Sunday, December 18, 2011


Good News and Bad News....

So what´s the bad news, you´re asking? Well basically just the fact that I couldn't write you yesterday. And the good news? There's a lot of that. I have lots of pictures for you! I finally found someone with a connection. Yesterday we went up to Constanza to climb a mountain (which I am STILL just EXHAUSTED from), and got back latish, so I didn't have time to write. So now I'm writing you today. It was so amazing, and actually legitimately cold. I have to say, the Elders in my district, Elder Fleurima (yes, if that sounds familiar it should, it's the brother of the hatian comp I had a couple months ago) and Elder Ruiz are just awesome. We had a blast climbing up to the peak where the divino niƱo is, and taking pictures along the way. I have to say, the hike itself was really tough. I am definitely not in the shape I was at the house. As fun as it was, I am feeling it today. My comp and I could barely get out of bed. And, we were a little broke from the trip (it's a little expensive to travel to Constanza, and it wasn't reemborsable yesterday), but it's all good because apoyo arrives tomorrow, so I'll get along just fine.

And what else on the good news front? Well, let me just say I'm staying in Bonao 2 more transfers. Yes, I got another call from President last Friday and I will be training another new missionary right here en la ciudad de Dios. I am really pumped and all, but training is tough. I will liken having to train 4 transfers unto a steak dinner.. It is as though someone served me a huge steak dinner, baked potato, salad and Dr. Pepper and I loved every bite, stuffing myself to the brim.. Then having them bring me another plate of the same thing and having me eat that too. I felt so great about Elder Johnson, thought everything was just perfect and complete, and that I'd be leaving Bonao and going to another city for new adventures and a new comp.. But that's not what the Lord had in mind. And so I prayed... I prayed like I haven't prayed for a long time for strength to regain my super energy level like that when Elder Johnson got here.. And I feel really great. I feel like I'm ready.

This go around I am going to do some things differently. Instead of trying to load up the new missionary with everything all at once, I will take advantage of the full 12 weeks with him and make him feel comfortable. He will be here right around Christmas time, which is tough enough as it is, and so I will make a special effort to make him feel comfortable at that time. Make him a nice dinner and such. If you could send me a good, easy recipe for cinnamon rolls that wouldn't involve a mixer (and I don't know if they have frozen bread here...) that would be awesome! I want to coordinate that with the Zone Leaders also.

I loved hearing that Grandpa's surgery went so well, but the fact that his memory is going so fast is so strange. And sad. It'll be a miracle if he recognizes me when he gets back.

And that's the biggest news. Oh and we've got 2 baptisms this saturday. Fernando, a young man of 22 years and Hansel, a little kid of 10 years that lives with a family who are all members. That's gonna be the house I eat at on Christmas Eve.

My comp and I are pumped about that baptism. I'll be taking lots of pics of that too and try and send them asap, but for now this is all you're getting... BWA HAHAHAHA

Be safe, I love you two. Tell Grampa Rufus I love him too, if he remembers me it may mean more. And of course tell Grandma and Grandpa Scott hey and I love them too. Hope they're still there. And Grandma Sweeney, I love her too. Jeez I'm so lucky all my grandparents are still around.

Well, I'm gonna get ready. My new kid comes by next Wednesday, and I still have a couple things I want to do with my first born in the wilderness before we part.

I'll let you know how my next son is when I meet him.

Till next week, now a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Miracles in Bonao

This story is.. is just straight up embarrassing. With such a good start to the season, my Sooners have dishonored me. A loss to OSU is ok every once in a while, but a massacre.. that's just unacceptable. Well, I hope those OSU fans will wallow in their win for a year, because it'll be short lived. Next year, when I'm there, OU will come back hungrier than ever.

Nah, I'm really not that distraught. The worst thing for me is the fact that my picture uploader thing won't work. I may need something... I don't know though, I think I'll just buy another. Don't worry about that. Just focus on your assignments, the CD and white shirts.

Ok.. This week.. There's been a lot that's happened so get ready. First of all, Fernando, the one that's been great through thick and thin. He went to church and while there bore his testimony, so sweet and so powerful. He was so shaky after getting done. He said he'd been searching long and hard, gone to many churches, but none were the one for him until he found ours. Then, we had an activity later that evening and he brought a friend as a reference. His baptism is the 17th, we're so happy.

Now, Lily and Kelly. That is such a great couple. This last week we passed by and Lily had prayed and asked. She had always been the one sort of halfway in it but hesitant... But she had a dream about God, and then woke up just absolutely sure. Then, Kelly also got a confirming witness when he prayed and asked. They went to church again and we passed by on Monday, and we had the law of chastity planned. We had left them a pamphlet about it and I didn't expect them to have read it yet, but when we passed by they practically committed themselved to get married, telling us that they had prayed about it together and felt that it was the right thing to do. Then, Tuesday, they had 2 of their friends over and we shared with them, and they both committed to go to church. Lily and Kelly have a marriage date the 30th of January and a baptismal date the 6th of January. I may be leaving by then (transfers are the 21st), but I know my comp will help them get it done.

It's so sweet to see the people we are working with progress, and finally see progression here in the city of Bonao. It IS possible. For instance, and you already know I don't believe in coincidence, but a zone leader and I, Elder Cromwell, were in an exchange and we studied about having the faith to know that people are waiting for us. We talked about how, if missionaries don't have faith that they're out there, THEY WON'T BE! DUH! And so, sure enough, the first contact, a young man who honestly didn't even look like he'd have any interest, talked to us about how he didn't know about which church was right, even though it clearly says that Christ just left one church. One. Not 49209 Christian churches, just ONE church. And so, I found out what it was like to have a convert after the first contact. He said when he prays he gets a certain feeling, and he was getting that feeling again as he was talking to us. It honestly makes me tear up thinking about it. He was so prepared. He lives in Bonao 2 unfortunately, but it really was such a cool experience.

Let's see.. Oh did you guys catch the Christmas devotional? Just wondering, because the video they played was really.. just.. gorgeous. It was in Elder Eyering's talk. Watch it. The cinematography was just so perfect.

I hope all is well there. Enjoy the cold. I am.. Well I did monday. We went up to constanza monday, it was nice and chilly, just like it should be in December. Actually, it was absolutely perfect weather for me. Probably high 50's, just a touch of sun. The mountain views made it just marvellous. Honestly I want to bring you guys up there. I'm hoping we can make a trip there so you guys can see it. We'll try and fit that in.

Thinking about being in single digits is just... wow. Scary. I had a dream the other night.. can't remember if I told you about it already.. about being home already. I had a cake waiting for me downstairs that said "happy six days home". I was confused but really happy. I actually don't ever remember seeing you in my dream. Ha.. I do miss you guys tons though, really.

Speaking of that, if you could send me a 2012 calender, that would be amazing. I would like to see the end. Ha man you talk about trunky. In a good way, of course. I won't think about it until the 30th of September though, promise.

Well, today we had yet another thanksgiving/christmas dinner thanks to Elder Shapiro. Well.. Thanks to his mom. He got a package this last week and he's going home next thursday (a little early because of Christmas travel beings so crazy and all). This time complete with cranberries and pumpkin pie! It really was amazing. He tried to make homemade ice cream as well but it really just kind of turned into cold, sweet soup. It was delicious though.

Only 2 1/2 weeks until I talk to you guys again!

I love you two. Be safe, and don't eat anything off the floor (as they say here). I am proud of you two, and your spanish speaking abilities dad! Haha

Have a great week, almost there....

Till next week, ni un segundo perdido,

Elder C. Rufus Sweeney