Sunday, August 10, 2014

A complete family!

We had a super great Saturday with the baptisms of Maria, Manuela and Kaulin this weekend! It was so great and we've been working with them for a little while. 

 The mom was a less active member, but reactivated and now is going super strong.  Her husband is a recent convert and now the 3 children have all joined the church. A complete family! We're so happy for them and now they can work on getting sealed in the temple!

" Sometimes we become the lightning rod, and we must 'take the heat' for holding fast to God's standards and doing His work. I testify that we need not be afraid if we are grounded in His doctorine. We may experience misunderstanding, criticism and even false accusation, but we are never alone. Our Savior was 'despised and rejected of men' [Isaiah 53:3] It is our sacred privilege to stand with Him!"  -Robert D. Hales

I love that quotation and it's true. It is my privilege to stand with my Savior for these 18 months and I would never trade that for anything! I hope that all of us always have the courage to stand up for what's right and stand with Him as well.

Have a wonderful week!

Hna Safeer

Sunday, August 3, 2014

It is HOT. Super hot. Like heat exhaustion hot

Nothing much new has happened this week. But it is HOT. Super hot. Like heat exhaustion hot. But it´s all good. 

Here´s a couple more photos from our trip to El Conde last week.


We also had a big service activity this week. We had a major problem with people dumping their trash right outside the church, so everyone pitched in and a garden was built! It´s great and everyone had such a good attitude to help. As well, we have men taking shifts guarding the garden everyday for the next month. Then it´ll go to every other day until they feel it´s safe enough that people won´t ruin the garden.

Also, I finish Jesus the Christ this week! Yahoo! Yes it´s taken this long.. but let´s keep in mind that I wasn't reading very consistently. But I found this a good one and interesting:

¨Have you some besting weakness, some sinful indulgence that you have vainly tried to overcome? Like the malignant demon that Christ rebuked in the boy, your sin may be of a kind that goeth out only through prayer and fasting.¨ -James E. Talmage 

Have a greeeeeat week!
4 Attachments

Zoe Visits Christopher Colombus'...House

Hola a todos! Today I have photos!!  We went to El Conde today as an activity. Our District got special permission to go to the East Mission to check out this fun touristy historical/shopping street:)

The picture of all of us is in front of the house of Christopher Columbus!

This past Thursday I had the WONDERFUL opportunity to do companion exchanges and go back to Quisqueya- my first area. It was soooo great!!!! I got to see 2 of my converts, Rosie and Ashley, and after one year they are still going strong! At the end of the day we had an activity and I got to see a lot of members from the ward and they were all happy to see me and I was so happy to see them. What a blessing!

Also let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time I felt like I was in the movie ¨the best two years¨. My compa and I got home the other night and the other girls we´re like ¨guess what happened!!¨ They then told us of their night..

President Nuckols was at our chapel to give and interview for the Elders. As he was leaving he ran into the other Hermanas who were walking to our appartment for the night. He asked them if they lived closed and when they answered yes he asked if he could see the appartment. They confidently said ¨of course!¨ even though they were trying to remember of what type of condition our house was in.

President Nuckols, and 2 Elders came in and the Elders jaws dropped at how clean our apartment was and President was please too:) Yea for us having a clean house! It´s usually clean, but it was particularly clean this day. All the dishes done, desks clean, shelves organized, all four of our beds made. Practically spotless  

I was pleased to hear of our great surpise and that our house was fit to greet some suprise guests. Which reminds me of a wonderful quotation that I love:

¨Your room can be a holy place that invites the Spirit. If the prophet were to see your room, would he view it as a holy place? Do you?¨ -President Elaine S. Dalton

Hasta Luego!

Hna Safeer

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Zoe's laugh...wait for it....!

David's Note: Zoe's laugh is at the end of the video. Anyone who knows her well will recognize the laugh!

So we´ve been a lot better at helping eachother with language study this transfer so far. The latins are helping us with our Spanish and we´ve been helping them a lot more with their English. So they other day we´re just chilling in our room and Hna Mieses asks us what this song means that she knows. Then she starts singing. It takes us a second, but we figured out what the song says. She´s so cute!

¨The greatest thing we can desire in life is to align our will with God´s will..¨ - Gerald Causse

Until next time!

Hna Safeer

Nothing amazing, but good stuff is always happening!

Hola a todos!

This week has been good! Nothing amazing, but good stuff is always happening around here:) 

My companion´s chickinguya is pretty much gone, so that´s great! She luckily never got the body and joint pain, just the skin problems. But dumb chickinguya is EVERYWHERE. Seriously. Everyone´s got it. Supposedly it´s hit the southern parts of the US, but the mission doctor thinks it´ll get taken care of before it spreads.

