Hope you all had a fantastic new year! It was good and noisy here in the D.R. We are blessed to live almost next door to a "drink" or bar...and they thoughtfully played loud music from the moment I got in bed until the moment I woke up. Luckily we walk so much that I slept through most of it anyway, but oh how I love trials of the mission. The experience did however give me the opportunity to learn another Dominican word...at least I think it´s especially Dominican, but who knows. Aside from ruido, they use buya here when they say something is noisy. I proceeded to explain to my companion and Maria Isabel, the young single adult rep that goes out with us, that we use booyah in English to rub it in someone´s face when we win a game. Haha. I love languages.
This week has been busy with lots of appointments and work in the ward. Hna Diaz and I joke that we could both spend the rest of our missions in this area and still have work leftover. It´s so big and there are SO many people and SO many things in the ward that need support. But I love it so much. It´s nice to know that there´s work to be done. We had a really neat experience one morning this week as were were going out to visit our investigators and could hardly find anyone in their houses or on the streets. After walking around for 2 hours straight without talking to almost anybody, we were inspired to stop by a recent contact. We were blessed to have a very spiritual lesson and found out that when she was younger, this woman went to church all the time with her neighbors. We hope to see Lucia and her friend Mariel progress as we continue to visit them. Another highlight of the week was going out christmas caroling. Since they celebrate here til the 31st, it wasn´t that strange, but peope don´t really go out caroling so it was nice to do something different. We got a few of our less active young single adults out and visited a bunch of less active families. I think I´ll carry on that tradition once I get home. We also had the chance to visit a man in our neighborhood who´s not a member, but called us and asked us to come visit and later for a priesthood blessing. So Elders Yates and Williams, who are also serving in this area with us, came to give the blessing. I am so grateful to be serving with worthy priesthood holders! What a wonderful experience it was to witness a blessing to a nonmember! Not something I will soon forget.
And of course, like with every week with Hna Diaz, we had lots of laughs. This week we had the opportunity to share a lesson with an elderly woman who´s evangelical. After a slightly difficult lesson in trying to get a word in edgewise, I asked her if she was willing to give the closing prayer, like we always do. However, I noticed that Hna Diaz was giving me a look of terror as I invited her. Confused, we continued the lesson, the woman offered the prayer, and we left. As we were walking away reviewing the lesson, Hna Diaz commented that she once had an experience with an evangelical investigator who prayed for half an hour straight. When I realized this was the reason for the terror in her eyes...the thought of listening to a prayer for half an hour...we both had a good laugh. Everything here is going great and I am counting my blessings every day for this experience. I also received lots of letters from friends, the VV8 ward and a surprise package from Jared and Jolene. Thank you so much to all of you! Your support means more than you know! Hope you all have a wonderful week!