I have been seeing some fun things here that the Dominicans like to do. 1. They have their priorities all crazy. The most important things are their speaker systems, their mopeds or motorcycles, and their alcohol. Yesterday we were teaching a wonderful couple that want to get married. He said that he didnt have enough money, and I believed it when I saw the living conditions they were in. He is from Haiti and she is from here, and their little community is a hatian community where more little kids have no clothes than clothes. But then later we were walking and we saw him, driving the cleanest, slickest motorcycle I could think of. GO GET MARRIED FELLITO! But theyre awesome people. Their music plays louder than Bishop Bollard's band does, and they have no money. 2. When you say hi, they say bye. Like I walk by, say ´salugos´ which means greetings, and they say ´bye´ but its not even impolite its just normal. 3. They do everything on the front porch, no matter how loud it is. 4. They drink from 12:30-3 then at night. they love their alcohol but theyre still the friendliest people I have ever met. 5. They speak such lazy spanish and mumble, so I dont know how well i will be able to speak with the slick speaking friends back home, i´ll be cutting off syllables and not using my S´s.
It is really hot here. The nights are ok, when the power stays all night, but the daytime is really hot. I sweat, I drink water, I sweat some more. Dinners here consist of carbs carbs carbs. we have cream of wheat, rice, spagetti or top ramen. And eggs. but I love the food, we had a legit meal at a member´s house on sunday and it was Rice mixed with beans, beef, YUCA (some sort of root) and potato salad. They dished me the rice and it was a MOUND on my plate. but I ate it then got another serving. I am eating more than ever here, but we are able to do that and it tastes great.
My spanish is coming along. I can speak pretty well, but it is hard to understand them. But it is coming along.
2 lessons stuck out this week to me. The first was with a man Rafaelito and his wife, mercedita. We were talking about marriage, baptism, and the importance of them knowing if this really is Gods church. She said that she was not too sure, and she needed more time. We understood, and stressed that she read the Book of Mormon and come to church so that she can find out for herself if this was the correct path to follow. Then Rafaelito came out and gave a strong testimony about how this has really helped him. He talked about how much he wanted this for his family and for himself, and how he has seen his life improving from it. The spirit was spewing out of the room there was not enough space to hold all of it. I couldnt understand most of it but you could tell he really cares about flipping his life around. The second was with a couple, the man named Juan Diaz. Juan works at a tobacco factory (Villa Gonzalez provides the best tobacco in the country) and he said that he has to smoke to keep his job. The workers are the testers of the product. Elder Cannon explained to him that he can try and figure it out, and ask God for help. That didnt seem like enough for him, so I took out 1 Nephi 3:7 and told him, in my limited spanish, ´this is a promise contained in the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is true, then the LDS church is true. if this church is true, the word of wisdom, or the commandment prohibiting tobacco, is a true commandment of God. This is why you have to find out if this it true. Once you do, and you ask God for help, he will find the way. It is a promise. And I know that it is true. I am called as a missionary to help people recieve this Gospel. And I am so thankful for that´ and then he basically sat back and said that he needed to find out for himself. At that moment I thought to myself ´wow, this is real. I am legitimately a missionary´. It was a great experience.
Alma 29:6 is such a great scripture. Why ask for more when we are called of God to preach his word? its the truth. All that we really need to do is be here and do our best. As long as we are keeping the rules, staying humble, and working our hardest, God will provide for the rest. God is so great, he is way too good to us. Christ is our savior and continually comes to us when we need him most, and all too often I do not notice it when he is helping. All I do is for them, or I am trying to make it that way.
I will send pictures next week, this week is a little weird but I have some good ones to send.
That is awesome that the fam was able to go to Reno then to Dad´s old mission areas! I really want to do that when I get back home. Come back here, and hang out with the gang out here. They really are way too nice, just really drink too much. Even the drunk guys are nice, one came up to me the other night and was making friendly conversation in broken english. He was hilarious with a massive whiskey bottle in his hand, but its all good. I try not to judge.
I heard that the USA declared war on Syria? a guy stopped us on the street to ask us about it and we had no idea. Way to go america, you guys care too much. Just live off your music and motorcycles and you´ll be set.
Well that is really all for today, its hot and sweaty but too great.
Oh yeah Camille, happy birthday! I love you because you write me every week and just love me way more than I deserve. You care a lot about others and truly try and be the best example. Keep working hard.
Sweaty and happy,
The better looking elder murphy