Monday, October 14, 2013

Life in Los Girasoles . . .

Elder McEwan & Elder Galindo
Dear Family,

I am doing well here.  Me and Elder Galindo have been really going nicely lately, because by Spanish is to the point where I am conversational in just about anything.  It is a really cool feeling, and sometimes I forget what language people are even speaking.  It just feels so natural to be in Spanish or English.

So last week I received your letters, and I was so happy to get them!! I loved hearing about all the wonderfull things back home in the USA!!!  Thank you so much!! :)

Anyway,  here is how the investigators are doing:

La Familia Suarez is working to be prepared for their baptism, just working hard and reading.  They are currently reading in the Book of Mormon, and they are in I think 1 Nephi 18 as a family, after only two weeks of having a Book of Mormon.  They have received the first three mission lessons (La Restauracion, El Plan de Salvacion, y El Evangelio de JesuCristo.).  They have a baptismal date of November 16, and it looks like we will be able to make that goal.  There are now 3 of the daughters and the Mom who are going to be baptized.  The Dad works as a pharmacist, so he has a weird work schedule.  He is very interested, so we need to try to meet with him!!

Marius is doing well.  He has received the first 3 lessons as well, and is working towards a baptismal date of November 2.  It looks like we will be able to make that goal as well, so that is good.  He has expressed an interest in going on a mission, so that would be really cool!!  I usually talk more than Elder Galindo when we go there, because Marius is so intrigued that a white person could know a different language.  SO that is kind of funny!!

We are now meeting with a girl named Angela.  I guess that she has received all the lessons in the past, but couldn´t be baptized because her and her husband are not legally married. That is a huge problem here, having people be legally married, and go to church.  THe chapel is about a 45 minute walk away, and people here.....  Let´s just say they don´t like to walk!!!  But she is progressing to a baptismal date of December 7.

We are teaching these three little girls, ages 13, 13, and 9.  Their grandma is a member, and they are very interested!!  They read all the pamphlets, and then want to start reading the book of mormon.  They have a baptismal date of November 2, and we will be able to  make that date!!  When I asked them why they wanted to be baptized, I was expecting them to say ¨Because grandma is a member.¨ But instead they said ¨Because we want to a part of God´s church¨.  That was a very good experience to have.

So yesterday, we contacted 52 people, which is a ton.  The usual goal for a week is 68 for our zone, so that was cool.  I had a very cool experience with a young member girl and her family.  She is probably 18 or 19 years old, and we contacted her family, not knowing that she was a member.  They invited us in, and we started teaching.  She prayed in the exact way that we teach investigators to pray, and then proceeded to tell us that she was a member, but she was currently inactive right now.   We kept teaching, and the family didn´t seem to get it, because they are all super hard core Catholics.  I felt prompted to ask her why she became a member, and she then told her whole conversion story that was super spiritual.  She teared up, and the Spirit was so strong there in that little room.  Then the uncle stood up and went crazy about how wrong she was.  He paused to take a breath about halfway through, so I cut him off and tried to continue, but he started yelling over me.  He was crazy!!  When he finished, his neice, the member, said,  Ï have prayed to these things, I have studied, and I can´t deny that they are the true church of jesus christ, and that these two young men bring our salvacion with them.¨ So cool that she stood as a witness to Christ, even against her crazy uncle.  We were able to finish the lesson on a strong point, and set up an appointment to come back!!!

So the camera I was able to purchase is a Sony CyberShot...  It looks nice, and small!! Should work really well!!

I also went to a place called El Canal today.  It is a mix between a clothing/shoe/home care/decoration/fabric store, and it is huge!!!  I bought some fabric to make some dominican pants, and two skinny ties!! So excited!!  It is something that first companions do a lot here, so we did it today.

It has been pouring down rain lately, like so much that we can´t go out right at 2 when we are supposed to!!  We have gotten over 10 inches of rain in the last 3 days!!

So we contact a lot of Haitians, but it is hard to teach them because they have super bad work schedules.  They are easily the hardest working people I have ever seen!!  They work for every ounce of stuff that they have!!  They are really cool, very friendly, and accepting of the gospel.  THey don´t understand spanish as well as some people, but they feel the spirit very strongly!!

Also, I had no idea about a japanese guy coming to live with you!! I must have missed that!!  Hopefully he knows english well.  There is also a very strong asian influence here!!  I don´t know why, but there is!!  They have these little restaurants that they call ¨Pica Pollos¨ (chicken beaks).  It is all chinese food, cooked by asians.  It is good, but super fattening.  I have only eaten there one time!!  I have been working out every day for an hour, and eating healthy.  The only unhealthy things that I have eaten are Wendy´s one time, Taco bell one time, and at a pica pollo!!!

I love you all so much, and I hope you continue to do well!!

Well, I love all you guys!!  Good luck with this next great week!

Love with all my heart,

Elder Garrett McEwan

p.s. The picture of our backs is just so you know how hot, rainy, & humid it is here :).

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