Sunday, July 28, 2013

Flooded Streets & July 4th Dominican Style

Ola! Everything is good as usual. So many things are progressing. Our ward has already gotten enthusiastic and supportive of what we´re doing. We´re getting more and more investigators and they´re all progressing as well. Even less active members that we've been visiting have started to become more involved and it´s great! We even have a baptism coming up in August for a super awesome 17 year old girl named Carla and she's super cute and excited and we've even started teaching her young, I think 14 years old, brother.  All just a lot of exciting stuff! 

I sent a few pictures this week. Sorry my emails are always so disorganized, but I do my best!

Perla is a girl who was more recently baptized. She´s super awesome and we still visit her and teach her on a regular basis.

This is where we email.

This is from when my back was out and I just walked around everywhere with a hot rice bag in my skirt.

This is a double banana that I bought. And the two bananas weren't even morphed together!

MRS.PECK you are amazing! Thank you SOOOOOOOO much for the mint Oreo surprise that you sent me!

We got the dinner table all set up properly for the 4th of July. And that´s Hna. Jorgensen's head peaking at the top.

We enjoyed a lunch of shishkabobs, corn on the cob, and mangoes.

Then we had smores! (But a little bit different because we used Dominican ingredients)

We gave the two Elders in our District our left over 4th of July food.

This is my current Zone.

This is my letter box I constructed to put all my letters in!

We had tropical storm Shantal this week. We couldn´t go out so we watched 17 Miracles on our tiny DVD player with our matresses all stacked up. Good movie.

Us during movie night. 

Now let me really tell you about this storm. This is an insert from a letter I just wrote to Kay Morgan, but I haven´t sent yet.

Yesterday my companion and I went to an investigators house and she told us she couldn't meet with us, because she had to clean her house and get it ready to flood for the cyclone that was on it´s way. After she declined our offer to help her clean we left and went to another investigator´s house. She also told us a cyclone was going to hit either that day or the next day, but being unconcerned (our district leaders would call us if the storm was coming, right?) we teach her a lesson. 

As we´re teaching, it begins raining and it keeps raining. We had finished the lesson, but wait about another 15 minutes to see if the rain would stop. As soon as we thought it was letting up we left her house and turned the corner to see her street was a river and it starts raining quite hard again. So we pull out our umbrellas and walk to the main road. It´s even more flooded than the first!

We realize that we can´t make it to anymore houses and start heading home. We walk out to the very flooded main road and within a few steps we realize it´s worse than we thought! The water was up to our knees! And walking down hill, even on cement, was like trying to hold your balance walking down a water slide! People were yelling at us telling us to go into a shop or go stand someplace dry, but we were already soaked and needed to go home! We did get some help, however, from a couple kids. They helped pull us along and held our hands where the water was rushing very quickly. They told us where to walk if there was a shallower part on the road. 

One girl grabbed my skirt (that was about mid'calf length) and started pulling it up and I got nervous and was trying to tell her it's OK and she didn't need to do whatever she was doing, but she wouldn't stop. She grabbed my skirt and pulled it up and tied it in a know so that now I had a knee length  skirt. It was actually very nice and made it a lot easier to walk.

Finally, we made it home and showered and got dry. 

That´s all I have this week. Hope everyone is doing well!

Hermana Safeer

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Youth May Not Live in the Best Areas, but They Live the Best Lives!

(Zoe's Dad's notes: Zoe mentions that she was in bed last week. Her back goes out once in a while and requires a chiropractic adjustment to feel better. We were concerned about what would happen if/when it went out while she was in the Dominican Republic. We were very happy to read it just took a couple of days of bed rest to heal.)
I have more pictures, particularly from the fourth of July, but I've got to wait until next week to send them.

As I previously stated, it创s been a slow week, because I was in my bed for a bit of it, but particularly yesterday was a good day. We had 8 younger boys (That are not members of our church) come to church and we ended up having a class just for them! They're just all awesome and invited their friends to church!

Also, at church all of the youth just got back from EFY (Especially for Youth) here and they all got up and spoke and bore their testimony and were all just super pumped still about how awesome it was. We have such amazing youth here! They may not live in the best areas, but they live the best lives!

This is Perla. She is super cute and 14 and is a recent convert so we still go and visit her a couple of times a week.

Sorry short. Until next week,

Hermana Safeer

P.S. I have pictures of my house to send, as my companion took them as she was bored in the house. This is our kitchen
This is our main room, and was also taken before my back went out. That创s why I创m sitting oddly in that chair at my desk.
Washing machine.
My desk. 

This is my journal entry from Tuesday. It's been a slow week but I was the missionary doctor and rested and am now up and going!

Our old District Leader and his companion. 

This is our new District. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A 3-Year Old Leads the Way, and 6 Hours of Pouring Rain

(David's Note: You'll notice that Zoe is starting to use Spanish words mixed with her English ones. This is a sign of the brain being as comfortable (or more comfortable) with the foreign word as the native one. Sometimes the foreign word is easy to say, like colmado vs. convenience store.

The other woman in the photo is Zoe's companion, Hermana Peck.)
A few fun things from this week,

First off, the RAIN. It´s crazy! We´re hitting rain season and the other day it rained for 6 hours! it POURED! Apparently Dominicans can tell if it´´s going to rain for 6 minutes or 6 hours. We didn't know, so we tried to work all day, but it didn't turn out well. We sat in an apartment lobby for an hour and sat under the roof of a little colmado (convenience store) for another 2. You get really sick from the rain here. I've actually had the gripe (pretty much a cold) since I've gotten here because of the rain. But this week I've actually not been sick! YAHOO! So we tried to stay out of the rain, but we still got soaked. Also, you can't go visit people when it's raining like that. They don't want you and it's kinda rude to try to come in all wet. We're still trying to learn Dominican Rain Courtesy. My house full of American's is still confused. But I look forward to a summer of crazy storms. We're not even at peak storm season yet.

Another fun thing was this week my companion and I had nothing to do for a couple hours, so we went to got knock on doors in these calle homes ( which are pretty much houses build on top of houses and around houses and through houses and are just a giant maze)  and these two super cute 3 year old boys started helping us and followed us for and hour. They were so adorable and told us were to go and told us who was home and who wasn't. Finally my companion asked how the knew who was home and who wasn't. They said because they have these padlocks on the outside of there gates. Duh. These 3 year old boys knew the way! They were so cute and so excited to help and follow us around and lead us everywhere. I loved it! And we ran into one later that night when we ran to the store real quick and he was there in the store and was so excited to see us and was ready to lead us to whatever we needed to find. It was so great to get a little extra help!

Besides that we're just working with some really awesome people! We have a family that we're working with. Their son who's about 15 has been in the church for a couple years now and now the mom and his 2 sisters are  looking in to it and we've started teaching them and they came to church this week which was really exciting! It´´s so great and this boy, Oscar, is so great and such a good example to his family. The family can see the positive difference in Oscar's life since being in the church and he's being a wonderful example and they can see all the blessings he's received from living a positive life and a life that's in accordance with God. 

We also got super excited for a girl, Carla, who's a friend of a girl in our ward and is 17. She's super cute and friendly and we've been teaching her too. She reads her Book of Mormon and comes to church and it was such a blessing this week that she's able to got to the EFY here! She wasn't supposed to be able to get in, but the bishop helped us and we've been praying that she´d be able to and now she's going! Yahoo!

There are a lot of awesome people that we've been privileged to work with, but I've got to go so I'll send more next week!

Hope all's well back home!

Hermana Safeer