Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lot's of Pictures from the Dominican Republic June 2013

Daviid's note: I will translate what Zoe writes in Spanish, without correcting anything. That way you can tell the progress she is making and the level that she is at. She is doing quite well, but still has a long way to go...

Hola! Toda esta bien aquí en La República Dominicana! (Hi! Everything is well here in the Dominican Republic.) My Spanish really has been improving, but it´s a lot easier for me to speak, than to write. But one day I will do more Spanish in my email!

I hope everything is well back in the States. Things are good here! 

I took some pictures from one of my housemate´s cameras. Here are some explanations.

This is some scenery of our area. 

This is some of us in a public car. Kinda sketchy, but we do what we´ve got to do. Also you can´t tell but there´s three more people in there. It´s a 5 person car. There´s public cars all over the place. It´s kinda like a mini, sketchier and cheaper version of a bus.

More scenery.  

We went to get pizza a few weeks ago. It´s was wonderful!

This is our community skirt. Everyone in our house has worn it. It´s stretchy so it´s fit a lot of people. It was my day to wear it. 

Pretty typical picture of what type of places we walk through. Except in this picture it´s abnormally tranquil. But the buildings look similar for the most part. 

Some crazy Dominican wiring

This is at the very beginning with our District. We decided to take a Dominican style picture.
Dominican´s tend to not smile in pictures. Also, it´s from a few weeks ago so I´m really white. I´m a lot tanner now. Also, it´s very unusual that we´ve had an all American District. It´s very uncommon, but the Capital tends to have more Americans rather than futher out. I think it´s because these areas tend to be safer. I´m not totally sure on that though. But we just got a new District leader and he´s from Mexico. So we finally have a Latin in our District! 

This is the front yard of our church building. It´s very pretty and green. Especially compared to the rest of our area. We live and work in a place that´s all cement. It´s nice to have grass at the church. Also, I was asked about how the church was compared to the US. Well I suppose it´s a little smaller, and it´s all tile instead of carpet, but it´s very nice and very pretty. There´s less families and more of individuals, or parts of families. We have about 125 in our ward and there´s another ward that shares our building and they probably have about the same. One fun fact is for about a week we had a guard at our church. I´m still not sure why, but he´d just chill out there and carried around a huge shotgun. He´s gone now. I´m not sure where he went.

Things are great. We had Ward Conference yesterday and worked really hard at getting people and inviting people there. We had such a good turn out! It was so exciting! Also, 2 girls came that my companion and I have been working with and now have dates to be baptized. It´s so exciting to see things grow at a fairly rapid pace and see the enthusiasm that our ward has for missionary work!

Here´s a portion of the email I sent to my Mission President this week. I know my Spanish isn´t perfect, especially my writing, but here it is.

Mi gusta el vídeo la ayer en la noche. Yo no entiendo todo, pero esta muy maravilloso porque yo se que yo tuve el don de lenguas. Yo no necesita entender todo saber que esta fue verdadera. El espíritu bendice yo y enseno me el importancia de obra misional. Esta fue un experiencia muy especial. 

(Translation: Me like the video the yesterday in the night. I do not understand everything, but it is very marvelous because I know that I had the gift of tongues. I don't need to understand everything to know that it was true. The spirit blesses I and I teach me the importance of missionary work. This was a very special experience.)

I still often have to speak very simply in Spanish, but it´s ok. That´s all that´s needed. 

Things are improving every week and it´s exciting, but there´s still so much more that can be done. I look forward to seeing how much things will grow and improve as time goes on.

Well, better go, but I´ll talk to you next week!

Hermana Safeer

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"We just stood there waiting for like 4 minutes waiting for a bird to answer the door."

NOTE FROM ZOE's DAD: This picture shows the Mosquito Netting that Zoe sleeps under (the green material.)

Things are starting to get crazy here weather wise. It´s CRAZY hot. Hotter than it ever got in Hawaii  Also, we´re coming up on rain and storm season, so we get some crazy floods. The other day my companion were walking to an appointment when it started POURING, so we hopped in a little colmado (shop) and waited for it to calm down.  The street were completely flooded and up onto the sidewalks. Everyone on the streets tried to find some place to guard themselves from the weather, except a few little boys that decide to go swimming in the water. Once it was pretty calmed down we tried to leave, but we were now on an island, as everything around us was covered in water. It was crazy. I had on crocks, but my companion took of her shoes to walk barefoot through the super gross flooded streets. It was definitely an adventure.

