This week has been GREAT!!

First of all, this has been a great week and I feel so happy everyday!  I love my companion, Hermana Valdez, from the DR.  She is so funny and sassy…Just my kind of person.  The craziest thing about having a pure-bread Latina comp. is only being able to speak Spanish…but what’s crazier is that I UNDERSTAND SPANISH NOW!  It’s unreal.  I still have a long way to go, don’t get me wrong, but I can actually converse now!   I think my missions president knew I needed a sink or swim situation and it worked.  It’s crazy in lessons because I speak clearer and more fluently than normal and I can feel the Spirit guiding my words and sometimes it literally feels like someone else is speaking for me.  It’s such a great feeling!  My most proud moments of the week is that no one guesses that I’m from the States anymore!  Not once this week has someone guessed that.  I’ve gotten Dominican and usually Mexican.  Yay!  Also, my gift of being able to imitate accents is coming in handy because every time someone hears I’ve only been here for 3 month, they can’t believe it because they say my Spanish and my accent is better than gringos with 10 months.  (haha they sure know how to build my confidence).  I LOVE having a Dominican companion!  It’s so fun learning all the Dominican words and culture and making her cook dishes for me.  I’ll be honest, sometimes the food here looks pretty scary but it always tastes great!

My new are is much smaller and probably 1/3 of my old one but these people party much harder…the loud music literally never stops and we just have to study and teach through it.  It can be hard to invite the spirit when you can’t hear your investigator.  I learned that I was being very spoiled in my last house with running water and constant electricity.  Those were the glory days.  The electricity always goes out in the middle of the night and we just lie there in our sweat.  However, this week we’ve seen a lot of small miracles.  Something as small as praying for electricity and in the middle of the prayer, the fans turn on.

I think my favorite thing about teaching with my companion is that we can both testify of how much this gospel has changed our lives because we both know what it is like not to have it.  She is a convert of almost 2 years and I love how passionate she is about the gospel and learning.  I feel so much power when we teach and testify and she has such a strong spirit.  She keeps saying that she feels like I am training her but she doesn’t realize how much she is teaching me.  I am so lucky to have her as my second trainer.  One thing I’ve been pondering a lot about throughout my studies is how everyone tries to tear down the Book of Mormon.  To me, it just shows how the rest of the world also recognizes that this book is the keystone to our religion.  literally EVERYTHING weighs on this book.  If you read it and know it to be true through prayer, then everything we are teaching is also true.  I think that is why Satan works so hard at dissuading people from reading it.  We always hear excuses as to why our investigators couldn’t read it AGAIN and I just want to be like, “You are holding the truth in your hands!  All you have to do is read it!”…Okay, I actually have said that but I want to say it to everyone!  If the adversary is working so hard to prevent people from reading it, it just goes to show how much power it really holds.

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This week really made up for last week…

This week really made up for last week because it has been crazy!  We have transfers tomorrow so I ‘ve been packing and cleaning all morning.   I’m actually being transfered about 15 minutes away and my second trainer is a native Dominican!  I’m terrified and excited all at the same time.  She doesn’t speak any English so I will definately be speaking Dominican Spanish after this transfer.  I kept saying that my goal was to be as close to fluent as possible by September.  It looks like Heavenly Father is giving me what I asked for…and now I’m scared, haha.

So, here are the high lights of this week:

1. We decided to start a “Noche de Amisted” with ou ward this week to get the members more involved and it went extremely well.  We played tons of games and I learned that I fit in with the culture really well because they were just as overly competitive as I am.  We were only expecting 15-20 people at MOST and we had around 40 show up…which isgreat except that we only brought one pan of cake and 2 soda bottles.  We weren’t sure how we were going to get everyone fed. But as we started dishing everything out, we ended up with left overs!  We couldn’t believe it!  It looked as if the cake kept magically reappearing. It is something so small but it really felt like when Christ fed 5,000!  Everyone said they were full from a tiny square of cake. It was such a small blessing but it meant a lot to us.

