April 26, 2011

Semana Santa

Querida Familia,
Happy Easter! I wish I could say Easter here was pretty special, but the D.R. has an interesting way of celebrating the last week of the Savior´s life. It´s called the Semana Santa and everyone gets off work and school for almost the whole week. Then everyone either goes to the campo to visit family or drags out baby wading pools into the streets to ¨swim¨ and get over the heat. There´s lots of drinking and loud music and eating...and very little of remembering the Savior. It made me a little sad, but it was comforting also to meet other people during the week that did recognize what semana santa is really about...resulting in 13 investigators at church yesterday. We were floored as this past week was a little slow in the work. However, we are moving forward with faith and determined to see at least one baptism before the end of this transfer. Last Monday we also got to meet some of the new sister missionaries and it turns out one is from Paraguay...Sister Vera...and actually knows Uncle Matt from when he was mission president there. I love how small the world is. This week I also had my first taste of a Dominican Semana Santa classic drink...called habichuelas con dulce. I was pretty iffy at first considering it´s raw black beans ground up and put into coconut milk with cinnamon and other sweet things, but it turns out I liked it. One more interesting recipe to take home. Hermana Reay and I had a wonderful finding experience yesterday as well. Last Sunday we were out contacting and were walking down a street that I had already knocked about a million times. But there was a woman standing outside her gate that I had never talked to before, so we invited her to church and promised to pass by the following week. So yesterday we headed back, a little later in the day than planned, and were floored to meet the twin daughters of the lady we contacted. They are 16 yr old twins who told us they´d always wanted to visit the church along with their dad, but never knew the schedule. They also explained that they had always wondered why every other church had knocked on the door before and never us, because they have friends at their Catholic school that are also members and frequently talk about the missionaries. It was an incredibly simple but spirit filled lesson with them both and Hermana Reay and I are really excited to go back. Just another testimony that the Lord truly does prepare people and you never know when or where He´ll guide you to them. Lately Hermana Reay and I have also devised ways to help us overcome the negative aspects of our living situations. Tactics range from eating chocolate daily and singing high school musical songs on crowded buses to telling eachother made up bedtime stories and putting disney princess stickers all over our (and our district elders) planners. Sometimes I wonder if I´m growing older or younger in the mission. Haha. Anyways, love and miss you all! Til next week!
Hermana Bradley

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