Dominican Republic Flag

Dominican Republic Flag

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Next Week's The Mission Field!

5 weeks in!!!! crazy!
Well on Friday we went on Splits with some "seasoned" Hermanas... talk about culture shock!!!! I think we're in "mini america" with the CCM and University and the Dominican Walmart (It's called Sirena)... But the rest is WAY different!
The people are so poor here, yet so happy! I also had some guys whistling at me from across the street... The way they "flirt" with us is by making a "TSSSSS!" hissing noise at us. Well it will take a little while to get used to it... I am 100% gringa here!
Well we went knocking on doors and the usual missionary stuff... I mostly listened and was amazed that I understood most of it! I also got to bear my testimony to a less active member and he began crying a little... I just hope he felt the spirit and wasn't crying because of my terrible Spanish! 
So transportation here is crazy... They are in these 15 passenger vans with about 30 people and no seatbelts... The door is left open and there is really loud music inside... Dominicans like their music! So we have to literally shout at eachother.

Sorry I have to go... The MTC is over capacity with 63 or so. I probably won't be on next week because I'm being transferred to Santiago. Love you all and I pray for you always!
On the streets of Santo Domingo

Driving in the DR

Hermanas Twiner and Brimley

Thursday, October 9, 2014

One Month: Time's Flying By

It's already Thursday again?! CRAZY!!! I have less than 2 weeks left in the MTC before heading out to Santiago! We are SWAMPED right now in the MTC... a whopping 60 something! (I know, Provo people you guys have like thousands at a time, but this MTC has only 10 classrooms overall and 3 dorms for sisters.) So next week will be hectic because I have to compete even more for a computer. (There are only about 20 computers and everyone likes to stay on forever!)

Friday we had class with Hermano Nuñez and he is (like myself) a HUGE fan of Harry Potter and the musical WICKED. Well, one of the elders in my district said something rude to him and Hno. Nunez replied by saying Harry Potter spells at him... the elder was confused because he thought that he was speaking new Spanish words. Haha!
    Then we went to the University (This university is the oldest university ever! And Santo domingo is the oldest city in the Western world, just so you know!) Well, we handed out pamphlets and talked to people, and then we ran into this girl named Scarlet. I introduced myself as a missionary of the church, and her face LIT UP! She pulled out an old Book of Mormon and showed us how she had marked it and read it over and over... She just didn't know how to get in touch with the missionaries again. She practically threw her number into our hands and started dancing with excitement when I showed her the numbers on the back for the missionaries! It's amazing how the Lord works to bring His Gospel forth!
     Then Hermana Diaz (She just got back from her mission to England) helped us teach a man part of the first lesson. It was awesome and I can't wait to go out into the field full time!

SATURDAY was awesome! It was Conference weekend so we didn't have any classes all weekend! We had gym in the morning... We usually have it at 3:30 to 4:45 in the afternoon so it was nice to catch some of the coolness before it gets to the usual 90 degrees plus 100% humidity. Then Sister Freestone and Sister Whitaker made us DELICIOUS cinnamon rolls then we watched the first session. President Freestone made us listen to the Spanish speaker in -of course- Spanish. I actually understood most of what he said! 
      We actually watched the women's conference on Saturday because we wanted to do it at the same time as Priesthood. It was an awesome day!

SUNDAY was about the same, only we had our usual Sunday dinner of pizza. Then we studied a little and had ice cream then took pictures at the temple! (I didn't take many because I don't change that much in a week... haha... I did take some with the Haitian Soeurs though!)

MONDAY was the Haitians's last day :( The Soeurs wrote us notes... They were so sweet! Soeur Jean-Baptiste wrote her letter in English, which is really special because she went through all that trouble... It was really good, except she picked a word that isn't very good... I had to try SO hard not to laugh!!!! I kept it in my journal.
We had the most intense game of Ultimate ever... like people were jumping off of walls and weaving in and out of columns and stuff. Just imagine the sword fight scene in The Princess Bride, only replace the swords with a frisbee and you've got the right idea!
I was in a singing mood on Monday Night, so I practically sang the entire musical of Les Miserables to my companion... It felt good to REALLY sing again... And in English too!