I´ll tell you also about a guy that we´re teaching. His name´s Cazy. He´s from Haiti and probably around 30. One of my first days being here, my comp and I were about to cross the street, but we saw this guy and his nephew (but at the time we thought it was his son) and my companion said that she felt the need to talk to him, so we waited for them to cross over and we just said hi and introduced ourselves as missionaries and that whole bit and then left on our way. About 4 weeks later my companion knocked on his door, while on exchanges with another missionary, and he remember her and said he would like to be taught about our church. Now we´re teaching him. The Lord puts you in the right places and in the path of people that he wants you to meet! Cazy is awesome and is very religious and seriously investigating our Church and does his homework. He read the Book of Mormon right along side the Bible and checks all the cross references to make sure it all adds up. He´s great and I´m excited to keep working with him!

On more funny story. Yesterday my companion and I were out inviting people to church. We´re at these appartment buildings and we knock on this door and we both hear someone say ¨Quien¨ (who is it?). Which is a very normal thing for people to say here. So of course we both say back ¨Las misioneras¨. Then we here something else, but we can´t tell what they´re saying so we just wait for them to answer the door. Then they say something again, but we can´t tell again. Then I say ¨I feel like we´re talking to a parakeet.¨ Turns out we were. We contacted a bird. We thought it was funny. We just stood there waiting for like 4 minutes waiting for a bird to answer the door.

Well that´s it for this week, but I´ll write more next week! Also, I swear my Spanish has improved a lot! Yo quiero escribir mas en español, pero esta un poco difícil para me. But my speaking is doing a lot better! One day I´ll really whip my Spanish out in an email. But no today. Also, I can´t spell in Spanish very well still. I´ll work on that.

Best wishes and I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Hermana Safeer

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Zoe Teaches ALL IN SPANISH for the first time! Yahoooooo!!!

Note from David (Zoe's father): Before Zoe left for the Dominican Republic her biggest concern was the language. She knew about 10 words of Spanish! She also just finished her Sign Language Certificate at BYU Hawaii, and she has indicated in other e-mails that her 2nd language of sign language is helping her learn Spanish.

The picture is of the group that left with Zoe to go to their first assignments.

!Hola mi familia y mi amigos!

First off thanks Ann Dale and all the other people in our ward for my package, I loved all the letters and the CD and the mascara and it was all exactly what I needed and I loved it!

Things are awesome as usual. In the house we´re getting more and more creative with food. We had mango pie empanadas the other night and they were delicious! We mostly cook by stove top, so if anybody has good stove top recipes I´d love to get some emailed or mailed to me!  But we handle ourselves well in the kitchen. Also, thanks mom cause I started eating rice in milk with cinnamon and sugar and at first my housemates thought it looked weird, but now everyone eats it everyday cause it´s delicious!

Good new, I taught a lesson to a less active lady who´s super cute and has a young family about faith this week. The really good news was I was in charge of teaching it and was incharge of taking the lead and did it ALL IN SPANISH! Yahoooo!!!! I´m still not where I hope to be with Spanish and still the worst in my house for sure, but I´m learning everyday and that´s really all I can ask for.

I was asked to share about how we find people so here it is,
Almost all the people we teach are from references. Friends of friends. Or relitaves of people. It´s the best way to start teaching. We also teach a lot of inactive members. The other way we find people is just by talking to everyone we meet. And when we´re really lucky people will recognize us as missionaries or atleast ¨people of God¨ as they´ll say and come up to ask us to share with them or teach them. We´re pretty lucky that in this area we´re pretty busy with teaching people and don´t have to worry to much about finding them.

Also, one last thing is I want to tell you about one of our investigators named Stephany. Shé´s from Haiti, but now lives here. She´s had a rough life with her family and not having much money. She´s lives in a very small home with her boyfriend (i think that´s what I should call him) and her 2 kids. She´s 22 and she has a baby and a boy who´s probably like 5. When I first went to go meet her my companion was telling me about how they´ve been teaching her for a while and already they´ve seen a huge difference in her life. She said before they started teaching she didn´t smile and was just not doing too well. But by the time I met her she was smiling and happy. However, her 5 year old son was not. He was so angry all the time. He didn´t like me to look at him or smile at him and was just so angry with everything. It´s only been 3 weeks since I´ve started working with them and now he´s so smiley all the time! He´ll play with me and smiles and laughs and whenever we see him the first thing he doesn´t is tells us to come in. It´s amazing how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes people´s life. They´re status and situations haven´t changed, and they haven´t been baptized or anything, but they´re happy! It´s amazing! And as of a few days ago the boyfriend is starting to be taught too!  This family is going to be soooo blessed and they continue to learn and grow and live the way that they´re Heavenly Father wants them too and I love it!

Well sorry I got to go!

Todas es bien!

Hermana Safeer