Hola! From the Dominican Republic MTC! It is crazy to think that I have already been here a week! I don't even know if I can call it a week yet though! A bunch of us missed our connecting flight to Miami on Wednesday and so through all the other flights we didn't get into the DR until about 1am. We didn't get to the MTC til about 2am and got to bed by 2:30am on Thursday. And yes, of course, we were up at 6:30 am! The first few days were hectic trying to unpack and get everything organized, trying to figure out classes, getting used to the food, and so much more. It was a blast though. So let me tell you about this DR food. They don't lie when they say we eat rice and beans EVERY single day! There is always a scoop of rice and a bowl of some sort of bean soup and then one or two pieces of meat. I have liked all the food about 90% of the time. Last night we ate plantain soup with a type of rood that had the texture of potato but definitely not the taste. I have learned to be a lot less picky about the food that I eat. There are ALWAYS fresh bananas on a cart for every meal and pineapple for lunch and dinner. There is a secret stash of pb & j...so when we don't like Alex's(cook) food we just go make a sandwich. The bread we have is like a mini loaf full of air. haha it has a 'waterproof' top and I think everyone, but me, loves it! haha
The weather! It sure is hot and humid. My feet and legs got burned a couple of days ago while I was sitting outside with my companion. Gotta love being white!(: It feels great most of the time. It does get really hot when we play volleyball outside. The guys here are awesome! There are about 14 American guys and 20 Latinos. The Latinos love to help the sisters with their Spanish! I am not sure how but I got sick and today is the first day that I feel great! My nose is still stuffy but I feel so much better! I feel so blessed.
I only have 8 minutes left before I get kicked off so let me get to the most important parts. I have been very humbled this week by a number of experiences. The first one that comes to mind happened on Saturday. In my districo there are 2 elders and 6 hermanas. They were all talking about how they wanted to learn the doctrine first and then the Spanish. I didn't know what to say but then our 'sub' teach(who is quite intimidating and quiet...but really nice) came in and for some reason I said what they had been talking about. I never would have guessed what came next but he asked us if we had faith. He spoke in a very quiet way. and had us open to Moroni 7:33-34 I think. But he told us that we needed to be more diligent and that there was great miracles happening in Puerto Rico and that if we were diligent the Lord would allow us to learn the way that has been set out for us and all would be well. He testified and I cannot tell you how strongly I felt the Spirit. I buried my face in my hands and tears came out uncontrollably. It was such a blessing to have him testify to me. Sorry I don't have time to write more about that.
Then on Monday a girl who knows a little less Spanish than I do, transferred over to the Latinos classes and therefore will be leaving on Tuesday with them. She talked to me and told me that she had wanted a challenge because class was way too easy. So she got it. She told me that I knew so much and that I could go into the field. It got me thinking. So I prayed and then an Elder came over to the MTC(he is sick and staying at his miss pres house right next door) We spoke for a while and he said that I needed to be in the field. So I decided to just talk to President Freestone. He told me that he knew I was ready and I could do it. He emailed my mission President and he said that he would take me whenever I felt ready. And so I told him I thought that would be a good idea and to go forward with the process. Well, I felt off after that. The more I thought about it the more selfish I felt. I had wanted to go into the field for ME. I had wanted to learn Spanish faster to better MYSELF. I asked one of my teachers, Hermano Rodriguez what he thought. He pulled me aside and spoke to me really fast in Spanish so my companion couldn't hear/understand. He said he knew that I could do it. I would be great in the field and learn all the rest of the Spanish that I needed to learn, out there. He then told me that the only reason he would tell me to not go, is for my district. I answer almost all their questions with or without a teacher, I love helping them, even though I really don't know a lot, and they are so loving towards me and are comfortable asking me questions. My companion is Hermana Page, from Laramie, WY. She knows English and French, but no Spanish. She relies on me a lot. The first discussion we gave to an investigator was all me talking because she gets so nervous. I am so happy and blessed to have her as my companion. BUT anyway! He wanted me to think about her and the district. He said either way I would be blessed and it would be okay. After he told me that I prayed again and got the same feeling that I feel about almost everything...IT IS UP TO YOU ALEXX. My Heavenly Father doesn't like to tell me what to do. Another Hermana in my room said "how great is it that God trusts you enough to make your own choices." She is very right. I have decided to stay for now. I still have the option to leave to Puerto Rico when I feel ready, if it is before the 6 weeks mark. But for now I will stay with my district.
A little more about my companion. She is 21(22 in May). She is soooooooooooo smart. This girl spits out random facts about EVERYTHING! She is a primatologist/psychology major. She loves loves loves anything small and cute...and cannot wait to have babies! She is funny and makes me laugh all the time. When she learns something new she always says "Huh, interesting." I laugh every time and she says "You know what!? *Random fact!" haha I love it! She is so great!
We are told to ONLY email family unless approved by the mission President, so this will hopefully reach everyone just for today and the I will have my mom forward them to you all.
I have felt the Saviors love for me all this past week. I have come to LOVE this place! (We are fenced in haha) I want you all to know that I love this work with all my heart. My companion had to go see the doctor today and he let us come in while he was on a worldwide conference call with SLC headquarters and people around the world. Missionaries are overwhelming every single MTC in the World. Provo is filled to it's MAX and by summer the expect to see over 5800 missionaries in the Provo mtc if they can make it happen. Last Friday there were 5 apostles working to get the mission calls done. And on Tuesday they sent out 1800 calls. There are almost TOO many missionaries hahah(: I LOVE IT! and we are all a part of it! Elder Holland gave a talk at Provo MTC in Jan and he said that he cannot tell us WHEN the second coming but he wants to make sure we know we are IN it. It IS coming. I know my email is ALLLLL over, but you all are in my heart! I hope to get dearelder.com letters from you all soon!(: I love this Gospel! I can Testify with all my heart that it is true!
God bless you all!