There is so much to write about! But I will try to condense everything so I am not boring. One of our biggest problems we have run into here is that no one is married! They don’t want to commit but they’ve been together for years with kids…even some members are only a “civil union” because it’s less committal. Our president is really emphasizing family and now we can’t teach or baptize anyone unless we put ALL effort to also baptize the immediate family. Some kids have up to 40 siblings because the people struggle so much with the law of chastity! It’s crazy! So many people we are teaching say they want to get baptized but they won’t get married. Speaking of President Corbitt, he is just awesome. He is such a spiritual giant and he has awkward sarcasm like me and I love it! I’ve learned Latinos do not use sarcasm at all and now I don’t know how to be funny. President told me last week that he feels I have a better understanding of why I am here and the power of the Atonement and all these nice things and of course I just cried. I felt like he wanted to give me a hug so we awkwardly shook hands and left. Ha ha.
We had intercambios this week (splits) and I was with Hermana Fife from Alaska for the day and she was AWESOME!! I felt like we had been companions forever and we had so much in common and hit it off so well. We decided we were probably companions in the pre-existence. I have heard a lot of crazy claims about Mormonism in my day, one I’ve never heard of is that the missionaries are spies. Yes, spies! Here everyone has been told that we are spies coming to bust them for drugs and other things. So imagine how difficult it is for us to get in the door! It’s just so funny to me but also frustrating because people won’t let us in! We’ve been getting asked, “so, if I’m black does that mean I’m cursed?” Imagine trying to answer that in Spanish! Ha ha. !Muy dificil!
Also this week, we got infested with maggots in our apartment! They are so nasty! To kill them, you have to pop them like a pimple. It’s disgusting! We just dumped Clorox all over our floor and hoped for the best. We also saw a centipede that was the size of my forearm!!! It looked like something out of the movie Tremors. It was terrifying! I find baby centipedes in my shower everyday. Apparently we have one of the areas that might be turned into an Elder area because of the danger level. We saw a man get shot in his car in the middle of the day and no one blinked an eye. Yesterday this lady got tied up and robbed in the afternoon. So we definitely pray a lot for protection! Haha. Luckily we live in a ”nice’ part of town.
There are so many Haitians here that we’ve started learning creole phrases. It’s had though because the people are so racist towards them here that they are all trying to leave the island. Our neighbor is from Holland so we’ve been learning Dutch phrases too.
We had stake conference this weekend and it was so packed that people were sitting in the chair closet and on the floor and standing against the walls! It was crazy but so great to have so many people come. They are going to need a bigger stake center. We got poured on yesterday and I was very thankful for crocs! It was nice for some rain because the heat has been so bad that everyone has been having severe migraines.
I have really come to learn that being a member of the church is really hard and requires sacrifice for some people, especially here, but it is so worth it! I have also seen how important it is to raise a family in the gospel and the difference it makes in the children. I have never felt the true power of prayer in my life until now and I feel so much love for those I come in contact with! If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is to see everyone as children of God and not for their sins. I love you all so much! Thank you for your love and support. PS–I hope I’m not boring.