Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Best of Times..the Worst of Times....

Well, it's been the best of times and the worst of times here in Bonao. It's no secret that for the last transfer and a half the people here in Bonao have been completely and utterly unreliable. They are in their house when they say they will be, I would say, about 20% of the time. That means even if we plan right we are still running around the entire city trying to find SOMEONE in their home that wants to share with us. Then, Friday it sort of boiled over. It was later, everyone had failed on us, and we were on one of our last appointments who I was just SURE was going to be there. We passed by and his sister said he had just left about 2 minutes before we arrived and that he didn't say where he went nor for how long. I don't show that I'm as upset as I am until I leave, I just was physically, mentally and spiritually beat. I didn't understand why we had so little success when we had so much desire. Even Daniel, who we thought was perfect, has to work every sunday...

So, I just went and sat down on the back of a metal grate of some kind. My comp gave me some words that helped me a ton, and then suggested prayer. I don't remember what he said but I remember just relief. Then we went back to work. We only had about an hour to work that night, so we started walking and got a call from two other missionaries in Bonao. They gave us two references, one that was a lady they met in the street and one that showed up to a baptismal service. We started with the lady. It turned out she had a baby of about 3 days, brand spankin' new and perfect to start that intense, straight to the heart conversation of eternal families. It hit home. We're going back tonight but we have a lot of hope for her and her boyfriend. We're gonna try and get them married.

Then we contacted the other reference the day after. It turns out he had gone to church that day, but in the other Bonao, so we had another investigator in church with that. We also put a baptismal date already. He's amazing. Then, that same day we got 2 references of cousins of the branch president. They're awesome. They need more priesthood here, they're gonna get it. They have dates as well. Then we met Jesus, his nephew Luis, and Fernando, all over 18 and all so awesome. So, right now we have 6 baptismal dates for the 5 of November (that's the goal at least). My comp and I are seriously flooring it right now. Putting it in 5th gear if you will. I've never been so incredibly tired until this afternoon when I got my hour and a half nap. Now I feel great. SOOOO needed.

Anyway, you were absolutely, positively right. The mission is just ZOOMING by now. I'm not really able to think about time now so I don't really know how much time I have. It's great to be honest. I don't know why I didn't spend my whole mission this way. Last night Elder Pinkston called me, that's the only reason I know how much time I have.

Ok.. OK let's see. As far as everything else goes. We have an invertor now in our apt. That was rough, because the schedule of power here in Bonao was 10-4 more or less, so we didn't have power those crucial hours between 12-3, when all you want is a fan. Seriously, that's all your thinking about. Ha it's still really hot here and it's the middle ofOctober. The good news is I don't have a single October more here in the DR. It's getting down to the lasts. Next, halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. It's strange. I can'
t wait to have another christmas with you guys. Is Christmas capitalized? Are all holidays capitalized? I need to brush up on the english grammar... Ha just one more reason not to rush into going back to BYU. I'd actually like to be at home for a bit. I wanna help out the missionary work in the branch, give my friends as references (BWAHAHAHA), and work a bit before heading out into the big, bad marriage scene of BYU. By the way, I have been talking to Elder Pinkston pretty seriously about rooming with him. He's from my group in the mission. Awesome kid, incredible missionary and all. He'd be a great roommate. He and nathan keesling. Yeahh.... Hand choosing roommates. Good stuff. Now, where to stay? I couldn't tell ya. I was thinking maybe alpine village... But that's a bit pricey. We'll see.

I am sipping on a Bon Malteada right now. Bon is the ice cream shop all over the DR. Malteada is their "milk shake". The beautiful thing is that it's one of the only things in this country with real milk. Yes, they use the genuine, unprocessed, straight from the cow stuff. The American stuff. Hence why I get it. It's delicious, but doesn't have anything on the braums hot fudge shake.. OOOOH I just made myself trunky.

So yesterday we met a man in the street. Remember my farewell talk? All about service? It's been like that my whole mission. I'm always looking for ways to help out. The other day we helped a lady move a giant rock in her front yard. Anyway, this guy's name is roberto, and he lived in England for a bit so knows a lot of English. My comp was talking to him and offered the service, and he actually took us up on it. We helped roberto cut an overgrown property with a machete, a hoe and a shovel. We finished a lot of it then shared with him. He told us he's trying to make some sincere changes in his life and shared with missionaries before but never really wanted to stop drinking. Now he does. Chalk another one up on the Bonao priesthood board. Oh, and he's got a car. :D

My comp, Elder Johnson, has gotten a lot of compliments on his spanish. We speak it a lot which helps him. Even president took note and said something to the effect of "wow, the new missionaries are already better at spanish than the trainers!" So cool. The generations of missionaries are better and better.

Thanks for answering the question about alcohol. Definitely something I've thought about but just totally slipped my mind. But it's excellent and so true. For different dispensations god has given his children different laws. This is the one for now. True and simple.

Welp, I'm about done I think. I love you too. It's hard for me to believe how fast it all goes. Sort of scary. I'm having too much fun. Legitimately, it's a whole different mission when you can express yourself and understand just about everything spoken. One becomes a servant of God, an instrument for good.

I love you two. I'm proud of my missionary parents. I'll write you on your missions just as you have on mine. hehehe and I'll get my wife to do the same.

Here's to a great next 11 months, with not a second wasted

-Elder Sweeney

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