Monday, December 29, 2014

"Angelico (Gift Exchange)" - Week 25

December 29th, 2014

     Well, Christmas week. Twas good. Certainly different though... Dominicans don't really do much in the way of celebration. At least not where I am. But it was still super fun. The Caminos had us over for dinner, such a nice, humble family. Later that night we went up to our roof, made a fire and roasted marshmallows. We also bought some pretty disgusting tasting sparkling cider. Note to all- If you rapidly tip a bottle of sparkling cider upside-down into your mouth, it will bubble out of your nose very unpleasantly. 
Christmas morning, we opened my packages and made a wonderful mess of our place. Super fun to open a bunch of presents and then go talk to my Family. It was the best! Thank you all so much! You guys said I have a slight accent and elder Davis´s family said the same to him... But I still don't believe you.
The next day we had a district gift exchange. We each had names that we bought gifts for. I had Elder Teves from Argentina, and got him the gift that keeps on giving, a water-gun. He's very happy with his gift, and enjoys using it frequently on elder Davis. Elder Ponce had my name. It was a good bit of fun to receive my own Bible, the one he thought I thought I had lost on Christmas eve. It was even more fun to see his face as he read the note I handed to him before. It goes as follows-

"My dearest Elder Ponce, 
   I realize this little note of mine must be quite unexpected. I know Ponce. I know. I must say, your fox-like cunning is fairly impressive. The clever plan was admirable.
Your extreme cold-bloodedness is an impressive thing. To steal a fellow missionaries Bible, which is of course essential to the work, on the very eve of our Lords birth. . . That must have been a heart wrenching thing to have gone through. All for a good cause, true? I understand your perspective quite empathetically. The greater good of comedy, all done in its name and for humors sake. To keep secret the very book, stowed away in your suitcase, eagerly waited to reveal it at the time of the gift exchange the day after Christmas.
   What anticipation you must have felt. Even after we had told you of our strife, retracing our steps trying to find where we could have left it. Even after reading my story of the hours spent on Christmas Day trying to locate it, after I had spun the lie of calling the assistants and paying for another Bible if that didn’t elicit guilt sufficient for confession, I don’t know what would be.  
   Nonetheless, your Stonewall composure was unbreakable. “How do I know? “ you may be asking yourself. Your mistake does not lie in trusting your companions, rather in the man running the store in which we had left the book. His softened heart revealed to us your malicious web workings, when we returned to the shop. Don't feel too bad that it didn't pan out your way. Your plan was poetic however, it pays to have befriended that owner of the shop Monday before playing soccer, gaining his confidence.
   Don’t think of it as being foiled but consider this a lesson learned.
Thank you for playing,
Elder Brady"

I hope everyone had a fantastic Holiday Season! The love of Christ and His gospel is spreading here in the Dominican Republic. Thank you all for your prayers, and know that you´re in mine. And a Happy New Year!

Elder Brady

Me enjoying my hammock. Great gift!

Hermano Camino was this years "Chairman of the Feast"!

A few hooligans up on the roof top... click click click

As a punishment for losing Uno, Elder Ponce had to play with a beanie over his face.

Another punishment. If the book falls, he draws cards. Also, everytime he placed a card, he had to say the phrase "Shagadelic Baby"

Christmas morning!

Have I really been that good this year?

Thanks for all the gifts!

Monday, December 22, 2014

"Feliz Navi... Wait... no... on the side walk?" - Week 24

December 22nd, 2014

Well, Merry Christmas to all! What a strange time of year to spend in the DR! Ill tell ya what... Mom... I actually really miss your decorations. There aint nothin down here! Seriously... It does not really feel like Christmas, and it actually hasnt hit me that its almost here yet! But its totally good! The DR has lots of other fun things... which brings me to an explanation of this letters title. On our way to the english class we teach the other day, we met an interesting man, presumably homeless, screaming as loud as he could. Teenagers were just laughing at it in a group near by. It was a bit unnerving and a strange sight to hear and see indeed... so we passed him, and much to our supprise, we imediately thereafter ran into a man with his pants down, casually (for lack of a more eliquent way to put it) pooping... on the sidewalk... in public.... Now, we had heard of this man before. The side walk pooper. But this was the first encounter we´d had with him. Hopefully our last. I suspect him and the screamer may be in league with each other, but the results are inconclusive. Just a story for the the giving. Anyway... Merry Christmas to all!

