Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dreams of Dreaming

 October 17, 2011

Third week in Las Caobas and I'm starting to run out of "firsts".  Had a couple cool experiences this week though.  We spend the entirety of our morning cooped up in our apartment studying the gospel, Spanish, etc. and then leave the house around 2:00 to teach and contact.  We have a lot of success but the work is hard.  The people can often be lazy and slow.  It will take multiple explanations of a single principle to get them to finally remember it.  Still, the people are nice and the country is beautiful.

We did companion exchanges on Tuesday, which meant that I would leave with a native Dominican who knew absolutely no Spanish.  It was nice to see how another Elder taught lessons and it was great practice for my Spanish skills, but I don't know if it was worth the headache I had afterward.  Trying to translate Spanish all day and think of responses that make sense is physically exhausting.  Luckily we're moving into the cool season so we don't have to fall asleep swimming in our sweat like we usually do. 

Oscar, my first lesson, baptism, and investigator, has started to leave with us to go teach.  We try and bring a member with us every day so it's nice when we can get more people who are reliable and eager.  We have a new investigator named Peterson who is Haitian and is surprisingly excited to be baptized.  He only speaks English and Creole, so we decided to teach him in English.  We have taught many people who are from Haiti now and they have very different mannerisms and a strong accent.  At one point during our lesson we had him read out of a pamphlet in Creole while we followed along in Spanish and then we taught him in English.  A very interesting linguistic mash-up and a very eye-opening experience. 

We have another couple, Joan and Andrelis, who are absolute gold.  They are nice and attentive during our lessons.  Unfortunately, they aren't married, but we're hoping they will decide to get married in the future.  Joan attends church and we need to encourage Andrelis to come too because the investigator class we have would be great for them. They are a very happy couple and I don't think they will have any trouble with getting married.  On the other end of the spectrum, we have an investigator named Santa who is progressing towards baptism, but doesn't want to marry her husband because he is "mean and gets drunk all of the time", in her own words.  Our Father's got a great plan for everyone, but Satan's got some big wrenches up his sleeve.  Not sure how that will work out.  Many of our other investigators are progressing, but church attendance is low and many take a long time to learn the principle we teach.  It's a slow but marvelous work, changing hearts.

Church was fantastic as always even though we had only 2 out of our 10 investigators show up.  I was given the opportunity to share my testimony in sacrament meeting by the bishop only a couple minutes before the meeting.  I started out great and then it just kind of got worse and worse.  I got some people quoting me afterwards though because I said "I know my Spanish isn't perfect, but I know that the gospel is."

It's been a solid week and I'm ready to take on the next one.  I wake up tired, I go to bed tired, and I dream about being tired, but this really is the best work in the world.  Helping people to realize that there is more truth, more opportunity, and more to life than temporal circumstance is an experience that brings a level of fulfillment beyond description, both for me and for my investigators.  

Another day, another destiny.  

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