Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 20

Skyping on Christmas!

Well hey everyone!
 I kinda like this whole talk to you twice a week thing! Christmas here is weird. On Christmas eve we actually didn´t have very many lessons fall through and were able to teach quite a few people, but then we had to come back home before it got dark, and we were under house arrest until 3 o clock Christmas day. It was really boring and we couldn´t sleep because the colmado(store) underneath us was playing music ALL NIGHT.
 Dominicans pretty much celebrate Christmas by eating a big meal with their family and then going out and drinking all night. Then Christmas day they sleep all day, which makes it really hard to teach lessons, and then we had to head back a little early that night too because Dominicans do it all over again and drink all night on the 25th too.
So we have kinda had a slow week but we found this new investigator named Mariabell. She is blind and so we thought she just wanted us to come over because she was lonely, but when we came she had her mom and daughter there too and they all had really good questions and we started teaching them about the plan of salvation and they loved it! They didn´t even hesitate to say yes when we invited them to come to church on Sunday and they said they loved it! I´m not looking forward to new year’s because that means another two days of house arrest (this time without presents to open) but we have enough snacks that I think we will survive :) I hope you all had a good Christmas!

Elder Harsh
His apartment- Not too bad.

This is their Branch building- It used to be Disco tech night club....interesting!
Elder Granada and Elder Harsh getting ready to kill this spider below!

This is the spider from a few letter's ago that was in their apartment!  It was bigger than Elder Harsh's hand.  And yes, they killed it!
Parts and pieces!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 19

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

This week was a good one! We had the Christmas activity last Thursday and we had a great turnout!! We easily doubled the amount of people that usually show up on Sunday and over half of them were investigators! We got tons of references from the members and so if we weren´t busy enough now we have tons of new people to go find and teach! Also yesterday we were walking to an appointment and this girl stops us and starts talking to us. At first I was nervous because she was our age and the girls here are....uh....outgoing.....buuuuut turns out her family was taught by missionaries a few years ago but the missionaries got transfered and they lost contact with them but they are still interested and we made a return appointment with them this Thursday!

 Also we had the Baptisms this Saturday!!! I love baptisms even though they are usually really stressful! We still didn´t have a plug so we used the plastic bag again and just left the water running so we had plenty of water this time. My companion baptized them and all was going well until it was time for the Branch President to give his welcome to the church talk and him nor any of his councilors showed up! So E. Zetina went to go make a few phone calls while I had to give an impromptu talk in Spanish! I don´t really remember what I said but I definitely had a lot of help because I ended up talking for 15 mins. while the ward mission leader came to fill the place of the president. But they were awesome and both of them were so happy afterwards! As for Christmas, I got my packages!  Thank you! I can’t wait! We get to eat with a member which is usually against the rules so I´m excited for that! But besides that we are confined to our houses from 3 in the afternoon Christmas Eve to 3 in the afternoon on Christmas. But we can leave to go call our family and we finally found a place that we can skype! Hopefully it all works out! Will you have Dad make me a skype account so I don’t have to waste time on Christmas doing that? We will be calling around 1:30 in the afternoon DR time so make sure you figure out the time difference! If all goes well we should be able to skype! I can´t wait to talk to you guys!!

Elder Harsh

What Christmas looks like in the Dominican.
My Christmas tree and decorations

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 18

Hi Everyone!
Well transfers were this past week and both me and my companion are staying here, which is good because we have two baptisms coming up this Saturday! One is a ten year old boy who his whole family is active now, but when he was 8 his family wasn´t active so he was never baptized. I gave him one of those CTR rings you sent me and every time I see him he sticks out his fist and says haz lo justo(Do the right)! He really liked that gift so… way to go mommy!
 The other one is a lady named Alba. She is really timid and at first it was hard to teach her but the lesson after we taught her about the book of Mormon (and to pray to see if it’s true) she said she felt really happy and peaceful when she read the book! So I quickly broke out the scripture in Gal. 5:22 about the fruits of the spirit and ever since then she has been super interested and she has progressed really well! Both of them are very ready for their baptisms!! This week we had the baptismal interviews with Alba, and during the interview it was just me sitting with a member away from the interview. I thought it was going to be awkward just sitting there but he started talking to me and before I knew it 30 minutes had gone by and the interview was over! I had a one on one conversation with no help for almost 30 minutes !!!  It was a great realization afterwards!
We also have an activity coming up this Thursday where we will show a part of the Christmas devotional and have food. On Sunday we gave book of Mormons to members and made them promise to highlight a few of their favorite scriptures and bring them on Thursday, along with a friend and so if all goes right it will be a really good finding activity for us!
 Also this week this crazy guy runs up to me and he thought because I was white and dressed up that I was Jesus. I tried to explain that I´m just a missionary, but when I showed him my missionary badge, the second biggest name on there is Jesus Christ, so that didn´t help. I wasn´t getting anywhere with him so I just told him I have people to teach and lives to bless and he grabbed my hand, bowed down and started kissing it over and over again. I don´t know why Jesus is ok with that because I thought it was really weird! I kinda walked off and he kept shouting different prayers and stuff. It was very entertaining. Anyways I´ll be sure to fill you in on how the Baptisms go this week! Hopefully we can get more water in the font!