With Love form the DR, 

Elder Brady

One of our investigators is a barber

The Bros after the ward Christmas Party

Did a contacting intercambio in the capital

Monday, December 15, 2014

"World War E. (for Elders)" - Week 23

December 15th, 2014

Hola Hola!

Well, transfers came... and I'm staying! Atkinson and I both! He’s district leader now, "so Delmar, I suppose one could say we’ve got a little power behind the throne so to speak…". But ya, all is well here. We had an activity in Gonzalo, with a movie and food. iT WAS AWESOME! sO GREAT TO SEE THE MEMBERS COME TOGETHER AND PULL SOMETHING OFF LIKE THIS. Sorry bout the suprise caps lock, I don’t feel like retyping it... anywho...
It was super fun, and we’re planning on doing much more like it. We’ll be spending a lot more time in Gonzalo this time around, which will be difficult, but good. A trio is coming into the house, which will be interesting, cause we don’t even have enough water for four people let alone five, but we’re looking for a better house with water and lights. 
We bought some cap guns off some kids in the street, and they were pretty darn fun to play with in the house untill... Elder Ponce bought some airsoft asault rifles... things just got real! Now you have to be very careful going to the bathroom. "They're fixin an ambush"- You’re all welcome for the two "O' Brother Where Art Thou" quotes I’ve included in this letter. Anyway, thank you all for everything!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas season!

Elder Brady

Got to see some good buddies from the mtc! The one on the far left is actually in the trio coming to the house, so thats fun!

Had a Mission Tour! Super fun, except for the travel time to the capital. 6 hrs. round trip, and we’ll be doing much more of that with Elder Atkinson as District Leader.

Couple a “G’s"... (gangsters?)
Some kids we teach in Gonzalo

Activity in Gonzalo
The one on the right is the woman who always answers everything as "Abraham". 
Some "funny ol’kooks"!

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Week 22"

December 8th, 2014

Dear home,
Not too much to report this week, but it was pretty good. Transfers are just around the corner, but I'm pretty sure I'll stay here. Good news, a few other Elders in our district traveled out here for P-day. We played poker with some fake money... And I cleaned em out! You should've seen them shakin in their boots. I never knew I had it in me, but I guess I've got a pretty good poker face. That, and I hustled them out of their money. 
Well, I'm afraid that's about it for now. Not much else to say. Thanks for all the love and support!
Elder Brady

Improvized with lights! It was the only outlet in the room.

Feeling the Christmas Spirit thanks to Mom!

Elder Atkinson and I... and a few snowmen!

These peppers were much hotter than I thought they would be. Some of the most miserable five minutes of my life...

Me after ripping a branch off to put in Ponce's bed... You know the story! :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

"The Case of the Mysterious Platano Tree Leaf" - Week 21

December 1, 2014

    So, Elder Ponce is always poppin up and screaming around dark corners in the house, startling the crap out of Atkinson and I. So we decided to mess with him... Psychologically. We found some wierd lookin giant pea pod thing, and stuck it in his bed, and in some pants of his in the drawer. He found the one in his bed, and just thought nothing of it. Then the next time, on our way home, I stepped it up a notch and ripped a giant leaf off a tree. We got home, and none of the lights worked, but there was light outside. Wierd right? We put the leaf on his bed, and went into our room. Those lights didnt work either, but the fans did... We were a bit wierded out, then we got a phone call from a blocked number... Nobody was there. Then I sat down on my bed, and at the same moment, something grabbed my foot, and elder Ponce jumped out of the closet, screaming at the top of his lungs! They got us good! I let out quite the scream! They had gotten home early, and unscrewed all the light bulbs. What's best comes next... Ponce discovered the leaf on his bed, and he and his comp. were in his room talking about it, when another strange green pea pod shows up on the floor! (they had moved his pants) The guy was freaked! He was super quiet the next day, thinking he was cursed by spirits, and kept saying "no more jokes"... the next night we put leaves in each bedroom, and turned over all the beds! We got him good! We had to finally fess up that night... before he called the president, all freaked out! Any who, just a funny story for you all. Hope everything is good!

