Monday, August 25, 2014

"It´s A Jungle Out Here" - Week 7

On Aug 25, 2014, at 4:08 PM, Spencer Brady wrote:

Dearest friends and family,

Wow... What a couple of weeks! Fristly, thank you all for the love and support! Secondly, I am loving this! Couldnt be happier! Thirdly, please pardon the spelling errors. I type as quickly as I can and I´m not a great speller to start with. Plus, spellcheck doesnt work on these blasted computers, seeing as how everything is in Spanish, and doesnt recognize any of the words in my letters. Therefore, everything I send out is completely underlined in red, and I just hope for the best! Ok... and here. we. go.

The Dominican Republic

1. Culture- The people here are absolutely nuts! I love them to death! And they´ll love you to death literally, if youre crossing the street. The driving here... I cant even call it driving! It´s like an unsuporvised go-kart race! If they think they can make it, they do! Nah, its all pretty safe i guess! No worries mom! They´re the best! For the most part. People are nice in Utah, but this counrty takes friendly to a whole new level. (That´s why youve got to stay away from some of the women) Just kidding! But not really at the same time. People are crazy. Everyone is blasting their music in the street, from their houses, from their cars, in a box with a fox... Everywhere! Dominicans party hard. But everyone is so nice and so willing to have a conversation with you. Plus, nobody´s really ever doing anything more important anyway. They love to sit out on lawn chairs in the street. Playning checkers, eating, chillin, listening to music with their shirts pulled up over their bellies. The Dominican way is strangely appealing... Ïts nice though, cause when we schedule appointments, any time works fro them. But there´s also a different kind of dominican that isnt lazy. I´ve met people who´s work ethic is unbelievable! On fridays we teach some english to a group of guys who are learning, while they teach me some Spanish. They´re great! So bright and so intelligent. One of them, George, we also teach gospel lessons to him and his friend Louis. His english is almost perfect! He´s extremely smart, and extremely talented. Hes an amazing singer. Hes also very driven in his work, and committed to his family. He has a wife and a 2 yr old son named brandon whom he loves very much. It really makes me wonder why a guy like this is still living in the kind of house he does, if you can call it a house. so small, so poor. If he were only given some opportunity, he could really make a big difference in the world! I love talkig with him. He´s a man of great faith, and a promising investigator.

2. Distractions- This is something I had never thought would be such a big problem in the field. Especially in a place like this. It can be hard at times to have a spiritual lesson in the midst of loud music. Or maybe the Yuca truck comes  by as you´re trying to share your testimony in broken Spanish, blairing through a megaphone trying to sell platanos and what not. Or perhaps a five year old child throughs a big fit durring the middle of your lesson, and the single mother of four, doing her absolute best and best she knows how, has to take her inside every five minutes to spank her untill she stops crying and falls asleep in her loving arms. Distractions. It can be the hardest part. I quote my companion, Elder Marroquin, when I say ¨Freaking Satan! Let us work!¨ And it is very true.

3. Food- I havent even tried an empenada here yet! They´re supposedly the best thing to taste. No worries. I´ll get around to it. We eat rice... and beans... and when we go out we usually get chicken from ¨Pica Pollo¨(a cheap fast food place, very popular here) Oh, but the best, is the soda! There is a green apple flaver of a brand called Red Rock that is to die for! anyway, food is kind of boring so far

4. The Members- Here in the dominican Republic are some of the best members in the world. I´m convinced of it. They give everything to the church, and are so grateful for the gospelin their lives. There are very few of them, but where quality is concerned, none are lacking. One member, named Niola, is kind of our ward mother. We have FHE with her and her family. Such great people. She loves hearing me speak english, and she makes fun of my Spanish every chance she gets! I love it! She´ll come with us durring our lessons sometimes. She´s very dedicated to the church. All of the members are.

Well, it´s raining non-stop here. Starting to get used to being wet. Its the best! Anywho, if there´s one thing i´d like to leave you with it´s this simple principle. Im learning very quickly that the amount of knowledge you have, of the language, of the scriptures, of anything... doesnt matter. Not if you dont have love. If you aproach people with a kind smile and first let them know that you are their friend, there is no size of language barrier that can keep you from connecting to them. Kindness is universal. The Light of Christ is in every living soul, and we are all we are all connected by it. Love is the only thing that can break through to a hardened heart.

Thank you all for everything!

Elder Brady