Transferred. 18 weeks in Cristo Rey flew by and I am now stationed in Los Alcarrizos with Elder Sams from Oklahoma. Change always hurts, but new experiences are great opportunities for growth, both personally and spiritually.
Los Alcarrizos is an area that was described to me as half-city, half-campo. I didn't quite understand that until I got here. We live in the city, a bustling town with a main street called the Duarte running through it. We walk up and down this road to get around the majority of our over sized area and step down into alleys that branch off the main street where many of our investigators live. The further in we go, the deeper we get into the jungles of the DR. Some streets simply fade to dirt roads that turn to mud after the daily rain showers pass through, while others literally drop off into rivers or thick foliage. One portion of our area called the Tamarindo is a maze of makeshift wooden and tin huts and which, interestingly enough, houses the majority of our progressing investigators. In a single day we work in the up-skirts of town to the edges of the thick Caribbean jungle and I absolutely love it.
Our house, unfortunately, is a downgrade. Ive had to accustom myself once again to freezing cold bucket showers and inconsistent light schedules. Its strange, but somehow I did kind of miss the hum of the electricity leaving and the sound of mosquitoes buzzing around my mosquito net. Its disturbing and soothing all at once. We live in a four man house including myself, Elder Sams, Elder Meek (Idaho Falls), and Elder Peralta (Puerto Plata - DR). I will be the district leader this transfer and we have a few prospective baptisms we are looking forward to.
Our current progressing investigators are of all varieties. We have a baptismal goal set with an 80 year old woman who can hardly remember anything she reads nor walk to church by herself. She progresses wonderfully, however, so we will have to give her some time and see if she can really continue to attend church consistently and understand the covenants she will be making. I'm just afraid that she will keel over before we can even fill up the font. We are also teaching various children who will have to really show some dedication if they want me to baptize them. Children go inactive much too easily and I am not about to add another tally mark to the less less active count in this country. Among other promising investigators we have the Eriberto Family who are possibly the most golden investigator family I have ever met. Contacted a year ago by one of my good friends in the mission, they have attended church faithfully and have been taught by the missionaries as they try to get married. We can hardly even teach them because they respond to our questions with such knowledge and detail that they hardly leave us with any material left to cover. Their plans are to get married in this coming month so I may be a part in their baptism.