How are things back in Utah? Things here at the CCM are winding down pretty fast! I only have a couple more days and then it's out in the field doing the real deal missionary work!! I leave Tuesday, June 5th, super early in the morning. I head to the mission office, receive a couple hours of orientation, and then I'm out on my own with my trainer! I'm ready to get out of here and start the next chapter of my mission.
Last friday I was able to do exchanges with the some missionaries in the West Mission. It was crazy!!! I had the biggest piece of humble pie I've ever had in my entire life! We met the missionaries at a chapel where we received a companion. My companion and I headed out and got onto the Metro. The metro was super cool! It is only 2 years old, so it still is pretty nice! Like it could give traks a run for its money. However, as soon as we got off, it was a completely different world! Not even close to what I ever thought it was going to be like! People everywhere, little carts with goods, and just very different. I don't think you can fully picture what it looks like until you actually see it with you own eyes! It is really just a different place then the good old US. The best word I can use is just: Poor; the DR a very poor country. I can't wait to get out into the thick of it in Santiago!! Anyways, once we walked a little while we found another mode of transportation that carried us to the assigned area! Very tropical place, and alot of sweat involved too! We briefly
stopped at the apartment and took care of some business and then we headed out to teach! Since we had to spend most of the time traveling we could only teach two lessons! The first lady and daughter had set a baptism date; and were just finishing up the lessons. We sat and read 1 Nephi1 with them. I couldn't understand anything!! I just sat there and tried to look pretty!! I bore my testimony of the BOM and tried to answer some questions. It was really spiritual and very exciting, even though I
couldn't understand anything! She even gave us some soda because it was a hot day.
After that lesson we headed into the poor part of town. We walked though the main street and headed down a little alley. Just cinder block walls everywhere! We winded down and around through this maze of cinder block houses. Pretty soon we ascended above all the rest to level 2. As we rounded the corner, it hit me of what everyone had told me about! There before my eyes was the valley full of tin-roofed, shacks. Those who have seen it know what I'm talking about. We stopped at this gate with a very small yard and a hut. The yard was full of water and clothes. Naked kids ran everywhere! I later found out that Friday was the first day in 25 days that this family had water, so they were taking baths, and doing laundry, and stocking back up on water. We maneuvered around the water and took a seat in the house. The kitchen, bedroom, and living area was all one room. We sat down and talked with the family and did the same lesson of reading from 1 Nephi 1. Randomly, one of the girls made a comment, and everyone laughed, and the mother than rebuked her daughter. Turns out the girl said "You're kind of fat. Why are you bigger than your companions?" The mother replied, "He's not fat, he's full of love. Like me!" I laughed so hard!! If I'm fat, I wonder what she would call the people on the Biggest Loser, haha! Anyways, that was pretty fun!! We headed back and I was sent back the CCM. It was so much fun being out in the field for the day! I get to go again tomorrow, and then for the next 22 months on Tuesday. I can't wait to t each the gospel and help other people come unto Christ. I learned from this experience that it doesn't matter what culture you live in, what means you grow up with, or what language you speak. The fact that we are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, who wants us to turn to him and rely on Jesus Christ. The spirit talks to everyone in the same language, that is the language of the heart. I look forward to serving the people of the DR with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I love the humility of the people in the DR, and I can't wait to teach all kinds of people in every circumstance! I know I've been called of God!
This past week I watched the youth Mormon message titled "Dare to stand Alone." It was about President Monson and his story about Navy boot camp. I would challenge each person who reads this to take five minutes and watch this video! You can currently watch it from the home page of LDS.org. So much can be learned from it! Remember the phrase, "Dare to be a Mormon; Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm; Dare to make it known!" I know we have a prophet on earth today and he leads and helps direct God's work on earth. Jesus is the Christ, and the church is true! I love you all, and thanks for all the support and prayers!