Saturday, February 5, 2011


1. Jimmer Fredette! I knew he was good, but when I watched him last year I had no idea he was THAT good. That is so freaking cool. Good enough for KD to compliment him? wow. just.. thats all i can really say. wow.

2. A BLIZZARD?? whaaaaaaaat? that´s a ridiculously rare occurrence. how are the global warming specialists handling that one?

3. I never got a message back from rachelle after mine... hahaha idk what that deal is. It´s beginning to look like carly vongchonyakul. remember that? yeah.. oh well. When life gives you lemons... you squeeze them in the font and baptize people in it.

So, it´s actually been a really tranquilo week. whoa.. i didn´t realize i just used a spanish word. It´s been really chill. we showed the new elders around and they already love fantino, especially enriquez and the man who serves us food and the juice man across the street from our house.

So, i guess I never have described the scenery here. I think this email is going to have a lot more of the pictures from the scenery i´ve taken and a couple of the baptism. A couple times I have been walking through the campo.. or the country and have just stopped open mouthed dead in my tracks at the sunset or the green of the rice fields or a flower i didn´t know existed. That´s all i can describe to you without pictures. Words just don´t do it justice.

One of the problems here in this country is, in some of the more densely populated and poorer parts there is a lot of garbage. It´s really sad. This is the most beautiful place I have ever been and the people here destroy it with garbage.

Another thing I have noticed here is that, while there are tons of mosquitos, TICKS DO NOT EXIST. It´s beautiful. I can walk through the long grass all day and not get a single indestructible blood sucking parasite crawling on me. It´ll be hard to go back to the states, especially oklahoma, where they exist.

but, that doesn´t mean I don´t miss america. For instance, and to answer your question once and for all, no we do not have hot showers. I never have hot water. However, as of about a week and a half ago we have a stove, so I´ve been cooking quite a bit. I just cooked homemade oatmeal this morning with brown sugar and peanut butter and it actually turned out really good! Also, i cooked mac and cheese with salami which is sort of a delicacy for me now.. salami i mean. It´s magical in this country. It´s cheap, has a long shelf life, not terribly unhealthy and actually tastes pretty good. So, I use it with everything. I am going to make a toasted egg and salami sandwich later, i´ll let you know how that goes.

The work here in fantino is still progressing really well. This week has been a really special week. Elder carpenter and I have talked a lot about the idea of getting people to gain their own testimony before baptizing people because baptizing less actives is a big problem here on the mission. The sad thing is that the people like the missionaries, so they get baptized... (yaaaaay...) then, when the missionaries se fue (leave), so do the people (booooo...). So, we have been focusing just about all of our investigators on

1. praying to know if the church is true, getting a confirmation for themselves

2. knowing what they will do when they get their answer

The reason for focusing on that is.. well.. a couple of Elder Walker and I´s baptisms are a little.. weak. Our plan is that all the ones who really have a desire will do it, will read, will pray and will know for themselves, and those who are not so serious we will drop. that´s how we are going to sort through our investigators.

Luckily, the 2 young men that I have baptized are really strong and know it´s true. Carlos Manuel and Franci. dos bacanos (studs).

Let´s see... Oh Elder carpenter. He´s an interesting guy... like really interesting. Definitely not as excited to work as elder walker but is at least willing to work, so i´m pushing him. He´s a good guy.. he really does care about the people he just shows it in a different way and sometimes, maybe because they are used to the way walker was, he comes off as pretentious. He sort of reminds me of a perfect combination of scott sweeney and a roommate i had at byu, big al.

Having 4 missionaries in a house is SO different. Wow. There is always something going on, it´s great. last night for p-day eve we sat on the roof and talked and joked and got really close. Today in the morning we played basketball, which was waaaaaaay more fun than I ever remember it being. I forgot how awesome sports were. I think we are going to go to bonao one day for p-day and golf. That should be pretty awesome. haha

Oh, and the package situation. Yeah I found out the other day that it´s just about as safe to send it straight to the DR and i won´t be broke. they took out 1700 pesos from my personal account so this three week period i´m broke again, they only give you 5000 per transfer.. not a whole lot but when a third is taken by a package it´s def not enough. Anyway I´ll make it but please, please use the other address. It´s a lot easier for me momma. Thanks.

Well, all is well in fantino. really well actually. A lady at the internet center just handed us oranges. This place isn´t so bad.. Everyone thinks they are our adopted dominican parents.

I got the package from mark and melinda. Loved that. It was more incredible american food.

Well, all I can say about the cat situation is... good luck. I hear you already caught one? that´s good. I´m glad you have persuits back at home. It keeps you young.

It´s been a good 6th of my mission. I have come to grips completely with the fact that I´m in a foreign country. I am genuinely happy. I realized the other day I have a suitcase and a half of stuff and am happy. really puts some perspective in life.

I love you both. So much. I miss you every day and look forward to your advice every week. I eagerly await the valentines package, i really need a calender :)

Till next week, not a second wasted here in the DR,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

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