This week has been a very interesting week! The Dominican Republic is very different from the United States. The culture, food, weather, and atmosphere is completely different. In order to keep from getting all jumbled, let me just start from the beginning.
Elder Nelson and I woke up at 1:45 AM to make it to the bus by 3. Once we departed in the van with a group of 7 of us headed to the DR, we made our was the SLC airport. It was quite the ride. We made to the airport and began the process of checking in. Let me just say, I hate how American Airlines does its check in. It is completely non-productive. Anyways, we made into the airport and began the journey of flying to the DR. The plane rides sure do go quickly when you are asleep for the majority of them. We went to Dallas, then to Miami, and finally to Santo Domingo. It is very interesting to fly over the different cities. In Dallas, it seems everyone has a swimming pool in their backyards. Miami is also super close to the airport. Once we got off the plane in the DR, I was terrified!! My eyes were probably huge, and I was sweating like crazy. No one spoke English, I had not clue how to pass customs, and I didn't know where to go. Looking back, I think the lord was trying my faith to see if I would not worry and rely on him help be get to the CCM. Like I said earlier, a complete stranger came and told us to follow him. He was dressed in regular clothes and drove a beater van that wouldn't pass inspection in the US. Anyways, you know the rest of the story. We finally made it to the CCM and met the President and some other senior missionaries. I was assigned a new companion and sent to bed. My new Companion's name is Elder Fassett and he is 21 and from Rupert, ID. He's a very interesting fellow.
A little about the CCM for you people back home....It is part of the temple grounds and is very, very small. The CCM is on the 4th floor of a four story building, known as the "House of Guests." The purpose of this building is to provide housing for temple patrons who travel a great distance to attend the temple. A third of the CCM Floor provides housing quarters for missionaries. Another third is classrooms for teaching. And the last third is the apartment for the President, and offices. The Cafeteria is on the bottom floor. After one week here, it seems like everyday the CCM is getting smaller and smaller. But that's the idea of the CCM. Let me know of anymore questions.
The food here is much different from the food back home. We eat rice & beans everyday, and this sweet juice call "BON." Its really good! We have cereal, hamburgers, tacos, different soups, and a lot of variety too. The fruits & Veggies are amazing here! They are all so sweet and very tasty. Bananas are in no short supply and I heard mangos are just coming in season, YUM:) Plantanos (Plantans) are a weird type of food. They honestly have no taste at all. Very weird indeed.... Also, the food isn't really spicy, I heard that the Dominicans don't really like spicy stuff...
My teachers are pretty chill and good people. One is a big Harry Potter fan, and he super funny! Others don't really speak English, so they repeat themselves a lot. Also, I've never heard people talk so fast in my life!!! It's crazy!! I love the people here though!! Everyone is so friendly and kind. They know I can't speak Spanish very well yet, so they are very patient and willing to repeat themselves. From the little bit I've seen I can't wait to leave the CCM and begin serving my Heavenly Father and the people of the Rupublica Dominicana.
So how about the weather!! I have never seen it rain so hard in my entire life! It was a complete downpour of water for like 4 hours yesterday!!! After a while, it seemed like the streets became little streams of waters and I was waiting for fish to start appearing... and President Glazier said it isn't even the "Rainy season" yet. Oh great!! The humidity is also really high. Every time I go outside, its like a blast of hot mist encompassing me with water. But, I'm getting used to it. However, its really bad when it rains a lot and such. But all is well!
So we went to the temple today and did Baptisms for the dead and a session. Its really hard to try and baptize a big Elder in 2 ft of water. For some reason the font had been emptied and not refilled. Also, I'm having a hard time finding white clothes, so I wish I would have brought mine with me, but I believe I got it figured out now, so don't worry. The temple is really pretty and really small.