Dominican Republic Flag

Dominican Republic Flag

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On the Seventh Day God Made... What?

Howdy all! 
Guess what? Someone´s 5 months Dominican! 

So you are probably wondering why I named the email as I did... 
So we have these two sweet investigators named Jose and Pola, and they don´t know how to read, so it´s a little frustrating to teach them the Gospel because we can´t give them reading assignments and such. 
They never went to school or anything, so we have to teach them REALLY simply for them to understand anything. So when we taught them the creation Hermana Bates made them little figurines out of paper to help them remember what God made on each day. 
Jose and Pola had two friends over that day, and they don´t know how to read either. So we began and they seemed to understand pretty well, so we decided to test them. We held up the figurine and they told us what it was... And they did it all well! Day 1 was night and day, day 2 was water and firmament... Yaddi yaddi yadda. 
We get to day 7....
Me... ¨What did God make on the 7th day?¨
Investigators... ¨A pillow!¨
(sigh) I had to really hold back from laughing! 

Right after that lesson we were laughing about it... when we were passed by two guys on a motorcycle... one holding a toilet on his lap, and I nearly cried from laughing! 

Well, ANYWAYS... Enough of this silliness!

On Monday it was raining and everyone was calling to us into the streets to get us to come in... We accepted the invitation from a lady named Angli. We sat on her porch for a few minutes and talked about all her dogs and cats and then we shared a little about our purpose as missionaries. We were pleased to find out that she´s legally married, which is almost unheard of here outside of the church, just because it´s super expensive and a long process. We have a lesson with her tonight, so we are hoping she´s a promising investigator!

I don´t want to take up too much of your time, but I just want to let you guys know that I love you all and that I hope everything is good with you! I love the mission and I am so glad I came. I thank you all for your prayers in my behalf and you are always in mine! 

Sorry it's been so long... I'll be better at keeping posted.

Zone Service

Howdy all! 
Well... This week... What did we do? Oh yeah! 

We went to Sabaneta to do a Zone service by cleaning the streets. Fun? Yeah... Except I should have followed my mother´s advice and put on sunscreen... I was told that I looked like a tomato the rest of the day. We also found a dead dog among the piles of trash... 
The streets and fields here are just filled with trash. It´s really sad because it´s such a beautiful country. 
On Saturday it rained. and it rained. AND it rained. And the drainage sistem here isn´t that great, and of course our house is at the bottom of the gradual hill that Mao sits on, so we had 3 feet of water outside our house. 
Afterwards the streets look even worse because all the trash from other parts of the city are outside the house. We also had the farmer´s market that day, so there were dead fish and stinky veggies all over the streets too... We began singing ¨I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain. And ponder on the beauty of an earth made CLEAN again.¨ Obviously that song wasn´t written in the DR.

We also have been giving English lessons every Tuesday and Friday as a service. Lots of people are interested, and it´s super fun to help them learn. It´s funny sometimes because their tongues literally can´t make the ¨TH¨ sound, so we tell them to just say ¨d.¨ So it´s ¨broder¨and ¨dem¨ and so on.

Our house is so much fun! We live with two other Hermanas... Hermana Potter and Bradford. This week we had an oreo face race... where you put an oreo on your forehead and try to get it to your mouth without your hands. I have a video of it, so I´ll show it to a few people when I get home and then delete it so it doesn´t end up on Youtube... 
We also eat and have discussions on books and other things. I have also told them about my ideas for the book that I want to write, and they love the idea!!! 

Ok so you guys have been waiting for it... BLONDE MOMENT!!!
Today was our Santiago PDay, where we go to the city to buy food and go to the mission office to get supplies and such. While we were waiting in the office for our group to get there, we were reading the Liahona. It happens that we got a large order of Portuguese versions, so we were reading it trying to see how much we understood. I understood a lot, but not all. 
Well ANYWAYS, my companion was reading a liahona while I was talking with someone else. When she was done, she said that she really liked this article, so I began reading it. I was surprised with how I could understand basically every word... I said to my comp...
¨Wow, I understand this!¨
¨That´s because it´s in Spanish.¨
(Some random Elder walks off laughing and I slap myself with the magazine)

So another story about my special investigator Mariela...
We told her about the temple and how it´s the house of the Lord. Her eyes opened wide, and she said, ¨Wow... I thought people lived in there and that it was just a pretty church, but now it means so much more!¨
She then told us that her goal is to eventually go there to make covenants of her own. My comp and I were literally bawling because we want that more than anything for her. She´ll eventually get there. I know it.

Well anyways, That´s the story of this week! I can´t believe how fast time has flown by... We´re already into February! I love you guys and you are always in my prayers! Always know that you have a loving Savior who´s always there to listen when you need it! The church is true!

Con todo el amor en el mundo,
Hermana Krislee Twiner
Mao, Dominican Republic

She's Still Alive!!!

Haha sorry I haven´t written everyone in forever! I need to get better at this... 

Well anyways...
We´ve been making a little progress this week... We have made a couple of baptismal invitations. One didn´t really accept it. The other... She really wants to be baptized... She just doesn´t understand the necessity of being married to her partner first. Ah well.

A few of you know about Mariela, the SWEETEST person in the entire universe! She is SO faithful to the Gospel, although she can´t be baptized because her partner doesn´t want to marry her. He won´t even let her go to church most of the time because he doesn´t trust her to be in the streets with their children. 
ANYWAYS, she´s such an example to me because of her positivity and joy despite all the things she´s suffered in her life. Yesterday we were studying the scriptures with her (She loves the story of Alma... She´s likes Nephi too, but she always askes why there´s so many Nephi´s in the BoM.) I was feeling bad because of a cold that I´ve had since Friday... I had a bad headache. She said the opening prayer and asked Heavenly Father to bless me because I´m a good person and I´m teaching her the Gospel. During the prayer I had to hold back tears because of her pure and firm faith in the Lord. A few minutes later I felt almost all the way better, and I thanked her for the prayer. I know that the Lord really does listen to His children when they ask with Faith.

