Thursday, August 8, 2013

Escape To Don Gregorio

June 24, 2013

After a long two transfers in Mordor, the heart of the capital in Santo Domingo, Elder Gatherum and I have finally escaped.  Years of missionaries trying and failing to revive the dead area couldn't save Mordor from it's inevitable closing.  Although I enjoyed my time there getting to know some really fantastic members and being with an awesome companion, there really wasn't anything left for missionaries to do there.  Our days were devoid of direction or purpose, weeks would roll on without getting any lessons or references, and there was very little hope for the ongoing investigator drought.  We worked to the end, but the area just wouldn't budge for anything and the Lord saw fit for this unbreakable stallion to be set free.  With the capital at our backs as we set out for the countryside, we could only wonder what a short hiatus might do for the area.  

I am now stationed in a small, endearing town called Don Gregorio well outside of the bustling city of Bani on the South coast of the island.  This area is one of the few areas in this mission that lies directly on the beach and is one of the more rural locations in our zone.  It is legitimately a town carved out of the jungle and houses a community of rugged yet carefree small town folk.  The atmosphere exudes the typical traits of beach town life and the strong tropical breeze combats the infamous Caribbean heat.  Our house is decent, although we only have electricity sporadically for hour long segments throughout the day and our water schedule is just as unpredictable, but the location is fantastic.  At night the wind roars through the house and shakes the plantain trees outside our windows creating an orchestration of tropical sounds that lull us to sleep.  Our mosquito nets protect us from the barrage of mosquitoes that hunt throughout the night and we wake up to zealous roosters in the fields behind our house.  You can taste the salt that hangs in the ocean air and hear the roar of the waves crashing onto the rocky shores.  Truly a paradisaical way of living.

Being such a small town, almost everyone has been contacted and taught by the missionaries more than once.  We can walk from one side of our area to the other in less than 10 to 15 minutes and contact the entire area in less than a week if we so desired.  My new companion, Elder Larsen, has seen quite some time here and is almost too familiar with the city.  He hails from Arizona and is as familiar with the Spanish language as a Texan is to his barbecue.  He served in Mordor before I did so we can relate to each other and we are both enjoying the energy and spontaneity present here in the campo. We are currently teaching a handful of strong youth investigators who we plan to baptize in these upcoming weeks, which will also be some of my last here in the DR.  

As my time as a missionary begins to fade I have the opportunity to look back and recognize what an absolutely life-changing experience this has been.  Though it was a long, difficult, and often tiresome journey, it was an adventure that I will never forget and will forever treasure in my heart.

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