Monday, April 6, 2015

Week of La Semana Santa & General Conference . . .

April 6, 2015

Dear Family,

First off, thank you so much for helping me to get things going for college and apartment stuff. I’m excited to be rooming with Sean. It will be great to go back to the good old days J! It will definitely give us a chance to get to know each other again.

So this week was really good, even though it was a lot different than usual.  This week was la Semana Santa, which as you all remember is a Catholic church holiday...  So they give the entire week off from school and work to literally the whole country!  We were really a little bit nervous because with that we could have two possible outcomes...  The first is that every one is home and we teach out of our minds, and the second is that no one is home and we aren't able to teach hardly anyone....  This year our luck fell to option number two, so we we not able to teach very many people this week. We were knocking on lots of doors, and no one was even home.  The problem was that the majority of the people who live here aren't from here, they are from a place called El Cibao, a little town that is close to here, but is in the Santiago mission... so everyone went home because it is so close to here!  We were able to have some other opportunities this week though that made it a great week!

On Friday we ran out of drinking water, called, and they weren't working because of the holiday.  We decided to just move on with life because we had an activity at the church, because it was Viernes Santo, the day when Christ was crucified.  The activity started with a good little journey through the last week of Christ's life, and it was amazing.  I hope the people were able to feel the spirit.  Then we started to play betiyah, the street baseball that they play with the tops to the water jugs.  It was fun, and we also ate lunch and had habichuelas con dulce....  I am going to have to make it for you guys when I get home, because it is too hard to explain what it is, so you will just have to see!  We watched the new Exodus movie, which was interesting, and then we were able to teach a little about that because lots of people had questions about whether the story really went with the movie. 

On Saturday we were able to go to all 3 sessions of the conference, and we went to the stake center for the first two...  It was like being back home!!  Air conditioning, soft chairs, watching the conference on a nice projector...  It was nice to be able to watch it like that!!  It was a much needed conference, even though it was a little bit sad because it was my last in the mission.  After the first two sessions we went back to our chapel to support a baptism that the other guys in the house were having, and it was really good.  About ten seconds before it started, I was asked to speak, so I spoke on the restoration of the priesthood and how necessary the priesthood is for the ordinance of baptism.  It was good, and then we watched the priesthood session!!  We also didn't get the water call because we were out of the house all day, and were not there to receive it!!

On Sunday we woke up and had big plans for the day...  We were going to study, teach some lessons, cook, and eat before the conference...  So we woke up, studied, and I went on an intercambio with Avina to teach.  I left, and my comp started to cook.  I came home and he told us that the gas to cook ran out.  It was Sunday and we didn't want to full on buy gas, so we just heated up the toaster oven thing that usually is for waffles and cooked fried eggs and ate salad.  We went to the sessions and it was amazing, and I loved it!  We finished that, and then we went home.  We had a bag of charcoal because a kid in our house has like a Haitian oven, which is just a can that has a little grill thing on it.  We decided to use that, and ended up making a really good locrio, which is rice and meat and vegetables all cooked together!!  It was really good, and we ate more salad! 

Today we went to the stake center and had a zone activity where we ate pizza, played basketball, and talked.  It was fun and everyone enjoyed themselves!

They also announced a new temple... in Haiti!!  That was awesome to hear!

My favorite talk from conference was Elder Bednar from the Saturday afternoon session!  It was about fear, and how we can not let fear run our lives.  It was interesting to think about.  87% of people in the WORLD let the fear of failing stop them from even trying.  87% of people won't even start for the fear of not finishing.  I just started to think about that....  How would the world be if we were never afraid to do what is right?  It would be really different.  We would share the gospel more, we would use Christ's atonement more, and we would do everything possible to keep the commandments.  He also gave us three tips to overcome the fears that we have.  First we need to first come unto Christ.  Don't doubt, don't fear.  We need to assure ourselves that we go unto Christ, so that we can live in His care.  Second, we need to edify ourselves in Him.  We need to live and complete the covenants that we made, and live worthy to be prepared to move forward and make more covenants with God.  Lastly, we need to follow Him.  We need to follow Him with a firmness and a true desire to walk where He walked, not for obligation but out of love!  If we do these things, we will have eternal life!!

I hope you all loved the conference.  I would love to hear about what your favorite talks were, why you liked them, and specific plans about how you are going to put them to practice in your life!!

Elder Garrett McEwan

P.S.:  Tell Rob and Cammy and the boys thanks for the letter.  I just got it last week!!

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