So we´re working with these two girls, Manuela and Maria. They´re daughters of 2 ward members that were living in the campo but now are here and we´re teaching them and helping them prepare for baptism.  Manuela´s 10 and Maria´s 12. Probrecita Manuela was in the hospital for 4 days this week hooked to an IV. She had chickinguya, dengue and an infection. ALL 3! But we went to the hospital and just talked with the two girls for a while. She was happy to see us and told us about the entire movie of The Life of Pi. Ha. And then we shared a message of course and gave them stickers.

We had no food in the house this week and bought 50 mango. 50. And only for like $2.50 US dollars. Not too shabby!

Aaaand I got a letter from Hermana Courtney Cox in Argentina! She wrote me in Spanish and it was really good and sounds like she´s doing really well:)

¨We will all face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us- all of us- have the courage to defy the concensus, the courage to stand for principle... Courage becomes a living and an attractice virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully but also as the determination to decently.¨ -Thomas S. Monson


Hna Safeer

There´s always a silver lining!

Buenas dias! 

This week has been a another great week out here in the mission field. Nothing too special, but I´ll share a couple of things.

One, Heladio got baptized!! Remember Heladio from Sabana Yegua with one arm and quit smoking? I got to talk to one of the Hermanas out there this week and they told me he did get baptized and has not missed a week of church since. Yahoo! He´s such a good man. He always walked very slowly to church. It´s a struggle for him to walk, but he always was there.

Also my pobrecita companion (Hermana Paul) has Chickinguya.(I´m pretty sure I spell this virus different everytime). It´s finally hit someone in our house. So a week ago she had a fever for like 3 days. Then starting last night she started having what looked like a ton of giant hives. Then this morning she was up since 2 because she was so itchy and I woke up and it had gotten a LOT worse. So we made a trip to Dr Walker, the mission doctor, and recognized it real quick as a classic case of Chickinguya, but with some pretty extreme skin reactions. But he gave us medicine and instructions of what to do and all that good stuff. It will last for at least a few days... or week, but she´s always doing better with her medicine. 

I don´t know if you can see the splotches super well in this photo, but on the positive side, we got to eat at taco bell because it´s close to the doctor´s office. 

There´s always a silver lining! hahaha

On an ending note, "Happily every after is not a fairy tale. It is a choice!¨ -Fawn Weaver

Have a great week!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bloody Thursday and the Dreaded "Chickengunya"

Buenos dias!

Alright here´s the top news stories for this week:

1. Chickengunya. A new mosquito virus that´s sweeping the nation. Apparently it somehow came here from Africa. It consists of full body pain and fever. We´ve been told 70% of the country has it. And we believe it! Seriously, everybody and their dog has it. I don´t know how nobody our home has gotten it yet. I guess the Lord needs us working and not in bed. 

2. Elder Jeffery R. Holland was here! So actually this was  a couple weeks ago but I forgot to write about it. One of our investigators told us about it, that he saw it on the news and was super excited to see somebody from our church. He didn't know he was an apostle, but we've heard that Elder Holland was in the country for a couple weeks and was working with Danilo, President of the country. Maybe you guys back home can look up photos or something. (Read article here.) And some news articles. I think he was talking to Danilo about social issues or something. I´m not to sure. If anybody find out more, let me know. And send me a photo of him with Danilo:)

3. Gladi got baptized!!! And her two oldest kids as well! 

OK, here we have Hna Paul and I with the whole family.

Cynthia and I. At first she hated when we came over. Now she loves us and she loves church!

Everyone right before the baptism.

Gladi right after she came out of the baptismal font. She didn't know I was there with my camera. That was her real face. So happy!

4. Bloody Thursday.

Once upon a time my companion had a bloody nose. For 3 hours. Which finally ended us up in the hospital. Luckily we live right across the street, so at midnight Friday night us 2 and the other 2 missionaries in our house made a midnight trip to the hospital. Her nose finally stopped bleeding (before anyone had actually helped us) but they took her blood pressure just to make sure everything was ok, then send us home around 1 am.

And one more picture of Arjeny. Gladi´s 2 year old boy :)

¨Work without vision is drudgery. Vision without work is daydreaming. Vision with hard work is exhilarating!¨
-President Nuckols. He said this to us, but I´m not sure if he made it up or heard it somewhere else.

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photos - Baptisms, Teaching AND Some Play Time


Everything´s been grrrreat this week as usual! I´m going to start off this week with some photos.

We had an awesome multi-zone activity last p-day and we played all types of games and saw the dedicatory plaque for the church in this country. We had 3 zones from the Capital there and President and his wife showed up and played around with us as well:)

Another photo of us at the activity.

We also had our last district meeting together and here´s a photo

And this is Jose ( a member) and Wilker (almost to be baptized).

We also had the world´s craziest lesson with 8 teenage boys. We had a lesson planned with 2 boys, but one of them brought 5 of his friends and they've all been going to church regularly and all the activities so that´s good. And we had it in the house of a member who´s also a teenage boy. It was crazy, but now they all know the 10 commandments memorized!

