Thursday, March 22, 2012

Success in Santiago!

Yeah, I've been great as far as my health is concerned. We've only been eating stuff in the house (which is time consuming and a little tiring), but it's been good. I haven't had a repeat of the amoeba, just the occasional normal diarreah.
Well, this week has been pretty interesting. Way good though. A couple pretty intense contacts. One was the first full day here. We just went contacting in an area kind of far from our house, but pretty densely populated. Where I live is super densely populated.. Like I'm talking there aren't very many 1 story houses. It's all multi-story apartments. Anyway, we were contacting in this less populated area and I feel kind of an impression to make a contact up on the second story. I have learned from Thomas S. Monson that you should never deny those, so I went for it, leaving my comp and this RM that we were with behind. I got there first, knocked, and a little girl answered. I asked if her dad was home and she said yes. Then the dad poked out his head and invited us in. We started normally, he had a really nice apartment with pictures from his wedding and all, and then we told him we would like to start a quick lesson with a prayer. He told us before we started he'd like to say something. He had prayed for the first time in a long time the night before for the lord to help him with his marriage, to help him to know if he was doing something wrong, and to help him find a job. So, he figured, by us showing up the next day he thought it might be a sign.
We had a great lesson, left him a book of mormon, invited him to church, and even coordinated a bit with the member that was with us to pass by and pick him up before church. He couldn't make it because he had something come up, but Monday he was really impressed with our willingness to help him. He's really awesome. He saw us walking on the way back home and he gave us a ride (he's got a sweet european brand car that I've never heard of). So he's looking pretty solid.
Another contact that we made was in a richer area. It was raining, the classic missionary scenario, so we were just soaked to the bone (my umbrella had gotten rusty in Bonao and didn't work super well, so I left it there). And, despite the fact that it was raining, we were still rejected a couple times. That is.. Until we arrived and Miguel and Nydia's house.
First we started talking to Miguel, just making small talk there in the house, and I asked if he didn't mind if we entered and shared a bit. He agreed and on the way back to the patio we met his wife and daughter, who were just sweet as anything. His house though.. Man it was really nice. He had a GIANT flat screen TV (it was kind of like a man cavish thing..) and like 3 cars. He and his wife, Nydia, are architects. They had actually helped build the La Sirena supermarket in Bonao. They do well in their respective works.
So, we begin sharing and Nydia was actually familiar with the church because her father was great friends with a missionary that taught him (didn't get baptised though.. never found out why) and she really likes the mormon messages from the radio that she heard as a kid. So, she opened right up as well. We had a really cool lesson, and we invited them to church as well (sort of more in passing, it was already saturday so it was a bit hard). They couldn't make it, but we'll pass by them today. I have high hopes for them.
Ok, well I won't bore you with things that don't matter too much to you, but I have already fallen in love with the area. The members are really good, the investigators (till now..) and progressing ok, so I'm happy.
I am reeeeeaaalllly tired. I stayed up really late transfers and haven't really caught up on sleep since. I am dead tired. Also, I played basketball for the first time in a while, so that destroyed me.
But, I'll catch up eventually. Nobody said you had to sleep on the mission.............. :/
I love you two. I am healthy. Really. And even though I'm tired I'm not eating weird things.
Be well. I don't need anything I don't think.. Well maybe socks but I'm ok for now. I just need more time.. Yeah that would be good. More time. I just don't know where it goes.
Well, I think that's about it. My comp and I get along well. He did BYU for a year too like me. He's a good kid, we're working our tails off here, hopefully we can see some success. Maybe your prediction is right.. 1 transfer. We'll see what happens.
Till next week, not a second wasted,
Elder C. Rufus Sweeney (yes mom, Rufus is preferred)


ok, money issue resolved. The money is in the account. All of those charges looked good. I thought that Mom had put another 200 in at the time of the letter, but it was just that she had put them in after the package. Thank you so much though. I was so relieved when I saw that.

Ok, now for the news of the week. Yes, transfers did happen. I received a call from President Lee that said I would be moving up...... Drumroll.......................

To district leader. Yeah, I don't know if he knew that was already my calling, but it's definitely official now. Haha I'm here, and I was transfered to Santiago south zone AGAIN! So, that makes a grand total of 2 zones for the entire mission. Wow. Ha I do love this zone though.

I am in an area called Pueblo Nuevo. It's really close to everything here in Santiago, as opposed to La Yaguita del Pastor that was kind of on the outskirts. Today we went to a GIANT la sirena (the supermarket here) that was about a 10 minute walk from our house.

