Jan 15, 2012

Trent's email 1/11/12

Worst week EVER.  First, I found out that I look like Krocker from
Fairly Oddparents (Becca will have to show you.  Everyone agrees.  I´m
sad).  Then, I realized that there´s just NO room in my budget for
Peanut M&Ms, so I´m gonna have to give those up.  Whatever.
On the positive side, everything that really matters is fine.  Plus, I
did find a HUGE bag of cookies for half price at the store today,
staying in budget is going well, I bought some brownie mix for a
special treat, and Courtney says I have a beautiful face, so those all
compensate for all those sad things that happened.
So, call me an apostate, but we have an investigator named Kelvin who
lives on a farm.  They showed me a lot of the plants and stuff that
they grow, it was super fascinating.  Yuca is very common here, it´s
like a chewyish potato type vegetable.  Not super delicious, but
interesting.  Not bad.  Also, Kelvin´s neighbor sells fresh leche de
vaca every morning, so my companion and I bought a gallon to probarlo.
We boiled it last night, and it was kind of a fiasco for our first
time, but now we know how to make it an easy process.  You apparently
have to add salt to make it good.  I haven´t really given it a good
shot, so I´ll get back to you on that next week.

I keep having weird dreams about me being home, but wanting to be on
my mission.  It´s weird.  I wrote in my journal the other day about
how fast weeks fly by.  Every once in a while, when I miss school or
warm showers or not WORKING all the time, I wish I were home.  But,
really, I know that the moment I get home I´ll wish I were here again.
I realized that there might be people in this area that I need to
help, and I only have this time right here right now to do it. I
definitely enjoy every day. Missionary work is easy because we´re
doing the best thing we can be doing, and we´ve got help from the best
teammates in the world.

and it´s fun.  Always a challenge, figuring out how we can help
people, how much we need to Answer a question versus stay on topic,
what things we can do differently to help people better, so on.  Today
we played basketball with most of our district, which was really fun.
It´s good to see other people besides your companion that are just as
busy and going through things just as difficult as you are.  Plus,
being able to speak English is nice for a whole day.

so, desafios.  We have one investigator, Adelso, who´s so excited
about the message we have.  He reads (although he´s slow), he´s happy
to see us, he´s 25, he understands well.  BUT HE DOESNT COME TO
CHURCH.  Three weeks in a row.  I´m frustrated.  It´s okay, though.
His family (two hermanitos and mother) just got back into town, and
I´m thinking maybe the Lord wanted us to wait for them so they could
all be baptized together or something.

We have a pair of sisters, Mabelle (17) and Chantel (10) who showed up
to Church on Sunday and LOVED it.  They really enjoyed their YW and
primary classes, and They´re eating up the lessons.  But, because
there are so many women in the church and we have such a need for
active men, we have to wait 9 weeks to baptize women if there isn´t a
man with them who´s taking the discussions.  It´s a little
frustrating, but I can´t change it.  It might be a good thing.  I
think they have like 6 siblings, so maybe after a little time, we can
get their whole family together, including their Dad and cuñado.
Families are definitely essential in the gospel.

One lady, Ani, and her son, Aldo, are really cool.  Elder Frometa had
gone by 8 times to their house and she never ¨had time¨  But finally
one day she let us teach and we invited them to pray together, and
they got super excited about it afterwards.  They might be a good
little family.  We shall see.

Anacaona is trying to quit smoking.  I´m not sure if she´s buying the
message-like Grammy said, it´s hard for old people to change-but her
daughter is searching hard for her answer about Joseph Smith and the
Book of Mormon.  She was actually really irritated when she came to
church and lots of the members weren´t paying attention very well to
something that was hard for her to do (walk alone to church even
though she was sick, it was hot, and her legs were already really
sore).  I wish everyone understood the importance of the gospel like
Mayteé does.  Hopefully she gets her answer.

My companion´s kind of tigre (means tiger, wants to say rebel).  One
guy yelled at us as we walked by "evangelicos!  Uds. son malos!"  My
companion turned around and made it look like he was gonna punch him,
the guy threw down his cigarette ready to fight, and my companion
offered a handshake.  It was kind of funny.  We told him we weren´t
evangelists and that we´d like to come by his house and "Share" with
him, which is the word we use for teach.  He wasn´t in our area, so we
just passed him as a reference, but it was funny.

Other than that, we just teach all the time, extend commitments all
the time, and hear excuses for people not following up with their
commitments all the time.  It´s difficult, but we´re learning,
growing, and finding the right people.  Oh, Haitians have even weirder
baptismal rules!  Because 95% of Haitians in the DR are inactive, they
have to go to church for 6 months before they can be baptized.  Crazy,
right?  When was the last time we went to church for 6 months
straight?  I think they can miss a few weeks, but still...

Hey, Becca.  I really like the size and color of the journal you
bought me at Desert Book.  Do you think you could find more that are
just like it?? I think it would be cool to have a collection of
mission journals that are all the same size and shape.

Also, can you guys find me a check book? I need to keep track of the
things I buy better, but I don´t really have great resources here.
Something I can carry around with me all the time.  I don´t know,
maybe I should just use a notebook.  Let me know what you think.

Dad, I´m glad the diet´s making you feel better!  I hope you have
energy at work, I know when I don´t eat I can´t work.  It´s pretty
killer.  Thanks for the politics and Smiths update!  Im´glad Bachmann
dropped out :)  I sure hope Mitt wins.  I feel like hés most
qualified, and the country only doesn´t like him because he´s Mormon.
Stupid world.  Sheesh, school.  That sounds so weird, the
concept of studying all the time!  A little, anyway.  Don´t be too
nervous, Mom.  Just do your best, and don´t worry.  Becca, tell Mr.
Eaton hi for me, and enjoy school, okay! :D

We read that same thing in Sunday School, Mom!  Haha, I thought it was
very cool.  I´ve been thinking about doing my own, but we´ll see.
Don´t worry about the spiritual stuff, that´s one part I´m not missing
out on.

Although, I do feel like this letter is significantly less spiritual
than those of most missionaries.  I pray all the time, ask for help
all the time.  Maybe I´m not noticing the miracles.  Maybe I just
consider the miracles as part of every day work.  Let it be written
that I KNOW the Lord is helping us along every single step. I couldn´t
be who I am, doing what I´m doing, without His constant guidance.  In
fact, there´s no way I could leave behind you guys (especially Becca),
Courtney, school, Zoë, everything, for anything besides the Lord´s
work.  But because it´s His work, it´s easy.  That´s probably the
biggest miracle, the one being worked inside me.  I feel like I´m such
a better person than I was before, and getting better every day.  I
just hope it´s good enough to really teach these people the message
that will bring them so much happiness.

Take care now, y´all.  (Right foot, let´s stomp).  Parents, please
excuse that popculture reference that you´ll never understand.
Whoever else reads this, please enjoy it.

Ah, one day soon I´ll be the one who doesn´t understand any popculture
references.  Ah well.

Love you all!  Cuídense!

Sinceramente,
Elder Toilet.

(sometimes, Dominican pronunciation cracks me up).

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