Elder Harsh

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 17

Hi Everyone!
This week I had my baptisms!! It was such a good experience to see how the choice of being baptized has influenced both the families! The inactive mom has attended 4 Sundays in a row now, and the other parents have a new sense of urgency to get married so they can be baptized and eventually sealed as a family!
 It was such a neat experience but the situation was kind of funny. First off,  the font takes 3 hours to fill, and since we have to travel 45 mins to the stake center to use the font, we had to sit around for three hours and after all this time of always doing something, it was really weird to have nothing to do! Luckily I brought a Liahona to read or else I probably would have died. Also, we couldn´t find the plug for the font, so we had to shove a plastic bag down the drain to try and stop the water. It kinda worked, but Juan Miguel is really tall and so his knees popped out of the water so I had to redo his baptism. Somehow I remembered all the names and we ended with the youngest kid Dioveni. He is 8 years old, and after they shut the doors to the font we were walking up the stairs, he noticed that nobody could see him because the doors to see into the font were shut so he jumped from the top stair and started swimming around in the font. It probably wasn´t exactly appropriate but I was laughing so hard there was nothing I could do about it!
                The next day they were confirmed and again, there isn´t any way to describe the feeling of joy I had! It kinda gave me a new view of Moses 1:39.
I´ve seen the video “Share the gift” in Spanish and it’s really good! We encourage investigators to go watch it, but nobody here has computers so I don´t know how many actually go to an internet place and watch it.
 I´m literally always hot, but this week it rained and the temperature might have dropped below 80, so you could say its winter here too! The mosquito’s aren´t too bad, but I always have at least one bite somewhere on me.
Quick story, I saw my fist voodoo thingy the other day! Haitians were playing bongos and doing this weird creole chant around this fire with candles around it and they were throwing sawdust in it to make it flash and this one guy was like having a seizure and the spirit was gone and it was super sketch. When we walked by an hour later after the lesson everyone was gone but there was a wooden cross dressed up like a person with three candles in front of it. Crap is weird here!! I love it!
We do service projects about once a transfer with the zone and whenever the ward organizes one or someone needs our help.
I got your package and I really enjoyed decorating for Christmas and my companion enjoyed taking a nap before weekly planning haha. We have the little train set up and we wear our Santa hats during planning every night haha. I really liked reading the notes from everyone, so thanks for that! I hope everything is good back in Utah!
                Things are going good and if everything works out we should be having at least two more baptisms in the next month! I’ll tell you more about them next week when we firm up the details!
 It was such a good week!

Elder Harsh

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 16

Hi Everyone!
Well its T minus 5 days to my first 4 baptisms and I couldn´t be more excited! It’s the 3 kids of the investigators who are waiting to get married, and the other one is the son of the less active lady, who is now active in the church! During the interviews, Elder Zetina asked who they wanted to baptize them and they chose me! I am really excited but now I have to learn how to baptize in Spanish, and memorize all their full names. People have like 7 names here! But I am really excited and am really looking forward to that!
 We didn´t have any kind of thanksgiving here. I didn´t even know it was thanksgiving until one of the sisters told me at the zone meeting. I have the conference report magazine so you don´t need to worry about sending me any conference talks. Do you know what zone Schlyer is in? We walk everywhere, but when we have our zone meetings we take a cab to get there. The taxis here are really really scary to ride in. Picture my Demolition derby car with windows, and you have one of the better looking taxis. Also the streets here are straight nuts.  Luckliy most of my area is in the boonies so I don´t have to deal with that too much. I can´t wait for my baptism and I will be sure to tell you all about it next week!
Also if you haven´t already sent the other package –could you put a few baseballs in there that would be great. Kids here don´t have baseballs and I would like to have a few to give away over the course of my mission. For example there is this six year old member that every p day comes and we play catch for a few minutes while he walks to school. He has a mitt but no ball and I would love to give him one for Christmas!

Elder Harsh