Wow what a week. So first of all our baptisms did not go through on Saturday. Carpenter and I spent last week convincing the mom and the dad that they're sons should be baptized because they know it's true and they accepted. Friday went on an exchange while the district leader Elder Kinney and Carpenter went and interviewed the twins for their baptism. Everything went great and they qualified. Then, right after it was done the dad comes on and says he doesn't want them baptized, saying they're catholic and they were already baptized. They argued for a good hour says elder Carpenter and finally, after making the dad just look stupid, the dad tried to back himself out of the hole he dug my saying he had a vision the night before and God told him they couldn't be baptized. He made that up on the spot. The twins knew it, the mom knew it, the brother knew it, Carpenter and Kinney knew it, but most of all God knew it. But, since we have to have the permission of the parents the twins weren't baptized and everything fell through at the last second.
In other news, transfers were today and I'm in a different city with a Dominican comp. I am in Yaguita de Pastor in the southern part of Santiago. It's in the city so it's pretty densely populated. There is a giant cross on top of a hill, and my entire area is one big hill. Thus far it looks like a pretty wealthy area for the DR, the houses are nicer and the roads are paved, but it's not ole familiar fantino.
I miss it a lot. If I had any amount of comfort built up in the DR it was all destroyed upon arriving here. Now I don't have english to drop back on after lessons, I don't have an all american house to go back to to talk about american things, and I know absolutely no one. It's a different vibe here in the big city, everything is faster and there just isn't that warm feeling of meeting someone for the first time and feeling that they really do care about you. I think we have, from what it sounded, about 4 progressing investigators in this city. We never had that few in Fantino. I know, it's not fair to compare one of the best areas in the mission with an average one, so I am going to stop.
I will work my hardest to build this area up to where Fantino was. It might be hard.. We have a house we're meeting in in this area right now. Half the fun of inviting people to church in Fantino was that our church is the nicest thing in that town. I am going to have to work my butt off here, but I look forward to it. I love this opportunity I see for growth, both in the mission work here and within myself. Maybe not talking to my comp in English will clear up time to study more and really dive into the scriptures. Maybe having a two man house (which does have an invertor and water) will have me on a better sleeping schedule. Maybe having a dominican comp will teach me how to cook better. Maybe, just maybe, I will see a different Elder Sweeney in this transfer. One who knows spanish better, at least.
It's never easy to change, but with change comes growth. I love that feeling in the stomach that comes from necessary changes in one's life. It's nervousness mixed with a desire to work harder to overcome any doubts or fears reserved from the change. It's a collage of memories from things left behind and a blank slate of things to come. I will capitalize on this new area and learn this language thoroughly this transfer.
It's therapeutic to be able to talk to you two. Today we went shopping at a REAL super market and walked by a mcdonalds! Yes, it's in my area. I'm so thrilled! I almost danced at the prospect of another mcflurry. Def one of those once in a while treats.. they're pretty expensive, but it'll happen this transfer. That's for sure.
I bought stuff for spaghetti and I''m gonna cook for my comp and I. He's also gonna teach me to cook Yuca (a potato like root plant) and sweet potato. Good dominican cuisine.
Love your letters. Thanks for telling me about the masters. I'm coming up on 6 1/2, I can't believe. it. That last transfer FLEW.
I'll describe my Dominican comp to you. He's about 5'9, has glasses and speaks fast. Really fast. Hard for me to understand sometimes. But it'll help me so much to have him around.
There's also a golf course in my area....... ayayayay what a temptation. I may have to cave just one more p-day if my comp will come with me.
Love you two. Tell mike I'll be praying for him to sell the house as long as he prays for my success here. Can't wait for that package, I'll let you know when I get it.
Till next week, you already know,
-Elder C. Rufus Sweeney