TUESDAY was amazing! We went to the store in the afternoon, and Hna. Diaz came with us and we practically skipped the entire way there! It's Christmas time in the DR... They LOVE it here! Christmas lights are already up in the park and they had all the stuff up in the store. (I took a picture of course) I realized that 1/3 of my mission will be Christmas time, which is AWESOME!
     When we got back Hna. Diaz came to our room and told us about her mission to England. We have offically decided that Summer 2017 we are going to London! Seriously, I've always wanted to go, so even if it doesn't work out to go with her, I'm going anyways! (I have a passport, so I'm free to travel the world, right? haha) 

WEDNESDAY morning Elder Skinner told us a funny story... So because we now have so many missionaries in the MTC our district's elders had to move to the 3rd floor where they have some extra rooms. E. Skinner found a little girl's shirt in his room that had a cat that said "text me" on its phone. He decided to see if he could fit in it... He did, if you count a shirt looking like a sports bra fitting! He went into the other rooms to show the other elders and when he and his companion Elder Martinez got back, they realized that they had forgotten the key inside! So they had to hide in the other room while the others got President Freestone to come unlock the door... They didn't want to explain to him why they were in their underwear and a girl's shirt!
      For breakfast we had Brownies, which is a usual occurrence here!
In the afternoon we had a much needed nap... Spanish is exhausting!!!!
Last night after family prayer we stopped by the other sister's room to talk and Hna. Monks told me that I look like one of the girls in the Renaissance paintings... haha! I guess it's a good thing... At least I don't look like a Picasso painting! 
Yesterday also marked 4 weeks of me being in the MTC! Tomorrow is 1 month! Plus, I get to go 8 hours of tracting with a senior missionary tomorrow! SO EXCITED! 

I hope to hear from all of you! I miss you all and pray for you constantly! The church is true!!!!!
El Evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero!
Con amor,
Hermana Twiner  

 Hermana Twiner with the Haitian sisters
Christmas time is starting in the DR

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Three Weeks In and the Blessings are Coming

Ok so I haven't had any of those "amazing" missionary miracles happen like you hear stories about, but I have seen so many amazing things!

So Friday we had our first contacting at the University. We went off with our companions and handed out pamphlets about the Restoration and got to know people. Yeah, I got my introduction and explaining our basic beliefs down, but I'm still working on actually understanding what they are saying back to me! I can understand most Spanish, but Dominican Spanish is so much more rapid than others!!!! My jaw literally dropped when I first heard them speak! They don't even move their lips!

Well, it started down pouring so we ran under a pavilion where lots of other people were and this guy found us who knew English. We told him we were missionaries and gave him a pamphlet, but he only wanted to practice his English with us. He said that he was happy being Catholic, but that we could still be friends :) 
Well, we talked with him for about 30 minutes and eventually Hermana Brimley mentioned that I sing... and of course he wanted me to sing for him! So I sang "Come thou Found of Every Blessing" in Spanish. He started crying and then started asking more questions like if we had a church service in Spanish or where it was. He said that he would call the numbers on the back! 

Ok so I don't really go in order because the days seem to really run together here...

Sundays are always my favorite because we can take a break from Spanish and just enjoy the peace church brings. This Sunday was awesome because we had the Haitians bless the sacrament in French. Then for our movie time we watched "Legacy." If any of you don't know what that is, it was the church's main history movie before the Joseph Smith movie... I liked it, but the acting was slightly cheesy ;)

Throughout the week we watch several MTC devotionals by a member of the quorum of the 12... This week we watched a M. Russell Ballard one from 2012 and guess who did a special musical number????? None other than Elder David Archuleta!! It was amazing to hear his testimony through the song he sang, "The Spirit of God." He sang the 2nd verse in Spanish, and it was cool because I understood what he was singing! At the end he began crying a little, so of course I did! Then Elder Ballard gets up and says, "Well, Elder Archuleta, you are a tough act to follow!"

So I have to admit... I slacked a bit on my study last week. So my companion and I have decided to speak SOLO Español... well, it kinda works... We speak about 75% Spanish :) Then our teachers challenged us all to speak only Spanish... and read scriptures and write in our journals in Spanish for the next week! Es MUY defícil!

Oh, and I've decided to avoid meat while here... Most of it makes my stomach church anyway, but our district leader has gotten a parasite, so I would like to avoid that!

Hermano Nuñez has a violin and so he has let me keep it in my room this week! It's black and doesn't sound nearly as good as even my training violin, but it's a violin!! I taught my companion a little bit of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Lots of people want me to do musical numbers with them with either violin or singing.

I was able to go to the temple this morning, which was one of the most amazing experiences I've had so far. I felt so much peace after this last week of constant turmoil and frustration. I know that God lives, and that through Him ANYTHING is possible. Never doubt that because He never doubts you! 
Dios nos ama!
Con amor,
Hermana Krislee Nicole Twiner

 This is what happens when missionaries are stuck in classes for 12+ hours.
Hermanas Twiner and Brimley
More missionary pics