Monday, September 8, 2014

"Que lo que" - Week 9

September 8th, 2014

Another week in paradise.

Well, this place is crazy... Something Im learning is that I will never cease to have new experiences. My companion leaves this place in two weeks, and he still says all the time ¨Ive never had that happen on my mission before¨ That gives me hope for this adventure. He´s also a native Spanish speaker from Guatemala and still has trouble understanding everything these flippin Dominicans are saying... And that does not give me hope!
But Im slowly begining to obsorb the language into my mind, and with daily practice, its coming along. And it´s not just that the speach here is fast and filled with slang. They change the writen language of Spanish. For example; We teach guy named Junior English while we also teach him gospel lessons. The English lessons were our ¨foot in the door¨.Anyway, he had a list of phrases he wanted us to translate, and supprisingly I could do just about all of them. But it was like playing Spanish MadLibs! They combine words and swith letters, or they just negate the letter completely. Here´s a phrase, ¨Megustaria Certunobio¨ Which is Ï would like to be your boyfriend¨ (Junior´s got his eye on a girl and thinks english is sexy) The sentence comprised of two words in Dominican should have five - ¨Me gustaria ser tu novio¨ Just one of the many examples we run into down here.
My Birthday was a pretty normal day. It was good though. Mom, thanks for the gifts! I was actually looking for a watch just like this one. Its perfect. Im glad Ole, the only supermarket in our zone, didnt have one, or i would have bought it. Elder Marroquin told me that my parents think Im 9 instead of 19, but i know he enjoyed the balloon rockets more than anyone. Ha ha! At night, we visited the Rincon family, they have three girls including Elizabeth who will be Baptized on the 13th. All of the neighborhood girls are always playing on this street. They´re our niñas favritas! And they love us, they think we are gods. Its really just because we always dress nice, and that demands respect, yet we are some of the kindest people to these little rugrats! We love them! They always take our stuff and pretend to me missionaries, and they always want us to write our names on their hands, like we´re celebrities or something! That night, they put our hair into ties. It was fun. It was a good birthday.
I´ve had to stomache a few things that members and invesatigators have cooked for us. Cold dumpligs with sardines, chicken feet, guneo verde ( which is like a really gross potato/ banana)... Not a fan. I miss Mama´s cookin for sure. One thing I love though, is Platanos fritos, so sweet, so good. But if you mash them they become something only pigs and farm animals would eat.
Seen some crazy stuff already. It´s a dog eat dog world out there. Literally! Just the other day I saw a small dead dog whose head was in the mouth of another larger dog. No joke. The saying is real.
I miss Sundays. Sundays here dont feel like Sundays. I miss a congregation that can actually sing, i miss classes wherein i can actually understand what is being taught, and I mkiss nice Sunday dinners. We just have the usual, beans and rice... But its all good!
The work is really great. This is a good area with good people, and a good ward. We currently have 6 baptismal dates.
Yankery, a single Mother of two children actually knows quite a bit about the gospel and is excited for her Baptism on the 27th. Durring our first lesson with her, she began to cry and told us that she feels completely alone. She´s out of work, and doesnt have enough money to buy food for the week. Every couple of days, the father of her 3 yr old brings her some money, but it isnt enough. All her life, whenever she wanted drugs, she had friends to give them to her. When she wanted alcohol, she had friends to provide. When she wanted sex, she had friends. But when she needed a place to stay, food to eat, money to support her children, no friends were there. This Gospel will completely change her life.
Durring a recent lesson with Ibelice, she told us of some sad family history. 18 years ago, her older sister´s twelve yr old son was kidnapped and never found. This destroyed her sister. She turned to the drink to burry her sorrow and became an acloholic for three years. She was in such a state of severe grief that Ibelice legitamately began to fear that her sister would take her own life. Then she met the missionaries. In three months her life was turned around and she was baptized. Now 15 years later, Ibelice and her two sons Hector and Choco will be baptized on the 20th of September.
This Gospel blesses lives in ways I´ve only ever heard about in general conference, or read about in the Ensign or something. Now i´m witnessing the change first hand, and its amazing.
Thanks for all the Love!
Elder Brady

#1- Our Appartment
#2- This is "la tienda" that we most regularly use to buy our daily bread and what not. Its my main source of Red Rock soda. The guys runnin the counter know us pretty well, and as soon as i walk in they get a Manzana Verde Red Rock out of the fridge cause they know its my favorite flavor.

#4- Elder Cornejo wanted me to tattoo a picture of Jesus on his back, so I had him sit with his shirt up for ten minutes while I drew this.

#5- Just somewhere 

#6- The farm of a less active member we visit

#7- We feel pretty, oh so pretty...