Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One Year in the Mission . . .

August 4, 2014

Dear Family!!!

I love you all so much!!  It was great to hear about all of the progress that you are making!!!  I love all of the updates and such, it makes me feel like I am still back home!!  It´s nice to know that the yard will be so nice that I won´t have to work in it for a while after I am home!!  ;)  Haha but any way, Azua is really good, really hot, but good!!!  We have been working really hard!!!

So this week it rained a ton, which is not typical for this time of year here!!  I don´t think that it stopped for 3 days straight!!  We were constantly soaked, but it was worth it!!  We were able to finish preparing a recent convert to recieve the priesthood, and he also recieved his temple recommend!!  His name is Hector Manauris, and he is super awesome!!  He worked super hard to change his life, and he is still progressing!!  He wants to serve a mission when he completes a year in the church as well!!!

On the 9th of august we have a temple trip with the ward, and we are going to support the recent converts!!  We have really focused on that part of the mission lately!  For me, the end goal isn´t a baptism, it is the Temple, and lots of people that we have been working with have just recieved their first temple recommends in their lives!! There is Maria Isabel, a recent convert of about 2 months, and we have been working with here a lot!!  She was baptized in May, and we have been teaching her, as well as inviting her to lessons with us!!  She recieved her temple recommend, and even did some family history work so that she can get baptized for her mother and step mother!!  There is also Hector Manauris, who has the calling of family history coordinator.  We also have Lucy, who got baptized in 2012, but went inactive!!  We have been working with her for 2 months, and she just went active!!  She recieved her first temple recommend in her life, and is also working hard in family history work!!  So those are the three people that we have been working with as far as Recent converts and less active members, and they have achieved the goal of the temple recommend!!  Hopefully they all continue progressing!!  We also have 2 members in Las Charcas that are going to go as well for the first time!!  We are super excited about that!!!

So this week I completed one year out in the field, and it was a lot of fun!!  We had a zone meeting, then went out to eat at a little Restaurant called La Esquinita!!  IT is a great little place, so cool!!  Then we had a really good day teaching, and in the night, I completed the mission tradition of burning a shirt!!  You would really be surprised at how fast those things burn!!  Literally in like 20 seconds!!  I am so glad that I have never been exposed to open flame here in the mission.....  Or else it would be all over!!  But it was a good day, gave me a lot of time to think about the mission, and life in general.  I looked back and missed a lot of things, but looked forward and realized how many great things are yet to come!"!  I have my whole life ahead of me!!  There are millions of Dominicans waiting to hear the gospel, and I want to make sure that every single one of them gets to hear it!!  It really is great to see how the Lord moves His work along in such a short period of time!!  One year, hundreds of people taught, Thousands of seeds planted through contacts....  It truly is amazing!!

So all of our people that we have are doing well!!  Nayeli, a young woman from Las Charcas, even shared her testimony this week of how she recieved her answer that this was the true church!!  It was a really humbling experience to hear how hard she searched for her answer, praying that God would reveal to her the path!!  She is doing really well!!  We also had the opportunity to listen to lots of heart felt testimonies in La Colonia!!  These people really do know that this is the one and only true church!!  The power of a testimony is amazing!!  It was also very humbling to listen to some of our recent converts and less actives share their testimonies!! Those were the ones that touched me the most!!  It was a witness to me that the gospel is all about progression!! These people had been in the lowest points of their lives, and now are on such a spiritual high that it is contagious!!

So we finally got an update about the paperwork for Hermano Taga...  It will be ready within six months!!  A super long time, but the only thing that matters is that it will come through!  He will finally be recognized as a man named Altagracia!!  He will be able to get married and his wife will be able to get baptized!!  We are still going to try to keep working so that it can be ready a lot sooner than six months, but at least we have finished, so that it will be finished for sure!!

Well, I hope you all have a great week!! I love you all so much, and I can´t wait to hear from all of you again!!  :)


Elder Garrett McEwan

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