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