Elder Brady
Call me Mr. Pollo...

Our grave yard. Stacks on stacks!

Intecambio with Zone leader


Birthday party with an investigator!

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Fighting chickens, wierd sacrament meetings, and the Zombie apocalypse!" - Week 20

     November 24th, 2014
     Well, I hope this note finds you all happy in whatever you're doing. For me this week has been great as usual! So, the people here are super funny. Im way out in the campo right? That means that these branches are super small, new, and not many people attend. For example, we show up to the church in Gonzalo about five minutes to nine, expecting to find the building opened, chairs set up, and things prepared for the meetings. What ended up happening instead, was the Branch President coming about fifteen minutes later with the keys. He's a super great guy, just a year off his mission, but he needs all the help he can get with his new calling as the president. I cant even tell you how much I miss church in Utah. Where the hymns sound nice, and you can hear the people speaking without busy cars, motorcycles without mufflers, and bachata music in the streets. Ha ha! It's super different. We also ended up giving talks on short notice... so there's that. Don't really know if anyone understood me, but oh well.
What else, I saw a cock fight... They're really popular here, along with dog fights. They have arenas all over the place. Its pretty disgusting actually. But I´ll have to admit, when the roosters arent fighting to the death, its a little fun to watch... Mostly just the people, betting and screaming... they get way into it!
The secretary of the branch here in Sabana has a conspiracy theory about chem trails that the US is spreading in the sky. He's had us take pictures of them stretched across in an X formation. Elder Atkinson and I are convinced that this is indeed the begining of the Zombie apocalypse. Well, hope all is well in the homeland! Love you!
Elder Brady     

 Rainy day

These Kids are great!

Reminds me of a couple of "boxer boys" a time ago!

Sabana Grande De Boya, taken from a gua gua bus on our way 
to a Zone meeting in the capital.
Guyana, Mexico, USA, and Columbia!

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Week 19"

November 17th, 2014

Hello Hello!

     I´ll start with some great news! This week I can use the letter "L"in my emails! You learn to look forward to the small and simple things when living in a third world country. I get excited when I save 5 pesos on water by going to a different colmado, or things like waking up in the morning without mosquito bites. You cheer for days like that! Every night around 4 a.m. the light goes out, and our fans with it. Its kinda like clock work now... 4 o clock, I wake up sweating, grab my handy dandy mini fan (Great idea to pack those Mom) and i put it next to my face untill i can fall asleep again. ha! "Its the best! I love it!" (said in the voice of Nacho Libre)...
     Lets see, what happened this week... We helped a guy catch a runaway chicken! That was fun, and frankly not as easy as you might think... After several grueling minutes filled with terrible rooster impersonations and alot of running around, we cornered it. The man was grateful, and happy to have his lunch that day. 
     So, we have kind of an interesting situation. We have two areas, the only elders in the mission to have two. We go to Gonzalo, a small, poor, heavily Haitian populated town, several times a week. The branch there is very small, and the branch president is just a young return missionary who needs all the help he can get. Really good people though.
     We teach one lady who is very funny. She thinks that every answer to every question is Abraham... We show her a picture of Jesus, saying, "Who's this?"and she says "Abraham!" Oh boy oh boy, but she's a great spirit. She and her husband are going to get married so that she can get baptised, so its all great news, we just have to take it slow with her. But all is well in the DR! As always, thanks for everything!
Our weight room! We're gettin pumped!

Our bathroom... Nah! This is the neighbor's unfinished place

Our bathroom! See that bucket? That's our shower!

This is what happens when you don't have water to clean dishes for several days...

Our street.

I must say, we do have a pretty sweet balcony!

Our house.

This is Elder Dog... He follows us to every lesson, and sits underneath our chairs... Crazy dog... but he's an Elder!

Thanks for everything!
Elder Brady