How many marriage and family counselors do we have here? Well, I´ve discovered that being a missionary automatically promotes you to that, though you may not have a degree or may not speak the language perfectly. I´ve learned so much about marriage... I can´t even explain it! Anyways, we´ve helped a family on the verge of divorcement... About to sign the papers and everything...  When we asked them to make sure to say family prayer and to have Family Home Evening. That´s all we said. Three weeks later, they are ALWAYS together, happier, holding hands, and the wife who had been inactive for a time is now happily asisting church every week. It´s the little things that make a marriage into something strong and special. 

We´ve also started English classes on Tuesdays and Fridays in the church. It´s a popular thing... Everyone here wants to learn English. It´s HARD to teach English though! The hardest is the pronunciation... They ask me the rules for pronunciation, and I honestly don´t know... I know how a word should be said, but I don´t know WHY! So if any English majors are on this list, write me... haha.

So today was a ¨lazy PDay.¨ All the Mao missionaries have been a little under the weather, so we have been exhausted lately. Hna Potter and I did manage to do some much needed mopping, and we began to make some chinese chicken... Except we realized that there were bugs in something that we put in there. So we didn´t have chinese chicken. Sad day.

(Random story about my crazy dreams) So I think this missionary work has gotten to my head... Because I´ve been having missionary dreams.
So we´ve been trying to get more investigators to actually attend church, and I had a dream that we figured that issue out...
    (Dream) So we were frustrated and we were talking about ways to get people to come to church. Then my new companion, Hermana Bates, came up with the brilliant idea that we should pull up everyone´s flowers because Dominicans are always giving us excuses to not go to church like having to garden or cook or something. (Keep in mind that this all made sense in my dream.) So we had a ¨zone service activity¨where we all went and pulled up peoples´ gardens. Then I felt bad and we all went and apoligized to the old lady who owned the garden.

Ok now that I´ve wasted your time with my dreams...

I am now in my third transfer in the field... so I am now considered a ¨normal missionary.¨ That is, I´m not in training. It´s been exhausting and super stressful these last two weeks because I have a new AMAZING companion, Hermana Bates. I´ve just been overwhelmed because of the need to remember the area and the investigators... I was worried that they would lose interest because Hna Gonzalez isn´t here anymore. WELL... It´s gone well so far and I can´t believe we are already 2 weeks into this transfer! 

This mission has already started to go by super fast... I´ve been out for over 4.5 months, or one quarter of the mission! It´s still the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life, but I know that I am where I need to be, and it is here I will stay. 
There´s a quote from Elder Holland that he gave in a special talk to mission presidents that says something along the lines of, ¨Why is missionary work so hard? We have the truth? Why isn´t the hardest thing in the mission the danger of malaria from being in the baptismal font all day? I´ll tell you what I think. I think that missionary work is hard because SALVATION ISN´T CHEAP. It was never cheap! How can we say that we are disciples of Christ when we haven´t experienced even a taste of that which he felt in the garden? We may not be there with him in the Garden, but we may certainly feel that we are somewhere one the outskirts.¨
I just love that quote... And I totally butchered it, but you get the idea. I, along with about 88,000 other missionaries around the world are taking the responsablility to be His representatives to those who need the truth but know not where to find it. Sometimes it overwhelms me that my Heavenly Father and His Son have put their trust on ME to be Their representative in this area at this time. What do I need to learn? What can I do better? 
With time going so quickly, I have realized that I have barely over a year to do that which I have prepared my entire life for... and that which I will forever reflect upon.

Love you all, and I would LOVE to hear from all of you! 
Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Krislee Twiner

Mao, Dominican Republic

(Late) New Year's Eve

Wow! Can you guys believe that we have only a few more hours of 2014?! This year has passed by so quickly!
Christmas Eve was pretty awesome... In Latin America the celebrate more Christmas Eve than actual Christmas. We had 2 dinners, both with investigators. 
The first was good... We ate lightly so we would have room for more!
Then we went to the 2nd, which was probably one of the best experiences of my mission! 
Her name is Mariela. She never leaves the house because she´s taking care of 4 children, so she never has visitors. She was super excited because this was her first Christmas Eve with company. She spent all day preparing a dinner for us and never quit smiling while we were there! It was so sweet. We had given them christmas lights and they had strung them all over the house. The kids were running around all excited. It was really special for me because I was able to focus on the reason we have Christmas.

In other things...
We had 9 investigators and 2 less actives in church on sunday!!! We were pretty excited because many of them were people who we have a hard time getting to church. 
A few nights ago everyone in our house was rudely awakened at 3 in the morning by about 100 motorcycles driven by a bunch of drunk Dominicans going by our house 2 times... I nearly fell out of bed with surprise!
We started our Jillian Michaels workout yesterday... We are doing it every other day... I feel so sore!
Today we made a life sized doll with the elders... We have 2 elders from Peru and in peru every New Year´s eve they make a doll out of old clothes and things to go out with the old and in with the new... It was pretty fun! 

My mission is going great... It´s still the hardest thing I´ve ever done in my life, but I am so grateful to be here. I honestly can´t think of anything else I would rather be doing right now. 

Hope you all have a wonderful new year´s! Les amo con todo mi corazon!
Hermana Krislee Twiner