5 or ten minutes and I was freaking out, because if I said every word I know in Spanish it probably wouldn´t be 5 minutes, but luckily the meeting was running late so I didn´t have to speak! That’s a tender mercy right there!  The language is progressing good and me and my companion get along very well, except for the fact that he is obsessed with primary songs. He has them on CD and plays them every morning and I swear if I have to hear a little kid sing follow the prophet in Spanish one more time I might die. That song has like 20 verses! But life is good and this week marks the end of my first transfer!
Elder Harsh

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 10

Hi All,
First off to answer your questions! No I didn´t get my package but I am really excited for it! There are a ton of inactive families, almost a fourth of our teaching bank are in-actives!  The families we are teaching are doing very well. We have 2 families with a baptism date, and one is doing so good and is completely ready. The other family the husband is kind of apprehensive but the wife is really interested. They didn´t come to church last week so this week we committed them again and went to their house Sunday morning and they were ready! It was awesome! We had two brand new investigators come to church too. We also contacted this one family that was really interested in our message. They asked us when we could return, the dad offered to say the closing prayer, and when we left both me and Elder Palomino said that we feel good about that family!
 I sleep fine except for a few days ago our inverter broke so we don’t have power very often. I´m getting really good at cooking dinner with a flashlight in my mouth, and the only time it really sucks not having power is trying to sleep without a fan because it’s so dang hot! No I haven’t bothered setting up my mosquito net and I don’t really need to in this area. We have a stove and oven but the oven doesn´t work.  Also we get to light the stove with matches and you know how much I like playing with matches!
The Spanish is coming along but it is definitely the hardest part of the mission. I feel like once I learn this Language I won’t have a dang thing to complain about.  I can almost always clumsily express my ideas in Spanish now but understanding people is a whole different story. I try and study Spanish every day and I have been reading out loud from the Book of Mormon in Spanish to improve my pronunciation. It’s tough but it’s slowly getting better. 
It rains a crap ton here but only for 10-20 minutes at a time. The flooding usually isn´t deep, but if it rains really hard our kitchen floods so that’s cool. We have a branch out here of about 50 people on a good day, and it’s just up the street from our apartment. We have zone and district meetings every Thursday, and I’ve seen my mission president once so far.
 I’ve got plenty of funny stories haha one that happened yesterday is I was walking on the street and my comp was walking on the sidewalk. It was dark and the sidewalk ended in a 4 foot drop but we couldn´t see it, so out of nowhere my companion falls into Narnia and I was so confused where he went! We had to run home and change because he got all muddy haha. It’s awesome here and even though I rarely know what’s going on, I love it!
Also we had the best numbers in the mission this week and got neat hats and pizza! 

Elder Harsh

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 9

Hi Everyone!
Well just like that it’s been two months! It feels like I was in the CCM forever ago, and I’ts weird to thing only two more weeks until my first transfer is done!
To answer your questions, Our grocery store is a small store that we live above, but every Thursday after zone and district meetings we travel into the city to buy meat and other  things that if we bought at the store at our house we would probably die! Yes mom I’m taking my vitamins and the mission office is only about 45 minutes from my area. I think my zone is called Villa Mella or something like that… and its one state above the state that Santo Domingo and the CCM are in. I´m not really close to the ocean and the mosquito’s aren´t too bad here, but I do have a few bites!  Me and my companion get along because it’s literally impossible for us to fight.  It’s kinda hard to insult someone when you don’t know any insults in their language, ya know_ anyways the language is coming along slow but sure. I am to the point where if I need to say something, 90% of the time I can get my idea across to the people, so this coming week I will be working a lot on understanding people which is a daily struggle.
We have a family who has a baptism date and they came to stake conference this week! That meant they had to save enough money for a concho (taxi) ride to get to the stake center 15 minutes away! It was so good to see them there and see their dedication! I can’t wait for their baptism!! They are so ready for it! We have a few other families who are considering baptism, so I will let you know how that goes!
I won’t have a chance to see meet the Mormons but it sounds cool!
This week there was a lizard in my apartment so I caught it and used the trick to put it to sleep and that killed it and now my companion thinks I’m a crazy lizard killer. So there’s that.
Talk to you next week!

Elder Harsh

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 8

Elder Keven Blake Harsh
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission
SDQ 4102
2250 NW 114 Ave Unit 1A
Miami FL, 33172-3652
Hi Everyone!
     Well my first full week is behind me and its awesome here! Everybody is so nice and everyday feels like an adventure because of the tin shacks and stuff. I am in an area called Punta, we cook out of old pots and pans, and have running water most of the time! We have a fridge, but usually the power is out so it doesn´t keep things very cold. I've had to use powdered milk for cereal which basically dyes the water white but still tastes like water! We eat rice and platanas and some other stuff a lot and its different but good!
      I've gotten very good at teaching lessons by candlelight because it seems like the power goes out whenever we have a lesson at night! I still am having trouble understanding people, but I am able to participate in the lessons a lot more! My companion is from Nicaragua so that's sick!
     We got to watch conference in English!!! I was so relieved! Me and five other missionaries huddled in the clerks office at the stake center to watch it on his little computer! and HOLY CRAP! If conference was always that good, I wouldn´t have slept through it back at home so much! Haha!  I took pages and pages of notes with thoughts and scriptures that came to mind and have been studying that as part of my personal study! I never though conference could be that good! Tell sister Gilmore I finally know what it means to be truly edified!
     We have a family of 5 investigators with a baptism date! We had to bump it back to November 15th because they weren´t married yet, but they are working on that and truly want to live the gospel! The first visit we had we met with just the parents and taught them how to pray, and a few visits later all the kids were there and they said the opening and closing prayer. The parents taught them how to pray very well and I was so happy to see their progression!
Elder Harsh

Friday, October 3, 2014

Typical Meal in the Dominican

Rainstorm in the Dominican
Arial view of the CCM and the Dominican Temple.

Blake at the Temple