Oh ya... WILKER was baptized this weekend!! Yahoo! He´s only 12, but he´s been going to church and all the activities every week for the last 6 months. He´s also really good friend with two of the families in our ward, so he has Family Home Evening with one of them every week. He was sooo happy to FINALLY be baptized.

Also, this week we´re particularly excited about a woman named Gladis. We've been teaching her about 3 months by now and she often came to church alone with her 5 children all under the age of 11, but wasn't progressing wonderfully. She was not a very happy person (she´s in a really rough situation with her husband right now), rarely in her house when we came for our scheduled lessons, she wasn't reading her Book of Mormon, we kinda had to drag her to church often... but now there´s SUCH A CHANGE! Something has clicked and she´s converting for real! She´s reading, coming early to church (still with all 5 kids), is on time to her appointments and we´re so happy for her! Her baptism is planned for the 28th this month and she´s finally ready and excited! It´s also not only her, but especially her 8 year old daughter who didn't like us too much before, now is excited when we come over and loves church! We´re soooo happy for them and so excited to just see things get better and better:)

 Well that´s all for this week. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. HAPPY FATHER´S DAY DAD!! 

Make good choices everyone and always be a good friend to all.
¨My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.¨-Henry Ford

Until next time,

Hna Safeer

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Nuckols are here!

They´re here! The Nuckols are here! 

We had a great surprise conference this week with our new Mission President and his wife. They´re from San Diego, CA and are suuuuuper great! Everybody loves them already. We had a great conference with them and everyone´s excited to start working with them.  

President Nuckols is great and really friendly and tall as I´m sure you can tell from the pictures. He served his mission in Spain so that´s how he knows Spanish. He told us he also likes to surf, play basketball, baseball and camp.

Hermana Nuckols is pretty much is like our long lost Young Women´s leader or something cause she just is super cute and wants to cook for us and is all of our best friend already. She´s still working on her Spanish, because she only started studying when she found out she was coming here. But so far she´s doing great! She and her husband know French because they lived in France for someodd years.

So that´s the big news for this week. The Nuckols have arrived and we´re all excited!

¨Life is a locomotion. If you´re not moving you´re not living. But there comes a time when you´ve got to stop running away from things and you´ve got to start running towards something. You´ve got to forge ahead, keep moving even if the path isn´t lit trust that you´ll find your way.¨
-The Flash

Have a summer great week and a wonderful SUMMER!

Hna Safeer

Monday, May 26, 2014

Zoe - A giant Among the Sisters

Buenas dia!

So it´s been another good week here in La Esperanza. Just working hard and plugging away. The big news this week is about our Mission President and his family. They were about to finish their 3 years of service, and we had a specialy conference this Thursday to hear that they are finishing their service about a month early because they´re working on getting their citizenship in Canada and they have to go back this week. We were all super surprised.First off we didn´t even know they used to live in Canada! But they´re very sad to leave a month early, but it´s why they have to do. So we got to see them this one last time.

 But little to my surprise there was also a Conference with just make Stake Bishops, Ward Mission Leaders and missionaries and our Mission President so it was really nice that I got to see him one last time before he leaves on Wednesday.

Our new President and wife don´t come until late May so until then, the 1st counselor of our current President will take care of us. He´s really great so all should be good!

My Zone at the special conference with President and his wife.

My house together at the conference.

Also today we were at the CCM because my companion was getting checked out for migraines. While we were there we had a great surprise of the Grey´s (a senior missionary couple) asking us over for lunch! They know Hna Hamblin because her uncle is their bishop from back home and they know me because when I was in the CCM I got to practice Spanish with them. It was so great! They´re so sweet to have invited us over and they fed us stuffed pepper, salad, broccoli, zucchini bread and fruit smoothie. We´re so spoiled!

While we were in the Capital of course we had to make a stop at Krispy Kreme too:)

"Good timber does not grow with ease,
the stronger the wind, the stronger trees.
The further the sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
in trees and men good timbers grow.¨

-Douglas Malloch

Have a good week everyone!

Hna Safeer

Monday, April 21, 2014

Zoe - Back in the BIG City


I've been transferred! I´m back in the Capital, b
ut it´s a little bit different from before. I´m in an area called La Esperanza. I really like it so far! It has trees unlike my last area, so that´s nice! It´s very green and a little bit more...normal economic wise. It doesn't have a ton of people on the extremes of the economic scale, but more just what would be kind of middle to upper middle class. It´s nice! 

A couple of weird things... so for the first time in my mission people are calling me Hna Say-feer, like they do in the US. Too many people here are studying English! hahah but for real! Everyone who´s studied English in this area is seeing my name and pronouncing it Say-feer. So I have to correct them and they get really confused. People who haven´t studied English seem to have a much easier time with my name.