My companion is Elder Taylor, a tall American from Utah. He is also adopted, like Elder Johnson. Super friendly, outgoing and bubbly guy. He's a talker, which is so different from Elder Wilkinson it's ridiculous, but he's a great kid, and I love him the same. He's actually from the same group of Elder Wilkinson, so I'm what's called a "step dad", or the comp after the dad. His spanish seems pretty solid already. I barely know him though, so I'll see later exactly how he is.

It's really nice not to have a new missionary.... Well, not brand new at least. I get to focus on being a good district leader, on the training meetings, on the missionaries in my district, instead of tending especially to my comp's needs. It was so fun training.. I wouldn't trade it for the world, and we worked our butts off in Bonao, but it's time to move onto the big city.

Santiago is sooo overpopulated. It's great, it's a little ghetto, yes, in my area, but it's a charming little city. The people are really nice.

Funny little side note, so when I went to La Sirena I ran into a less active that we were teaching in La Yaguita.. Hahaha Elizabeth. That's when you know you have a lot of time in the mission. What a blast from the past.

Let's see.. The new apartment is good. It's not NEAR as big as the other one. Just two bedrooms, one bathroom, but it's good enough. The great part is that it has 24/7 power, it hardly ever goes, so no stress about washing or anything like that. I'll try and take some pictures for next time.

I have an amazing district. Elder De Leon from Fantino is in my district again (we lived in the same house.. now it's just the same district which is still awesome). And we have his comp, Elder Jenks, a solid missionary from Wilkinson's group, and Elder Ruiz, a missionary from my district in Constanza. I don't know the other yet.. we shall see.

My zone is also sweet. Elder Parker, a good friend, is ZL. Elder Cromwell, my old ZL from Bonao, is now training here in the zone. Just a really great group of guys. I'm really happy.

The letter seemed really great and positive this week. I was happy with all the news. I just sort of glanced this week because I couldn't print it off, but it was really upbeat for the most part. I hope mine is too. It's been a good week for the both of us.

Well, it was hard to leave Bonao. It was a great 5 transfers. My goal is always for them to say that I was a great missionary that made a difference, that means I did my job and did it well. A few said I was one of the better missionaries to pass by in quite a while. I love that. Not for pride's sake, but for the sake of the Lord. It wasn't my work there.

I love you two. Be safe and good. I'll see you soon. Soon enough at last. 5 more transfers. I can count them on one hand. Ha see you soon.

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder Sweeney

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Final Days in Bonao?

Well, this week has been pretty regular. Nothing too extraordinary.

We´re winding down the training with Elder Wilkinson. You´re exactly right, it´s in exactly two weeks, March 13. Happy leap year, BTW! Greg Sutton turns like.. 17 today or something. Ha he was born on a leap year.

I think we´ll be having 2 baptisms, not this saturday but the next. That´s the hope anyway.. You just never know here. One is almost sure and the other we´ll have to see, but it would be a great way to go out here in Bonao.

You´re right. As great as it´s been here, as marvelous as my experiences have been, as much as I´ve learned, I´m ready to go. 7 1/2 months anywhere is a good time, especially in an area in the mission. Granted, many have spent this time in an area in the mission, including Mike and I'm sure Matt, but it's about the limit I think. Much more than this and they're gonna try and get me to vote for their local leader..

I am still getting along well with Elder Wilkinson. It seems like I've had some of the crazier experiences of my mission with him. He's done well with it, the poor guy. He'll realize when he gets out of here just how great the mission is.. haha Bonao is no comparison, even though it's looking like he's gonna get a decent amount of baptisms. He should get a couple more when I leave.

In all honesty though, it's been one of my favorite areas. When I leave from here I'm probably going to miss the heck out of it.. It may even become holy ground for me. I have poured my blood, sweat and tears into the work here.. Literally. It's cost me two pairs of shoes (for the rain.. ha), and because of having bad shoes many blisters. But, the sacrifice has been tiny compared to the blessings that my comps and I have seen. We've seen miracles here.

We have a District Conference the last weekend I'm here, so that should be great. Elder ViƱas is coming down here from the area 70, so it'll be pretty special. Looking forward to it.

I love you two. I'm glad to hear that Mitt Romney is doing well for now, but even happier that mom is doing better. We're praying every day for her. Elder Wilkinson's mom is also sick, so we're praying for her too.

Be safe, don't fall off your fancy bike and break your hip (he he he below the belt that was..)

Till next week, not a second wasted,

Elder C. Rufus. Sweeney