2. We are teaching this family who doesn’t have much and is incredibly loving and humble. The husband said he has been having dreams or “visions” (he calls them) about my companion and I and says he thinks it is God’s way of telling him this gospel is true.

I probably had a staring contest with my food for a  minute but then I had to go for it. I took my first bite and my brain was screaming, ” GROSS!”. But midway thru chewing, it started tasting really good! I love them now!  They were plantano maduro plantains and I was happily impressed.  (Either I’ve been blessed the ability to like everything or it is all just amazing.)   The dessert was tres leche cake and I could eat that all day.  I refuse to go home without the recipe!  Everytime I sit down for more than 20 minutes my eyelids start goingtowarwith me and I can never win.  I don’t know if iwill ever adjust to being tired all the time from the sun and walking 24/7. Everything is going really well, though.  I am remembering to always look for the good in everything/one andit helps a lot. Still super hot and sweaty but hey, at least i’mburning off calories, right?  Positive attitude! Haha! I love you guys muchisimo!

Love,

Hermana Taylor

PS–favorite moment: a guy learning English said to me, “give me fifth!”. I said, “huh?”. He said, ” You know…like one, two, three, four, fifth…”   haha….classic!

last week continued….

I had my first baptism this last weekend, YAY!!!!  A 13 year old named Damion and we were so excited.  We have really great ward here and the church members like to get involved. We have one member who has been a member for six months and has an incrediblypowerful testimony.  He come out to teach with us a lot and it is so helpful.  The best part is that is not even his calling. He just does it because he likes to serve and help us out (and he usually reads my blog,so…..hi Luis!).  He is an English teacher and has the summer off so we are putting him to work.

The bishop had us over for my first member meal for lunch and it was awesome!!!  The bishop’s family is so fun and it was nice to see his personality outside of church for once.  His wife made us lunch and when I saw it I got a little nervous because it was an assortment of plantains.  Sometimes when we come over they send their 8 year old daughter to buy us some soda or a tiny piece of candy because they really have so little and are STILL willing to give in order to show their love.  I have grown so much love for them nd am sad to be transfered away from them.  The mosr incredible thing has been to watch the husband kick his addictions with smoking tobacco and alcohol.  He makes look easy with how great he is doing!  He is so excited about it as well and you can see the true desire he has to change.  He said when he has the urge to do it, he hs a sudden “vision” of us and he no longer wants to do it.  How cool is that ?!  We have been praying like crazy for him and it seems to be taking effect.

A motorcycle drove by me really fast in the street and my skirt flew up Marilyn Monroe style so that was….fun haha.

We saw a first giant, hairy, ugly tarantula in the street hanging out with our freakishly huge centipede friend.

This woman thought I was from Venezuela and so we started talking and I was feeling really good about my Spanish until I got alittle lost at one point and  wasn’t exactly sure what she said so I just said, “si, si” and it turns out two seconds later my brain figured out what she said and it was, “you are really beautiful”.  UGH.  Language barrier problems.  This week has been super exhausting and me feet are always swollen and sore but it has been a really good one! Besos y abrazos a todos!

Love,

Hermana Taylor

Sorry guys!

Sorry guys! Chelsea somehow only sent me part of her blog letter this week.  She forgot to send me the second page.  I will send you part of the letter she wanted me to post, come back next week to read the conclusion….

This week was not very eventful but it was definitely a week of spiritual and physical growth!  Hermana Munoz was sick one day so we had to stay inside for 24 hrs and I read all my gospel materials like nobody’s business!  I never knew how interesting all this was before but I can’t get enough!  I love the concept of eternity as well…it always blows my mind.  Just think of holding onto a big rope where you can’t see the beginning or the end and then taking a small piece of string and looping it around the rope one time…that’s our life on earth!  Crazy, right?? I feel like that perspective makes it easier to be obedient and have faith because this life really is just a small moment.

Sorry, I’ll stop getting excited about weird stuff now and move on.  Anyways, I had my first baptism this weekend, YAY!!  He is a 13 year old named Damian and we were so excited for him….

Come back next week for the exciting conclusion!  Until then, have a great week!