Also.. I've been getting compliments on my Spanish! YAHOO! I've been meeting lots of new people and a lot of them have asked me how much time I have in the mission and when I say 1 year they just respond kinda like, "ya cause your Spanish sounds really good!" YESSSS. Last time I switched areas people were not saying that. IMPROVEMENNNNT.

I now live in an apartment with my new companion, Hna Hamblin. She's from Arizona and 21 and super nice and cute! We live with two other Hnas that are Dominican, Hna Moronta and Hna Mieses. It´s all super good so far! We live in the 3rd story of our apartment right across from the church. It´s a pink apartment. Maybe you can googlemaps the LDS church in La Yuca, DR and see where I live. It´s super nice and convenient to live so close to the chapel! It also has a really nice view.

I haven´t mentioned yet that also everybody here makes a huge deal about how tall I am. More than ever before in my mission. Maybe it could have something to do with that my new companion is tiny. Check out our photos! Oh side note, Hna Hamblin´s little sister is also serving too! But in Hong Kong! I´m glad I´m just learing Spanish haha.

This is me with Hna Moronta and Hna Mieses. They´re both from here and super fun. I have such a great house!

These are just a couple shots from our apartment. We live on the 3rd floor and we live right across the street from the church as you can see which is quite convenient! It´s also nice and green which is super nice and pretty. My last area in the capital was all cement, so I´m extra grateful for the greenery here!

"The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever." -Isaiah 32:17

And as always, " Don´t find fault. Find a remedy." -Henry Ford

Also HAPPY PASSOVER to all my family that´s together right now!!!! I miss you alll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Hna Safeer

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Zoe and the "One Armed Man"

David's (Zoe's dad) notes:  Zoe continues to make friends and make people happy, young and old.

Hola! Ok so this week, biggest things that happened is 1. General Conference! Super good, but it was my first time watching it in Spanish. As much as I love voice overs, I prefer it in English. But Conference never disapoints! It was great as always.

2. Transfers! Yikes! I'm the only one from my house who's leaving, but we don't know to where or with who. I'll find out tonight. It's probably fair to say I'm a tiny bit nervous. 

Besides that it's all just been a normal week.

So a couple last photos from this transfers.

First are the most GIANT coconuts in the world! We had to drink and eat them and they're actually gross. They may not look that giant but remember my hands are really big. 

One more photo from the temple that Hna Smith bombed.

Then like a week later we had more coco for district meeting, but they were smaller so I could handle it and now I like the coconut meat so that was nice.

And this is Heladio! I love him so much! He's just this cute old one armed man that usually doesn't smile but he smiled a little for the photo!

And remember, "Faith in God includes faith in his timing." -Neal A. Maxwell

Hasta Luego!

Hna Safeer

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hernan stops smoking!

David's Note: Zoe didn't send any pictures so I added an old one!

Hola familia!
So I forgot my camera.... so no pictures this week. Sorry! Next week!

But I´ll just share a quick experience. So we´re working with the AWESOME man. His name´s Hernan and he´s super great and 65 and only has one arm. He lives in the house of our Branch Mission Leader and was invited to church last Sunday. We visited him the next day. It´s now been ONE WEEK since we´ve started teaching him. He´s been to church twice (for all 3 hours both times), has been praying daily, and HAS QUIT SMOKING AND DRINKING COFFEE. What? Yep that´s right. In one week of us working with him. He used to smoke a pack a day. These last few weeks before us he´d been lowering it down but now he´s done! If that´s not a miracle quitting smoking in 1 week than I don´t know what is! He´s planning on being baptizedApril 19th and we´re stoked!
That that´s all for today.
Talk to you next week!
Hna Safeer

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Photo from the Dominican Republic

David's (Zoe's Dad) notes: We received this postcard this week from Zoe. A few things to note: 1. Zoe is writing fairly well in Spanish 2. She is able to communicate humor, which is quite difficult  3) She used the subjunctive which is a verb tense in Spanish that we really don't use in English. It indicates an uncertain future state, is difficult to use, and Zoe uses it quite well!

There are two translations 1) My interpretation of what I think Zoe was trying to communicate  2) Google translate's Spanish to English translation. (My translation is much better!)

David's translation:
Hello, family! I hope that everything is good in Utah and I just want to say a quick "hello!" Do you like the picture of the girl? I think it's really artistic! Hahaha. This is my life - a day at the beach... not! But that's OK! Its not important, I don't need the water in the ocean now that I have running water at home! :-) jokes are really stupid. 

Google Translate:
Greetings my family. Hopefully all is well in Utah and just want to say "hello" really fast. Like this photo of this girl? I think this is very Distinction lol. This is my life, a day at the beach-no! But it's okay. No matter to me, I need the sea when now I have water in the house. Hahaha that my stupid jokes.