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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bucket showers - at least they're warm!

David's (Zoe's Dad) notes: This is from a letter that Zoe sent in early December. I was not able to keep up with everything, so I am going back now and posting old letters now.)
DECEMBER 9, 2013

Transfers have occurred and now I´m in a place called Sabana Yegua, which is part of an area called Azua. I have a new companion, Hna. Hernandez, who´s awesome and nice and is from Chile and speaks both English and Spanish. She´s so great and funny! We live with two other girls, Hna. Rush, from Arizona who was in the MTC with me, and Hna. Alcantara, who's Dominican.  We have a super great and chill house and it´s so great!

Well the girls in the house are great, but the actual house... whelp I´m finally taking bucket showers! It´s really not too bad, because you can boil some water first and then you have hot water and I never got hot showers in my area so it´s the first time I've had warm showers in like 3 months! But it´s top on my list to get our water fixed! We also rarely have light. there´s not much we can do about it, but it´s really not a big deal cause we´re gone most of the day and I have a flashlight for night and candles too. And it´s made me very thankful for electricity. Literally every time we get light our whole house is screams like ¨Yahooo light!!¨ I can definitely say I've taken it for granted before. Never once in the US did I flip on a light switch and say ¨Yahoo light!¨ Try it sometime. It´s good to have something to be excited about!

One more thing, I found out my last Zone Conference that our mission has the most people with baptism dates and the most investigators that attend church in all of the Caribbean! Yahoo! However we don´t have the highest amount of baptisms, so we've got to work on that so I´m not too worried. 

Well. I´m going to try to send pictures, but it´s struggling, so we´ll just have to wait and see how that goes.

¨I believe that for most of us the best medicine for loneliness is work and service in behalf of others. I do not minimize your problems, but I do not hesitate to say that there are many others whose problems are more serious than yours. Reach out to serve them, to help them, to encourage them.¨  -President Gordon B. Hinkley

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chilling on Gua Gua and Riding on a Tractor

My companion and I just chilling on a gua gua
waiting to leave to a meeting.
BUENAS!!!! Ok. This week. Normal and yet not normal. What is a normal day or week for a missionary? I don´t know. I don´t think it exists. Just about everyday when we come home my companions and I have always just been like, ¨Huh well today was weird.¨ Everyday is weird. 

I guess this week, we've mostly been searching for new people to work with, and we´re having successes. But let me tell you about a few people with potential. 

Max, is 19 and a girl in the ward invited him to church. He´s been 3 times, but we have only been able to teach him once since he´s int he capital all week at the University. 

David, is maybe like 30 ish and is our neighbor two doors down. He´s super good friends with the neighbor that lives in between us and is a member. We actually have taught him here and there for the last couple months, but we had  a super good lesson with him on Saturday and for the first time HE WAS AT CHURCH on Sunday! YAHOO! He´s SUPER educated and knows what he´s talking about. And check this out. He´s already read the Teachings of Lorenzo Snow book and is working on Teachings of George Albert Smith now. That´s what our neighbor gave him. Now we´re just trying to get him going on the Book of Mormon! We´ll see how that goes.

The Familia Nueces Fidel. They´re this awesome family that lives pretty far away but it´s worth the travel. It´s a mom, dad, daughter who´s 13 and son who´s 14. The dad has a niece who´s Mormon and married and lives in Utah and in December him and his kids went to visit and visited the Salt Lake Temple and he showed us pictures. Weird right? But also super cool. So they´re super friendly and inviting, but they´re in a tough situation right now because things are crazy for them. The dad´s having kidney failure and is in the process of trying to get a transplant. We´re just hoping that all goes alright!

So those are just a few people. It´s always hard to say how well or quick or lasting people will progress but only time will tell!

Ok picture time!

My new district. Oh and I don´t know if I mentioned already but Hna Peck is in our house! Together again! So it total we now have 3 Dominicans, 3 Americans, 1 Chilean, and 1 Guatemalan. We´re a good group.

I wan´t to check out this eye doctor to see how expensive glasses are here. We tried to go check it out. Turns out it´s a church. haha. We thought it was a very deceiving sign.

Our favorite little girls
wanting to take a silly picture.
Then it was our turn.

Also this week, weird story. We´re walking to this new area that we've never been to before trying to try something new. It´s a SUPER long walk to get there with no civilization, just a few motors and cars. So we walk forever there try to work a bit and then are walking back and we´re pretty tired. We see this HUGE blue tractor roll by on the street. I say to my companion ϨThat´d be a fun ride¨.Or something like that. But by then the tractor had already passed. 

Right after I made that comment my companion´s like ¨Are they backing up?¨ Sure enough they are! They back up for a while and then ask if we want a ride! SCORE! We of course said yes and there´s just like this piece of wood as a back seat and this guy takes off his jacket and lays it down for us on this seat (like a gentleman of course haha) And we jumped up and started cruising! Definitely on the funnest and scariest rides I´ve ever taken but it was a good time! And people were definitely surprised and gave people a good laugh as they saw two white girls taking this ride as they were passing by. But hey it sure saved us a long walking trip and we were real grateful! 

And as a side note,  as we were taking these pictures this guy we didn't even know pulled out his phone and took pictures too. It was definitely not something people see everyday haha.

OK, well that´s all for now! Miss you all!!!!

¨If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do no comprehend themselves.¨ - President Joseph Smith

Hasta luego!

Hna Safeer

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Carnival and Teaching Future Priesthood Holders

Carnival! Carnival! 

Carnival was this week aka Independence Day. That being said we just live in a small tiny town so our Carnival is definitely a little different than in the other parts of the country. But pretty much it´s Halloween mixed with the Fourth of July. 

The classic costume is the costume made out of little bags with a mask and carry around a whip. In other parts of the country they have professional outfits. But I personally like the bag costumes with masks. 

Yes all these fluffy costumes are made of plastic baggies. Impressive eh?

Also it was transfers! My new companion is Hna. Erickson from Orem, Utah. She´s super cool and so far so good She has 14 months on the mission and we´re working real hard. 

It´s great! We have been talking about how our Branch is almost a Ward and our District is almost a Stake! Yahoo! 

So we've set new goals to work more with potential Priesthood holders to help make a Stake here in Azua- and soon! So far so good. 

We are finding some great people. I know I end up working with youth a lot, but it just seems to work out that way... but I´m putting my Elementary Ed major self aside and we are really concentrating our efforts in meeting our new goals and I´m super excited for this new transfer!

¨A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment.¨
David A. Bednar

Talk to you next week!

Hna Safeer

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Zoe Goes to the Temple in the Dominican Republic

David's Note (Zoe's Dad): Temples are special places and there are only about 125 in the whole world, so going on a trip to the temple is a special treat.

Another week has come and gone. Let me tell you some things. Nothing big has happened, but I have photos, so here we go.

This is Daniel and his friend. They´re not members, but were invited to a baptism. We ran into them at their neighbor´s house all ready to go in socks with flip flops, jeans, polo shirts and ties. Fancy!  
I told two of our investigator girls that are sisters they could give me Dominican hair. Here´s how it went.

 We got special permission to go on a temple trip with our branch in the captial on Saturday! We were up bright and early to leave at 530 am. This is me with Cesarina, who was SOOO excited for her first time in the temple.

Also a perk of a temple trip in the capital is PIZZARELLI!

This is us on our super long bus rides to the temple.