Nov 20, 2011

Email 11/17/11

mom, I was glad to talk to you as well.  I miss you a whole bunch!  But, I know I'm doing the right thing out here, so no problem.  There's not much of a variety, but I love the food.  Recipes would be fantastic, I'll see what we get when we get out there.  Make sure grandpa knows that he's gonna see FO and Bev again, because he will.  It's gonna be okay :)
Becca, I love you oodles and bunches.  There are lots of cool lizards here, the other day I saw one as big as... something really big!  Like, a ferret or something.  I bet you'd like it.  I miss you!  You should keep me updated about what happens at school and stuff, okay?
Dad, thanks for your advice.  There's a lot of stuff in there that was really helpful--I'm not looking at it right now, but I definitely appreciated the stuff you said and will be reading it more tonight.  I love you, and I hope you're having a fantastic time working, even if it "sucks."  I'm so glad to hear you're praying together!  And I have a good question for you- What's the difference between John 3:3 and John 3:5?  My MTC President told me to figure it out.  It was a pretty fun chase for me.
So, I'm rocking it up over here.  As in, I'm having a blast, but I boast not of myself.  Our MTC Pres is quite spectacular, really incredible guy.  These guys here are also very good people.  I am excited, though, for the Latinos to get here.  I need to practice listening to natives now.  When my teachers speak to me, they speak slowly, and I understand almost every word.  I'm getting good at conjugating.  I need to work on speaking faster, but comprehension of natives is still my biggest flaw.  I know how to teach the lessons in spanish, pretty much.  I've been doing a lot of teaching "The Restoration," I need to teach more "plan of salvation" and "Gospel of Jesus Christ" (which includes repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, etc).
A guy in my district said it best: We're on an island on an island.  So we're eating all the dominican food (more on that later), we're slightly exposed to Domincan weather, and we're speaking to Dominicans, but we're not allowed to go outside the gates that encompass the MTC/Temple grounds, and we hardly ever get to see any natives besides our teachers (and occasionaly some members that come to the temple and stay on the 3rd floor of the MTC building).  We are isolated.
Food's getting better every day.  It was always good, but I think I'm starting to love it.  Breakfast is generally a chocolate-oatmeal thing, super delicious, with as much bread (looks like a sub) as we want, some cereal, and occasionally something delicious like eggs or french toast.  Also, pbj for the sub-bread.  And there's milk, and some really sugary juices.  Lunch is always "la bandera"- Rice, beans, pollo of some sort, and some meat, plus potatoes, usually papaya and pineapple, and concon-really well-cooked rice.  Dinner is usually something small, a couple tacos or something like that, which is not a problem because you gorge yourself at lunch because it's so tasty.  And we get SUCH fresh vegetables, peppers and things.  lots of avocado, Mom :) I love it.
Oh, bananas here are astounding.  I love them.  They always have bananas out, and I like them.
Cool little experience--There's this superpopular beverage in the vending machine here called "Malta morena," that all the Dominicans, especially kids, really like, but none of the Americans like it.  My district decided to try it out.  It was carbonated... umm... I don't know really how to explain it, except the aftertaste was super weird.  One of the guys in my district with a bit of a shadier past said it tastes a lot like beer, which makes sense because it's wheat based.  Anyway, I don't want any more of that, but I'm gonna try some of the other vending items they've got :)
I'm in another district now.  It's good for me, because I like making new friends.  Long story short, my companion had to go home.  My new companion is a really quiet, fanastic guy.  Hard worker, and isn't afraid to speak spanish, even though he's not very experienced.  It's gonna be a good companionship.  I've been learning so much about teaching, and am once again really excited to get out there and show the world what the Lord can bring them.
Other than that, it's been one spiritual experience after another.  I have such a strong testimony of the restored gospel, how God loves all His children, and how this gospel is for US to bring US happiness by getting closer to Christ.  I wish everyone could hear this message, I wish I could sit down and talk to everyone about the beauty and happiness it offers.  I can't imagine how much our Father wants us to hear this message.
I love you all (including you friends that are reading this)!
Have a fantastic week!

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