Apr 22, 2012

Trent's email 4/18/12

Mom!  Dad!

And here we are!  Six months in tomorrow, and I can´t believe how fast
it´s flown by.  It seems like almost nothing has happened since I
wrote you guys last time, but we´ll see what I can think of.
Today very well could´ve been my last Pday in Pueblo Nuevo, so we went
around taking pictures of cool things in the area.  I´m sorry I
haven´t sent any pictures up til now, but with this new camera that
Dad sent me I´ve been taking pictures of everything and everyone.  I
also just sent you and Courtney a bunch of pictures through the mail,
and they should get there quickly.  It´s really just a pain to send
pictures through the email because the internet´s slow, and I'm always
worrying about writing people.  So, I printed off pictures, and sent
them, and when I get home, you guys can see all kinds of cool pictures
from my mission.  But, I did my best!  I´m sorry.
This week I did an intercambio (exchange) with Elder De Leon, who is
from Texas, whose sister is serving in Hungary (Shout out to Justin
Crandall, if he´s reading this).  He´s one of the nicest, quietest
guys in the whole world, and a very good missionary.  He´s been out
for a year and nine months, and he´s such a humble guy.  He cleaned
the house quite a bit, and so it motivated me to clean more.  We had a
couple of effective lessons and we´re hoping that everyone will keep
Abraham was supposed to get baptized this coming Saturday, but Stake
Conference was full so he just left.  And so he can´t get baptized
yet, Elder Sweeney and I have agreed.  A week more in church.  He´s
always willing, but sometimes he gets discouraged.  We just need to
help him get a little excitement even though his best friend is
currently inactive in the church.
Our other couples are doing well!  We set a fecha with Anthony and
Janet to get baptized on the fifth of May (I always laugh when I say
¨Cinco de Mayo,¨ but it´s not a holiday here), and they both agreed
and are excited to pray about the Book of Mormon.  Also, I don´t know
if I mentioned Yudelkis, but she´s a single mom who shared a TON with
the sister missionaries when they were in Pueblo Nuevo.  One day, we
were walking down the street, and we passed by a girl and said hi.  I
noticed she was looking at us curiously, so I asked her if she knew
us.  She said, ¨My mom shared a lot with the sister missionaries,¨ so
we met Yudelkis.  Her kids know SO MUCH About the Church, like,
Jefferson (is twelve) knows more than most of the members.  They
really came all the time with the sisters, but I think the father of
her children still has a lot of control over her, even though he
doesn´t live there.  So, once he gives her permission, she will get
baptized.  She didn´t drink this weekend, and she showed up to church
with two of her three kids (the second was apparently being a
turdpie), and the father says that he needs to see a real change in
her before she can get baptized, so I guess it´s going well.  We
weren´t expecting her to show up, but she did!  It´s amazing to see
how people really just start repenting on their own, and how all the
work the sisters did has a lot of momentum to bring her back.  We´re
working hard with her now.
One of the biggest things we´ve been focusing on this week is meeting
lots of people!  We´re supposed to meet 10 people a day so we always
have a constant flow and rotation of investigators... in this country,
lots of people say yes but few people keep up the commitment.  This
way, we always have a chance to find people who are going to keep
their commitments.
Oh, I gave my first ¨capacitation,¨ which is like, instructing a
little group of missionaries on a certain topic.  My comp has to do
one every week, and he didn´t want to prepare it this week, so he
asked me to do it in his place, and I talked about the what, how, and
why, of meeting ten people every week (it´s a lesson format I got from
Sister Newell, who writes me often.  Thank you, Sister Newell!)  It
went well, but people are a little disrespectful sometimes...
especially 20 year old kids.  Also, I needed to get more participation
and less instructing.  But, I learned a lot, and it was fun.
Also, Elder Sweeney was sick on Sunday, so we didn´t leave the house,
but we must be working well because we still taught more lessons all
week than the other two areas in our district.  I feel good about our
effectiveness as missionaries, and I love learning every day.  That´s
the best part of the mission.  I'm really becoming a better person.
More respectful.  More understanding.  More diligent.  Maybe a little
dumber, but I trust the Lord will make up for that.
So, I´m still studying Spanish grammar, but I decided that I want to
learn French too, before I get home.  Could you guys maybe find me a
basic French study book with lots of practices, and send it to me? As
soon as I finish the exercises in the Spanish book I got from the MTC,
I want to be able to study French, and maybe I´ll even get a Haitian
companion who can help me learn!
OH, Elder Sweeney and I cleaned the house like crazy today, so it
looks beautiful.  I LOVE having a clean house.  I´m gonna try to get
all my companions to do an hour of cleaning with me on PDays.  Lots of
missionaries are super strict, not only on themselves, but their
companions, too.  I feel like bothering other missionaries so they
can´t sleep makes it harder for them to make their own decisions.  I
was thinking about how they really just isolate us here on the
mission, and we get to choose how we´re gonna behave ourselves, even
when other people don´t want to follow the rules, or we´re not being
watched very well.  I'm learning a ton, and developing self discipline
for the sake of doing what God wants me to, instead of doing it for
peer pressure.
Elder Sweeney and I have decided to have an American Lunch week.
We´ve been making Domincan food A LOT, so we can go home with
attractive foreign cooking skills so we can impress women, but we make
lots of mistakes and sometimes we end up eating really notsodelicious
food.  This week, we´re gonna make Spaghetti, tacos, hamburgers,
crepes, and finishing off the week with Domino´s.  It´s very possible
that I'm getting a Latin comp next week, so I figured it´d be good to
go out from my American lifestyle with a bang.

Thank you SO MUCH for the easter package, it has made myself and Elder
Sweeney extremely happy out here.  Chocolate is expensive, and
American chocolate is even harder to find.  It´s always nice to have a
little bit of free relief.  Be careful if you´re going to send me
cash, though, the last one got inspected by customs.

Anyway, I love you all!  Have a fantastic weekend with Grammy and
Grandpa, know that I'd be there if I could!  Tell grammy that she has
excellent taste in ties, the two she sent me are probably my
favorites.  See you all later!

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